July 27, 2015

CHICAGO BEARS (5-11)

OPEN CAMP: July 29, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois.

LAST YEAR: Chicago missed playoffs for seventh time in eight seasons, costing GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman their jobs. But it wasn't just that Bears struggled; they were all-around mess. Trestman's offense took big step back in his second season, and defense ranked among worst in franchise history for second year under Mel Tucker. Along with poor play were distractions. LB Lance Briggs missed practice in week of opener to open restaurant in California. Former offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer leaked critical story of QB Jay Cutler. And WR Brandon Marshall drew attention for reasons that had nothing to do with his play.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Coach John Fox; WRs Eddie Royal and Kevin White; S Antrel Rolle; NT Eddie Goldman; LBs Pernell McPhee, LB Sam Acho and Mason Foster.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR Brandon Marshall; LB Lance Briggs; CB Charles Tillman; S Chris Conte.

CAMP NEEDS: Along with new head coach, Bears have new coordinators in Vic Fangio (defense) and Adam Gase (offense). There are question marks all over defense that switches from 4-3 to 3-4. Gase has some playmakers to work with in Cutler, White, RB Matt Forte and WR Alshon Jeffery, along with Pro Bowl lineman in Kyle Long. But can Cutler cut down on interceptions after tying Philip Rivers for league lead with 18?

EXPECTATIONS: Fox has reputation for turning around teams. But this could take time given last season's struggles.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

You May Like