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NFC North Preseason Capsules

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm •  Published: July 22, 2013
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CHICAGO BEARS (10-6)

OPEN CAMP: July 25

LAST YEAR: Bears missed out on playoffs for fifth time in six years following another late collapse, leading to coach Lovie Smith's firing.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LT Jermon Bushrod, TE Martellus Bennett, G Matt Slauson, rookie G Kyle Long, LB James Anderson, LB D.J. Williams.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: LB Brian Urlacher, DE Israel Idonije, LB Nick Roach.

CAMP NEEDS: Time to adjust. New coach Marc Trestman is installing new offense, and there is no shortage of new faces on both sides of ball. Developing leadership with Urlacher gone.

EXPECTATIONS: Relationship between Jay Cutler and Trestman will be worth watching. Bears QB has offense-minded head coach, versatile pass-catching tight end and revamped offensive line after that unit ranked among league's worst. He doesn't have excuses and might be running out of time given his expiring contract. Even with no Urlacher, core players such as DE Julius Peppers, LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman are in their 30s. Also, can Devin Hester rediscover his electrifying form on returns?

DETROIT LIONS (4-12)

OPEN CAMP: July 25

LAST YEAR: Closed awful season by losing eight straight after climbing to .500 midway through year, failing miserably in attempt to be in two straight postseasons for first time since 1993-95.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: RB Reggie Bush, S Glover Quinn, S Chris Hope, DE Jason Jones, DE Israel Idonije, rookie DE Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, rookie CB Darius Slay, K David Akers, RB Montell Owens, DT C.J. Mosley, OG Leroy Harris, OG Jake Scott.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: DE Cliff Avril, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE Lawrence Jackson, LB Justin Durant, OT Jeff Backus, OT Gosder Cherilus, OG Stephen Peterman, K Jason Hanson, WR Titus Young,

CAMP NEEDS: Desperately need rebuilt offensive line to develop chemistry with two new starting tackles and new right guard. 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff will likely start at LT, while Corey Hilliard or Jason Fox is RT and job at RG is up for grabs, with Harris, Scott and Rodney Austin among candidates.

EXPECTATIONS: If new-look offensive line jells, QB Matthew Stafford will have time to throw to WR Calvin Johnson and Bush will have room to run, making offense tough to stop. Defense has lots of newcomers and that will only be good thing if Ansah, No. 5 overall draft pick, and other pass rushers can create pressure to help shaky secondary. Fifth-year coach Jim Schwartz is on hot seat.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org