Chat with Jeff Dickerson
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Tuesday, Jeff Dickerson stops by for his weekly Chicago Bears chat.
Dickerson, who will chat from 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. CT, is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 12:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. ET!
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Jeff Dickerson (1:30 PM)
Huge win for the Bears last night - 45-28. Thrilled to be with you for the next 30 minutes.
Stephen (Orlando, FL)
Hey Jeff, I wanted to know how you think Jordan Mills has looked this year? Haven't heard his name much because of the guy beside him. He did have a great block on Bush's TD run last night.
Jeff Dickerson (1:33 PM)
I think Mills has done well enough this year to keep himself in the starting lineup. No rookie is perfect. There have been times when Mills has made mistakes, but I find him to be an aggressive player that plays physical. At one point, Mills led the league in knockdown blocks. He is only going to get better. Mills gives off the impression as being a solid locker room guy and good teammate. I believe the future is extremely bright for Mills and fellow rookie RG Kyle Long.
Nick (South Dakota)
When Cutler comes back, can he perform any better than McCown with this offense? Or should the Bears let Cutler go and sign McCown for a couple years and draft a young kid to develop?
Jeff Dickerson (1:36 PM)
I can't say for certain what is going to happen with Cutler. I wrote last week that my belief is the two sides will eventually agree to a shorter (three-year) deal worth in the area of $16-$17 million per season. But I wonder if McCown's play has driven Cutler's price down. What will he sign for? But keep in mind, where else is Cutler going to go that has these many weapons on offense and this coaching staff? I think Cutler knows this, and that's why I still have a hunch he signs a new deal. But if the two sides cannot agree, I seen no reason why the Bears can't re-sign McCown (which I believe they will do anyways) and look to find a young QB for the future.
Kieran Murphy (Loyola University)
I remember throughout training camp and the offseason we were getting a lot of hype about (then backup) nickel corner Isaiah Frey. Since then he's been pretty quiet, nothing good or bad to really note, do you have any thoughts on his play?
Jeff Dickerson (1:39 PM)
Frey has been okay. Going into the Dallas game Frey had 42 tackles, 0.5 sacks and 2 PBUs. He hasn't made as many plays on the football as he did in the preseason, but it doesn't appear he has hurt his standing with the team. He also is playing with a broken hand.
Matt D (Chicago)
Hey JD, thanks for doing these chats. I get the excitement over McCown's play, its been a terrific story, and from all indications it couldn't happen to a better guy. But lets not get carried away. The Dallas D is historically bad. McCown got away with 2 or 3 INTs that absolutely should have been caught, and got away with several throws last week (and some he didnt like the Long catch/fumble). Cutler still should be the guy, he brings that extra "it" factor that could allow this team to win shootouts. What do you think?
Jeff Dickerson (1:42 PM)
You bring up several valid points, Matt. Dallas is awful on defense. Some of the Cowboys beat reporters told me before the game about the Dallas defense but I didn't believe them. My goodness, Jerry Jones has some work to do down there this offseason. And McCown did get lucky a couple times. Hey, when you're hot, you get certain breaks I guess. Cutler has the better arm. He's younger and more atheltic. McCown takes better care of the football and is a better leader. It depends what traits the Bears prioritize more.
Seeing the way Josh McCown has orchestrated the offense over the last few weeks and how the offense is blossoming into the one of the leagues best, is it possible that Cutler can take the next step, reign in the wildness and play within the system? And if he doesnt when he returns, will Trestman keep the leash short so the Bears stay alive in the playoff hunt?
Jeff Dickerson (1:46 PM)
That is the hope, Phil. That's why I want to see how Cutler performs in the final two or three games if he is medically cleared to return. Only Trestman knows how long the leash will be if Cutler starts this week or next week, but I don't believe the Bears will hesitate to go back to McCown if Cutler totally bombs. Why would they?
Nohadra (Warm Arizona!)
