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Chalk Talk

Who are your favorite former Bears?

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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.

I know you have followed the Bears a long time, so who are your favorite players in team history?

Evan B.
Merrillville, Indiana

It's no big surprise, but Hall of Famer Walter Payton will always be my favorite Bears player, for combining greatness with perseverance, dedication, humility and a great sense of humor. I met him several times and he couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. Former safety Doug Plank is probably my second favorite. He was so fun to watch with his take-no-prisoners style of play and there's no one I enjoy talking football with than Doug. Others in the team picture are former safety Mike Brown, quarterback Jim Miller and linebacker Doug Buffone. This is not a slight in any way, but no one got more out of their ability than Brown, who was an absolute warrior on the field and a tremendous team leader. Miller was an every-man type who is a great storyteller, while Buffone was an absolute great guy in every way who also was a captivating storyteller.

Do you think Jermon Bushrod will automatically get his starting left tackle position back when he returns from injury or will Charles Leno Jr. Jr. keep starting?

Jim L.
Naperville, Illinois

That's a very good question. I know the Bears are committed to playing the individual they feel gives them the best chance to win, so once Jermon Bushrod is able to return to action (he's missed the last three games after suffering a concussion against the Seahawks), the coaches will have to evaluate how he compares to promising second-year pro Charles Leno Jr. I know the Bears have been pleased with how Leno has performed, but Bushrod is a two-time Pro Bowler who is still capable of playing at a very high level.

How were the Bears able to sign defensive lineman Ziggy Hood if he was placed on season-ending injured reserve by the Jaguars?

Lee R.
Boca Raton, Florida

The Jaguars did place on Ziggy Hood on season-ending injured reserve, but once they released him last week he was free to immediately sign with another NFL team. Had he not been a vested veteran he would have had to go through waivers.

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