NFL teams are in the midst of training camp and preseason games are just around the corner. What do we expect from the Chicago Bears in 2017?
It’s safe to say we’re not shy when it comes to getting you ready for the upcoming NFL season. Since March, we have strung together four different series in preparation for the fall. We just concluded looking at all 32 teams’ most improved area. That was preceded by pieces on a club’s best offseason addition, some facts, figures and feats for each squad, as well as an up-and-coming player for each roster.
So call this one for the thumb. With the regular-season rapidly approaching, we’ll take a look at what we could expect from each team. Every team wants to win the Super Bowl. However, 31 teams will obviously be disappointed. So we’re taking a look at all 32 clubs (in original 2017 draft order) and doing a little analysis. We’ve previously looked at the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. What are we really expecting from the Chicago Bears in 2017?
It’s safe to say that’s there’s been an overhaul when it comes to the quarterbacks in the Windy City is an understatement. In 2016, the Chicago Bears started Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley behind center. All three are elsewhere – the latter pair now with the San Francisco 49ers and Cutler retired and ready to start a broadcast career.
Enter former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ product Mike Glennon and 2017 second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky. Regardless of who plays, they do have the luxury of second-year running back Jordan Howard to hand off to. However, there’s a bevy of new wide receivers in Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. And when will 2015 first-round Kevin White step up?
Defensively, the Bears’ linebacking corps outsiders Pernell McPhee and Leonard Floyd and insiders Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman have enormous potential. There’s defensive end Akiem Hicks and nose tackle Eddie Goldman up front, while ball-hawking safety Quintin Demps (6 interceptions in 2016) is a newcomer to the secondary. A year ago, John Fox’s club totaled an NFL-low 11 takeaways.
A year ago, the Chicago Bears were the only team in the NFC North with a losing record. The franchise has now finished dead last in the division three consecutive seasons and hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2010.
Once again, the team was overly busy during free agency, which means a lot of new faces. This is the year the defense must finally come together. If that’s the case, this should be a much-improved club. But the team’s offense remains muddled and working your way up among the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings won’t be easy. Five or six wins would be a nice jump but far from a certainty.