Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 5, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Jeff Dickerson, Michael Wright

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:01 PM)

That was ugly. Let's talk some Bears.

Henry (Brookfield)

Can the Bears still make the playoffs it seems that they would have to win 3 of 4 to get in and that does not look good right now?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:04 PM)

I believe the Bears can still make the postseason. But they need to finish at the minimum 9-7, but more likely 10-6. The good news is that everybody lost yesterday...Detroit, Dallas, New York, Atlanta. But you can't count on that every week.

Carl K (Melrose)

Mike Martz seems to be hurting the offense more than he is helping it with Hanie as the QB. Are the rumors of the stubborn genius leaving true?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:05 PM)

Lovie Smith tried to shoot down the rumors today, but I think it's a long shot Martz is back with the Bears in 2012.

Bear fan (Somewhere)

JD was it me or was Caleb Haine playing timid? Also, does the Bears bring in Mcnabb?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:08 PM)

Early in the game, Hanie appeared to be timid. He got somewhat comfortable in the second half, but he was sacked 7 times (some his fault) so how much can you really expect him to settle down. Here is the crazy thing: for as brutal as the Bears looked yesterday, Hanie should have thrown 3 TDs and the Bears should've won 27-10. I'm sure that's what Lovie Smith sees when he watches the film and that's why he said the organization will not bring in another QB during the week.

Nathan (DC)

Any idea if the Bears are working on a new deal for Urlacher? More years, bigger guarantee, lower cap number, etc.?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:10 PM)

I believe at some point a new deal for Urlacher will be a priority at Halas Hall. Urlacher has earned a few more seasons with his play this year, in my opinion.

Mike (Great White North)

Call me crazy, but I don't see a major fall off in run production with the Bears going forward. KBell will get many touches and will produce. M Barber will as well, as long as we limit his touches. Your thoughts?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:11 PM)

There will be a dropoff, but Barber and Bell are decent. The Bears won't fall off a cliff at the running back position without Forte, but he's still their most consistent player on offense.

Jeff (Chicago)

How done are the Bears: medium-well, well-done, or charred to the point that they resemble a hockey puck?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:15 PM)

Again, I hesitate to say the Bears are done. The club is under the impression both Cutler and Forte could return before the end of the regular season, so it might be premature to proclaim it over. If they look bad vs. Denver, then I fear it could be curtains.

Aaron Bennett (St Petersburg, FL)

i just heard brett favre would listen if we call him... i have always like favre as a player.. i was rooting him in 09.. it hurt when they lost cuz he was having such a historic season.. he does have enough to get us there.. i think so

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:17 PM)

Michael Wright reported on ESPNChicago.com Favre would listen if the Bears called, but Michael was careful to point out the Bears HAD NOT contract Favre, nor did Michael believe they would. I don't think Favre is the guy. If you're going to sign a veteran to start, at least sign a guy who's been in the league this year. Favre and his jeans can stay in Mississippi.

mike b (chicago)

What are our chances the Bears get new ownership in my life time like the Cubs? I'am 60

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:20 PM)

I have no idea. The McCaskey's are a secretive bunch. Who knows the family plan once Virginia steps aside. She seems like a wonderful lady, and George is a lot more with it than the previous Chairman of the Board. But I don't know if they would ever sell the team...only they hold that answer.

Tyler (Milwaukee)

JD - Bear fan in Cheesehead land here... Just wanted to say I loved The Bear Necessities. It was like our very own PRP treatment: taking out the bad blood from the loss, swirling it around, and injecting it back in. I feel better. Bear down!

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:21 PM)

Thanks Tyler. The Bears Necessities is something fun we wanted to try to get more interactive with our great listeners/readers. It's like our weekly chats but on steroids.

