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.
Which players stood out during the first week of OTA practices?
It's difficult to draw any definitive conclusions after watching three non-contact practices, but I would say that the one thing that stood out most to me is that the Bears have a lot more quality depth at receiver and in the secondary than they did a year ago at this time. With the additions of veteran free agents Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright (as well as Victor Cruz, who was signed late last week), the competition at receiver should be pretty intense in training camp and the preseason. The Bears made even more moves in the defensive backfield with the free-agent signings of cornerbacks Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper and B.W. Webb and the selection of Alabama safety Eddie Jackson in the fourth round of the draft. That should also lead to some good battles in training camp and the preseason for starting jobs and playing time this summer. The depth should also help in the event the Bears suffer a rash of injuries like they did last year.
With starting quarterbacks generally getting most of the reps in training camp and even during the season, how concerned are you that Mitch Trubisky won't get enough snaps to develop?
I'm not really worried because the Bears are well aware of the unique situation-slash-opportunity they have in needing to get veteran Mike Glennon ready to start this season while also grooming first-round pick Mitch Trubisky to be their quarterback-of-the-future. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains recently addressed the issue, saying: "Our biggest challenge will definitely be the reps. That's going to be something that this organization embraces … We've got to be really good at assessing where each guy's at. I think that's the biggest key for us—knowing exactly where each guy is at and figuring out and being flexible with the reps." It will especially be interesting to me to see how the Bears split up playing time in their preseason games. Because of Trubisky, I'm sure that those exhibition contests will attract a lot more interest than usual.
Which Bears draft pick do you think will make the biggest impact as a rookie this season?
My answer could change once we get into training camp and roles become more defined. But at this point I will predict that tight end Adam Shaheen, a second-round selection from Ashland University, will make the biggest impact among Bears rookie draft picks. Shaheen projects as an every-down player who possesses the size, speed, athleticism and hands to make a lot of plays in the passing game. At 6-6 and 278 pounds, Shaheen figures to create a lot of mismatches on defense. Of course, I probably didn't predict a year ago at this time that fifth-round pick Jordan Howard would be the Bears' top rookie in 2016. So anything is certainly possible.