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December 10, 11:30 AM ET
Chat Bears with ESPNChicago.com

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:29 AM)

Good morning. Thanks for all the questions. I'll get to as many as possible. Here we go.

Matt (Chicago)

Probably a popular question as we all start looking ahead: How does Jamar Williams fit in? Is he good enough to trade Lance Briggs and his awesome contract for some coveted and much needed picks? Briggs is my favorite Bear, but even I can see that the cupboard is "bear."

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:33 AM)

Matt -- Jamar Williams played a very good game last week, but in no way are the Bears thinking about replacing Lance Briggs. Williams has been here since 2006, and was given a chance to compete this summer with Roach and Tinoisamoa for the SLB job. It doesn't sound like the Bears view Williams as anything more than a back-up/special teams contributor. Jamar may have to go somewhere else to get his shot to be an every down starter. On the other hand, Briggs is only 28 (when the season started), and has plenty of good football ahead of him. I'd hang on to Lance.

Sahen Fultz (Clyde, OH)

what are the possibilities of shanahan making a homecoming and joining the bears?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:35 AM)

I'd never rule it totally out, but it sounds like Lovie is going to be back in 2010. If the Bears were to fire Lovie (seemingly a long-shot), than Shanahan would be a perfect choice. He could then bring in Jeremy Bates to be his offensive coordinator. That would cost a ton of money (even Bates makes huge dough at USC), but if the Bears get rid of Lovie with 2 years left, that would indicate money is not an obstacle. But when is the last time the Bears felt like money wasn't an obstacle?

mike (KY)

is this game even gonna be close?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:37 AM)

On the bright side, the Bears have beaten the Packers the last two years at Soldier Field, and the of course almost won that game week one at Lambeau Field. But Green Bay seems like such a better team at this point of the season. I think if the Bears get off to a fast start, they have a shot. But if they fall behind early, it'll be tough to beat the Packers in a shoot out. Plus, Green Bay's defense (#1 overall) is playing out of their minds.

Chris (Chicago)

How do the Bears fill their needs for next year? Granted experieince will help the current young guys, but do we have cap room to get an OL and a WR? We don't have a draft pick until the 3rd round (I still can't believe we gave a 2nd round pick for Gaines Adams, since when are the Bears a charity, I wonder if Jerry is getting a tax deduction for that).

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:40 AM)

I really think they are going to have to spend in free agency. 2010 might be uncapped, so it's unclear how spending is going to work in free agency. Will teams pony up tons of money for players? Or will teams be cheap and try to lowball all the free agents? Either way, without a first or second round pick, the Bears are going to have to be active players in free agency, and hit on almost all of their draft picks. We'll see.

Varun (Aurora, IL)

With no early draft picks, how can the management improve this team? I keep hearing that there won't be many free agents available because of an uncapped year. Does this mean a coaching change is inevitable? Or are the Bears hoping that Urlacher's return next season will make everyone else around him better and that we can find another Johnny Knox in the 2010 draft?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:44 AM)

That is correct. If 2010 is played without a salary cap, it will take six years for players to reach unrestricted free agency (currently, that can be reached in 4 years). So, players that would have been unrestricted free agents this offseason (with less than 6 years of NFL experience) will be restricted free agents, meaning teams will have to offer up compensation (draft picks) to sign them. Maybe the Bears place a high tender on Danieal Manning, and get a second round pick in return. It's possible, although certainly not a guarantee. They would probably put a medium or low tender on Mark Anderson and Jamar Williams and see what happens. Yes, Urlacher coming back will help in 2010. And yes, they need more draft picks like Johnny Knox!

Darwin (Valencia,CA)

Do you Khalil Bell staying in the rotation when and if Wolfe comes back?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:47 AM)

Good question. I know for a fact Jerry Angelo is a big fan of Bell. Kevin Jones has one more year left on his contract, so he may be brought back to traning camp next summer. Adrian Peterson is going to be a free agent, and is unlikely to return. Considering Wolfe is a former third round pick, he'll likely be given an opportunity to stick around. Bell needs to play well in these final four games, but I think he has a good shot to stick in the rotation next year. Although the Bears may try and add another running back this offseason, so that could throw off the equation.

Jhiron (evanston)

what is the future in the offense line with no high draft pickes

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:50 AM)

Bleak.

Johnny Blaze (southside)

Can the Bears make a switch to a 3-4 defense with their personel?I would put Briggs and Urlacher in the middle and move Tommie Harris to an end, then look for OLBs who can blitz since none of our current LBs can blitz. Any chance this could happen/work?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:52 AM)

Of course it could work. But there has to be somebody in charge (the D cord) who understands how to install the 3-4. That's why Dom Capers was hired in Green Bay. That could not and would not happen with this current group of Bears coaches.

