LINK to the article Bears' Davis a potential breakout player in '12 MARK STROTMAN
With a little more than three weeks remaining until Bears' players arrive for training camp on July 25 (first day of camp is July 26), NFL.com is looking at potential breakout players in 2012.
And on the list for the Bears was tight end Kellen Davis, who should benefit this year from a coaching change and, subsequently, more opportunities in the passing game.
The four-year veteran has played in all 64 games of his NFL career, but was buried beneath the depth chart for his first three seasons. Lucky for him, his impressive special teams play kept him both on the roster and on the field.
And when Greg Olsen was traded to Carolina, Davis entered a starting role in 2011, where he caught 18 passes for 206 yards and a team-best five touchdowns. Davis' numbers were made all the more impressive when considering offensive coordinator Mike Martz's lack of a tight end in his offensive game plan.
While Davis played in "more than 70 percent of the Bears' offensive snaps" last year, he was primarily used as a blocker on running downs and a pass protector on passing plays.
Still, the Bears saw Davis' improvement and potential to the team when they signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract in march.
And the introduction of Mike Tice, a former NFL tight end with the Seahawks, Redskins and Vikings, as the new offensive coordinator could mean big things for Davis.
Brandon Marshall is the primary target for quarterback Jay Cutler, but the Bears' signal caller loves using his tight ends. And with Martz out of the picture, Davis could be in line for a very successful season under Tice.