Top 10 Most Important Chicago Bears Players in 2014

By Clyde A. Speller

Top 10 Most Important Chicago Bears in 2014

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte3
Getty Images

The Chicago Bears spent the offseason strengthening an already potent offense and a defense that struggled mightily in 2013. With all of their new additions, along with the impact players from last season, the Bears are favored by many to win the NFC North and make a run in the postseason. Here are the top ten players who can make that a reality for Chicago.

10. DE Lamarr Houston

Oakland Raiders-Lamarr Houston3
Getty Images

10. DE Lamarr Houston

Oakland Raiders-Lamarr Houston3
Getty Images

Lamarr Houston was one of the biggest free agent additions the Bears signed this offseason. Houston’s versatility along the defensive line and his ability to play against the run will greatly be needed for a Chicago defense that surrendered an average of 161.4 rushing yards per game in 2013.

9. CB Charles Tillman

Chicago Bears-Charles Tillman3
Getty Images

9. CB Charles Tillman

Chicago Bears-Charles Tillman3
Getty Images

The front office decided to bring back the 33-year-old Charles Tillman for one more year. The two-time Pro Bowler’s leadership and ball-hawking skills will help the Bears’ secondary that doesn’t have any solidarity at the safety positions.

8. WR Alshon Jeffery

Chicago Bears-Alshon Jeffery
Getty Images

8. WR Alshon Jeffery

Chicago Bears-Alshon Jeffery
Getty Images

As one half of the best wide receiver duo in the league, Alshon Jeffery is a huge reason why the Bears’ offense has become one of the NFL’s best. Jeffery’s 6-foot-3, 216-pound frame gives the Bears’ passing game a huge target. In addition, the third-year receiver’s presence on the field opens up opportunities for Chicago’s other pass catchers.

7. LT Jermon Bushrod

Chicago Bears-Jermon Bushrod
Getty Images

7. LT Jermon Bushrod

Chicago Bears-Jermon Bushrod
Getty Images

Acquiring Jermon Bushrod last year definitely played a huge factor in the vast improvement of the Bears’ offensive line. Bushrod has the duty of protecting the blindside of the injury-prone Jay Cutler. As long as the face of the franchise is standing, Chicago’s offense will give opposing defenses nightmares.

6. DT Jeremiah Ratliff

Chicago Bears-Jeremiah Ratliff2
Getty Images

6. DT Jeremiah Ratliff

Chicago Bears-Jeremiah Ratliff2
Getty Images

If Jeremiah Ratliff can get remotely close to reverting to his Pro Bowl production from a few years ago, Chicago’s defensive line, and their play against the running game, will be much better than they were in 2013. Ratliff is also the perfect mentor for the Bears’ two rookie defensive tackles.

5. WR Brandon Marshall

Chicago Bears-Brandon Marshall3
Getty Images

5. WR Brandon Marshall

Chicago Bears-Brandon Marshall3
Getty Images

Brandon Marshall’s seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving campaigns have proved that he is one of the most consistent receivers in the league. Even with the emergence of Jeffery and the presence of tight end Martellus Bennett, Marshall is still Cutler’s primary target and go-to guy in clutch situations.

4. DE Jared Allen

Minnesota Vikings-Jared Allen2
Getty Images

4. DE Jared Allen

Minnesota Vikings-Jared Allen2
Getty Images

Chicago’s pass rush was virtually nonexistent in 2013, finishing the year tied for last in sacks (31). Jared Allen will definitely fix that problem for the Bears. Playing in the much-familiar NFC North, Allen will continue to wreak havoc in opposing offensive backfields, making it much easier on Chicago’s secondary.

3. LB Lance Briggs

Chicago Bears-Lance Briggs2
Getty Images

3. LB Lance Briggs

Chicago Bears-Lance Briggs2
Getty Images

Lance Briggs is the only sure thing in the Bears’ starting linebacking corps. With second-year linebacker Jon Bostic and Shea McClellin (a former defensive end) slated to have significant playing time, Briggs’ play-calling and leadership will be vital to the success of Chicago’s defense.

2. QB Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler4
Getty Images

2. QB Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler4
Getty Images

Entering his second year in Marc Trestman’s offense and playing along with the exact same starters from last season, Cutler is in position to put up the biggest numbers of his nine-year career. Barring any injuries, Cutler could be a potential league MVP candidate.

1. RB Matt Forte

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte celebrates touchdown
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1. RB Matt Forte

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte celebrates touchdown
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

I said it before and I’ll say it again: Matt Forte is the Bears’ MVP. Whether it’s running the ball, receiving or pass blocking, Forte’s presence on the field is highly needed. The two-time Pro Bowler is one of few running backs in the league who can stay on the field for three downs. Without his versatility, the Bears aren’t contenders.

You May Also Like