We have entered possibly the most tedious part of the NFL season. There are no interesting free agent signings, no new film to watch, and nothing to get us excited about the upcoming season. So what better way to pass the time than to look ahead at some of the potential storylines for the 2022 Bears training camp. There are plenty of exciting situations brewing in Halas Hall, so in this article, I will take you through a few of them, and outline the potential ramifications for this upcoming campaign.
How Will Justin Fields Fare With This New Regime?
The second-year QB is about to undertake possibly the biggest challenge of his life. After a disappointing rookie season, Fields has to make strides this year in order to separate himself from the rest of the 2021 QB class. We’ve seen this very situation play out many times before. A rookie QB struggles in his first year and continues on to have an electric career (I.E Manning, Aikman, Elway). However, there is some bad news that may prevent Fields from having a similar career arc. He is starting all over again, as the new coaching regime has essentially cleared house, and is attempting to recreate the roster to fit Eberflus’ strengths as a coach. Fields will likely have a new center to take snaps from, multiple new receivers, and a new playbook to memorize, all while continuously having the intense pressure of being a highly drafted QB on him. Will he pull through? It’s too early to tell, but we may get a good idea once training camp begins, and we see how Fields performs with this new system against the potentially potent Bears secondary.
What Rookies Can Make an Impact This Year?
Another story to look out for is the potential breakouts for the rookies in Ryan Poles’ first draft as a GM. There are some pretty obvious ones, with second-round rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker already poised to start. Yet, there are still plenty of other rookies who could come out of nowhere and create an immediate impact, starting at training camp. The guy that both players and coaches alike seem to be obsessing over is Velus Jones Jr. The former Tennessee WR looks to be the ideal gadget player for the Bears offense, similar to what Tarik Cohen was. Besides Velus, there are a couple of offensive linemen who we could see crack the starting lineup, namely Zachary Thomas and Ja’Tyre Carter. There are simply no guarantees on this O-line, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another Larry Borom story this year.
Is Matt Eberflus a Capable Head Coach?
It seems like just yesterday that Chicago rejoiced as the Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace era finally came to an end. An era filled with so much potential, ruined by an inability to adapt, and toxic egos. Now in comes Matt Eberflus, who thus far has done a very competent job of filling out his coaching staff. He has promised a team that is centered around grit, a ball-hawking defense, and an offense that will pound you into the ground. This all sounds great on paper, and so far the roster seems capable enough of accomplishing this. However, actually putting these concepts into practice is something Eberflus needs to showcase in this upcoming training camp. If he rolls out a team that can’t move the ball and is consistently showing a lack of awareness of defense, then the pressure on him will become enormous. I personally cant wait to see the potential changes that Eberflus brings to the team, and come training camp, all eyes will be on him and his new regime.
Photo Credit: Erik Lampert