Hands down, the biggest acquisition for the Chicago Bears this offseason was adding defensive end Jared Allen. The five-time Pro Bowler has been arguably the most consistent pass rusher in the NFL since entering the league in 2004. The Bears are hoping that Allen continues to build on his seven consecutive double-digit sack seasons in 2014 and helps Chicago improve on a pass rush that finished tied for last in the league in sacks (31).
Many say that the 32-year-old veteran may be on the decline in his career. Even if that is true, Allen’s contribution to the Bears’ defensive line should be enough to trump the defensive line’s performance from last year. Furthermore, the additions of fellow free-agent defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Willie Young along with rookie defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton will only help Allen in creating havoc in opposing offensive backfields.
And if anyone still believes that Allen won’t produce this upcoming season, just remember that the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year did spend the last six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and is still playing in a division that he is highly familiar with.
There is no question that Allen will be the cornerstone of Chicago’s defense in 2014. There is almost just as much optimism of Allen resurrecting the Bears’ pass rush and even producing more than former Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. This will definitely happen, making the team one of the most balanced clubs in the NFL. That’s especially true if Chicago can avoid the rash of injuries along the defensive line that stunted the team’s progress in 2013.