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Chalk Talk


How will Hicks affect Goldman's role?


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

What will the signing of defensive tackle Akiem Hicks mean for Eddie Goldman?

Nick K.
Winfield, Illinois

The Bears love players with position flexibility and Akiem Hicks certainly has that. He's a natural 3-4 defensive end who possesses the strength and power to move inside in passing situations. Last season with the Patriots he played predominantly as a tackle in their nickel defense. I'm not sure how the Bears plan to use him, but if he does get some reps inside, I don't expect it to affect Eddie Goldman too much. I imagine that Goldman will start at nose tackle, but he won't be on the field for every snap. Someone is going to share reps inside as part of a defensive line rotation and that very well could be Hicks.

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but are all the free agents the Bears signed from other teams Day 1 starters or just some depth added to the roster?

Stockholm, Sweden

Unlike the draft, where most teams believe in picking the best player available, the first wave or two of free agency generally is to fill needs, and that's exactly what the Bears did. So in answer to your question, yes, I believe that inside linebackers Danny Travathan and Jerrell Freeman, defensive end Akiem Hicks and right tackle Bobby Massie will all be Day 1 starters. That's not to say that the Bears won't add some depth in free agency from this point forward, but it would be a big surprise if the four aforementioned players aren't immediate starters.

On the one day I have to wear green (St. Patrick's Day), I feel so dirty. Is that normal?

Tooele, Utah

If you bleed navy and orange like most clear-thinking people, it would be abnormal to feel any other way. I would suggest on future St. Patrick Day's to make sure you don't pair your green with yellow and I'd definitely stay away from all forms of cheese.

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