If the Chicago Bears want to have a true impact in the 2013 season on the league and be regarded as a true threat in the NFC, and potentially a Superbowl contender, then not only will the team as a whole need to evolve, but a wide receiver not named Brandon Marshall, will need to step up.
In today’s NFL, with the advance of the passing game, as well as rule changes on the defensive side of the ball, offenses have a decisive advantage. Now, it’s up to the first-year head coach Marc Trestman to put together an offensive game plan that will take full advantage of Jay Cutler’s arm strength as well as the receiving weapons on the outside.
The fact of the matter is the 2012 Bears had…deficiencies. Among the many things that hampered the Bears over the course of the season was a lack of offensive production. Despite the 10-6 record, the Bears ranked 28th in the NFL in Total Offense with an average of 310.6 YPG as well as 29th in Passing YPG and 16th in Points per game. Now it’s easy to place the blame on the teams inept offense for a variety of reasons, from a vanilla offensive scheme (also known as the D’uh Offense, thank you Mike Tice) to Cutler’s gunslinger mentality, but one of the problems the team faced was that in crunch time–i.e. in obvious passing downs–everyone in the stadium from fans, opposing coaches and hotdog vendors knew it was going to be Cutler to Marshall.
One way in which the Bears offense can improve (aside from better offensive line play) is for another few receivers to step up to the challenge. On paper, it appears the Bears have a formidable receiving corp; however, due to all the time Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery both missed because of injury, plus the major lack of production at the Tight End position, the Bears need to develop a few more wide receiver threats for Cutler to connect with.
Over the offseason, the Bears acquired and retained quite a few skilled position players to hopefully compete for snaps on the field. New Bears Josh Lenz, Mark Harrison, Marquess Wilson, Marcus Rucker, former New York Giant, Martellus Bennett, along with Eric Weems, Joe Anderson and Brittan Golden, need to produce on the field beyond Special Teams ace.
Several months away from the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and one of the many questions that hopefully will be answered between the opening of training camp and Sept. 8, is which of these receivers is going to step their game up for the Chicago Bears?