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Chalk Talk


Will offensive line protect Cutler this season?

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

Will the Bears offensive line give Jay Cutler the protection he needs this season?

From Jennifer G. on Twitter

I certainly think there's a very good chance of that happening for two reasons. First, the Bears upgraded their offensive line during the offseason by signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod and guard Matt Slauson in free agency and spending their first-round draft pick on guard Kyle Long. Bushrod is a two-time Pro Bowler who plays what many consider to be the most important position on the line in terms of protecting the quarterback's blindside. Secondly, the new offense being installed by coach Marc Trestman and coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer emphasizes getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly. The scheme features more three-step drops than we saw in the systems run by previous coordinators Mike Martz and Mike Tice. The upgrades on the line as well as the quarterback-friendly scheme definitely should result in fewer sacks and hits on Cutler than he's absorbed in recent seasons.

Will the Bears sign JaMarcus Russell?

From Andrew V. on Twitter

I understand that JaMarcus Russell had a good tryout with the Bears, but at this point it doesn't appear that they intend to sign him. I know the Bears are pleased with Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard, and they likely will take only three quarterbacks to training camp. With a new offense being installed, Cutler and McCown figure to get the majority of reps in practice. Blanchard probably will only get a few. If a fourth quarterback was in camp, he likely wouldn't get a whole lot of opportunities to prove he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

How will the Bears fit Sedrick Ellis into their scheme?

From ChiTownSteve on Twitter

I expect Sedrick Ellis to be part of the defensive tackle rotation, most likely coming into games at the three-technique to spell Henry Melton. Ellis also played nose tackle during his five seasons with the Saints and could see some time there as well. I know Ellis is extremely excited about joining the Bears because he feels their defensive scheme suits his ability to penetrate into the backfield and disrupt plays. Ellis excelled in that type of system early in his career in New Orleans, but the Saints changed the way they used him the last couple years and he wasn't as effective.

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