People often separate NFL offseason into sections. Who hired the best coach? Who signed the best free agents and of course who had the best draft? Except only when those three are combined can people gain a proper grasp of just how well a team did or did not do. This is something that must be taken into account regarding the Chicago Bears 2018 offseason.
Media experts and longtime columnists have praised GM Ryan Pace for his work since January. They feel he attacked each section with just enough aggressiveness and daring without getting reckless. As a result, the team is younger, faster, more athletic and deeper at several positions than they were in 2017. While this is welcome praise, it’s fair to wonder what their opponents around the league think.
NFL insider Field Yates sent out feelers across the league to determine what some of the best moves of 2018 were. Several teams got high marks for their draft decisions or their free agency moves. Only one got universal acclaim for their entire offseason.
Chicago Bears 2018 offseason a rousing success to coaches around NFL
Yates spoke with two coaches about what the Bears did and both had differing viewpoints. One was enamored with the additions they made at linebacker.
“I love what Chicago did in the draft,” he said. “The defense got faster with Roquan Smith and Joel Iyiegbuniwe at linebacker.”
Smith was one of the top overall defenders in college football in 2017. Adding him to a defense that ranked 10th overall a year ago can only lead to good things. The other coach was taken by the opposite side of the ball. He feels the new coach-QB combination Pace put together has set Chicago on the right path for the future.
“The Matt Nagy-Mark Helfrich combo will be good for Trubisky,” the coach said of the QB’s new head coach and offensive coordinator. “So I like the combo between coaching moves and draft. They still are missing some pieces … but they will be creative on offense.”
Right now the goal for the Bears is to improve from their 5-11 record in 2017. A 8-8 mark is more than reasonable to expect after these improvements and some believe they’ve done enough to go even further. Chicago knows though it’s never wise to demand too much from this team or risk being disappointed. Right now they’d settle for a .500 record and a breakout year for their young quarterback.