Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Have any Bears players ever won an NFL MVP award?
Since the NFL began presenting a Most Valuable Player award in 1957, the only Bears player to win it has been running back Walter Payton in 1977. The legendary Hall of Famer rushed for a career-high 1,852 yards and 14 touchdowns in 1977, including a then-NFL record 275 yards in a 10-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Payton posted those eye-popping numbers in only 14 games; the league expanded its schedule to 16 games in 1978.
How many championships did the Bears win at Wrigley Field?
The Bears have won four of their nine NFL titles at Wrigley Field, winning championship games at "The Friendly Confines" over the Giants in 1933 (23-21), 1941 (37-9) and 1963 (14-10) and the Redskins in 1943 (41-21). The Bears won another title in Chicago in 1932 when they blanked the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the Chicago Stadium in the league's first indoor game. The contest was scheduled to be played at Wrigley Field, but it was moved inside because of blizzard-like conditions.
I know it's still early, but who do you see emerging as the Bears' second starting defensive end opposite Akiem Hicks? Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton played well at times last year until they suffered injuries, and with the addition of Jonathan Bullard, I see the Bears with a solid deep line.
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Things obviously can change between now and the regular season, but it appears that veteran Mitch Unrein and rookie third-round draft pick Jonathan Bullard will open training camp competing for the starting end position opposite free-agent acquisition Akiem Hicks. Unrein is an underrated, reliable and versatile lineman who played for coach John Fox and line coach Jay Rodgers with the Broncos, while Bullard is a very promising prospect who starred at Florida and seems more than capable of ultimately emerging as a regular contributor on defense. As I'm sure you know, the Bears like to rotate their defensive linemen into the game to keep them fresh. So regardless of who starts, I'm sure that both Unrein and Bullard will both get plenty of reps.