Chicago Bears get two former DeKalb superstars

The Chicago Bears have been busy this off-season upgrading the team to try and make the playoffs next season, which it hasn’t been to since the 2020 NFL season. With the organization drafting who some people call “the next Patrick Mahomes” in Caleb Williams, the team then put weapons around the number one overall pick on both offense and defense.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears added former Philadelphia Eagle safety and Martin Luther King High School alumni Kevin Byard to strengthen its pass coverage unit. Byard is a two-time All-Pro and a top safety in the league. He was sixth among NFL safeties in solo tackles last year with 88 and was third among NFL safeties in receptions allowed, only allowing 47 receptions when targeted last season. He will be playing behind cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who was ranked the number two best cornerback in the NFL at the end of the 2023 season, according to Player Football Focus (PFF). The two will be working in tandem to try and get the ball back to their franchise quarterback.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears plan to surround Williams with a multitude of talent to make it easier for him in his rookie year of the league. One name the residents of DeKalb County should be familiar with is Gerald Everett, former Los Angeles Chargers tight end and Columbia High School alumni.

With the Chargers, Everett had one of his best seasons last year. He was targeted 70 times and caught 51 balls for a total of 411 yards while only playing 15 games. In the 2022 season, Everett played 16 games and was targeted 87 times for a total of 58 catches. That year, he had 555 yards for the season which is the highest he’s had throughout his career. He joins the Bears with wide receiver Keenan Allen, who also played with the Chargers while Everett was there.

Chicago Bears’ Tight End Gerald Everett

With a plethora of upgrades on both sides of the ball, the Bears will look to bounce back from a 7-10 record in 2023 NFL seasons. According to a release, Chicago has the third-easiest schedule in the league just above the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.

 

 

OPINION SIDE BAR:

 

In my opinion, the key to success for the Bears next season will be to win divisional games. The NFC North division is loaded with high-flying offenses from the Detroit Lions with wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to the Minnesota Viking having arguably the best wide receiver in the league Justin Jefferson. Byard and the Bear’s secondary will be tested throughout the season, but with the improvements they’ve made and Bear’s Head Coach Matt Eberflus calling the schemes, this defense has the potential to become a formidable force against opposing offenses.

 

On offense, it all comes down to Williams and protecting the ball from opposing defenses. The Bears have done everything they could for Williams to be successful. The NFL is not nice to a rookie quarterback, but if he can get the ball into the hands of his newly acquired weapons, defenses will have problems trying to stop this offense.

In the 2024 NFL season, I have the Chicago bears going 9-8 with a trip to the playoffs via Wildcard.

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