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 thought running back Ka'Deem Carey was a steal in the fourth round of the draft. How many carries do you see him getting this year?
From Adam S. on Twitter
That's difficult to say, primarily because starter Matt Forte is such a versatile three-down back who's capable of running inside and outside as well as catching passes. I know the coaching staff has a hard time taking Forte off the field, and who can blame them? Interestingly, the Bears' backup running back got 112, 114 and 114 carries in Lovie Smith's final three seasons as coach, but only 63 last year in Marc Trestman's first season. With that being said, I think that Ka'Deem Carey has the potential to be more productive than predecessors Chester Taylor (267 yards and three touchdowns in 2010), Marion Barber (422 yards and 6 TDs on 2011) and Michael Bush (411 yards and 5 TDs in 2012 and 197 yards and 3 TDs in 2013). But Carey must first prove that he can learn and execute pass-blocking assignments because protecting the quarterback is vital in Trestman's offense. If you want me to guess, I'll say that Carey will get 80 carries this season barring a serious injury to Forte, which breaks down to five per game.
Who do you think will start on the Bears defensive line this season?
From Monte B. on Twitter
Judging from offseason workouts and barring injuries of course, I could see Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston at end with Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff at tackle. Unlike the offensive line, of course, the Bears like to rotate defensive linemen into the game on a pretty regular basis, so I imagine that ends Willie Young and David Bass as well as rookie tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton will also contribute, among others.
Why doesn't Jordan Mills play running back?
From Kyle Long on Twitter
First off, I'd like to thank a certain Bears offensive lineman for submitting this question (apparently before embarking on a 13-hour drive from Denver to Montana). I think the obvious reason that Jordan Mills should remain at tackle is to keep him and Kyle Long next to each other on the right side of the line. They've developed a very close bond since arriving together in the 2013 draft and probably would suffer from separation anxiety should Mills be switched to running back.