Chat with Jeff Dickerson
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Monday, Jeff Dickerson stops by for his weekly Chicago Bears chat.
Dickerson, who will chat from 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CT, is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 11 a.m. CT/noon ET!
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Jeff Dickerson (11:57 AM)
Bears are 3-2 after dropping a tough one to the Saints yesterday 26-18. Jay Cutler enters the media room at 11:30, but we talk about the loss right now for the next 30 minutes. As Wanny would say, 'fire away'.
Joe B (Oxford, CT)
Are the Marshall comments after the game a concern? Clearly he is bothered by Jeffery being the guy the last 2 weeks? Can't he see eventually this makes the offense tougher to defend with MB and Forte also in the mix?
Jeff Dickerson (12:01 PM)
Brandon Marshall is a terrific player. But like most elite No. 1 wide receivers, he's incredibly high-maintenance and selfish. He will never be happy unless he sees the football early and often during games. That will never change. But....Marshall is a great player. I can't stress that enough. Bears need to roll with it. However, there is a reason why Marshall is already on his third team despite his unreal talent.
Darryl (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
How did the Bears lose a game where Jay Cutler has a 72% completion percentage, 358 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTS? If you had told me that would be Cutler's stat line I would have guaranteed a win.
Jeff Dickerson (12:04 PM)
Darryl, I think the Bears lost because; (1) New Orleans is just a better team, (2) the defense didn't score a touchdown, (3) special teams didn't score a touchdown, and (4) the offense fell behind early against a team with a high-powered offense like the Saints. The Bears needed several breaks to go their way to knock off the Saints, and it just didn't happen.
Pua Ortiz (NW Indiana)
What are the Bears going to do at DT? It seems like a desperate situation just got more desperate.
Jeff Dickerson (12:05 PM)
If Nate Collins is out for the year, I expect the Bears will try and sign another DL off the street. But I don't believe that will enhance the overall quality of the great. Collins will be a loss. The hope is Stephen Paea returns to face the Giants.
Is it time to panic yet?!
Jeff Dickerson (12:07 PM)
No. The Bears are 3-2 with winnable games coming up versus the Giants and Redskins, followed by a bye week. There is no reason to panic. Now, if the Bears go out there Thursday night and get drilled by the winless Giants, well, that would change things. But right now, the Bears are probably ahead of schedule at 3-2.
Jeff,Please tell me that Mel Tucker only has a one year contract.
Jeff Dickerson (12:09 PM)
I don't know the exact details of Tucker's contract but it's a multi-year deal. The Browns would have hired Tucker if the Bears had not, so Chicago had to offer him a nice contract to get him here.
Have there been any comments from Briggs on his 4th down penalty? I understand he is trying to make a play, but I was shocked by this mistake.
Jeff Dickerson (12:11 PM)
Briggs did not talk yesterday after the game by his locker. Maybe somebody caught him on the way out, but I don't know. He had a great game (14 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFLs) until the penalty. It was just a mistake. But I haven't spoken to him about it.
Amir from Rogers park [via mobile]
How serious is nick Collins injury?
Jeff Dickerson (12:13 PM)
Looked pretty serious the way his knee buckled. Collins is having an MRI today. Best case scenario he probably is out for a good chuck of time. Worst case is he's done for the year.
Justice ( MPLS ) [via mobile]
What were some positives that came out of the game?
Jeff Dickerson (12:14 PM)
Alshon Jeffery, Briggs (until the offsides penalty), Cutler (except for the fumble and near INT), Collins (before the injury), Podlesh.
At this pace, do you think in the mind of Emery and management, Cutler is playing good enough for the Bears to give him a new contract?
Jeff Dickerson (12:15 PM)
I think the Bears are still going to wait, likely to until after the season to make their final decision.
I'm not sure if the cap space is available, but wouldn't Richard Seymour be a great one year pick up at DT?
Jeff Dickerson (12:18 PM)
Bears don't have much cap space. That's the problem. He is not a veteran minimum guy. I believe Seymour earned $15 million a year with the Raiders. Bears don't have that kind of money.
Brian Urlacher (chicago)
Bears would be 5-0 had I been resigned. Emery is an idiot for doing that. Am I right?
Jeff Dickerson (12:19 PM)
The Bears' defense would be better with #54, but I don't think the Bears are 5-0 with him. The Bears are a slightly above .500 team. They are perfect at 3-2. Sorry, Brian.
BH (Costa Rica)
I haven't seen this focused on much, but I think the Bears dearly miss Toub. The special teams have allowed some big returns, taken some really costly and avoidable penalties (another mistake by Weems this week, the too many men penalty a couple of weeks ago, etc.) and while Hester had one awesome game, the rest of the time he's been fairly invisible. Add in a little inconsistency from Podlesh and a blocked extra point and it's pretty clear this group has regressed. Is my critique on point or am I missing something?
Jeff Dickerson (12:23 PM)
Dave Toub is the best special teams coordinator in the NFL, so losing him hurts the Bears by default. Toub also had Kevin O'Dea on his staff as the assistant special teams' coach. O'Dea has the reputation as being one of the best coaches when it comes to working with kickers in the league. I think Podlesh is worse off without O'Dea. And yes, I think the whole group would be better off if Toub remained. But it didn't happen. Joe DeCamillis has been in the league for a long time and the Bears still have plenty of talent on special teams. I thought the unit was much better versus the Saints. That is how I would expect them to play for the rest of the year. There is too much talent and experience on the Bears' special teams for them not to be good.
I know Melton is hurt now, but this is virtually the same D-line as last year. Do you think Marinelli really was that big of a difference maker?
Jeff Dickerson (12:25 PM)
Marinelli is a great DL coach. The Bears wanted to keep him but he left for Dallas. I don't think it's a stretch to say the Bears' defensive line would be better if he was still in Chicago. But not even Marinelli can account for injuries. The group is beat up. Plus, Peppers hasn't exactly been dominant and McClellin looks like he belongs in a 3-4.
I say find a NT and switch to 3-4. This D's age is showing.
Jeff Dickerson (12:27 PM)
The Bears' personnel is 4-3, not 3-4. If Phil Emery wants to switch to a 3-4, he needs to wait until after the season to do it. You don't blow up something five weeks into the regular season with veteran players accustomed to playing a certain defense.
I don't necessarily understand all of the hate that Chris Conte is generating recently. I thought that Major Wright was the one that was getting caught out of position more then Conte was. Thoughts?
Jeff Dickerson (12:27 PM)
Both Conte and Wright need to pick it up.
I saw Wilbon tweet that if he were in the Bears front office, he would seriously consider cutting Earl Bennett after his performance yesterday. Given his recent salary cut, and the other receivers on the roster, what are the chances that actually happens?
Jeff Dickerson (12:28 PM)
I wouldn't go that far. Earl had a bad drop. But he's also the guy that caught a TD last week and had that insane grab vs. Pittsburgh that put the game out of reach.
With the way Alshon Jeffery has lit it up lately, could the Bears actually have TWO 1,000 yard receivers? That's hard to imagine after years of having a roster full of 3rd string recievers in the pre-Brandon Marshall era.
Jeff Dickerson (12:30 PM)
I think it's possible. Jeffery looks like he's going to be a star, if he stays healthy. He's almost halfway there with 429 receiving yards through five games. Marshall has 378 yards.
Jeff Dickerson (12:30 PM)
Thank you everybody. Cutler is about to start. Enjoy the short week. We'll talk soon.