1. Mike Martz is Chicago's new offensive coordinator. Lions fans all saw how great and how not-so-great he can be from his time in Detroit. Right now, how is Martz doing as Chicago's offensive coordinator and what is the feeling from Bears fans about the offense?
The feeling is that bringing Martz on board is a high risk/high reward scenario. During the preseason, our offense didn't really open up too much. More focus was on getting the offensive line set than anything else, so we didn't get to see too much of the Martz-style playcalling. We've got weapons at all of our skill positions, but the OL is going to be the determining factor to our success. We've got faith in Martz's system, but also realize that it could backfire as well.2. Another former Lions coach, Rod Marinelli, is Chicago's defensive coordinator now. Will his addition to the coaching staff greatly improve the Bears defense or at least get it back to where it once was as a unit? (Also, does Marinelli still mention pad level as much he did in Detroit?)
Pad level- Yes! We hear it less from Marinielli, but a lot of our defensive linemen have mentioned it a lot. Marinelli as the new Defensive Coordinator is a bit of a mystery. The Bears kicked some rocks around, and interviewed a few people for the DC position (most notably the Giants new DC Perry Fewell), but then decided last minute to promote Marinelli from DL coach. We won't see much of a scheme change from Lovie Smith's Cover-2/Tampa-2, but Marinelli will be responsible for the defensive playcalling. Can Marinelli halp get us back to where it was a few seasons ago? With the addition of Julius Peppers,Chris Harris, Major Wright, and a healthy Brian Urlacher and Tommie Harris, we very well may surprise some people this season. The pass rush will be the key, as our defensive secondary as a whole still has a long way to go.
3. How has the addition of Julius Peppers to the Bears defense worked out so far for Chicago and how big of a role do you see him playing this season?
Peppers didn't have too many flashes during the preseason, but we were also running a lot of base defense. Hearing from the coaching staff, his teammates, and the beat writers, he has been nothing short of a machine in offseason workouts and practices. As mentioned above, Tommie Harris is supposedly 100% healthy, which, if true, would be the first time in about 3 seasons he's not had any lingering injuries. Harris has the potential to free up a lot of the pressure from Peppers... it will be interesting to see how that dynamic will work.
4. Going back to the offense, how do you see Jay Cutler playing in 2010? The Mike Martz offense can be great for a quarterback's stats, but at the same time it can cause a lot of sacks, so is that or Cutler's high interception numbers from a year ago a concern for Bears fans?
Ultimately, it all falls back on the OL. The OL was absolutley terrible last season (see: Orlando Pace), and has still had trouble getting it together this preseason. Cutler is still a very young QB, so his decision-making will improve as he gets more and more snaps under his belt. The question is, will he have the time to make good decisions, or will he be running for his life? The sacks will come, as well as the INTs... we know that will exsist. Hopefully, though, Martz will be able to compensate with his playcalling, and keep Cutler out of harm's way.
5. Is there a general consensus among Bears fans about the outcome of Sunday's game? Lions fans seem to be very confident in Detroit getting a road win, but are Bears fans just as confident about their team starting the season with a victory?
People like to put Detroit in a box, pointing out the last several years of failures, and saying that the Lions are still the Lions. But, anyone who actually takes a look at reality can see that you guys are quickly putting together a dangerous team. I really think that Detroit has the ability to surprise some folks this year, and Suh and Vanden Bosch have to be foaming at the mouth when they see the Bears OL. General consensus from what I've seen is that this game is nowhere near a gimme. Our confidence level for this week, as well as the rest of the season right now, is shaky at best. BUT, I will go out on a limb, and predict the Bears win by a final score of 125-2. DA BEARS.