Podcast: Previewing the Chicago Bears Special Teams

Chicago Bears (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Welcome to July, Bears Fans! This is the month we have been waiting for as we’re just a few weeks away from Bears training camp! There’s a strong group of players on the bottom-half of the roster vying for a spot on the team, and one way a player can cement himself on the roster is providing value on special teams.

In this episode of The Chicago Audible, the guys continue their annual summer series “Countdown to Camp” — where they go episode-by-episode previewing every position (and player) on the Chicago Bears — the guys share their in-depth preview (and discussion on) Special Teams.

What type of season is in store for the Chicago Bears’ third phase?

That’s a tremendous question because the Bears are bringing back a kicker that ended up breaking franchise records last season in Cairo Santos. After setting a new team-high in consecutive kicks made with 27, and receiving a new contract, what type of standard should Santos be held to?

Patrick O’Donnell is back for another season in Chicago after signing another one-year deal this offseason. As one of the longest-tenured Bears, what exactly did O’Donnell improve upon last year and how can he further help the Bears in 2021?

One of the biggest question marks on special teams for the Bears is how they plan to replace both Cordarrelle Patterson as well as Sherrick McManis. Patterson will surely be missed as a returner, but don’t underestimate the need for Chicago to replace him as a gunner as well. McManis was a perrinial team captain, and the Bears do need someone to step-up into his role.

Which players should the Bears be trying out as the team’s new kick returner? And speaking of returns, should Chicago roll with Tarik Cohen as the punt returner Week 1 if healthy? If not, what are the alternate options?

And who are those players on the roster bubble that can stake their claim and make the team due to being an asset in the third phase?

The guys also make some season stat predictions for the unit, play some over/under and discuss a few additional superlatives along the way. And of course, they stay true to form (adhering to their promise to discuss every player on the roster heading into training camp) by making sure they share which players fighting for roster spots have the best chance of making the team due to their special teams’ abilities.

Which receivers will make the team? And what should we expect from those players in 2021?

As always, the guys at The Chicago Audible, have you covered.

Other positional preview episodes:

Chicago Bears Offensive Line Preview

Chicago Bears Defensive Line Preview

Chicago Bears Tight End Preview

Chicago Bears Linebacker Preview

Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Preview

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