Brandon (Ames)

What do you see as the biggest hole the bears need to fill going into this offseason?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:53 AM)

Offensive and defensive line.

mario (eagle pass tx)

Knowing your experience what would be a good prediction for the chicago bears for next year? are we will be contenders or just pretenders and last Charlie Wiess' a good fit for the bears?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:56 AM)

That's really tough to say at this point. If things stay status quo, the Bears will be bad again next year. But if you add a new offensive system, improve the lines, add a #1 receiver, re-discover Matt Forte, and tweak the defensive system....they could be a lot better. But that's a long list...isn't it. I'd pass on Charlie Weis, although it would be funny to see what happens between Smith and Weis when Weis starts throwing players under the bus. That would be high comedy.

Mr. Smith (Lake Forest)

Orlando Place is a good football player, so is Chris Williams. We like Orlando as well as Chris. Orlando Pace is part of the rotation, Chris is also part of this rotation. We like are rotation, we like where we are at with that rotation. We feel like we can win with rotation. We will leave it at that and go from there.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:57 AM)

I basically don't have to go to Halas Hall today, because that's exactly what Lovie is going to say.

Cormander (Chi-town)

Is it just more or do the bears seem to waste a lot of talent? I mean take for instance Garret Wolfe. Ive seen this guy play and I know hes good. Have you seen this guy when he gets in space, its unbelievable at how elusive he is. Yet Ron Turner wants to run a 5'8" 185 guy up the middle. Hes not MJD the human pinball. All im saying is I dont believe that we take advantage of the talent we have. I look at the saints play calling and it seems like everyone on the field has a role to fill becuase they have plays designed for certain people while on the field. Is there anyone in mind that you can think of thats being wasted on team? Thanks.

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:59 AM)

It's not like the Bears don't have talent, they do, it's just not being utilized properly -- in my opinion. Why is Wolfe being asked to run between the tackles? Why is Greg Olsen being asked to block? Why is Zack Bowman being told to play 8 yards off a receiver? Why is Matt Forte being asked to run into a brick wall?

Pathik (Chicago)

The long term solution to the bears woes is that we need a new ownership or at least a change in mentality with the current ownership. You need a constant commitment to winning. The Broncos are paying a coach like Shanahan $20 mil and he's not even working for them. We won't pay Lovie $11 mil to leave town. Agree?

Jeff Dickerson
  (11:59 AM)

Agree.

Jason (Charlottesville)

....why arent we using Hester in more screens?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:00 PM)

Because they never work.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:01 PM)

Thanks everybody again. Really appreciate all the questions. Jurko is coming up next.

Marc (Phoenix )

Do you see Tommie Harris as a viable part of this organization's future?

Jurko
  (12:01 PM)

No. Not at his price.

Jurko
  (12:03 PM)

They've tried the screen game with a number of different WR who proved they're not dynamic enough to take the ball downfield. Hester is not the player he was two years ago. His want to become a WR has made him an ordinary player.

BK (Mpls)

How many yards are the Packers quick slants going to rack up on the Bears soft D?

Jurko
  (12:04 PM)

Aaron Rodgers line this week: 24 of 31 for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. And a passer rating, I believe it equates to 131.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Jurko, any idea on the stance the Bears are taking this offseason? Do they seem like they plan to be very active to fix their problems or cheapness, I mean, business as usual in the free agent market?

Jurko
  (12:05 PM)

It depends on if this is an uncapped year. I can see a lot of the owners going cheap. Jerry Jones and Snyder will try to win a title if this is uncapped. McCaskeys, Bidwells, Jaguars' Weaver, I can see them going cheap.

Jason (Charlottesville)

Do you think that would change if we got a true #1 reciever? Do you think Hester could be a good slot receiver like a Welker, if we had a bigger presence on the field?

Jurko
  (12:05 PM)

He could be a good third receiver. That's where he needs to be utilized.

Pat (Chicago)

How do you think Grant will fair against the Bears D? Ahman green hasn't looked bad in a handful of carries

Jurko
  (12:06 PM)

I don't see Grant runing that much. If they're up, run him in the 3rd, but the way to beat the Bears is pass. Why waste time running when you can throw all over them.

Chris (Chicago)

7-9 this year? Which brings to me this...Kyle Orton won't lose you games, but he doesn't have the ability to win you any either. Jay Cutler (not alone, but mostly his fault) has lost us at least two games.

