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Chalk Talk


Who will make biggest impact this season?

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

Other than Jay Cutler, who do you think will have to have the biggest impact for the Bears to be successful this season?

From Steve C. on Twitter

To me, protecting the quarterback on offense and getting to the quarterback on defense are two of the most important keys to success this year and every year. So I'll be focusing on both lines to see how they fare and which players emerge. In terms of individuals other than Jay Cutler, the Bears need a second receiving target to step up and take some of the pressure off Brandon Marshall and give defenses another threat to worry about. That player could be tight end Martellus Bennett, receiver Alshon Jeffery or perhaps even running back Matt Forte, who I think could finish second on the team in receptions behind Marshall. Defensively, I'd like to see a young pass rusher such as tackle Henry Melton or end Corey Wootton continue to develop and perform at a high level so the Bears don't have to blitz regularly to get to the quarterback.

What will Marc Trestman's offensive system be like?

From Sam S. on Twitter

Marc Trestman runs a derivative of the West Coast offense that features a high-tempo, fast-paced attacking approach. He puts a huge emphasis on getting plays off quickly. During minicamp, he stood behind the quarterback and counted down the play clock out loud. I will be very surprised if the Bears draw as many delay-of-game penalties as they did in recent years. The offense seemingly spreads the ball around to a variety of different targets all over the field. We'll have to wait and see about the run/pass ratio. But I do know that Anthony Calvillo, the quarterback who played for Trestman with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, told me that the coach changed his game plan a lot from week-to-week depending on who the Alouettes were playing.

Are there any undrafted rookies that have impressed enough to make the opening day roster?

From Ben S. on Twitter

None of the undrafted rookies did enough during the offseason program to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. But a couple could accomplish that feat in training camp and the preseason. Two I will be watching closely are running back Michael Ford and cornerback C.J. Wilson. Both have explosive play-making ability, but will need to show they can excel on special teams this summer because neither figures to have an opportunity to start this season, barring a slew of injuries.

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