The 2012 NFL power rankings are hot off the press, and the Chicago Bears are ranked 8th overall in the league, not bad for a franchise that fell to pieces so epically last season. As a Bears fan naturally I would think we should have been a couple of spots higher, but anyone in any doubt as to whether the Bears will contend or not this season, clearly hasn’t being paying a lot of attention to the strides they have made under the new front office leadership of Phil Emery.
The reason for the rise in the Bears stock, is clearly, on the one hand, due to the addition of Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins day one of 2012 NFL free agency. I have never seen the Chicago Bears with a genuine, legitimate, no.1 wide receiver, his presence on the field immediately makes everyone on that side of the ball better, couple this with the addition of Alshon Jeffery in the 2012 NFL draft, and the annual promise (believable this time in my opinion) that Devin Hester will be used correctly on offence has every defence in the league on alert. News flash: the Bears have one of the best receiving cores in the whole league.
Although it would have been nice had the Offensive Line been addressed in the draft, and it is a worry, the addition of weapons for Jay Cutler to actually throw to, extra chip help on the edge rushers, plus the omission of the 7 step drop back, that ex-OC Mike Martz loved to murder his quarterbacks with, should take a great deal of pressure off of this unit.
Personally would the Matt Forte contract situation not still be hanging over Halas Hall, I think the Bears could be ranked as high as 5th, no doubt the 1-2 punch of Matt Forte and Michael Bush, will look great in the 2012 season, once Forte has sorted his issues with the franchise out, and is back in training and on the playing field, this partnership will build and go from strength to strength, I have no doubt in my mind that Forte is playing week one against the new look re-building Indianapolis Colts.
On the Defensive Line it would have been nice if Amobi Okoye had re-signed and not jumped ships to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but this just means the Bears will get to see what they have in Henry Melton and Stephen Paea, who will need to step up big time to get that interior pressure on the opposing QB that is desperately required, the same goes for Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin, someone needs to step up and really take advantage of the pressure that Julius Peppers creates, it is vital for Lovie Smiths Cover 2 defence to work.
All in all this is going to be a great season for the Chicago Bears, the injection of lots of depth, competition for places, and impact draft prospects, has put a big smile on my face, and a real impatience for the 2012 NFL season to begin, no one will enjoy playing this team, least of all division rivals the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.