Don’t look now but the Chicago Bears have one of the most stable depth charts, if not rosters, in the NFL. At a point in the off-season, “uncertainty” is the name of the game. But Bears fans can be pretty sure on about 81 percent of their offensive starters and essentially 100 percent of the defensive ones.
Despite Questions, Chicago Bears Depth Chart Among Most Stable
That’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Competition brings the best out and this is a team that could use its best this season.
Given the position at which the Bears do have a true battle, right tackle, and that they’re breaking in a rookie left tackle, a little constant goes a long way. It’s an argument that is at the root of wanting to see Andy Dalton under center Week 1 and bring Justin Fields along slowly.
With Matt Nagy’s declaration on Tuesday, that seems like the way things will go, barring injury.
Chicago Bears HC Matt Nagy told @CollinsworthPFF that there is no possible scenario that Justin Fields is the starting quarterback Week 1.
Nagy: "Andy Dalton is our starter. Justin is our number 2 and we are going to stick with this plan. You just got to trust the plan."
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) June 15, 2021
Not Too Shabby
It can also be viewed through a team-wide lens, though with everything else that is going on. The return of Eddie Goldman after he opted-out last season and James Daniels who’s returning from a torn pec bring some familiar faces back to critical roles as the Bears break in a new starting cornerback and rookie Teven Jenkins on the offensive line.
Don’t get it confused, Jenkins flopping at left tackle would be a monumental setback. But he did show well when (sparingly) he played there in college. In fact, he didn’t lose the starting left tackle job at Oklahoma State.
Instead, the teammate that returned was better suited for the left side. Thus, Jenkins had to return to the right.
Perhaps you have questions about slot receiver Anthony Miller or the depth at tight end but those are small potatoes when compared to some of the issues being faced by teams in the division let alone the rest of the NFL.
Heck, even oft-disgruntled wide receiver Allen Robinson said he wouldn’t be holding out and would report to training camp on time.
Grass Isn’t Greener
Elsewhere, Aaron Rodgers, the reigning MVP hasn’t yet shown up in Green Bay and reportedly has no plans to. Dolphins second-year pro, Tua Tagovailoa, reportedly threw five interceptions on the first day of mandatory minicamp in Miami and there have been so many other stories of turmoil and uncertainty. It really does put into perspective the very real, but still minor (in comparison) details the Bears are working through.
Defensively, Robert Quinn would almost have to be better than last season by default, but he’s dealing with a lower back injury, per Matt Nagy. He was mostly a (very expensive) rotational player anyway though.
There are some advanced metrics that suggest that he was closer than he appeared in making a bigger impact. But “close” won’t cut it on that salary with so much at stake.
Desmond Trufant is the next biggest question mark on defense and, as with Quinn, it’s more of a matter of health with him than anything. When healthy, he’s a capable starter. Emphasis on the “when healthy”. Trufant is a notoriously poor performer when he plays hurt as evidenced by his grade from Pro Football Focus.
Chicago Bears Depth Chart Stable Despite Questions
It sounds counter-intuitive with all the changes they made. That’s probably more of a local issue, though, where fans hear about every move, or non-move, and react. The Bears and their depth chart are in relatively good shape just weeks away from the start of training camp. There aren’t too many teams that can say that.
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