I'm not suggesting that Angelo changes his entire system and starts building a new offensive line with draft choices only. It's just that this group, while very good at what they do, is getting up there in age. The Bears could come back in 2007 with the same starting five that they have this season, but they would be wise to start stockpiling youngsters to back them up. They already have Tyler Reed and Mark LeVoir sitting on the practice squad, but neither one is considered to be a blue-chipper. And from a salary cap perspective, signing another veteran offensive lineman might tie up too much money in those positions.
How much partying do you think these players do during Super Bowl week? Have you seen any players out late at night? – Stephan (Cincinnati, OH)
Although I think it's hilarious that this question came from Cincinnati considering how many arrests Bengals fans have seen this year, I'll refrain from taking any cheap shots. If the Bears players were going to stay out late and get into trouble, chances are they would have done it on Monday or Tuesday before their curfew went into effect. They're still out and about having a good time as the week progresses, but it's mainly just to have dinner and put in token appearances at parties around town. Is there a Eugene Robinson story that's due to surface before the actual game on Sunday? It's possible, but I would be awfully surprised because the Bears have been saying things like "It's a business trip" all week long.
I can't stand the extra week off before the Super Bowl. Is there any way they would go back to not having that week off like they used to? – Jackie (Hattiesburg, MS)
Even though that extra week is there primarily to let the game get more hype from every media outlet in the country, I can't stand that extra seven days. The top seeds in the playoffs already got a bye week not too long ago, and dealing with nagging injuries is part of the game. There's no way they'll go back to just one week between Championship Sunday and Super Sunday. The Super Bowl has become such a corporate event, the game is practically secondary at this point. Although I did manage to avoid Donovan McNabb's Campbell's Chunky Soup press conference at the Convention Center on Wednesday.
What facet of the Super Bowl do you feel the Bears have the biggest advantage over the Colts? - Leon (Crystal Lake, IL)
Most everyone wants to compare defense to offense and offense to defense. However, special teams are going to be a huge factor in this game. We all know what Devin Hester can do in the return game, but the Bears have a decided advantage in their coverage units, as well. not only do missiles like Brendon Ayanbadejo and Adrian Peterson stop return men dead in their tracks, but Terrence Wilkins has put the ball on the ground a few times. Brad Maynard was money in the NFC championship game against the Saints, so he could be a big factor in the field position game, too.
Are the Bears going to get shredded by Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne? Can Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher even cover those guys? – Dave-O (Dyer, IN)
Harrison and Wayne are a frightening combination, each registering over 1,300 yards receiving this season. Neither Tillman nor Vasher is a true lockdown cover cornerback, but they're both very capable and need to be as physical as possible. But if Harrison or Wayne ever get matchup on the Bears' safeties, the Midway Monsters could be in a world of hurt. Danieal Manning had a pretty good rookie season and Chris Harris is solid in run support, but they both have a long way to go in terms of coverage skills. Tight end Dallas Clark could also be a big headache in the middle of the field.
Is the media going to get together and issue a group apology if Rex Grossman plays well and the Bears win the Super Bowl? - Kenny (Champaign, IL)
Well we all know that figureheads in the media never admit that they were wrong, so I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. Personally, I believe that a lot of Grossman's criticism is unwarranted because the position is ultimately supposed to be judged on wins and losses. He's 15-3 this season and one step away from doing what guys like Fran Tarkenton and Dan Marino never did, i.e. win the Super Bowl. All he has to do is make a few plays in the passing game and avoid costly mistakes because his running backs, defense, and special teams are better than what Peyton Manning has. But if you're expecting to see Jay Mariotti hugging Grossman in the interview room after the game and telling him how sorry he is for ripping him this season, I'm afraid that's not going to happen.
What's the latest with Ron Rivera? Is it possible he leaves for Dallas after the Super Bowl? - BearsBearsBears
There was some buzz surrounding Rivera on Thursday because it's no secret that Dallas owner Jerry Jones is a fan of his. Although since it looks like Norv Turner is going to be named the head coach there, it doesn't make much sense for Rivera to make a lateral move to the Cowboys and be a defensive coordinator. I see no reason for him to leave Chicago unless he fulfills his dream of becoming a head coach, although Jones will undoubtedly offer him more money to leave than the McCaskeys will pay him to stay. Rivera has Lovie Smith's full support, and if the Bears had been eliminated by Seattle in the divisional round, I bet he would be a head coach right now. The fact that the team made a Super Bowl run might just force one of their prized possessions to stick around for another year.
Haven't you had enough of all this Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy mutual respect garbage? Shouldn't they want to beat each other's brains in? - Cody (Oak Forest, IL)
For someone in my business, the Lovie-Tony love-in has been a nightmare. As much respect as I have for both of these guys, they're not exactly giving me all kinds of headline-worthy quotes. I have no doubt that they want to beat each other's brains in, as you suggest, but they certainly won't say anything like that publicly. If they do lose this game, at least they lose to a good friend. But if you're asking me if I'd much rather have Lovie smash Tony over the head with his playbook when he's not looking, yes, I would prefer that.
If the Bears win the Super Bowl, which player do you think has the best chance of being named MVP? - Hank (Plano, TX)
If you want the easy answer, I'd go with Rex Grossman. MVP awards tend to gravitate toward quarterbacks, so if he throws two touchdown passes and doesn't commit any turnovers and proves all his doubters wrong in the process, the voters would love a redemption story like that. I'd throw out both Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson from consideration because they'll be sharing so much time, and the Bears don't have the kind of offense that will turn Muhsin Muhammad or Bernard Berrian into Deion Branch for a day. Defensively, much like Ray Lewis with the Ravens, Brian Urlacher is the logical choice if the Bears D completely shuts down Peyton Manning. If you want a dark horse, I'd go with Devin Hester because the Desmond Howard parallels are certainly there.
What has Rex Grossman been like with the media this week? Is it me, or has he been a little chippy lately? - Sylvester (Chicago Heights, IL)
I don't think it's you because I feel the same way. Once Grossman finally won that playoff game against the Seahawks, he apparently decided that he didn't have to answer any more questions about his up-and-down performance this season. He hasn't necessariy been rude, but for the first time, he's been brushing off questions that he doesn't feel like answering anymore. Grossman has been subjected to another round of brow-beating down in Miami from other writers who don't get a chance to see him every week, so that had to be tough on him. I don't mind seeing him a little chippy because that's closer to his actual personality.
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.