Chat with Dickerson and Jurkovic
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Join us on Monday for our weekly Bears chat.
Jeff Dickerson kicks things off from 11 a.m.-noon; Jurko wraps it up from noon-12:30 p.m. (All times CT.)
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 11 a.m. CT/noon ET!
ESPNChicago.com (11:14 AM)
Guys, I see questions for Jurko, but he doesn't start until 12 CT. Save your questions for then, otherwise Jurko won't see them. Thank you.
Jeff Dickerson (12:05 PM)
Greetings from Halas Hall. Chris Harris is at the podium, but let's get to some questions.
Gabe (Tampa, FL)
I am little concerned about Pisa and Roach being hurt. What exactly is wrong with Pisa and is he going to finish the year on IR again?
Jeff Dickerson (12:12 PM)
Pisa has been bothered by a knee problem for most of the year, but he's been able to manage the pain until recently. The best course, probably, would be to let Pisa rest for another week or so and heal up for the playoff push. Right now, I don't believe the Bears feel like Pisa will have to go on IR, but the problem needs to get corrected. Roach should be okay. He's in pain, but it's only a strained muscle in the hip/back region.
Am I looking at the numbers right? have the Bears not beatin the Patriots since Super Bowl 20?
Jeff Dickerson (12:15 PM)
No, Bears beat NE 24-17 in 2000.
Jeff, the Lions have good players at various skill positions but it was discerning that they put up 20 on us in 3 qtrs. I was happy we scored two on the ground, but I felt that we played "down" to our competition on offense through the whole game. Our D definitely shored up in the 2nd half, but I feel that we were too reactionary in our offensive playcalling and let the Lions dictate the pace. Am I right? Does this mean we'll play toe to toe with the Pats next week?
Jeff Dickerson (12:17 PM)
Teji -- I actually thought the Bears offense played decent, it was the defense that struggled for almost the entire first half. They came out flat, missed tackles and allowed big plays -- something the D has avoided doing for most of the year. I would expect the Bears to give a great effort vs. NE. Will it be good enough to win? I don't know. But I'd be surprised if the game is a blowout on either side.
DJ Moore the biggest X factor in Bears D right now?
Jeff Dickerson (12:21 PM)
No doubt. He's doing a great job lining up in the slot. Not only is DJ a playmaker, he tackles fairly well for a guy his size. That guy cracks me up. He's sooooo confident in his abilities. Honestly, DJ probably thinks he's the best player on the team. But he doesn't act stuck up or anything like that in the locker room. He just believes in his ability. The other players really like him, and so does Lovie Smith.
Detroit Lions (Detroit, MI)
Do we have a chance against the Pack next Sunday?
Jeff Dickerson (12:23 PM)
I think so. You guys are usually competitive. You just don't know how to win games. But I guarantee you, the Packers will not overlook this next week.
Earl Bennett-average 3, or good 2? I'm thinking good 2.
Jeff Dickerson (12:26 PM)
Very good #2 WR. Earl may never turn into a superstar, but he's reliable, runs good routes, is fast enough, has great hands and is strong. He plays like a guy who's been a WR his whole college/NFL career. I only mention that, because the Bears have a thing for converting DBs to WRs. Earl knows what he's doing, and Cutler clearly favors him on third down or in big situations.
Hey Jeff,Does this Bears secondary stand a chance against Brady and the Pats recieving core?
Jeff Dickerson (12:29 PM)
Here is the issue I see for Sunday. I have no doubt the Bears secondary will keep everything in front of them....but....Tom Brady is so good, he 'll complete those short passes all day without making many mistakes. A QB like Brady usually fares well vs. a Cover 2 defense, because the whole point of the Bears scheme, is to force the QB to make an error or turn the ball over. The Bears may have to be more aggressive this weekend. We'll see.
Melvin (North Carolina)
Jeff, J'Marcus Webb seems to be getting beat on a regular basis @ RT. I do not think Chris Williams would have the same problems but understand he has to stay at guard for continuity. Does that mean that Bears' #1 OL priority should be guard instead of tackle?
Jeff Dickerson (12:34 PM)
That's a great question Melvin. Without question, the Bears need to address the OL in the draft or perhaps free agency (if there is free agency). Then they must decide if Chris Williams is (1) a guard moving forward or (2) a better tackle or (3) a total bust. Then, they should decide their next course of action. But don't forget, Olin Kreutz is in the final year of his contract, so center might be the #1 OL priority. The Bears still like Webb and Omiyale, but they need help at all three O Line spots.
