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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Will Patterson lose special-teams reps?

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'm excited to see that Cordarrelle Patterson has been practicing at running back in training camp and could be used more on offense this season. But that won't affect his workload on special teams, will it?
Wes L.
Idaho

No, even if the Bears give Cordarrelle Patterson more opportunities on offense, I don't expect they'll do so at the expense of his reps on special teams. As I'm sure you probably know, he was named an All-Pro kick returner and Pro Bowl special teams player last year in his first season with the Bears. Patterson ranked second in the NFL in kickoff returns with a 29.5-yard average, including a 102-yard touchdown against the Saints. He also performed exceptionally well as a gunner on the punt-coverage team. Here's what special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said when asked about the possibility of limiting Patterson's reps if he plays more on offense: "No, we want Cordarrelle playing special teams and we're excited that he's still going to be our kick returner and playing out there at gunner. We always use him wisely. He's a good football player. He's very well-conditioned and he's a true pro's pro, so I think we'd all agree that when he's back there returning kicks, that's a threat that something big can happen and we want to continue to have that."

With no preseason games this year, can you please explain the criteria the Bears are using to determine who wins their quarterback competition?
Jeff S.
Crown Point, Indiana

According to new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, the competition between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles for the starting quarterback job will basically boil down to an evaluation of three components in the passing game: Their timing with receivers, decision-making and accuracy. Said Lazor: "If you just hang with those three things, that's the bulk of the pass game evaluation."

I really enjoyed reading about a WWE championship belt being awarded to the winner of one-on-one drills between Bears receivers and defensive backs. What I'd like to know is if the respective position coaches, Mike Furrey and Deshea Townsend, ever played against each other in an NFL game.
Dave F.
Schaumburg, Illinois

The two competitive position coaches played against each other twice in the NFL, with both games coming in 2009. Deshea Townsend's Steelers swept Mike Furrey's Browns by scores of 27-14 and 13-6. Townsend had no tackles in the first contest and one in the second. Interestingly, Furrey was a reserve receiver who returned the second half kickoff 12 yards in the initial meeting. But he moved from receiver to safety during the middle of the season and recorded two tackles in the second matchup against the Steelers.

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

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