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.
Do you think that the Bears will still be a dominant defensive team next season?
Even with the Bears hiring an offensive-minded head coach in Marc Trestman, there's no reason their defense can't still perform at a high level in 2013. Productive veterans who remain under contract such as defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman form a strong core and are still playing at a high level. Plus there will continue to be an infusion of young talent with safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte and defensive ends Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin. The biggest personnel decisions the Bears have to make involving their defense during the offseason are whether they're going to re-sign linebackers Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach and defensive tackle Henry Melton.
How many of the assistants Marc Trestman has hired have worked in the NFL before?
Seven of the nine coordinators and position coaches Marc Trestman has hired have previously worked in the NFL. They include: Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer (12 NFL seasons), defensive coordinator Mel Tucker (8), special teams coordinator/assistant head coach Joe DeCamillis (25), quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh (15), running backs coach Skip Peete (15), defensive line coach Mike Phair (5) and defensive backs coach Jon Hoke (11). The only two who have not coached in the NFL are tight ends coach Andy Bischoff and linebackers coach Tim Tebesar, both of whom were on Trestman's staff with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.
Do you think the Bears should get Alex Smith if he's available this offseason?
If Alex Smith asks for and is granted his release by the 49ers this offseason, he no doubt will seek to join a team where he can step in and become the immediate starter. He's not going to want to go to a team that already has an established No. 1 quarterback like the Bears do with Jay Cutler.