Super Bowl champs raise the bar for the Bears

Jay Cutler offensive line 1.jpgIn the 25th anniversary of Bears' dominant Super Bowl win that established them as the Greatest Team Of All Time, the Packers won this year's Super Bowl. This is every Bears fan worst nightmare. They beat our team to get into the playoffs, beat them to win the Halas Trophy and went ahead and won the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers have what the Bears have been trying to win since 1985.

The Packers have won twice since 85 and went to a third. The Bears have been to the Super Bowl once and lost a game they should've won.
When Lovie Smith was hired, he made it a point to beat our most hated rival and failed this year. It wasn't necessarily his own doing as the Bears did everything to make sure the Packers didn't get into the playoffs.
The bar has now been raised to another level with the Packers winning. This offseason, the Bears need to do everything they can to bring in the right players, through the draft and through free agency, to knock the Packers off their pedestal and bring home a championship of their own. 
Next season, the Packers will be healthy have one of the best quarterbacks, a top five offense and top 5 defense. This is probably the most important offeseson for Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith. 
The Bears have done everything they could to put themselves in a position to win by trading for Jay Cutler and signing Julius Peppers the last two years. This offseason, the Bears need to again be aggressive.
Here's a wish list of what Angelo and Smith need to do to get to The Promised Land:
Sign Nnamdi Asomugha  
He's a model citizen as he was nominated for the Walter Payton Award. He fits the tradition and culture of the Chicago Bears. Not to mention, he's one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He will cut the field in half.
Sign a true number one receiver
Vincent Jackson and Sidney Rice are available and would give Cutler a "go-up-and-get-it" receiver. Signing number one would move Johnny Knox to the slot and given his play making ability; he could cause some serious matchup problems. 
Sign an offensive lineman 
While many will lobby for Logan Mankins, he's a guard and the Bears have a bigger need at tackle. Tyson Clabo, a right tackle from Atlanta, will fit the bill. The Falcons have had a dominant rushing attack and he's been a big reason for their dominance and for keeping Matt Ryan upright. 
Sign Matt Forte to a long term deal
Forte has proved that he belongs here. He is the only Bears running back to gain more than 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving yards. He played his sophomore year hurt and didn't make one mention of it. He's a versatile, three down back that will thrive under Mike Martz. When the Bears committed to Forte, the offense took the pressure off the defense and off Cutler.
Hit big in the draft
Angelo doesn't do well with early first round picks, but he does well in later round picks. Fortunate enough for him, the Bears have a late round first round pick that could be a high value pick. Given Angelo's reputation, he can find the best talent later in the draft. It's too early to project the draft but this will be the most important draft for both Smith and Angelo. The Bears need to address the offensive line, secondary and wide receiver.
Sign Lovie Smith to an extension
This might be the most unpopular move in Chicago but it's the right move. The Bears need continuity with the coaching staff and management and a change in direction can be detrimental to Cutler's progression. He does get the most out of his players and his players respect him. By comparison, Aaron Rodgers has played in the same system throughout his career and has had the same coach. Another change at the top for the Bears could set them back a couple years. 

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  • I agree with every point you've made...and suspect that if the Bears don't follow through on at least 2 of the top 3, they'll stand little chance of competing with what is sure to be an even more dangerous Packers team in 2011.

    On the plus side, some may disagree, but I think Chicago is actually the NFC's best chance at stopping the Packers. At this point, neither Minnesota nor Detroit are in no position to make a serious run, while at 11-5, Chicago is a veteran group that's probably few key players away from being one of the league's top teams (again, see 1-3 above.) And, as evidenced by the close margin of all three meetings this season, no one knows how to play the Packers better than the Bears. The Packers clearly aren't going away anytime soon, but if anyone can apply some breaks to the bandwagon, it's Chicago.

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