Chicago Bears Need Unproven Players to Succeed

We all know the Chicago Bears are going through a transition phase. General manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox are still trying to purge all the wrong left behind from the last two regimes.

If the Bears want to have any success in 2015, they are going to have to rely on a few unknown players to succeed. Safety Adrian Amos, offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. and wide receiver Marquess Wilson all have to grow up fast and contribute in a hurry.

Amos is a ball hawking playmaker out of Penn St. He’s next on the merry go round of safeties the Bears go through. The position hasn’t been stable since Mike Brown left at the end of the 2008 season. Despite  being drafted in the fifth round this year, Amos has the size and skill set to not only start this season but prove his meddle in a pass happy league.

Where Amos needs to improve is in his tackling. He’s not a willing tackler and often takes bad angles to a ball carrier and tends to lead with his shoulders instead of wrapping up. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio should be able to fix the flaw and use Amos in the same way he used Eric Reid in San Francisco. Reid had seven career interceptions and a Pro Bowl selection in two seasons under Fangio.

Leno Jr. is raw on talent but has the size to make it. Leno Jr. has a solid base and on the surface looks like he can be a stout blocker but tends to get pushed off the spot too easily. He was an All-Mountain West Conference selection twice so the skills are there but he seems to lack a mean streak needed to be consistent up front. What Leno Jr. has going for him is the complete inconsistency from incumbent starter Jordan Mills.

It will help Leno Jr. to get some reps and play alongside guard Kyle Long. With some coaching and a little boost from the always active and energetic Long, Leno Jr. can be an adequate right tackle which is really all the Bears need right now. Anybody else at the point is better than Mills.

The Kevin White injury seems to have put an early damper on the season but Marquess Wilson can change that. Wilson had only two receptions in his rookie season but came on to catch 17 passes in seven games when he returned from a broken collarbone last year.

Wilson will now look to make everyone temporarily forget about White by stepping into offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s offense and play outside opposite Alshon Jeffery. In two years under Gase, former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker had back to back 80 catch seasons.

It’s highly unlikely Wilson can match the output of Decker right away because the Bears don’t have Peyton Manning and won’t look to throw as much but there’s no reason why he can’t catch 40 balls in this offense. Wilson has similar size and skill set to Decker and is probably a more athletic player.

The key to Wilson’s season is staying healthy and limiting the drops. If he does that, he can reap the benefits as defenses will look to key in on Jeffery, Eddie Royal, Martellus Bennett and even Matt Forte out of the backfield.

If there’s one thing about the NFL season, it’s certainly tough to predict what will happen. Many people might think the Bears are no better than a seven win team but anything can happen. One thing’s for sure, if they want to even think about competing, they are going to have to hope guys like Adrian Amos, Charles Leno Jr. and Marquess Wilson become household names in Chicago.