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 know everyone has moved on with the free agent signings the Bears announced this week, but I still am having nightmares about the game-winning touchdown they allowed to the Packers! I never really heard a good explanation for what caused the mix-up. What happened?
Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Bears coach Marc Trestman went into detail about the confusion on the play, which resulted in Aaron Rodgers' 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, during Thursday's press conference at Halas Hall. Said Trestman: "We called the defense, and if they wound up being in a spread formation, we were going to audible to an automatic, all-out blitz, and we did. Lance [Briggs] made the check and Chris [Conte] didn't get the call. He was in zone. Everybody else was in man. That's why you saw the back end so wide open. We miscommunicated on it obviously." Cobb's TD with :38 remaining in last Sunday's winner-take-all NFC North showdown at Soldier Field gave the Packers a 33-28 win and the division championship.
I was very happy to see Matt Slauson sign a long-term contract. Do you think the Bears will try to re-sign veteran center Roberto Garza as well?
Yes, I do. In fact, general manager Phil Emery revealed Thursday that the Bears will try to re-sign Roberto Garza, saying: "I've let Roberto know that I was proud of his season and we will work through it, but we would like him back. I'm sure he'll have some choices to make and we'll see how it goes, but I was very pleased with his season." Emery said that according to a statistical service the Bears use, the quarterback hits, sacks and knockdowns that Garza gave up dropped from 11 in 2012 to five this season, and he allowed only three-quarters of a sack. Said Emery: "I've told him I thought he made a big push up. He got a lot better with his overall body position and his hip placement. He's very important in terms of calling signals for our offensive line and making point adjustments. He did a lot of good things. There are some dynamics about where he's at in his career—he's 35 years old—but Roberto knows that we want him to come back."
How many times have the Bears finished 8-8 and how did they fare the following season?
The Bears finished 8-8 this season for the third time since the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978. They also went 8-8 in 1983 under Mike Ditka and proceeded to win five straight NFC Central titles from 1984-88. They were 8-8 in 2011 under Lovie Smith and then improved to 10-6 in 2012.