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BEARS TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 | 0 comments

In just 12 days the Bears will report to Bourbonnais for the 2012 edition of Chicago Bears training camp. The first practice will be on Thursday July 26th, and from that day forward the Bears begin their quest for that elusive super bowl title. The Bears made some huge moves in the offseason, it was one of the most active offseasons in franchise history. The first thing the Bears did was trade for Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall.

It only took a couple of draft picks to do it. Then the Bears decided to bring in an insurance policy for Jay Cutler in the form of former Redskins/Raiders Quarterback Jason Campbell.  They also re-signed Quarterback Josh McCown who did a solid job replacing Caleb Hanie who was a bust while replacing an injured Jay Cutler. Former Raiders Running Back Michael Bush {Teammates with Campbell in Oakland} was brought in to replace Marion Barber who unexpectedly retired at the end of last season. But some feel that he was brought in to replace Forte if he were to holdout.

Kahlil Bell also resigned with the team. Brian Urlacher is healing nicely from his knee operation, Johnny Knox was seen at Halas Hall during mini-camps, and the Bears keep bringing in talent to fill out the roster. So here is what I’ll be looking at during training camp this year:

Quarterback: After his season ending injury last year, and after spending most of his offseason planning his wedding and preparing for the birth of his child, will Jay Cutler return to his natural form on the field? How will Jason Campbell fit into the offense? Campbell has played for a different offensive coordinator for all 8 seasons of his NFL career. Can Josh McCown hang onto the third string job, or will rookie Matt Blanchard make his mark?

Running Back: Will Matt Forte show up to training camp regardless of whether he gets a new contract or accepts the franchise tender? Can Michael Bush handle the load if Forte is absent? Will Kahlil Bell finally break out of his shell? Will Armando Allen prove that he belongs in the NFL?

Wide Receiver: We all know that Brandon Marshall can deliver on game day. But has he finally been able to put his personal problems behind him? Can rookie Alshon Jeffery manage his weight and stay in shape? Can Dane Sanzenbacher keep his roster spot? How will all of the other receivers fit in around Marshall?

Offensive Line: Will we finally see Gabe Carimi’s full potential? Can Roberto Garza still be the anchor of this offensive line? Who will the other three starters be? Can the Bears find dependable backups for the five starters?

Defense: Will the fresh faces in the secondary boost a pass defense that has declined recently? Can the Bears bring back the pass rush? Is Brian Urlacher fully healed from last seasons knee injury? How much does Lance Briggs have left in the tank? What type of impact will the younger linebackers make? Why is Craig Steltz still on the roster?

Special Teams: Can guys like Eric Weems, Earl Bennett, and Greg McCoy take pressure off of Devin Hester in the kick return game?

Rookies: Can first round draft pick Shea McClellin prove that he is an every down defensive end and not just a pass rush specialist? I’ve already mentioned Alshon Jeffery. Is Evan Rodriguez a fullback, tight end, or H-back? I guess will find out when camp starts. Is Brandon Hardin better than Al Afalava? If you may recall, Afalava who was also an Oregon State Safety was drafed pretty high by the Bears in 2009.

Afalava started off great but then injuries derailed his career and the Bulls cut him before the season was over. How many total rookies will the Bears keep on the roster this year? It’s going to be an interesting summer for this Bears team and I look forward to watching it.

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