We focus so much on which players the team picks up that we forget which guys have moved on from the team to other destinations. The likes of Jermon Bushrod, Martellus Bennett, D.J. Williams and James Anderson may make their presence felt, but those that are no longer Bears may also make their absence felt.
With that sentence awkwardly stated, let's just get to the crux of this post - which Bears' departure do you think the Bears will miss the most? Let me give you a few of my options...
- Brian Urlacher (Replacement: D.J. Williams): This one's obvious. On the one hand, he's got 13 years of NFL experience, played middle linebacker in Chicago for what seems like forever, and really knows the division's offenses. On the other, last year he wasn't really close to the player he was - he showed occasional flashes, but not resembling the cornerstone of the fantastic defenses the Bears fielded in the 2000s, and the Bears picked up a capable linebacker in D.J. Williams to man the middle in his stead. Could he get back there in 2013? Well... It'll probably be on some other team to figure it out - it's quite a hill to climb, hope his knee and hamstring are up to it.
- Lance Louis (Replacement: Matt Slauson): Louis was arguably the team's best lineman last season prior to his ACL injury that'll probably sideline him into the first few weeks of the regular season (Be warned, Dolphins). Slauson may not be technically his replacement (Slauson will probably be left side, Louis was right side), but with Gabe Carimi and James Brown both able to play right guard, maybe Louis' absence won't be felt as much.
- Nick Roach (Replacement: James Anderson): Roach left for the greener pastures of Oakland to possibly play some middle linebacker, but the Bears picked up Anderson from Carolina, who like Roach played primarily strong-side and was very productive there. He doesn't really have the same ability to move to the middle as Roach did, but is still a capable strong-side linebacker.
- D.J. Moore (Replacement: Kelvin Hayden): Not so much, in my opinion - Moore was a good ballhawk over the middle and a good blitzer coming free, but Hayden brings a little more in tackling and physicality, plus the ability to shift outside in a pinch.
- Kellen Davis (Replacement: Martellus Bennett): Insert your own joke here.
- Jason Campbell (Replacement: Josh McCown): Ideally for me, McCown is a three, but Campbell was a little ineffective in his time in Chicago and has a chance to steal a starting position in Cleveland.
There's not really anybody on there I don't think the Bears will be able to live without, but who do you think the Bears will miss the most?