The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

Boys water polo seizes senior night success over Highland Park
Boys volleyball comes up just short against Carmel Corsairs
Which Woman of History Do You Resemble the Most?

2013-14 NFL Preview

CHICAGO BEARS

Key Offensive Players:

 QB Jay Cutler   RB Matt Forte  WR  Brandon Marshall  C  Roberto Garza

Key Defensive Players:  

DE Julius Peppers   OLB Lance Briggs   CB Charles Tillman  CB  Tim Jennings

Games To Watch:

Sun. Oct 6 at NO Saints     Mon Nov 4 at GB Packers

Sun Nov 17 vs Ravens    Mon Dec 9 at Cowboys

Key Additions:

TE Martellus Bennett   T  Kyle Long    LB  John Bostic    LG  Jermon Bushrod   LB  DJ Williams

Key Losses:

MLB  Brian Urlacher   QB  Jason Campbell   LB  Nick Roach

Breakthrough Player:  WR  Alshon Jeffrey

Player to Watch For:  LB  John Bostic

Biggest Bust:  OL  Jermon Bushrod

Coach: Marc Trestman

The Chicago Bears are at a point where it’s do or die. The team, with a very solid core of all-star position players, needs to start putting up. The team made great strides in the offseason to bring in some serious talent. New Bear Martellus Bennett gives a huge upgrade at the always important tight end position, coming in from the New York Giants. Offensive tackle, pro-bowler Jermon Bushrod is welcomed with a smile as the Bears attempt to fix their biggest flaw: The offensive line. Chicago, known for its bad offensive line, also drafted Kyle Long out of Oregon to play opposite of Bushrod. With Long’s play in the preseason, it is looking like the Bears may finally have the building blocks of the offensive line.

   However, if there is one player on everyone’s mind in Chicago, it’s quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler, an emotionless gunslinger from Vanderbilt, was brought in a few years ago to put the Bears at the top of the league. While Cutler’s play has been average, he needs to be astounding. Once thought of as a future all-star, he has yet to deliver. Part of that problem has been the offensive line, but Cutler also never worked with a strong receiving group. That is until last season. The Bears brought in pro-bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall, one of the most dominant pass catchers in the game, was phenomenal last year, after having already played with Cutler in Denver years ago. With Alshon Jeffrey playing opposite him, Marshall looks to have another good year. The Bears also have a top-tier running back. Matt Forte returns, hoping to stay on the field instead of on the sideline. Injuries have plagued his promising career, and he is just one healthy season from being  one of the best.

   The defense is no joke; the Bears boast a top defense. The cornerback duo of Charles “Peanut” Tillman and Tim Jennings, arguably throws itself in as one of the best. Even after losing captain Brian Urlacher to retirement, the Bears move the reins to pro-bowl linebacker Lance Briggs. Briggs and Urlacher were also one of the top duos in the league. After Urlacher’s retirement, the Bears signed LB D.J. Williams to replace him. However, with Williams doubtful for week one, the Bears look to hard-hitting rookie Jon Bostic from Florida. Another great player on the list is Julius Peppers. A future hall-of-famer, Peppers returns as the leading pass rusher on the team, and one of the top in the league. With Corey Wooten and Henry Melton on the defensive line, the Bears bring back a large group of enforcers. Major Wright and Chris Conte round out the secondary, while kicker Robbie Gould returns alongside punter Adam Podlesh. The Bears are stacked at certain positions, with others needing help. If Cutler rises to play his best football, nothing is stopping that team. However, the defense is where this team wins its games.

 

Projected record: 10-6

   The Bears should make the playoffs. While they are dominant at times, the team makes too many mistakes on offense. Along with the almost certain injuries to key players, for them to be a powerhouse in the league is a bit crazy. If everything goes right, the Bears could sit atop the NFC North, but that just seems a little far fetched with the holes they’ve got now.

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Key Offensive Players:

QB  Aaron Rodgers   WR  Jordy Nelson  WR  Randall Cobb  G  Josh Sitton

Key Defensive Players:

 OLB Clay Matthews   NT  BJ Raji   CB  Tramon Williams   MLB  AJ Hawk

Games to Watch:

Sun Sept 8 at SF 49ers    Sun Sept 22 at Bengals

Sun Dec 8 vs Atlanta   Sun Dec 29 at Chicago

Key Additions:

RB  Eddie Lacy  RB  Johnathan Franklin  QB  Seneca Wallace

Key Losses:

WR  Greg Jennings   LB  Erik Walden  CB  Charles Woodson

Breakthrough Player:

LB  Nick Perry

Player to Watch For:

WR  Jarret Boykin

Biggest Bust:

TE  Jermichael Finley

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy

The Green Bay Packers return this year the same way they have in previous years. Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best player in the NFL, leads an attack of a potent offense carried by an exceptional group of wide receivers. The defense, while growing with young talent, is still not quite elite. However, the Packers also bring back something they wish would leave them alone: Injuries.

   The Packers sustained a major blow this offseason when top offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga went down with a torn ACL, and will miss the season. Leading rusher from last year DaJuan Harris also is out for the season with a knee injury. Yet, the Packers always find a way around it. Aaron Rodgers, an obvious MVP candidate, should lead the Packers to a successful season. His combination of athleticism outside the pocket, as well as down the field precision, bode well for the superstar quarterback and his team. The Packers also added help in the draft by picking up rookie running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. Both should be instrumental in adding a diversity to the offensive attack. Pro-Bowl wide receiver Greg Jennings left the green and gold for some rival purple as he joins the Minnesota Vikings. Jennings, Rodgers top target, now is replaced by the tremendous trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones. Jermichael Finley returns for another year at tight end, while Chad Clifton looks to anchor the offensive line.

   On defense, linebacker Clay Matthews returns and puts his name in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. Matthews, a hybrid of size, speed, and strength, looks to lead the emerging defense toward a great season. Second-year cornerback Casey Heyward returns to play opposite Tramon Williams, one of the top cornerbacks in the conference. A.J. Hawk joins Clay Matthews at linebacker, while Nick Perry looks to come back strong. Ryan Pickett takes the nose tackle position, and surrounds himself with B.J. Raji and rookie Datone Jones. WIth Sam Shields at safety, and a returning duo of Mason Crosby and Tim Masthay in special teams, the Packers show they have the pieces to make a run for the Lombardi trophy. After analysis from NFL specialists, the Packers should expect a solid team for the upcoming season. Chicago will play them tough, and so will San Francisco. Nothing is certain in the NFL, and all the Packers can hope for is that starters stay healthy.

 

Projected Record: 13-3

   There is no doubt the Packers are the team to beat in the NFC North. However, injuries and a skeptical defense have shortened playoff runs in the past two years. Aaron Rodgers is a lock to be phenomenal this year, as he will almost certainly put up pro-bowl numbers. However, if this defense can’t figure out how to shut down opponents, this team could fall into second best in the division. Yet, if the defense makes strides like expected, this team is a super bowl favorite.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
2013-14 NFL Preview