Even without a collective bargaining agreement in place, the Bears have to consider what they need in order to get better in 2011. The draft will go on without a CBA, and the front office needs to get ready to hit the ground running when the season does start. It's time to play Jerry Angelo, Grizzly Detailers. What need will you address first?
Today, we'll look at the offensive line. Receivers and the secondary will soon come.
The Bears have several problems on the O-line, which manifested when Jay Cutler got sacked a total of 57 times. Both youth and age tore at this line. Olin Kreutz has been with the Bears since Dave Wannstedt was the coach. Roberto Garza, in his 10th season in the league, battled injuries. On the other end of the spectrum, youngsters Lance Louis and J'Marcus Webb struggled to learn their role early on.
But as Angelo mentioned many times, cohesiveness is key to success at the O-line, and though they struggled late in the season, their improvement was apparent of the course of the season. Does it make sense to let Kreutz, a free agent, get away, only to replace him with someone who will have to learn Mike Martz's complicated offense from scratch? Kreutz is getting older, but he has also been a key part of the Bears offense for years.
The Bears could choose to continue to address the line through the draft, picking up Gabe Carimi, Bo Thran, Tim Barnes or any of the other draftable O-linemen we've discussed. Via free agency, they could try for Atlanta's Tyson Clabo, a giant tackle, or continue to rout the Panthers and take center Ryan Kalil.
So tell us in the comments or on Twitter: if you were Jerry, would you tinker with the line?