Ex-NFL player formulates Bears’ offseason to-do list originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears have a lot of boxes to check, gaps to fill, and moves to make this offseason.
It’s widely known the Bears roster one of the worst lineups in the NFL. They need a complete overhaul. They’ve torn down the old roster to the studs, now they must begin working to create the next great Bears team.
He thinks the Bears should focus on building around their young quarterback, starting with the defensive trenches.
“I think with that first pick, they go out and they get a guy that can affect the quarterback,” McCourty said. “We talked about it, whether it’s Will Anderson, Tyree Wilson, Myles Murphy, one of these guys are going to come in and impact this organization right away. You want to build from those trenches.”
They recorded the fewest number of sacks on opposing quarterbacks last season and rarely pressured the pocket. By the eye test, any quarterback who faced the Bears had hours, days and weeks to throw the football.
Luckily, their position at the top of the draft, and the team’s satisfaction with Fields, leaves them the opportunity to snag the draft’s best defensive prospects. As McCourty mentioned, Anderson, Wilson and Murphy are all likely on the Bears’ radar.
The question is – will the Bears attempt to trade down first before attacking the trenches?
“So once you get a guy on defense that can disrupt everything, go out and get yourself the offensive linemen, whether that’s through free agency, whether that’s through the draft, get somebody that can protect Justin Fields and still allow him to grow,” McCourty continued.
The offensive line has been a perennial struggle for the Bears.
Notorious for fielding ineffective offensive lines, the Bears need to finally put their foot down and address, again, a glaring issue. Hopefully, Ryan Poles’ background as a former offensive lineman will direct attention to the situation.
The Bears will likely attempt to draft help into their current offensive line, yet a blue-chip tackle from free agency would serve as a major help.
“And ultimately, they need a number one wide receiver,” McCourty said. “Darnell Mooney, a very explosive and exciting player. They brought over Chase Claypool. Now go out and get yourself a ‘guy guy’. Whether that may be trading for a Tee Higgins in Cincinnati. Go ahead and get yourself a guy that can help grow Justin Fields.”
Only one receiver on the Bears caught for over 500 yards. Cole Kmet.
Yes, the Bears’ opted to run the ball more often than not, leading the NFL in rushing yards, breaking their franchise single-season record in rushing yards and using Fields’ legs to their advantage.
But, in today’s NFL, you must move the ball through the air. And with the pass-catchers they have on the roster, they can’t get that done. As McCourty mentioned, they need a formidable force to be a consistent asset for Fields.
Can they work the trade market? Will they opt for a top prospect in the draft?
The Bears have plenty of gaps on their roster and McCourty successfully pinpointed the most alarming areas.