Everything that has happened with the Chicago Bears during this past week should have fans worried.
First, the main thing last week's 31-3 drubbing by the Denver Broncos showed us was that there are still major concerns with the offensive line. The group struggled to do everything the entire game, which led to an output of only seven first downs and zero third down conversions.
Yes, it’s only the first preseason game, but there should still be some evidence of continuity among the first-team by now. Both Jason Campbell and Josh McCown faced pressure from not only the edges but the interior of the line as well.
Pressure was literally coming from everywhere on a Denver defensive line where arguably the best pass rusher, Elvis Dumervil, wasn’t even playing. If this keeps happening, at some point we have to stop blaming Mike Martz’s scheme.
It could, after all, just be a lack of talent from the front five.
Secondly, Brian Urlacher’s knee problems are a huge concern for the defense. We saw in 2009 how much his absence can affect the entire team, and Chicago can’t afford to lose him. Urlacher expects to be back for the start of the regular season, but that is extremely optimistic considering his recently surgery.
Even if he does suit up against Indianapolis, his lack of preseason work could be a liability. Also, rushing him back puts him at risk of further injury—something Chicago can't have. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out, but the Bears need Urlacher playing to be as effective as possible on defense. He's the defensive quarterback.
Phil Emery’s offseason moves have every Bears fan optimistic for the upcoming season. Emery’s first class of draft picks, from what they’ve displayed so far in training camp, look like an outstanding group of players who should be able to help the team from the beginning of the regular season.
In addition to the rookies, wide receiver Brandon Marshall definitely looks the part of the number one receiver Chicago has been missing. Emery's vision was to add playmakers and depth to a team that, before a Jay Cutler injury against the Chargers, looked like one of the NFL's premiere clubs in 2011.
But, did the new general manager overlook an offensive line that had major struggles last year?
Two decisions, or lack thereof, could prove to define the 2012 Chicago Bears: Will Urlacher's opt-out-of-offseason-surgery and Emery's apparent blind eye to the offensive line concerns doom this team? We can only hope not, but things aren't looking so good.