Will the Bears' O Line be a reason they won't make it far in the playoffs?
Jeff Dickerson (12:35 PM)
It could be Austin. But if Jay Cutler keeps playing at this level, the Bears can win in the postseason. A great Cutler can make up for a bad offensive line.
Jason (South Carolina)
Do the Bears have the same tackle total for Urlacher as espn does, 17?? either way I think Urlacher deserves some talk for DPOY
Jeff Dickerson (12:39 PM)
The Bears may have Urlacher down for a higher tackle total. They should release that info later today after the coaches grade the film. Not sure if Urlacher will be in the conversation for DPOY, but his play has been a major reason for the turnaround on D. I never understood why fans got so turned off by Urlacher following the Super Bowl. Every player wants more money and will occasionally feud with the media. Who cares. Urlacher has played at an elite level since 2000. Even when he was playing hurt, he was still pretty darn good.
Paul (Clarendon Hills)
I heard a rumor on another site that the Redskins might release Albert Haynesworth this week. Obviously there is some intrigue as a fan. If he is released, do you think the Bears would try and sign/claim him? I know he has a lot of baggage but moving him back to a 4-3, where he can be more disruptive then playing the nose in 3-4 sounds like it may be worth a shot to me. Maybe Lovie and Marinelli could get him to hustle more then Shannahan.
Jeff Dickerson (12:41 PM)
Paul, I believe ESPN's Adam Schefter shot down that rumor. Adam covered Mike Shanahan for years in Denver, and is very plugged in when it comes to the situation in Washington.
Any chance the game on Sunday with the Pats gets moved to Sunday night on NBC?
Jeff Dickerson (12:42 PM)
No. That game will be 3:15. But I bet the start time for the Bears/Packers game on January 2 gets moved back.
Hey guys! Congrats on the new member of the family Jeff! my question is! When roach was hurt, Why did they put in Wilson why didn't they put In iwuh he did good filling In for briggs and I think he is beter than wilson
Jeff Dickerson (12:45 PM)
Thank you Ryan. I appreciate the kind words. Iwuh is a tad bit on th smaller side (6"0, 239 Lbs), so they like him at WLB. I'll ask Lovie about it when he comes in here at noon, but don't be surprised -- if Roach and Pisa are both forced to miss the NE game -- if the Bears primarily stay in their nickel package and keep DJ Moore on the field.
R. Michael (South Side of Chicago)
I love running the ball and i like our receivers but is it just me that we didnt get G. Olsen in the game as much as we could have yesterday? Was there a reason for that?
Jeff Dickerson (12:48 PM)
Not much from Olsen yesterday. Actually, he wasn't really in the gameplan the week leading up to the game. I don't believe he's in the doghouse, it was probably a matchup related issue. Good angle for this week....remember the Olsen to NE talk in the offseason. It was real. The Pats were in the market for a TE, but they decided to draft two of them.
Paul (Lake Bluff)
First off, Happy Jay Cutler Day! I wanna address the CB position today though. What is with Lovie having Tim Jenning's back? I think Bowman is a much better player and it took one missed tackle early in the season for Lovie to yank Bowman's job away and yesterday Jennings missed a horrible open field tackle and he hasn't impressed me at all. The only good play I've seen him make was the 1 interception he has and he got lucky that the QB misfired cause he was beat badly. You think there's any chance Lovie will go back to Bowman and put Jennings on the bench where he should be?
Jeff Dickerson (12:52 PM)
I prefer Bowman, but Lovie prefers Jennings. Unless Jennings falls apart, I don't know if Bowman will reclaim his job this season. But I must give Jennings credit, he fits in the Cover 2 system very well. He's a good guy and a hard worker. But I still believe Bowman can be an excellent starting CB in the league.
Trevor (Eau Claire)
Hey Jeff, huge win out there yesterday. At this point do you think the Bears could lose out and miss the playoffs? I still think we could win 2 or 3 of our final games. Thanks!
Jeff Dickerson (12:53 PM)
It's crazy, but the Bears could still miss the playoffs if they don't win the division. Just beat Minn and GB, and everything should work out just fine.
Zach Zaidman (Bears Sideline)
Why do I fear you?
Jeff Dickerson (1:02 PM)
This is not the real Zach. He is too busy tweeting. Zach is my guy. Here comes Lovie.....I'll turn it over to Jurko. Talk to everybody next week!
Jurko (1:02 PM)
Big win for the Bears, huge. Great job. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective.
