Chat with Michael Wright, Jeff Dickerson
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Join us on Monday for our weekly Bears chat.
Michael Wright kicks things off from 1-1:30 p.m. and Jeff Dickerson wraps it up from 1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. (All times CT.)
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 1 CT/2 p.m. ET!
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Michael (2:00 PM)
Hello from beautiful downtown Detroit. I'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes. Then Jeff Dickerson will take over at 1:30. So let's get it going.
Shaun (The empty space between Martz's ears)
Is the rollout play in the Bears offense? Jay is a fairly mobile guy who had success with this in college and in Shanny's system. Getting him out of the pocket - where he seems to have jittery feet, and I don't blame him one bit with the garbage line he has - can buy time and possibly stop him from getting drilled every time he drops back. I could see Martz not liking this call because he thinks it'll cut the field in half, but with Jay's arm, he has enough strength to make throws across the field. Martz had a few good years in STL and is living off them 10 years later. The guy needs to adapt. Add the rollout and play-action into the O and let's get the potentially elite Jay back - no more game manager Jay! Much Thanks, Shaun
Michael (2:03 PM)
You want the rollout, Shaun? You sure? So far this year, Jay Cutler hasn't been very accurate from outside the pocket. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he's completed 2 of 11 from outside the pocket this season for 35 yardes, a QBR of 1.3 and passer rating of 40.3. Because of the protections in Martz's system there aren't a ton of rollouts in the playbook. But just wanted to give you an idea of how Cutler has performed outside the pocket so far this season.
gibby (springfield, mo)
exactly who is going to be starting offensive line tonight for da bears?
Michael (2:05 PM)
According to my sources it will be C Roberto Garza, RG Lance Louis, RT, Frank Omiyale, LG Chris Williams, LT J'Marcus Webb. The plan is to keep a tight end lined up on Omiyale's side most of the game, while helping with the running backs. A good source that I trust told me the Bears have a great plan for handling Detroit's defensive line. He wouldn't divulge that plan, but he was very confident about it. So we'll see.
Taking the crowd out of the game early has to be a key tonight, yeah?
Michael (2:05 PM)
Definitely, Matt. If the crowd stays in this one, it could snowball into something ugly.
Isn't it hypocritical for Bears fans (and some analysts) to call Suh a dirty player who takes cheap shots with the intent to injure, and then turn around and say the Bears' best chance of winning is another season-ending injury to Stafford?
Michael (2:07 PM)
Mark, gotta say I agree with you on this one. Now I don't know if I've heard any analysts say that Chicago's best shot would be to take out Stafford. But if that is being said, I've got to say that's something I don't believe in. Never wish injury on anyone. This is folks' livelihoods we're talking about.
Do you see Angelo looking at a O-line before the trade deadline?
Michael (2:08 PM)
Leroy, where are these great offensive linemen? Pass protectors are a valuable commodity. That's why you don't see a ton of them out on the streets, and it's why when teams get them they don't give them up. Jerry can look all he wants, but offensive linemen won't be falling out of the sky. Trust me.
How far away is Carimi?
Michael (2:10 PM)
Ryan, the plan is to try to get him back into the lineup in the Vikings game on Oct. 16. Offensive line coach Mike Tice says it all depends on Carimi's pain tolerance. But to be honest, I think Oct. 16 will be too soon. I haven't seen Carimi doing anything on the field at practice. And I think a four-week layoff would really affect Carimi's conditioning. So in my mind, Oct. 16 is a bit of a stretch.
I know anything can happen wk to wk in the NFL! But do u really think the Bears can beat the Lions tonite? thx
Michael (2:11 PM)
You're right, John - anything can happen. But my prediction hasn't changed. I think the Lions win this one convincingly.
mike (Great White North)
When will the Major Wright era end? Big time disappointment...
Michael (2:12 PM)
Mike, I think it's over now. My expectation is that Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather are your starting safeties tonight.
Shaun K (Bartlett, IL)
Max Kromar?! are you serious?! and he was on the bears (angelo) radar for "quite some time"?! is this a joke?! thoughts?
Michael (2:12 PM)
Shaun, I think you said everything I was thinking.
Is Chris Harris playing? Also I heard the Lions have secondary injuries as well
Michael (2:13 PM)
Steve, Chris says he's playing. The Lions do have some injuries in the secondary, but I don't think it's anything major that would drastically affect this game.
Tim (Grand Rapids, MI)
It seems to me the bears always play well in primetime games. Is this just me or is it wrong to expect a strong performance tonight?
Michael (2:15 PM)
Tim, I've said the Lions will win this one convincingly. But I'm beginning to waver a little on my prediction. Because of the significance of this game and the fact that it's prime time, I think the Bears come to play tonight. I'm beginning this will be much closer than I originally predicted.
I've heard that the last couple years Ford Field has been like an alternate home for the Bears. Do you think Bears fans will make up a large portion of the attendance tonight?
