View from the Stands

Fans get a chance to voice their opinions on the draft, the upcoming season and WR Justin Gage.

Here are e-mails and letters recently received by Bear Report managing editor Jason Klabacha:

The draft was hit and miss because the chance the Bears took in round two.

Cedric Benson is a proven performer that should be able to step in and start as a rookie. Although the more obvious need was at receiver, Benson and Thomas Jones will compliment one another and give the Bears a fierce rushing attack.

The same can't be said of second round selection Mark Bradley. He seems to be an athlete trying to learn the receiver position. That will be a difficult transition on the NFL level.

There are no proven wideouts on the roster beside Muhsin Muhammad. Bradley could be a great receiver in a few years, but waiting for a player to develop is something the Bears can't afford to do.

Jerry O'Neil
Madison, WI

The division is up for grabs in 2005.

While the Packers have won the last three NFC North crowns, they're on the way down.

They've lost starters on the offensive line, which is a big reason why Brett Favre has been able to play every game for more than a decade.

The Vikings have made a ton of moves this off-season.

Trading one of the most talented players in the history of the game will have a negative impact on the field and a positive one in the locker room. Daunte Culpepper has been able to rely on Randy Moss and now it will be on the quarterback to be the primary playmaker. Obviously, Culpepper is a great QB, but Minnesota doesn't have anyone else that requires a double team.

The Lions have three Pro Bowl caliber receivers with nobody to get them the ball. Jeff Garcia is sitting readily behind Joey Harrington, who has one last chance to prove he can play. In the end, Garcia will get the job and show he's no longer capable of being a starter.

The Detroit defense may be the worst in the division. There are talented players on the unit, but the overall depth is what will hurt the Lions.

Smyth Holland
Buffalo Grove, IL

Thankfully, Justin Gage will be given the first chance to start opposite Muhsin Muhammad.

This guy became a non-factor in Terry Shea's offensive, which is a shame considering he's such a downfield threat.

The jump ball can be a real weapon with Gage on the field. Most teams are going to concentrate on stopping Muhammad and that will leave Gage alone with a cornerback.

Stretching the defense will loosen the line of scrimmage for Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. In turn, an effective running game will make the playaction pass a great option.

Dave Gallagher
Algonquin, IL

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