Planning on dragging my fiance to Lambeau for the final game. Any words of advice on parking/tailgating?
Jurko (1:03 PM)
The K-Mart across the street is a great place to tailgate as you come in on Lombardi. Get there early. You can wear your Bears stuff, they're friendly. They'll bust your chops, but no fight. And dress warm.
What offense do you think Martz will employ this Sunday? Balanced and efficient or pass heavy to take advantage of New England's Secondary?
Jurko (1:05 PM)
I think it has to be balanced. The balanced offense allows your defense to be fresh, even though they gave up 91 yards on two plays. You're going to have to outscore these guys, so how do you do that? Out-execute them.
Is there any chance that J. Webb gets replaced by Shafer this week? It seems to me that Webb has been getting worse as the weeks go by? Maybe he's hitting that rookie wall?
Jurko (1:06 PM)
You don't want to see Shaffer. No Shaffer. I don't think he's hitting the rookie wall, people are starting to get some film and finding tendencies. Now he has to do what everyone does, make adjustments. Show hands, do different techniques. Utilize the arsenal of techniques.
Nathan (Coralville, IA)
Do you think they'll keep throwing the ball to Manumaleuna, or was that just trickery on Martz' part?
Jurko (1:07 PM)
That's a specific play designed for a specific team. And that's what they thought would be open, and it was. It was a tendency breaker.
Tony (Peru, IL )
seems like every game is a "statement game" for us when playing a team with a winning record, Dallas was suppose to be good at the time, Green Bay, Philadelphia and now New England. Win, win, win and 24-17 win - When does it stop Jurko?
Jurko (1:08 PM)
I have a feeling it's going to stop this weekend, but hopefully Bears find a way to win. Good teams find a way to win. They're not dominant, but find a way to win.
Adam (Villa Park )
Jurko, in your opinion was the hit on Cutler by Suh penalty worthy?
Jurko (1:09 PM)
I don't know if it was penalty worthy, but I defend Hochuli's decision. When he went in there, it looked like he hit him with the forearm. He finished by extending, but that doesn't mean the forearm wasn't there.
As a Bears fan, should the fact that the Patriots have such an intense game tonight (and short rest) be viewed as a good thing looking towards next week, or could the momentum from a win make the Patriots even more dangerous?
Jurko (1:10 PM)
You have to hope the Pats win because they're 25-2 coming off losses. Hope for them to win becasue they're damn near unbeatable coming off a loss.
Jurko, After watching the Bears struggle yesterday to win, do you really think they will win the division or even make the playoffs as a wildcard ?
Jurko (1:12 PM)
They're winning games, guys. I watched teams yesterday win games. Atlanta struggled all day, came back and beat Tampa. That happens in the NFL. You find ways to win games. The best team doesn't always win or blow people out of the water. Win and stack victories. Nobody cares how you win.
I asked my grandfather this yesterday, and want your thoughts... Would you still trade Jay Cutler for two first rd picks. I think Orton may have fit in this system?
Jurko (1:14 PM)
Yes, I'd do the trade all over again. They're trying to replace Orton in Denver. They can't wait to trade him. I think we could have done something more advatantageously with our picks. But because we have an inability to udnerstand what our players and arent', we don't do those trades like Richard Seymour. After Hester went crazy, Dallas needed a receiver, and we could have traded Hester and got two first and a third. Instead, they got Roy Williams. And that was at the height of it.
D. LaRue (Huntsville.)
Huge Bears Fan has been one thru thck and thin. If the bears beat the Pats will they gain the respect of The Atl, Pitt Jets?
Jurko (1:14 PM)
Yes. Respect is earned, and it only gets earned against quality opponents.
Does Hester know that you're not supposed to be tackled by kickers/punters? That's like the 5th time this season.
Jurko (1:15 PM)
It's brutal. He outtricks himself, he doesn't outtrick the kicker or punter.
The Sane Madman (Bears Nation)
Sir Jurko. Hello. I'm glad Manumaleuna caught a TD pass and some other big conversions because quite frankly he was doing his best job to blow the game with his lack of blocking. Nonetheless, I am very well pleased with the win. Keep them coming.
Jurko (1:17 PM)
It's one of the things I'm leased impressed with. He was billed as a guy who can block, and all too often I see him clapping his hands together trying to build himself up after missing another block and his guy made a tackle.
It seemed to me Harris got exposed a little yesterday in coverage, how do you think he will match up the rest of the season?
Jurko (1:18 PM)
Poor tackling and poor angles. Every blue moon you have one of those games, throw it out. If it happens again, though, you have a little trend going.
