Chicago Bears’ 5 Biggest Training Camp Battles – Chicago Bears News

Chicago Bears’ 5 Biggest Training Camp Battles – Chicago Bears News

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Summer roster battles will define the 2017 Chicago Bears.

    Though technically a transitional year for the franchise, based on the structure of free-agent contracts doled out during an active trip to market, the summer battles will heavily influence where the Bears go this time next year.

    These contests will, in theory, let the best players emerge with starting jobs at critical spots. If younger players the coaching staff plans to build around don’t win out, the list of needs the front office must address in a year grows. If surprising developments unfold and massage problem areas, said list falls back in the other direction.

    It’s not fun to think the Bears won’t compete for a playoff berth in 2017. There’s always an off chance they do (it’s an optimism-filled offseason once again, right?), but this is still an entertaining time to be a fan because glimpses of the future begin to shine through.

    Those glimpses start during training camp, where the following battles will command the spotlight.

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    A boost on one edge of the defensive line would work wonders for the Bears in 2017.

    Eddie Goldman is capable in the middle if he can stay healthy, and Akiem Hicks just had his best year as a pro over the course of his first season in town. On the opposite edge, though, the Bears didn’t get much from their ends.

    The problem was twofold. One was a simple lack of options, with veteran Mitch Unrein more of a depth player than starter. Yet he started because rookie third-round pick Jonathan Bullard wasn’t ready to handle every-down responsibilities.

    The vibe seems to be changing…

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