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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: What has been Bears' most pleasant surprise?

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.

What do you think has been the most pleasant surprise for the Bears two games into the season? I think the play of cornerback Jaylon Johnson has been right up there.
Robert W.
Illinois

Jaylon Johnson has definitely performed well, but there's been a lot of talk the last several months that he was primed for a breakout second NFL season. So I wouldn't really consider that a "surprise." My answer would have to be the strong play of tackles Jason Peters and Germain Ifedi. It seems we heard all offseason that the tackle position was one of the Bears' biggest question marks, and Peters and Ifedi have both played well in the first two games. Hopefully they can continue that Sunday in Cleveland, but they're going to face a stiff test against one of the NFL's best pass-rushing tandems in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.

I've noticed DeAndre Houston-Carson on the field at times during the first two games in passing situations. Has he lined up at the nickel position? I think "DHC" is one of the more underrated players on the Bears roster.
Dave F.
Hammond, Indiana

After playing just one defensive snap in the season opener against the Rams, veteran safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was on the field for 16 plays last Sunday versus the Bengals primarily as a sixth defensive back in what is referred to as a "dime" defense. Houston-Carson was credited with two tackles on defense and one on special teams. Speaking to the media Thursday, defensive coordinator Sean Desai praised the sixth-year pro for his versatility, saying: "He's smart, he's tough, he understands our brand of football and he's been here a long time. And so he understands the defense from a big picture perspective, so when you have guys like that and you're building this defense, you allow those versatile players to play in different spots, and he embodies that." 

Has Jesse James been playing? I thought he looked good in the preseason but haven't noticed him in the first two games.
Ellen M.
Roswell, Georgia

Veteran tight end Jesse James has seen limited action in the first two games, playing nine snaps on offense in the season opener against the Rams and 14 snaps last Sunday versus the Bengals. He has not yet been targeted with a pass. James is at a deep and talented position behind Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, so it's going to be tough for him to see a lot of action, barring an injury. But I imagine we will continue to see him in multi-tight end alignments.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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