3. Brandon Marshall is a talented receiver but comes with a lot of baggage, how confident are you that things will work out in Chicago?
MB: Lions fans should know all about baggage. How many arrests this offseason? Marshall appears to have turned a corner personally ever since he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Coming back to a familiar situation, namely Jay Cutler and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, will help keep Marshall on the straight and narrow. There’s no reason to believe that Marshall and Cutler can’t recapture the elite connection they shared in Denver. If they can even come close to that kind of production, it will be an all-time offensive achievement in Chicago.
4. Are the Bears a team with an aging defense and a closing window or can they stay in the playoff hunt for the foreseeable future?
MB: I think the Bears are a team with a closing window for certain players on the defense, but the pendulum is swinging from a defense oriented team to one that can put up points and attack opponents. If the offense they’ve built around Jay Cuter can come close to the preseason expectations, the defense won’t need to be as stout as they have in years past. I see the Bears as perennial playoff contenders built around their offense and a re-built defense.
5. What are your expectations for the Bears in 2012?
MB: A few players have stated a “Super Bowl or Bust” type of season for this group. Certainly a lot of fans share in those kinds of expectations. It’s a pretty high bar for a team that finished 8-8 and has missed the playoffs in 4 of the last 5 years. I think the playoffs are a must or Lovie Smith’s seat will be awfully toasty and for me, they need to win a playoff game or two to call this season a success.