View from a Fan

Eric Steiner believes there could be an adjustment period for Lovie Smith, but his crystal ball sees great things ahead for the Bears.

For the first time in a long time I can honestly say that I'm excited about not only what the upcoming seasons holds. The prospect of building a powerhouse for years to come seems within our grasp.

GM Jerry Angelo has redeemed himself after a rocky start that included the checking the box fiasco. Now with that behind him, Angelo has found a coach that, like him, has a vision for the organization.

Building the team around speed may seem like a weird concept when you're playing in Chicago and the conditions often come into play, but why not go against the norm when you've only been in the postseason twice in the last 12 years.

Finding out if Rex Grossman is the quarterback for this system is of the utmost importance. Grossman is off to a good start learning Terry Shea's complex offense and took it upon himself to get a playbook and know it backwards and forwards.

This is David Terrell's last chance with the Bears. Either he becomes the receiver I think he can be or he'll move out of the way for Justin Gage. Some of the catches that Gage made last year reminded me of Marcus Robinson before he blew out his knee.

One thing is for sure win or lose. The Bears will be a more interesting team to watch this year. The attacking schemes will lead to mistakes and big plays, but they'll be doing it at full speed as opposed to sitting back and waiting to win a game in the fourth quarter on a 50-yard field goal by Paul Edinger.

The draft brought Chicago a step closer to returning to the top of the division. It might be an adjustment year for Lovie Smith because the vast number of changes in philosophy and personnel.

In fact, the Bears might come away from 2004 with a losing record. We're not the only team in the division that has been busy making moves. The Lions and Vikings were active in free agency and had solid drafts on paper. As long as Brett Favre is in a Packer uniform he's going to be our nemesis.

The important thing is how the Bears lose. Are Tommie Harris and Terry Johnson getting in there and gaining experience or are they bystanders?

This could be like 1983 when Mike Ditka, in his second year, led the Bears to an 8-8 record. You could see the team was on the verge of being good. They lost two overtime games early in the year and then came on at the end of the year winning five of the last six games.

In 1984 they won the division and lost to the 49ers in the Championship game. We all remember what happened the following year. The greatest season in NFL history that culminated in the Super Bowl Shuffle.

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