Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Pressure point: Bears
By Kevin Seifert
Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Chicago Bears and why.
For months, the Chicago Bears have systematically picked off their roster holes, large and small. They traded for receiver Brandon Marshall, giving quarterback Jay Cutler his long-sought "big target." They signed backups at quarterback (Jason Campbell) and running back (Michael Bush), drafted a pass-rusher (Shea McClellin) to complement Julius Peppers, and added another big receiver in rookie Alshon Jeffery.
But rather than address two years of uneven play along their offensive line with additional personnel upgrades, the Bears instead placed their faith in new offensive coordinator Mike Tice to handle that job. The Bears are confident that Tice's background as an offensive line coach will ensure a scheme that offers his blockers plenty of help and limits the difficulty of the position they find themselves under.
In the end, however, football is about the skills of the players more than it is the schemes of the coaches. If Tice can't help the Bears' incumbent linemen play at a winning level, then the rest of the Bears' upgrades won't matter for much. That's an awful lot of pressure to put on one coach.