Positional Analysis

The best trio of linebackers in the NFL resides in Chicago. During the off-season the Bears added to their strongest position on the team. Mike Caldwell joins starters Warrick Holdman, Brian Urlacher and Rosevelt Colvin.

There was some question whether the team would return all three starters from last season. After having a career year Holdman that included being second on the team in tackles with 145 he was offered a contract by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bears had to match the offer or lose their weakside linebacker for nothing. In the end GM Jerry Angelo's gamble of not tendering Holdman the maximum one-year offer backfired, but the team retained Holdman.

Urlacher made his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and came in second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. He led the team in tackles with 148, was third in sacks with six, second in interceptions with three and returned a fumble 90-yards for a touchdown. Not to mention catching a 27-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal. The only question mark on Urlacher is how good can he be?

Colvin emerged as the Bears best pass rusher. His experience as a defensive lineman at Purdue allowed him to play in a three-point stance on third downs, which resulted in him leading the team in sacks with 10.5. He added 79 tackles and two interceptions.

Caldwell was signed incase Holdman left, but will now be a backup on the outside. He started for the Eagles last year and gives the Bears added depth at linebacker. Caldwell is solid on nickel coverage and will contribute on special teams.

Bobbie Howard made some big plays on special teams last season and will be ask to do the same this year. He is also the backup middle linebacker, but don't' expect him to get on the field much in that capacity.

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