<
>

Chicago Bears Twitter mailbag: Playoffs realistic in 2015

Here’s the first part of our Chicago Bears Twitter mailbag.

Thanks everyone for participating.

@mikecwright: Hey man, why even play the games if there's no belief in the team's ability to advance to the postseason and potentially to the Super Bowl? I know you're being realistic in asking the question. But just look at what John Fox was able to do in his first year in Denver back in 2011. The Broncos won the AFC West and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs with Tim Tebow at quarterback. So I think Fox's chances in his first year in Chicago are as good or better than his prospects were during his first season in Denver. I won't go too far and say the Bears will make the playoffs in 2015, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if that happened. The Bears hired a good coach in Fox and a promising, young general manager in Ryan Pace. You should feel confident in the team's direction under Fox and Pace.

@mikecwright: Good question because such a move would certainly make sense. Bears assistant director of college scouting Jeff Shiver was on hand recently for Trae Waynes' pro day at Michigan State, and the cornerback is expected by some to be the first defensive back off the board. So I think there's definitely a chance the Bears could go that direction because from this vantage point, the team needs at least one more corner. Right now, Tim Jennings and Kyle Fuller are the starters, and it doesn't appear the Bears plan to bring back Charles Tillman. So the Bears need to add another solid corner to the mix, and Waynes might fit the bill. Waynes is a fluid player, and in college he played a ton of man coverage, which should make him appealing to the Bears as they transition into what's expected to be a more aggressive scheme under new coordinator Vic Fangio.

@mikecwright: Even though Cornelius Washington has two years left on his contract, I think this is a critical year for him. In two seasons with the Bears, he's played in just 15 games with seven tackles on defense and a sack to go with seven tackles on special teams. With him set to enter Year 3, it's time for Washington to start making things happen. That could prove to be a difficult situation for Washington because there's so much depth now at outside linebacker, which is where I expect him to play in 2015. You've got Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Jared Allen already in the mix at outside linebacker. So Washington could face a difficult challenge to even make the roster for the 2015 season. The team does plan to carry more linebackers than it has in past years with the switch to a 3-4 front. So that could definitely help Washington's chances. But I'm doubtful Washington will be an impactful contributor next season just because of all the other talented players in front of him on the depth chart.