Chat Bears with ESPNChicago.com
John Jurkovic kicks things off from 11-11:30 a.m. and Jeff Dickerson will take us from 11:30 a.m. - Noon. (All times CT)
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Is Bates the favorite to get the OC job at this point? I don't see how Martz would be a good fit, do you?
Jurko (12:04 PM)
I'd prefer Bates. I don't think Martz would be a good fit only because his offense is predicated upon great line protection. And the Bears don't have a great line.
john w (jacksonville il)
will the BEARS be active in persuing free agents and how many holes do u see them needing to fill on both sides of the ball to compete for the north and for a SB title?
Jurko (12:06 PM)
I think they'll be active. I hope they'll be active with the premier free agents. Positions of need: OL, DL, WR.
Johnny (Glenview )
What makes Bates a good fit for the bears? I understand that he was with Cutler in Denver but what makes him a good Offensive coordinator? What has he done?
Jurko (12:08 PM)
The fact that he's inexperienced doesn't mean he won't be a good coach. Gruden was inexperienced and he ended up winning a Super Bowl.
How is the 2011 lockout going to affect the Bears pursuing any free agents this year and next year? Contract wise, if the Bears do sign anybody and the lockout happens in 2011 are those players still Chicago Bears or is it a free agent pool.
Jurko (12:09 PM)
What happens this year is if there is a lockout, only going to be 6-year unrestricted free agents. Those guys who thought they'd be free after four, it becomes six. There will be lot fewer free agents out there.
Can you please explain to me what "huge changes" there will be in the defense? Lovie says the new D-coordinator (Lovie's puppet) will be implementing the same cover 2 scheme they have now. My biggest problem with "Coach Smith" is he doesn't cevolve with the times. He has a philosophy and he sticks with it. The NFL is a league of change and Lovie is stubborn. when will this end? This franchise is a laughing stock. Lovie's on his "3rd" last chance already.
Jurko (12:10 PM)
Everybody has misconstrued his statements. When he said staying with the same scheme, staying with 4-3, not switchign to 3-4. Number of diff coverages involved, one is the Tampa 2.
Mike Riordan (Boston, MA)
Jeff, Tell me the Bears aren't going to hire Martz. He will abandon the run faster than Lovie can say, "We were a good football team at times." Plus Cutler, Forte and Aromashodu are no Warner, Faulk and Holt.
Jurko (12:11 PM)
The talent certainly isn't there to run that offense. The year they went to the SB they had the No. 5 rushing offense. It's not like they're goign to pass 90 percnet of the time. The ratio will bprobably be the same.
jake (milwaukee, wi)
Now that we have an entire season to review Chris Williams, do you think we can build around him? Do you see him being an above average tackle in the NFL?
Jurko (12:11 PM)
Now that I've seen him at LT I thought he handled hismelf very well against Jared Allen.
Johnny Blaze (Morgan Park)
Do you see the Bears cutting any of thier big name players to make room for a free agent? Vasher hopefully? Tommie Harris? please tell me not Urlacher?
Jurko (12:12 PM)
I think Vasher will be gone. I dont' think Harris can pass an NFL physical. I don't know if anybody would take Urlacher at that salary.
Don M (Chicago)
If you were picked to run the Bears organization, what would have been your first instinct/move in the offseason?
Jurko (12:13 PM)
First instinct: this club has a lot of issues. One is the fact they don't have their first two draft picks. Second the players who were once valuable, aren't that valuable in terms of trading them. First thing I would have done if i were Ted Phillips, I would have fired Angelo and Smith.
travis bostic (burlington, Iowa)
why dont the bearsmove aromashadu and bennt to starting outside receivers and hester to slot i mean just think..
Jurko (12:14 PM)
Because those guys aren't good enough to be No. 1 receivers either, but hester going to slot is where he belongs.
I am completely underwhelmed with the idea of Perry Fewell becoming defensive coordinator--and I know I can't be in the minority. Can't we find someone who will embody the aggressive, violent nature of the defenses early in Lovie's tenure? Or was that all Chico Rivera?
Jurko (12:15 PM)
It was Chico calling the plays. So it was Chico's philosophy, and he and Lovie didn't see eye to eyue on a lot of things, which is why he's gone. I don't know any DC who can come and freewheel without butting heads.
