Cutler and Urlacher Make List of Players Who Need To Regain Form

"What's wrong?" "Oh, someone just stating the obvious, as usual."

Normally, when I think about players that "need to regain form," I think of players that might have displayed something earlier in their careers, but dropped off for some reason, such as Sam Bradford or Josh Freeman, or maybe Mike Sims-Walker.

But to Yahoo!'s Jason Cole, it means players who finished last season injured but need to come back and display their previous form - and under those circumstances, he picked Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher to be at spots 7 and 9 of his top 20 list. (Yes, Bradford made the list, at 8.)

I don't think he's wrong - Cutler and Urlacher certainly need to have big seasons in order to push the Bears to the Super Bowl - but I've got a couple other players in mind that also need to have big seasons after suffering injuries.

The first is Julius Peppers. No, Pep didn't finish last season on injured reserve, but that's not the point. Peppers suffered a knee injury in mid-October and again in December against the Chiefs, and was still productive with double-digit sacks on the season. The Bears invested a first-round pick in getting some pass-rush help across the line in Shea McClellin, but hopefully Peppers' knees don't stand between him and another stellar season.

And the second is Chris Conte, who actually did finish the season injured and removed from a game. Conte is projected to fill one of the starting safety positions and needs to build off last season, when he played pretty well with a revolving door next to him. Without Conte, does the safety corps have anything resembling stability? And without that, the pass rush had better get to quarterbacks in a hurry.

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