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October 15, 11:30 AM ET
Chat Bears with ESPNChicago.com

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:31 AM)

Hi everyone, let's go.

Steve (Brunswick, GA)

What are the the expectations for Matt Forte and Johnny Knox against Atlanta? The Falcons have trouble keeping RBs and fast recievers in check.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:33 AM)

I think both guys can have a pretty decent game. Like you pointed out, the Atlanta secondary isn't all that good, so look for the Bears to take some shots deep down the field with Knox and Hester. The Atlanta DL is decent, but they do give up quite a few yards on the ground per game.

JSMO (SPFLD IL)

WHAT YOUR TAKE ON T.O. COMING TO THE BEARS .WE NEED A BIG TIME RECEIVER .WHAT ABOUT IT .!!!

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:33 AM)

I agree the Bears could use a big-time receiver, but T.O. is not that guy. Too old, too many drops, and he's a pain in the rear.

georgeann320 (beaufort south carolina)

guys i am a female of 55 and i have been a nfl football fan since my husband played with the marine corp. my question is do you think that the bears can win there division?i am a big lovie smith fan.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:34 AM)

I do think the Bears can win this division, but right now the Vikings look like the better team. Of course the key for Minnesota is going to be whether Favre can stay healthy. If he gets hurt, the Bears have a great shot to pass up the Vikes.

Max (Chicago)

What are the chances the Bears make a move before the deadline?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:35 AM)

Teams usually don't make a lot of moves before the trade deadline. It's not like the baseball deadline when there are tons of trades made. I'm sure the Bears would love to trade someone like Nathan Vasher. But I'm not sure what kind of market there is for him. Teams saw him play against Green Bay, so they might shy away.

Ned Zerwic (Champaign)

Whatever happened to Kevin Payne and Corey Graham? Based on their play last year I thought they were going to be the starting strong safety and cornerback for years to come, two up-and-coming players. What's going on with them, does coaching staff not view them as highly as before?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:37 AM)

Corey Graham is strictly playing special teams. I'm sure he's not happy with that, but he's making the most of it. I've said it before, he'll be a starter somewhere in the NFL in the near future. Payne's been playing free safety and nickel, but he's so out of position. He's a much better SS, but Lovie loves Afalava, so he's not goign anywhere.

Brian (Memphis)

Do you think Garrett wolfe needs to be used more on offense?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:38 AM)

I don't think necessarily that he needs to be used more, but there's a good chance he will be used more in the next few games. Adrian Peterson might need some more time to heal before he's ready to return. So in the meantime, look for Wolfe to get about 2-3 series per game.

Mike (Portland In)

What will do to stop Matt Ryan?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:38 AM)

They better find a way to generate some pressure. Because Matt Ryan is an outstanding quarterback. He can pretty much do it all. And they have all those dangerous weapons around him. If they give Ryan time to throw, it's going to be a long night.

Raynold Calderon (Chicago)

What are your thoughts after this season (or even during the season) in pursuing a new offensive coordinator, that is taking into account that the majority of the management will still be around?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:39 AM)

There's no question Ron Turner is on the hot seat. But as long as the Bears keep winning, he looks to be fairly safe. If for whatever reason the season goes south, and the offense really starts to struggle, then I don't believe Turner will be back in '10.

Johnathon Gasparoni (Amherst,MA)

Will the Bears be able to keep up with the Falcons passing game. Seeing that Roddy White is a big time WR and seeing last year they had a tough time with big time WR and couldn't keep the Falcons game last year blowing the lead with about 40 seconds left.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:40 AM)

Roddy White is coming off that monster game vs. S.F., and he's excellent at getting yards after the catch. Going to be important to gang tackle him. And it might not be a bad idea to have Charles Tillman shadow him, but it's too early to say if that's the direction the Bears are going.

Matt (Cincinnati)

I have been pleasently surprised with the play of Nick Roach and with Piso coming back is there any reason not to think this LB group will be ok. By the way Hillenmeyer deserves to stay right where he is... on the bench.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:41 AM)

Roach has done a very good job at MLB the last 1 1/2 games. He'll start again Sunday night, with Pisa playing on the strong side. I'm eager to see Pisa in action, since he got hurt after one play in Week 1. Hillenmeyer's rib could cost him to miss this game all together.

Sam (Duluth, MN)

what's the deal with forte. seriously.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:43 AM)

Forte is fine. Seriously. I think it's been a combination of him not trusting the OL and the OL not trusting themselves. but I thought the guys up front did a much better job against the Lions and I would expect that to continue vs. the Falcons.

