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Chalk Talk

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What position is Carimi playing in practice?

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 there's been a lot of debate about where Gabe Carimi will play this season, so can you please tell me where he is lining up during this week's voluntary minicamp?

Peter A.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Gabe Carimi has been working with the second team at both guard positions, flip-flopping with Derek Dennis. After the first minicamp practice Tuesday, Bears coach Marc Trestman said that the team sees Carimi as "more a guard" than a tackle. Said Trestman: "He was hurt all last year, so we're going to focus in on him competing at the guard position with Matt [Slauson]." The No. 1 offensive line Tuesday was comprised of Slauson and James Brown flip-flopping between the two guard positions, Jermon Bushrod at left tackle, Roberto Garza at center and J'Marcus Webb at right tackle. Veteran Jonathan Scott will challenge Webb at the right tackle position. Carimi predominantly played guard in Wednesday's practice, but he also took a few reps at right tackle with the reserves.

Do you think the Bears will draft a quarterback or will Josh McCown serve as the backup this year?

Ryan T.
Libertyville, Illinois

Bears general manager Phil Emery said Tuesday that he would like to draft a quarterback every year due to the importance of the position. That may or may not happen this year. But at this point it appears that Josh McCown will serve as the Bears' No. 2 quarterback behind Jay Cutler. Emery praised McCown Tuesday, saying: "The thing that I've gained an appreciation for him is how deep his influence is in this building of helping other people get where they want to go. He's one of those guys. He's a glue guy. He does a lot for us in that and as a player I'm more than confident that he can get on the field and help us win. I think part of that equation, as it is with Jay, is developing tools around him so that they have enough tools available that they don't have to do it themselves, that it's not all on the quarterback."

What are the strongest positions in this year's draft?

Braden S.
Arkansas

I'll defer to Phil Emery, who has spent much more time studying the draft than I have. The Bears general manager said Tuesday that the strongest positions in the draft are cornerback, safety, offensive line and defensive line. Emery also said that tight ends and wide receivers are above average, while running backs and quarterbacks are average.

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