2014 Record: 5-11-0 (4th in NFC North)
HEAD COACH: John Fox
New Players in 2015 - LB Sam Acho; CB Alan Ball; WR/KR Eddie Royal; DL Jarvis Jenkins; LB Mason Foster; LB Pernell McPhee; DB Antrel Rolle.
OFFENSIVE RANK in 2014 - 21st in NFL (327.1 ypg)
DEFENSIVE RANK in 2014 - 30th in NFL (377.1 ypg)
Offense: Jay Cutler returns as the starting quarterback after passing for 3,812 yards last season with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Jimmy Clausen (223 yards, two TD, one INT) will once again play the backup role.
Matt Forte (1,038 yards rushing, 3.9 ypc average and six TD along with 102 receptions for another 808 yards and four TD) will be the starting halfback with either Jacquizz Rodgers (217, 3.7 ypc, one TD with Atlanta) or rookie Jeremy Langford (Penn State) backing up.
The wide receiving corps took a hit in training camp when it was revealed that top rookie draft pick Kevin White (West Virginia) would need surgery for a leg injury and could miss the entire season.
Returning in 2015 will be Alshon Jeffery, who made 85 receptions for 1,133 yards with ten touchdowns. Along with Jeffery will be Eddie Royal, who made 62 receptions for 778 yards and seven touchdowns with the San Diego Chargers last year. Marquess Wilson (17, 140, one TD) is another option at wide receiver. The tight end is Martellus Bennett, who caught 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns.
Up front on the offensive line is center Will Montgomery, guards Matt Slauson and Kyle Long and tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills.
Defense: The Bears will be switching over to the 3-4 alignment this season and it looks like it will be Jeremiah Ratliff (6 1/2 QB sacks) at nose tackle. The ends will be Ego Ferguson (two sacks) and Jarvis Jenkins. Willie Young (ten sacks), David Bass (three sacks) and Will Sutton are being counted on as well.
The linebacking crew will have Jared Allen (5 1/2 sacks) and Pernell McPhee on the outside while Christian Jones and Shea McClellin will play the inside linebacker spots. Jonathan Bostic, Sam Acho, Mason Foster and DeDe Lattimore add depth.
Playing the corners in the secondary will be Tim Jennings and Kyle Fuller, who made four interceptions last season. The safeties are either Brock Vereen or Ryan Mundy (four picks), along with Antrel Rolle. Alan Ball and possibly rookies Al Louis-Jean (Boston College) and Adrian Amos (Penn State) will rotate in when needed.
OUTLOOK FOR 2015 - With a complete overhaul taking place this season, the Bears will not be expected to contend for the NFC Playoffs.
New Head Coach John Fox has had success in the past with Carolina and Denver, taking both teams to the Super Bowl during his tenures.
The offense needs to improve after averaging just under 20 points per game last season and this could very well be quarterback Jay Cutler's final chance in the Windy City. On the plus side, Matt Forte is a solid running back who is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, making 102 catches last season. He is the heart and soul of the Bears' offense.
It was a tough break for the new regime to have their top draft pick (WR Kevin White) need surgery in the pre-season.
The Bears are hopeful that White could recover quickly enough to see some action this season, which would give the team a dynamic duo with him and Alshon Jeffrey at the position.
The defense was a mess last season, finishing 30th overall while also finishing 31st in scoring defense, giving up just under 28 points per game. At the midpoint of the 2014 season, the Bears were lit up for 50-plus points in successive games.
The Bears find themselves in a rare position of being overwhelming underdogs in the NFC North division, where the Green Bay Packers loom large. Detroit made the playoffs last season and the Minnesota Vikings also look to be much improved heading into the 2015 season.
However, the Bears can surprise if Cutler plays within the system and Forte and Jeffery continue to put up the numbers as they have the past two seasons.
The big question marks will be with the new 3-4 defense the team will employ this year. The Bears did have 39 QB sacks a year ago, so that is a plus. They need to avoid giving up too many big plays as they did last year.
All in all, it looks to be a rebuilding year in Chicago, so a 6-10 record would be an improvement from last season as the Bears look to a better future.
Week 1 - vs. Green Bay Packers
Week 2 - vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 3 - at Seattle Seahawks
Week 4 - vs. Oakland Raiders
Week 5 - at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 6 - at Detroit Lions
Week 7 - BYE WEEK
Week 8 - vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 9 - at San Diego Chargers
Week 10 - at St. Louis Rams
Week 11 - vs. Denver Broncos
Week 12 - at Green Bay Packers
Week 13 - vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 14 - vs. Washington Redskins
Week 15 - at Minnesota Vikings
Week 16 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 17 - vs. Detroit Lions