Chat with Wright, Jurko
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, our Chicago Bears reporter Michael Wright and John Jurkovic stop by to chat some football.
Wright joined ESPNChicago in April 2010 and covers the Bears for both ESPNChicago.com and Chicago's ESPN Radio 1000. Jurko played 10 NFL seasons and now co-hosts the Afternoon Saloon on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 11 a.m. CT/noon ET!
Michael (11:59 AM)
Hello Bears fans, your team is 2-0 with a big one set up for Monday night. Send your questions my way as we get this thing rolling.
i recently asked if the bears didnt commit turnovers did u think we could win by ten against dallas. u said yea we won by 7. now im asking do u think that since weve faced the 3 4 defense last week are we gonna b able to adjust or offense to stop the cheese heads from knocking my qb out the game. i have true hatred for the cheese heads an want bragging rights here in there lame town go bears!!!!!!
Michael (12:01 PM)
Jamal, it's not the 3-4 that gives the Bears trouble. If you go back and look at last year, you'll see that Jay Cutler did well against the Packers' base 3-4 formation. He struggled when the Packers went to nickel and dime looks. So my guess is that's what the Bears will work at this week.
Anthony (Board at Work)
Hey guys do you think the bears were one of the 4 teams involved in trying to get Vincent Jackson? I am tired of watching these big WR being able to go up and over any one covering them and making the catch. He would look so good in a Bears uniform and really make us a legit offensive power.
Michael (12:03 PM)
Anthony, one thing a lot of folks are losing sight of is the adjustment period for Vincent Jackson. It would take him some time to find his bearings in Mike Martz's offense, and I'm not sure he'd be worth what the Bears would've had to give up to acquire his service. You have to think it would take at least two or three games for Jackson to get acclimated to Chicago's system. That's too much time in my opinion. So, no. I don't think the Bears were one of the four teams trying to acquire Jackson.
Hani K. (Chicago Ridge)
True or False: Our only way to win against the Packers is to stop Aaron Rodgers?
Michael (12:03 PM)
Not many people stop Aaron Rodgers. The Bears just need to slow him down quite a bit. So I'd say "half true."
Will Aromashodu make it back onto the field this Monday? I think he learned his lesson.
Michael (12:05 PM)
Adam, I wouldn't say there was a lesson to be learned. From what the Lovie Smith and the players say, Aromashodu was banged up earlier in the week and missed too much practice time to fully absorb the game plan for the Cowboys. With what the Bears are doing offensively, you can count on different receivers making plays every week. The Bears told us that from the get-go. They're proving it now.
Steve R. (Springfield, MO)
How long before we see Major Wright claim a starting spot on defense this year?
Michael (12:05 PM)
Well, Steve, he's expected to be out for at least three weeks. His injury could actually take up to a month to heal, according to our sources.
What is you prediction on MNF, will Cutler outshine Rodgers this time on National TV?
Michael (12:07 PM)
I didn't want to reveal my prediction so early, but I see the Bears winning. I'm not sure I can say Cutler will outshine Rodgers, but I think the Bears, overall, are a better team.
Come Monday night, who will be the starting offensive tackles for the Bears?
Michael (12:08 PM)
Mo, we're about to find out in the next couple of hours, more than likely when the Bears go out to practice. The club hasn't given much indication as to what direction it plans to go. But things should be clearer soon. So check out ESPNChicago.com for updates today.
To beat GB, we have to be able to have a run game. Our Oline CANNOT seem to do that. What on earth can the bears do when they start going Nickel and Dime packages??
Michael (12:10 PM)
Mike, they've got to be able to run the ball when the Packers go to extra defensive backs. No doubt about it.
If the Bears are a better team then the Packers then do you think they might be able to contend for a Super Bowl? I know A LOT of people viewed Green Bay as the "sexy" pick to reach the Super Bowl this year, or were you not high on that bad wagon to begin with ?
Michael (12:12 PM)
Nick, glad you asked that question. I was one of the people who was skeptical of all the Green Bay Super Bowl talk prior to the season. I don't know why I felt that way, but I just had a gut feeling. As for the Bears and the Super Bowl, I'm gonna reserve judgement until after Monday Night's game. I like the club's potential. But I need more evidence.
Can you comment on the play of Pina Tisomeoa? I think he looks fantastic next to Briggs and Urlacher.
Michael (12:14 PM)
Pisa is hands down one of my favorite players on that defense. He's not a really big guy, but runs well and plays a lot bigger than his listed size. You've got to realize that Pisa is playing SAM linebacker. A SAM's job is to create pileups at the point of attack to spill the run to other defenders. He's done a phenomenal job of that thus far.
Has Dr. Peppers faced this Packers regime? If so, are you familiar with his performance against them? Just wondering.
Michael (12:15 PM)
Matt, I've got you, man. Peppers has played against the Packers five times, making 27 tackles, and three sacks in addition to forcing two fumbles.
Dave (Glendale Heights)
What's the state of Green Bay's offensive line these days? I know last year they had trouble protecting Rodgers (particularly in that first Minnesota game) so do you expect the D-line to have a big game?
