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NFL Chicago Bears

5 Storylines to Follow During Chicago Bears’ OTAs

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Chicago Bears: 5 Storylines to Follow During OTAs

Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders
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The Bears finally have continuity on offense for the first time in decades, but there is just as much excitement on the other side of the football as the Bears have completely overhauled their defense. The linebacking corps will have a new look as well this year, with Shea McClellin moving from his defensive end position to compete for a starting linebacker spot. Safety, on the other hand, remains the largest area of concern for the Bears.

5. Who Will Step Up at Safety?

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
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5. Who Will Step Up at Safety?

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
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So far it has been free agent acquisition Ryan Mundy stepping up and potentially laying claim to a starting role at strong safety as he has looked sound at practice lining up in multiple fronts. Former Packer M.D. Jennings is currently lining up at free safety with Chris Conte out due to offseason shoulder surgery. Conte is expected to be back for the preseason, and Bears fans can only hope that M.D. Jennings has locked down the starting job.

4. Tim Jennings as Nickel CB

Tim Jennings Chicago Bears
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4. Tim Jennings as Nickel CB

Tim Jennings Chicago Bears
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When the Bears go to sub-packages in passing situations, Tim Jennings will be moved inside to play the nickel cornerback position, which covers the opponent’s slot receiver. This position can be more challenging than one of the starting outside corner positions, because there is more responsibility as well as quicker wide receivers. Jennings' ability on run support, in addition to his change of direction skills will allow him to excel at nickel.

3. Who is Chris Williams?

Chris Williams
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3. Who is Chris Williams?

Chris Williams
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The Bears gave wide receiver Chris Williams a $ 100,000 signing bonus to get him off of the Saints' practice squad for the last week of the season in 2013 as he replaced Earl Bennett who was not available due to personal reasons. Williams is 26 years old and will turn 27 during the season, and he also ran a 40-yard dash of 4.28 seconds at his pro day in 2009. Williams can be used in the return game and may also work his way into the offense.

2. Who Will Start at LB?

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
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2. Who Will Start at LB?

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
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The one guarantee for the Bears’ linebacker corps during the 2014 season is that Lance Briggs will be lined up weak-side linebacker. Jon Bostic has been from middle linebacker and is seen as Briggs’ eventual replacement, while D.J. Williams is expected to reclaim his position in the middle. However, while Williams was effective when healthy last year, he has been absent from OTAs. Then there is Shea McClellin, who will also compete for a job.

1. How Will the Rookies Perform?

Kyle Fuller Chicago Bears
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1. How Will the Rookies Perform?

Kyle Fuller Chicago Bears
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The Bears’ first three draft picks -- CB Kyle Fuller, DT Ego Ferguson and DT Will Sutton -- will all be expected to contribute at some point during the 2014 season. The OTAs will be their first exposure to the NFL game, and how quickly they adapt to the playbook and their new teammates will help determine how soon they can contribute on Sundays. These OTAs will be the first step in determining each player's future in the NFL.