The Bears are in the midst of a major rebuild and expectations are low for the 2017 season. The first two years of the Pace/Fox era have been a disappointment with the serious regression the team saw in 2016 and there aren’t many indications showing that the team will make much of a competitive jump this year. With that being said, there are reasons for cautious optimism regarding this team when considering the extremely young roster and budding stars on it. Here we’ll look at the Bears offensive position groups and the best and worst case scenarios that could possibly play out for them.
Quarterback:
The Jay Cutler era is over and Pace decided that one successor to number 6 wasn’t enough. After signing Mike Glennon to a 3 year $45 million deal (though it is essentially a one year deal) he flipped the entire football world on its head by trading up in the draft to get the untested Mitch Trubisky.

Best case scenario-
Mike Glennon proves to be a serviceable starting quarterback and allows Trubisky to sit for the year and develop behind him. He fulfills the potential he showed in Tampa and keeps opposing defenses honest with his strong arm as the offense leans on one of the best young running backs in the league.

Worst case scenario-
Glennon shows why he was replaced by journeyman Josh McCown and hasn’t started a game in 3 years. With no proven receivers around him he’s never able to find a rhythm and forces Fox to play his rookie quarterback earlier than anticipated.
Trubisky is unable to adapt to the NFL so quickly and has a mediocre season and potentially hurts his overall development by succumbing to the pressure of being a franchise savior.

Running Back:
Jordan Howard was unquestionably the steal of the 2016 draft and would’ve already been catapulted into superstar status had he not been overshadowed by the historic rookie season of a certain Cowboys running back. Howard ran for over 1,300 yds and 5 tds after only starting 12 games. With a more consistent quarterback situation and the return of the same offensive line, there’s no reason to expect a regression from the Bears best offensive weapon. Behind Howard is a stable of young running backs, including this years 4th round pick Tarik Cohen, who many proclaim to be the next Darren Sproles.

Best case scenario-
Howard continues the rich tradition of fantastic Bears running backs and follows up his rookie year performance with another pro bowl quality season. Cohen is able to come in as the perfect change of pace back to Howard’s bruising style of running and the offense is able to flow through their explosive running game.

Worst case scenario-
The quarterback situation remains in shambles and Glennon or Trubisky is unable to operate the offense efficiently. Defenses are able to stack the box against Howard and keep him contained and unable to continue his rise to stardom.

Wide Receivers:
The loss of Alshon Jeffrey may not be as bad as some would think if this years crop of receivers are able to tap into the immense talent that permeates through the group. If White can finally stay healthy and show why he was a top ten pick 2 years ago and Meredith continues his ascension then they could lead a very dangerous passing attack.

Best case scenario-
Kevin White finally stays on the field and becomes the explosive, dynamic number one receiver that Glennon and Trubisky sorely need to build their confidence while Meredith becomes one of the premiere number 2 options in the league. Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright headline the rest of a group of solid if unspectacular players that have the ability to start in a pinch.

Worst case scenario-
Kevin White either can’t stay on the field or is underwhelming due to 2 lost years of development and may officially earn the “bust” label. Cameron Meredith looks to continue his rise but can’t handle being a top target and is routinely man handled by the opposing defenses top corner. Wright and Wheaton remain as serviceable 3 and 4 options, but nothing more.

Tight end:
The Bears have fantastic depth at tight end this year and will most likely have success regardless of how the rest of the offense operates. Zach Miller, Dion Sims, and Adam Shaheen will all see significant playing time this year. .

Best case scenario-
Zach Miller manages to stay on the field while Sims continues to his growth as a pass catcher and Shaheen uses his elite size and athleticism to create match up nightmares for opposing defenses. The Bears will have the luxury of running legitimate 3 tight end sets, something few other teams will be be able to do, this will give Jordan Howard the chance to explode in his second year and bend defenses to his will

Worst case scenario-
The worst case scenario for the tight ends this year will still probably result in positives. Even if Zach Miller gets reinjured, which is a very likely possibility, the combination of Sims great blocking and improved pass catching with Shaheen’s mismatch ability should make this Bears unit a guaranteed top 10 in the league.

Offensive Line:
Like at running back, the Bears interior offensive line may have been the best in the league if it weren’t for the Cowboys. Long, Sitton, and Whitehair are all pro bowl quality talents that any team would kill to have. While there’s no questions regarding the interior, the tackles are another story.

Best case scenario-
Long shows his ankle and shoulder injuries are a thing of the past and he, Sitton, and Whitehair continue to embarrass defensive tackles and linebackers giving huge running lanes for Howard on the inside while Massie and Leno remain bottom tier starters that manage to limit their mistakes keeping Glennon or Trubisky from being on their back for most of the season.

Worst case scenario-
If Long can stay healthy then the interior of the offensive line should be one the best in the league, the tackles is what should have people worried. Massie and Leno have shown no improvement in their 2 years with the team and have been never been anything more than slightly below average, even a slight regression by either could make them a huge detriment and make Glennon or Trubisky’s life hell and have a huge impact on whether either of them can be successful with the team.

There’s reasons to be excited about the Bears offense in 2017, they have a host of young talent that is set to blow up. With that being said, there’s a whole heck of a lot of stuff that needs to go their way in order for that to happen. The Bears offense might not be anything special this year, but if Glennon or Trubisky can break out, then this roster may have the ability to explode in 2018 and beyond.