Last season, the Bears defense was one of the worst in the NFL, failing to make much of an impact against either the run or the pass. Even with all the attention on Justin Fields and the passing offense, the team acknowledged the issue and made a clear effort to improve the middle of their defense through free agency with the signings of Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards.
These two have given the Bears a completely different and improved look that has caught the attention of national media.
This week, PFF ranked the Bears’ linebacker corps as the second-best in the NFL, an impressive jump from their status at the end of last season. Dalton Wasserman praised Edmunds, citing his impressive marks in multiple areas including his coverage grade of 90.0 which led all qualified linebackers.
In comparison, Edwards may not have the same level of recognition as Edmunds, but his mark against the run, in coverage, and as a pass-rusher helped him earn the sixth-best overall grade at the position.
The Bears’ impressive linebacker lineup is a far cry from the turmoil they faced in the 2022 season when the Roquan Smith trade left them without a strong anchor in their defense. Jack Sanborn was able to make an impact when given the chance, but an injury in Week 15 left the team struggling to fill the void. Subsequent injuries to other key players meant that the team did not perform up to their full potential, leading to a disappointing season.
In fact, the Bears struggled so much on defense last year that even the rookies were given opportunities to showcase their skills. Despite his status as an undrafted free agent, Sanborn managed to make a significant impact in his rookie season, impressing even the likes of PFF. However, while the team recognizes Sanborn’s potential, his continued injury struggles mean that he may not be able to hold onto the starting position. The team has been giving extra reps to Noah Sewell, whom they drafted in the fifth round in 2023.
Recent practices have shown that Sewell has the skills and ability to make plays and possibly take over Sanborn’s position. If he continues to develop and starts performing even better, Sewell may just bring something entirely new to the Bears’ defense. The prospect of a fresh linebacker lineup is exciting as it could mean a significant change of style for the Bears.
The Bears’ struggles on defense last season are not all that different from the team’s larger issues over the years. In a lot of ways, their failure to perform comes down to a lack of consistency in their lineup and a lack of strong, reliable anchors. The hiring of new faces like Edmunds and Edwards is a step towards correcting this issue.
Another issue the team faced in the past was their tendency to focus too much on their passing game to the detriment of their defense. While Justin Fields provides plenty of firepower for the Bears’ offensive side, the team has begun to prioritize their defense once again this season. The significant changes to their linebacker lineup are a direct result of this change in focus. The Bears recognize that a strong defense is key to winning games.
The addition of Edmunds and Edwards to the Bears’ linebacker lineup is just one part of their newfound focus and determination on the defensive end. The team has made it clear that they will not let their defense become a liability in their games. With the right mix of new faces and seasoned vets, they believe they have found a solid formula for creating a strong defense.
While the changes to the Bears’ lineup may not be glamorous or exciting, they are important and necessary. The team knows that a steady and reliable lineup is key to building a strong foundation. They reinforced their needs during the offseason and seem poised to see some big changes in the coming season.
For the Bears, the 2022 season was one of disappointment and missed opportunities. However, they are using this experience as fuel for the upcoming season. They are determined to put their struggles behind them and come back even stronger next year. They know that the road ahead will not be easy, but they are up for the challenge.
The Bears are a beloved team with a long history and passionate fanbase. As such, their successes and failures are always keenly felt by their fans. Going forward, the team’s success will depend on their ability to build a strong defense. Edmunds and Edwards are promising additions, but the team recognizes that they will need more than just these two to achieve their goals.
In many ways, the upcoming season will be a make or break season for the Bears. They know that they have a lot to prove, and that they cannot afford any more missed opportunities. With a solid lineup, renewed focus on defense, and a deep desire to improve, the Bears are poised to make 2023 a standout year.
The Bears’ fans are a dedicated and passionate group that have stuck with the team through thick and thin. They know more than anyone the ups and downs that the team has faced, and they are eager for the team’s success. This upcoming season brings with it a lot of promise for the team, and they are excited to see what happens next.
It is impossible to know what the future holds, but one thing is for sure – the Bears are not giving up any time soon. They know what it takes to succeed and they are willing to put in the work to achieve it. For a team that has faced so much disappointment in recent years, this dedication and determination is inspiring.
In the end, it is up to the Bears themselves to decide their fate for the 2023 season. With their renewed focus on defense, their impressive new lineup, and their dedicated fanbase behind them, the Bears have everything they need to make this a season to remember. It will take hard work, grit, and determination, but the Bears are up to the task.
There is something special about a sport team that captures the hearts and minds of its fans. The Bears have been doing it for years and they have no plans to stop now. Whether you are a longtime fan or a newcomer, there is something exciting about the Bears’ upcoming season. Who knows what will happen next, but one thing is for sure – it is going to be one heck of a ride.
Whatever happens next, the Bears are ready for it. They have faced their struggles head-on and emerged stronger for it. They know that this upcoming season will be no different, that the road ahead may be rocky, but they are ready for it. The only question that remains now is – are you ready to join them?
Receive a FREE Gift for Subscribing to the Newsletter!