Being a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and having season tickets, I feel a certain kind of connection with this team and organization, as I have gone through the true ups and downs that come with being a Bears fan.
So, three games into the season, I must say, this team looks legitimate and I may have bought into the new system the Bears are showing.
For those who do not know, the Bears overhauled their coaching staff this offseason as the team fired Lovie Smith and replaced him by bringing in longtime NFL assistant and recent Canadian Football League coach Marc Trestman. The Bears also replaced their offensive and defensive staffs to create a whole new offensive system for quarterback Jay Cutler and company.
There was speculation during the offseason on whether or not Cutler can finally be the franchise quarterback that Chicago has been waiting for, if the defense would still carry the same swagger they’ve had in past years without former linebacker Brian Urlacher and how this inexperienced offensive line would protect Cutler.
These questions and more were answered in the first three weeks of the season, including last Sunday’s 40-23 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Offensively through the first three weeks, we have seen Jay Cutler architect two fourth quarter comebacks, play consistent football, find and use all his receivers and has only been sacked three times. Plus, with an established running game that has Matt Forte finally being used properly, the Bears offense is clicking and looking like a legitimate NFL offense.
Defensively, the Bears are tied for second in the league with five interceptions and lead the league with six fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns.
So, all of those reports that this team is going to be a mess and can’t learn Trestman’s complex system in time, and those that said without Urlacher the defense would not be the same, were wrong.
The Bears are doing things a bit differently, and so far it’s working. I’ll be honest, I love every second of it.
There seems as if there is a new attitude within the Bears’ locker room, and it even has the media claiming Jay Cutler is happier in interviews and more of a pleasure to be around.
All of the success so far has everyone praising Trestman for his new attitude on football in Chicago.
“I look at every game as if it’s game one of the season,” Trestman said.
That quote shows me that he doesn’t look too far into the future and he’s not worrying about what happened the week before. It also shows that this coach is focused on winning and winning now.
With this past weekend’s results showing the Vikings losing to the Browns, the Packers losing as well and Lions still behind the Bears in the standings Chicago has positioned themselves to make some waves in the tough NFC North.
The critics will be there all season, critiquing every little move by Trestman and the Bears, but early in this 2013 season, I think this team needs to be taken seriously because they have a legitimate shot to do some special things.
Aaron Freeman is a sophomore sports communication major from Wheeling. He is the Scout assistant sports editor.
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