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.
Was Bob Parsons the last Bears player to play two distinct positions (tight end and punter) at the same time?
I assume we're excluding offensive linemen who have played similar positions like guard and center, as well as offensive linemen or fullbacks who have also lined up at tight end on occasion. In terms of someone who has played two "distinct" positions during the same timeframe, the first Bears player I thought of was William "Refrigerator" Perry, who was utilized both as a defensive tackle and a short-yardage fullback on a fairly regular basis when he was a Bears rookie in 1985. I recall that the Fridge filled that role on offense that season in both games against the Packers—rushing for a touchdown in the first meeting and catching a TD pass from Jim McMahon in the second—as well as versus the 49ers, Cowboys, Falcons and Patriots in the Super Bowl. So that would be my answer. For those of you who aren't too familiar with Bob Parsons, he played for the Bears from 1972-83, serving as their primary punter from 1974-83 while also seeing limited action as a reserve tight end his first five years with the team.
I see that the Bears are closing their offseason program with a veteran minicamp. Are rookies permitted to attend that as well?
Yes, rookies can attend it. I think the fact that many people and teams throughout the NFL label it as a "veteran" minicamp creates some confusion because, like I said, it's for veterans as well as rookies. I always refer to it as a "full-squad" minicamp to try to eliminate some of that confusion. By the way, that full-squad minicamp, which the Bears have scheduled for June 15-17, is the only mandatory portion of the offseason program.
I understand it would never happen due to week-to-week continuity with the networks, but it would create an even playing field if all NFL teams took Week 10 off. Any other ideas why they wouldn't?
You pretty much nailed it; the NFL isn't going to surrender a week of revenue by giving all 32 of its teams the same weekend off. It's my understanding that they don't even want to give teams a second bye—which would necessitate adding a 19th week to the schedule—because it would dilute the matchups throughout the course of the season. I'm very happy that there's either a full slate or very close to a full slate of games for 18 straight weekends. It's the best time of the year!
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.