1. Honeymoons are fun: This can be a good or bad thing (see Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo), but right now the marriage between Marc Trestman and Phil Emery is still in its honeymoon stage. Trestman is Emery’s guy, and win lose or draw, we’re all in this one together for awhile. To head into the first year of that adventure is invigorating.
2. No scapegoats: Whether it was Terry Shea, Ron Turner, Mike Martz, or Mike Tice, Lovie Smith and the Bears always had that one scapegoat coach waiting in the wings when the offense turned out to suck again. And for at least the 2013 season, there is no viable patsy in place to hold responsible for further suckage. It’s Trestman’s show, and it’s Emery’s circus.
3. No fear: Phil Emery is a Maverick in every sense of the word, and I respect that. He’s not afraid to approach the Draft his own way; he’s not afraid to bring in potentially talented players just because of a few off-the-field issues; and he wasn’t afraid to say goodbye to Brian Urlacher just to appease the fans and further enable a meaningless sense of veneration.
4. “Race to be the Face”: Speaking of Brian Urlacher, who exactly is the new face of the Chicago Bears’ franchise? Jay Cutler? Hardly—at least not right now. The fact is that the only real face of the franchise moving forward is Marc Trestman. But in terms of a specific player the organization can use to effectively market itself, the position has yet to be filled. Seeing who might emerge adds suspense.
5. Peace out, JWebb Nation: Oh, I’m sure Webb and his legion of loyal subjects are still eating tacos and tweeting about pretty girls day in and day out, but I don’t have to care about it as much because he’s not going to be the Bears’ left tackle in 2013. He may wind up being their right tackle, but if he does, it will be because he earned it, not because Lovie Smith and Mike Tice overinvested in him.
6. Rebuilt offensive line: Truthfully, the only starting position on the Bears’ offensive line that is incumbent from 2012 is center, Roberto Garza. Mediocrity (and that’s a generous word) is clearly not going to be acceptable from the unit in 2013. Will it work? We don’t know. But the fact that a real attempt has been made to correct a longstanding issue is encouraging.
7. “Cutler the Killer”: Whether he used them himself or the media used them on his behalf, Jay Cutler is fresh out of excuses. You don’t have to worry about him being a “coach killer,” if that’s what you believe he was, because he no longer has the power to be one. If things don’t work out this year, he's out of contract and it’s his rear end on the line. Preparing to see how a player responds to that — your single most important player, mind you — is exciting.
8. Hungry hungry hipp— er, uh, Bears: It’s not just the new crop of rookies or the droves of single-year free agent acquisitions, but there is also a large crop of veteran players set to hit the open market for the Bears in 2014. This year is a tryout for 90% of the roster and it's their opportunity to impress a new set of eyes and re-earn their place on the depth chart. Hungry players play hard. And if they’re well-coached, they win football games, too.
9. Offensive focus: Offense may or may not be more important than defense in today’s NFL, but that argument is for another time in another bar. As it pertains to Chicago, however, the new-look, supposedly pass-first Bears are just what the doctor ordered. Why? Because for nearly a decade, strong defense only took the Bears to the brink. Not only was a change needed, this change was needed.
10. The unknown: This one is my favorite because all of the above essentially fall under its umbrella. There is optimism surrounding these new Bears, but would anyone who has seen these transitions in the NFL before be genuinely surprised by a seven win season? The Bears could suck in 2013, and they could win the Super Bowl. Emery’s boldness could backfire; Trestman could turn out to be a bust as an NFL head coach; the offensive line could still suck. We just don’t know. How does that saying go? “People are supposed to fear the unknown, but ignorance is bliss when knowledge is so damn frightening.” So, for now, be blissful in the collective ignorance, Bears fans.
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