clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fielding questions about the upcoming Chicago Bears season from Facebook

We recently asked for some questions via facebook, and this is the first installment. Have your own questions? Leave them below, at our facebook, or ask us on twitter.

Chicago Bears Rookie Safety Brock Vereen.
Chicago Bears Rookie Safety Brock Vereen.
Brian Kersey

We're coming up on training camp, and we've asked a lot of questions so far.

Who are the most important Chicago Bears this season? Lester answered that for you.

Where does Martellus Bennett rank amongst the league's tight ends? Sam had some stuff to say about that.

Why does Kyle Long think the locker room is so great? Ronk got the answers from the man himself.

What kind of weird crap can you get on Etsy? Yeah, we did that too.


But now it's time for your questions. Got questions in the future? Drop them to us via one of the many methods of communication, and we'll do our best to help you out.  And now to this week's mailbag:

What, exactly, does Mel Tucker bring to the table? Last year, he was working with Lovie's defensive schemes, and a hobbled defense. Before that, though, did he have any success? He was in Cleveland and Jacksonville before coming to Chicago. Not exactly defensive powerhouses. - Jared S.

Well, Jared, Mel brings experience. While it's not not necessarily a convincing body of work, it's a body of work that at least shows some promise, particularly with the level of talent on those Cleveland and Jacksonville teams. The Yds/gm ranks:

2008 (Cleveland): 26th
2009 (Jacksonville): 23rd
2010 (Jacksonville): 28th
2011 (Jacksonville): 6th
2012 (Jacksonville): 30th

Ok, so that's pretty damning.  The outlier?  When he was put in charge of playcalling in 2011, the team was ranked 6th. (Probably not coincidentally, that's also the year they didn't have to play Peyton Manning with the Colts twice.)

To get back to the question at hand, he brings some experience, and a flash of a performance that got him an interim shot as a head coach, and bought him the goodwill of the Bears organization for at least last year and the beginning of this. The injury bug last year at least gives him the benefit of the doubt, as most good coordinators would have a problem losing most of their stars. With the infusion of young talent Emery has given him to work with this year, I would imagine a terrible start will get him a short leash.

With Jay Cutler coming into his second season under Marc Trestman, will we see any option plays for Jay as to running the ball? He possesses good running skills and with the league having success with mobile QBs wouldn't it be a good mix up with our already explosive offense?- Bobby S

Bobby, I'd say it's unlikely to see too much of it. While I won't rule out the possibility that they have a play or two they could go to, they've made it pretty clear in the past that the plan is to run their version of the west coast offense, which traditionally emphasizes the pass over the run.

Also, there's Jay's injury history to take into account. Given the propensity for weird, freakish injuries, why submit the guy your season hinges on to unnecessary hits when you've got Marshall, Jeffery, Forte, and Bennett out there?

When it comes down to the roster cuts, who will be this year's JWebb Nation (veteran who surprisingly gets cut) and this year's Jordan Mills (not necessarily a rookie, but someone who comes out of nowhere to win a starting spot)? -  TJ G.

In terms of surprise cuts and surprise starters, I think you look no further than the safety position. Despite his bad play last season, I think it would still be somewhat of a surprise to see Chris Conte get cut. He's in the last year of his rookie deal, he's cheap, and you generally know what you're going to get from him, even if it's maybe not what you're looking for.

In terms of surprise starters, the team seems pretty high on fourth round draft pick Brock Vereen. With Conte out due to injury, Vereen was able to take reps with the starters in OTAs and minicamps. While the team is hesitant to anoint him this early, there's no reason a strong training camp couldn't get him that spot. That strong training camp could be in his future since it's not even clear if Conte will be ready.

Defensive line has some depth now, will the team try a platoon system or decide on starters early? - Hank M.

I think you'll definitely see a rotation, it's just the general way things operate now.  At both the defensive tackle and defensive end positions you'll see a rotation to keep legs fresh for as long as possible. Additionally, you've got some guys with flexibility like Lamarr Houston who can shift inside, or play on the edge. This will give Tucker some of the flexibility of playing to the situation, whether it's a need for a more stout run defense, or an obvious passing situation where you want fast guys with moves in the trenches.


Remember, ask your own questions, and we'll feature them here.