Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Has the new Bears coaching staff decided if Cody Whitehair is going to play center or guard? I would like to see them put him at one position and keep him there.
The new coaches are still familiarizing themselves with the team’s players and can’t work with the players until the offseason program begins in early April. So it has yet to be determined where Cody Whitehair will play moving forward. I know the Bears want to see which linemen the are able to acquire this offseason before deciding whether Whitehair will play guard or center in 2018. Here’s what general manager Ryan Pace had to say about the topic at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis: “The good thing about Cody is his position flexibility gives us some flexibility as we go through the player acquisition period. So we’ll go through free agency, we’ll go through the draft, we’ll see how the dust settles. But once that player acquisition period is over, I do think it’s important for him to kind of settle in at one spot. But right now we have some flexibility with that.”
With four of the Bears’ five captains from last year not returning—Mike Glennon, Josh Sitton, Jerrell Freeman and Quintin Demps—and a fifth set to become a free agent (Sherrick McManis), are you concerned about a lack of leadership in the locker room?
No, I’m not worried about a lack of leadership. The Bears are a young, rebuilding team, and I expect some of their young emerging players to assume those leadership roles. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is the first individual who comes to mind. He showed excellent leadership skills as a rookie and I expect that to continue as he enters his second season as the Bears’ starting quarterback. Here’s what general manager Ryan Pace said at the NFL Combine: “It’s a young team. I feel like there are a lot of guys in the locker room who are kind of ready for that role. That has to organically happen as we go through this process. But this is a young team and I think those guys will naturally emerge as we go forward. I just think it has to play out. It has to play out as we go through the offseason and as we go through training camp and into the preseason.”
Are the Bears counting on receiver Kevin White to play a major role in 2018?
Given Kevin White’s injury history, I wouldn't say the Bears are counting on him to be a key contributor in 2018. In other words, his presence on the roster won't preclude them from addressing the position this offseason. Of course, he could remain healthy and have a breakout season, which would be a tremendous development for both White and the Bears. White has been limited to just five games in three years with the Bears. Last year he was lost for the season when he suffered a broken scapula in the first regular-season game against the Falcons. Here’s what general manager Ryan Pace said about White at the NFL Combine: “The good thing with Kevin and with it being an upper-body injury is he’s been able to run and work on his route quickness and those type of things. He’s kind of got a chip on his shoulder now. We’re going to add more to that room. It’s just unfortunate with the injuries, but we’re still excited about where he’s at.”