Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Plenty of needed change to be on display
By Jeff Dickerson
It's been over four months since the Chicago Bears last took the field as a complete team.
The 2009 Bears finished with a 7-9 regular season record, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year under coach Lovie Smith. The offense struggled for much of the season, ranking 23rd overall, while ending up near the bottom (No. 29) in rushing offense. To make matters worse, the Bears were No. 23 in turnover ratio (-6), giving the ball away 34 times (27 interceptions, seven fumbles). Many of those turnovers occurred inside the red zone, a major reason the Bears were 27th in offense inside the 20, putting points on the board only 76.5 percent of the time.
It wasn't much better on defense, as the Bears were No. 17 in total defense, No. 23 versus the run, surrendered 375 points during the season and were second to last in red zone defense. Opponents scored touchdowns inside the 20 on 37 of 56 possessions, which equates to a staggering 66.1 percent.
Needless to say, a slight makeover of the roster was in order.
After an offseason filled with personnel, coaching and front office moves, we will see a different looking unit when minicamp begins Friday.
Notable player additions:Defensive end Julius Peppers, running back Chester Taylor, safety Chris Harris, tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, safety Major Wright, defensive end Corey Wootton, cornerback Tim Jennings, Pisa Tinoisamoa (re-signed after playing in just two games)
Notable player subtractions: Defensive end Alex Brown, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, linebacker Jamar Williams, safety Kevin Payne, cornerback Nathan Vasher, offensive tackle Orlando Pace, fullback Jason McKie, running back Adrian Peterson, running back Kevin Jones
Coaching additions: Mike Martz, Mike Tice, Mike DeBord, Shane Day, Eric Washington (promotion)
Coaching subtractions:Ron Turner, Harry Hiestand, Rob Boras, Pep Hamilton
Front office additions:Tim Ruskell
Front office subtractions: Bobby DePaul and Greg Gabriel