It feels like we, as fans, have been here before.
New coaches, new quarterback, new offense. It all seems so familiar.
But will 2018 yield different results than 2013, 2015 or any of the other years that it seemed so sure that the Bears were turning a corner for the better.
It’s been seven seasons since the Bears last made the playoffs and it’s been five seasons since they were even in the playoff race late in the season.
Sure, plenty has changed this time: The Bears have a young, exciting quarterback, they have some bona fide playmakers on offense at wide receiver and running back. They seem to have an offensive staff that understands how to adapt and has a history in a system that has strong NFL pedigree.
So why should fans temper their expectations?
The quarterback is both young and inexperienced and while he’s paired with an exciting coach, the coach himself is inexperienced, as both a playcaller and a head coach.
Elsewhere, the team’s No. 1 wide receiver is coming off a serious knee injury and will still be recovering when the Bears report to camp next week, there’s no guarantee he will be full go during the first practices.
And on the other side of the ball, there’s still some major concerns regarding the pass rush, in terms of both health and depth.
The secondary has a No. 1 corner that has had one great season and lacks clear-cut ballhawks.
There is potential there, as well, but Kyle Fuller could be a one-year wonder.
We, as Bears fans, are excited about the potential, but it is all just that, potential.
We’ve also seen it all go bad before. How many times were we excited for Cutler, for Martz, for Trestman or (ok, I’m not sure anyone was that excited about Loggains).
I am not saying that it will go bad, but slowly this offseason has seen the anticipation build and the Bears go from a bad to team to being better than expected and having a chance at catching some teams by surprise.
But with the growing pains that will inevitably happen, is there a chance that fans are setting themselves up to be disappointed?
How will progress will be measured? How are you tempering expectations?
The team could win six games and have some people very excited, but they could will eight games and leave people feeling like they could’ve been better.
What should true expectations be for this team?
I am excited about this team, there’s a lot to love. I think that the offense will truly be innovative, I think that Mitchell Trubisky will grow as a QB and I am excited to see where all the pieces fit.
However, I also think there will be some bumps in the road along the way and growing pains and mistakes with the new system.
I think seven or eight wins in the realm, but I also realize that there could be some crushing losses as the growing pains of a young offense and first time coach find their way.