It has been 22 years since Da Bears last championship. That is not even a quarter of what the Cubs drought is, but it sure feels like it is as long. That is because unlike the remedies the Lovable Losers have for their fans year after year, Bears’ fans live and die with their team. An entire week can be ruined by a loss, while an entire year can be filled with happiness by a sweep of the Packers.
Da Bears were close to winning a championship just two years ago. Now we are farther than ever from grabbing that Lombardi trophy and displaying it by the George Halas mural so that Papa Bear can rub it in to Vince Lombardi that he has the trophy with his name on it.
I predict that we will finish 7-9 this year, which is more optimistic than most predictions I have been hearing. We will win seven games only if the defense stays clear of major injuries, if Matt Forte proves to be what the coaches see in him, and if Devin Hester remains the Windy City Flyer.
The biggest problem with this team is that the offensive line is bad. It is so bad that we may have to bring back Fred Miller, another old lineman. John Tait is worried about having to switch positions, which has already screwed up his training camp. Olin Kreutz, whose number should be retired one day, is on the down side of his career. Terrance Metcalf and John St. Clair are mediocre lineman. Forget about Chris Williams for this season; he probably would have struggled even if he was not injured this year. A fact of this offensive line is that if two or three of the lineman are bad the whole line suffers. This offensive line is pathetic, and it will cost us the season.
Even if the offensive line was tolerable, it is not as if our offense scares anybody. Our receivers are either unproven or old, same with our running backs. There will probably also be a quarterback controversy the whole year. The only good aspect of the offense is our tight ends. The latest news though: Clark is injured and probably will miss a couple of weeks.
The defense on the other hand is pretty solid as long as injuries do not plague the team like last year. If Anderson improves, the defensive line is one of the best in the NFL. The linebackers are happy and ready. If Vasher, Tillman, and Brown are on the field, the secondary looks good too. The defense will have to score points.
Another great year for the special teams should happen because of mainstays Hester and coordinator Toub. We should not overuse Hester to the point where his return game is negatively affected. It is kind of sad to write this, but Hester must have at least 5 returns for touchdowns for us to be successful this year. Gould better be good as gold for the amount of money he received. The loss of Ayanbadejo should not hurt that much. Otherwise it would be great if we continue to be as good as we were last year in blocking kicks and punts especially against Green Bay.
As we look past this year, I do not really see a good plan for the future. By the time we can fix our offensive line and either develop or get some playmakers, our defensive players will be going south. Urlacher and Brown are already past their prime. Every team in all sports has bad seasons. Bad seasons happen, and I can tolerate them. But I hate bad seasons when there are veterans playing. If the team is going to struggle, then make sure some young players are developing. We do not have that many young players who will be playing this year. Greg Olsen, Daniel Manning, and Matt Forte are pretty much the only ones.
This year will be a good test of the coaching staff. Good coaches make their team and players achieve more than what is expected of them. Both coordinators jobs could be on the line, and even Lovie will face some challenges. The expectations are low this year, lets see the coaching staff and the players defy them.