Let’s face the obvious facts. The Chicago Bears new General Manager Ryan Poles has gutted the team’s roster since he took over in the role.
The Bears traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers, let Allen Robinson sign a free agent contract with the Rams, and cut ties with impact players like Bilal Nichols, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Goldman. The Bears have officially begun the phase of “retooling”, since apparently, “rebuild” is a sensitive subject in Halas Hall.
Either way, the 2022 Bears are not expected to be Super Bowl contenders. Heck, they likely won’t even make the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean the hard moves aren’t the necessary ones. It also doesn’t mean the Bears won’t be fun to watch in 2022.
In fact, the upcoming season will be one of the most formative and essential years for the future of the franchise, and for Bears fans, it will be must see TV.
In order to get through an entire 18 week regular season in the NFL, a fanbase needs to have hope and something to keep them engaged. For the fortunate few, Super Bowl aspirations create the buzz throughout fall. For other fanbases, it may be a new coach, a new scheme, a young quarterback, or an exciting future that make the season worthwhile.
Bears fans can look for all of the above.
The Bears may not be contenders immediately under the new regime, but it is expected that they will at least be playing competitive football. After years of frustration watching Matt Nagy’s offense and an undisciplined team take the field, 2022 will have the spotlight on head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
Eberflus was the man behind the curtain for the success of the Colts defense before arriving in Chicago. He brought much of his staff with him, and after the Bears went defense with their first two 2022 draft selections, the defensive priority within the organization is evident. Even if you disagree with that philosophy, his defensive game plan and leadership ability are things to keep your eye on throughout the season.
Maybe even more thrilling will be the offense under Luke Getsy. Getsy comes to Chicago by way of Green Bay, where he was the quarterbacks coach and right-hand man to Aaron Rodgers. He knows what it takes to run a successful offense, and has been vocal in his praise and excitement regarding Justin Fields. His scheme is expected to be a breath of fresh air and help Fields excel by playing to his strengths.
“I’ve been super impressed with him. I really have. There’s no one in this building that works harder than him. There’s no one that cares more than him. We’re off to a great start. He’s really accepted this challenge.”
– LUKE GETSY ON JUSTIN FIELDS
With any luck, the Bears’ offense will better utilize the weapons surrounding their QB, allow him to move outside of the pocket, and lead to exponential growth along the way.
Outside of the obviously compelling pieces to the Bears roster, aka Justin Fields, the best part of watching the 2022 Bears is that there will hardly ever be plays made by a player that does not matter.
The worst part about a losing football team is that awesome plays are made on the field that have absolutely no impact on the current or future state of the team.
Kind of like when Nick Foles connected with Damiere Byrd for an epic two-point conversion to win a meaningless game in Seattle last season.
You see what I’m getting at? Awesome throw, awesome catch, awesome win…and I’m not sure anyone really cared all that much. Had that throw been made by Justin Fields, or catch been made by Darnell Mooney, now we’re talking. But a play made by a below average veteran that won’t be returning next season is a snoozer.
That won’t be an issue this year.
The current Bears depth chart shows that just about everyone in the starting 22 will either be a strong and exciting veteran (ex. Quinn, Smith, Mooney, etc.) or an exciting youngster with high-upside, and the potential to shine (ex. Jones Jr., Gordon, Brisker, etc.).
If your love for football and the Chicago Bears isn’t enough reason to watch on Sundays, each and every Bears game will be must-see because it will showcase the young talent on the roster and feature the excitement of the Pro-Bowlers that should be here for years to come.
Everyone on the field and every play should matter. The Bears may not be expecting a Lombardi this season, but with $100 Million in cap space for next season, every player that shines is one less hole they need to fill. If the young guys prosper, Ryan Poles should have no trouble filling out the roster with studs next spring and turning the ship around in a hurry.
Win or lose, you should be on the edge of your seat.
Image via Jon Durr – USA TODAY Sports