Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Who is an under-the-radar player?

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.

Is there an under-the-radar player who had a good offseason that Bears fans should keep an eye on during training camp?
Ross L.
Hammond, Indiana

One Bears player who I think probably deserves more attention is second-year receiver Javon Wims. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick from Georgia performed well during offseason workouts and appears primed to compete for a role on offense in training camp. You don’t hear a lot about Wims, mostly because the Bears have a lot of depth and talent at receiver, and the three most productive wideouts from last year (Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller) are all returning in 2019. But Wims has made the most of the limited opportunities he’s had. He led all NFL receivers last preseason with 227 yards on 15 receptions, including a touchdown, and then caught four passes for 32 yards in the regular-season finale in Minnesota.

Could you see a scenario where the Bears sign a kicker who is released from another team during final cuts and he ends up kicking in the season opener?
Bruce L.
Glyn Ellyn, Illinois

That ultimately could be the best option for the Bears. But that’s a long way down the road. Beginning next week and continuing through the entire month of August, Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro both will have a golden opportunity to earn the job. Their performance in the Bears’ four preseason games obviously will be a huge factor, and I’m sure that coach Matt Nagy will continue to put them in pressure situations in practice. Here’s hoping that at least one of them makes the most of his chances and leaves no doubt that he deserves the job.

When was the last time the Bears won back-to-back division championships?
Lee R.
Huntsville, Alabama

The Bears last accomplished that feat in 2005-06 when they won back-to-back NFC North titles under coach Lovie Smith. In 2006, they also captured the NFC championship and advanced to the Super Bowl. The only other time the Bears have won consecutive division titles since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 is when they captured five straight NFC Central championships from 1984-88 under coach Mike Ditka, winning the Super Bowl in 1985.

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