2010 Chicago Bears Season Preview

After underachieving a year ago following the major acquisition of quarterback Jay Cutler, the consensus is that head coach Lovie Smith needs to win, and needs to win now. Otherwise, is it Adios, and onto a new era in Chicago looking ahead at the Chicago Bears 2010 Team Preview. Still, the Bears head coach has a year to get the Bears back to relevant in the NFC and make the post-season.

The Bears have not made the playoffs since making an appearance in the Super Bowl four years ago. Chicago dumped $118 million in the off-season to acquire free agents such as Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor to come in and make an impact.

Last season, the Bears tabbed a 7-9 record and finished third in the NFC North division behind the Vikings and the Packers. Chicago ranked 23rd in the NFL in total offense, averaging 310 yards per game. They were inept in the run department, finishing 29th in the league at only 93 yards per game. Through the air, the Bears were not much better even with Cutler in his first year with the team, ranking 17th at 217 yards per game. Adding Taylor to the offensive backfield however is a piece to the puzzle that might be the missing one to help round out the scheme.

Chicago was not the solid unit on defense that they had been in the past either, ranking 17th in the NFL in total defense, surrendering 337.8 yards per game. They were particularly poor against the run, giving up 126.4 yards per contest, that ranked 23rd in the NFL.

Looking ahead, the 2010 Chicago Bears will likely need to make the playoffs for Smith to keep his job, as the patience is wearing thin up at Soldier Field.2010 Chicago Bears Coaching Staff & ChangesLovie Smith will be in trouble if the Bears do not make the playoffs this season. The organization has gone out and spent a lot of money in the off-season to acquire free agents and fill holes in the system to make the team a factor in the NFC. If Smith cannot get the team to the post-season in 2010, it is likely a change will be made.

Chicago brought in new offensive coordinator Mike Martz and defensive coordinator Rob Marinelli has been promoted from the defensive line coach. The new systems implemented this season will have to be grasped early by the teams.2010 Chicago Bears Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
DE - Julius Peppers from Carolina Panthers
CB - Tim Jennings from Indianapolis Colts
RB - Chester Taylor from Minnesota Vikings
SS - Chiris Harris from Carolina Panthers

DE - Alex Brown to New Orleans Saints
OT - Orlando Pace to Free Agency2010 Chicago Bears NFL DraftRound 3: Pick 11 - FS, Major Wright (Florida)
Round 4: Pick 109 - DE, Corey Wootton (Northwestern)
Round 5: Pick 141 - DB, Joshua Moore (Kansas State)
Round 6: Pick 181 - QB, Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan)
Round 7: Pick 218 - OT, J.Marcus Webb (West Texas A&M)
2010 Chicago Bears QuarterbacksJay Cutler has everything one desires when looking at the tools an NFL quarterback should possess. Still, he did not deliver in the way the Bears had hoped when they brought him on last season, throwing for 27 touchdowns and a league-high 26 interceptions. The interception problem plagued Cutler throughout the duration of the year, often time coming at critical moments in the game when the Bears were driving or had a chance.

Still, the Bears have faith in Cutler, and look for him to have a better year in Chicago in his second season with the team. Cutler has a rocket-arm and can make any throw asked of him on the field, which not every team can say.

2010 Chicago Bears Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Jay Cutler
QB - Caleb Hanie
QB - Brett Basanez2010 Chicago Bears Running BacksChester Taylor was signed to Chicago to come in and help out Matt Forte and compete with him for the starting position in 2010. Both running backs sports similar styles and will take the pressure off one another. Forte failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark last season, rushing for 929 yards and four touchdowns. Taylor is 30 years old, but spent the majority of his career as a back up and has only one full season in which he started.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Matt Forte
RB - Chester Taylor 2010 Chicago Bears Wide ReceiversDevin Hester and Earl Bennett headline the wide receiver corps as well as tight end Greg Olsen. Olsen led the unit with 60 receptions last season. Second year players Johnny Knox came on to the scene to haul in 54 receptions. Hester is the most explosive player at the receiver position and is capable of beating every secondary in the league. He developed as the season progressed, as did Bennett. Hester caught 57 balls last year and scored three touchdowns. He led the team in receiving yards with 757.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Devin Hester
WR - Earl Bennett
- Devin Aromashodu
WR - Johnny Knox

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Greg Olsen
TE - Brandon Manumaleuna2010 Chicago Bears Offensive LineThe offensive line will need to be more consistent from a year ago. Chris Williams, a first-round pick in 2008 will play at left tackle in 2010. Veteran Olin Kreutz will be entering his 13th season in the NFL and right guard Roberto Garza enters his fifth season with the Bears. The unit will look to mesh well together, despite struggling with protection at times in 2009, playing better as the season dragged on.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Starting Offensive Line
LT - Chris Williams
LG - Josh Beekman
C - Olin Kreutz
RG - Roberto Garza
RT - Frank Omiyale2010 Chicago Bears Defensive LineThe 2010 Chicago Bears Season Preview predicts that the additions of Peppers will not only elevate the the statistics, but elevate the players around him as well. Peppers is one of the most dynamic defensive lineman still in the game today. He will go alongside Mark Anderson and Tommie Harris in addition to Anthony Adams. This unit should be improved from a year ago despite the loss of Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Starting Defensive Line
DE - Julius Peppers
DT - Tommie Harris
NT - Anthony Adams
DE - Mark Anderson2010 Chicago Bears LinebackersThe Bears get a huge boost when Pro Bowl Linebacker Brian Urlacher comes back after missing all of last season except for the first half of the opening game after a severe wrist injury. Chicago is counting on their leader of the defense to anchor the linebacking corps to go along with Peppers up front. Lance Briggs is also a big-time play maker and Nick Roach will make up the unit. Briggs was voted to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl last season.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Starting Linebackers
WLB - Lance Briggs
- Brian Urlacher
SLB - Nick Roach
2010 Chicago Bears SecondaryCharles Tillman and Zackary Bowman are two big corners that are not afraid to be physical up front with their receivers, that fits in well with Lovie Smith's defense. The Bears brought in Tim Jennings as well to help with the depth at the position. Safeties Chris Harris and Danieal Manning will likely start in the defensive backfield. The Bears were mediocre against the pass last season, ranking 13th in the NFL surrendering 213 yards per game.

Projected 2010 Chicago Bears Starting Seconday
CB - Charles Tillman
CB - Zackary Bowman
SS - Chris Harris
FS - Danieal Manning

2010 Chicago Bears Preview