Yesterday in my NFL Thoughts article, I spotlighted an interesting little nugget from CBS Sports' NFL Insider, Jason La Confora. He basically dismissed the entire off season from the Chicago Bears in his article titled, Expecting the usual turnover among NFL playoff teams? Not in 2014.
Now I'm not sure if he wasn't aware of the numerous additions made by the Bears, or if he simply believes nothing they did could help their team in 2014, but either way it paints him as a clueless dolt. I get a bit more into his silly article on my 8th Thought yesterday, so for more on that click the link above.
But for a more positive spin on the Bears off season, I spied an article today on NFL.com written by Gil Brandt. Besides his current role as NFL Media senior analyst for NFL.com, Brandt occasionally appears on NFL Network, he's actively dropping knowledge on Twitter and he's a former NFL scout and V.P. of the Dallas Cowboys.
In his recent article, he spotlights the six 8-8 teams from 2013, and predicts a win total for each. He has four of the six improving, but he has the Bears making the biggest jump. He's predicting a 2 win increase for the Bears in 2014, and unlike La Confora, he actually acknowledges the off season by Chicago GM Phil Emery.
Chicago's big offseason task, then, was to shore up the defense, and to that end, I think they did a great job in free agency, adding talents like Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston; Houston, in fact, was probably the Oakland Raiders' best defensive player last season. As for the draft, Chicago used its first-round pick on Kyle Fuller, who I expect will contribute immediately as a third cornerback, and turned to the line in the second round, grabbing LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, who projects as an eventual starter. Finally, new defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni is very, very good at what he does, and will be a boon to the unit. With a better defense supporting their explosive offense, the Bears should make a sizable leap in 2014.
Not only is he aware of the draft and free agency, but he mentioned the impact that long time football coach Paul Pasqualoni could have on the team.
I know it's very early, but are you optimistic about the Bears in 2014?