Michael (12:19 PM)
Dave, there's a good chance that Bryan Bulaga takes over for Chad Clifton at left tackle this week. That's a tough spot to put Bulaga in for his first start, because you can bet the Bears are gonna find ways to get Julius Peppers matched up against them. With that being said, I'm not sure I can say the Bears' defensive line will have a big game. Rodgers will get rid of the ball quickly.
Does Charles Woodson try and cover Knox or Hester? I've heard it's Hester. Do you see the other in line for a HUGE game?
Michael (12:20 PM)
I would say that you can count on there being an adjustment period for the first series or two. Once the Bears get an idea of how the Packers will defend them, look for the Bears to adjust accordingly. The good thing about the Bears is they have a ton of weapons outside of Hester. If I were the Packers, I'd have Woodson on Knox. To me, he's the bigger threat.
mario (chi twn)
let not get too far ahead but if bears beat the pack they could potentially go 7-0 till bye week! your thoughts?
Michael (12:21 PM)
Not to get too far ahead, I was thinking at worst they could be 6-1 if they lose on Monday night.
I hate Green Bay. Sorry, I had to start with that. What is the progress of Chris Williams? Is it looking like he will play or will it be Frank Olay? By the way, I hate Green Bay!
Michael (12:22 PM)
Jon, how do you feel about Green Bay? Just kidding. Anyway, the Bears are keeping the status of Chris Williams pretty close to the vest. But we're about to go out to practice here pretty soon, so we'll at least get some idea of what direction the club plans to go. So look for updates from Jeff Dickerson and I on ESPNChicago.com today.
Yeah! Do you hate Green Bay as much as we do Michael?
Michael (12:23 PM)
Can't say that I do, Dan. I don't hate any team. You know us sports writers have to stay objective.
Ryan (DeKalb, IL)
How do you feel that Hester will be utilized this monday giving cutler's problems in the past with the nickel and dime defenses?
Michael (12:25 PM)
Ryan, I think he'd best be utilized in the slot against a nickel or dime. If that happens, my guess it the Packers keep extra safety help over the top of Hester. That would open up things underneath and on the opposite side of where the safety defending Hester lines up.
Do you think that the bears should move hester back to a full time returner? I do because it seems like he was a much bigger threat as a return man rather than receiver
Michael (12:26 PM)
So Brody, you don't like what Hester did against the Cowboys? He caught four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown (in which he made a really nice grab), and I think his arrow is still pointing up as he continues to learn the position.
Chris Williams (Chicago)
How is my hamstring looking? Am I gonna get the start this Monday night? And if so, am I playing on the left or right?
Michael (12:27 PM)
I don't know, Chris. But I'm curious as to how a tackle pulls a hammy. Does that happen when pass rushers just blow past you?
Iain (Cambridge, MA)
You don't often see the Bears special teams gives up return TDs. Was that a sign that the group has taken a step back?
Michael (12:29 PM)
Iain, you sound like Lovie Smith talking about "signs" and everything. I think it was just a good play by the Cowboys and a bad one by the Bears. Nothing more, nothing less.
Darek (Colorado Springs)
What's the attitude of Chester Taylor like? Wins do a lot for attitudes for the whole team but I thought he would have a lot more playing time and possibly compete for a starting job. Is he handling Forte's success and playing second fiddle like a pro?
Michael (12:32 PM)
Well, you've got to realize that Taylor has been second fiddle all his career. At the same time, he's always been the consummate pro. Taylor knows his role and takes advantage of every snap given to him. Besides that, Taylor knows the Bears will give him plenty of opportunities because the days of a one-back offense are coming to an end. Teams rarely use just one back for an entire game.
To me, it seems that a lot of prominent national writers and TV personalities just flat don't like the Bears. Is that accurate? If so, why?
Michael (12:35 PM)
Vin, you've got to realize that the writers aren't basing their opinions on emotion or flat out dislike. They are making informed opinions based on what's happened in the past combined with what's currently happening. A 2-0 start doesn't erase the futility of recent years. The national guys just want to see more evidence just like everyone else before gushing over the Bears. You've also got to realize that these writers don't see the Bears every day like Jeff or me. So their opinions are gonna be a little different.
Just wondering what your thoughts are if this team had a couple Olineman that was at least avg. top 3 team??
Michael (12:36 PM)
I wouldn't go as far as to say "top 3 team". But I will say the Bears would be close to unstoppable offensively.
Benny the Bull (Chicago)
The Bears were pretty bad in the preseason, it looked like Cutler would not survive the whole year playing behind that line. What do some of you people think others opinions on the Bears would be? They started the season out with a "win" against the Lion, but we all know what happened there. And we played very well against the Cowboys. The Bears don't deserve any respect until Monday night, in my opinion.
Michael (12:38 PM)
Benny, I'm giving them some respect now. But you're probably correct in your assessment. The Bears gave us excuses for why they underperformed in the preseason, and it appears they weren't pulling our leg. Also, when you look at Chicago's win over the Lions, I don't think you can dismiss the fact that the Lions are a much improved team. They took the Eagles to the wire the same way they did against the Bears. This Lions team is not the Detroit Lions teams we've become used to.
