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Q&A with Football Outsiders about the 2022 Chicago Bears: Next steps for Cole Kmet

We continue to focus on the offense in our Q&A, this time on the growth of Cole Kmet.

Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The SB Nation NFL blog sites have partnered with Football Outsiders over the last few years to try and provide more context on the 32 teams.

The person who will try to shed some light on the Bears’ 2022 outlook is FO writer Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass). In today’s edition, it’s all about a (hopeful) breakout year for Cole Kmet.

In case you missed it:

Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Windy City Gridiron: Another player stepping up in the pecking order in terms of attention, Chicago will expect a lot from Cole Kmet in Year 3 of his career. How well do you envision the tight end playing in 2022, and where does he most need to improve and excel?

Derik Klassen: Kmet is going to need to step up most in the red zone. With Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham both gone — the Bears don’t really have a basketball-style box-out threat anymore (not that Robinson and Graham were good last year, but still). Kmet earned the most red zone targets on the team last year but caught fewer than half those passes and didn’t score a single time. Kmet is already effective between the 20s but needs to leverage his size and strength better in the red zone and become a better jump-ball threat.