Bears News NFL: Chicago Bears expected to start Mike Glennon in week 1.



Chicago Bears 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/9/2017.


Chicago Bears Free Agency Recap


The Bears paid backup quarterback Mike Glennon $18-million per year. They also got him some weapons that will compete for the slot receiver job with Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Reuben Randle, and Victor Cruz. On defense they added Prince Amukamara and Quentin Demps hoping that shores up their issues on secondary.



Chicago Bears Draft Recap


The Bears moved up one spot with San Francisco to get North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky also known as Mitch Trubisky after paying Glennon $18-million per year over three years. I thought they reached at a lot of other positions and Eddie Jackson was the only pick from their 2017 NFL Draft that I liked.




Chicago Bears Quarterback Summary: Mike Glennon will start and Mitch Trubisky will be the backup. The fact that Chicago moved Trubisky ahead of Mark Sanchez on their depth chart shows me they have some confidence in Trubisky. I think Trubisky will bust, but let's wait and see how he pans out in Chicago.


Logaains and Ragone kept their jobs and that does not make me feel optimistic about the current situation at quarterback. Chicago improved from 23rd to 14th in passing yards even with Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer both getting injured at quarterback. That's why their kept their jobs despite the fact that Loggains failed as the Titans offensive coordinator in 2013 when Dave Ragone was the quarterbacks coach. If these two keep their jobs and succeed with Trubisky some team will be foolish enough to hire Loggains as a head coach.


Chicago Bears Running Back Summary: The Chicago Bears got a huge rookie season from Jordan Howard. Howard had 262 carries, 1,313 rushing yards, and 6 rushing touchdowns. Jeremy Langford got demoted to the backup role Ka'Deem Carey is now the teams third string running back. Curtis Modkins is great at developing running backs. He even got some experience calling plays with the 49ers offense last year. That makes me believe the running game will be the strong suit of Chicago's offense.


Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Summary: Cameron Meredith and Kevin White are expected to compliment each other on the outside with Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Reuben Randle, and Victor Cruz competing to be the slot receiver. Maybe Chicago will do alright with this depth at wide receiver. All of those guys have 1-year contracts though so if they struggle, the Bears will draft a receiver in 2018. White was drafted in the top 10 of the 2015 NFL Draft and has yet to play a full 16 game season due to injuries.


Zach Azzanni went from being Tennessee's wide receivers coach to the NFL as a wide receivers coach. Azzani developed Marquez North at Tennessee. Azzanni coached Antonio Brown as a wide receivers coach at Central Michigan too. He may be what Chicago needs in a wide receivers coach. He could also be one of these one-and-done College coaches that fails after one year in the NFL.


Chicago Bears Tight End Summary: Zach Miller improved as a #1 tight end. He had numbers of a #2 tight end. Dion Simms is a solid backup. The Bears have an expendable tight ends coach in Frank Smith.


Chicago Bears Offensive Line Summary: Charles Leno is not the answer at left tackle, but Chicago likes what they see with him so you cannot rule out the possibility of him getting extended. The rest of the offensive line is stronger. Josh Sitton is starting at left guard, Cody Whitehair enters his second season as the starting center, Kyle Long is moving back to his natural position at right guard, and Bobby Massie is going to play right tackle. Hroniss Grasu is the only backup at center who provides depth.


Chicago is thin everywhere else, and I honestly thinking drafting a left tackle in the 2018 NFL Draft is their best option, but if Leno is extended they will rule out this possibility which will set Trubisky up for failure. With a quality left tackle, Trubisky at least has a fighting chance to prove me wrong if he develops this year on the bench behind Glennon.


Jeremiah Washburn was an assistant offensive line coach with a Miami team that did awesome run blocking. Chicago likes durable offensive linemen that run block well so they can operate a run first team to take pressure off their quarterback. I like everyone on this offensive line except Leno, but the Bears have reported that Leno has made extreme improvement in his pass blocking footwork this offseason during OTA's so we will see what happens this year.


Chicago ranked 28th in points per game, 15th in yards per game, 14th in passing yards per game, and 17th in rushing yards per game. It's amazing that the Bears did that well with all their injuries at quarterback. Their only problem was they had trouble scoring points. If Chicago scores more points and provides a middle of the pack offense in yards per game, passing yards, and rushing yards there is a chance this team could improve in 2017.



Chicago Bears Defensive Line Summary: Akeim Hicks is expected to start at 3-4 right end after previously being a 3-4 left end and a 4-3 defensive tackle. I don't think Hicks will fare as well against left guards. Eddie Goldman returns at nose tackle. Mitch Unrein is a terrible starter at 3-4 left end. Until Jonathan Bullard starts, double teaming Goldman is what most offensive lines will do. Jay Rogers succeeded as the Broncos defensive line coach because he had great defensive linemen to work with. Rogers has the same three defensive linemen as starters as he enters his second season with the Chicago Bears as their defensive line coach.


