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.
Not only will Robbie Gould have a new holder, but also a new long-snapper this year. Do you think his timing will be affected?
Sleepy Hollow, Illinois
I don't think that working with a new holder and long-snapper will adversely affect Robbie Gould's timing primarily because the specialists have a lot of down time to work together during practice both in training camp and once the season begins. Gould already spent the offseason working with holders Pat O'Donnell and Tress Way and long-snappers Brandon Hartson and Chad Rempel. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis told me that that experience together is huge and that implementing new players at those positions is something that "everybody has to go through and we're at that point where we need to do that also."
Why did the Bears release Israel Idonije before training camp?
Lake Bluff, Illinois
In my opinion, the Bears felt that Israel Idonije would have a difficult time making their 53-man roster and they wanted to give him a chance to catch on with another team rather than hanging onto him until final cuts, which likely would have reduced his chances of earning a spot elsewhere. Idonije was expendable because the Bears bolstered their defensive line by signing ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young in free agency and drafting tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton to go along with veterans Jeremiah Ratliff, Stephen Paea and Nate Collins inside.
What do you think was the Bears' most underrated move of the offseason; something that will turn out to be important that hasn't really been talked about?
I'm going to say the addition of veteran defensive position coaches Paul Pasqualoni (defensive line) and Reggie Herring (linebackers). Both are no-nonsense coaches with a ton of experience at the college and pro levels who consider themselves teachers first. I really think their presence is going to provide a huge boost for the Bears defense, and for anyone who's planning to attend training camp, I highly recommend watching them in action—both are quite entertaining.