Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Chris Polk (32) runs with the ball past a diving Chicago Bears inside linebacker Jon Bostic (57) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Chicago Bears Youth Movement Underway?

For the first time in years it seems the Chicago Bears have a quality group of young players assembled on their roster.  Is it beginning to tell?

Jon Bostic no longer conceding to D.J. Williams

A year ago there was turmoil among the Chicago fanbase about who should start at middle linebacker.  Should it be veteran D.J. Williams or rookie 2nd round pick Jon Bostic?  That same turmoil was noticeably absent among the coaching staff, who favored Williams from the outset.  Reasoning for that became apparent after Williams went down with a torn pectoral.  Bostic stepped in as the starter and struggled often.  It was felt the Bears would have to shuffle their linebackers again, re-signing Williams to play the middle and moving Bostic outside to compete with Shea McClellin on the strong side.  Apparently that assumption was premature.  Thanks to a shift in scheme by defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and new position coaches, Bostic has come out firing in early camp practices.  His speed and explosion have jumped out right away, and even he admitted the scheme adjustments fit his game so much better than a year ago.  With McClellin also flashing on the strong side, the Chicago Bears may be in store for a major age shift in their linebacking corps with the 23-year old Bostic and 24-year old McClellin pushing hard to stay on the field.

Marquess Wilson on track to join Jeffery and Marshall

The influx of young competition doesn’t end with the defense though.  It’s still happening on the offensive side.  A year after Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long took their places among the youngest names in the Pro Bowl, the Bears may have another sleeping giant ready to awake at wide receiver.  Marquess Wilson was a classic top talent player who fell in the NFL draft due to off-the-field issues, most notably quitting the season at Washington State over a squabble with coaches.  Wilson fell to the 7th round where Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery scooped him up, ready to look over the past problem and give him a chance to realize his potential.  Still just 21-years old, Wilson spent the entire off-season with teammates Jeffery and Brandon Marshall down in Florida, improving his mental and physical game.  Signs of it are already showing in practice.  To think the team might get another 6’4″ target with the same ability as Jeffery and Marshall is too scary to contemplate.

Ka’Deem Carey and Will Sutton making early impressions

The young legs aren’t appearing in just a starter capacity either.  As every team knows, having good depth is just as important as a strong starting lineup.  It seems Chicago may have some things brewing on both offense and defense.  While Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea are favorites to start at defensive tackle, rookie 3rd round pick Will Sutton hasn’t let that stop him from getting the attention of coaches.  His quickness and speed as an interior pass rusher have flashed more than once during practices and were the primary reasons why the Bears drafted him.  If it continues he should see ample playing time in the rotation.  The same can be said for running back Ka’Deem Carey.  A standout at Arizona, he is expected to help ease the workload off of Matt Forte who at age 27 has a lot of mileage on his legs.  Carey claims he’s a great fit for the Bears’ offense  and his progress has reflected that.

Obviously youth won’t be the main reason the Chicago Bears find success in 2014, but it will send a clear message that they can expect success beyond it.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Chicago Bears D.J. Williams Jon Bostic Ka'deem Carey Marquess Wilson Will Sutton

  • Johnathan Wood

    I think the last two drafts have been very good and will end up yielding 7-8 solid players, maybe more (Long, Mills, Wilson, Bostic, Vereen, Fuller, Carey, Sutton, Ferguson. That’s 9 that I think will likely be solid starters for Chicago at some point). That’s what you need from drafting, and is a welcome change from the last few Angelo drafts that yielded basically nothing.

    • Erik Lambert

      It all comes down to player development. Lovie was great at maximizing veterans, but he had a real problem developing homegrown talent. Early signs hint that might be something Trestman is better at, which is why Emery hired him.

    • DiscountPCRepair SATX

      The previous draft yielded McCellin and Jeffery…from what I am reading, McCellin is excelling at SAM LB.

      IMHO, Emery has already surpassed Angelo with his consistency. Angelo did draft Forte, Hester …
      What really impresses me about Emery is how he effectively utilizes free agency.


      • Erik Lambert

        Don’t forget Isaiah Frey who can be a solid reserve CB.

        • Johnathan Wood

          Frey is on the roster bubble. Likely fighting with Kelvin Hayden for one spot. Seems Hayden has the leg up for now.

          • IUCannon

            They will keep Frey but he may not dress every game, but he’ll be on the 53 man roster. Having a guy with his talent and experience as your 5th CB will be phenomenal. If all pans out right then there will be more depth on this team than we’ve had in years.

          • Johnathan Wood

            you typically only keep 5 CBs, with the 5th for ST. That is likely McManis’ spot. IMO Frey and Harden competing for 1 roster spot. Maybe I’m wrong though.

            Sometimes teams will keep a 6th CB, but tough to do that when you keep 10 DL.

  • Kirk Devries

    To bad I am not reading about Cornelius Washington. It would be nice if this guy developed. Could be a casualty down the road.

    • IUCannon

      I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s all but cut already unless there’s a major injury before the season. If he suddenly puts it together then I’ll be amazed, would have to outplay 3-4 guys (Idonije, Bass, Young, and Scott) just to make the team and that’s if they carry 6 DE’s. Unfortunately CW will probably end up being another one of the “talented but couldn’t put it together mentally” players.

      • Erik Lambert

        He was a 6th round pick so his odds were never that great to begin with.

        • Michael Rushton

          Is he practice squad eligible? It would just be a shame to let go of a guy who is basically a much stronger Jadaveon Clowney, physically. Let him season for another year if they can.