The NFC Champion Chicago Bears open the 2007 season with just a couple of nagging questions. Will Rex Grossman be consistent? Will the running game be as strong? Finally, will the ageless Muhsin Muhammad be able to match or better his 2006 output? The receivers have a wonderful blend of talent, but much of it is specific to situations. This comes in handy, but if Muhammad loses a step at the number one slot, who would step up to take that slot? There really isn’t a true number one wide out on the roster, so this could be a problem.
Muhammad certainly looked as though he still has his legs under him in 2006, and this year might be the same. He is entering his 12th season, so you have to wonder how much more he has in the tank to fill the number one wide out slot. He is one of the strongest at his position and still makes the tough catches with supreme confidence. Muhammad looks primed to be okay for at least one more year, but the Bears will need to make a move after this season.
Bernard Berrian surprised a lot of people last year with outstanding numbers. The lanky fourth year man out of Fresno State chipped in with 750+ yards in 2006 and a respectable 6 touchdowns. Not bad numbers for a guy who in his previous years didn’t have a season of more than 300 yards. With lightening quick speed, his rail thin frame, and penchant for going after the tough catch, however, he stays unhealthy far to often. This is one of the reasons not many would expect him to take over at the number one.
Mark Bradley is another possible star at the position. How quickly he can recover from the knee injury he suffered in 2005 remains to be seen. He was not the same last year, but with an injury as serious as his was, it sometimes takes a year or so. Many believe that Bradley will be much better this season, and that he will flourish in the Bears deliberate attack.
Rashied Davis is a great slot guy, and will certainly produce some fireworks for the Bears this season. He is quite simply a play maker, and will be counted on to do just that for the Bears. Davis is a welcome sight to Rex Grossman streaking underneath the linebackers when his other receivers are covered.
2006 will be a very interesting season for the wide outs in Chicago, and this could be the year that we see some players emerge from the shadows. Expect Bradley and Davis to surprise many this season with a blend of speed and power. If Grossman keeps it together, and the running game is effective, then do not be surprised to see the Bears yet again in the Super Bowl.