LAKE FOREST, IL - JUNE 12: Gabe Carimi #72 of the Chicago Bears works against Julius Peppers #90 during a minicamp practice at Halas Hall on June 12, 2012 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
In less than a week, the Bears will head to training camp and we'll finally have real, genuine Bears news. The last big lingering thing for this team was the Matt Forte situation. With that being resolved earlier this week, the Bears can head into camp and focus just on football. That being said, there are still many questions for this team. I am going to write out some of the biggest questions I have for this team and you can leave your answers, speculation and your own questions in the comments afterward. Look for part II on Monday, with the defensive questions, but for now, let's start with the offense.
My first one involves the recently signed Matt Forte;
How quickly will Forte pick up the offense?
Forte's lengthy contract ordeal didn't spill over into the regular season, or even training camp, thankfully, however, word was that the Bears finished installing the offense in the off season activities which begs the question: How much catching up will Forte have to do? I don't doubt he'll be in shape, by all accounts he's a huge gym rat who would rather workout than lounge around. It's worth wondering however, if he can step in right away or needs a couple days to play catch up.
It wouldn't surprise me if for the first practice or two Forte is taking reps with the number 2s while Michael Bush runs with the 1s. Lovie's done it in the past.
How will the offensive line come together?
This is the obvious and biggest question surrounding this team and it's a two part question: Who plays where on the line and how long until they begin to play well together? No doubt the sooner the better, but it will likely be after two or even three preseason games that we get an official starting five on the line, but when will they start the all-important gelling?
What will the offense look like?
All off season it was speculated to be pass-first and look like the new norm of the NFL; pass first. However, the Bears now have one of the best one-two punches at running back and have a head coach who "gets off the bus running" and an offensive coordinator known for his tough running attacks. So what will the Bears O look like once the pads go on? It's hard to judge by the OTAs and stuff when contact is strictly regulated. Furthermore, what will Tice's playcalling look like? That might not be answered until the regular season though.
How will the depth chart shake out?
Most starting spots are already stapled down, but there are several depth spots up for grabs; Who sticks at TE behind Kellen Davis? Which QB backs up Jason Campbell? I am not so sure Josh McCown is a given, I think carrying two QBs who carry veteran-type cap numbers could be prohibitive to the Bears and they might give Matt Blanchard a chance because he'll be cheap...dirt cheap. I also want to see if guys like Sanzenbacher, Kyle Adams or James Brown can stick on the final roster. Of course, most of the depth chart will revolve around the position battles on the OL.
What about the rookies?
Sure, everyone is anxious about what we have in Alshon Jeffery. How quickly can he make the jump from the SEC to the NFL? Will he be coming off the bench as a rookie or will be get starting-type reps? What can be gathered in July-August about what he'll do this year for the Bears? Also UDFA James Brown will be under the watchful eye of many-a-Bear fan. Also, what role is there for Evan Rodriguez? What kind of plays can he make?
What of the Tight Ends, Full Backs and H-Backs?
With Tice in and Mike Martz out, what will the roles for these positions look like? We all know the expectations for Kellen Davis, but what about Evan Rodriguez, Kyle Adams and Tyler Clutts and his growing fan-cult? Can Clutts stick on the roster? Can Rodriguez make an impact as a rookie? Will Kyle Adams advance beyond "Training Camp Wonder" and stick on the roster and take meaningful snaps?
That's it for the offense. Come back on Monday for my defense and other questions. What questions do you have about the offense?