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Chalk Talk


Will Bears alter game plan to protect Cutler?

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

With Jay Cutler coming off an injury and facing an aggressive Lions defensive line, do you think the Bears will call a more conservative game to protect him?

Ross W.
Plymouth, Michigan

That's a topic that came up quite a bit Thursday at Halas Hall. In speaking to reporters, coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer both said that they won't change a thing Sunday against the Lions in terms of the game plan. They will call the same plays they would have called had Jay Cutler never been injured against the Redskins. They feel that when a player is cleared to play, that means he's 100 percent good to go. Said Kromer: "We're doing everything. Once they say he's cleared to go, we're going to call the offense as we normally would."

I was glad to hear that the Bears signed defensive tackle Jay Ratliff. But I was wondering if there was an actual timetable for him to join the club on the field.

Sacramento, California

The Bears have not discussed an official timetable, but Jay Ratliff said Monday during an interview on WMVP-AM 1000 in Chicago that he was a couple of weeks away from returning to action. Ratliff hasn't played since undergoing offseason groin surgery when he was with the Cowboys. I know that the four-time Pro Bowler is determined to get back on the field and prove he can still play at a high level.

Have any other Bears head coaches defeated the Packers in their debut against them?

Paul T.
Rincon, Georgia

Since George Halas retired following the 1967 season, five of nine Bears head coaches have won their first games against the rival Packers. The winners include Jim Dooley (1968), Jack Pardee (1975) and the franchise's three most recent coaches: Dick Jauron (1999), Lovie Smith (2004) and Marc Trestman (2013). Bears coaches who've lost their first meetings with Green Bay include Abe Gibron (1972), Neill Armstrong (1978), Mike Ditka (1983) and Dave Wannstedt (1993). Interestingly, eight of the nine debuts have been at Lambeau Field. The only exception was Pardee's first game against the Packers, which was played at Soldier Field.

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