Brandon (Algonquin, IL)

Hi, I was wondering what you thought the Defense had to do to give the Bears' offense a chance to win this game. Atlanta, obviously, can put up the points, so our Defense will be under a lot of stress. Who needs to step it up to slow the Falcons down?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:44 AM)

Well, No.1 they to force some turnovers. No. 2 they have to pressure the QB. No. 3 they can't give up any big plays or have mental breakdowns like last year. I think this is a big game for Bowman, but also the safeties - Manning and Afalava. I'm worried about their matchup in the middle with Gonzalez.

Chad (KC)

With the Knox-hype machine in full force, do you expect for other offensive weapons to get better looks in the upcoming weeks, ie Forte and Olsen?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:45 AM)

I haven't given up on Greg Olsen. I know we're surprised he only had 10 catches in the first 4 games, but that guy has all the talent in the world. Expect Cutler and Turner to make it a point of emphasis to get him the ball the next couple of weeks. He can still be a difference-maker even though he might not be the best "blocking tight end" out there.

dimitri (glenview)

If AP cant go sunday. Will we bump some one up from the PS or roll with two healthy backs

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:46 AM)

They've been giving this kid Bell a lot of work this week on special teams in practice. So it would not surprise me if they were to elevate him to the active roster for this game. Personally, I think it's a bad idea to go into any game with only two active RBs. And no, I don't expect Peterson to play.

esteban (austin TX)

jeff its early but whats your game prediction i got the bears 27 and the flacons 21

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:47 AM)

I like your optimism. But this is going to be a tough game for the Bears to win. Falcons only lost 1 game at home last year. So right now, I'm probably leaning toward a close Atlanta victory.

Jeff (Indianapolis)

Do you think Pace will get help on Abraham?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:48 AM)

They better give Pace and Chris Williams a ton of help on Abraham. He had 16 1/2 sacks last year, and has 3 through 4 games this season. He's a guy the Falcons move around an awful lot, and they don't play him on every down because they try to preserve his energy. Stopping him is going to be a major key to victory, in my opinion.

Matt in Wind (Chicago)

JD: Is D. Manning finally cemented in as the FS of the future?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:49 AM)

That's a great question because Manning is in the last year of his contract. If 2010 is played without a cap, Manning will be a restricted free agent and will probably remain in Chicago. But if they want to make him the FS of the future, they probably should consider signing him to a long-term deal.

Carlos Huerta (kicking FGs)

Has Jay Cutler been introduced to TE Greg Olsen?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:51 AM)

I think the two do know each other. They actually attended the movie premier of Vince Vaughn's new movie Couples Retreat together last week. Judging by their tweets, I'd say their friends.

Richie Fayman (Glendale Heights, IL)

Thank you for chatting my friends. Should we expect Brian Urlachers to be cut next season. I'll hang up and listen to my answer.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:52 AM)

Might be way too premature to talk about the Bears cutting Urlacher. I mean I'm a fan of Roach, but let's see how the season plays out. Plus, most people in the organization feel like Urlacher has a couple of good seasons left. Right now I'd say Urlacher is back with the Bears in 2010.

Tyler (Iowa City, IA)

Is your man-crush on Jay Cutler as strong as mine?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:53 AM)

I'm more of a guy who has a man-crush on Matt Ryan. He's the top man-crush on my list. My wife has a crush on Jay Cutler, but that's a different story.

Matt (DC)

What's the status on Tommie Harris? Is he still playing hurt?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:54 AM)

I thought Tommie was fairly active against the Lions. Probably his best game of the season. He's never going to be 100 percent. He actually admitted that to us publicly. But the Bears are encouraged that he seems to be getting stronger as the season is progressing.

Jen (Chicago)

Is Johnny Knox ever going to take over punt return duties?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:54 AM)

I wouldn't rule that out. But I think as Knox's role in the offense increases, there's going to be a movement to take him off special teams. I still think Vasher could return punts. He's not doing anything else. And Hester just runs in circles.

Noots (Addison)

With Clark healthy (rib) and Olsen entrenched as your starters at TE, do you think Kellen Davis is going to be once again relegated to special teams only?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:55 AM)

Yes. Desmond Clark has reclaimed his spot as the No. 2 tight end. But they'll still use Davis in those 3 TE lineups near the goal line. That was the formation out of which he caught his TD pass against the Lions.

Tony (Minnesota)

What grade would you give Lovie so far on calling the defense?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:56 AM)

Give Lovie a solid B. It still would be nice if the Bears got off to a good start defensively, and if they would stop allowing teams to convert on so many third-and-longs.

