CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears rushes against Branden Albert #76 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
For those of you new to this series, I'll tell you what this isn't. This isn't a list of the Chicago Bears best, but rather a list of those players (and possibly coaches) I feel need to come through in order for the Bears to maximize their potential. Valuing someone's worth is so subjective, but this is an exercise I enjoy doing every year here on WCG.
Julius Peppers drops one spot from last year to 6th Most Important Bear. He's still far and away their best defensive lineman, but he should have some help in 2012 with pressuring the quarterback. Peppers could improve on his sack total with fewer snaps. The fresher the Peppers the scarier the Peppers.That last paragraph felt like deja vu, so I went back to see what I wrote about Peppers last year, and sure enough it was similar. Last year it was Corey Wootton that I expected to join the defensive end rotation to keep Pep fresher. I suppose we'll have to keep waiting for that number three DE to step up and produce before we believe it, but I do have high hopes for rookie Shea McClellin.
But back to Peppers... At times he's the most dominant person on the field, and his ability to rush from anywhere on the line will keep offense's guessing. We can expect another Pro Bowl type season from him, and I'm setting the over/under on blocked kicks at two.
The List so far;
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #10 Shea McClellin
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #9 Stephen Paea
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #8 Matt Forte
The 10 Most Important Bears for 2012 - #7 Chris Conte