A fun part of doing this series is seeing how Bears fans differ with their thoughts on what makes one Bear more important than another. The fact that it's so subjective is why I really can't argue against anyone that is suggested. Although we did carry on the Robbie Gould debate through about 3 or 4 posts!
After the jump I'll get into some snubs that I didn't include in my top 10:
Mike Tice - I really think he'll be an important part of what the Bears do, but I think the O-Line was trending upward anyway. With or without Tice, I think Chris Williams starting off on the left side will be great for him. Moving Frank Omiyale to tackle is best for him. And Olin Kreutz having clean up surgery on his ankle will help get him back to playing more comfortably.
The Left Guard - I'm really not worried about this position. I hope one of the candidates can step up and play some good football, but I think all 3 guys are ok football players. Johan Asiata looks to be the front runner, but Josh Beekman should be a solid NFL starter by now, and Lance Louis looks to have improved as well. Mike Tice is pretty high on all 3.
The Receivers - Yes, any of them. I just don't see one that is much more important that the others. If Devin Hester goes down, you just plug Earl Bennett into the Z. If Bennett is injured, I think Juaquin Iglesias can fill the void. If Johnny Knox has to sit out a few games, Devin Aromashodu steps into the X and the offense wouldn't miss a beat. I do think Hester has the potential to have a big time year, but overall this group is pretty even.
Lance Briggs - He may be the best linebacker on the team, but the fact still remains that the weakside linebacker in the Tampa 2 defense has more opportunities to make plays. Jamar Williams had 18 tackles last year filling in for Briggs in week 13. Briggs is a bet to make another Pro Bowl, but if he were to go down I think either Nick Roach or Pisa Tinoisamoa (who ever isn't starting on the strongside) will fill in admirably for Briggs.
Either Cornerback - Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman filp flopping sides is the Bears way of letting us know they believe Bowman is the better player. He may be, but be careful of anointing a guy that has only done it one year. Unless they forgot about the 1st Mark Anderson starting experience. I think they are both capable players (as is backup Corey Graham), but the biggest reason I left the corners off the list is a couple newcomers that did make my list. Julius Peppers (#3) will improve the pass rush, and in turn, cut down on how long the DB's have to cover. And Chris Harris will bring his experience to the secondary.
If you missed any of my posts, here they are in all their heavenly glory:
#10 - Robbie Gould - Kicker
#9 - Matt Forte - Running back
#8 - Olin Kreutz - Center
#7 - Mike Martz - Offensive Coordinator
#6 - Chris Harris - Safety
#5 - Chris Williams - Left Tackle
#4 - Tommie Harris - Defensive Tackle
#3 - Julius Peppers - Defensive End
#2 - Brian Urlacher - Middle Linebacker
#1 - Jay Cutler - Quarterback