Adrian (Amarillo, TX)

Will the Bears offer an extension to Adawale this season, if not, in the offseason?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:57 AM)

It doesn't seem like the Bears are in a huge rush to extend Ogunleye's contract. But if he keeps up this pace, he'd have 18 sacks on the season, so if the Bears don't give him new money. Some other team certainly will.

Bfree (Naperville)

Why are we playing in Atlanta 2 years in a row??

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:58 AM)

It was pre-determined years ago that the Bears would face the NFC South team that finished in the same spot in the standings that the Bears did in 2008. The Bears were second in the NFC North and the Falcons were 2nd in the NFC South.

Matt (Wisconsin)

Do you expect Pisa to start against Atl?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:58 AM)

Yes, at SS linebacker.

Matt in Wind (Chicago)

I know you weren't high on Omiyale previously. Has he improved or are you still walking around with a Beekman T-shirt on?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:59 AM)

Omiyale is getting better. But he's still a work in progress. Where can I find a Beekman T-shirt?

H. Bobby G. (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Will the Bears finally start taking some shots downfield or are we fans resigned to see a dink and dunk offense all year?

Brian (Plainfield, IL)

Who do consider a bigger mistake being let go by the Bears, Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:00 PM)

By far it was Thomas Jones. He had an outstanding career in Chicago. Benson couldn't play dead for the Bears. Don't be one of those people who thinks the Bears gave up on him too soon. They didn't.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

JD, the best in the business, wouldn't it be smart for Turner to runa lot of roll out for Cutler away from Abraham? Especially since Jay throws well on the run?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:01 PM)

This would be a good time for Bears to start looking downfield. Atlanta's secondary has struggled and pass rush has been inconsistent. Hello everybody, this is Pat Yasinskas, the ESPN.com blogger for the NFC South. I'm starting my 30-minute stint here on the chat and glad to join you. Fire away with the questions.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:01 PM)

I would def avoid Abraham at all costs. Anderson isn't nearly as good on the other defensive end side. But Atlanta has some pretty good interior DL. My guess is the Falcons will do everything possible to try to keep Cutler in the pocket, but I agree, getting him to the outside would be a smart move for Turner and the Bears.

Jamice (Chicago, IL)

I was wondering...does the winner of this game (da bears!) get consideration for being a top NFC contender?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:02 PM)

Ok, thanks for the great questions. Come back next week for more, but right now, send in your questions to ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas. Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:02 PM)

Yes, absolutely. After Sunday, either the Giants or Saints no longer will be undefeated. I see those two teams, the Vikings and whoever wins this game as the NFC's best.

Larry (Sacramento)

Pat,How is turners health. It looked like he left the game in frisco limping.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:03 PM)

Fine from everything I've heard. He practiced full yesterday and isn't on the injury report. They got him out of the lineup for the fourth quarter against Niners, so he should be rested up.

rob (denver)

Hey Pat do you think the Falcons defense can stop the bears offense enough to win this game?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:04 PM)

It's going to be a challenge. Atlanta's defense is a work in progress. LBs are good, but plenty of questions on D-line and in secondary.

Joe Martin (Duluth, GA)

Pat, do you expect the Bears to generate more pass rush against Atlanta's O, or will Matt Ryan's jersey be clean at the end of sunday night? Matt Ryan has only been sacked twice all season...

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:06 PM)

Bears have to put some heat on him to try to throw him off. He's gone three straight games without being sacked. He also has a very high QB rating against the blitz. If you're going to blitz him, you better get to him quick because he'll dump it off to Gonzalez and make you look bad. But Atlanta's offensive line still has some questions -- despite the few sacks -- and Bears need to exploit that.

Joe Martin (Duluth, GA)

Pat, you've seen the Falcons defense up close, should I start Matt Forte in fantasy this week?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:07 PM)

I would.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

Why are Bears fans so confident? Falcons dominated them last year with a rookie QB and if Elam would not have missed a field goal at the end, the Falcons would not have needed that great comeback Matt Ryan/Michael Jenkins play to set-up game winning field goal. Falcons are hard to beat at home. "Da Bears" are losing this game.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:08 PM)

It's a new season. Both teams are good and I'd call this matchup a toss-up right now. Should be fun to watch.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Pat, thru 5 weeks has the NFC made a lot of ground on the AFC the last year or 2? The AFC has always been the superior conference, but I think the NFC is better this year. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:09 PM)

I try not to be partial, but I like what I'm seeing out of NFC. Giants, Saints, Falcons, Bears and Vikings are all very good and can play with anybody.

