Three Goals for Training Camp

The Monsters of the Midway may be coming off an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, but they still have several questions that must be answered in training camp. With the team reporting to Bourbonnais on July 26 and the first practice scheduled for the following day, the 2007 season will be officially under way. Here are three goals that must be accomplished on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University.

1. Get more consistent play out of the quarterback position
In his first full season as a starter, Rex Grossman had more games with a passer rating of over 100 than any quarterback in the NFC. But he also had more meltdown games than any NFL quarterback.

Grossman must improve his mechanics, especially under pressure, when he developed a tendency to throw off his back foot while falling away from his target. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner and new quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton worked with Grossman on his mechanics throughout the offseason and will continue to stress proper footwork and follow through during camp.

When Grossman has time and sets his feet, he can dissect defenses with precision accuracy, but he has to avoid the disastrous outings when he forces ill-advised passes into traffic and when his passes lack zip because of faulty mechanics.

2. Establish a new defensive tackle rotation
None of the Bears' top three tackles from Super Bowl XLI are still on the roster, which could be a concern for a team that likes to play a four-man rotation inside.

Troubled Tank Johnson was released, and unrestricted free agents Ian Scott and Alfonso Boone were allowed to leave. Two-time Pro-Bowler Tommie Harris is back after missing seven games, including the postseason following surgery on a torn tendon in his upper left leg. He'll be working with a new cast this year, including former 49ers starter Anthony Adams, an unrestricted free agent pickup, and 2006 third-round pick Dusty Dvoracek, who missed his rookie season with a foot injury. Another inexperienced player, Antonio Garay, could be the fourth member of the rotation.

3. Open up the offense using several new weapons
The Bears were mediocre in most offensive categories, finishing 15th in total yards and rushing yards and 14th in passing yards.

Thomas Jones rushed for 3,493 yards over the past three seasons, but he was traded to the Jets because the Bears believe 2005 first-round pick Cedric Benson is better. Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Hester has switched to wide receiver from cornerback to provide another home run threat, and tiny third-round change-of-pace back Garrett Wolfe provides another big-play dimension.

This year's first-round pick, Greg Olsen, is expected to give the Bears the best pass-catching tight end they've had since Mike Ditka – was a player. He's yet another player capable of stretching the field vertically. The Bears also hope to get more production from big, fast, third-year wideout Mark Bradley, who battled injuries last season but still averaged 20.1 yards on 14 catches and looked good in the offseason.

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