Back in May I put together this little column dictating some of my expectations and some fun overs and unders for the 2011-12 regular season. I figured that since the season starts tomorrow, I'd better take a look back at it and bring it up to date - there've been a lot of changes since that column posted (namely, the lockout ending!). Follow me past the jump and let's get at it...
I won't go over every single one - some changed, some didn't - so for this one, I'll only put down what changed and any new ones. If you want to revisit the old ones, it's linked above.
Old number: 48.5. New number: 45.5
Reason being the line had numerous changes beyond Gabe Carimi - Williams stayed at left guard, Garza moved to center, Webb moved to LT, and the line has so far looked the better for it.
Jay Cutler's Pass Attempts
Old number: 490. New number: 475
I dropped the number because the addition of Marion Barber now gives the Bears a legitimate one-two running back punch. Barber brings the power threat Chester Taylor never realistically could. It seems like Martz is really settling into making the running game more of a focus than last year, but Jay will still be throwing the ball more than last year.
Old number: 40. New number: 42
Tommie Harris is gone. In his place are Stephen Paea, Amobi Okoye and Henry Melton. I definitely think between the three of them, they can add enough sacks to break the set number.
New: Brandon Meriweather Interceptions
Old number: -- New number: 4
Meriweather's had at least three interceptions out of his safety spot each of the last three years, two of those Pro-Bowl years, and twelve interceptions total. He won't start right away, but when he's sprinkled in, he can make plays on the ball.
New: Adam Podlesh Punts and Robbie Gould Field Goal Attempts Combined
Old number: -- New number: 120
This is a weird one and let me explain... Last year, the Bears were 30th in offense, much publicized, of course. After the year, Brad Biggs tweeted the Bears had a combined 800 extra yards of starting field position on top of the league average - that's a hell of a head start. It's well documented here that it won't make as much of a difference as some believe, but there'll still be somewhat of a difference. Assuming more drives start at the twenty and knowing how rough eighty-yard drives are for the Bears, Adam and Robbie might be seeing more action than we'd like.
New: Chris Spencer's First Appearance
Old number: -- New number: Week 4
This requires a bit of an assumption that Spencer will jump into the starting lineup at all, but since some of you folks seem to have decided you liked what Spencer did in the preseason, I'd throw you a bone. Spencer's making about two and a half million this year, he's an interior lineman, and the Bears have Garza at center and Lance Louis at right guard. If either look shaky, Spencer could be the first one in. When do you guys think that'll be - before (under) or after (over)?
New: Dane Sanzenbacher Receptions
Old number: -- New number: 5
The Bears finally have an undrafted darling of the fans that made the team as the sixth receiver, and it's pretty apparent the team likes him. He's down on the depth chart, but there may be circumstances where the team would like to see him on the field - in case of injury, Roy Williams drops, that kind of thing.
New: Roy Williams Receptions
Old number: -- New number: 55
The Bears' "marquee" free agent signing has a history of a reputation bigger than his production. His best year was as a Lion under Martz, but has disappointed ever since being traded to Dallas - in fact, ever since that big season. The Bears are hoping he rebounds. I'm just hoping he can hold on to the ball and make plays. We should really do an O/U for number of unnecessary first-down gestures...
That's all I've got for this one. Any other numbers you guys want to try, either set it yourself or I'll try it.