Getting Fit Like a Bear, Finding Rookie Starters, Receiver Upgrades, and Other Bullets

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Getting Fit Like a Bear, Finding Rookie Starters, Receiver Upgrades, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

There are few things as annoying as having thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc., and not sure where to start sharing them on a blank page. Meanwhile, the blinking cursor taunts you as you stare at a space asking to be filled. Let’s type through this and see what comes of it. Happy Wednesday!

Here’s some Bears’ stuff.

  • If history is any indication, this Bears rookie class is going to produce at least two starters:

  • To be clear, past success does not entirely indicate future results. And frankly, finding two starters with late-round picks isn’t easy. It’s been done before and it will happen again, but I’m not 100 percent convinced this class has two rookie starters on it. But who knows? They sure got good grades for this draft. And running back David Montgomery is the obvious choice and most likely to land a starting gig. And even if he isn’t a starter, Montgomery figures to get a considerable number of snaps. Making the most of them will be the challenge.
  • Being on the opening snaps on offense or defense aren’t the only ways to get into the “starting lineup.” Let’s not overlook the importance of special teams, the third phase of the game that tends to be a jumping-off point for young players – especially those who have a crowded position group ahead of them and a long fight to make it to the top. Take seventh-round corner Stephen Denmark as an example. Denmark has considerable measurebles when it comes to size (6-3) and speed (4.46 40-yard dash time), but doesn’t have nearly enough experience as a cornerback or against top-tier talent to throw him to the wolves. So instead of putting him in a disadvantageous position, the Bears’ likely plan of attack is to let him get his feet wet on special teams and work on rounding out the other facets in his game slowly. It would allow the team to help grow a player without putting too much on his plate.
  • The same can be said for Shelley, as well as seventh-round running back Kerrith Whyte Jr.
  • I suppose the one area Whyte can be a “starter” right away is as a return specialist. He would share return duties with Cordarrelle Patterson, but having two threats to take it to the house would be a vast improvement over what the team was playing with last season.
  • Watching Bears receivers hasn’t been for the weak-stomached, but things have changed drastically the last two years (and hopefully it’s change for the better):

  • It’s not tough to envision Riley Ridley soaring up the depth chart and making a push for significant playing time. After all, Anthony Miller did it with a strong training camp in 2018 at the same position.
  • The Bears can throw waves upon waves of pass-catchers at opposing defenses. By the end of it all, the hope is that defenses are going to be worn out and unsure of which option to send extra attention to in a crunch-time situation. Ideally, the Bears can deploy the likes of David Montgomery and Mike Davis in the running game to finish the job and ice some games down the stretch. Sounds like a good plan, right?
  • On the other side of the line of scrimmage, there is hope that Duke Shelley could grow into being a starting nickel defensive back. In fact, that’s probably the best-case-scenario for the Kansas State product. Allowing Shelley to learn behind Buster Skrine and positioning him to take over when it’s time is a wise way to go about filling future roster holes, while also taking care of the position short term. And if Shelley takes over sooner, it probably means GM Ryan Pace did a good bit of drafting with his sixth-round corner.
  • There are potential starters in this bunch. But with the Bears returning all but two starters on defense and 10 of 11 starters on offense, the path isn’t as clear as it was for the guys who jumped into roles between 2015 and 2018.
  • Bring me all of your draft-related podcasts:

  • For some, not being drafted is a minor setback that sets up a major comeback:

  • Don’t let Mother’s Day sneak up on you. With that in mind, today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon have you covered.
  • Take a tour of this Bears-themed fitness center, which provides an opportunity to work out and train like a Bear, but without having to fine-tune your blocking skills against Khalil Mack:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.