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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Which rookie could start Week 1?

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 was very pleased with this year’s Bears draft despite them not having any first- or second-round picks. Out of the five picks, who do you think has the best chance at becoming a Week 1 starter?
From @dirrim23 on Twitter

Among the five draft picks, I would say that third-round running back David Montgomery definitely has the best chance to start the season opener against the Packers. I suspect that Montgomery will look even more impressive when the pads come on in training camp and the preseason, but the Bears certainly like what they’ve seen from him throughout the offseason program, both as a ballcarrier and a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Here’s what offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich had to say about Montgomery after Wednesday’s OTA practice: “He’s identified things, he’s communicated, he’s learned, he’s competed. He’s ran routes and caught the ball; all those good things that you can do to this point have been really good.”

Are the Bears planning to bring all three of their kickers to training camp?
Russell D.
Oak Forest, Illinois

That decision has not yet been made and probably won’t be until the offseason program concludes. The Bears still have six OTA practices and three minicamp workouts for Chris Blewitt, Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro to prove themselves. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday when asked whether the Bears would bring three kickers to training camp: “We’re trying to let this thing play out. That’s a very important position for us right now, so we’re going to be delicate with it and make sure that whatever we do, we talk about it and we decide, ‘OK, is this the best thing to do?’ If we need to bring three to camp, we’ll bring three to camp.” Nagy added that he’s not concerned about the kicking situation, saying: “I’m really not because there’s a lot of time ahead of us … We realize the significance of getting this thing right and we’ve got to let it play out.”

What are the Bears’ plans for linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe? He was a fourth-round pick, right? I haven’t heard much about him lately.
Marc B.
Wheeling, Illinois

Yes, the Bears selected inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of Western Kentucky. Iyiegbuniwe was arguably the Bears’ best special-teams player last year as a rookie and I expect him to fill a similar role this season as a key special-teams contributor and valuable backup on defense behind starters Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith.

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