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Chalk Talk

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Will Holmes play as third receiver?

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 anticipate Santonio Holmes serving as the Bears' third receiver Sunday against the Bills?

Richard K.
Rockford, Illinois

Instead of having a definitive "third receiver," I think there's a good chance the Bears will utilize both Santonio Holmes and Josh Morgan in multiple receiver formations in Sunday's season opener. Holmes is still learning the offense after signing with the Bears Aug. 16. As his comfort level grows in the next weeks ahead, I believe his playing time will increase. Asked how much Holmes will play Sunday against the Bills, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said: "We have a plan for him to get in the game. We have a plan for him to be part of this offense. He knows the plays. It's the feel of the adjustment that he has to make within the scheme, and the quarterback and him being on the same page, so we'll be ready to put him in and we'll see how much he plays."

As a Florida State fan, I was very happy to see linebacker Christian Jones earn a spot on the Bears' 53-man roster. What were your impressions of him in training camp?

John G.
Youngstown, Ohio

To me, Christian Jones looked fast and athletic and played with a lot of effort throughout camp. But my opinion doesn't matter as much as what the Bears think of him, so here's what defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said when asked about Jones earning a roster spot: "He was physical. He played fast. He is aggressive and he did what we asked him to do. He did it day-in and day-out and he was consistent with that. He has the tools with the height, weight and speed. But the toughness—mental and physical on a day-to-day basis—coming to work every day and doing what we asked him to do that is why he has earned the role that he is in now."

Why did the Bears switch long-snappers so late in the preseason? I don't remember any really errant snaps in any of the games.

Edward L.
Terre Haute, Indiana

There's not much margin for error at that position and I think the Bears just felt that Jeremy Cain is a better option than Brandon Hartson. Cain is much more experienced and the Bears know how he will perform in pressure situations given that he filled in for two games last season when Patrick Mannelly was injured. Asked why the Bears chose Cain over Hartson and Chad Rempel, special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said: "We wanted to give those guys every opportunity. At some point you have to get a younger player in there if you can and we wanted to let those guys play out as long as they could. In the end, we just felt like the best decision for us was to sign Jeremy."

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