Chicago Bears 2013 training camp primer: Key position battles
- Updated: July 23, 2013
Rejoice, WCSN brethren! The long offseason is almost over, and actual football activities are back upon us! Before the real games begin in September, or even the preseason games in August, we have training camp to look forward to.
This is the second in a three-part series previewing the Chicago Bears as they begin their official preparations for the 2013 NFL season with training camp, which opens in Bourbannais on July 25 (for those interested in checking it out, here is a link to their practice schedule). In part one, we looked at the key questions facing the Bears. Today we will be focusing on position battles that will be played out in camp and the preseason.
Right guard: James Brown vs. Kyle Long
The Chicago Bears drafted Kyle Long with the 20th pick of the 2013 NFL draft, and general manager Phil Emery stated that night that he expected Long to be a starter from day one. However, Long was forced to miss most of the offseason activities because he was still in college, offering an opportunity to someone else to practice with the first team.
Second-year man James Brown took that opportunity and ran with it, and now we have a battle between two young players who could both find themselves starters in 2014.
Right tackle: J’Marcus Webb vs. Jordan Mills
A few months ago, this battle would likely have been ignored or possibly listed as Webb against Jonathan Scott. Instead, the Chicago Bears drafted Mills in the fifth round, and he generated a lot of buzz in OTAs.
It still seems like a long shot that Mills beats Webb out this year, but a new coaching staff with no ties to the incumbent Webb certainly doesn’t hurt Mills chances. Regardless, Mills seems to have made Webb, a free agent after the season, expendable in the future unless he can show significant improvement.
Wide Receiver #4: Joe Anderson vs. Devin Aromashodu vs. Marquess Wilson vs. Eric Weems
Normally the fourth wide receiver is not viewed as a huge deal, but the lack of a competent one really hurt the Chicago Bears last year when second and third receivers Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett both got hurt.
The team needs to make sure they are more prepared in the event of injuries this year, and they have some young talent in camp that needs to prove itself. Devin Aromashodu has the most experience here but has never reached 500 yards in a season in his five-year career. Joe Anderson and Marquess Wilson are both extremely young, while Eric Weems (26 receptions in five years) is mostly a special teams player.
The Bears desperately need one or two of these men to emerge in camp as at least a competent receiver.
Left defensive end: Corey Wootton vs. Shea McClellin
Shea McClellin was drafted in the first round in 2012 to fill this role, but then Corey Wootton had a breakthrough year instead. Wootton will be the favorite to win the job, but expect McClellin to get the nod if it’s close, as McClellin was drafted by general manager Phil Emery, while Wootton was brought in by former general manager Jerry Angelo. Regardless of who starts, the Chicago Bears will be counting on both players to produce this year in the wake of Israel Idonije’s departure.
Middle and strongside linebacker: D.J. Williams vs. James Anderson vs. Jon Bostic vs. Khaseem Greene
D.J. Williams and James Anderson are veterans with copious amounts of starting experience who were brought in this offseason to man the jobs vacated by Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach. Phil Emery used the draft to give them competition, however, when they acquired Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene.
Williams and Anderson are the favorites, but don’t be surprised if one or both of the rookies steals a job in camp. Bostic in particular reportedly looked good in minicamps and could win the middle linebacker job, moving Williams to the strong side.
These are the main positions expected to be up for grabs in training camp and the preseason, and how these battles play out will go a long way towards determining the 2013 outlook for the Chicago Bears. If players are able to step up and grab the job with solid performances, the roster will be left with very few weaknesses.
On the other hand, things could go poorly: coaches could fail to find an option they like, forcing them to choose between the lesser of two evils and hope that player doesn’t hurt them too badly. Watching the competitors at each of these spots should be an area of emphasis for curious fans at camp and in preseason games.
Starting QBs in 2010 that are still have the spot locked up week 1:
Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler, E. Manning, T. Romo, Ryan, Brees, Freeman, Bradford, Palmer. NFC 10/16
Schaub, Rivers, Smith, Manning, Brady, Big Ben, Flacco: AFC 7/16
So 17/32 Starting QBs in 2010 are still looked at as starters in 2013 and only 10 look to be safe after the season is over.
Is TMonson here, or anyone that can post articles? I wouldn't have written it if it wasn't actually going to get posted.
Brady > Montana.
Montana had receivers who were already good. Brady made Deion Branch and Wes Welker. They were both mediocre at best before they came to NE. And again, Brady has an amazing, luscious mane of golden brown hair.
Never understood what makes Cam such a bad guy....just because he's being himself but being himself labels him a an arrogant jerk..I don't get it....http://www.panthers.com/media-vault/videos/Cam-Newton-1-on-1-Part-One-/a490a5a1-1197-4c32-917a-a5fc76c5de6a ....
@tmonson78 TMON! TMON! TMON!
This is why I said yes haha.
@tmonson78 Thanks Troy
@tmonson78 thank you baby jesus
Freeman is questionable. Glennon will give him a run. *Brace for Bucs rage*
Sorry it took a bit...
@BearsSaveLives yeah...the GGAG too...
@BearsSaveLives I can post videos to Facebook. Does that count?
@BearsSaveLives JOKES ON YOU!!!
@The Real CJammin You might as well be talking to a tree with that talk here.
@The Most Interesting Horse in the World sup horsecheese
@BUCS_BONG Revis will ont be the same Revis...
@JVince 11 Why are you complaining about us increasign our membership? Or did you just think this was a NFCN Good Ol' Boys club that we didnt' ever want to expand upon?
@Fucko The Clown sitting on the bench with a towel over your head by yourself because you are losing is not a good language to speak.
@Fucko The Clown its the same deal with cutler...not exactly media friendly personality
@Fucko The Clown I'm far too unwilling to watch 8:33 of Cam Newton. Give me a synopsis.
NFL QB's must be leaders and he is just not a leader
@Fucko The Clown clown comment, bro
@Fucko The Clown He is a privileged athlete. Therefore, predisposed to thinking he is better than people.
Because his Jersey is always clean
@The Real CJammin You might piss off some people. Joe Montana fans are not afraid to go club polar bears....just saying.
@Never Forget Prep! Livefyre sucks but referring to our new members as "guests" is not a good way to go about it.