It's too early for '09 season previews, and too late for '08 season reviews. What's an NFL blog to do in the never-ending quest to overcover the bejeezus out of the NFL? Offseason progress reports. Let's go in alphabetical order. Today, the Chicago Bears.
Drafted: DE Jarron Gilbert(notes), WR Juaquin Iglesias(notes), DE Henry Melton(notes), CB D.J. Moore(notes), WR Johnny Knox(notes), LB Marcus Freeman, FS Al Afalava(notes), OG Lance Louis(notes), WR Derek Kinder(notes)
Obviously, Jay Cutler heading to Chicago is the biggest thing that's going to happen to the Bears this offseason, if not the entire NFL. It's weird to even think about the Bears having a consistently good quarterback. At least they've left us the familiar comfort of having terrible wide receivers.
That's the question that remains. Yes, they've got a good quarterback now, but how much of his talent will be wasted if the Bears don't give him quality targets? There's no Brandon Marshall(notes) on this roster. I don't even know if there's a Brandon Lloyd on this roster (the actual Brandon Lloyd is certainly no longer on the roster, but I don't know if anyone else on the roster actually represents an upgrade ... which is sad).
There's Rashied Davis(notes) and Earl Bennett(notes), along with Devin Hester(notes). And they drafted a few guys, too, in Juaquin Iglesias, Johnny Knox, and Derek Kinder. This is probably, depending on what they get from the rookies, the worst receiving corps in the NFL, and one of the worst of all-time. And let's be honest, you can't expect too much of a contribution from the rookies, as they're third-, fifth-, and seventh-round picks, respectively.
There's still time to address the position, of course, and the encouraging news is that they are rumored to have made an effort to acquire Anquan Boldin. So there's hope yet.
And I do hope they figure out something. With Matt Forte(notes) emerging as a star in the backfield, Greg Olsen(notes) bringing loads of potential at tight end, and Jay Cutler at quarterback, it would be a shame to let them take the field with so little at receiver.
Progress: Obviously, bringing in Cutler is huge. The Bears will have some kind of a passing game, and some kind of a presence at the quarterback position, and a move like that can energize an entire organization. As you can see on the electric face of Jay Cutler in the above picture.
Plus two games. 9-7 last year, 11-5 this year.