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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: When was Bears' last QB battle?

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.

When was the last time the Bears had an open competition for the starting quarterback job in training camp?
Fred S.
Schaumburg, Illinois

The battle between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles this summer will be the first for the Bears' starting quarterback position since 2008 when Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman competed for the job. Orton was named the starter prior to the third preseason game, with then-coach Lovie Smith saying: "We take a lot of things into consideration, but in the end it comes down to a gut feeling you have. I feel good about Kyle leading our team." Orton ended up starting 15 games, completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 2,972 yards with 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 79.6 passer rating. The Bears could have earned a wild-card berth with a road win over the Texans in the season finale, but they blew a 10-0 lead and lost 31-24, finishing the year with a 9-7 record.

In the guidelines the NFL issued this week about when players are allowed to return to their team facilities, it states that players should stay at least six feet apart. How is that possible in a locker room with 90 players on the roster?
Allen G.
Lansing, Michigan

It definitely will be a challenge, but the Bears are in the process of developing a plan to comply with the NFL guidelines. The league is suggesting that teams utilize every other locker or add additional lockers. Here's what coach Matt Nagy had to say this week about maintaining social distancing with a roster of 90 players: "This is where you've got to get creative, and we'll do that. We've already thought of a lot of different things. I love the discussions that we've had as a coaching staff and as a support staff. Everyone is thinking all the time. There are going to be ways to be creative and we're going to be creative in how we do things, too. It's going to be totally different. So how do you adapt? If that's what they're saying, it's six feet, then how do you work within those parameters and still get done what feels natural? If it comes down to something where it's something similar to Zoom meetings, etc., then we'll do that. But we'll do it without any complaints and we'll do it full speed ahead."

Where did Kevin Butler's "Butthead" nickname originate? Did the legendary John Madden have anything to do with it?
Jack G.
Niles, Michigan

I went directly to the source with your question, and former Bears kicker Kevin Butler told me that teammates Jim McMahon and Keith Van Horne were the ones who first started calling him "Butthead." So, no, John Madden wasn't involved. By the way, Butler played 11 seasons with the Bears from 1985-95, setting a franchise record (that has since been broken by Robbie Gould) by scoring 1,116 points. Butler was selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 1985 draft out of Georgia and set an NFL rookie scoring record that has since been broken with 144 points for the famed Super Bowl XX championship team.

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

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