Jurko
  (12:07 PM)

I don't see Grant runing that much. If they're up, run him in the 3rd, but the way to beat the Bears is pass. Why waste time running when you can throw all over them.

Jurko
  (12:07 PM)

7-9 is realistic. Cutler lost the S.F. game and maybe one other, but I'd rather have him as my QB 500 times more than Orton. Lot of flaws on this tema, and having Cutler here has exposed a lot of flaws.

Corey (Denver)

What are the chances that Jerry Angelo will be gone after the season. I put a huge amount of blame on him for failing to bring in talent.

Jurko
  (12:08 PM)

If this is a normal organization, it would be even money that he would be gone. But because the McCaskeys run it, it's probably 75-1 he'll be gone.

John (LA)

Hey Jeff, Can you help me understand this situation:I assume Lovie didn't forget how to coach from the Super Bowl year until now. Was he just lucky that year, or is there something else? Why does he need to go?

Jurko
  (12:09 PM)

Here's what happened: they won and he decided to exercise his power, so he fired Rivera, Johnson and a couple other coaches. And he said trust me -- ME. You can't simply have 'yes' men as coaches. Have to have guys with different thoughts than yours. He wanted nobody smarter than him on his staff. And this is what you end up with.

Chris (Chicago)

Does Lovie fire himself as D coordinator? I think we all know were Ron is headed.

Jurko
  (12:10 PM)

Here's the problem, we all blamed Babich. That was just a cover for this is Lovie's thing. Rivera was in charge for calling defenses. He had a good feel. Babich didn't have that feel and now we know Lovie doesn't.

PC (Chicago)

Who gets fired first - Vinny or Turner or Lovie (wishful thinking)?

Jurko
  (12:11 PM)

I have a feeling Vinny is going to get himself fired. The Bulls have quit playing for VDN. I don't know if the mutiny is being led inside the locker room, but something is amiss, afoul. And unfortunately, it's going to be the Christmas Eve massacre again. I hope he didn't sell his house in Phoenix.

Paul Schulenburg (Chicago, IL)

Jurko-Is Gaines Adams the biggest waste of a 2nd round draft pick ever, especially considering how badly this team could use the pick? Or do you see him turning the corner next season?

Jurko
  (12:12 PM)

No evidence whatsoever that proves to me he'll be able to do anything. You teach technique in the NFL, but the ability to rush the passer is either there or not there. The skill has to be there. When I saw him come off the corner vs the Vikings, he looked lost.

A. Aranda (Chicago, IL )

What do you think about this? Leave Chris Williams at LT and place Orlando Pace at RT. What are the Pros and Cons with that move?

Jurko
  (12:13 PM)

Pace is done, ok? He's not a RT, he's an aged man with bad knees who needs to do what a lot of NFL guys don't like to do, retire. Wave to everybody. Be a part of an alumni organization. But being on an NFL field is not the best thing. Johnathan Ogden knew when to get out.

Jon (chi town)

The "Tampa 2" defense is dead. No teams run it's pure form with succes. There are teams that run modified versions well(Minny) why can't the Bears realize this.

Jurko
  (12:14 PM)

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. I saw London Fletcher running 40 yards down field in the middle in the classic Tampa 2. Every team runs the Tampa 2 and unfortunately every team executies it better than the Bears. The Cover 2 def is never going away. It's been a staple in the league for 50 years. Two safeties playing deeep, that's not goign anywhere. That's the very foundation for what defenses are about.

Eric (Chicago)

Jurko...you can have Cutler...I'll take Orton any day and beat you 400 out of 500 times! Cutler lost the GB game, lost the ATL game with red zone picks (I don't want to hear about Forte fumbling because Jay was the REAL reason), he lost the SF game, he also lost the Philly game with the late pick and also missing several open receivers which other QBs most likely would have gotten the ball to...just saying but I'd rather have Orton and have the chance to win every game instead of Cutler throwing the ball away to the other teams a league leading 20 times! 20 INTERCEPTIONS! You can have him!

Jurko
  (12:16 PM)

Let's just put 4 out of 5, simplest form. I wnat the better QB, and that includes physical skills. It also includes decision making process. But I want the QB with the skills first then I'll work on decision making. Orton will never have the skills Cutler does, never. All I have to do is get my guy to settle down and beleive he's not Superman. Orton can't bring water to Jay Cutler.

sam (nj)

are the '85 bears the greatest team the nfl has ever seen?

Jurko
  (12:17 PM)

I'd put them up there. Nobody gives 85 offense any credit, everybody says defense. You'd be surprised how impressive 85 offensive stats were. I'd put Ravens Super Bowl winners and Greatest Show on Turf. 72 Dolphins no one cares about. And one of the Steelers teams.

