July 21, 2016


OPEN CAMP: July 27, Bourbonnais, Illinois

LAST YEAR: Bears finished last in NFC North in first season under GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox, but looked more like professional outfit after being engulfed by chaos in 2014. QB Jay Cutler had career-high 92.3 rating. But defense struggled to make plays, tying for 22nd in sacks and 30th in interceptions.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: ILBs Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, RT Bobby Massie, QB Brian Hoyer, OLB Leonard Floyd, G Cody Whitehair.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: RB Matt Forte, TE Martellus Bennett, S Antrel Rolle, G Matt Slauson, LT Jermon Bushrod, offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

CAMP NEEDS: Defense and offensive line will need to jell after overhauls. Bears will also have to overcome loss of two key playmakers on offense after choosing not to offer Forte a contract and trading Bennett to New England. Development of WR Kevin White will also be worth watching. Last year's first-round pick, he missed rookie season because of stress fracture in left shin. Bears are banking on him to form dynamic tandem with Alshon Jeffery.

EXPECTATIONS: Bears still have long way to go before planning any Super Bowl celebrations, though Fox's teams have history of making jumps in his second season. Carolina went from seven wins in 2002 to 11 in 2003, while Denver went from eight wins in 2011 to 13 in 2012.


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

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