Yes, the start of training camps is two months away, but it’s never too early to consider the coming season. A look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Chicago Bears in 2012.
Dream scenario (13-3): Tailback Matt Forte reports to training camp happy and healthy, either with a new contract or an acceptance of the franchise tag. His good will soothes the locker room and allows players to focus on football. Quarterback Jay Cutler leads the second coming of the 2008 Denver Broncos offense, connecting with receiver Brandon Marshall for 100-plus receptions, and the Bears finally find a Devin Hester "Package" that works. The aging defense remains sharp, rookie Shea McClellin provides an important balance to the pass rush and the Bears prove to be an NFC powerhouse.
Nightmare scenario: (7-9): Forte holds out from training camp, starting the summer off on a bad vibe. An offense that looks good on paper struggles to get organized under first-year coordinator Mike Tice. The Hester Package limits his effectiveness as a returner. McClellin isn't ready to be a three-down player. The defense gets old more quickly than expected, exposing the Bears' lack of young impact players.