Is Gaines Adams set to take over for Ogunleye if he leaves for free agency? (Please please please say no)
Jurko (12:16 PM)
No, he's not set at what he is currently. He's not even close to being set.
Brendan (Chicago, IL)
The problem all year was the o line and Cutler not having time. What do you think needs to be done and who needs to go? ie Garza
Jurko (12:17 PM)
Your dilemma is you won't be able to make sweeping changes because there aren't many players available. Pace is gone so you need a top-flight tackle. Omiyale isn't going anywhere, he got paid. Don't have a choice. Have to get yourself a top flight guard or tackle and put him in there.
Beekman or Kruetz?
Jurko (12:18 PM)
Kreutz. Beekman not good enough at C, i like him at guard. Have to be at least as good as Kreutz to take over. I've got no problem with Kreutz.
Roger Logan (San Diego, CA)
As horrible as the Bears Defense this year, why wasn't any defense coaches fired? If that wasn't Status Quo, I don't know what is. Also it is quite obvious that the Bears will sign Fewell as DC and Bates as OC., any chance they will go after Brandon Marshall and revamp the O-line and Secondary?
Jurko (12:19 PM)
If they do go after Marshall what will they go after him with? Nothing on the Bears you can trade away. You going to trade away 3 years of draft choices for two players? Maybe some are, but I'm not willing to do that.
What does the Bears' offensive draft strategy look like?
Jurko (12:19 PM)
I don't know yet who I want with the 74th pick.
Any chance former BC coach and Tampa Bay OC Jeff Jagodzinski gets an interview for the bears OC position?
Jurko (12:20 PM)
I don't want anything do with him. I saw him in Green Bay when I was there for an alumni game on the sideline, and he didn't seem the best communicator. With the BC fiasco, I'm not interested.
Dave (Portland, OR)
How are the Bears going to address the O-Line? On the defensive side of the ball, any talk about going after Julius Peppers.
Jurko (12:21 PM)
Would the Bears be interested? I think they should be, but that doesn't mean that's what the Bears will do. I think he has gas left in the tank and a Top 10 pass rush guy you have to game plan for.
has the bears contacted martz?? why are they so keen on bates,when usc offense this past season was the worse in the last 5 years??
Jurko (12:22 PM)
That has to do with recruiting and talent that's there. He just got there.
Ritchie Scott (Ithaca, NY)
Ted Phillips said that money was not a factor in retaining Lovie Smith. He also said that he still feels he can get the job done and that he would have kept him even if his current contract had a month left. Does he really think the fans are that naive to think that money was not a factor in all of this?
Jurko (12:23 PM)
Yeah that's the company policy and that's what they do, repeat it over and over, hoping at some point someone else believes it. We all know it was about money.
Do you think the coaches that the Bears hire will have their own visions, because Lovie wants some of the same schemes both on offense and defense, but it hasnt worked. Do you think the new Coordinators will change it a little bit to their liking?
Jurko (12:24 PM)
Defensive scheme is a 4-3 philosophy, there's going to be tweaks. People jump the gun on semantics. Staying with the 4-3. That's the scheme. They're going to have more of a run oriented offense. That's what they want to achieve.
Alright Jurk! Who would your selections be for the two coordinator jobs?
Jurko (12:26 PM)
My pick for head coach was Pete Carmichael Jr., current OC for Saints. I'd go with Bates, because you have to make your QB comfortable and he has to be able to communicate with his coach. Greg Blache as DC
please tell me this is the last year we have to put up with Lovie Smith and maybe even Jerry Angelo. I just hope that making the playoffs wont save them because there is not enough talent on this team to be more than a 1 and done
Jurko (12:27 PM)
Here's your scary scenario, if they make the playoffs, they'll be thinking of an extension for Lovie. And that is scary. Angelo is set. If they make the playoffs, he'll be here too. That's the way it works.
Jurko (12:28 PM)
Ok guys, thanks for the great questions all season. I have to change a flat and get to the station. Listen to "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000 and be safe out there.
Jurko (12:28 PM)
Jeff Dickerson (12:28 PM)
Jurko is a tough act to follow, but I'll do my best.
