Statistically, the Bears defense was one of the worst in the NFL last year in an injury-marred campaign. They finished 30th in both points and total yards, and were also dead last against the run, yielding 161.4 yards per game on the ground.

Despite problems all over the field, linebacker Lance Briggs doesn’t feel the Bears are that far off from returning to defensive glory.

“There are a lot of things that we’re going to have to correct this year,” Briggs said. “Tackling was really bad. I mean, everything we did was almost all atrocious.”

But Briggs has high expectations for the Bears defense. “Everything we’re doing now is not just to correct that but to be better and get ourselves back to a top-five defense,” he said.

A top-five defense would almost guarantee a Super Bowl championship, assuming the Bears offense doesn’t regress, so I have doubts the defense can make that kind of turnaround in one season. But I’d be surprised if the combination of better health and the new additions to the unit didn’t at least make them leap up to the middle of the pack, and that would be good enough to compete for a championship.