Three questions for Bears before the 2023 season
Herbert has a lot of competition for the lead RB (Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports)

Three questions for Bears before the 2023 season

by - Senior Writer -

With NFL training camps set to open in the next few weeks, football will officially be back before we know. For the Bears and their fans, that day can't come soon enough, as this has been one of their busiest offseasons in quite some time, leading to plenty of excitement heading into the season.

While the excitement and expectations are incredibly high for this team, this team is still in rebuild mode, so fans should temper their expectations just a bit until we can see their final product on the field. When you look at NFL experts across the league, some expect Justin Fields to throw for 4000 yards this season which would be huge for the offense, while some have even said the Bears will go from last to first in the division.

The second part will likely happen before the first part, but even if Fields reaches 3000 or 3400 yards, that would be a massive improvement for him. He needs to take the next step as a passer for this team to reach the level they want to offensively and become contenders in the NFC.

Despite all the excitement and expectations, there are some questions that the Bears must address before the season starts, and a lot of those will be answered in the preseason.

Here are some questions facing the Bears as we approach training camp:

What will the RB rotation look like?

With the departure of David Montgomery to the Lions, the Bear's RB room will look much different this season. Khalil Herbert returns after putting up great numbers last season, as does Treston Ebner, who played sparingly as a rookie. However, plenty of new faces will join the group to give them more depth than a season ago.

In comes Travis Homer and D'Onta Foreman via free agency while also adding Roschon Johnson via the NFL draft. All three of those guys are capable of shouldering the RB load, with Homer and Foreman having experience as a starter. Herbert will be the starter once camp breaks, but don't look for him to be the bell cow that Montgomery was.

When it comes to the Bears, they like to go with a balanced rushing attack that allows them to use a variety of backs. This year should be no different, as the Bears may have more depth than last season. Herbert has 1000-yard potential, Foreman has been a 1000-yard back, and Johnson was one of the biggest steals of the NFL draft. Finding the proper rotation to keep these guys fresh will be the key to the Bears offense and their rushing attack this season.

Chicago is a run-first team, and Luke Getsy will continue to lean on his running game to make things easier for Fields. The better they can run the ball, the easier it becomes for them to pass.

Will Justin Fields make the Year 3 leap we have seen in the past from others?

As mentioned above, the rushing attack will only make things easier for Fields and the passing game. That said, Fields still needs to improve as a passer, as year three is crucial for his career.

When Fields was drafted three years ago, the Bears drafted him based on his skillset and overall potential. You have flashes of that potential as a rookie from the running side of things, but his passing ability was lackluster at best. Last season was more of the same as Fields was the teams leading rusher and set an NFL record for rushing yards by a QB. He also made significant strides as a passer, although he still is far from polished.

Running will be a massive part of Field's game, and the Bears don't want him to get away from that. However, he needs to improve in the passing game, and this season is the year he must show it. When you look at this offense and who is in the WR room right now, Fields has more weapons now than at any point in his young NFL career. Now it is up to him to utilize that talent to the best of his ability.

No one is asking him to throw for 4000 yards, although that would be a great thing, but if he can give the Bears 3400 yards and 22-25 TDS, that would be a win for Chicago. Should that be the type of production he can provide you, the Bears will be in a great position to do great things.

Can Chicago be this year's version of the Jacksonville Jaguars?

When the 2022 NFL season started, many people expected the Jaguars to be one of the more improved teams in the NFL but were not playoff ready. Throughout the first half of the season, that appeared to be the case, but they got hot at the right time and ended up winning the NFC South and a playoff game.

That brings the question, can the Bears be this year's version of the Jaguars? When you compare the past two offseasons and look at the similarities of the teams, you can see a valid argument: both teams finished with the worst record in the previous season to grab the No. 1 pick. Both had the most money to spend the following offseason, and both went in as one of the more aggressive teams.

Throw in the injuries in the AFC South that allowed the Jaguars to sneak up on people, and Aaron Rodgers is now out of the NFC; the Bears theoretically have a shot at winning what could be the most wide-open division in the NFL. They might still be one year away, but even a wild card berth this season would be a massive win for this team.

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