Justin (Atlanta)

Hey pat, what's the news on tye hill? It seems like smitty has been shy to talk about him, and he's still 3rd string. Also do you think that norwood or snelling will get a generous amount of carries at all this season? I hate how much we've been using turner considering our back ups, especially since he hasn't been producing like last year...

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:10 PM)

Doesn't sound like they're real impressed with what Hill's shown in practice. I guess that means more of Brent Grimes. I've got a hunch you're going to see more and more of Snelling. He's been getting some playing time in recent weeks and doing a nice job. Think coaching staff is starting to trust him and that means more carries.

Jeremy (Atlanta)

Pat, any word on Ovie??

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:12 PM)

Just that he missed practice yesterday. We won't know for a few more hours if he was back today. If he's out, there's a big drop off to Verron Haynes and that would hurt the whole offense.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

By dominate, do you mean a last second fluke pass to get in FG range to win at the last second?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:12 PM)

He's got a valid point.

Jamal Anderson (Flowery Branch)

I am liking the move to DL and do you see me being more productive in this role will i just eventually get traded?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:12 PM)

Jamaal, you don't have much trade value right now. Do a good job at DT and see if that's enough to jump start your career.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

Who will have the better career - Jay Cutler or Matt Ryan? I say Matt Ryan. Cutler has a better arm but Matt has all the intangibles and performs better under pressure.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:13 PM)

I say Matt Ryan. The guy's already very good and getting better each week.

george (england)

Where you gonna be this weekend? We got Giants/Saints and ATL/Bears, two great games. You gonna be stuck watching Bucs/Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:14 PM)

I'll be in New Orleans. Will be in Dallas the following week for Falcons-Cowboys and back in New Orleans the week after that for MNF between Falcons and Saints.

Ken (Atlanta )

Hey Pat, Why did it take so long for Van Gorder to start Kroy Biermann at DE. He has outplayed Jamal (roller skates) Anderson everytime he has touched the field!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:15 PM)

They were hesitant to play Biermann too much against the run because he's not that big.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

Pat, what is the news on William Moore? will he ever get on the field more than on special teams this year? or did he just miss too much time in training camp to play on the defense until 2010.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:16 PM)

He's progressing. They had him active for the first time on Sunday. The injury set him back, but he's catching up now. You could see some of him in the second half of season.

Matt (Lawrenceville, GA)

Actually Snelling would be seeing most of the time at Fullback if Ovie can't go, not Haynes. So the drop off wouldn't be that bad. Snelling filled in well against the 49'ers when Ovie got hurt.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:17 PM)

Actually, I think you'd see a combination of the two. Haynes wasn't active Sunday, so they had no choice but to put Snelling at fullback. If Ovie's down, Haynes will be up. Snelling can fill in over there, but hasn't had a ton of practice at fullback.

Mark (Chicago, IL)

Does the Bear's defense need to worry more about the Falcons passing attack or Turner running the ball?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:18 PM)

I'd start with trying to shutdown Turner. If you can do that, you cut off a big chunk of their offense.

Brett (Atlanta)

How do you feel about Brent Grimes? If not for his missed tackle last week, the Falcons' D may not have given up a touchdown all day long.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:20 PM)

Great athlete -- fast and can jump over the moon. But he's small and isn't a great tackler. There's good and bad with this guy.

Jordan (Gainesville, GA)

Pat, have you been able to talk to any of the Falcons coaching staff about rarely using the no huddle offense this season? Matt Ryan was great with it last year and I would think would be better this year!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:21 PM)

Not yet. Smith's press conference was real short Sunday and I didn't get a chance. But I will ask when I get the chance.

george (england)

Where's Babs been this season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:22 PM)

He's there and has been solid. But losing Jerry hurt him. They thought Jerry would really allow Babs to stand out.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

Pat, what has happened to Chevis Jackson? Is he no longer part of the Falcons plans? I thought Chevis was progressing nicely last year at nickel cornerback.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:22 PM)

Good question. I thought he showed lots of promise this year. But he must not be showing much in practice if they're playing Grimes ahead of him.

JoePa (State College, PA)

Pat, you are wise. And I know wise, because I too have gained wisdom in my 200 years on this earth. I think Turner have success running right at the Bears D. Also, because of their speed, I expect more Snelling, less Norwood. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:23 PM)

Joe, thanks for swinging by!!! Yeah, I think you're going to see a fair amount of Snelling.

Eric P (Atlanta)

Pat. Love the blog. What's the situation with Chauncey D? Not as productive this year. Is he hurt?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:24 PM)

No, just that Biermann has moved ahead of him. I did see him out there some on Sunday, but not a lot.

