Bears 2019 season leftovers

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Bears General Manager Ryan Pace will be under pressure to turn around the team’s fortunes after a disappointing 2019 season.

Following a season that failed to meet expectations and ended with the firing of four assistant coaches, we empty the notebook as the calendar turns to 2020 and a new decade of Chicago Bears football begins.

1. The New Year’s eve press conference featuring head coach Matt Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace was predictable in most aspects. While proclaiming that Mitch Trubisky would enter 2020 as the starter, Pace did leave room for changes in the Bears quarterback room with backups Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray becoming free agents. It would be to the Bears advantage to seek a veteran backup who could push Trubisky, but that may be too much to ask a Chicago brain trust that seemingly wants to diffuse any competition at the position.

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2. The dismissals of four original Nagy staff members was a direct reflection of the Bears ineptitude on the offensive side of the ball. Mark Helfrich’s firing served as somewhat of a scapegoat move, though, since Nagy is the Bears play caller and chief offensive strategist. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand’s second tenure with the club ended badly as the offensive line struggled through poor play and untimely penalties. Tight end was another disaster area, thanks in part to injuries but also the lack of development of former second-round draft pick Adam Shaheen. Tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride paid for those issues with his job.

3. Some key Bears will be rehabbing through the bulk of the off season. Tight end Trey Burton, linebacker Roquan Smith, and wide receiver Anthony Miller had, or will have, surgical procedures and are targeting training camp as their return to the field. Miller, hurt in Sunday’s finale, will undergo another shoulder surgery to the same shoulder injured i

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n 2018. That should be concerning for the Bears, who have yet to get a full season of production after selecting Miller in the second round of the 2017 draft. Miller appeared on track to becoming a vital contributor with his play down the stretch this year, but his lingering shoulder issues may affect his long-term durability.

4. Looking ahead to 2020’s opponents: Bears home-Green Bay, Minnesota, Detroit, Indianapolis, Houston, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans…Away-Packers, Vikings, Lions, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee, Carolina, Jacksonville, and Atlanta. Specific dates and times will be announced in April.

5. Bears free agents…QB’s Daniel and Bray, LB Devante Bond (signed late to aid special teams), S Deon Bush, T T.J. Clemmings (injured reserve after getting hurt in preseason), S Ha Ha Clinton Dix, G Rashaad Coward, TE J.P. Holtz, S DeAndre Houston-Carsen, OLB Isaiah Irving, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, G Ted Larsen, T Cornelius Lucas, OLB Aaron Lynch, DB Sherrick McManis, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, DE Roy Robertson-Harris, LS Patrick Scales, TE Bradley Sowell, LB Danny Trevathan, DL Brent Urban, DT Nick Williams.

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