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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Bears and staff are back intact

    [size=18px]Bears and staff are back intact[/size]
    While the rest of the NFC North gutted coaching rosters and started over this offseason, the Bears are talking Super Bowl in Year 3 of Lovie Smith's program.
    BOURBONNAIS, ILL. - The summertime swagger in and around Olivet Nazarene University suggests the Chicago Bears have loftier goals than defending their NFC North division title.

    "We're not cocky at all, but we know we're good," linebacker Brian Urlacher said during a break in training camp last week. "We should win a lot of games this year. I think everyone on this team will tell you we can get to the Super Bowl and win the whole thing."

    Are the Bears overlooking the Vikings, Packers and Lions? If they are -- and they say they aren't -- the question isn't why they would, it's why they wouldn't.

    While the rest of the division changed coaching staffs, switched philosophies and overhauled rosters, the Bears return the same team that ran away with the division in 2005.

    All 22 starters are back. NFL Coach of the Year Lovie Smith and his staff are back. The defensive system has been in place for three years. And offensive coordinator Ron Turner's offense is in its second season.

    In a whirlwind of change all around them, the Bears are the proverbial rock in the division.

    "Of course, I'm going to think that's a big advantage for us," Smith said. "There's a lot to get in when you start from the ground floor up. The basic things, the tempo you're setting. There's nothing like having a group together for a while."

    The Bears were 11-5 in Smith's second season last year. They had a three-game lead on the Vikings when they rested their starters for most of the 34-10 loss in the regular-season finale at the Metrodome.

    Two weeks later, the starters returned and were spanked by Carolina 29-21 in an NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field. The defense, which ranked No. 1 in points allowed (12.6), gave up a season-high 434 yards including 58-yard touchdown pass less than one minute into the game.

    "It's a long offseason when it ends like that," Urlacher said. "To have the year we had and then get beat the way we got beat, it puts a sour taste in your mouth and makes you hungry for this season."

    And just in case hunger didn't fix things, the Bears strengthened their secondary by signing restricted free agent Ricky Manning Jr. away from the Panthers.

    Offensively, the Bears finally were able to address a perennial weakness when they signed veteran Brian Griese to be their backup quarterback. Kyle Orton, the No. 3 quarterback, went 10-5 last year when starter Rex Grossman was injured, but the Bears' ranked 31st in passing (125.1 yards per game), 29th in total offense (256.3) and 26th in scoring (16.2).

    Nowhere will the Bears' continuity be more felt than on offense. In the second season of Turner's first stint with the Bears (1993-96), the offense set the team record for completion percentage (61.4).

    "It's so much different this year," Turner said. "We're able to go through the installation a lot faster. The difference is in the detail. Last year they were learning the plays. Now they know the plays, and they're focused on the details that make the play better."

    It also helps that Grossman is healthy again. Injuries have limited the Bears' quarterback of the future to four starts the past two seasons.

    "We got a great running game and a great defense," Grossman said. "It's up to me to put in the passing game and get that part of the game going. I think we're doing that."

    Two of the Bears' division rivals, the Vikings and Lions, could be helping the Bears inadvertently by copying the core principles of the Bears' defense. Each defense is designed a little differently to account for personnel, but the basic concepts of those defenses come from the Tampa-2 scheme.

    "I'm sure they feel that gives their offenses an advantage for when they play us," Smith said. "The way we look at it, it helps us, too, because that's what our offense is practicing against every day. So it can be an advantage for all of us, and a disadvantage for all of us."

    Urlacher, the key piece in Chicago's defense, warned against expecting too much too soon from what he prefers to call the "Chicago-2" defense.

    "It probably takes two years to really learn it," he said. "Last year I felt like I knew it. But this year I know it inside and out. That's why having the same coaches, the same system from year to year is so important."

    With that in mind, the Bears will continue to swagger all the way to Green Bay for their Sept. 10 season opener.

    "Anything less than a Super Bowl ring," linebacker Lance Briggs said, "will be a disappointment."
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  2. #2
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
    BadlandsVikings is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Bears and staff are back intact

    "We're not cocky at all, but we know we're good,"

    Sounds cocky to me.

  3. #3
    AngloVike's Avatar
    AngloVike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Bears and staff are back intact

    "Anything less than a Super Bowl ring," linebacker Lance Briggs said, "will be a disappointment."
    Sounds like Brigg's be very disappointed this season then... love seeing teams line themselves up for a fall after a one-off season
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Bears and staff are back intact

    Wouldnt be just great if rex did not get hurt so he can really show how bad he is? I would rather have rex as their starter than greise(or how ever you spell it). That team is good, but not elite.
    You republican whore!

  5. #5
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Bears and staff are back intact

    we'll see how good they are in september ^_^

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  6. #6
    Nooks is offline Starter
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Bears and staff are back intact

    UGH! I HATE THE BEARS!!!!! If you ever want to know the kind of idiots that are Bear fans, check out the message board on their website. You will see a stunnng display of big mouth trash talking no class IDIOTS! Brian Urlacher is not the only one who is cocky, they all are and so are theri fans. Im SO glad that this is a classy board and not one with fans like theirs!

    SKOL to the CLASSY fans of the NFL!

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