NFL Training camp season is always a time for irrational exuberance. Every team thinks it can win the Super Bowl, even though 31 of those teams will end being horribly wrong. And so, to preview the upcoming NFL season, which could be the most unpredictable ever, we now give you five reasons why your favorite team could win the Super Bowl. Today, it's the Chicago Bears.
1. Because Jay Cutler doesn't, like, care what you think, whatever bro. Are you one of the hundreds of millions of Americans who thinks Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is a poor leader, a gutless quitter, and a perpetual sourpuss? Well, the 21st century's answer to Jeff George has heard your criticisms and, like totally doesn't care, which is why people can't stand him to begin with. Cutler exudes an air of extreme indifference that may not matter to him in terms of fan perception, but ought to matter quite a bit in terms of how his coaches and teammates react to him. It was that dour indifference that led to him being criticized for leaving the NFC title game in January, and that incident lingers over the QB like a toxic cloud and leaves teammates questioning whether he's a guy they like playing for. But Cutler remains extremely talented, and perhaps this season his indifference to everyone else will become a strong motivation to prove haters wrong. Perhaps. Probably not. Once an ass, always an ass.
2. Roy Williams and Mike Martz... together again! Pairing former disgruntled Cowboys wideout Roy Williams with Cutler is like creating football's version of the Jesus Twins, but there was some underlying logic in bringing Williams in, namely that he flourished during offensive coordinator Mike Martz's time in Detroit. Williams will also be counted on to be a big part of the offense, which he no doubt welcomes after being passed over for Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in Dallas. Speaking of former Cowboys...
3. (Door stiffarmed into smithereeens.) Marion Barber is in the backfield now, which gives the Bears a better short yardage back, and keeps Matt Forte healthy enough for him to continue to be the excellent pass-catching weapon out of the backfield that he was last year. Greg Olsen is gone, so Forte could end up catching more the 80 or 90 balls this season. He may need to.
4. A better offensive line. At its nadir against the Giants last year, this was the worst line in football. But as the year progressed, the Bears o-line became something more than just an embarrassment. Now they have a couple of extra additions in draft pick Gabe Carimi and free agent Chris Spencer, so this could be an improving offense going into 2011.
5. You got a defense and Devin Hester, you're gonna do okay. That's the thing about Chicago. Cutler's antics overshadowed the fact that this team played very good football on their way to the NFC Title game, and they have room to get even better. Very little about this team has changed. They added Vernon Gholston to the defense, but he's awful. It's still going to be about Brian Urlacher leading the charge and Devin Hester making the occasional, eye-popping return. You can go a very long way with that as your foundation. And if Jay Cutler ever decides to stop being Pouty McLoserface, you can probably go a wee bit farther.