Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
When will the new Bears players get assigned their uniform numbers?
Well, that usually happens when players arrive in mid-April to start the Bears' offseason program. But obviously with NFL facilities closed due to the coronavirus, there's no telling when players will be able to report to Halas Hall. I do know, though, that the Bears' equipment department is working on assigning numbers to all new players and that the Bears will announce those numbers across their social platforms when they've been determined. So please stay patient and stay tuned. I'm eager to find out as well and I guarantee that we'll let you know as soon as that information becomes available.
With Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn starting on the edge, do you think the Bears are content with Isaiah Irving and Barkevious Mingo as their backups or will they sign another free agent or add a draft pick to the mix?
There's no question that the Bears upgraded their pass rush when they signed Robert Quinn to pair with Khalil Mack at outside linebacker. If defensive tackle Akiem Hicks can stay healthy, that's a pretty formidable pass rush, not to mention the presence of two excellent blitzers in inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith. I also think the Bears have decent depth at the outside linebacker position with Isaiah Irving, Barkevious Mingo and don't forget James Vaughters, who showed the ability to rush the passer and create takeaways last preseason. Given the importance of the position, however, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the Bears considered selecting an edge rusher with one of their seven draft picks. Regardless, they likely will sign a few undrafted edge rushers like they do every year to fill out their 90-man training camp roster.
I can't stop thinking that if Kyle Orton would have played in the 2006 Super Bowl instead of Rex Grossman the outcome would have been different. Plus Devin Hester's touchdown return would have gotten more attention and helped his Hall of Fame chances.
Several people I've spoken to flip-flop the 2005 and 2006 seasons. I'm not saying that's the case with you. But in 2005, Kyle Orton started the first 14 games in place of the injured Rex Grossman, who returned late in the regular season and then started a divisional playoff game against the Panthers that the Bears lost 29-21 at Soldier Field. I remember there being a debate at the time about whether Orton should have remained the starter into the playoffs. But in 2006, Grossman started all 16 games and both playoff wins over the Seahawks and Saints en route to Super Bowl XLI. Orton didn't play a snap during the entire season and wasn't an option in the Super Bowl. As for Devin Hester, I think his 92-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Colts remains one of the most iconic plays in Super Bowl history, even though the Bears lost, and will help his chances of being voted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2022. In my opinion, he certainly deserves to be enshrined.