Chicago Bears need this position group to step up in 2024

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The Chicago Bears are expected to take a step forward in 2024. Their roster looks better than it has since around the 2018 season, and the combination of youth and veteran talent should have a rookie quarterback ready to hit the ground running. Still, if the Bears expect to take the step that they want to they have to find a way to get better play out of their linebackers. 

The Chicago Bears linebackers need to step up in 2024

On paper, this is one of the strongest units on the roster. They signed Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards last offseason as two of their biggest moves. With Jack Sanborn and Noah Sewell, they have depth as well. 

The unit got better as the season went on, but they started out of the gates slowly. Edwards really started to earn his contract, but even as Edmunds got better, he was not considered one of the top linebackers in the NFL. In 2024, his salary will be the third highest amongst players in his position, but he is not in that conversation. 

In fact, last year you could argue that the defense did not take any sort of noticeable drop off going from Edmunds to Sanborn when Edmunds was hurt. This may be a credit to Sanborn, but one player is a UDFA with one of the lowest cap hits on the roster while the other is a prized free agent. 

Edwards started to improve in coverage, but even he was much better in the run game. The Bears need to see him improve, especially against shifty running backs who can catch passes. 

For Edmunds, they need him to step his play up. He went from a liability to a solid starter, but they are paying him to be a game-changer and one of the better players on the roster. A step forward from these two linebackers would change how people view this defense.