I believe it has both a positive and a negative effect. First of all, professional athletes are all about routine, and I believe that most of them are more comfortable playing the early game on Sunday afternoons. But there can also be an adrenaline factor when playing prime time because every player in that locker room knows that the entire country is watching. In terms of either the Bears or Giants having some sort of advantage based on the schedule switch, I don't see it. Regardless of when the ball is actually kicked off, it all comes down to who plays better for 60 minutes.
I would like to ask? If Lovie should pull Rex and insert Brian for a couple drives when Rex is having trouble with reads and seeing the whole field; it only needs to be for a drive or two to let Brian work the plan and Rex to realize where he needs to make adjustment? – SuperBowl 20 (Valdez, AK)
Was there an actual question in there? I'm no English teacher, but I don't think so. Anyway, I guess the gist of what SuperBowl 20 is getting at has to do with the possibility of Lovie Smith pulling Rex Grossman for a series or two to get his bearings straight while Brian Griese takes the reigns. I don't think this is a good idea, and based on what we saw in Arizona, the coaching staff obviously doesn't think so either. Grossman is your quarterback, Bears fans, plain and simple. Unless he gets injured or is just horrific for several games in a row, No. 8 is going to be the man under center. The minute you pull Grossman, even if just for a quarter or so, he'll be looking over his shoulder the rest of the season and scared to death to make a mistake, which is usually when a QB makes his biggest mistakes.
Most NFL teams tend to play better the game after their bye week, but do you think a week off for a team on a six-game winning streak could be a bad thing? – Phil (Wicker Park)
Normally I would say yes, because usually a team that is on a roll would prefer to keep playing. San Diego is a perfect example this season considering they smoked their first two opponents, but then they had to take Week 3 off just when they were red hot. The Bears, on the other hand, probably needed that breather last weekend. Injuries have been mounting, and although none of them are major aside from Mike Brown's foot, an extra week of rest was probably just what the doctor ordered. The only one who really needed to play last Sunday was Grossman, if for no other reason than to get that bad taste out of his mouth after his six-turnover abomination in the desert.
One week he's happy, the next week he's unhappy. What's the deal with Cedric Benson? Is this guy more trouble than he's worth? – Shannon (Ames, IA)
I know that Benson get into some hot water again this week with some things he said to the media after practice on Wednesday, but this story was so overblown in my estimation. He was asked point blank if he would like to be more involved in the offense, and just as you'd expect him to say, he said that he would. The kid is a competitor and used to being the focal point of the offense, so it has to be hard on him to watch Thomas Jones get the majority of the action. Benson had 14 carries and scored two TDs against Buffalo, but then a week later he gets just one carry and one reception in Arizona. All he's saying is that he would like the coaching staff to be a little more direct with him regarding his role on game day, and although it's impossible to forecast how many touches he's going to get, frankly, I can see his point of view.
What's the deal with Moose? He's only had three catches the last two games combined. Is Berrian the #1 receiver now? – Matt (Dyer, IN)
I sort of addressed this last week, but I really don't think there's too much of a difference between who's the number one receiver and who's the secondary guy. The most important thing is Muhammad and Berrian playing well together when they are both on the field. Even though Berrian has more yards and leads the NFL in catches of 40 yards or longer, Muhammad is still going to be the focal point of the opposing secondary based on reputation alone. If Moose is covered, Berrian will probably be open. If Berrian is covered, Desmond Clark will probably be open. These things go in cycles. Moose is fine, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him catch nine passes on Sunday.
Alex Smith had all day to throw against the Bears in the preseason game. Do the Bears have reason to be worried? Do the 49ers know something? - Jericho (Sandy, UT)
Smith did have some success against the Bears back in August, completing 16 of 21 passes without an interception. He is having a pretty good season so far compared to a horrible rookie campaign when he finished the year with a pitiful passer rating of 40.8. That being said, it was the first preseason game, and the 49ers obviously opened their playbook a little wider than the Bears did that evening. He had all day to throw on sprint-outs and bootlegs, and he has shown the ability to hit receivers from outside the pocket. But the Bears ran a plain vanilla defense that night, not truly showing Smith the looks he'll probably see this Sunday. He'll have his hands full, I assure you.
Have the Bears thought about making some changes along the offensive line to get the running game going? Maybe bringing Terrence Metcalf back as a starter over Roberto Garza? He started most of last year, didn't he? – Trent (Garfield Park, IL)
Metcalf was the starter at guard last season for a spell, but Garza is the starter presently because he's a better player. More than any other unit in football, the offensive line needs to be able to develop a rhythm playing with each other. Blocking assignments in the NFL are so much more complex than they are in college, so these guys have to learn to trust each other and be on the same page at all times. Don't look for the Bears to make any changes up front. Now they need to do a better job opening up some holes for Jones and Benson, but shifting guys around is the wrong way to go about it.
Why are the Bears going to wear those hideous orange jerseys again against San Fran? Those things should be burned. Can we get rid of them already? – Jasper (Ft. Wayne, IN)
Believe me, I'm in your camp when it comes to the orange jerseys. The whole idea of the alternate jersey is just a bad idea in my estimation. Now throwback uniforms, I'm all for that. They always look cool, plus there's a certain respect that's paid to the players from the old days. But I guess the Bears like to look like pumpkins around Halloween, no matter how heinous those things look.
What happens to a player when he goes on IR? Does he just disappear? Does he still travel with the team? Is he still at Halas Hall? Are there rules for this? - Derwyn (Lincoln, NB)
Honestly, I'm not sure what the exact rules are concerning a player's obligation to the team after he's been placed on injured reserve. Needless to say, you certainly see them a lot less. I chatted with Jamar Williams at his locker while he was wearing a sling a week or so after his season had been ended, but I haven't seen him since. Airese Currie has been a ghost, too. I'm sure they're all coming to the facility for treatment and rehab, but in terms of being on the sideline for games and out at practice every day, I think it just depends on the player and how hurt he is. Dusty Dvoracek has been around a lot. Although I didn't see Mike Brown at all this week.
What is the stupidest question that someone has asked you for Special Delivery? – Bill (Oak Park, IL)
That was one of them right there.
Special Delivery runs every Friday on BearReport.com. If you have a question that you would like to have JC answer, please find the appropriate pegged thread on the message boards or send it to his EZInbox.