The Chicago Bears attacked this offseason in an effort to improve the offensive side of the ball by upgrading the depth in their running back and wide receiver room, adding a new starter and backups to the o-line, and landing a new QB1 and QB2. They also made some minor tweaks to the defense, but nothing as drastic as what they did on O.
So what is this team lacking as they ready themselves for the 2021 season?
In a recent article on ESPN Insider, they, along with some help from Pro Football Focus, gave their picks for each team’s biggest weakness heading into the 2021 season and here’s what they wrote about the Bears.
Biggest weakness: Chicago’s decision to release Kyle Fuller puts pressure on Jaylon Johnson to play with more consistency this season. Johnson’s 19.4% forced incompletion rate as a rookie ranked third among all cornerbacks who saw at least 50 targets. But those highs did come with some lows. Johnson allowed over 14 yards per reception into his coverage and ended the year with a 54.9 overall grade. The other projected outside starter, Desmond Trufant, is coming off two consecutive injury-impacted seasons, the second of which led to a 38.4 overall grade in Detroit.
I’m in agreement with picking cornerback as the biggest weakness, not only because the two projected outside guys have some question marks, but the nickel spot is unsettled as well, which leads to issues with the overall depth at the position.
Johnson had a hot start to his rookie season, but he tapered off a bit as the year wore on, and he ended up on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. He says he’s fully recovered from that, but that makes it two years in a row where a shoulder injury prevented him from playing. The Bears are gambling that he’s ready to fill Fuller’s Pro Bowl shoes, and perhaps a change back to some Vic Fangio-like schemes with new defensive coordinator Sean Desai will benefit Johnson the most.
Trufant also has to show he’s recovered from his injuries, and if he can’t that puts a lot of pressure on the Bears unproven reserves to come through.
Do you guys agree that corner is the Bears biggest weakness heading into the 2021 season?
That Insider article also wrote up the Bears biggest strength, and you can see all about their pick for that here.