Joe (New Jersey)

Is Devin Hester misjudging punt heights-distance? Or was the KC Punter just kicking them so high he had no chance before coverage got to him?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:24 PM)

Hester made several poor decisions yesterday. He did have one nice 44-yard punt return, but he hurt the team several times. I'll be sure to ask Dave Toub about it this week. Hester has been kind of in a daze since the Lions game.

Don (Columbus,OH)

Where is my boy Sanzenwaddle? Throw him the ball!

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:25 PM)

Don, I'd start by throwing Earl Bennett the ball. I never want to see Roy Williams on the field, ever again. Knox and Bennett should get the bulk of the throws, with the leftovers going to your guy Dane.

Marion the Barbarion (Chicago)

Come on Guys, was I really in the backfield or did the ref totally kill the Bears with a blown call?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:26 PM)

You expect more from a seven-year NFL veteran. Barber has certainly been a decent addition to the offense, but he killed the team yesterday with that bonehead penalty. Bad.

Danny (The Loop)

Just saw on NFL.com that Cutler is going to Denver with the team to have his thumb evaluated. Any reason for hope/new updates?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:28 PM)

It makes sense since the doctor (Randy Viola) who performed the procedure is based in Colorado. I haven't heard about any sort of setbacks, so maybe Cutler does return in time for GB or Minnesota to wrap up the year.

Don (Cleveland)

Are you serious?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?! He's a west cost QB! He'd be lost in our system. Please tell me this Favre stuff has no legs!!!!! Even if you are lying to me, just tell me it won't happen!!!!

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:29 PM)

I don't think it's happening.

Jeff (Houston, TX)

Traveling to the game this weekend. Bummer there will now be no Forte to look forward to. Do you see the Bears handling Tebow?

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:30 PM)

The Bears linebackers should eat Tebow alive. This defense is a bad matchup for Tebow because of Urlacher and Briggs' speed. Plus, the Cover 2 is built to make a QB beat you underneath. I'll be disappointed if Tebow has a good game.

Jeff Dickerson
  (3:31 PM)

Thank you everybody. I'll turn the floor over the Mike. Enjoy the week. Remember, it's not over yet.

Michael
  (3:31 PM)

Hello everyone. Been a busy day so far. Let's get into this.

derrick hauenstein (derrickh@prodigy.net)

I just read that there is a source close to brett favre that he would consider listening to a pitch from the bears. Now I know he doesn't know martz's playbook but would it be a great storyline that he comes in to beat the packers for their only loss or better yet beat them in the playoffs if there is a setback with cutler?

Michael
  (3:33 PM)

Storylines are great, Derrick. But sometimes we've got to look at reality. Yes, I was told today that Favre would listen if the Bears made a play. But I really don't think the Bears are interested in Favre. First, how much does he have left in the tank. Second, can he be prepped to run a Martz offense in a very short time? Third, are the Bears willing to deal with a circus atmosphere if he were to come aboard. I don't that's what the Bears would want with their playoff lives on the line here.

Cheese (Washington, DC)

Seriously, what kind of Bears fans are you when you're talking about Brett Favre playing for the Bears. Stop it. It's embarrassing.

Michael
  (3:34 PM)

Not a fan, I just cover the team.

Ashton (Columbus Oh)

Do you think Love Smith could get fired if the Bears continue to slide and miss the playoffs?

Michael
  (3:35 PM)

I don't think he'd get fired Ashton because these are circumstances beyond Lovie Smith's control. Nobody expected the star quarterback and star running back to go down the way they have. You fire coaches when they make bad decisions. I haven't seen a ton of those with Smith this season. In fact, I think he's done a commendbale job of rallying the troops under tough circumstances.

Steve (Logan Square)

Will the Bears keep the Martz offense after the season if he leaves?

Michael
  (3:36 PM)

Steve, I doubt it. They'd go with the system of the new coach. But I also wouldn't say that it's a done deal that Martz is leaving. I spoke to Lovie Smith about that two weeks ago, and Smith said he loved his coaching staff.

Josh (Vernon hills)

Why didnt the Bears run any screen plays?

