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posted: 7/24/2014 5:30 AM

No way Bears avoid injury bug a second straight season

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  • Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman listens to questions at a news conference during the team's NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Wednesday, July 23, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill.

      Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman listens to questions at a news conference during the team's NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University on Wednesday, July 23, 2014., in Bourbonnais, Ill.

 
 

So, the Bears are supposed to be an offensive juggernaut again this year.

To be perfectly candid, this expectation is a little unsettling, like hearing that a porn star was nominated for consecutive Academy Awards.

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Two straight seasons of elite offense would be a Bears' franchise record. The previous mark was one season and three games, after which a half-dozen starters tripped over their leather helmets and suffered career-ending sprained ankles.

Over the years the Bears have been fully capable of stopping themselves: Interceptions, fumbles, penalties, busted plays ... those are the Bears that some of us lived a lifetime with.

And now we're told the Bears will ring up points for a second consecutive season like McDonald's rings up sales of Big Macs?

Please, stop with the side-splitters and knee-slappers.

Uh, you say this talk is no joke? You say the Bears' offense is that good? You say all their defense has to be is ordinary and it's Super Bowl here they come?

There doesn't seem to be anything for even a longtime skeptic to be skeptical about. Still, a browse through the catalog full of Rick Mirers, Curtis Enises and Stan Thomases surely will conjure a concern.

Wait ... stop ... got it!

Injuries, of course, are a concern. Yes, expect a that a rash of them -- some previously unknown to medical science -- will balance last year's quirk of remarkable health.

General manager Phil Emery reported Wednesday that offensive guard Kyle Long will miss at least the first weekend of practice with a viral infection.

To lifelong observers of Bears' offensive misfortune to go along with mistakes, this must be viewed as the beginning of the end of a healthy offense.

In 2013, only quarterback Jay Cutler missed any starts. The other 10 designated starters started every game.

That's rare in the NFL and rarer in consecutive seasons.

What it means is that when the luck runs out, head coach Marc Trestman is going to have to be every bit the guru of offense he is purported to be.

"We're starting over," Trestman said as players trickled in for the start of training camp.

Last year, Trestman worked wonders by preparing Josh McCown to keep the offense humming in Cutler's absence.

McCown played so well that many believed he should start this season. He will but for Lovie Smith in Tampa.

It isn't pessimism to predict that Trestman will have to deploy more reserves on offense in 2014. It's realism in the violent world of professional football.

This sport has a way of playing cruel tricks. Last season very well might have been a setup for this season's big fall, not to be confused with a big autumn.

So start your office pools on which Bear will be the first to break, tear or crush a body part and whether it'll be during the first or second full practice.

Only when the injuries begin to mount will we learn exactly how much magic Trestman can weave.

Getting by with a reserve quarterback and 10 starters is one thing. Getting by with a starting quarterback and 10 reserves is altogether different.

Trestman's reputation is as someone whose playbook and play-calling are so good that backups can be plugged in and the offense will keep on rolling.

After all those decades of watching offenses in which even Bears' starters fall all over themselves, imagining any coach as a miracle worker is difficult.

Seriously, depending on a Bears' offense for two straight seasons is as unnatural around here as depending on Derrick Rose's knees for two straight months.

Only seeing either will translate into believing.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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