Competition, Improvement on Offense Key as Camp Opens

Hope rests on an improved offense with excellent OL play in 2017.
Hope rests on an improved offense with excellent OL play in 2017. /

The competition will be much stiffer this year at Chicago Bears’ Training Camp.

Summer seems to have just started.  The aroma of gunpowder still lingers in our minds.  A memory of the celebration of our independence that was barely two weeks ago.  But just around the corner NFL teams will report to camp.  When the Bears report to camp next week competition will be the cornerstone of an improved roster.

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As players report to Bourbonnais next week, one thing is certain; jobs are on the line at virtually every position.  With the current 90 man roster, the only two positions without any competition are on special teams.  Punter Pat O’Donnell and Long Snapper Patrick Scales are the only players that have no one lining up to take any practice snaps in camp.

NFL head coaches like to split the 53-man roster evenly:  25 players on either side of the ball, and the last three spots slotted for the Kicker, Punter and Long Snapper.  Camp opening rosters are also evenly split as camp opens So let’s take a long at the 90 man roster heading into camp next week.

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 18: Jordan Howard
CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 18: Jordan Howard /

With Jordan Howard as the clear-cut starter, the competition will be for the rotation to give Howard a breather.  Look for rookie Tarik Cohen to be the first real change of pace back this offense has not seen recently.  Last year, Jordan Howard cemented the starter’s role, but he was not satisfied.  During the off-season Jordan had correction surgery to improve his vision.  More recently, he has been working on being more explosive after getting the ball.

Tarik Cohen may be small in stature at only 5′ 6″ and 179 pounds, but he has been impressive since being drafted.  Look for Cohen to be an elusive third down threat in his rookie year.

We will look at the competition on defense in the next article.  Fans are looking for much improvement on offense if the Bears hope to contend in the NFC North in 2017.