This is coming off of reports that we appear to be done at the moment adding players in particular O-Lineman to our Offense after signing our new Center, and many fans including myself thought about abandoning ship and praying for Jay Cutler after we first heard the stunning revelation from GM Jerry Angelo's press conferance. But after having a couple of hours to gather my thoughts in addition to reading more into the situation, our Offense may be better off this way. Follow me after the jump to find out why.
First off lets look at whom we have added then subtracted from our Offense. Our additions and subtractions are as such and by position. **note: moves can still be made**
Offensive Lineman/Tight Ends:
OT Gabe Carimi (rookie)
C/G Edwin Williams (resigned)
TE Matt Spaeth
WR Roy Williams
WR Sam Hurd
QB Caleb Hanie (resigned/tendered)
QB Nate Enderle (rookie)
Offensive Lineman/Tight Ends:
C Olin Kreutz (retirement?)
OT Frank Omiyale (?)
TE Greg Olsen (traded)
TE Brandon Manumaleuna
WR Rashied Davis
WR Devin Aromashodu
Chester Taylor (?)
QB Todd Collins (Thank God!)
Lets take a moment to look over those moves. In just about every position we have made improvements as we got younger on the O-Line, added talent to the WR corps (something a lot of us doubted we would do), got rid of players that hindered and/or didn't fit our system, provide Jay Cutler and Matt Forte another RB to help out the Offense get those tough yards, and doing all of this while adding players that fit into our Offense. Lets break down these positions even further.
Offensive Line (plus Tight Ends)
We are taking a large risk in moving on from Olin Kreutz, but sadfully this was going to happen sooner rather than later, and the team will be better off from it. Yes we didn't add a Guard (as of now) to provide insurance for new comer Chris Spencer, but out of the bunch left was there really a viable long term solution left? Maybe there was and still is, but we can't afford a maybe at this point, especially given the scenario we are given in which we have such a reduced offseason to get preppared for the up-coming season. Rather if this provides us anything possitive its this; for the first time in years the Bears will return at least 3 starters from the previous season along our O-Line. We also added a TE who is a true fit into our Offense, which too will provide some help to the O-Line. And as of this moment that O-Line looks like this
LG Chris Williams
C Chris Spencer
RG Roberto Garza
Again there will be some continuinity in particular to the right side of the O-Line with Roberto Garza and J'Marcus Webb staying put at RG and RT, respectively. What will be different is that we will have a major upgrade playing at LT with Gabe Carimi replacing Frank Omiyale in the line-up, and we will also be featuring a younger player in Chris Spencer as opposed to Olin Kreutz, with Spencer coming in at 29 as opposed to Kreutz at 34. Spencer started off rather poorly last season on an attrocity of an O-Line in its own right at Seattle, but he made major strides as the season went on, and he was said to have played rather well when the Seattle Seahawks shocked the world upsetting then Super Bowl defending champs New Orleans Saints. Mike Tice can be a major factor in Spencer's development as he does bring in him a veteran who still has room for improvements. Plus overall Spencer is a better fit for this Offense as he is larger and perhaps stronger than Olin Kreutz. This unit will be closely monitered all season, as the improvement of the O-Line will be what makes or breaks us this season.
As for TEs Kellen Davis truly has an opportunity to show he can be a dual threat as a starter in our Offense. He won't be seeing too many pass routes this year but I also have a feeling Martz will utilize him in some ways this season. Matt Spaeth is a solid blocker who is a definite improvement over Manu.
This is perhaps the most intriguing position as we have added a former Pro-Bowler in Roy Williams whom will be reunited both with the OC who made him big in the first place (Mike Martz) and the coach who helped to make him a top NFL prospect in college (Darryl Drake). There is no avoiding the dissapointment he is to the eyes of Dallas Cowboys fans, but he too is only 29 years old and still has some of that #1 ability in him. He seems to be motivated enough where he has a major chip on his shoulders to prove he still is a legit WR in the NFL. Sam Hurd brings in someone who can play special teams as well as being another option to throw to in the passing game. Both players add size to the WR corps as well. Look for this group to excell given both the progression of Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett in addition to the hopefull rise of the phoenix in Roy Williams.
The signing of Marion Barber still comes as a surprise to me, and a welcomed surprise this is. Many feel the Barbarion is on the downside of his career, but at only 28 years old that hardly seems like the case to me. Matt Forte and Marion Barber compliment each other rather nicely in addition to potentially forming a lethal tandem to boost the running gme even further.
This is very simple, we bring back our true back-up in Caleb Hanie while adding a young talented prospect in Nate Enderle, while abolishing the mistake that was Todd Collins.
Overall I think the Offense will be significantly better than last year, because we added pieces that fit into our system which now has a full season under its belt. Given that we have such a tough Defense led by Brian Urlacher and company, our Offense doesn't have to be #1 in the NFL for us to succeed (when has that ever happened btw?) rather just has to be solid and make less mistakes than a year ago. And with Jay Cutler having a full year under his belt with Martz and the worst ranked O-Line he will be even better this year. Remember we may still make significant additions to our Offense as potentially Braylon Edwards can enter the scene at WR and Jerry could surprise us by adding another O-Lineman. But even if they don't I'm optimistic enough to say we will be better this year on Offense. We were one game away from the Super Bowl last season, we can definitely bridge that gap this season.