Michael (2:16 PM)
David, it has been that way in the past. But this Lions team is red hot and looking for its first 5-0 start since the 50s. So my guess (I won't know for sure until tonight) is that fan support for this team is at or near an all-time high right now.
Tom ((Naperville, IL))
If the bears lose this game, which I don't think they will, but if they do will the season be essentially over?
Michael (2:17 PM)
Tom, it will seem that way at first. But the reality is there would still be way too much football left to play to write off the Bears.
Will the Bears run D have success tonight?
Michael (2:17 PM)
They really need to. They're allowing 5.1 yards per carry right now, and 124.3 yards per game. Not good.
Zach (The Region)
How in the world are the Bears going to cover Megatron? Tillman + a safety all night?
Michael (2:18 PM)
Zach, the corners are definitely gonna need safety help over the top against Johnson.
Michael- you're a little misleading with the "numbers outside the pocket" stats. Those also can reflect a broken play or one where Cutler is flushed from the pocket- Not necessarily a designed rollout.
Michael (2:20 PM)
You're right. But what the numbers do reveal is that Cutler has been inaccurate. That was the point. Regardless of whether you're flushed, you should still be accurate with your throws.
Forte, has got to be the focus of the Lions D, right? But wouldn't you have thought the same thing about Carolina? Will Forte's total yard be closer to 200 or 75?
Michael (2:21 PM)
The big difference is Carolina didn't have the personnel in the front seven to shut down Forte. I think the Lions do.
Is Stafford mobile? What does the scouting report say we should attack him on defense?
Michael (2:21 PM)
He's not mobile, really. Stafford just gets the ball out of his hands very quickly.
"beautiful downtown Detroit" ... i hope you're not being facetious! ;)
Michael (2:22 PM)
Oh no, I've got a great view from my room on the 68th floor. Seriously.
Justin (THE Chi)
I think Derrick Rose would make a better safety than Meriweather/Wright combined...how can the Bears get him to play during the NBA lockout?
Michael (2:23 PM)
I'm only posting this because it's funny. Good job, Justin.
Best way to slow down Calvin Johnson is pressure by the front four?
Michael (2:24 PM)
That's the best way to slow down any good quarterback receiver combination because you force the QB to throw before he's ready.
Chris (Mount Prospect)
As far as those Cutler numbers outside the pocket, how many of them are designed and how many is he running for his life when the play is breaking down. Kind of misleading to quote those stats.
Michael (2:25 PM)
Let's forget about those numbers. How about the fact that overall, Cutler has completed less than 50 percent of ALL his passes over the past three weeks with a TD to INT ratio of 3 to 3. Is that misleading?
Michael, it seems like the Bears had success running outside the tackles last week with Tyler Clutts leading the way. Is there more of an emphasis on that this week with the interior line that Detroit poses? If so, how is Detroit against teams that run outside?
Michael (2:27 PM)
AZ, they've got pretty good ends and a very athletic group of young linebackers. Detroit's front four goes eight deep in my opinion. That still doesn't mean the Bears can't put a hat on a hat in the running game, and open the lanes for Matt Forte.
Special teams edge?
Michael (2:27 PM)
Bears all day.
Noel (Glendale Heights IL)
Who's out the door next at Halas Hall? Martz? or Angelo?
Michael (2:28 PM)
Noel, let's not fire anyone just yet. We're not even halfway through the season. Let's see how things play out in the next few weeks.
Les Gaztambide (Albuquerque, NM)
Why isn't highly touted rookie DT Stephen Paea playing? I'd like to see him in there seeing that our run-D is horrible right now.
Michael (2:28 PM)
Les, that's something I want to know too. We need to put our reporter hats on and figure out what the deal is. I'm with you though.
Gibby (Springfield, MO)
who's in the door next...Tice as OC?
Michael (2:30 PM)
Nice. Did you know Gibby that, originally, Jerry Angelo actually suggested that Lovie should make Tice the OC? Remember, the Bears hired Tice before they brought in Martz and they didn't give the OL coach a title initially.
Michael (2:31 PM)
Well, that's my time. Jeff Dickerson is on the scene, and he's gonna carry you guys home. Make sure to check us out tonight on ESPNChicago.com.
Jeff Dickerson (2:32 PM)
Greetings from the 12th floor. 68th floor? Mike must be in the penthouse.
Jeff Dickerson (2:33 PM)
Just to touch on a previous question. If the Bears thought Stephen Paea could help them slow down the run, he'd be active. The fact he's been inactive the first four weeks is a troubling sign.
What happened the Cutler having the best footwork of his career this season? Hes not getting much more pressure than last season so whats going on with him.
Jeff Dickerson (2:35 PM)
Cutler doesn't have good footwork. That was another fabrication by Martz. But Cutler has posted at least a 100 QB rating 22 times in his career. He can play at a very high level. He's just not a guy to rally the troops or fight through major adversity. Cutler needs help.
