The Chicago Bears’ 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

Chicago Bears: The 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading Into 2014

Jay Cutler Chicago Bears
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As the Chicago Bears approach the start of training camp, they still have plenty of problem areas that need to be addressed in order to ensure success in 2014. Here is the list of the five biggest red flags heading into the 2014 season.

5. Lack of Depth at Linebacker

Chicago Bears Linebacker
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5. Lack of Depth at Linebacker

Chicago Bears Linebacker
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After being decimated by injuries at linebacker last season, the Bears have not done much to improve their depth at the position. While Shea McClellin is expected to contribute after making the move from defensive end, Jon Bostic will have to make significant strides in his play from last season. With D.J. Williams and Lance Briggs each getting older, injuries may once again force the Bears to rely on young, untested linebackers.

4. Unproven Special Teams

Chicago Bears
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4. Unproven Special Teams

Chicago Bears
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While the Bears do have one of the best placekickers in the game in Robbie Gould, the team will trot out a new holder for Gould, a rookie punter and possibly a new long snapper this season. Longtime LS Patrick Mannelly is uncertain about a return for his 17th NFL season, and the combination of a rookie punter and a rookie long snapper has the potential to provide some problematic snaps.

3. Jay Cutler's Grasp of the Offense

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman
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3. Jay Cutler's Grasp of the Offense

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

While this is now year two of the Marc Trestman era, Jay Cutler only played 11 games last season under Trestman's system. Cutler will need to have a very firm grasp of the way Trestman and O-Coordinator Aaron Kromer would like this offense to execute if the Bears hope to make the postseason.

2. Starting 2 Rookie DBs

Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller Brock Vereen
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2. Starting 2 Rookie DBs

Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller Brock Vereen
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Coming off one of the worst defensive seasons in team history, the Bears added CB Kyle Fuller and S Brock Vereen via the NFL Draft. As OTAs wrapped up, both players were taking snaps with the first-team defense. Vereen is expected to start at FS and Fuller will play CB when the Bears go into their nickel package. There are hazards of starting rookies at any position, but blown coverage in the defensive backfield will definitely hurt any defense.

1. There is No Clear Backup QB

Chicago Bears Jordan Palmer
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1. There is No Clear Backup QB

Chicago Bears Jordan Palmer
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Although Trestman insists that the No. 2 QB job is Jordan Palmer's to lose, the team added former Carolina Panthers backup Jimmy Clausen to the mix last week. With Palmer suffering a strained pectoral during OTAs, Clausen can make the competition interesting if he plays well early on during training camp. Given Jay Cutler's past health history, the Bears need a competent backup to fill in if Cutler goes down again.

Mike Cuddy is a Chicago Bears writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeCuddy, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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