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.
Other than quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which Bears player do you think will benefit most from working with the new Bears coaching staff?
At this point I would predict that running back Tarik Cohen will be the non-quarterback who benefits the most from the new Bears coaching staff. Cohen has a special set of skills in terms of his quickness, speed, explosiveness and elusiveness and I believe that new head coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich both possess the creativity and knowledge to get the most out of Cohen by taking advantage of his unique skills. This past season he wasn’t always as involved in the offense as some felt he should have been on a consistent basis, and I think that will change under Nagy and Helfrich once they study Cohen and experiment a bit with how to employ him in different facets of the offense. Plus, the natural improvement that players generally make from Year 1 to 2 will also help Cohen become an even more dangerous weapon.
What is your favorite Brian Urlacher game? It has to be the comeback win in 2006 against the Cardinals, right?
There’s no question in my mind that that game was the best that Brian Urlacher played during his illustrious 13-year career with the Bears. He performed like a man possessed on that Monday night in Arizona, not only recording a career-high 25 tackles but forcing a fumble by ripping the ball out of Edgerrin James’ hands to spark the comeback. Charles Tillman returned the loose ball 40 yards for a touchdown that drew the Bears to within 23-17 in the fourth quarter in a game they ultimately won 24-23 on Devin Hester’s 83-yard punt return touchdown. I remember telling someone in the press box that night that when Urlacher is being considered for the Hall of Fame, that’s the game that every voter should watch. He was simply incredible. Here’s hoping that he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame when the committee meets the night before the Super Bowl.
Do you think the Bears will trade down from No. 8 in the first round of the draft?
Bears general manager Ryan Pace strongly believes in building his roster through the draft and I assume he certainly wouldn’t mind recouping the third-round pick he dealt to the 49ers last year to move up to select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2. So if Pace is presented with a trade opportunity that will benefit the Bears, I’m sure he would at least consider it, especially if there are multiple players he likes still on the board. The best thing that could happen for the Bears is that the top quarterbacks in the draft boost their stock by performing well at the Combine and their pro days. If that happens, that seemingly would increase the chances of a team that’s in need of a quarterback wanting to trade up to No. 8. The more quarterbacks who are considered top-10 picks, the better for the Bears because they would either have a better chance to accumulate picks by trading down or a quality non-quarterback would drop to them at No. 8.