Bears Enter Combine with Tall Task

Fixing the worst offense in the NFL is going to take time, money and a bit of luck. With limited salary cap space and just two draft picks on the first day of the draft, revitalizing the offense is going to be a challenge for GM Jerry Angelo.

A case could be made that that no job is safe on offense considering the unit finished last in the league in points per game, passing yards and first downs.

However, here's a list of the five biggest holes the Bears need to address this off-season.

1. Wide receiver. The instability at quarterback isn't the only Bears were last in the league in passing yards. The group is arguably the weakest in the NFL. David Terrell and Bobby Wade paced the wideouts with 42 receptions. No other receiver had more than 15 catches.

Even if the Bears add a receiver in free agency, it would be a surprise if they don't draft Michigan's Braylon Edwards or Southern Cal's Mike Williams with the fourth selection in the draft.

2. Offensive left tackle. This position has been a sinkhole since Blake Brockermeyer's brief tenure (1999-2001). Speculation is that ORT John Tait will be moved to the left side, but only if the Bears are unable to find an immediate upgrade through the draft or free agency.

Left tackles don't come cheap, so finding one in free agency is unlikely. There isn't a prospect at the position worthy of the fourth pick, which means round two could offer a solution. Khalif Barnes of Washington had a great week of work at the Senior Bowl and if he repeats his the feat at the scouting combine he could be off the board by the 39th selection.

3. Backup quarterback. When Rex Grossman suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week Three, the season was over for the Bears because they had no one capable of playing at even a mediocre level. The Bears will not turn to the draft for answers at quarterback, as inexperience proved to be their undoing last year.

Kurt Warner has been mentioned, but almost any veteran with starting experience would be an upgrade. Drew Bledsoe signed a three-year deal with Dallas to be a starter. The problem is going to be finding a veteran quarterback to fit under the team's $2.5 million cap value that is capable of starting, but willing to accept a backup role.

Warner spent the second half of the season watching Eli Manning start ahead of him and it's unlikely he would come to Chicago unless he's guaranteed a shot to compete with Grossman for the job.

While the idea of the battling it out in training camp sounds good, if Warner falters he could become a distraction. On the other hand, if Grossman suffers a setback in his rehabilitation then the team could be shorthanded again.

4. Tight End. The Bears need offensive playmakers. Adding one at tight end would offset the lack of depth at wide receiver and add punch to Ron Turner's west coast offense. Free agency and the draft will offer options. The fact that the team doesn't have a third round selection because it was included with Marty Booker for Adewale Ogunleye, means the Bears could have to choose between selecting a tight end or left tackle in round two.

The offensive line surrender a franchise worst 66 sacks last season and with Grossman coming off major knee surgery, protecting the blindside of the quarterback will likely win out.

5. Backup Running Back. Thomas Jones is unquestionably the starter, yet relying on Adrian Peterson to be the second option is risky. Anthony Thomas is gone and it would seem like Peterson's time to carry part of the load. Although he's worked hard on special teams to earn a spot in the league, an upgrade is in order or the team could find themselves in a similar position in the backfield if Jones goes down to what happened last year at quarterback.

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