Chat with Jeff Dickerson, Michael Wright
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Monday, Jeff Dickerson and Michael Wright stop by for their weekly Chicago Bears chat.
Dickerson, who kicks things off at 2 p.m.-2:30 p.m. CT, is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN Radio 1000. Wright, who chats from 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m., joined ESPNChicago in April 2010 after spending the previous four seasons covering the Jaguars. A native Texan, Wright was a four-year football letterman at West Texas A&M University.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
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Jeff Dickerson (3:00 PM)
Just finished up the on-line show, ready to field more questions about the horrible state of the Bears.
Jeff Dickerson (3:04 PM)
Sorry...my son started screaming from the other room. He must have been watching the Bears tape from yesterday.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear JeffAre you shocked that Mark Bulger isn't with the Bears?
Jeff Dickerson (3:05 PM)
The Bears actually called Bulger, but he told them no. Doesn't look as if Bulger is ever going to play in the NFL again.
I think Roy Williams, Omiyale, Bowman, Merriweather are all gone next season. You agree? Keep up the good work fellas
Jeff Dickerson (3:07 PM)
Every game on that list is gone, with the possible exception of Bowman. I believe Bowman needs to start the last two games at CB instead of Tim Jennings. Bowman is actually a very valuable special teamer, plus he had 6 picks a few years ago, so I want to see a little more before I cut the cord. Although at this point, Bowman probably can't wait to get out of here.
Chris Brown (Winnipeg)
Is it finally time to admit the Mike Martz as offensive co-ordinator experiment a failure and begin looking for someone who better fits Chicago Bears-style football ?
Jeff Dickerson (3:08 PM)
Mike Tice is a firm believer in running the football. I feel like his style matches up well with Lovie's philosophy. If the Bears go in-house, I suspect Tice will be the guy.
Morris (Hickory Hills)
Are you ready to commit to J'Marcus Webb as the Bears LT or do you see that position as a serious need heading into the offseason?
Jeff Dickerson (3:14 PM)
J'Marcus Webb looked awful yesterday (who didn't), but there have been times during the year he's played okay. If I could upgrade at OT in the offseason, I would, but who knows if the Bears are capable of doing so. Maybe Carimi turns out to be the LT and Webb moves back to the right side. It's just too early to tell because of the injuries on the line. I don't know who fits where in 2012, and we won't know until next training camp. But I give Webb about a C+ on the year.
Would it be in the Bears best interest to start Nathan Enderle if they have been eliminated from the playoffs by Sunday?
Jeff Dickerson (3:17 PM)
Either way, it's going to be terrible with Josh McCown or Nate Enderle at QB. But I'd throw McCown to the wolves in Green Bay, then start Enderle on the road New Years Day versus the Vikings. Enderle has no shot to play well against the Packers, none, so why destroy the kid? Just my opinion.
Lee (Twentynine Palms, CA)
Why would the Bears not be interested in adding a proven veteran quarterback, like McNabb to their roster instead of their current backups?
Jeff Dickerson (3:20 PM)
McNabb should have been added after he was released from Minnesota. But at this point, why bother? It's not like McNabb will be on the team next year, and honestly, why would McNabb want to play for the Bears now without Forte or Knox. I'd tell the Bears to whistle Dixie.
Has WR Sam Hurd ever had any off the field issues? Could the Bears have seen this coming?
Jeff Dickerson (3:24 PM)
As far as I know, Hurd never had any documented off the field issues that would have popped up during a background check. He had off the field issues obviously, but I don't know if the Bears could have or should have known about them. My only complaint about the way the Bears handled the Hurd affair was how on the muscle they got defending their system of player evaluations. After one of your players gets accused of trying to start up a pretty big drug ring, how can any employer act so innocent and yell at those asking tough questions. That was my only beef.
Justin (Des Moines)
Well, it's probably time to look to next season. What do you think are the Bears' foremost needs?
Jeff Dickerson (3:26 PM)
Here's how I would start: WR, CB, LB, OL, DE, QB, S, RB and TE. Did I miss anything?
JD - I think Bears fans are being too hard on Hanie. As an olive branch of sorts, I definitely plan on giving him my business when he's selling insurance or kitchen cabinets next year.
