When Chicago Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips fired former general manager Jerry Angelo and began the search for a new face of the front office, the idea was to find a candidate with a background in scouting that could rebuild a roster that severely lacked depth through the NFL Draft. With that emphasis in mind, few suspected that the Chicago Bears would be active players in the trade and free agent markets.
However, new general manager Phil Emery set his sights on several key areas and went to work in an effort to provide an immediate boost, and after a boisterous offseason, the resulting roster is already being viewed as potentially the most explosive offense, and one of the more capable overall rosters, in the past decade.
After acquiring their first true franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman three years ago when they traded for Jay Cutler, the Bears finally went out this past March and gave Cutler the weapon he needed with the acquisition of Jay’s former go-to receiver in Denver, Brandon Marshall. In addition to Marshall, the Bears were able to re-sign Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte, sign free agent backup running back Michael Bush, and draft talented rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the second round.
Now entering their 93rd season in franchise history, the Chicago Bears have always been known first and foremost as a gritty defensive squad, often playing off the “Monsters of the Midway” moniker first used in the early 1940’s. However, with training camp opening this week, for the first time in quite awhile, it’s the offense that has garnered the focus leading into the 2012 season.
The combination of the new additions and the returning health of Forte and Cutler have given the Bears reasonable cause for enthusiasm heading into Bourbonnais for training camp. Especially when you consider that with Cutler and Forte absent for the last four and six games respectively, the Bears barely scraped together two scores a game.
Phil Emery has been quite clear about the overall goals of this franchise, and that’s to win championship(s) with an emphasis on the plural. Ultimately, to build that sort of consistency, the Bears front office will have to build and sustain, but Emery’s first offseason has already addressed an immediate issue and taken a massive leap in the right direction offensively.
Now instead of being offensively bad on that side of the ball, they can actually call themselves offensive. The connotations are already changing.