Hard to believe that training camp will draw to a close this Sunday with the final practice in Bourbonnais. Didn't they just get there? It seems like not so long ago camp was three weeks long. Perhaps my memory is misleading me, but training camp just flies by these days.
In any event, with four practices left in Kankakee County, things seem to be coming into focus better for Chicago.
Unfortunately, first round pick Kevin White has yet to really fully practice with the team, but there have been plenty of other nuggets to trickle out of camp. Players have been lauded and others have kind of fallen by the wayside. That's just the nature of the beast.
With that being said though, there have been several standout stars of camp and today I am asking you who do you think could end up being a breakout star for the Bears this year?
By virtue of trying to turn the roster over so much the Bears have many young players that could end up making a significant mark this year.
On defense there is Pernell McPhee, the big free agent addition by the new Halas Hall regime. McPhee is known, especially among Ravens fans and Bears fans who have been paying attention, but he legitimately has a chance to become a breakout star and a household name his first year in Chicago.
Reports from camp indicate that he has lived up to the hype and has been a disruptive force for the still-learning 3-4. Ideally, McPhee brings some cache to a defense that has been among the worst in the league the past two seasons.
Another candidate could be David Bass. Bass has been a guy I've been high on for a couple years and by most accounts, he's transitioning to the 3-4 very well. I've seen some reporters speculate that he could make the final roster over Willie Young.
Kyle Fuller is already on a lot of Bears fans' radar but I don't know if I would consider him a full-on breakout candidate. He certainly could bring a lot more attention to himself with a solid year, but he also became very well-known after having two interceptions in a Sunday night game last season.
On offense, it is a cast of more familiar faces, so there are fewer breakout star candidates. One might, possibly, finally be Marquess Wilson, maybe. It's a big maybe for me. Bears faithful have been waiting two seasons to see what he could do but injuries and just general lack of big plays have kind of put him into the back of people's minds.
But with White sidelined Wilson has stepped up with a strong camp. Maybe this is the year he finally gets a chance to do something. I still say it's a longshot though with Eddie Royal, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett all ahead of him in the pass distribution hierarchy.
Behind Forte perhaps rookie Jeremy Langford can make an impact as the No. 2 back. Langford and the other fellow rookies seem like they all could get chances to shine as well.
Is there a player you have pegged for a big year who has never had one?