Everyone keeps saying the Bears 4 remaining games will be the reason the packers win the division, but green bay is at patriots and play the giants at home. I'm not sure the packers are much better off.
Jurko (1:19 PM)
They're not. But I'd rather have theirs than ours. The Giants are still trying to find the form they had earlier in the season. We have the two best teams in the AFC, and two division games on the road. Advantage Bears, because we have a lead, but I'd rather have the Packers schedule.
Jurko, how do you compare this team to the 2001 team? That team was a big surprise, and just found a way to win every week. Do you see the similarities, and who do you think is better?
Jurko (1:20 PM)
I think this team is better, more veteran presence and a better quarterback.
Why did the bears blitz so much yesterday? All season they've been playing great D only bringing 4 the majority of the time. It seems like yesterday they strayed from that philosophy and I think it hurt them. Also, seemed like they were in nickel the whole game after Roach when out, is that the reason?
Jurko (1:20 PM)
Front four couldn't provide pressure. And even a QB like Stanton provided with an unlimited amount of time will find an open receiver.
Is Jay Cutler on his way to a 2nd Pro Bowl season?--and if memory serves me correct, Erik Kramer was the last Bear to make the Pro Bowl.
Jurko (1:21 PM)
Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Michael Vick all names you'll see before Jay Cutler.
Are the sacks against the Bears yesterday related to players just getting beat or were they mental errors?
Jurko (1:21 PM)
One was a mental error. The rest guys getting beat.
Fitz (My cube)
For the game sunday, how many layers is too many layers?
Jurko (1:22 PM)
One more than necessary. You can always take a layer off.
Jurko, Tommie harris was an elite and an all star player, in almost his entire career, so what's missing him this year?
Jurko (1:23 PM)
The injury. He is no longer elite. He is now a grinder, a guy to be paid between $1M-$1.5M for the rest of his career for being what, just a guy. Nothign wrong wtih that.
Jurko, you can't possibly believe that the Jets and Pats are better than the Ravens and Steelers.
Jurko (1:24 PM)
One has got the best QB in the league. The Jets have the best OL in the league and two best corners. Pittsburgh? Really? Who loves Pittsburgh? Not this sailor. And two years from now Baltimore, Flacco still isn't getting it.
Andrew (Fort Walton Beach)
Have you made any projections as to the Bears record against their four remaining opponents?
Jurko (1:25 PM)
I'm afraid they can go 1-3. Two-two I'm happy with, but I'm afraid 1-3.
Andrew (Fort Walton Beach)
Besides Tom Brady, is there any one key player the Bears have to look out for next weekend?
Jurko (1:26 PM)
Benjarvis Green-Ellis. Their OL is solid, too. Wes Welker, offensive line is solid. Mankins is a monster.
Everyone seems to be so down on Brad Maynard this year, but all this guy does is put punts inside the 10. What gives?
Jurko (1:26 PM)
I don't know anybody who's down on him. He may have had 6 bad punts this year.
Jurko, we've seen Solider Field provide a big home field advantage with the natural turf. Since NE is used to field turf, could it provide a big enough advantage for the Bears to steal a win?
Jurko (1:28 PM)
Hopefully. The first thing I used to do when I went out was test field condition to see what type of cleats I needed. So you have to get a good feeling for what the turf is all about. If you don't have a command of it early, there's an advantage for other team. So the Bears would have an advantage, but I would anticipate that NE would be able to make a quick adjustment if they had the wrong shoes. Then it's up to the individual and his ability to play with balance. The Vikings couldn't make the adjustment and slipped all over the field, resulting in 2 picks.
Ryne Blaising (River Forest)
do you think 10-6 will be good enough to make the playoffs?
Jurko (1:29 PM)
Yes. There is a lot of attrition as you look at the schedule where teams will be beating up each other, especially in the East. With Tampa at 7-3, things are starting to shape up.
Between the Pats and the Jets, I think we have a better chance of beating the Jets in a low scoring game. Weather will be a factor (hopefully) on December 20th, the Bears have played well against the run, and Sanchez still makes plenty of mistakes. Thoughts?
Jurko (1:30 PM)
Of the two, I think the Jets is more winnable, because of the quarterback.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
Bears go 10-6 and MISS the playoffs. Which heads roll in the offseason? Angelo? Or is everybody back?
Jurko (1:31 PM)
Should be Angelo's.
Jurko (1:31 PM)
See you Thursday people. Bears are healthy.