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.
I'll bet you get this question more than any other. The Bears offensive line has been so porous over the last few years. Is there any early indication of major improvement?
The Bears offensive line very much remains a work in progress with different players being evaluated at different positions in training camp and the preseason. The good news is that the talent level has been vastly improved over last season with the additions of veteran free agents Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson and first-round pick Kyle Long. Bushrod has been dominant in training camp after returning from a calf injury and is a major upgrade at the important left tackle position. Long showed a lot of promise while working with the starting unit at right guard during the final week of training camp in Bourbonnais. It will take a little while for the line to build some cohesiveness, but I know that coach Marc Trestman was pleased with how focused the unit was in the preseason opener, not committing any pre-snap penalties in a road game in Carolina.
From your point of view who has been the biggest surprise in terms of impressing coaches with their play during training camp and first preseason game?
If I had to pick one player who has been a pleasant surprise it would be cornerback Isaiah Frey. He made plays consistently during the Bears' three weeks in Bourbonnais, regularly intercepting or breaking up passes. Frey excelled both at cornerback with the second team and at nickel back with the No. 1 defense after veteran Kelvin Hayden was lost for the season with a hamstring injury. A 2012 sixth-round draft pick who spent his entire rookie year on the Bears' practice squad, Frey looks poised to emerge as a contributor on both defense and special teams this season.
Will we see Kyle Long get reps at right tackle before the season opener?
While several Bears players have practiced at multiple positions on the offensive line, first-round draft pick Kyle Long has lined up exclusively at right guard and likely will continue to do so. Here's how coach Marc Trestman recently answered the same question: "Right now we're staying the course and he's getting all the reps he can at the guard position and we're going to let that whole process evolve. Where he is right now, he's picking it up. He's not doing it in increments. He's picking it up in big steps each and every day."