Eddie Goldman: He's a true unsung hero on this defense. The Bears rush defense was outstanding this last season. Week 9 was the first time the Bears let up a rushing touchdown. It all starts in the middle with Goldman, who held it down for the duration of the 2018 season. He should only continue to grow with the talent around him this season.
Roquan Smith: The young linebacker is coming off a very solid rookie season in which he led the team in total tackles, finished just two shy of Urlacher's record. It will make for a more interesting offseason since he will be in camp for the full time. Last year, there was a slight delay because of his contract situation. Smith has all the talent to be a centerpiece of this defense for a really long time to come. His football knowledge will just continue to help him grow every single year.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: He was by far the biggest signing for the Bears this offseason. Clinton-Dix will fill the other starting spot at safety next to Eddie Jackson. Both players will be able to play off each other's strengths. A key trait in the NFL is being healthy, which Clinton-Dix has on his side. Of his 80 career games, he has started 74. This organization is building something special, and Clinton-Dix is already meshing with teammates in the short period of time he has been a Bear. His true playmaking ability should be able to come out playing on a defense with the rest of the starters returning.
Buster Skrine: This is surely not the name that Bears fans thought would be in the nickel cornerback spot this upcoming season. Yes, he is the biggest question mark on the defense at this time. He will be out to prove people wrong. Skrine will fit into a more aggressive defense that Chuck Pagano will be running. Expect him to rush the quarterback more frequently and make some noise in the backfield with his ability to slow plays down.
Leonard Floyd: Injuries seem to derail him every year. 2019 will be "prove it" season for Floyd. The team did pick up his fifth-year option this offseason to keep him around for 2020, which could be thanks to his improvement near the end of last season. The biggest key for him this offseason is to stay healthy. If he has an impressive year, that can only set him up for the long-term with a big-time contract from Bears.
With ten of 11 starters returning this season, the Bears are in a spot to return to being just as dominant as they were before. Who are you most excited for on this defense?
Featured Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune