The Chicago Bears are coming off of a very impressive 2018 campaign in which they won 12 games and captured the NFC North division title, but they ended up falling to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Bears are seeking a much better ending in 2019, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that this team could win it all this coming season.
Chicago is loaded with defensive talent, and while the offense remains a work in progress, there is no doubt that it is an improving unit that could be ready to take that next step this year.
The Bears also have several players who need to have a big training camp to establish themselves as key cogs on the roster.
Here are three guys who will benefit from a great training camp.
3. Leonard Floyd
The Bears took Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, but the returns have been disappointing.
Injuries have slowed him a bit over his first three seasons, as he missed a combined 10 games between 2016 and 2017. Then, this past year, he played in all 16 contests, but was largely unproductive.
This could be the last chance for the 26-year-old who appeared to have so much promise when Chicago drafted him three years ago.
The good news for Floyd is that he is playing with a few other terrific linebackers, including Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith, so they should make his job easier. However, he still needs to prove himself, and a good training camp would be a good start.
2. David Montgomery
The Bears traded Jordan Howard earlier this offseason, and not long afterward, they picked up Iowa State running back David Montgomery in the third round of the draft.
Chicago seems to have high hopes for Montgomery, who is coming off of a couple of terrific collegiate seasons. However, he will be battling with both Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis for carries and playing time, so he needs to assert himself in training camp.
Because Cohen and Davis are both veterans, Montgomery is already starting in a hole, even if the Bears like him a lot.
Chicago will almost surely give Montgomery the ball a bit in 2019 regardless of what happens in training camp and preseason, but you can bet that Matt Nagy will much more amenable to giving him touches if he shows out this summer.
1. Anthony Miller
Anthony Miller got off to a terrific start during his rookie campaign in 2018, including a Week 10 performance in which he caught five passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.
It looked like Miller was about to take off, but in the second half of the year, he fell off considerably. As a matter of fact, from Weeks 13 through 17, Miller logged just four catches, as he completely fell out of favor in the Bears’ offense.
Now, going into 2019, Miller finds himself behind the 8-ball a bit, as he will be battling for the No. 3 receiver role with Cordarrelle Patterson. Both Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel seem set as the No. 1 and 2 wide outs, so Miller is almost fighting for scraps right now.
Miller was a second-round pick a year ago, so Chicago certainly likes his potential, but due to his miserable second half, it’s almost like he is a rookie all over again and will have to earn playing time, which is why a great training camp is crucial for the 24-year-old.