Michael
  (3:38 PM)

That's easy, Josh. The Bears lost Matt Forte in the first quarter. By losing Forte, the Bears lost one of the best elements of their passing game: the screen game.

DS (hammond, in)

I've heard from analyst all week of how talented caleb hanie is and he goes out throws 3 int's against the chiefs. How do you think he will fare against a very good denver defense?

Michael
  (3:39 PM)

Man, I was probably one of those "analysts". I honestly expected Hanie to bounce back in a major way after his rough outing against the Oakland Raiders. So I was definitely surprised he struggled against the Chiefs. I don't see him doing much better against Denver's defense, which is highly underrated. The Bears will have to do a lot more than they have to help out Hanie against this defense.

Matt (NYC)

When was the last time you were so frustrated with the Bears?

Michael
  (3:40 PM)

Not frustrated with the Bears at all. I've seen worse. Been around some horrid Jaguars teams, and covered the Redskins when they dropped a gimme game in Seattle back in 2005. I've seen a ton of difficult cirumstances transpire with teams. This one with the Bears is no different.

Matt (NYC)

Do you think the Bears will sign Kyle Orton next year as a backup. I think the last 2 weeks have proved that a good backup is really important in the NFL

Michael
  (3:41 PM)

Matt, will they be able to afford him? My guess is that someone will pay him big money and let him compete for a starting job.

Chris (Loop)

We won 4 games in a row, lost a tough a game in Oakland and lost a terrible game yesterday. Season is far from over, especially with ATL, DET, DAL and NY losing yesterday. A lot of hope still, just need to right the ship against DEN and SEA.

Michael
  (3:42 PM)

I agree with you Chris. There's still plenty of time for the Bears to right the ship. But they're definitely running out of time, too. Bottom line is the Bears have chosen to ride out the season with Hanie. If that's truly the case, then either he needs to play much better or the Bears have to do some things around him to help him out.

Adam (San Diego)

I understand the Bears D should dominate Tebow... but we should also be dominated by their D. What gives on Sunday?

Michael
  (3:43 PM)

Good points, Adam. I think special teams win out. I also think the Bears D better brace for that magical fourth-quarter Tim Tebow comeback.

Mo (Chicago)

Who will pay Orton "big money" when they watched him lose the job, rightfully, to Tim Tebow?

Michael
  (3:44 PM)

There are plenty of quarterback-challenged teams around this league. You'd be surprised with how they spend needlessly.

Cheese (Washington, DC)

Will another RB be activated from the practice squad? Is Unga eligible to be activated? Who else is there?

Michael
  (3:46 PM)

Unga is long gone, Cheese. Not sure if another running back will be activated. But they do have former Notre Dame star Armondo Allen sitting on the practice squad. So he might be a candidate for activation to the 53-man roster.

Kenny (Irving Park)

Isn't this talk about the next 4 games useless? So what if they get into the playoffs. Does anybody honestly think Hanie and Khalil Bell are going to survive in the Super Dome? Lambeau? I wouldn't even trust them playing Indy. And I'm stick on hanging on a thread hearing Cutler MAY be back, Forte MAY be back. They're not just gonna start right back up where they left off after being out so long. I think it's time to put the Bears are on the back burner and let's go Hawks and Bulls, right?

Michael
  (3:48 PM)

C'mon, Kenny. There's still a month left in the season. You've already invested so much in this team emotionally. So why give up on them now? Injuries are a very fluid thing, man. So you never know: this team could have Forte and Cutler back before the end of the season. I doubt that, but I'm not saying it CAN'T happen. You've got to have faith in your team, man. I get where you're coming from. But there's still plenty of football left to play. Just like the Bears suffered catastrophic injuries, other teams can, too. Not saying I wish that on anyone, just saying that anything could happen.

DS (hammond, in)

Who do you think will get more reps this week just in case hanie plays poorly again, enderle or mcown?

