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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Did Smith win player of week honors?

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.

I thought Roquan Smith deserved to be named the NFC defensive player of the week for his performance against the Bengals last week. Did he win the award?
Pete A.
Merrillville, Indiana

Linebacker Roquan Smith certainly had a great game against the Bengals, leading the Bears to a 20-17 win by returning an interception 53 yards for a touchdown, recording a sack and registering a team-high eight tackles. However, NFC defensive player of the week honors went to Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards, who became the first NFL player since 1992 to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game. Edwards helped turn a close contest into a lopsided 48-25 win over the Falcons. Any other week, Smith probably would have won the award.

What are your expectations for Khyiris Tonga when Eddie Goldman returns to the lineup? He's seemed to be a solid contributor for a rookie late-round pick.
Grady V.
Virginia

Rookie nose tackle Khyiris Tonga played only 21 snaps on defense in the first two games of the season and that number likely will dwindle when veteran Eddie Goldman returns from his knee injury. But the Bears are very high on the seventh-round draft pick from BYU and are confident that he will continue to develop and contribute as part of the defensive line rotation. They really like his strength and his ability to both stop the run and push the pocket on pass plays.

Who do you think is the best Bears player who also played for the Browns?
Dennis T.
Hartford, Connecticut

No question it's got to be former center Jay Hilgenberg, who started seven straight Pro Bowls during his illustrious 11-year career with the Bears from 1981-91 before playing one season with the Browns in 1992. I remember covering a Bears-Browns game in Cleveland in 1992 and remembering how strange it was to see Hilgenberg in a different uniform. He started all 16 games for Cleveland in 1992 before playing a final season with the Saints in 1993.

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

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