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.
Why is Matt Slauson not a Pro Bowl player? I don't see any guards that are better.
If any Bears player deserved Pro Bowl consideration this year, it was probably veteran Matt Slauson, not only for the way he performed on the field but for his leadership and unselfishness. Slauson moved from his natural left guard position to center on more than one occasion this year due to injuries and the offense didn't miss a beat. I think Kyle Long probably overshadowed Slauson the past two years when Long was voted to the Pro Bowl while playing right guard for the Bears, but I agree with you that Slauson was worthy of consideration this year. By the way, the six guards voted to the Pro Bowl this season are David DeCastro (Steelers), Mike Iupati (Cardinals), Zack Martin (Cowboys), Josh Sitton (Packers), Trai Turner (Panthers) and Marshal Yanda (Ravens).
Ryan Pace has offered you the chance to make the Bears' first pick in the draft. In your mind, not knowing how free agency will play out, what area are you addressing? I think if there is an offensive lineman available, the Bears need to seriously consider upgrading there.
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
I would draft the top playmaker on defense, regardless of position. The Bears need as many of those as possible because they're not generating enough game-changing plays on that side of the ball. They're in jeopardy of ending the season without a player with more than two interceptions for the first time since 1975 and the defense has failed to score a touchdown in the first 15 games this season. A stud on defense at any position would provide a huge boost.
I know Robbie Gould struggled earlier in the season with a couple of big misses, but he seems to be pretty consistent on his long-range kicks. What are his stats from 50 yards and beyond and how does he compare to other kickers from that distance?
Robbie Gould has made 7-of-9 field goals from 50 yards and beyond this season, breaking his Bears single-season record of six 50-yarders set in 2011. He also has extended his franchise mark for career 50-yarders with 23. He's 23-of-31 from 50 yards and beyond, a 74.2 percent success rate that is fourth best in NFL history.