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NFL Off-season 2013 A-Z: Chicago Bears

This is the sixth installment of a 32 part series on the 2013 NFL Off-season Team-by-Team Analysis. 

2012 Record: 10-6 (3rd in NFC North)

Key Free Agents: QB Jason Campbell, LB Nick Roach, LB Brian Urlacher, DE Israel Idonije, G Lance Lewis 

Coaching Staff: HC Marc Trestman, OC Aaron Kromer, DC Mel Tucker, ST Joe DiCamillis

Cap Space: Around $13.3 million

2013 Draft Picks: 20 (1), 50 (2), None (3), 114 (4), 146 (5), 178 (6), None (7) 

Off-Season To-Do List: 

-Begin the next generation of Bears defense. The Chicago Bears' defense is aging well, but it won't be too long until Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman and Julius Peppers retire. The Bears still have a couple years left to recruit replacements, but the time to start is now. Most mock drafts have the Bears picking TE Zach Ertz with their first pick, which is good because they do need a young TE, but the next few rounds should be dedicated to defense. If he's not gone by the second round, the Bears should set their sights on Arthur Brown, the 6 foot LB out of Kansas St. who is closely compared to NaVarro Bowman, the ILB for the Niners. Brown's best traits are his ball-seeking ability and the strength he has to complete tackles and push through blocks. Brown would eventually replace Urlacher. To replace Tillman, I'd like to see the Bears draft Leon McFadden, the 5' 10" CB from San Diego St.. McFadden is a strong zone defender with strong, fluid hips that help him make quick transitions between backpedaling and closing. The only downside to McFadden is his size, being only 5' 10" and 193 pounds. As for Peppers, it is difficult to give a prediction based on the foresight that DE's are going to go quickly in the first two rounds. 

-Sign another target for Cutler to throw to. The Bears have a pretty solid WR core already in Marshall, Hester and Bennett and according to mock drafts, he'll have another one in TE Zach Ertz after the draft, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up one of the big names on free-agency this off-season. It would be nice to grab Greg Jennings, but the guy is asking for more money than the Bears can afford. I'm a pretty big fan of Danny Amendola, and if the Bears can make an offer to Amendola that's more appealing than the one the Patriots will make, I think he would be a great addition to the team. 

-Build a stronger O-line. G Chris Spencer, T Patrick Mannelly and T Jonathan Scott are all free-agents in 2013. It can be agreed that Mannelly is as good as gone, but re-signing Jonathan Scott would be a good move. The backup only allowed 1 sack in 7 games, and the 29 year old would move to the starting position once Mannelly is gone, providing him a better opportunity to become the young backbone of the O-line. Dallas Thomas out of Tennessee would be a good option to consider during the draft, but if the Bears end up focusing on defense more than offense in the draft, they could always consider Andre Smith (CIN) or Jake Long (MIA) who are free-agents this year. 

2013 Schedule-Difficulty: 6/10

Home: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Ravens, Bengals

Away: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Eagles, Redskins, Rams, Browns, Steelers 

Projected Record: 9-7 (T-2nd in NFC North with Vikings)

Want to read the off-season preview for another team? Here's what I have done so far: 





Carolina Panthers 

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