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Chalk Talk

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Is McManis an option at nickel back?

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.

Do you think that Sherrick McManis will get a chance to play nickel back when he returns from his injury? I think he would be an upgrade at the position.

Eric G.
Hampshire, Illinois

That could happen, but coach Marc Trestman hinted this week that Sherrick McManis could step in and play cornerback opposite Kyle Fuller in passing situations with Tim Jennings shifting to nickel back just like he did before Kyle Fuller suffered a season-ending injury. Here's what Trestman said when asked if McManis can help the team at the nickel position: "I think he can. When we get him back he's going to help us in some fashion, whether it's to play the corner position and move Tim back inside. We're hopeful he can do that as well. We want to get him back from a special-teams aspect as well. He's been extremely valuable in that regard." McManis has practiced on a limited basis this week as he recovers from a quad injury he sustained in the Bears' Week 2 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Do you think there's a possibility that Brian de la Puente and/or Michael Ola remain in the starting lineup when Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson return from their injuries?

Peter D.
Casper, Wyoming

It doesn't appear that will happen. When asked specifically about whether Brian de la Puente could remain the starting center when Roberto Garza returns from his ankle injury, coach Marc Trestman said this week: "Roberto is going to go back and be our starting center. Brian will continue to help our football team in any way he can. That's the direction we're going. There hasn't been any other thought to the process than that. Brian has played very well and we're lucky to have him. He'll certainly be an influence on our offensive line as we move through the season. He's done a great job for us." Trestman added that the scenario is the same with Matt Slauson at left guard.

Why did the Bears line up in the shotgun formation on first-and-goal at the 1 against the Packers?

Aidan L.
San Mateo, California

Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was asked that same question this week and he explained that the Bears were very effective in the shotgun in the red zone and even at the 1-yard line last season both running and passing the ball. Said Kromer: "We ran some up-the-middle plays that scored; Kyle Long walked in cleanly a couple times. Those were the plays that were called and they just didn't work this time. We didn't block them as well. We didn't throw and catch them as well."

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