"Toiling in mediocrity," is a phrase that best describes the Chicago Bears previous three season run. Finishing with marks of 8-8, 10-6 and 8-8. This assuredly isn't the run the Bears organization had in mind when they traded for "franchise quarterback," Jay Cutler. Such is life in the NFL however. Things never seem to go accordingly to plan.
Prior to Cutler, the Bears had the line and defense just not quarterback or receivers. Then it was Jay with no receivers, no line and and aging defense. Finally last season the line, skill positions and quarterback situation was settled (for the most part). However the wheels seemingly fell off for the defense this last campaign. Age and injury took the toll most fans feared.
Then came this off-season. A period of time in which Phil Emery has shown to possibly be his best quality. When a weakness is shown he addresses it. To put it another way, when Emery is hungry he doesn't just eat, he feasts to fix that problem.
Here's quick recap of (noteworthy) moves:
The Bears started the off-season by inking Jay Cutler to a seven year extension with $54,000,000 in guarantees. Which was followed up by signing defensive lineman Willie Young, Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen to help sure up the defensive line. Bears also brought back D.J. Williams to compete for the MIKE linebacker position. Wide Receiver Josh Morgan was also brought in to compete for the 3rd wide receiver spot with Marquess Wilson. Jimmy Clausen was signed to push Jordan Palmer for backup quarterback. Finally Brandon Marshall went on "The View" to announce he would be in Chicago for a minimum four more seasons.
The draft soon followed with the Bears selecting; Kyle Fuller (14th Overall), Ego Ferguson (2nd round), Will Sutton (3rd Round), KaDeem Carey (4th Round), Brock Vereen (4th Round), David Fales (6th Round), Pat O'Donnell (6th Round), Charles Leno Jr. (7th Round). Notable undrafted rookies were Jordan Lynch, DeDe Lattimore and Christian Jones.
In summation of this quick off-season review. The Bears addressed many of the issues on defense with youth, depth and competition for weak positions. Along with adding some what could be interesting offensive players in Morgan, Lynch (though he'll have his work cut out for him) and Jimmy Clausen. Surface grade of the off-season a low to solid B. More in depth positional and roster breakdowns in coming days with a 53-man roster projection and positional primers.