Kevin (Springfield, IL)

Pat, What is the biggest weakness on the Atlanta Defense? Can my Bears run the ball on them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:24 PM)

DBs are biggest weakness.

tony (atlanta,ga)

Why atlanta's offensive line not being talked out as much as other successful lines like the giants offensive line for instance.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:25 PM)

Mainly because Atlanta's line doesn't have a blue-chipper besides Baker. They're a bunch of overachievers, but not a lot of individual talent. O-line coach Paul Boudreau does a great job with this bunch.

Erick (Glendale Heights, IL)

Hey Pat. I was wondering if the Bears should add another RB like a Warrick Dunn or whoever else is available. AP is hurt and when he gets back he could just play for special teams. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:26 PM)

I'd pick up Warrick Dunn in a heartbeat. He's stayed in shape and could help any team. I'm surprised no one has signed him.

Ric (Chicago)

I'm pegging Frank Omiyale as the loose(st) cog in the O-Line? Are there any veterans available?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:27 PM)

Runyan's still out there or at least he was as of this morning.

george (england)

Lofton seems to have really flourished?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:27 PM)

Yep. Having Peterson next to him and acting as a mentor has really helped.

Evie (ATL)

i think you are wrong about our O-Line. Dahl is a beast and overall our o-line is NASTY is a good way. Do you think our physical play from last week can carry over or was that just a one time deal?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:29 PM)

They were good last year. I'm not knocking them. I'm complimenting them -- saying they're pretty good without having much individual talent.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

I know Curtis Lofton/Mike Peterson are playing at a high level. What about Stephen Nicholas?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:29 PM)

Playing well. Coaching staff is real pleased with him. Another minute or two before I hand it back to the ESPN Chicago guys.

Ric (Chicago)

I remember last year watching the Falcons game in my dorm with three Falcons fan and a Bears fan. Right after the Bears took the lead, the fire alarm went off. We spent 15 minutes waiting for the fire truck to come, doing a jig to celebrate our win and taunting the Falcons fans. Imagine our humiliation when we came back to the TV to watch highlights and found out that we had, in fact, not won. Will my humiliation be avenged this year? Please tell me so, because I'll be watching the game Sunday with the same three Falcons fans.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:30 PM)

I don't make predictions on games, but I think this will be a good one and, obviously, what happened last year should serve as motivation for Bears.

Ken (Atlanta )

PAt, Handing is back to the Chicago guys is a TERRIBLE idea!

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:31 PM)

I know, but my 30 minutes are up. Stop by NFC South chat at 1 p.m. Friday and we'll talk more. Thanks to all who stopped by here today and we'll send it back to ESPN Chicago now.

G-Dawg (Atlanta, GA)

What happened in the Bears offense to Greg Olsen? I thought he was going to be a stud TE in the new Bears offense with Cutler. Olsen has been missing in action.....

Jon
  (12:33 PM)

They want to get Olsen in the mix. Remember that big hit he took from Tyrone Carter in the Steelers game? They like to split the athletic Olsen out wide, possibly to try to get some mismatches, but it hasn't worked that much. They've also used him in end zone jump ball situations, since they don't have a "go up and get it" receiver.

Brett (Atlanta)

How much will the 2-weeks preparation help the Bears?

Jon
  (12:35 PM)

Well, the guys will be fresher, but it's an early bye. There's not as much to panic about and try and fix with the extra week. The Bears hit last week, and took off for the long weekend. I think the prep time will definitely help on defense.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL )

Why do don't the Bears draw up plays for Hestor or Johnny Knox, i.e. WR screens, End Arounds, Go Routes with a PA to utilize their SPEED? I see more and more teams using these plays to take advantage of corners playing off a WR.

Jon
  (12:37 PM)

I think they've utilized these guys pretty well. Not in end arounds, which I'm not a big fan of, but they run a decent amount of screens and go's. I think the three WRs will put up better numbers as the season goes on.

george (england)

Will the bears D line hassle Ryan enough?

Jon
  (12:38 PM)

Enough to win? We'll see on Sunday night. I don't see any reason why the D-line won't put some heat on Ryan. Wale and Brown have brought the noise, so to speak, thus far.

Kyle Orton (Denver, CO)

Hey, miss me? I'm doing well. I might be on the best team in football. So you got your "prized" QB. How's that working out for ya?

Jon
  (12:40 PM)

Um, pretty well? One loss, a couple good wins. It was the right move and no one thought Orton was a bum. I figured, before the season started, he'd still be a 10-year NFL guy, a Jeff Garcia type. Nothing's changed. Good guy too.

