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.
Which Bears player most exceeded your expectations this past season?
The first player that comes to my mind is Kyle Fuller. The veteran cornerback had a very good 2017 season, especially after missing the entire 2016 campaign with a knee injury. But he had only two interceptions in 2017 and I don't think that many people—myself included—envisioned him being selected a first-team All-Pro and being voted to the Pro Bowl in 2018 after tying for the NFL lead with seven interceptions and topping the league with 21 pass breakups. Fuller had a great season and showed that the Bears made the correct decision in matching the offer sheet he received last offseason from the rival Packers.
I read your story from the Pro Bowl with Brian Urlacher talking about several of his former teammates who deserve Hall of Fame consideration. Who do you think will be the next Bears player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
I think the next Bears player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be Devin Hester. While some voters may be hesitant to select a specialist, Hester remains the best kick returner in NFL history. He was a true game-changer who set records that may never be broken, and that's not something you can say about most NFL players. For those who didn't see the Brian Urlacher story on ChicagoBears.com, the former star middle linebacker said that he thought Hester, Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Olin Kreutz all deserved Hall of Fame consideration.
What statistic from the 2018 Bears season impressed you most?
I'd say the 27 interceptions by the Bears defense impressed me the most, especially after the unit had picked off only eight passes in each of the previous three seasons. Even more impressive was that the Bears had 11 different players with a pick, the most in the NFL. The four starters in the secondary combined for 18 interceptions: Kyle Fuller (7), Eddie Jackson (6), Prince Amukamara (3) and Adrian Amos (2). Others with picks included Bryce Callahan (2), Danny Trevathan (2), Khalil Mack (1), Roquan Smith (1), Aaron Lynch (1), Leonard Floyd (1) and Sherrick McManis (1).