I was fairly critical of Orton last season because he appeared to be disinterested in football once he knew he had no chance at starting and was relegated to third-string duties, but he seems to have gotten his act together. He seems to have dropped a few pounds in the offseason, and most importantly, he shaved off that hideous beard. I have yet to be impressed with Leak and O'Sullivan has never done a thing in the NFL despite his success overseas, so I believe Orton will be No. 3 again.
And while he may not be the quarterback of the future in Chicago no matter what happens to Rex Grossman, he's still fully capable of having a nice career.
What's up with Dan Bazuin? I have heard absolutely no comments from him so far. That usually means he has made no impact in camp. What do you think of him? I would really like to hear your comments about his potential. – CTomas1941 (El Salvador)
It's been hard to get a good look at Bazuin because he tweaked an ankle at rookie mini camp and wasn't able to do much. The injury was apparently significant enough to linger into OTAs because he was forced to sit and watch much of the action, but he should be back to 100% by the time everyone gets to Bourbonnais. Bazuin has a reputation as a classic overachiever, not necessarily blessed with tons of natural ability but a hard-worker who gets the job done.
I know there has been some chatter that perhaps he could slide inside and play some tackle since the Bears are thin there, but at about 265 pounds or so, it's not going to happen.
We have heard good things about Jamar Williams filling in for Lance Briggs. If Briggs does come back, can Williams be moved to the strong side to play over the steady if not spectacular Hunter Hillenmeyer? – UICIllini
I know for a fact that Williams played all three linebacker positions at Arizona State, but he was drafted by the Bears because his measurables are a perfect fit on the weak side. Over on the strong side, it's more about holding the point of attack. Weakside LBs use their speed to chase down plays from sideline to sideline, which suits Williams quite well.
I know a lot of Bears fans have been underwhelmed by Hillenmeyer over the years, but he's a good player and allows the likes of Brian Urlacher and Briggs to make so many tackles because he knows the scheme so well.
A lot of fans I have talk to say that Tank Johnson should not have gotten cut because of the speeding ticket. Please explain the reason why Tank got cut before the blood results came back. – Mark (Rochester, MN)
Simply stated, the Bears warned Johnson to stay out of trouble, change his lifestyle, and get his life in order. It's not like all he had to do was not face any more criminal charges. Sure, he turned out to be under the legal limit according to his blood test in Arizona, but the mere fact that he was out drinking at 3:30 in the morning and managed to get pulled over by the police for speeding – remember all of this occurred just one day after OTAs came to a close – was enough to prove to the organization that he did not take this seriously enough and not willing to make the sacrifice.
The whole "if everyone who had driven home after a few drinks was in jail, we'd all be in jail" argument is ludicrous because not all of us just served 60 days in county lockup and had a multi-million dollar career hanging in the balance.
There haven't been many rumblings of the Bears making any acquisitions lately. Just wondering that since your ear is closer to the ground if you've picked up any info. Frankly, I think the team has made some great moves to improve, but with Tank gone and still (in my mind anyway) some needs on OL and DL, we could use some help. - ChiN8V37
If you're asking if I've heard anything specific about potential moves that could be made before training camp, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. This is usually a very quiet time on the transaction front because rosters are at their maximum size right now – around 80 players per team. Once some of those players start getting cut as we get closer to the regular season and rosters have to be down to 53, then you'll see another flurry of activity.
Now that the Bears have signed Greg Olsen, will that make it easier to sign Lance Briggs since they're both represented by Drew Rosenhaus? – Quinn (Hoffman Estates, IL)
As far as I'm concerned, I really don't think one signing will have any effect on the other. If anything, Rosenhaus wanted to get his Olsen negotiation out of the way as quickly as possible so he could continue to focus on Briggs when talking to the Bears. But just because he and the organization were able to find common ground on Olsen doesn't mean that a new deal for Briggs is right around the corner.
Briggs lost out on his opportunity to be a Bear for the long term once he turned down that $33 million offer before training camp last year, plain and simple.
If you could have one player from the Bears on your fantasy team this year, who would it be? – Dale (Palm Harbor, FL)
I guess the safest answer would have to be the Bears defense/special teams since they always force a ton of turnovers, plus having Devin Hester returning punts and kickoffs is as good as it gets. But personally, I'm a big believer in Cedric Benson's potential and am expecting him to put up some solid numbers should he stay healthy for 16 games. He's a much better fit for this offense than Thomas Jones ever was because of his no-nonsense running style, so don't be surprised if Benson puts up 1,300-1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns.
We all know that fantasy football leagues are won with reliable running backs, and since a lot of teams are splitting the carries these days, Benson will be one of only so many guys getting 20-25 attempts per game.
What exactly have the Bears been doing in order to sign all of their draft picks so quickly? I believe the Lions haven't signed anybody yet, but the Bears have signed everbody but Bazuin. – Henry (Batavia, IL)
It's hard to decipher exactly what GM Jerry Angelo's approach has been with his draft picks, but whatever he's doing, it's obviously working. I know he's including some fairly generous bonuses for players who attend at least 85% of the offseason workouts, so perhaps that has something to do with it. I was shocked when I heard that Olsen was locked up already because I thought for sure that Rosenhaus would wait around until both No. 30 and No. 32 had inked their deals.
I really believe the Benson holdout two years ago hurt this team on many levels, so Angelo has made a concerned effort to make sure that never happens again.
Pretty much everyone thinks the Bears are going to get murdered in Week 1 at San Diego. Do you think they can win that game? – Jerry (Andover, MA)
There are several reasons why they keep building multi-million dollar casinos in Las Vegas, and one of them is the fact that nobody can predict what's going to happen in the NFL from week to week. On paper, the Chargers may be the most talented team in the league and have the game's most prolific offensive player in tailback LaDainian Tomlinson. Shawne Merriman is an absolute beast coming off the edge so long as he's not serving a suspension for violating the substance abuse policy (cheap shot alert), and nobody thinks the loss of head coach Marty Schottenheimer will slow this team down at all.
It's going to be quite a challenge for Lovie Smith & Company and should be a fun game to watch, but expect the Chargers to be favored once the lines come out.
Is there any chance Mark Anderson can move from end to tackle and be a successful pass-rusher? – Ulrich (Crete, IL)
About as much chance as Tank Johnson realizing his dream and being named NFL Man of the Year.
|John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|