Adam C (Whitewater, WI)

Do you think any hybrid cubs/bears fans realize that getting excited about T.O was like getting excited when Milton Bradley came around? Our receivers are doing fine. They'll experience some growing paints, but Hester, Bennett, and Knox can take short passes and long passes. Even without an OchoCinco or a Calvin Johnson, I guarantee the numbers will still be there, albeit spread out.

Jon
  (12:41 PM)

TO's not the answer. The team needs help in other areas, not WR. Hester, Bennett and Knox are much better than any fan imagined. Bears still need a tall receiver to catch jump balls in the end zone, that could really affect a game.

Curtis (Chicago, IL)

What do you think the Wildcat would look like in Chicago? Do we have the tools on the team to make that formation effective? Do you think that with Forte struggling thus far to get the run game going it would hurt or help to give him more of a work load in the passing game i.e. Blocking, Screen passes, drag routes, etc...

Jon
  (12:44 PM)

Like Pat Fitzgerald? Oh, you mean the NFL wildcat. No, unlike what Wanny told you, the pieces are not in place for the Wildcat. Maybe Hester could do it on occasion, but it won't be a regular staple. It's a great formation, but by the time the Bears get on board, it'll be completely disseminated and dissected. Bears are just figuring out forward pass.

Nico (Chicago)

How come Lance Briggs gets no love? He might be the best defensive player in the NFL, yet you do not hear his name near as much as Ray Lewis, Champ Bailey, or Patrick Willis. How come?

Jon
  (12:45 PM)

Good question. His PR problem is that he plays on a team with Brian Urlacher. Urlacher is the national star, thus relegating Briggs to local star. Also he plays in a defense that doesn't require him to rush the passer. He just makes tackles, reads keys, etc. That doesn't get you national love on a crowded stage.

Brent (Lombard,IL)

Can you look at this game as also the leader in the Wildcard? As I see it, The wildcard looks like a 3 team race with the Bears, Eagles, and Falcons. I don't see the Cardinals/Niners being a 10 win team. Aaron Rodgers needs to pray somebody blocks for him, and the Cowboys are a overrated. Any team I am missing that might make a run? And can we please prase the Schedule makers and not Favre for the 5-0 start?

Jon
  (12:48 PM)

It's too early to worry about the race, but there is no pro sport, obviously, where every game counts more than in the NFL.Sounds dumb, but teams aren't thinking about the races just yet, just win every game.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL )

Who do you think has the advantage at Special Teams? I believe it will be yet another close game and will come down to the Special Teams.

Jon
  (12:49 PM)

That's an easy guess to make. The dome will do nothing but help the Bears' special teams. Maynard has been nasty, Knox, Manning, Hester, whomever, should benefit from the clean running. I usually watch opposing teams special teams tape thursday nights, so i don't have a read on atlanta just yet.

Curtis (Chicago, IL)

although it is hard to predict early, what can the Bears secondary do to stop matt ryan's passing game, who in the secondary will be key to that as well?

Jon
  (12:51 PM)

Tillman needs to continue his shutdown ways on Roddy White. Aside from him, this secondary's pretty vulnerable to Ryan, hence the importance of the d-line shaking him up.

CC (Atlanta)

Atlanta STs -- P Michael Koenen is excellent. They set an all time NFL record for fewest PR yards allowed in '08. Elam is solid. And Norwood returning KOs is dangerous. Even PR Eric Weems has done a good job.

Jon
  (12:52 PM)

Now I dont' have to watch tape. More 30 Rock for me. Also Cousin Terry at Second City late night. Supposed to be funnier than John Shoop's offense.

Adam C (Whitewater, WI)

I know he doesn't fit in the numbers game, but isn't Devin Aromashodu supposed to be that big guy in the endzone? He is 6'2 and very athletic, makes catches a lot like Brandon Lloyd did, just with a bit more authority. I think that overall, while the defense is a little slower, this team is better than the super bowl team of a few years ago soley because we have an offense now.Here's a thought, let's get Jarron Gilbert to be our very own Dan Klecko. Guaranteed nobody could match up with that dude.

Jon
  (12:54 PM)

I don't think this team is better than the Super Bowl team because the defense is older and less threatening, less swagger. of course the offense is much better.

Dan (Northbrook)

What do you miss most about Adam Archuleta?

Jon
  (12:55 PM)

His Charlie Brown meeting the football approach to coverage.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL )

Who do you think will have a tougher time, our LB's our Secondary on Sunday and who will fare better?

