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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Which Bears will make first Pro Bowl?

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.

Which Bears player do you think will make his first career Pro Bowl this season?
Russ A.
Algonquin, Illinois

The two leading candidates in my mind are running back David Montgomery and inside linebacker Roquan Smith. Both had breakout-type seasons in 2020 and are just entering the prime of their careers. Montgomery tied for fifth in the NFL in rushing with a career-high 1,070 yards and was the league's only player to compile at least 1,000 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving. Smith finished seventh in the NFL with a career-high and team-leading 139 tackles, second with 96 solo tackles and second with 18 tackles-for-loss—the most tackles-for-loss by a Bears player since Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher had 19 in 2002. Smith was also the only NFL player to record at least 100 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and two interceptions. It also seems like both Montgomery and Smith are beginning to gain more recognition throughout the league. I expect both to play at a Pro Bowl level this season. Of course, a lot depends on the players they're competing with at their respective positions. For example, last year Smith finished behind two highly productive players in the Seahawks' Bobby Wagner and the 49ers' Fred Warner in Pro Bowl voting.

I know that Don Shula passed George Halas for most wins by an NFL head coach. Two questions: Who has a better winning percentage, and is Halas still second in wins or has he been passed by someone else?
Anson W.
Waukegan, Illinois

George Halas (.682) has a better winning percentage than Don Shula (.677), and Papa Bear's 318 wins still rank second to Shula's 328. Bill Belichick is third with 280 wins and would have to average 10 victories over each of the next four seasons to pass Halas. Mike Ditka is 34th on the all-time list with 121 wins as a head coach.

How many rookies have started the season opener since Ryan Pace became Bears general manager?
Frank P.
Hobart, Indiana

Five rookies have started the season opener since Ryan Pace became Bears general manager in 2015. They are safety Adrian Amos (2015), center Cody Whitehair (2016), outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (2016), safety Eddie Jackson (2017) and cornerback Jaylon Johnson (2020).

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

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