Ken (Tinley Park)
Taking the Paea example into consideration, is it possible that the Bears have a lack of judgment when evaluating talent, or how a specific player should/could be used?
Jeff Dickerson (2:40 PM)
I think the Bears have a serious talent evaluation problem. Let's look at the top three rounds from 2005-2010. Benson - gone. Bradley - bust/hurt. Manning - gone. Hester - homerun. Dvoracek - bust/hurt. Olsen - gone. Bazuin - bust/hurt. Wolfe - gone. Okwo - bust. C. Williams - teetering. Forte - homerun. Bennett - promising. Harrison - bust. Gilbert - bust. Iglesias - bust. Wright - benched. Scary.
michael (Ft. bragg NC)
At this point in his career, cutler is 28 and he is what he is, he is a superior game manager that if you give him decent time and adequate receivers he can make some plays, He will win some games against lesser opponents but wont win many against the more talented teams, do you agree?
Jeff Dickerson (2:41 PM)
I believe if the Bears don't surround Cutler with the proper talent, he will be continue to be the exact type of QB you describe. He can win with good players. He can't make average players great.
Adam (San Diego)
It absolutely kills me to see the Bears in the position they are at wide receiver and Brandon Lloyd having so much success in Denver.
Jeff Dickerson (2:44 PM)
To fair Adam, and this is coming from an Illinois graduate, Lloyd did not perform well in Chicago. He took way too long to recover from a sprained knee. I can't blame the Bears for letting him go. We did not see this Brandon Lloyd in a Bears uniform.
I have a question that I want your honest opinion on. If Tom Brady was the bears qb, would he be successful with that offensive line?
Jeff Dickerson (2:45 PM)
Even Brady has Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Gronkowski. In the past he used to throw to Randy Moss. But Brady on this team, and the offense would be better, but not by a huge amount.
Derek (Portland, OR)
why little to no Khalil Bell so far. He's been explosive with his opportunities and when Barber was out, still saw little to no action
Jeff Dickerson (2:47 PM)
Bell missed a crucial block vs. New Orleans. After that, we haven't seen him much on offense. I think the blown assignment has something to do with it.
Why do you use the ESPN handle for your twitter account? All the other chicago guys go with their names.
Jeff Dickerson (2:49 PM)
We're company men. Just kididng, you can follow Michael at @mikecwright.
Gibby (springfield, mo)
any chance Hanson or Donahue kicks to Hester tonight?
Jeff Dickerson (2:50 PM)
Bears better hope so.
The Bears have to do (fill in the blank) to win tonight.
Jeff Dickerson (2:50 PM)
Justin (Irvine CA)
What areas do you see the Bears targeting in next years draft?
Jeff Dickerson (2:52 PM)
In my opinion, the need a WR, DE, OG, CB. Will they draft the right people at those positions......can's say for sure.
Jesse (Dallas, Texas)
Jeff-Is Cutler damaged goods? Any chance that Cutler is gone for good? Thanks
Jeff Dickerson (2:53 PM)
I believe there is a fear Cutler has checked out this year. But we'll find out tonight. I'm not writing off the season after 4 games.
What will the plan be id Frank Omiyale fails to do his job yet again? Will he be pulled?
Jeff Dickerson (2:55 PM)
Yes. If Chris Spencer is active, and Omiyale can't do the job, they could push Louis back out to RT and insert Spencer, or maybe Edwin Williams at RG. Mike Tice won't hesitate to make a change.
Its hilarious how everyone is handing this game to the Lions and looking ahead to a game in week 10. Keep it up, I'll talk to you all tomorrow with the Bears W.
Jeff Dickerson (2:56 PM)
That would be nice. It could happen.
You mentioned the lack of talent evaluation. Is it the evaluation, or are the coaches doing a poor job of developing these guys?
Jeff Dickerson (2:57 PM)
It's more on the evaluators. Coaches can't coach injured players. Why do the Bears draft so many injured players? Think about it.
frank (river north)
i state again, Lions beat inconsistent Bucs, miserable Chiefs, Vikes that are below average, and Cowboys who literally handed them the game. Why does no one else see this team as overrated???? they're good, but not great.
Jeff Dickerson (2:58 PM)
Good point Frank. But it hurts Bears that this game is in Detroit. At home this week, I'd take the Bears.
When will the Bears build an offensive strategy that works? What I mean is, look at the Packers or Patriots or some other teams where they develop their offensive players well.
Jeff Dickerson (2:59 PM)
Maybe when the next offensive coordinator gets here and they start drafting/signing good offensive players. See you in what.....10 years. I'm only kidding.
Jeff Dickerson (2:59 PM)
Thank you everybody. Have to jump on C,J,H on ESPN 1000. We chat tonight live during the game at ESPNChicago.com.