Recently in Q & A Category

Thanks for all of the questions. I got to as many as possible. Some were edited for length, clarity, etc. Some wound up being somewhat repetitive. We’ll do it again soon.

Q: Assuming the Bears take a running back in the first three rounds of the draft, what will that mean for Garrett Wolfe and Adrian Peterson? Is it possible the Bears will carry four running backs out of training camp? Also, if the Bears ask Israel Idonije to bulk up in order to slide down into the defensive tackle position (which has been reported recently), will that effectively remove him as a "wedge buster" on special teams? I would hate to see both him and Brendon Ayanbedejo missing from coverage teams.

Sam, Carol Stream

Hi Sam,

The Bears are not going to give up on Wolfe, a third-round pick in 2007, after one season. They’re more likely to cut their losses with Cedric Benson before Wolfe. They need to find a better defined role for him as a change-of-pace back this season but before they do that they need to straighten out the running game, period. I think it’s fair to say Peterson showed he’s not cut out for the backup role but he’s a valuable performer on special teams and has been durable. I don’t see why the Bears would not keep four running backs (five if you count a fullback). They kept six wide receivers last season and virtually never used Mike Hass.

As far as Izzy, I’d expect him to still be a part of the coverage teams. He’s got a special combination of size and speed and even if he bulks up a little to move inside, he’ll still be valuable for Dave Toub’s special teams.

Time to go to the mailbag.

Send your questions in and I will do my best to answer as many as possible on Friday.

Include your name and hometown.

After Ron Turner got everyone back on track for the quarterback derby between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, the Bears offensive coordinator covered topics that went beyond new wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.

The Q&A on a teleconference this afternoon:

Q: Thoughts on Brandon?

A: “I think Brandon’s a playmaker. Like he said, I’ve known him since he was 17 years old, recruited him out of high school, was with him three years at Illinois. He was very productive down there, so I’ve got a good feel for what he can do. [Receivers coach] Darryl Drake and I went back and looked at all his film as we do any available free agent, looked at his game film from the last couple years and feel he can still play and that hopefully he can come in and be a good fit with the receivers that we have here right now, he can fit in well with them and we’re looking forward to that competition.”

Lance Briggs Q&A

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Lance Briggs spoke with media in a conference call Sunday evening.

Below is a transcript of the questions and answers.


I’m very relieved. I’m very, very relieved. I can take some time to plan out my future and know where I’m going to be. That’s always relieving.


I’m familiar. That is one place that I am real familiar with. Adjusting to Chicago, I’ve been used to Chicago for the last five years so that’s not bad, not bad at all.

Four days at the combine and a flurry of activity since has left the in box stuffed with some good questions. So we’ll do our best to tie up some loose ends before moving toward free agency, which opens at 11 p.m. Thursday.

The action should be furious from the start. So many teams have an abundance of salary-cap room and the agents are going to prey on this, working one deal against another to score top dollar for their clients in the first two to three days. It will be a whirlwind of activity with the Bears doing their best to monitor linebacker Lance Briggs, wide receiver Bernard Berrian, special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo and don’t forget about tight end John Gilmore.

Q: It would be nice to have some follow up on how Shane Longest, the local Saint Xavier University kicker performed at the combine. How did he do?

Ron C., Chicago

A: Most workouts, including those for punters and kickers, are closed to the media. So, I tracked down a scout who was in attendance and got his take on Longest’s day last week. He wasn’t overly encouraging.

``He didn’t have a good workout,’’ the scout said. ``He’s a combination guy, he tried to do both, and he’s not a punter. If he makes an NFL team, it will be as a kicker. But he’s got a long way to go. It seemed like he was nervous and it was a bit too big for him. He just looked nervous as hell. He missed two out of three extra points when he first started out. But he settled down, I can say that. At the end, he made all three 50-yard field goals. He’s got a ways to go.’’

It was just a matter of time. Don’t look now but your No. 3 quarterback Kyle Orton is gaining popularity, rapidly. From Kyle to the shotgun, the safeties and offensive linemen, plenty of queries came in. We sorted through and have answers. Keep the questions coming for next week.

Q: I agree we all should be more patient, but after being a Bear fan since 1961, and seeing seemingly year after year less than adequate play at QB, it becomes frustrating. Orton was thrown in as rookie and basically told not to lose the game. The result being a division title. When he was a Senior at Purdue, he was a leading candidate for the Heisman until he was hurt. I’ll be patient, but don’t you think just once a QB could fall into our laps, such as Tom Brady did with the Patriots or Tony Romo in Dallas?

Parts Unknown

Ted: Who’s saying Orton will not develop into Brady or Romo? How he has developed with a year-plus now to sit and watch will be interesting to see when his opportunity finally comes. Let’s give Brian Griese an opportunity to show what he can do before we all clamor for the QB turnstile to click once again. But guys like Brady and Romo don’t just come around. Brady was a sixth-round pick and the Patriots had no clue what they had in him until his chance came. Romo went undrafted. Scouting is an inexact science after all.

More follow:

NFLPA president Gene Upshaw was at Halas Hall Friday for an annual meeting with players following practice. There are a myriad of issues Upshaw is discussing with them as he makes the rounds. He was in Green Bay and Pittsburgh earlier in the week, and will travel again next week after spending the weekend at his home in Northern Virginia.

The collective bargaining agreement, performance-enhancing drugs, the franchise tag and many other issues are at play for Upshaw and his office. We spoke with him briefly about two hot-button topics that have been examined as he sat in the atrium of the building.

``They asked me if I wanted to go out and watch practice,’’ quipped the Hall of Fame offensive lineman. ``I said I didn’t want to be out there practicing when I was playing.’’