Rebuilding the Chicago Bears
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The Chicago Bears are a disappointing team when compared to other sports teams in the Chicagoland area. One of the hardest things the Bears have to do is get rid of the injury bug that has been contagious all season.
The first step to obtaining more wins is to replace Jay Cutler.
Jay Cutler has been an all right QB for the past eight years, but he is not a good teammate and has been injury prone throughout the years. ESPN states, he has had one of his worst seasons in his career. Cutler has below a 60 percent completion percentage, more turnovers than touchdowns, and the worst quarterback rating in his career.
However, Quarterback Matt Barkley seemed to feel confident and relaxed in head coach John Fox’s system. On November 27th against the Tennessee Titans he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns; he could have had two more if the receivers can hold onto the ball. He made good decisions and great throws. I wouldn’t call him a franchise quarterback, but he is a bright spot. If he continues to perform well, the Bears might not need to waste a pick on a quarterback this year.
On offense, they improved their offensive line with the addition of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton and the developing offensive line. However, the Bears are most likely going to lose their star wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in free agency, and their 2014 first round draft pick on wide receiver Kevin White, who has played a total of four games in two seasons.
They need to find receivers that can replace them. The Bears should try to sign veteran receivers such as Kamar Aiken, Robert Woods, and Anquan Boldin. Not only are seasoned veterans more reliable than younger players, but they would also be able to mentor the less experienced players on the team, as well as help to improve the team’s overall chemistry.
It is important to have solid receivers because it’s a pass heavy league. If a team doesn’t have solid receivers, they will struggle. Even if Alshon doesn’t leave, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more weapons.
They also need to improve in the secondary. Opposing team’s attack all the Bears cornerbacks except cornerback Tracy Porter. He is a bright spot and a shutdown corner; however, he is aging, which means he is going to get less and less effective. No one throws towards Porter; they all throw towards the other corners on the field.
On October 20th against the Green Bay Packers, Porter let up nine yards on one reception to Jordy Nelson, one of the best receivers in the league. However, Davante Adams recorded thirteen receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Randall Cobb recorded eleven receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown as well.
If the Bears can sign another solid cornerback, the defense would improve immensely. They should attempt to sign Logan Ryan, Marcus Cooper, or D.J. Hayden. They are all young cornerbacks who can tackle in the open field and force turnovers.
They also need to add a hard hitting safety to help out their secondary as well. Safeties Adrian Amos and Harold Jones-Quartey have a total of two forced fumbles in their two year career.
They should go after Tony Jefferson, a young hard-hitting safety that can create turnovers for the Bears. He has forced six fumbles in the past two years compared to the combined two of the current Bears safeties.
The Chicago Bears also are in desperate need of a kicker.
Getting rid of Robbie Gould was hard on Bears fans, but bringing in Connor Barth has been a nightmare. He has made 76 percent of his field goals and has missed an extra point this year as well. These missed field goals can change the momentum and the outcome of games. Since he has struggled with long field goals, this prevents scoring opportunities and leads to a lot of losses.
They should go after Brandon McManus and Greg Zuerlein. They are both very accurate when attempting field goals from 40+ yards.
The Chicago Bears also need to make sure their draft picks pan out. Over the last few years, their draft picks have ended up being busts rather than quality players.
They should attempt to draft a franchise quarterback, and they should have him sit the first year to develop and learn the playbook. By doing this, they will also avoid the bad decision-making that comes with a rookie quarterback.
They should try to add receivers for their quarterbacks, and they should monitor the defense as a whole.
The Chicago Bears have a lot of rebuilding to do, but if they can add a few pieces in free agency and have their players be healthy, they can be an up and coming team. If they can implement a few of these changes, they will start being competitive in the future, continuing to solidify Chicago as one of the greatest sports towns.