1. Q: I'm a staunch Cutler fan, but he has really upset me with his performance, particularly the dumb picks against the Redskins. Is it time to give up on him? --- Dennis Lathers
A: Let's give him a couple years in the same system and a solid offensive line. If he fails then, feel free to give up on him. I think Cutler could end up being one of those quarterbacks --- like Brett Favre --- who loses two games every season because of interceptions. I also think he --- again, like Favre --- can carry a team for long stretches if he has the right surrounding cast.
2. Q: How is the Chicago Media not asking Jerry Angelo about his inability/refusal to draft O-Line for several years now? How can he trade the farm for Cutler and then ignore the line? Is he afraid to draft OL? Why doesn't the media ask him about it? --- 1990
A: I wrote a story about this a while back. Angelo has drafted 11 offensive linemen since joining the Bears and only two remain on the roster, and we still don't know if Chris Williams or J'Marcus Webb can play. I'm not sure what there is to ask him about. His record speaks for itself. I do believe he planned to address the line with he struck the Jay Cutler deal, which sent two first-round picks to the Broncos. Over the same period, he has drafted 15 defensive linemen, while also trading for Adewale Ogunleye and the late Gaines Adams. None of the those players are currently starters.
3. Q: Through the first 7 games, do you think Julius Peppers has made the impact that warrants the money he was paid? Would you say he has underachieved to this point? I do not recall his name being called much the past 2 games. --- Allen Leppellere
A: I don't know if anybody warrants the money he's being paid, but I do think Peppers is making a big impact, even if it may not showing up on the stat sheet. He dominated Redskins rookie Trent Williams early in Sunday's game. With the exception of the Seattle game, when he disappeared, he has made his presence felt in every game. Here's what Mike Shanahan said about him: "Julius Peppers did an outstanding job. I'm not sure of his stats, but he is definitely a difference maker. I tip my hat to him the way he played."
4. Q; How in God's name is Brad Maynard still punting for this team? With such terrible run game and pass blocking comes a lot of punts and the guy just can't punt us out of trouble. Is there a possibility for change or like many other Jerry Angelo moves will we hang on to a player too long? PS- I know they signed a punter to the practice squad, but something needs to be done. --- Fulphil
A: Maynard is having a tough season, no question. His current average of 38.4 yards per punt ranks among the worst in the league. Maynard does rank among the league leaders with 15 punts inside the 20, however. The biggest reason why Maynard is getting some slack is because he has been such a steady, heady veteran. He also holds for field goals and extra points, which can't be overlooked. As you know, punter Richmond McGee was signed to the practice squad this week, which tells you that management is losing patience, although I still expect Maynard to snap out of his funk and keep his job.
5. Q: Do you see Jerry Angelo firing Lovie Smith and promoting Dave Toub or one of the former head coaches to interim head coach before the season is over? I just can't seem to come to the conclusion that Lovie's blunders are not a fireable offense. --- Mike
A: I don't see it. It's just not how the Bears operate. It would take a scandal or a player mutiny or some other epic event for them to ponder a coaching change during the season.
6. Q: I watched "The Blind Side" the other night and noted the description of the desired left tackle (at least according to the movie): wide butt, thick in the thighs, long arms, big hands, and quick feet. I know J'Marcus Webb is tall and good size. Does he have the tools to be a legitimate left tackle? --- Kevin K
A: I think so. More importantly, Tom Thayer thinks so. The Bears' radio analyst believes the sky is the limit for Webb not only because of his size --- 6-foot-7, 328 pounds--- but his quicker-than-you-would-expect feet (size-22s). He also has extremely long arms, which is what you want in a left tackle.
7. Q: If the Bears continue to play poorly and end up with a 6-10 or 7-9 record on the season, what changes do you expect a Halas Hall? --- Darryl
A: I sometimes think they are looking for any excuse to keep Jerry and Lovie because they are known and trying to hire another general manager and coach and could be a real headache for President Ted Phillips, who isn't a football guy. Then again, maybe Phillips won't be the one making that decision this time. A possible work stoppage next season could also dramatically impact any decision. I'm not trying to duck your question here, and changes could be coming, but they won't come until after the season.
8. Q: On the sneak attempt from Jay Cutler in the last game it was obvious watching on television what the play was going to be. Was it that obvious to everyone, especially Albert Haynesworth? Why do we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot all the time with this type of obvious play? Where is our creativity that you see with other teams? --- Dennis Da Bears Fan
A: Actually, Haynesworth did know what was coming. Here's what he said after the game: "Right before the play, Jay [Cutler] and [center Olin] Kreutz and [left guard Chris] Williams were talking, so I figured they were probably going to try and come to my side," Haynesworth said. As for your second and third questions, I don't know what to say. I really thought Mike Martz would be the solution to these types of situations. He has always had a knack for getting somebody open for an easy score. So far with the Bears, however, it has only gotten worse.
9. Q: Can you please explain to me again why they aren't playing Devin Aromashodu? To me that is one of my biggest disappointments this year. Do you think he will play more the 2nd half of the season? I thought we finally got a tall receiver to go up and get the ball. I like Johnny Knox's speed but he looks soft when fighting for position. Also, it seemed like Cutler was lobbying for him to play more last year and the beginning of this year. Has he lost confidence in him? --- Tim Miller
A: I thought Aromashodu was going to have a big year because of his size, talent and the chemistry he had with Cutler. What you know is what I know. He took some big hits against the Lions. He also dropped some balls and the coaching staff felt like he was reluctant while running routes over the middle. He has been a nonfactor ever since. Another reason why Earl Bennett has reclaimed his spot after missing most of the preseason is he is a terrific blocker, which we've seen several times this season. The coaching staff hasn't been enamored with Aromashodu's blocking, either, but it seems to me that they should find a role for him somewhere because his size and skills makes him unique among Bears receivers.
10. Q: With all of the injuries over the years to both the opponents and Bear players alike (Mike Brown starts a long list) with all the slips and falls seen every week, broken plays --- when for God's sake are the Bears going to put in field turf? Do they feel they have a better chance to win on spray painted dirt? --- Peter Iovinelli
A: Phillips has said that the main issue in his mind is safety, and he wants to see results of a study about injuries on field turf vs. natural grass. Also, keep in mind, that Soldier Field isn't exclusively a Bears venue. It hosts other events, such as soccer, and some of those events require a natural surface or something close to it. If the Bears do decide to replace the natural grass, it will likely be with some sort of grass/artificial mixture similar to what the Packers have done at Lambeau Field. This is starting to make too much sense not to be seriously considered. Expect a change in coming years.