Positional Analysis

The strength and weakness of the defense begins up-front. Last season the Bears ranked second in the league against the run, while the unit was produced 48 sacks. However, only 20 of those came from the defensive line.

Keith Traylor and Ted Washington spurred the defensive turnaround in 2001, which saw the team give 152 fewer points. The big men freed the linebacking core of Warrick Holdman, Brian Urlacher and Roosevelt Colvin to make the tackles. Alfonso Boone is top backup to Traylor and Washington. Jason Wiltz and recently signed Christian Peter will compete for a roster spot.

Phillip Daniels had an outstanding year and proved he can play the run as well as rush the passer. He was second on the team with nine sacks to go along with 72 tackles and 10 pass deflections.

Bryan Robinson played a steady right end and moved inside on third down to provide an additional pass rush. He ended the season with 4.5 sacks, 72 tackles and 12 pass deflections. His play earned him a five year contract extension worth over $20 million.

The team has added depth in the off-season in veteran Keith McKenzie. He's coming off an ankle injury, but should help provide added help in the pass rush. He had three consecutive seasons with eight sacks before going down last year.

The Bears took a gamble on Alex Brown in the fourth round of the draft. The former Gator set a new school sack record 33 sacks. He didn't play the run well and was accused of taking plays off in college, but won't not have that luxury in the pros. Brown will battle for playing time with Karon Riley. Both will be expected to make a contribution on special teams.

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