Chicago Bears Linebacker Summary: Lamaar Houston will start at 3-4 right outside linebacker. Complimenting him on the other side at 3-4 left outside linebacker will be Pernell McPhee. Leonard Floyd, Chicago's 2016 first round pick will be a rotational pass rusher once again. Houston and McPhee both have buyouts in 2018 if neither gets double digit sacks. If Chicago used buyouts on both players they would save $15-million against the cap, they could finally start Leonard Floyd, and they may be able to draft another pass rusher to compliment him off the edge. Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathian will play 3-4 middle linebacker. Nick Kwiatkoski emerged as a solid 3-4 middle linebacker for depth last year.


Glen Pires managed to keep his job which amazes me. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who has had success at defensive coordinator is great at developing linebackers.


Chicago Bears Defensive Backs Summary: Kyle Fuller dominated as a nickel corner during his rookie season. He wasn't as effective as a #1 field cornerback, but after a year of adjusting tot he field role, Fuller did well to begin the season at field cornerback, but got placed on injured reserve. This is a make or break year for Fuller. Chicago also signed Prince Amukamara to a 1-year prove it deal to compliment him replacing Tracy Porter. Quintin Demps is not a guy I'm very high on, but he had a career season with Houston to earn a huge contract and now starts at strong safety. Adrian Amos moved from strong safety to free safety. Amos struggled at free safety and is on the brink of being replaced. Marcus Cooper, Deiondre Hall, and Cre'Veon LeBlanc are competing for backup roles along with Deon Bush and Eddie Jackson who are competing for that backup strong safety job.


Defensive backs coach Ed Donnatell has his guys focus more on getting turnovers rather than covering effectively. John Fox is great at coaching defensive backs, and has had a lot of success coaching guys at every position plus he has experience as head coach with three different NFL teams. He got two of those teams except Chicago to Super Bowls where they lost. Fox even lost a Super Bowl as the Giants defensive coordinator.


On defense, the Bears finished 12th in the NFL with 37 sacks. The Bears only had 2 more sacks in 2016 than they did in 2015. The Bears also finished 24th in points allowed allowing 25 points per game. Chicago was 15th in total yards allowed, 7th in pass defense after being 4th in 2015 due to Kyle Fuller's injury, and 27th in run defense even though they had two inside linebackers with over 100 total tackles. I think the run defense declined due to Eddie Goldman missing time in 2016.



Chicago Bears Special Teams Summary: Connor Barth is now the new kicker. Pat O'Donnell had 70 punts. One of those punts was a 72-yard punt. Deonte Thompson is the Bears kick returner and punt returner now.


Jeff Rodgers is the Bears Special Teams Coordinator. Rodgers is one of the worst special teams coaches in the NFL that the Bears can probably find an upgrade over. He still managed to keep his job though.




Chicago Bears Worst Case Scenario: Chicago does worse then their 3-13 record and only wins 2 games. This would lead to the departure of John Fox causing a coaching change as well as the departure of their defensive coaches and some of their offensive coaches. There would be a complete overhaul in Chicago as a result.


Chicago Bears Best Case Scenario: Chicago goes 8-8 and John Fox keeps his job due to Chicago starting 4-0 at home. Now here me out on this.


Matt Ryan struggled in outdoor games prior to Kyle Shanahan being his offensive coordinator plus the Falcons may endure a Super Bowl hangover. Mike Glennon actually defeated Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field back in 2013 when he was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a strong running game complimenting him. Chicago has that too and this time the two teams meet at Soldier Field.


Chicago is 94-94-6 all time versus their biggest rival the Green Bay Packers. Chicago has been tied or has led that series each year dating back to 1933. That's right, the last time the Packers led that rivalry in all time wins was during the 1932-1933 NFL Season so Chicago has led the all time series for about 75 years. That may serve as motivation to split with the Packers so Chicago doesn't trail the rivalry with Green Bay if they can beat the Packers in Green Bay or in front of their home crowd.


Chicago gets Carolina at home which is the team John Fox got his first head coaching gig with. They also get the Vikings and Lions at home along with two AFC games that are winnable games with Cincinnati and Cleveland. Chicago would be 8-8 if they won all those games by some miracle.


Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 2
September 17
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 3
September 24
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 4
September 28
AT
8:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 9
VS
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 6
October 15
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 7
October 22
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 8
October 29
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 9
Bye Week
Week 10
November 12
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 11
November 19
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 12
November 26
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 13
December 3
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 14
December 10
AT
1 EST
FOX
L
Week 15
December 17
AT
1 EST
FOX
L
Week 16
December 24
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 17
January 1
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L


Chicago Bears 2017 Projected Record (2-14): Mike Glennon got overpaid big time, Trubisky seems like a future bust in the making too. I also dislike Charles Leno at left tackle. Both of the pass rushers ahead of Leonard Floyd on the depth chart have buyouts after this year, and I just don't trust John Fox or a vast majority of this coaching staff. Trubisky can be good with a better left tackle, but the Bears are going to have to sit Trubisky the entire year and ace the 2018 NFL Draft if this team expects to be competitive down the road. Chicago is going to rely heavily on their defense and running game plus there is no depth on the offensive line if injuries occur.









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