The Chicago Bears have a historical connection of being a defensive minded team. The 1985 Chicago Bears have become the yardstick that many analysts use to measure the strength of any given defense: "Are they better than the '85 Bears?" "If Team X's middle linebacker ran straight at Mike Singletary, who would win?" The Bears are the monsters of the midway, and those monsters never took residence on the offensive side of the ball.
The strange thing is that because of the history, the Bears' defense is always considered tough --even when they're terrible. The past always seems to usurp the present when it comes to the Bears' defense: "Never you mind if the Bears' defense is ranked 29th against the pass, it used to be great and should therefore not be taken lightly. They. Mean. Business." As unjust as that attitude is, it unquestionably exists.
How does that relate to Bears' punter Adam Podlesh's recent leg injury? The Bears' defense has always been the face (attitude?) of the team, but the last handful of years, even when the defense wasn't up to par, the Bears' special teams have been phenomenal. It doesn't end with Devin Hester either. Robbie Gould and (prior to last season) Brad Maynard served as a stellar kicker/punter combination, while the special teams coverage was among the best in the league --nevermind Hester's historic accomplishments. Podlesh was the next in line on what has become the recent great tradition of the monsters of the midway --special teams.
There are various degrees of hyperbole going around about how good or bad the Chicago Bears' offense will be this season, but special teams are an especially important factor to the Bears' potential success. Losing Podlesh hurts, and when we begin hearing coaches (Dave Toub in this case) say they are "very concerned" about the injury, it always gives me the uneasy vibe that a "Podlesh out for season" announcement isn't far off. While I don't necessarily think that that is the case, when punters hurt their leg (though it's Podlesh's non-kicking leg) it makes you think the injury could 1) take a while to get to 100 percent, and 2) linger.
Undrafted punter Ryan Quigley will get the green light for the third game of the preseason. The Bears need a strong special teams. They always have. Hopefully, Podlesh is back sooner rather than later.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.Sources
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Chicago Bears
- Adam Podlesh