Tommy Hawk (Chicago)
Well said Benny, hey Michael who's covering that big TE, Finley for the Bears on Monday?
Michael (12:39 PM)
Look for a combination of LBs and safeties. In blitz situations you'll see the Bears man up Finley with a safety.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but are the Bears a finesse team? If so, will it and can it continue AND stay successful?
Michael (12:41 PM)
I wouldn't make that judgment just yet. We just haven't seen the running game pop the way we're used to here in Chicago. Typically, though, the running game takes a little more time to pop than other facets. I'm not saying Matt Forte is gonna rip the Packers for 100 this week. But I will say you can expect a Forte breakout game - in terms of rushing - sooner rather than later. So be patient. When it gets cold, I promise the ground game will be put on display.
Andre Canady (So Cal)
How is the chemistry between players on the Bears? Have you noticed any guys going out together or are we a group of enemies?
Michael (12:43 PM)
I'd say the chemistry is pretty good on this team. The players have definitely banded together, and sort of take an us-against-the-world mentality toward the game and us in the media. Guys are definitely hanging out off the field.
Michael, What do you think about the Calvin Johnson catch? TD or not?
Michael (12:44 PM)
This is kind of old, but I'll answer it. I thought it was a TD. But the refs got the call correct. Blame the rule, not the refs for that no-TD call.
Do you think DJ Moore is going to be a solid nickle or was he a one-hit-woner? I feel the credit for one of his INTs and forced fumble should go to Peanut (which is very encouraging to see him come back with some huge plays). And what is with his big mouth?
Michael (12:46 PM)
I like D.J. Moore as the nickel. But I'm a huge fan of scrappy players. You're correct, Peanut definitely gets credit for the first interception. As far as his "big mouth" is concerned, I think it's refreshing to hear a guy's true opinions as opposed to the canned responses we typically get. Moore is a sports writer's dream in terms of interviews. He's a really confident guy, and I don't see anything wrong with that. He's backed up all his talk thus far.
Esteban (calumet city)
will the bears utilize quick dropbacks and 4 reciever sets to offset the packers rush?
Michael (12:48 PM)
Esteban, I don't think the Bears will go that route, initially. I think they'll try to run, and utilize some of the longer drops at first. The quick drops would be Plan B if they start getting too much pressure.
Do you ever go have beers or socialize with any of the players?
Michael (12:49 PM)
I socialized with some of them during training camp, but typically, I try to keep my distance so it won't affect objectivity. You can't get too close to the guys.
Dom C (Wisconsin)
Im afraid that Mad Martz is going through the tape of the Cardinals playoff game. What should I do to prevent this from happening again?
Michael (12:49 PM)
Play better next time against the Cardinals. Martz would be smart to go though that tape.
Michael- do you forsee Marcus Harrison being active on gameday at all this year? What is the story on him?
Michael (12:52 PM)
Jeff, I'm gonna find that out for you. Marcus warned me before the opener that he might be inactive because he can't help much on special teams. I think the play of Matt Toeaina plays a part in this though. I'll find out more for you today, though.
Nick A (Deerfield IL)
Not that you aren't aces, Michael, but where's Jurko? Getting a mustard stain out of his shirt?
Michael (12:53 PM)
He's coming very soon, Nick.
Andre Canady (So Cal)
Can we honestly now say that Urlacher is back to his pro bowl form? Do u think that he will be a hall of famer? He is only a few more tackles away from being the all time chicago bears leader.
Michael (12:54 PM)
My answer would be "yes" to all your questions. I asked Urlacher about this, and he told me he doesn't care about any of that stuff. You get the sense that he's telling you the truth, which I thought was pretty humble of him.
What are the chances Martz is watching the tape of the Cards playoff drubbing of the Packers for ideas on how to shred the packers defense?
Michael (12:54 PM)
Jon, he's not doing his job as offensive coordinator if he isn't watching it.
J. Howell (Va. Beach, Va)
Do you think our defense is back to its old form? I mean, we look real live out there and we are flying around.
Michael (12:57 PM)
J., I believe so. People like to dog the simplicity of the 4-3 defense. But when it's executed correctly, it's a thing of beauty. The 4-3 is about outexecuting your opponent, which is what the Bears have done at the right times so far this season. And you're right, the guys are flying around; especially all three linebackers.
There has been recent talks about Jay Cutler and Kristen Cavallari. Do you see this affecting his play?
Michael (12:59 PM)
It hasn't so far. In fact, she might be helping his game. You know how superstitious players can be. If lunch dates with Cavallari keep him playing well, you'd better believe that Cutler will continue to go on them. I can't knock him for that.
Michael (12:59 PM)
Guys, that's my time. I'm gonna turn things over to Jurko. Check ESPNChicago.com all day for updates on all things Bears.
ESPNChicago.com (1:02 PM)
Thanks Michael. Unfortunately, Jurko is running late, and since he lost his phone, we can't do it by phone or find out how close he is. We'll give him a couple of minutes, so please stand by. Thanks.
ESPNChicago.com (1:09 PM)
Sorry guys. He's still not here, and I don't want you waiting forever. Check back Monday at 11 CT for our regular chat. We'll talk Packers. Thanks.