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Chalk Talk


Will Bears rotate captains again?


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

I know there was a lot of scrutiny last season on the Bears for not picking permanent captains as they had done in the past. Has the new coaching staff said whether they will rotate captains?

Bruce S.
Davenport, Iowa

First-year Bears coach John Fox said at the NFL owners meetings that the team will vote for five season-long captains—two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams—and he will select a sixth captain every week based on performance.

Where do you think Shea McClellin will line up in the Bears' new 3-4 defense?

Edward G.
Geneva, Illinois

Bears coach John Fox said that Shea McClellin likely will begin at inside linebacker but will also compete at the outside position. As you probably know, McClellin was shifted to outside linebacker last year in the Bears' 4-3 scheme after playing defensive end during his first two seasons with the team. Here's what Fox recently had to say how where McClellin fits best in the defense: "We don't really know. The biggest success I saw in him when he came out of Boise State was as a 3-4 outside 'backer. It hasn't gone as well for him as far as position fit. In fairness to him, that's not to be judgmental on anybody else. But I think the transition is we're going to start him inside because it's a harder position to learn as far as run fits and how they set in there. But he'll be both. So we don't really have a position per se for him. A linebacker is a linebacker. So he'll get the opportunity to compete at both. But more than likely, we'll start him inside."

I saw that the NFL is eliminated blackouts this season for teams that don't have sellouts. When was the last time the Bears did not sell out a game?

Steve F.
Asheboro, North Carolina

The Bears have sold out every game for over 30 years, with their last non-sellout coming on Sept. 9, 1984 at Soldier Field. A crowd of 54,335 watched the Bears blank the Denver Broncos 27-0 that day as Walter Payton rushed for 179 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown, and Jim McMahon threw a 61-yard TD pass to Willie Gault.

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