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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: What does Daniels need to work on?

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

What do you think second-round pick James Daniels needs to work on to break into the starting lineup at guard or center?

Alan H.

Barrington, Illinois

The one thing that rookie James Daniels is most lacking is simply experience. Coach Matt Nagy said after Thursday night's preseason finale that the areas Daniels needs to work on are recognizing fronts and blitzes and the leverage of his opponents. And that will come in time once Daniels gets accustomed to studying his opponents on tape, something that typically doesn't occur during the preseason. Said Nagy: "He had one [snap] early on in the game [Thursday night] where he just overreached on a run play and the guy beat him for a tackle. So I think just kind of understanding different techniques. Being able to study an opponent, I don't think he's necessarily done that yet. He's still a rookie. He's young, and he's going to get tested, and we just want to stay away from making the same mistakes twice."

I wasn't very happy to see Cody Parkey miss another field goal Thursday night against the Bills. What is the Bears' confidence level in him?

Steven B.

Peotone, Illinois

Coach Matt Nagy remains confident in kicker Cody Parkey, who converted 8 of 11 field-goal attempts in the preseason. He made kicks from 22, 39, 35, 43, 48, 19, 47 and 23 yards and missed from 52, 52 and 39 yards. Said Nagy: "He has a couple longer ones that he's missed that I know just from both of us talking after the games the next day that obviously he wants them back. And I just let him know, 'I've got full confidence in you. You miss a couple in a row, we don't want you to miss them, but I'm not going to stop kicking them.' It's important for him to maintain that confidence. I just believe in treating kickers like everybody else and if I need to ride them, I'll ride them. If I don't need to, I won't. But he's going to know that he always has my trust."

How would you evaluate how backup tackle Rashaad Coward performed after he was switched from the defensive line to the offensive line?

William J.

Dublin, Ohio

I was very impressed and a bit surprised that Rashaad Coward played so well at a brand new position. He could very well be the Bears' swing tackle in their season opener in Green Bay depending on Bradley Sowell's sprained ankle. Said coach Matt Nagy: "He showed me a lot, he really did. This is a kid that was playing defensive line last year, and last week for him to be lining up against [Chiefs outside linebackers] Justin Houston and Dee Ford and hold his own is pretty good. We're proud of him. That's a kid that's continuing to grow. You see him growing every day in practice. He's very coachable. When [offensive line coach] Harry [Hiestand] tells him something, he usually gets it done, and that's a benefit for us."

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