Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPNChicago.com reporter Jeff Dickerson stops by to chat about the Chicago Bears.
Dickerson is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join Dickerson Monday at 11 a.m. CT/noon ET!
Jeff Dickerson (12:02 PM)
Great to be here with everybody. I'll answer as many as I can in the next 30 minutes.
John (Las Vegas)
What do you think will happen to Rodriguez after the DUI? Is he done with the Bears and does that matter?
Jeff Dickerson (12:06 PM)
I'm actually working on a blog post concerning this subject for after the chat. This is the way I see it: Phil Emery was hired as GM to fix the draft. How bad would it look if he had to cut his 2012 4th round pick after one year? Especially since the club is going to have a tough decision to make regarding 2012 3rd round pick safety Brandon Hardin in training camp. The 6th and 7th round picks failed to make the team last year, although Isaiah Frey is back figting for a roster spot this offseason. Emery needs Rodriguez to pan out. That's how I feel. It's not like Rodriguez did anything last year as a rookie on the field.
How Carimi's rehab doing in AZ? Is he putting on any weight? Do you think his future here is over?
Jeff Dickerson (12:08 PM)
Rich - We should have answers to those questions next week at the latest. Veterans are scheduled to take their physicals for next week's mandatory minicamp one week from today. I cannot imagine Carimi skipping the minicamp. If he does, the Bears can fine him - granted he's still on the team. No, I do not believe his future is with the Bears. If Carimi thought his future was in Chicago, he'd be at the offseason workouts.
How good do you think the bears revamped o-line will be?
Jeff Dickerson (12:09 PM)
The addition of Bushrod at LT makes them a better unit. I also like what I'm hearing about Matt Slauson at LG. He sounds like a pretty good player. But there are still question marks on the offensive line.
What kind of stat line do you predict for Alshon Jeffery this season?
Jeff Dickerson (12:11 PM)
I think, if healthy, Alshon Jeffery is the kind of WR that can catch 50 balls for 600 yards as a compliment to Brandon Marshall. I also believe Earl Bennett is a threat in the passing game. But it's really difficult for me to project numbers until we actually see how the new Marc Trestman offense works. But I like Jeffery. I think he was a solid pick.
Rob (Arlington Heights)
Do you think the special teams will suffer this year under a new coach?
Jeff Dickerson (12:13 PM)
I think it's funny how certain people are now trying to knock Dave Toub after he left for KC. Toub might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but facts are facts, he was/is a great special teams coach. The Bears ALWAYS were great on special teams when Toub coached here. Joe DeCamillis brings a different style to the table but he's very experienced. The Bears could experience a drop off on special teams, but I don't think it will be severe.
Justin H (Fort Myers, FL) [via mobile]
What do you see happening with Brandon Hardin?
Jeff Dickerson (12:16 PM)
If he's not good enough to make the team I guess the Bears have no other choice but to cut him or try and slip him on the practice squad. Hardin hasn't played football in two years, and the Bears have a pretty good group at safety. I don't know how the Bears could rate Hardin above Chris Conte, Major Wright, Craig Steltz or Anthony Walters. I would put Tom Nelson also above Hardin on the depth chart, and maybe Tom Zibikowski. Do the Bears keep 4 safeties? 5? Either way, I don't think anything has been promised to Hardin. How could it be?
DO you see Our #1 pick Kyle Long earning a starting spot on the line this upcoming season?
Jeff Dickerson (12:17 PM)
I believe the plan is for Kyle Long to start Week 1 at RG.
Do you see Kelvin Hayden playing the starting nickel for the bears? What do you think of using Brandon Hardin or Zack Bowman at nickel?
Jeff Dickerson (12:19 PM)
I expect Kelvin Hayden to be much better for the Bears this year. He never seemed comfortable last year, almost like he was feeling his way through the entire season. So yes, I think Hayden if he stays healthy figures to be the nickel. Bowman is obvioulsy a top reserve, and with his ability, I think he could play nickel if necessary. But I look at Bowman as the No. 3 CB behind Tillman and Jennings. Hardin, ummm, no.
Jeff is Rodriguez gone or does he recieve another "re-education" maybe in North Korea this time?
Jeff Dickerson (12:21 PM)
Let's hope this "re-education" sticks. I really like Phil Emery. I think he's a good man. But these are the risks you run when a team drafts a guy with questionable character. Rodriguez has had issues dating back to college.
jay il [via mobile]
Have the bears replaced urlacker
Jeff Dickerson (12:22 PM)
D.J Williams and Jon Bostic.
C. Schulz (Minnesota)
How has our FA Center (LSU) been performing?
Jeff Dickerson (12:22 PM)
We only get to watch 3 OTAs, so I can't offer a response on that. With the OL, we need to wait and see what happens in training camp when the pads come on. That's the best indicator.
I don't get all this hate on Hardin. I think he looked really athletic and phyical. If he stays healthy, I guarantee he will make an impact.
Jeff Dickerson (12:23 PM)
It's not hate. It's reality. This is not a personal attack. He's on the bubble to make the team.
who is in line to start at RT now? is it a toss up between scott and webb or is it webb's job to lose?
Jeff Dickerson (12:25 PM)
I think in the ideal world for the Bears, J'Marcus Webb is the RT.
Jake (sterling) [via mobile]
Do you see the bears bringing in urlacher as some kind of coach or consultant? He does still have some good knowledge on current offenses
Jeff Dickerson (12:26 PM)
It wouldn't shock me to see Urlacher helping out at training camp one day, or just being there for a day or two. But I don't know if that's going to happen anytime soon.
Are the Bears a top 10 defense in 2013?
Jeff Dickerson (12:27 PM)
I think they could be, if the veterans stay healthy. What the Bears could use more than anything, is a monster year from Julius Peppers. So far, the word is Peppers is adjusting well to the new coaching staff. I think this shock to the system has been good for a guy like Peppers. He sounds motivated.
Do you see Israel Idonijie or Amobi Okoye returning to the D-line?
Jeff Dickerson (12:29 PM)
I'd sign both those guys for the minimum, if possible. But I don't know. Maybe their best bet is to wait until training camp and see if a player suffers an injury.
From what you have seen can this squad really win more than 8 games?
Jeff Dickerson (12:30 PM)
Sure. Of course. But I really think this is the transition year. It could go either way. But if the Bears have a rough 2013, I don't see 2014 being much better. Then it's re-build mode.
Do you think Fendi Onobun has a chance at making the team this year? I hear Cutler has taken an interest in the guy.
Jeff Dickerson (12:31 PM)
Fendi has looked good, although he hurt his hamstring two weeks ago at the last open OTA. I'll watch him closely tomorrow.
Jeff Dickerson (12:31 PM)
Thanks everybody. We should have plenty of stuff tomorrow from Halas Hall.