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Will the Chicago Bears Have a Winning Season? Depends on Who Shows Up.

First of all I should preface this by saying I'm assuming we have a season.  And you know what they say about people who assume things?  That's right, they're flipping idiots.  However, since the alternative is far too unpalatable I'm going to stay on this side of the optimistic scale.  Secondly, anyone who watched the Bears last season got a real "Jeckyll and Hyde" show.  Several key components on this team were inconsistent at best.  Take our own controversial quarterback, Mr. Cutler.  On one play the guy would look brilliant and everyone would be thinking he's the next great Bear and then on another play everyone would be wondering what he was possibly thinking when he made that play.  Not consistent.  But I believe the key for this team lies in being consistent next season.  The same team needs to show up every week and play at the same high level and for that to happen, one man needs to decide if he wants to be Dr. Jeckyll or Mr. Hyde. 

I believe that the key to the Bears being good next season is getting a more consistent performance from Mike Martz.  There are a few reasons why I believe consistency from our offensive coordinator will vastly improve this team.  Look no further than last season for reason number one.  Mike Hyde started off last season kicking the tires on his new toy, Jay Cutler.  He really wanted to see what he could get out of the young man.  What we as fans found out was that if you pass far more than you run eventually you put your team into some highly predictable passing situations allowing defenses to tear through an already porous line and give Mr. Cutler nightmares.  We also learned that five step drops don't work too well for 2 1/2 step drop offensive lineman.  But then around the bye week something happened.  Some rumors have Mike Hyde having a come to Halas meeting with Lovie Smith in which Lovie said, "Thou Shalt Run the Ball."  Others speculate that Mike Hyde simply woke up and smelled the coffee.  Either way the offense began to show a more consistent approach to the running game and the team got better.  Mike Jeckyll was now at the helm for most (most) of the rest of the season.  

Next, this is everyones second season in the same system.  More familiarity with the system should make for vastly improved play.  If Mike Jeckyll can continue to realistically assess his teams strengths and weaknesses he might be able to expand the playbook somewhat this year.  But making those levelheaded assessments will be the key.  If, oh say a rookie left tackle, were to struggle in pass blocking Mike Jeckyll may want to give some added protection to that side and make sure he sprinkles in enough running plays (perhaps behind a rookie left tackle who's supposedly good at run blocking) to keep the defense honest.  If teams are dropping seven defenders back in pass coverage perhaps we need to stuff the ball up the gut a little more.  And maybe, occasionally, we run in a passing formation and vice versa.  When we did those things last season this was a fun team to watch.

The last reason I think we need to see some consistency from Mike Martz is because when he changes into Mike Hyde he not only endangers our quarterback he ignores one of the best weapons on our team.  After a rocky sophomore year Matt Forte really bounced back under Coach Jeckyll and I really look at that as a sign of things to come.  When we stay balanced and consistent Matt Forte is a bona fide stud in the NFL.  A potential game changer in my mind.  Plus he forces teams to focus on him in the backfield allowing Mr. Cutler to feel a little less pressure and be a little more of a threat himself. Matt Forte can really open things up for a play caller when he's getting his carries.  So, will the Bears be successful next season?  Let's see who shows up.