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.
With everything closed due to the coronavirus, how are Bears players staying in shape?
I've spoken to or texted with a handful of players and it's definitely been a challenge for them to stay in shape over the last couple weeks. They've been running—even sprinting—outdoors, and the ones who are fortunate to have a home gym have been lifting weights and running on a treadmill. Those without a home gym have had to get creative. For example, tight end Ben Braunecker revealed during a recent radio interview that he's been maintaining his strength by lifting beds, reclining chairs and other furniture as well as heavy rocks. Hopefully NFL teams will be able to re-open their facilities sooner rather than later.
When was the last time a former Packers player signed with the Bears and became a major contributor?
I'm not sure how you would define "a major contributor," but former Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signed with the Bears last year and started all 16 games, ranking third on the defense with 78 tackles while also recording two interceptions and five pass breakups. Prior to Clinton-Dix, the last former Packers player to make an impact with the Bears was guard Josh Sitton. After playing his first eight NFL seasons in Green Bay, Sitton signed with the Bears in 2016 and was voted to the Pro Bowl after playing in 13 games with 12 starts at left guard. Going even further back, the Bears acquired running back Glyn Milburn in a 1998 preseason trade with the Packers and he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1999 as a return specialist. Here's hoping that tight end Jimmy Graham, who I'm sure provided the impetus for your question, has the same type of success. Most of the other individuals I can think of who have suited up for both teams played for the Bears first. That group includes quarterbacks Jim McMahon and Mike Tomczak, running back Cedric Benson, tight end Martellus Bennett, defensive tackle Steve McMichael, defensive end Julius Peppers and linebacker Jim Morrissey.
I think the Bears can add a couple of big-time players in the second round of the draft. Who have been their second-round picks since Ryan Pace became general manager?
The Bears have chosen five players in the second round of the draft in Ryan Pace's five seasons as general manager: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman in 2015; offensive lineman Cody Whitehair in 2016; tight end Adam Shaheen in 2017; and offensive lineman James Daniels and receiver Anthony Miller in 2018. The Bears traded their second-round pick in last year's draft to the Patriots to move up in the second round of the 2018 draft to pick Miller. In the second round this year they have their own pick (No. 50) plus one they acquired from the Raiders (No. 43) in the 2018 blockbuster trade for Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack.