Earl Bennett Says Bears Are Best in the NFC North

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The Bears are a little more than a week away from training camp.

Though it's far too early to know what the team will do, receiver Earl Bennett has confidence in the Bears.

He told ESPN Chicago's "Waddle and Silvy Show" the Bears are the best team in the NFC North.

"I feel like defensively we still have the best defense in the league with (Brian) Urlacher coming back and (Lance) Briggs and (Julius) Peppers and (Charles) Tillman at the corner spot," Bennett said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "And then offensively, the additions we made with Alshon (Jeffery), Brandon, Michael Bush and re-signing (Matt) Forte. We just got to keep Jay (Cutler) healthy. I feel like we're definitely the best team in our division."

Those are bold words. First, it's hard to agree with his comment on the defense when the Steelers allowed just 14 points and 271 yards a game. The Bears allowed 21 points and 350 yards. The defense has the potential to be the best in the league, but they will need to do a better job than they did in 2011.

But the best team in the NFC North is within reach. The improvements made to the offense in the off-season could put the Bears ahead of the Packers and Lions, despite their stacked rosters. Two NFC North teams made the playoffs, but the Bears have the personnel to leap ahead. It will take a big year from Bennett, who spent part of the season on the disabled list and had just 24 catches.

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