Coleman (Chicago)

Realistically, what one position do you see the bears actually going out and trying to improve this offseason?

Jurko
  (12:19 PM)

Linebacker is fine; they need a safety, two OL, pass rushing end, 1 1/2 wide receivers. You need one superstar and get by with the veteran for the minimum.

A. Aranda (Chicago, IL )

I agree he is done, but will the Bears start him again at LT this year? Won't that stunt Chris Williams' growth at that position?

Jurko
  (12:20 PM)

Chris Williams needs to stay at LT for the rest of the year, period. Any answer you needed on Pace already has been given to you. He should never play a down for the Bears again.

Chris (Chicago)

W and L matter in the NFL...Cutler couldn't win in Denver and now is doing it in Chicago. Orton won in Chicago when giving the chance and is winnig in Denver. Maybe I am just disappointed and bitter like a kid that didn't get his bike on Christmas.

Jurko
  (12:21 PM)

I'm tired of the Orton stuff, he's gone. Let it go. Favre used to make bad decisions all the time. Holmgren honed him in, hopefully the new OC wil lbe able to hone him in. It's a wild stallion who needs to be trained. He has all the tools as a quarterback to be a Hall of Famer. Orton couldn't make an All-State team.

Matt (Chicago)

How does a guy like Gaines Adams become such a terrible misfire? Like you said, as a rusher you either have it or you don't, and at Florida playing against SEC o-lines, he had it.

Jurko
  (12:23 PM)

Here's the thing. You're playing against sometimes a 19yo freshman. As a 22 yo guy, you have all the confidence in the world, you're beating guys with speed rushers cuz you're faster. Not every tackel in the NFL is from the SEC. The NFL brings all great tackles that colleges missed on. He dominated a select group of guys, two who might be in the NFL. Not everry guy in the SEC is in the NFL.

Eric (Chicago)

Jurko...we'll let go of the Orton talk, that's fine because you're right he's gone, he was traded...but DON'T put Cutler and the Hall of Fame in the same sentence...at least give us that! That has got to be the most BRUTAL statement I have heard!

Jurko
  (12:24 PM)

Hall of Fame talent is what I said. The only thing he has to work on is decision making. Orton doens' have those assets, that's the truth.

Adam (Schaumburg)

Do the Bears even have a Pro Player Personnel department? I'd like to think so, but who knows when you are talking about a team that did not have a GM for over twenty years. If so, why are we not talking about how bad they are?

Jurko
  (12:25 PM)

Bobby DePaul is the head of the pro player dept. That's Angelo's guy. Lovie wanted him fired after going to the Super Bowl. When they wouldn't fire DePaul, that's when Chico got sacrificed.

Jurko
  (12:26 PM)

He's under scrutiny. Trust me, when Jerry goes, he goes. But he might need to go before Jerry.

chris (Wisconsin)

what are some names that the bears will look at in the off season

Jurko
  (12:27 PM)

6-year free agents is what you're looking for because it looks like a uncapped year. Woolfork, Atogwe are two names, I don't have the l ist in front of me.

Steve Mulderink (Lagrange, il)

Ron turner seems really hesitant to try some new things, the packers have had 4 changes on offensive line. And Cutler keeps saying he wants DA in there but we barely see him and it's on a screen pass which doesn't take advantage of his height at all.

Jurko
  (12:28 PM)

I think you're going to see more DA this week. And it's the inability to utilize whatever talent you have that will ultimately cost Ron Turner his job.

Steve (Chicago)

The bears are out of the playoff race, lovie probably won't get fired, and what the bears have been doing so far hasn't been working so shouldn't lovie be trying to figure out what he has for next year? Why not bring up William t'afoe from the squad or play your first pick Gilbert? Mckie career is just about done and obviously our run game needs some blocking.

Jurko
  (12:30 PM)

Unfortunatley the only way I think Gilbert will be good is if they make NFL fields swimming pools. When you analyze a player you do it on the field. Number then support what you think about him on the field. Can't fall in love with numbers or guys jumping out of pools. Fall in love with how he plays and then go with evidence why you like him.

kevin (chicago)

as of now do u think there will be a change at oc, or do u think they will do more to build the offense around cutler?

Jurko
  (12:31 PM)

There's definitley going to be a change in OC. That's the very least of the moves.

Jurko
  (12:31 PM)

Unfortunately it looks like the Bears are going to be get shellacked this weekend. Haven't seen any semblance of pride this whole year, especially when the going gets tough. It could be an ugly Sunday. And to all the Orton supporters ... Happy Holidays!