Tim (Lawrenceville, GA)
When are the milestone dates on the new NFL labor agreement? What do you think will likely happen? How do those dates affect what the Bears do and when?
Jeff Dickerson (12:33 PM)
I believe a new CBA has to be in place by the start of free agency (early March), or 2010 will be played without a salary cap. It will affect the Bears (1) with their own free agents that may or may not be unrestricted (Manning, Anderson, Williams, etc) and (2) with the amount of available free agents they will be able to sign. If there is no salary cap, players with less than 6 credited seasons will be restricted free agents (meaning a team would have to give compensation in the form of draft picks to sign him).
Mat (Rolling Meadows, IL)
JD, do you think that the Bears would consider trading a player such as Brian Urlacher for a first or second rounder in this year's draft? Its a move that would help them for the future, and I think Hunter Hillenmeyer has played well enough to keep the MLB job if such a move were made. It would be unpopular with the fans, but when has that ever stopped the Bears organization from doing anything...
Jeff Dickerson (12:36 PM)
I don't know given his age, contract and recent health history if Urlacher would get you a first round pick in return. I believe the Bears would be better off keeping Urlacher. Now, Hillenmeyer is a guy who could be dealt, because he probably sees himself as a middle linebacker, but if Urlacher returns, Hunter obviously won't be the MLB. Hillenmeyer is coming off an excellent year, so the Bears may be able to collect some midround picks if they dealt Hunter. Just a thought.
Will Dez Clark be back next season?
Jeff Dickerson (12:38 PM)
I certainly hope so. Clark appears to have another good year or two left in him, and he is by far the best blocking tight end on the team. Clark can still make plays in the passing game, although he didn't get many opportunities this past season. If he stays healthy, I'd bring him back.
As much as I thought Charlie Weis would have been a good fit, I've gotta think Martz isn't THAT bad of a choice. Obviously, the talent isn't the same as the Rams from back then, but schematically I think we've got the same pieces. WR's that can stretch the field, a RB that's a good runner and can catch out of the backfield, and a top-flight QB. Thoughts?
Jeff Dickerson (12:40 PM)
Martz has a track record of success in the NFL. The guy knows offense. However, his personality has rubbed people the wrong way in the past. I don't know how that relationship would work with Cutler. Sadly, the Bears invested too much in Cutler not to take into account making the guy happy. It stinks, and looks bad the Bears have to kiss Cutler's rear end, but it's the reality of the situation.
JD, who are your picks for coordinators in a perfect world...excluding Waddle, of course!
Jeff Dickerson (12:43 PM)
In a perfect world...Greg Blache DC or Dom Capers DC / Todd Haley OC (but I don't think Haley is getting fired after one year in Kanas City).What will probably happen?Bates OC / Fewell DC
Tim (Lawrenceville, GA)
Does Jay Cutler become Brett Farve or Jeff George?
Jeff Dickerson (12:44 PM)
I'd take somewhere in between. How about a Donovan McNabb type successful career.
Jack (Glen Ellyn)
JD! Bears go 8-8 next year. Are we still listening to Lovie and Jerry?
Jeff Dickerson (12:46 PM)
I don't see how that would be possible. I mean, Shanahan got fired after missing the playoffs for three consecutive years in Denver. Four years in a row of not going to the postseason! What coach/ GM combo can survive that?!
I remember you've mentioned your thoughts on Manning Jr. and that for his sake he shouldn't return to the Bears, any more insight on that?
Jeff Dickerson (12:47 PM)
Sure...if the Bears are going to keep moving the guy around, let him go somewhere else and try to develop at one position. For Danieal, that would be the best scenario. But I don't think the Bears feel the same way. If Manning is back in 2010, look for him to be exclusively the nickel back.
When will the Bears realize that the Hester experiment didn't pan out. Can we expect to see him in more of a return role and less in the offensive packages?
Jeff Dickerson (12:50 PM)
Finding a way to properly use Hester on offense is going to be a big assignment for the new coordinator. They paid him good money, so I don't know if the Bears would just move him back exclusively to a return role. But it's so obvious that Hester hasn't had nearly the same impact he did in 2006-07. This is a tough one. I never thought giving Hester a contract extension was a bad idea at the time, but now, I'm starting to wonder.
