The Bears struggled throughout the 2013 season to the tune of an 8-8 record.
But Bears defensive end Jared Allen doesn't think the team is anywhere near what last season's record would indicate.
Allen, who was introduced to the media at Halas Hall on Monday afternoon, doesn't see any reason to believe the Bears can't be a Super Bowl contender.
"It’s a cool feeling going into the offseason knowing you have the chance to win," Allen said. "In the NFL, as players, all we ask for is a chance to win every game you’re in. I’ve been on teams where we didn’t have that chance, and those are tough times.
"I think the Bears are closer to winning a Super Bowl than people think."
Allen is no stranger to the Bears and Soldier Field. In six years as a member of the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings, he never won a game in Chicago.
"In six years I've never won a game at Soldier Field. I'm excited to win a game here this year."
Allen believes in the defense he has around him. He spent Monday's media season hyping up everyone from Lance Briggs to defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, calling him an "absolute beast."
The hype didn't end with just the defense. Allen praised Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, stating that they were two of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He also gushed about Jay Cutler's ability to keep plays alive in the pocket and how tough it was to prepare for them.
“I know what it takes to prepare against this offense and it sucks," Allen said. "I’ve played against this offense enough to know it’s very potent and deadly."
Although retirement is always in the back of the five-time Pro Bowl defender's mind, he still believes that he can play at a high level and has plenty left in the tank.
"It's a matter of time before an offensive lineman will make a mistake and I'll take advantage of it. I have a lot left in this tank and my body feels good. I feel like we could make waves."