Here's part two of my response to the Bleacher Reports' David Gerstein and his post about why he thinks the Bears will be cellar dwellers.
While some have compared Cutler to Rex Grossman as Gerstein does, many have also compared Cutler to Brett Favre.
Under the tutelage of Martz, you can expect better results. Last year, Matt Forte was hurt, the offensive line suffered with Orlando Pace at left tackle and the defense couldn't stop anyone. There was more pressure for Cutler to make plays. This year, he has another full year to work with the receivers, Forte is healthy, the Chris Williams is an up-and-coming left tackle and the defense will be improved with the acquistion of Julius Peppers and trading back for Chris Harris.
For most of last season, the offensive line didn't give Cutler enough time to throw and the team never really got off the bus running. Gerstein reminded us of the leaky offensive line and is one of his reasons why he is low on the Bears.
When Chris Williams moved over to left tackle late last season, Cutler had more time to throw and the running game improved. This offseason, the Bears moved Frank Omiyale back to his natural position at right tackle and many forget the impact Mike Tice will have for the entire unit. Tice is one of the best offensive line coaches in the game. Given Tice's expertise, if the Bears still had a leaky offensive line, the Bears would've done something this offseason to improve their depth.
Gerstein also thinks the Bears have a declining defense. Whether he's right is still to be determined but the Bears did everything they could to improve the defense and Brian Urlacher is coming back from injury.
The Bears filled a major gap at defensive line by acquiring Julius Peppers. Urlacher is coming back from injury and is coming back from a forced hibernation. Tommie Harris appears to be healthier and he could benefit the most as he will line up next to Peppers.
The secondary is also improved with the Bears trading for Chris Harris. Zackary Bowman improved last season and led the Bears in interceptions. He replaced Charles Tillman as the number one corner back and looks like he will only continue to improve. Not to mention, Danieal Manning is in his contract year, let's expect him to outperform and look for a big payday with or without the Bears.
Training camp is less than a month a way. Its still too early to crown the Bears NFC North champs but based on two straight busy offseasons and acquiring the best players and coaches available, they won't be cellar dwellers.