Preseason story lines that need to play out
The Bears play their first preseason game tomorrow night against the Chargers. This will be the first time we see the new look Bears, the brand new Monsters of the Midway. Although the preseason doesn't count for anything, there are plenty of storylines that we should pay attention to.
Can Jay Cutler take the next step as an elite quarterback under the mentoring of Mike Martz? The Bears didn't sign a veteran quarterback as an insurance policy for Cutler and put their faith in Caleb Hanie. Were they right in doing so?
How will Olin Kreutz look after offseason surgery? Chris Williams showed us that can play at a high level. How much more has he progressed? Will Frank Omiyale look like a different player at right tackle? Can Lance Louis play at a high level? How will Roberto Garza's position change to left guard affect him?
Will Greg Olsen get lost in the mix? Mike Martz has never really featured tight ends in previous offenses. Desmond Clark was moved over to H-back so Olsen will have the opportunity to be featured, especially if he can show that he improved his blocking.
Is Johnny Knox the real deal? All indications are that he looks real smooth. There are still people that don't think Devin Hester is a true NFL receiver. Hester has put in a lot of work this offseason to prove everyone wrong. How will Devin Aromashodu be used in the slot?
It looks like Matt Forte has healed up and looks better than ever. Chester Taylor will push for Forte's job. Both will play a huge role in Mike Martz's offense as both of them catch the ball well out of the backfield.
We all know that Julius Peppers is a beast. This will be the first time we get to see him in a Bears uniform. How will Peppers' presence impact the entire defensive line? How healthy is Tommie Harris? The duo will be one to contend with if Harris can stay healthy throughout the entire regular season. Who else will step up when opposing offensive lines double team Peppers?
Brian Urlacher returns with less wear and tear and there will be less pressure on him to make the big play with the emergence of Lance Briggs. Does Urlacher still have the same range? Is he in football shape? Let's pay attention to the Pisa Tinoisamoa-Nick Roach position battle. You can't go wrong with either player. Regardless, this could be the most talented linebacking group in the NFL.
Zack Bowman supplanted Charles Tillman as the Bears' top cornerback. How will he look as he covers an opposing team's number one? How much of an impact will Chris Harris make as he brings stability to the safety position? Will Major Wright take the leap and win the other safety position?