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.
Over the last two seasons, Brandon Marshall seems like he is growing into a leader on the Bears. Do you believe he will be named a team captain in the near future?
I think that quarterback Jay Cutler and center Roberto Garza are pretty locked in as the two co-captains on offense. But if Garza doesn't re-sign with the Bears—he's due to become an unrestricted free agent March 11—I think that Brandon Marshall would likely be voted the second co-captain. But I also don't think that Marshall needs an official designation as a captain to be one of the team's leaders. He's definitely served in that type of role, bringing Alshon Jeffery and Marquess Wilson down to South Florida to work out with him during the offseason. Here's what general manager Phil Emery said about Marshall last week at the NFL Combine: "He's showing true leadership. He's pulling people together, getting them to work together in-season and offseason."
What is the likelihood of defensive tackles Aaron Donald or Timmy Jernigan being available when the Bears draft? With better safeties and defensive ends available in free agency, I think either of them would be an ideal fit for the Bears in the first round.
Only time will tell, of course, but defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan are both available when the Bears pick at No. 14 in all six mock drafts I looked at online (two on ESPN.com and four on NFL.com). Interestingly, five of the six have the Bears selecting Jernigan. But before you order your Jernigan jersey, just remember that general manager Phil Emery surprised most draft analysts the past two years by selecting Shea McClellin and Kyle Long in the first round.
I felt Adam Podlesh had an off-year this past season and now will have competition for his job going into 2014. What are the chances that he gets unseated?
Flemington, New Jersey
I think that's a definite possibility. After ranking last in the NFL in gross punting average in 2013, the Bears are certainly looking for improvement. They signed Tress Way and Drew Butler—the son of Bears' all-time leading scorer Kevin Butler—to reserve/future contracts. I also wouldn't be surprised if they brought in a rookie to compete for the job this summer as well.