With camp starting at the end of next week, it's time to start focusing our attention on what will actually be worth watching for the duration of the month of August. And I'm not talking about the camp battles we've been analyzing for the past three months. You can't evaluate a pass rusher in camp. You can't evaluate offensive line play. I'm talking about the specifics. The good stuff. Like...
Camp Questions Begin
This is going to be the definitive year of the Devin Hester Experiment. If it don't work now, it ain't gonna work. And if it don't work for this coaching staff, I don't imagine the next group will wanna give it a try. Should Hester fail to evolve into the front-line receiver the staff thinks he is, the Bears will have been responsible for depriving the organization and NFL fans with one of the most exciting talents in the history of the league. Hester struggled, noticeably at times, to grasp the complexities of Ron Turner's antiquated system. We have to hold our breath and hope his transition to Mad Mike is a smooth one.
LOVIE SMITH'S MOOD
2010 is Lovie's Last Stand and all it will take is some poor practices, an on-field scuffle or a disastrous preseason first quarter for the media to start applying pressure on him. Lovie has shown to have a short temper at times, coupled with flights of fancy that bring out phrases like "team of destiny". I wonder which Lovie we'll be getting in Bourbonnais.
MATT FORTE AND CHESTER TAYLOR
In some places this is being reported as a battle but I don't see it. The questions I'll have heading into next week will be strictly about usage. How does Mike Martz imagine the two men fit his normally run-averse system? Which player will be out there on guaranteed passing downs? How often will Martz spread one of them out wide? Will we ever see them in the game together? And perhaps most importantly - who is going to be the closer? Who is going to put opponents away as fourth quarters wind down? I'll be watching them both closely.