Chris Harris is most likely the starting SS unless Wright, Bullocks, and Steltz fail to impress the coaches in the battle for starting FS.The Favorite Major Wright: The Speed and athleticism that Wright showed at the FS position at Florida makes him the favorite to win the position. At Florida, Wright covered 180 feet of the field in the cover 1 (coverage shell that Florida mostly played in). In the cover 2 he will be asked to cover half of that. If Major can get a full grasp on the playbook then the job is his coming out of training camp. Least Favorite Craig Steltz: I think the coaches view Steltz as more of a in the box safety than FS because of his lack of recovery speed range. For Steltz to win the battle he will have to rely on his strength which is instincts to over shadow Wright and Bullocks athleticism.
One of the biggest question marks heading into mini camp is the Left Guard position where you have Josh Beekman (who lost his job last summer), Lance Louis (Inexperience at the position), and Kevin Shaffer (playing out of position). Favorite Josh Beekman: With the team moving to a more pass heavy offense in Martz version of the Air Coryell, Beekman strength which is pass blocking best compliments the scheme. If Tice can make Beekman a better run blocker than you got yourself a solid starting Left Guard. Least Favorite Kevin Shaffer: At this point in his career Shaffer is better suited with a move inside or at swing tackle. The Bears don't have anybody behind Williams and Omiyale that's capable of stepping up and starting which is why I say Shaffer is the least favorite to win the position.
A under the radar position battle could be brewing between Hester and Knox as the starting wide receiver alongside Devin Aromashadu. Favorite Devin Hester: What makes Hester the favorite in my opinion is his versatility. Hester can play outside as well as in the slot, while Knox is more of a outside receiver. Knox has a higher ceiling than Hester, but right now Hester is more ahead of the curve than Knox as far as route running and pass catching. Devin is the favorite at the moment, but if Knox take the next step this summer he will be the favorite to win the starting job and push Hester to more of a slot receiver role in the mode of former Rams Wide Receiver Az-Zahir Hakim.
Linebacker has a great chance of being one of the biggest strengths on not only the defense, but the whole team with the return of Urlacher, Briggs, and whoever wins the strong side linebacker position between Tinoisamoa and Roach. Favorite Pisa Tinoisamoa: The coaches love Pisa because he is instinctive, great tackler, and has speed to cover TE's. Roach also has those attributes to start at strong side linebacker, but Pisa gives something extra at that strong side linebacker position, and that's leadership.
The Bears beefed up their running attack signing Chester Taylor to come in and compete with a healthy Matt Forte. Favorite Chester Taylor: Both backs fit perfectly into Martz system, but Chester Taylor might be a tad bit better receiving back than Forte. For now I am listing Taylor as the favorite to win the position battle, but by the end of training camp I expect Forte to win this position battle. Chester Taylor might be the better receiving back, but when healthy Matt Forte is the better all around back.