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9 Days Until Camp, 9 Questions I Have About The Bears

Camp in Bourbonnais starts the 31st, and if that doesn't get you excited you probably shouldn't be reading this blog. As I write this article there are about 9 days left until speculation ends and practices begin, and after a long and interesting off-season there are 9 questions I have about the open season.

1) Jay Cutler is here, and his arrival means there is finally an elite quarterback running our offense. Will his addition led to drastic changes in how the game is called or just (hopefully) better execution of the passing component of the offense we ran last season?

Since we have him how will we use him? I expect use to remain a run first type team but hope Ron Turner and Lovie Smith properly utilize our new weapon.

2) Who will the JC throw to?

We all figure Hester will start. How will they mesh? Will Cutler and Earl Bennett relive their collegiate glory days of 2005 at Vanderbilt? (side note: as a Chicago native and Vanderbilt student I'm thrilled that my hometown NFL team has decided to make our not so great SEC football program its feeder school) Will anyone else step up as #6's new favorite target? Something tells me TE Greg Olsen will get a lot of catches this year. I really feel like he has the most to benefit from the lack of a standout receiving core.

2b) What are we going nickname Cutler?

I promise to never refer to him as JC again. Any suggestions?

3) Before we delve into other offensive questions, lets not forget the defense was disappointing last season. Will the Bears "D" get back to the level we have come to expect this fall?

Seriously we talk about the offense as disappointing out of habit, but the Bears have proven in the past they can win without a strong "O". A weak defense however kills any hope of a successful season. I was especially concerned about how they struggled against the pass last season. Hopefully this year will be a return to dominance for a unit that underachieved last year.
4) Matt Forte had 314 carries which was last year fourth in the NFL. Can Kevin Jones relieve some of that workload this fall?

I hope so. The last thing the Bears need to do is overwork Forte. To many carries has been the downfall of many a running back and hopefully that isn't the case here over the next few seasons.

5) Like I said earlier, something tells me Greg Olsen is in for a big season. Will the addition of Cutler and the increased presence of a legitimate passing game set him up for a big season?

With no standout receiver, there is no reason for the very athletic Tight End not to quickly become a go to target for Cutler.

6) Devin Hester is ridiculous. But with a potential #1 wide receiver job taking away a lot of his time, are his days of strike fear into opponents as a special teamer over?

I hope not but we saw glimpses of mortality from Hester last season and precedent shows (see Dante Hall) that once a returner turns into a receiver his returns are never the same.

7) How will #54 bounce back? Or are the back issue and last season 's less than stellar performance a sign of the future at Middle Linebacker?

I'm sorry I wasn't impressed by Urlacher in 2008. Admit it you weren't either and you have to wonder if he will be better this year.

8) Will Brett Favr- just checking to see if you were still reading. But that reminds me how will the improve Bears stack up against the Vikings who appear to be the front runners in what looks to be a weak (read winnable) NFC North?

I like our chances. I really do. The division should be ours even if Favre does join the Vikings. The pieces are in place for a Bears playoff run this year. If they play to their capability it should be a great year for the Bears.

9) Is it time for kick off yet?

Sunday Sept 13th can't get here fast enough.

Written by Daniel Howell 7/22/09


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