Jon
  (12:56 PM)

Secondary. I know the Burner is going to test the LBs, but I think the secondary is going to be under pressure all game, and with no Urlacher in the middle, and Tony Gonzalez running up the field, it's going to be tough...

Roy (Dallas)

Do you think we'll see Tillman lined up on White all day seeing as it was so effective against Calvin Johnson in the 2nd half of the Detroit game?

Jon
  (12:57 PM)

You would think so, but I'm sure, in some situations, you'll see another DB on him. Expect Peanut to get the bulk of the coverage duty.

CC (Atlanta)

Any chance Cutler throws a bunch to the wrong team again? That would be nice.

Jon
  (12:59 PM)

There is always a chance, my friend. Cutler, however, looks really comfortable right now. He looked flustered and out of sorts in Green Bay. Maybe if the Falcons really knock him around early.

Adam Archuleta (Las Vegas)

What about my wife?(P.S. Did you know that I now play for the UFL Las Vegas Locomotives?)

Jon
  (12:59 PM)

Your wife seemed very nice. How are the Locos doing?

Jon
  (1:00 PM)

On to Jurko for more relevant Archuleta questions.

Jurko
  (1:37 PM)

Ok guys, I'm here, let's keep this going.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL)

Who do you think will have a tougher time our LB's our Secondary on Sunday, and who will fare better?

Jurko
  (1:38 PM)

Secondary for sure.Roddy White is a load. Gonzalez will be covered by DBs as well as LBs. Jenkins is pretty tough. So I think the DBs will have a tougher job. Btw, what's Vaughn McClure thinking calling Peanut Tillman a "shut down" corner.

Deviou$ (Chicago)

I know that DA BEARS offense is looking a little better now with Cutler as QB but why is it that Ron Turner never gets any of the blame for the lack of offense throughout all these past years? Do you think that DA BEARS will go after Singletary at the end of this season if DA BEARS don't make the playoffs or win in the playoffs?

Jurko
  (1:39 PM)

Lot of speculation in that question. The Bears are 3-1, they are probably going to finish 11-5 and make the playoffs. So it's tough to take your question seriously.

Carl (Valparaiso)

How do you feel about the Bears acquiring a big time receiver like Anquan Boldin?

Jurko
  (1:40 PM)

I would love to get Boldin. Lee Evans would be a great addition to the team. Old guys over 33 I'm not interested in. Their careers are on a downward trend. TO can stay in Buffalo. Marvin Harrison can stay retired.A player between 25-28 is what I'm looking for.

Steve-O (Indiana)

Any chance we see some more snaps in the backfield to Wolfe soon, or will it be Forte the whole time this week?

Jurko
  (1:41 PM)

Wolfe is going to get 3-4 possessions. He'll probably get 5-7 touches and the rest will be Forte.

Dennis (IN)

Do you think that this bye week helped the O-line mesh a little better? And any chance RT will spread out the falcons with an empty backfield, with Hester, Knox, Bennett, Olsen, and Forte all on the outside? Its odd, but could be really effective.

Jurko
  (1:42 PM)

Pace vs. Abraham is going to be the key. Anytime you face a good pass rush, screens and draws. A steady diet of these two plays will cause the DL to hesitate and that's all Pace and Williams will need.

jeremiah (MO)

You raved about Beekman in preseason, but he didn't get the starting nod. Is that because they are grooming him to take over for Kruetz at C instead?

Jurko
  (1:43 PM)

I don't think Beekman can be a starting C in the NFL. He can start at guard, and be a capable backup at center. The same way you don't hear about Williams is the same way you didn't hear about Beekman last year becuase he was doing his job.

David (New York)

I find it odd that the Bears play an out of division foe at their stadium two years in a row, especially with the west being the primamry division the north matches up with. Does that happen very often?

Jurko
  (1:44 PM)

When I was in Green Bay we played the Dallas Cowboys 3 straight years in Dallas - lost every game. And played them 3 times in the playoffs those same years, at Dallas - lost every game.

Tim (Chicago)

How would you assess Chris Williams play this season? Has he looked like a 1st round pick?

Jurko
  (1:44 PM)

There's only 3 plays I can recall where he has been out of position to make a block. I'd say that's pretty good for a first-round pick.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL)

With Matt Ryan only being sacked twice this year, do you think our D-Line and LB's get to Ryan?

Jurko
  (1:47 PM)

I love the way the Bears blitz. I'd like to see the Bears send 3 and drop 8 as a change-up. I think it would confuse Ryan. I'd also like to see them employ a 2-DL, 3-LB, 6-DB in third-and-seven plus. Just to blow the mind of the Falcons - ala Bill Belichek.

will-o (chi-town)

is aromashoudu the brandon marshall cutler needs?

