5 Under-The-Radar Chicago Bears Who Could Explode In 2013
5 Chicago Bears' Players Who Could Explode In 2013
The Marc Trestman era for the Chicago Bears begins this season. Trestman is an offensive guru and I believe that he will help turn around an offense that was ranked 28th in the NFL in total offense last season. The Bears have some very talented players and I think could be a team that surprises this season.
You know all of the big names. Guys like Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers are all well-known players who are obviously huge keys to the Bears' success in 2013. In this piece, I am going to focus on players who are under the radar.
Defensively, the Bears were one of the best teams in the league last season. Their front seven was fantastic and they have one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. If there is a weakness on this defense, it is with the safety play. The Bears could really use some better production out of the position.
Offensively, the Bears' problems start up front with the offensive line. The Bears gave up 44 sacks last season and struggled to open up holes in the running game, so they are going in a different direction on the offensive line. Chicago brought in Jermon Bushrod to play left tackle, and he will be a huge upgrade from J'Marcus Webb. The Bears signed Matt Slauson to play the left guard position, Roberto Garza returns to center and two rookies are looking to solidify the right side of the line, but we will get to that later.
The Bears' offensive line should be much better this season and with Trestman coming in, the offense as a whole should be improved. The defense is basically the same, so they should not take too big of a step back. I think that the Bears have a chance to compete for a NFC North title, and they just need to get some production out of their role players. Here are five under-the-radar Bears who could explode in 2013.
5. Chris Conte, S
Chris Conte is a guy that I have been very impressed with early on in the preseason. Conte is entering his third season in the NFL and looks much more comfortable on the field than in years past. Last season, Conte always lined up extremely deep, seemingly being afraid to get burned. In the preseason, Conte appears to be positioning himself much better. He is not playing ridiculously deep so he can help support the run game. Conte has great athletic ability and can use his speed to make up a lot of ground. I think Conte will be one of the most improved players on this team this season.
4. Michael Ford, RB
Michael Ford has been one of the most surprising players in all of the NFL this preseason. He has been solid in the backfield for the Bears and great in the return game. There have been many reports saying that the undrafted free agent will make the team for the Bears, and I think he will immediately get some work in the return game. Ford is an electrifying talent that could explode if given the opportunity.
3. Jordan Mills, RT
The Bears seem to be ready to start two rookies on the right side of their offensive line. First-round pick Kyle Long will start at right guard. Long has been the talk of the preseason for the Bears as he has been incredible in his first two games. Fifth-round pick Jordan Mills appears to be in line to start for Chicago at right tackle. Mills is a big, strong player that can become a good NFL lineman. His play will be key to the Bears' success on offense this season.
2. Marquess Wilson, WR
Seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson is a very talented player. He was productive in college, stands 6-foot-3 and runs a 4.5 40 yard dash. That usually makes for an early-round receiver. Wilson fell to the seventh round because of character concerns. He was suspended by Washington State and subsequently quit the team. Wilson publicly criticized Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Maturity is a concern with Wilson, but if he can keep his head on straight, I expect big things out of the rookie. I think that Wilson lines up as the no. 3 receiver for most of the season behind Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
1. Corey Wootton, DL
Corey Wootton has always been a favorite of mine. He had seven sacks last season, and I think he could see that number grow in 2013. At 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds, Wootton is a great pass rusher either on the outside or inside. He has a nice array of pass rushing moves that he uses to get to the quarterback. He has very long arms and good length in general. Wootton is a guy to keep an eye on this season, as I think he could really improve and give the Bears another powerful weapon up front.