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Tune Up

This article from The Chicago Sun-Times lists some things the Bears need to do in the offseason to keep their run going.


3 IMPROVE SPECIAL TEAMS Unlike the last few years when the Bears splashed serious money in free agency, the plan this offseason seems to be considerably more low-key, but one necessary move is improving the return game. Signing Antwaan Randle El or Eddie Drummond, both of whom will be on the open market, would help with the field-position game every great defense needs to succeed. Azumah was never healthy enough to make an impact as a kick returner, and the decision to dump R.W. McQuarters last year hurt the Bears on a couple of fronts. McQuarters was a pretty good punt returner, and he was a competent defensive back, at the least a guy with experience starting at cornerback and safety.

Dumping him in a cost-cutting move wasn't the problem, it was the timing of the decision to release him. Effectively, the team already had made its moves in free agency and the draft and didn't have a replacement in the wings. Wouldn't McQuarters have helped Sunday, if only to spare Chris Thompson the indignity of falling down when called upon to cover Steve Smith.

Punter Brad Maynard remains a solid professional even if he didn't play well against the Panthers, and rookie kicker Robbie Gould has shown promise. It's always a good idea to bring extra legs to camp, but the team is fine with both those players moving forward. The coverage units will improve as the team upgrades the bottom part of the roster, a necessity every year.