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 the Bears will re-sign defensive tackle Henry Melton?
Corpus Christi, Texas
It's difficult to say at this point. The Bears used the franchise tag on Henry Melton a year ago after he made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career in 2012. But he suffered a torn ACL in a Week 3 win over the Steelers and continues to rehab the injury. I assume he will be able to rebound completely by the beginning of the 2014 season, but you just never know. Melton figures to have value, though, because he plays an important position in the Bears defense and general manager Phil Emery conceded that the team lacked depth at defensive tackle in 2013 after Sedrick Ellis retired before training camp and Melton and Nate Collins both suffered season-ending injuries. Asked about Melton on Jan. 2, Emery said: "He has got to fully dedicate himself to rehab. He has to fully dedicate his mind and his focus to football, which is extremely important. There was a reason we franchise-tagged him. There was a reason for that investment. The under-tackle position in the scheme that we're in is the engine that drives the defense. And when he was in the game, even though from a statistical standpoint he wasn't off to a fast start, it was very evident on tape that he was a very important part of the defense."
Has a Bears player ever been voted the MVP of the Pro Bowl?
Walter Payton was named Pro Bowl MVP on Jan. 23, 1978 after rushing for 77 yards on 13 carries, including a game-winning 1-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter in the NFC's 14-13 victory over the AFC. Prior to 1973 when an outstanding back and outstanding lineman were selected, Bears defensive end Doug Atkins was honored in 1959, while running back Gale Sayers was recognized in 1967, 1968 and 1970.
I know this is not Bears related, but what is your prediction for the Super Bowl?
San Rafael, California
I'm going to pick the Broncos over the Seahawks 31-27, with Peyton Manning throwing a touchdown pass in the final two minutes to win the game. Of course, if that happens, it certainly won't hurt as much as Manning's first Super Bowl title did to most people who visit this website!