When Jay Cutler was acquired by the Bears, many observers felt the franchise was finally whole. The team finally had a franchise quarterback to go with Lovie Smith’s vaunted defense.
The only problem with that assessment? The defense has been inconsistent at best the last two seasons.
Brad Briggs of the Chicago Sun Times believes the defense is Chicago’s biggest issue heading into camp. Smith will try to turn around their fortunes because the personnel is mostly the same.
It’s easy to buy the argument. The Bears were mediocre in points allowed last season, and well below average in yards allowed, passing yards, and sacks.
Smith is counting on coaching, not players, to solve the problem. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was added to shake up an underachieving pass rushing group. Smith will now call the defensive plays.
Cutler should upgrade the team’s passing fortunes, but the offense remains a work in progress because of inexperienced wideouts.
If veteran defenders like Brian Urlacher, Adewale Ogunleye, and Nathan Vasher can’t improve their play, Smith could be calling plays elsewhere in 2010.