Have They Done Enough to Close the Gap With Lions, Packers? – Us Chicago sports fans are in angst. Derrick Rose’s ACL tear has left a massive hole in our collective hearts. Our underachieving Blackhawks were bounced out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 1st round. And our two baseball teams are currently in rebuilding mode, rendering them both borderline unwatchable. Where do we look for hope? Two consecutive Bears’ seasons have been brought to a halt thanks in large part to injuries suffered by starting quarterback (and noted small dog enthusiast) Jay Cutler. Will this be the year of a true break through for our beloved Bears? The moves made this offseason by new GM Phil Emery should give us a glimmer of hope heading into next season.
- traded two 3rd Round draft picks for mercurial wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Here’s a small taste of what the combo of Cutler & Marshall bring to the table
- supplemented their always dominant Special Teams unit with some key signings: Kick Returners/Punt Returners/Gunners Eric Weems and Devin Thomas; they also added Blake Constanzo, a stand out special teams performer from last season’s NFC runner-up, San Francisco 49ers
- drafted defensive end Shea McClellin out of Boise St., who has drawn favorable comparisons to Green Bay Packers outside linebacker, Clay Matthews (give me Shea’s blue collar work ethic over Clay’s glamour-boy, finesse ways any day of the week); they also added a huge red-zone target in Alshon Jeffery
Add all of this together, and you have a team ready to make some noise within the division next year. The Cutler/Marshall combo is what has me most excited. The Bears have played a particularly bland brand of football over the years. The fireworks that these two can potentially create should have all Bears fans salivating. It should also have our rivals a bit worried about the damage our team can do now that we have the pieces for a potent offense + a dominating defense, added on to an always league leading special teams unit. The 2012 season can’t begin soon enough.