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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Will Roquan Smith start season opener?

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.

Now that he's signed and practicing, do you think that Roquan Smith will be ready to start in the season opener against the Packers?

Paul K.

Beloit, Wisconsin

Personally, I think that will happen barring an injury. Roquan Smith seems to be a dedicated and driven student of the game who spent his time away from the Bears during his holdout working out and studying his playbook. But you know what they say about assuming, and coach Matt Nagy made no promises when discussing the issue after Wednesday's joint practice with the Broncos. Asked about the possibility of Smith starting the season opener in Green Bay, Nagy said: "We're in that process, so I don't know that. I hope so, but I don't know. I can't make any promises. I wish I could, but I can't. It's just going to take time. When we get to that part of the season—the beginning of the season—then we're going to have to get together and decide, 'No. 1, did he earn it? And No. 2, can he do it? And No. 3, is it the best thing for us?'"

Who do you think will lead the Bears in interceptions this season?

Albert G.

Oak Lawn, Illinois

I'll predict that safety Eddie Jackson will lead the Bears with six interceptions this year. I think he's going to take a big jump in his second NFL season, even playing better than he did during a breakout rookie year. Jackson had just two interceptions while starting all 16 games in 2017, but it's clear that he possesses excellent ball skills and no doubt will have a better grasp of the defense in his second season after spending the entire offseason with the Bears.

Are there any former Bears players on the Broncos?

Bill A.

Oswego, Illinois

It's hard to believe, but none of the 90 players on the Broncos roster have played for the Bears. There are a few former Bears position coaches who are now with Denver, however. They include Zach Azzanni (receivers), Reggie Herring (linebackers) and Curtis Modkins (running backs).

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