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Chalk Talk: Why aren't Bears running gadget plays?

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.

Why haven't the Bears called any of the fun gadget plays they ran last year like the ones where Akiem Hicks and Bradley Sowell scored touchdowns?
Brad S.
Dublin, Ohio

Bears coach Matt Nagy provided an interesting answer when he was asked that same question last week. He basically said that he wants to see better execution of standard plays by the offense before he starts sprinkling in gadget plays. As I'm sure you know, the Bears offense has struggled throughout most of the season to score points. Said Nagy: "We want to be able to execute with our offense before we start getting into all that other stuff. Let's put some points on the board first before we start getting in all that. We had some times last year where we were getting some defensive players involved in the scheme and maybe we get back to that here. Maybe we don't. No. 1, you've got to get down there in that part of the red zone. And then when you do, you want to be able to execute with your own guys on offense, too."

What happened on the extra point where the Bears had too many players on the field against the Giants? Aren't the same 11 players always on that unit?
Donald F.
Grayslake, Illinois

The confusion arose from an injury to offensive lineman Bobby Massie, who is a member of the extra-point and field-goal teams. The coaches had replaced Massie for the attempt that you're referring to, but apparently some players saw Massie missing and automatically thought that the Bears were down one player. So they waved Brent Urban onto the field, but he was the 12th man and the Bears were penalized for an illegal substitution. Nagy described it as "just a little miscommunication between players and coaches just because of the norm that they're used to seeing '70' out there and he wasn't."

What is the Bears' record when playing on Thanksgiving?
Alan P.
Hammond, Indiana

The Bears are 18-15-2 all-time on Thanksgiving. They've won their last two appearances, 17-13 over the Packers in Green Bay in 2015 and 23-16 over the Lions in Detroit last year. The Bears first played on Thanksgiving in their first year of existence in 1920, beating the Chicago Tigers 6-0. Red Grange made his Bears debut on Thanksgiving in 1925, rushing for 36 yards in a 0-0 tie with the Chicago Cardinals at Wrigley Field, just five days after playing in his final college game for Illinois.

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