The Chicago Bears are entering a new era with head coach Marc Trestman. Under Trestman, the team will shift its focus to the offensive side of the ball after years of defense being their calling card. Defensive tackle Stephen Paea will enter his third season in the NFL without Lovie Smith. While the team’s defense will look a little different, it should be operate the same way.
The Bears will be sticking with the 4-3 defense and Paea should be the full-time starter at right defensive end. After appearing in 15 games last season, Paea is ready to produce more this season. Last season, Paea managed to record 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks, but this season the Bears would like to see those numbers go up a little more.
Is it out of the question for Paea to double up on his sack totals next season? I don’t think so, because Paea has shown that he can be very quick and able to get to the quarterback. Furthermore, let’s not forget his amazing 49 bench press reps at the 2011-scouting combine so we know that his strength will not be an issue.
Paea’s main competition for a starting spot will be Corvey Irvin and Nate Collins. However, I think Paea will win out for his starting spot as the Bear’s defense moves on from the loss of Brian Urlacher. Next season could be a breakout year for Paea as he has improved each season since he entered the league. I think Paea will be a consistent force for the Bears’ front seven and could help the Bears maintain that swagger they have always had on defense.