Jurko
  (1:48 PM)

He might be. Cutler's got a ton of love for him. But you can't make the club in the tub. He needs to get healthy and see the speed of the regular season before we annoint him the next Brandon Marshall.

will-o (chi-town)

is this the week we see wild grizzley formation?

Jurko
  (1:49 PM)

You might see a smidge of it. But with Cutler as QB, why would you even mess with it.

Jacob Preskill (Highland Park)

Will Matt Ryan tear apart the Bears secondary this week?

Jurko
  (1:50 PM)

If he's allowed to sit back and look at a Cover 2 shell all day, he just might. But there are things that Lovie will do that will try to confuse Matt Ryan and plant the seed of doubt in his mind.

will-o (chicago)

is this the week the bears get love from your power rankings?

Jurko
  (1:50 PM)

If they win this week and next week, they move into the Top 7, but I don't do our power rankings.

Kevin (Kendallville IN)

Hey so what do you expect from the Bears defense this week and who do you think we should start at MLB.

Jurko
  (1:52 PM)

Nick Roach. The more time he gets, the better player he will become. He's real eager out there. And he seems to be over-committing to his first read. And that's allowing plays to be made behind him. But he had 2 weeks to prepare for this one, and I think he'll be better suited for this game.

Joshua H. Berman (Champaign)

Sorry I wasn't on last week, but was I right about how Hunter Hillenmeyer was weak? I said he wasn't looking as big and needed to hit the weight room. Guess I was right about that? Will he make an impact this week?

Jurko
  (1:53 PM)

He'll make special teams impact if he plays. The bigger question is how much impact will Pisa make. I think Pisa has a chance to be a bigger difference maker than Hunter.

Michael (ATL)

Are the bears over last years loss to the falcs? Do they use it as motivation? Do the bears fans remember that one as the one they let get away, or the one ATL - with some home clock help - stole back?

Jurko
  (1:54 PM)

The Bears are over the loss. This is a new season. But the players do remember how they lost last year's game. And that will be a motivating factor for this week.

Kevin G (Austin, TX)

Do you think that Forte has been given enough carries this year? To me it seems like the Bears are relying far too much on the pass, and not running the ball nearly as much. I know the Bears want to get their money worth out of Cutler, but that doesn't mean we still can't be a running team...

Jurko
  (1:55 PM)

The work load for Forte has been just where it needs to be. When he has more success running the ball, he'll get the ball more. When the Bears are winning games, and trying to run out the clock, he will get the ball more. We've played four games, too early for trends to develop.

Erik (Crown Point IN)

The Cutler trade is obviously working out for both sides. Cutler is obviously the superior player, but do you think that the emergence of Kyle Orton as a decent quarterback in this league will idicate to management that maybe we should get a new offensive system going into next season?

Jurko
  (1:57 PM)

Orton threw 13 quick screens or hitches last year, Bears fans would cry every Monday talking about "Oh we threw too many quick screens. Throw the ball downfield ..." On most plays, when the QB goes to the line of scrimmage, he has two plays he can call. It's called a "Check with Me." He tries to put the offense in the best possible play against the defense he's seeing. This offensive system is fine. It just needs to be executed properly.

Andy A. (Chicago, IL)

I know the Bears running game isn't present yet, do you think once it arrives will Bears will use more PA go routes to Hestor and Knox to take advantage of their Speed and Cutlers arm?

Jurko
  (1:57 PM)

Once the run gets moving, the play-action becomes effective. So yes.

Matt in Wind (Chicago)

I love the lines that Roach takes to the ball. Is that a strength of his or am I blatantly an amateur?

Jurko
  (1:58 PM)

It's natural. Some guys have to learn it by reptition and some guys just have it. Roach is one of those guys who has it.

Kevin Mast (Kendallville, IN)

Who do you think will put up better numbers Cutler or Ryan? Do you think Hester is a Proven WR?

Jurko
  (1:59 PM)

Most important thing is who do I think will win. And that's the Bears. Who do I think will have better numbers, the QB that's down and has to throw the ball.

Roberto (Chicago)

Do you think the bears O line pulled it together during the Lions game two weeks ago? I felt like Ron ran the ball to give the line some much needed snaps at the end.

Jurko
  (1:59 PM)

I think they opened up some holes against a decent defensive line. And I'm sure Turner was trying to get the OL some work and run clock at the end of the game.

Jurko
  (2:00 PM)

Bears will win, see you next week. Thanks for the great questions.