How desperate must the new coordinators knowing they're coming into a situation where if the team doesn't have a winning record in '10, they'll be back on the job hunt after just 1 season?...
Jeff Dickerson (12:51 PM)
Maybe the guy coming in (Fewell), would get a look at the job if Lovie is fired after next season. Plus, if one of Cutler's guys (Bates) gets the offensive job, there's a good bet he would remain even if Smith gets let go. Chicago may, in fact, be a very attractive destination for assistants right now. Maybe Lovie and Jerry were telling the truth about that Tuesday!
Mike (Lincoln Park)
If the Bears decided to trade Briggs this offseason what is the most they could get for him in return?
Jeff Dickerson (12:53 PM)
I would not trade Briggs. Best player on the defense. Bears are sticking with a 4-3, and Briggs is their #1 playmaker. That being said, Briggs would probably get you a first round pick in return.
Jack (Glen Ellyn)
JD! Earlier in the chat it was mentioend that Vasher may be gone. My question to you is this? What the heck happened to him? Did he just get lazy? What he just really lucky that pro-bowl year? How does a player that looks as good as he did get so bad? Thanks.
Jeff Dickerson (12:54 PM)
Injuries seemed to drain Vasher of all his skills. Great guy, first class individual, but he doesn't seem to have anything left on the field. When you lose your confidence at cornerback..it's over.
Does Jurk really orate his responses?
Jeff Dickerson (12:55 PM)
Yep. That's how the big guy rolls.
Say the Bears sign Bates, Fewell, and got a good OL in the draft. Even with those changes, what are our chances of making the playoffs next year? 30 - 70?
Jeff Dickerson (12:57 PM)
I don't think anything gets better until the defense improves, and specifically the defensive line. If the Bears fail to pressure the quarterback - AGAIN - then the postseason odds are about 30-70. But if the play improves up front on both sides of the ball...I'd say they have a 50-50 shot.
Jd, will you tell me why people want to move Urlacher? Hillenmeyer fill his shoes. Really? I saw him miss a tackle to hit a block. Eagles game winning touchdown ran right in front of the running lane to go hit a block.
Jeff Dickerson (12:58 PM)
Hunter had a good year, but Urlacher would still be my choice at MLB. I saw Urlacher Tuesday working out, he definitly wants to play next year, and play well. He was in great shape last summer, and the wrist injury was a totally freak thing. Again, I think it would be a mistake for the Bears to let him go.
are the going to resign pisa tinoisamoa, ogunleye or markanderson, and from what i seen from a aromashadu he look like a potential no. 1 receiver
Jeff Dickerson (1:00 PM)
If there's no cap in 2010, then Anderson will be a RFA, so he'll likely be back. No, I don't think Wale will return. He is looking for starters money. Had a long talk with Pisa this week and he wants to be back. If Fewell is the new DC, I think the odds of Pisa returning are pretty good. They were in St. Louis together for a few years.
D.A. WAS SLIGHTLY REMINDING ME OF REGGIE WAYNE. MY VIEW ON THAT WAS HIS SPEED, RUNNING CRISP ROUTES, DECENT SIZE, AND PHYSICALLITY. DO YOU SEE D.A. BEING A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH?
Jeff Dickerson (1:02 PM)
YES. I THINK THE GUY CAN PLAY. MAYBE NOT AT THE LEVEL OF REGGIE WAYNE, BUT HE'S A QUALITY RECEIVER WITH GOOD HANDS AND A KNACK FOR MAKING PLAYS IN THE RED ZONE.
What will it take for Marshall to land in Chicago?
Jeff Dickerson (1:03 PM)
The Redskins running out of money. Doesn't a reunion with Shanahan in Washington seem the most likely scenario for Marshall?
Adam (San Diego)
I looked over next years schedule... I have us winning 4 games.
Jeff Dickerson (1:06 PM)
It's a tough schedule -- New York, Dallas, Miami, etc. Let's hope they win more than 4.
Jeff Dickerson (1:07 PM)
Thanks everybody. We'll try and do this once a week during the offseason.