Fellow Bears fans are starting to annoy me, please tell them Cutler is our main guy when healthy and McCown is our 2nd string that WON'T jump Cutler on the charts.
Jeff Dickerson (1:47 PM)
In my opinion, the Bears have no choice but to start Cutler IF they medically clear him to play on Sunday. They could always not clear him due to the short week. I guess that is a possibility.
John Huey (Janesville,WI)
I like Cutler a lot and think we really need to resign him, with that said, How believable is it to the rumor that the Titans are really interested in Jay. Do you really believe he will be back?! I think it would be a big mistake not to resign him but it has to be the right contract for both sides too, what are your thoughts? Thanks Jeff!
Jeff Dickerson (1:50 PM)
I don't get caught up in rumors like that when a player is about to enter free agency. It's a clear leverage play by Cutler's agent. I'm sure the Titans would have interest in Cutler, but even though he owns a house in Nashville and went to college at Vanderbilt, you mean to tell me the Titans give Jay Cutler a better chance to win a Super Bowl in the next three years than the Bears do? Come on. If it is entirely about money, Cutler could end up elsewhere in 2014. But if he really wants to win, how can you not try your hardest to get a deal done with the Bears? Am I crazy to think that way?
Joe B (Oxford, CT)
Do you think Briggs returns next week at Cleveland?
Jeff Dickerson (1:52 PM)
If the Bears had lost last night, I'd say no chance Briggs returns for Cleveland. But I can't rule it out after the win. Let's see if he practices Thursday without restrictions. He probably needs to do that before he can play a full game. This will be 8 weeks since Briggs suffered what the team called a small fracture in his shoulder.
Henry A (Deland FL)
It looked like Conte was making or around every table last night. People bashing him. I think he's a top safety in the league. You think Bears should give him a long term chance?
Jeff Dickerson (1:53 PM)
Conte had a decent game last year, for sure. He's got one year left on his deal. I'd bring him to camp and let the chips fall where they may. Don't discount the impact the Bears uneven play at linebacker this year has had on the safeties.
How pretty was that corner of the endzone catch by Jeffery? With that said, does Emery let Marshall walk after the '14 season?
Jeff Dickerson (1:55 PM)
Great question, Paul. I don't know what Phil Emery is going to do with Marshall. He will obvioulsy want a new contract in the offseason. Not sure if Marshall will wait another year. A decision might have to be made this offseason on Marshall's long-term status here in Chicago.
Henry A (Deland FL)
After all the injuries and defense struggles... Did the bears ever consider calling up Urlacher to come back?
Jeff Dickerson (1:55 PM)
No. Urlacher was never coming back.
Eastern NC (Eastern NC)
What's going to happen with Julius Peppers?
Jeff Dickerson (1:56 PM)
Either the Bears release him or Peppers takes a hefty pay cut. I don't think the club can afford to keep him next year at his projected salary/salary cap number.
What changes did Mel tucker make in the second half? The D looked a lot better but clearly still has issues? Thanks.
Jeff Dickerson (1:57 PM)
I thought the defense looked aggressive last night. I enjoyed some of the blitz packages. It also helped the Bears defense that Dallas stopped running the ball after they fell behind in the first half.
Will the Bears be able to sign McCown or will some other team want him to start for them? I know it could be the system and/or weapons here in Chicago but there is that chance it could happen, right?
Jeff Dickerson (1:59 PM)
I think it would be in McCown's best interest to re-sign with the Bears. Clearly, this offensive system suits him well. McCown doesn't seem like a money grab kind of guy. But I think the Bears will certainly have to pay him above his veteran minimum salary in 2014, and maybe even extend him a two-year deal.
Hi Jeff, how would you attack Browns this week
Jeff Dickerson (2:01 PM)
I would just let McCown run the offense if he's starting. Same with Jay, although I would stress with him the importance of not turning the ball over. All Cutler needs to do is help the team win the game. He doesn't have to pass for 600 yards.
Jeff Dickerson (2:01 PM)
Thank you everybody. Enjoy the rest of the week.