General manager Jerry Angelo was emphatic during Sunday's Bears Expo at Soldier Field that receiver would not be a weakness for his football team in 2009, although the Worldwide Leader begs to differ.
According to ESPN Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson, the Monsters of the Midway have their biggest deficiency this coming year at the wideout position. Williamson appears to be a believer in Devin Hester, especially now with Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler at the controls, stating that the former defensive back "has steadily improved and showed glimpses last year of developing into an extremely dangerous offensive playmaker." However, Williamson reminds readers that Hester essentially came into the league as a non-position player and remains a work in progress.
It shouldn't be overlooked that Williamson makes one egregious error in his blog entry, claiming the Bears "pretty much know what they have in incumbents Brandon Lloyd and Rashied Davis." While Davis can be qualified as an incumbent, Lloyd played the 2008 campaign on a one-year contract and was not retained for '09. He's currently a free agent and no longer a part of the organization.
Lloyd is no longer in Chicago after catching 26 passes for 364 yards and 2 TDs all of 2008.
Chuck Burton/AP Images
Aside from Hester, the Bears are counting on second-year pass catcher Earl Bennett, who caught a ton of balls from Cutler as a freshman at Vanderbilt, to step up and make an impact in the aerial attack. Williamson correctly points out Bennett "was extremely productive in the Southeastern Conference" during his three-year stint in Nashville, although he did nothing more than contribute periodically on special teams as a rookie. Two choices in last month's NFL Draft, third-rounder Juaquin Iglesias from Oklahoma and fifth-rounder Johnny Knox from Abilene Christian, could challenge for playing time right out of the gate.
For the record, Williamson claimed Detroit's biggest weakness to be line play on both sides of the ball, Green Bay's a switch to the 3-4 scheme, and Minnesota's question marks at the quarterback position.
To read JC's evaluation of the Midway Monster defensive unit after some tinkering here and there during the offseason, CLICK HERE.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.