Sun-Times Reporter Adam Jahns wrote about his 10 most important Bears for the upcoming NFL Season. I though it would be a fun thing to do as well. It’s kind of silly to do in a way because football often comes down to 1 play, where all 11 men need to do their job. But, this is what we do a week before camp breaks. So let’s do it.
10. KR- We don’t know who will be Devin Hester’s replacement at Kick Returner yet, but he will have huge shoes to fill. The Bears don’t necessarily need a home-run threat at the position, but they do need someone steady to get those “hidden” yards and occasionally flip the field position.
9. Robbie Gould- Special teams and the Kicker are things we have taken for granted over the years here in Chicago. Robbie Gould is one of the most accurate (if not the most) in the NFL. I remember when Kevin Butler went down in the mid 90’s, the replacement kickers were really bad. Missing a FG last year cost them a game and in the grand scheme, cost them a shot at the playoffs.
8. Mel Tucker- Marc Trestman, Aaron Kromer and Matt Cavanaugh all pulled their weight on the offensive side of the ball. They coached up the O-line, QBs and overall offense. In all fairness, Tucker had his hands tied by scheme and injury last year. This year GM Phil Emery added a lot of depth to the defensive side of the ball. No excuses.
7. Jermon Bushrod- The O-line was pretty good last year. It all starts with Bushrod. I don’t think the Bears have the depth at Tackle if he were to go down.
6. Brandon Marshall- I could easily put him #1, but 3rd yeard WR Alshon Jefferey has all but developed into a Brandon Marshall clone. He had a breakout season last year, taking a lot of heat off Marshall. That said, Brandon is still a huge part of the Bears offense. Looking forward to see what B-Marsh can do in year 2 of this offense.
5. Lance Briggs- Lance is the captain of the defense. Bad things happened when he missed time last year. He solidifies the LB corp and makes sure the guys are in the right spots. Lance needs to have a healthy season.
4. Charles Tillman- Not having Tillman on the field is as close to a disaster as you can get. Even though the Bears have added rookie CB Kyle Fuller, they would take a marked drop if Tillman misses significant time.
3. Jared Allen- For the Bears defense to be solid, the Bears need to be productive on the D-line. They need to get pressures on the QB and stops on third down. It all starts with Allen.
2. Matt Forte- This guy, like Charles Tillman, does not get near the respect he deserves. He accounted for over 1900 yards of offense and 12 TDs. I still think he was slightly under used. I expect Forte to put up similar numbers this season, maybe a little more in the passing game and a little less rushing.
1. Jay Cutler- QB is widely regarded as the most important position on the field. This year, there is no Josh McCown to come in and win games if Cutler misses time. If Jay can play 15-16 games and be healthy for the playoffs, he will be poised to put up some record numbers offensively. 4,000 yards and 30 TDs should be a realistic expectation for QB production.