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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: Will starting QB get whole season?

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

Do you think whoever Matt Nagy names as the starting quarterback is safe for the whole year as the starter, or do you think that if they slip for a game or two that he would pull him in favor of the other? I would think that kills a quarterback's confidence even more. What do you think?
Vance W.
Celina, Ohio

As Bears head coach, Matt Nagy must always do what's best for the entire team, not just one player. So if the starter he anoints at quarterback doesn't perform up to expectations, I would imagine that Nagy would consider making a change if he deems it would give the Bears a better chance to win. Quarterback is obviously the most important position on the field, but it's no different than any other player in terms of performance. With that being said, the Bears are very happy to have two quarterbacks in Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles they feel they can win with after trading for Foles in March.

Will Jaylon Johnson start on Week 1?
Tango F.
Fresno, California

Aside from questions about the quarterback competition, the second-most popular topic fans ask me about is whether rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson will open the season as a starter opposite Kyle Fuller. We'll have to wait and see whether Johnson starts the opener a week from Sunday in Detroit, but Nagy feels the second-round pick from Utah is capable of contributing immediately, saying on Tuesday: "I feel like he's ready. You can see his confidence that he has. You have to have short-term memory in this league. He's got extreme confidence. And it's not cocky. It's confidence. I like that about him. He's got a ways to go. He hasn't played an NFL game. We'll see. But in practice so far, I like where he's at."

Nagy went on to say that one indication that convinced him Johnson is ready to play at the NFL level came last week in practice when the rookie intercepted a Nick Foles pass. Said Nagy: "That was a veteran move that [Johnson] made on that play. A lot of rookies, at that point in time, play it a little bit differently. Without giving out too much stuff on the play, that was all instincts. That play he made was all instincts. As a matter of fact, Foles asked after the play, 'How did you know that that play was coming?' He said it was just instincts. Nick was surprised because he thought maybe his defensive coaches were scouting the play, telling him to fall off and make that pick. It was all instincts."

Are there any new rules that are being installed in the NFL this year?
Jerome C.

There are only three new on-field rules that will be implemented this season, and all of them are minor: (1) The NFL made permanent the expansion of replay to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, as well as extra-point tries; (2) Defenseless player protection will expand to include kickoff and punt returners who are in possession of the ball but have not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent; and (3) Teams will be prevented from deliberately taking time off the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.

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

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