Jeff Joniak talks expectations for new Bears on Bourbonnais Day - FOX 32 News Chicago

Jeff Joniak talks expectations for new Bears on Bourbonnais Day

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's like Christmas for us Bear fans, as the players trickled in for Bourbonnais Day. The excitement was high Tuesday, as players reported to the site for physicals and meetings.

The fabulous voice of the Chicago Bears, Jeff Joniak, joined FOX Chicago's Lou Canellis to talk about expectations for this year's team.

"Every team in the league all 32 have similar expectations that's the beauty the National Football League," Joniak said. "But here in town, I think the addition of Brandon Marshall, not unlike Jay Cutler and Julius Peppers in those years, really boosted the enthusiasm around here."

Joniak said the Bears haven't really had anyone like Marshall in their history. Marshall is a big physical top 10 receiver in the National Football League, Joniak said - some might even say top five.

"In this division, a guy like this will boost your offense, make everyone around them play better," Joniak said, "including the quarterback Jay Cutler."

Joniak thinks the overall roster is exceptional at this point, and the Bears have done some great things that may not be on the public's radar yet.

"We've got the pro-bowler in Marshall," Joniak said, "but we've added so many pieces in key positions; depth at cornerback, depth at linebacker, special teams boost, receiver positions now very well stacked. Not only am I talking about the veterans, but the draft picks as well. We're going to get to see solid back ups at quarterback and running back as well."

Joniak's biggest worry for the team this season: health.

"All I care about at training camp is that you get out healthy," Joniak said. "That includes the 30-plus guys and the young kids, you don't want to see any major injuries."

"I think by and large in camps nowadays in the National Football League that's all players and coaches want is to do some good work, get better as a team everyday but just get out of it healthy, so you have a chance week one of the regular season," Joniak said. "Secondly, sort out the offensive line. What are the best five that you're going to go to work with and go to war with every single week?"

Joniak said if the Bears can get a 16 game season out of their five starters, they're more likely to be a playoff team in this league. He believes there is hope.

Left tackle Chris Williams was the first to show up Tuesday. It's no surprise, since he is in a heated battle for that starting spot along with J'Marcus Webb.

"It's going to be the battle to watch throughout training camp," Joniak said. "I think Mike Tice, the offensive line, and the offense in general would like to get this settled as soon as possible. But this could be a camp long battle."

Joniak said that there are similar battles taking place on the interior, right guard and left guard.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out but there are plenty of guys to choose from to get the five we feel good about," Joniak said.

Canellis reports it's going to be a tough NFC North because the Packers, the Lions, the Bears, and many feel a much improved Minnesota team are all great competitors.

The first Bears practice begins on Thursday at Bourbonnais, pads on Friday, and hitting Saturday.

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