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.
It seemed like rookie running back Ka'Deem Carey was totally forgotten, or just had a horrible time in coach Marc Trestman's offense last year. His yards-per-carry was decent, but his attempts were minimal. Will he fare better in new coordinator Adam Gase's offense? When drafted, I thought Carey would be a great complement to Kyle Long.
New general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox are still in the process of evaluating the players on the Bears roster, so it's difficult to predict at this point what type of role Ka'Deem Carey will play with the team in 2015. I think the main reason that Carey had only 36 carries all season was that it's tough to take Matt Forte off the field because he's one of the NFL's most talented, versatile and durable running backs. With that being said, it was a little surprising that Carey's playing time diminished late in the season and he had only three rushing attempts over the last five games. The good news for Carey is that players generally show a lot of improvement from their first to second seasons in the NFL and teams that commit to the run like the Bears are expected to under their new coaching staff need more than one running back.
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both predicted that the Bears will draft a safety with the seventh pick. But with so many needs defensively, what are the odds they trade down to stockpile some picks?
I didn't think that Mel and Todd agreed on anything? Just kidding. In his introductory press conference, new Bears general manager Ryan Pace discussed the importance of building through the draft. Whether or not the Bears consider trading down from the seventh spot likely depends on which player or players are available. If an impact player the Bears are targeting is on the board, they probably wouldn't move down and risk losing him. But if there are a couple of players still available and another team is willing to give the Bears good value in a trade, they likely would at least consider it. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think the Bears would trade down just to trade down; it all depends who's on the board when they're on the clock.
I recall when Marc Trestman was hired the Bears were able to start their offseason program earlier than teams that didn't have new head coaches. Is that rule still in effect?
Yes, that rule remains part of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement. It allows the Bears and other teams with new head coaches to begin their offseason programs the first Monday in April, two weeks earlier than teams with returning head coaches. (Every team's offseason program can include no more than nine weeks with clubs with new coaches allowed to spread those nine weeks over a 12-week period.) In addition, teams with new head coaches can hold an additional voluntary veteran minicamp before the NFL Draft but no earlier than the third week of their offseason program. The Bears have not announced dates for their offseason program, but given those guidelines I expect their offseason program to begin the week of April 6 with their voluntary minicamp the week of April 20 or 27.