Chicago Bears – Rebuilding a Proud Franchise

Chicago Bears – Rebuilding a Proud Franchise
Once referred to as the “Monsters of the Midway,” the Chicago Bears are coming off one of its worst seasons in recent memory. The team’s fade has been slow and painful for team ownership and fans. With that said, there’s cause for pause and hope.
Without a doubt, injuries and inconsistent play have plagued the Bears at the QB position over the past few years. It would seem Jay Cutler’s best days are behind him and there doesn’t seem to be anyone in line to take over leadership. The 2017 season could see a continuation of this ongoing problem, assuming the team doesn’t step up in the free agent or trade markets and land a useful veteran. They do have the third pick in the 2017 draft to use as trade bait, but might want to take advantage of a defense-rich draft to continue building a defensive front seven unrivalled in the league.
The good news is the team seems to have options. The emergence in 2016 of RB Jordan Howard was a much-needed surprise. After spending much of the first three games on the bench, an unfortunate injury to starting RB Jeremy Langford gave Howard all the opportunity he needed to show he could be an elite NFL running back. Over the team’s last 13 games, he rushed for 1,236 yards and 6 touchdowns on the way to be naming to the NFC Pro Bowl team. At 6’0” and 222 lbs., Howard runs the kind of power and elusiveness that can cause defenses a lot of problems.
The Bears also found themselves playing without former All-Pro wide receive Ashton Jeffery for a portion of the season for the second season in a row. When healthy and on the field, Jeffery is arguably one of the top 5 receivers in the league. The Bears are hoping he can put injuries and suspensions behind him and get back to being the force he became during the 2013 and 2014 seasons when he caught 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 TDs. In his absence, Cameron Meredith stepped forward and proved he could be the perfect compliment to Jeffery in the passing game.
The Bears are expected to use its third round pick to select Jonathan Allen, a talented pass rusher from Alabama. Why sacrificing offense to build a strong defensive unit, Allen could be the last piece of the puzzle on that side of the ball. Looking over the field of prospective college players in the draft, this would seem to be a good year to continue plugging the QB position in anticipation of a much stronger field of quarterbacks becoming available next season. Of course, there are a few QB out there on the trade market that could bring immediate dividends. The cost would likely be this year’s and next year’s first round picks, and that’s a price the Bears don’t seem to be willing to pay as they continue rebuilding for the future.

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