Jeff Dickerson (3:28 PM)
You are a true gentleman!!
is lovie job on the line or is he here to stay
Jeff Dickerson (3:29 PM)
Lovie is under contract for two more seasons, so I don't see any scenario in which he does not return in 2012.
Jeff (Houston, TX)
At this point, why WOULDN'T you let Enderle play the rest of the season? We saw what Hanie can do. McCown came in and threw his INT. Season is over, so why not?
Jeff Dickerson (3:32 PM)
I'm all for letting the young guys play, I just don't feel he deserves to be trust into action on the road, against the defending champs, on national TV, without Forte or Knox, behind a shaken offensive line, without the benefit of ever taking a live NFL snap. Is that a fair way to evaluate a young QB? Some people might think it is. For me, I'd rather play him the final game of the year and see what happens. I'm not saying I'm right, that's just how I would do it.
Jeff Dickerson (3:32 PM)
Okay guys. Thank you. Happy Holidays. I'll turn it over to my guy Mike Wright.
Jeff Hall (Sterling, VA)
Given the situation the Bears are in regarding playoff contention, what is the best case scenario for the Bears and the other contenders?
Michael (3:34 PM)
Simple, Jeff. Bears have to win out. Everyone else has to lose.
Brian (Philadelphia, PA)
Now that our playoff hopes are on life-support and the plug was essentially pulled, where do you think replenishing the LB corp. ranks on the off-season to-do list?
Michael (3:35 PM)
I think it's pretty high on the priority list. In fact, just heard Sunday that the Bears tried to grab a veteran early on to play that SLB spot.
Do you think we shld get a new coach along with a new GM. I know what Lovie did last season but then, is it possible
Michael (3:36 PM)
Why, Sumesh? It's not Lovie's fault that the GM brought in a No. 2 quarterback who isn't quite a No. 2. It's not Lovie's fault that this team has been decimated by injury, either.
Hi mike what do the bears have to do to beat green bay this sunday night?
Michael (3:38 PM)
Kidnap Aaron Rodgers, Victor. No seriously, he's the key to what they do. I think Kansas City showed a nice little blueprint for slowing down the Packers. You've got to make Rodgers uncomfortable back there. It's rare that Rodgers has a bad game. Pressuring him gives you the best chance of that happening, though. Obviously, the team has to shut down the run, too, so the Bears can't live off the play action stuff.
Hey Mike, where do you think the Bears need upgrading the most? Is there really a position you feel they are set at? It seems like they need everything
Michael (3:39 PM)
Scott, I think backup quarterback is a good start. Despite his reputation for durability, Jay Cutler has gone down twice now and this team has been drastically affected. So I think it's time to get a quality backup. That's where the team should start. I think receiver is a huge problem area as well. I think you could debate receiver or backup quarterback as the top problem areas.
Brendan (Chicago, IL)
Mike, do you think Marion Barber is in a Bears uniform next season?
Michael (3:42 PM)
Good question. I think that would depend on the team's comfort level in Kahlil Bell. Bell has made plays every time he's been given the opportunity. So I could see the team saying goodbye to Barber. But at the same time, I still think there's a place for him in the offense. It's also worth noting that Barber received a two-year deal.
Isn't the priority a big receiver like Calvin Johnson/AJ Green? Bears haven't had a reliable BIG receiver since Mushin Muhammed and even he was mediocre.
Michael (3:42 PM)
Jason, I don't care if he's big. All I ask is that he can play. I think we make too much of the whole big receiver phenomenon.
Scott Roper (Charlotte)
Hey Michael, I know people are calling for Tice to become the O.C. so we can play some sort of "Bear's" football. Isn't that still living in the past and failing to evolve with the rest of the NFL, while playing an antiquated style of football that will never win us a Superbowl?
Michael (3:45 PM)
Scott, this is the best question I've gotten. I think you're right in your assessment of all the smashmouth stuff being "an antiquated style." But I think you can mix some of the smashmouth brand of football with a dynamic passing game to be relevant in today's NFL. Tice knows a little bit about offense, I promise you. But if you go back in his history in Minnesota, he did happen to have Randy Moss.
