BOURBONNAIS, IL - JULY 30: Corey Wootton #98 of the Chicago Bears smiles at fans as he heads to a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on July 30, 2010 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Corey Wootton
The eighth circuit court of Tuesday decided that the NFL lockout would remain in place, making the chances of the Bears getting a productive off-season even dimmer. It won't hurt every player. Jay Cutler pointed out that the defense is comfortable with their scheme, but there are still individual players who could use the off-season to jump to the next level.
Here's a list of the players I think are most affected by the lack of workout.
Corey Wootton -- The Northwestern grad is a young, smart defensive end who made a statement when he sacked Brett Favre in what turned out to be the legend's last game. A proper off-season could help him put on weight and become more comfortable with the Bears defensive scheme so that he could ably rotate in behind Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije.
Johnny Knox -- Knox and Jay Cutler often hooked on long bombs to make beautiful plays, but Knox also looked lost on certain routes. He and Cutler have had two seasons together, but 2010 was his first under Mike Martz's leadership. This off-season could have been spent learning Martz's scheme and working on a connection with Cutler that would help Knox jump to the next level.
The offensive line -- The reason why the Bears offensive line started to improve as the season went on is that they found a cohesive, consistent line-up. This year, that consistency will be upset with the introduction of first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi. An off-season together could have both made Carimi feel comfortable with the Bears and the rest of the offensive line comfortable with him.
Major Wright -- The promising rookie safety battled injuries during the 2010 season, but his potential was unmistakable. Instead of spending the spring and summer getting up to speed on the Bears defense, he's been locked out.
But there isn't a player who hasn't been damaged by the lockout. Whether it's financially, because they missed out on workout bonuses, or in their playing ability, this lockout will have a negative impact on each and every Bear.