Last year, Sports Illustrated's Peter King, crowned the Bears as the 2010 Super Bowl winners. This year, the Bears made more than a splash in free agency with Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna. Despite being the big winners this offseason (for the second straight year), the Bears are not getting any respect. That's fine - the more bulletin board material there is, the better for our team and us, the 4th Phase.
What these highly respected national media guys, like King, are missing is that the Bears are a deep team with a nice blend of accomplished coaches, Pro Bowl-caliber players, established role players and upcoming young talent.
Lovie Smith has surrounded himself with offensive guru, Mike Martz and two of the best line coaches in the league, Mike Tice and Rod Marinelli. All three are former head coaches.
An impressive collection of All Pros
Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Robbie Gould.
Established role players
Izzy Idonije was the Bears most productive defensive lineman last season and in the past has been the rock of the special teams unit.
Chester Taylor could be a starter in this league but chose the Bears. He could challenge Matt Forte as the starter. Regardless, the running back duo could be the most productive in the NFL.
Kevin Shaffer played well enough as a starter and is a luxury because he could play both tackle positions and guard.
Josh Beekman has been afforded valuable playing time with Olin Kreutz recovering from surgery and is in line to replace him in the future.
Upcoming young talent
Former Miami Dolphins 7th round draft pick, Devin Aromashodu, failed to make the team that drafted him and has been bounced around in the league. He showed us last year that he belongs in the NFL.
Major Wright is a big hitter and may eventually become a starter sooner than later. He comes from a big time program and will be able to perform in the bright lights.
Chris Williams excelled when he moved back to his natural left tackle position. We all remember his man-handling of Jared Allen and if he that is an indication of his talent, we may have another Pro Bowl-type player.
Credit: Chicago Tribune