Amy (Lubbock, Texas)
Michael-Since your from Texas are you a Cowboys fan? :)
Michael (3:46 PM)
Sorry, Amy. But NO. Was a Cowboys fan when I was a kid and they were horrible, but when they started to get good under Jimmy Johnson, I became a hater. Basically I rebelled.
burger (mike's basement )
STEVIE JOHNSON a Bear next yr, you heard here first!!!!!
Michael (3:47 PM)
I wouldn't mind that, Burger. But if Johnson is gonna become a Bear, his hands better become a tad more consistent. He's a good, young receiver; but drops way too many catchable balls to me.
Dino (New york)
What do you feel about Bill Cowher as the next Bears Coach?? Answer the question already!!!!
Michael (3:48 PM)
I don't think the Bears can afford him. Besides that, Lovie's got two more years on his contract. The Bears did re-sign him back in February.
Michael, what are a couple of bright spots for the Bears to build on moving forward from this entire season? DT play? Cutler progressing?
Michael (3:50 PM)
Mo, I liked what Henry Melton has done. He had a bit of a lull, but otherwise he's definitely been a bright spot. As critical as I've been of Jay Cutler, I've also got to give him props for his growth. Cutler was playing his butt off just before the injury, and we've all seen what life is without him at quarterback. I've also been pleased with some of the play the team has gotten at safety from Craig Steltz, Chris Conte and Major Wright. Conte is still making too many mistakes. But for him to be a rookie, I like what he's done.
Todd (Richmond, VA)
Is there any heat on Jerry Angelo after this year? Is ownership ready to show him the door, or is he getting a pass?
Michael (3:52 PM)
Todd, I think behind closed doors his butt is on the line for sure. Besides the gross miscalculation on the backup quarterback, Angelo should be held accountable for the whole Sam Hurd acquisition. I can promise you the McCaskeys aren't happy about the "Chicago Bears" brand being dragged through the mud with this whole thing.
Louis (Miami, FL)
With less than 5 minutes in the game and up by 10, why did the Bears play such soft defense against the Broncos? Granted Barber didn't help the team with his errors, but the defense let them score the points.
Michael (3:53 PM)
Because they wanted the Broncos to settle for short gains, and try to move the ball down the field gradually instead of giving up big gains. I can't fault the Bears for doing that. That's more of an execution problem in my mind than coaching.
James Culp (Okinawa, Japan)
Shouldn't after 4 years, the Bears of had a better idea what they had, or actually didn't have in Hanie?
Michael (3:53 PM)
Absolutely, James. The Bears grossly miscalculated on that one; worse than the Chicago Park District on the watering of the grass at Soldier Field over the summer.
Are the Bears going to franchise Forte?
Michael (3:54 PM)
PG, I think so. The Bears are pretty firm in what they're willing to pay. Forte is pretty firm in what he's willing to accept. So we have a stalemate. The only way to resolve it is to apply that franchise tag. But even if that happens, I could see Forte staging some type of a holdout.
Kelly (Oak Lawn)
Yes or No, at this moment do you expect Jerry Angelo to be back with the Bears?
Michael (3:55 PM)
Believe it or not, I'd say yes.
mike i just want to wish you happy holidays.
Michael (3:56 PM)
Happy holidays to you and your family and everyone else on here.
If you had your choice for new OC would it be Tice, Bates, or other?
Michael (3:56 PM)
Steve, I'm biased on this. So I'll say Tice. But if we're going with experience, I'd say Bates because of Jay Cutler's familiarity with him.
Jeff Hall (Sterling, VA)
Given how terrible our two backup QBs have been playing, why haven't we seen more of the wildcat with Hester?
Michael (3:58 PM)
Man, I've floated out that possibility. Why not use Bennett, Barber and Bell in that fashion? I think the Bears would have a better chance of moving the ball that way than the way they've been trying so far.
Your Boy Roy (Chicago)
I've been trying to figure out if Martz' offense is too complex to handle the adversity/roster turnover of today's NFL. What are your thoughts on that perspective my friend?
Michael (4:00 PM)
Look no further than the backup quarterback situation in making that determination, Roy. I mean, the Bears went out and got Josh McCown because no other quarterback available was familiar with Mike Martz's system. That tells me that the system is way too complex. Change it.
Michael (4:01 PM)
Guys, that's my time. As usual, it was a blast chatting with you. Be sure to catch us next week. Happy holidays everyone.