As the offseason comes in full motion for the Chicago Bears, the team had best get set to address two main positions, possibly the two most important positions any team has to address – that of quarterback and running back. Two seasons ago when the Bears fought their way to Super Bowl XLI, they had the solid play of Thomas Jones at running back, and the good enough play of Rex Grossman at quarterback. As things went south in 2007, they had awful play from three QB’s, with Grossman going backwards, along with Brian Griese and Kyle Orton not able to pick it up.
Then there was the play of running back Cedric Benson, who seemed poised to take over the running back spot when the team moved Jones to the Jets, but instead was soft, and continued his trend of putting the ball on the turf, leaving many to second-guess the front office decision to move Jones to the Jets. By the end of the season, the long-term future of the running back spot was well in doubt.
Which leads us to the offseason. What are the Bears to do with these two spots to get back to form in the NFC? First off, they need to decide if resigning Grossman, who is a free agent, is the right move. Grossman was lights out for the first half of 2006, only to get worse, then better, then worse again leading to his benching early in 2007. He did come back in spots by the end of the year, but it’s a total toss-up on if he’s worth another go around. If the team does not go with him, who will have then under center? Griese or Orton could be a short-term answer, but again, long-term they are not expected to be the starter.
There are just as many questions about the running back spot. One name that seems to fit well with the Bears is Chargers free-agent-to-be back Michael Turner, who has earned enough to be a feature back in an offense somewhere in the NFL. Last season the Cowboys tried to work out a deal for Turner, but the Chargers backed off moving him. This year he’s free to go to the highest bidder, and the Bears should for sure be in that mix.
The team will simply not be able to compete week in and week out without making sure these two positions get shored up. The QB and RB spot on any team that goes far are usually two of the stronger points of the team. Right now for the Bears, they seem more like positions that can be described in one word – chaos.