Michael
  (3:49 PM)

I think McCown's reps will increase because the team needs to have him ready to play even if Hanie struggles. McCown said Sunday that he expected to be active next week. So we'll just have to wait and see.

Tom (Chicago)

Read recently that Lovie's son is doing a good job coaching the DB's. Does he deserve some credit for the better secondary play or is that just a feel good story?

Michael
  (3:50 PM)

No, Tom. Smith's son Mikal has done a very good job with the nickel backs, a position that had been coached by Lovie Smnith in the past. It's not just a feel-good story. Look at the results. Both D.J. Moore and Corey Graham have been strong performers for this team and Mikal Smith is partially responsible for that.

chris (Nashville tn)

if martz is such a genius why cant he fine what works for us without being told by lovie or jay ? any chance we fire martz and give tice a tryout?

Michael
  (3:52 PM)

Chris if the Bears are so inclined, there won't be any need to fire Mike Martz. He's in the last year of his contract. So they could simply decide not to renew him and go a different direction. In my opinion, not renewing Martz would have serious consequences. I'm not sure you want to force Jay Cutler to have to learn another offense, which would definitely set back his development even more. Cutler is on the cusp of becoming a bona fide baller. Switching coordinators again would only mess that up.

Tom D. (San Diego, CA)

Mike, with all the Martz talk, I just wanted to get your insight on hypothetically if he's not around next year, who takes his place? I'm sure the popular answer is Mike Tice, but would you see the Bears going after Tom Clements again?

Michael
  (3:54 PM)

You're right about Tice being the popular answer. I've heard that when they first brought in Tice to interview that Jerry Angelo actually spoke to Lovie Smith about Tice becoming the coordinator, but Smith wanted Martz. As for options outside of that, I could see them going with someone Cutler is familiar with; someone like Jeremy Bates if they can land him.

Steve (San Diego)

Forget the fact that the Bears will most likely be unable to score any points on offense in Denver this week. What are your thoughts on how the Bears D will go after Tebow? It seems the Bears has been blitzing more lately. I believe they would contain Tebow better rushing their regular 4 and keeping the LB's in the standard cover 2. Thoughts?

Michael
  (3:57 PM)

Steve, Lovie Smith said today that this team's basic defense is geared toward option principles, which obviously is what they'd have to defend against Tebow. While many NFL teams have to scheme specifically to stop the option, Smith said those option responsibilities are already built into the Bears' defense. So I see them playing that standard 4-3, and limiting Tim Tebow's ability to run the ball with the defensive ends and scraping linebackers. No need to put in anything special.

Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)

Will the Bears defend Tebow similar to how they've schemed Mike Vick in the past? Or is this totally different?

Michael
  (3:59 PM)

I think it's just a tad different, Ben. And that's because Tebow isn't as much of a threat as a passer as Vick. With Vick, the Bears had to try to keep him contained in the pocket or make him roll to his right (he's left handed). With Tebow, the concern is his ability to run. So that will be this team's first objective: neutralize Tebow as a runner.

Cameron (New York)

With Matt Forte out and no change in QB, where do you think the Bears can score at? Which leads me to another question, what is your assessment of the Bears receiving core?

Michael
  (4:01 PM)

That's a good question, Cameron. I think this team is going to have to go to more of a pounding attack. They're going to have to utilize the weapons they have, and at this point Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell might be the best options. As for the receiving corps, it's definitely a work in progress. They just haven't been consistent enough to give me any type of comfort level in leaning on them for four quarters. I say run the ball, then take your chances down the field when you start seeing eight-man fronts.

Michael
  (4:02 PM)

Folks, that's my time. Thanks for taking the time to come in and chat with us. It's been a crazy start to the week, but keep it tuned to ESPNChicago.com for all the latest breaking Bears news. Also fans, don't give up hope in your team. The Bears are still poised to get into the playoffs. Once they achieve that, anything can happen.