Last season was a mixed bag of results. The Chicago Bears’ new offense broke franchise records and caused a lot of excitement. The defense, however, caused a lot of upset stomachs, getting torched week after week. After an offseason in which the Bears made a complete overhaul of that defense, hope is high that last season’s disappointing ending will be a distant memory.
Bears fans are an excited bunch, and when they show up at training camp, they will be thinking (and probably yelling) two words: Super Bowl.
With all the hype surrounding the Bears, coach Marc Trestman talked about dealing with the “noise” he didn’t refer to the honking horns during rush hour traffic.
That noise isn’t just coming from fans. The Bears have high hopes as well.
“That’s our goal,” general manager Phil Emery said at the team’s opening news conference. “We’re not going to apologize for it; that’s our goal. Our goal as an organization is to win championships. We have fallen short since I’ve been here. That doesn’t mean we’re going to change our goal.”
After having the second highest scoring offense in the league, and a top five offensive line, Trestman also has confidence his team can be better.
“The only difference in the offseason is last year we put in a playbook and this year we refined the playbook with more study and research throughout the league because we didn’t have time to do it a year ago.
“This year we did. We were much more specific in our research, researching the league and doing the kinds of things that other teams do and doing it at highly detailed level to make sure we could equip our football team with the best of the football that we could teach them.”
For decades, the Monsters of the Midway were considered Dick Butkus, Richard Dent, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Today, when you talk about the Monsters, you mention Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and, yes, Jay Cutler.
Considering that the Bears were just 8-8 last season, it might seem strange that players are asked about OVERCONFIDENCE.
“We haven’t had a lot of success, so I don’t think it’s that hard” to protect against cockiness, Cutler said. “It’s not like we’re coming off a monster season after monster season. I still think this is still a hungry group. There’s a lot left that we want to prove.”
Just walking around the city, Cutler feels how excited the fans are. He tries to temper the enthusiasm, though. “We’re glad they’re excited,” Cutler said. “We try not to let it affect us. But obviously, being out in the city and being around people, you can tell how excited they are, how ready they are for this season. We can’t let that kind of seep into our mindset. We haven’t done anything yet. We’ve got to take this camp seriously and get out of it as much as we can.”
Cutler can try to downplay all the enthusiasm all he wants, but that won’t change Bears fans’ hopes. It’s up to him and his teammates to put all the little things together to create one big season.