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 was very happy with how Kyle Long performed at right guard as a rookie. But I really believe that he has all the attributes to play tackle in the NFL. Do you think he will switch positions or stay put?
I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle Long eventually gets some reps at tackle in practice just to get him some experience there and give the line some more flexibility in case there's a rash of injuries. But I'd be very surprised if the Bears moved him permanently to tackle. Long was voted to the Pro Bowl at right guard as a rookie after starting only five games at the Division I college level. That tells me that he's still learning and can get a lot better, especially if he focuses on one position.
With all the problems the Bears had on their defensive line last season, why didn't we see more of rookie Cornelius Washington?
The Bears coaching staff evidently didn't feel that Cornelius Washington was ready to help contribute as part of the rotation at defensive end. I know that he was widely considered a pass rush specialist, and the defense's most pressing problem was stopping the run. So maybe they didn't feel that he could add a lot in that aspect of the game. Hopefully with an entire offseason working with the Bears, Washington will be more equipped to contribute this season. I know the defense certainly needs a pass rusher after tying for the fewest sacks in the NFL with 31.
Where do the Bears rank in strength of schedule for the 2014 season?
The Bears are right in the middle of the pack at No. 15 in the NFL in strength of schedule. The 16 teams they will face combined to post a .496 winning percentage in 2013. Looking at their NFC North foes, the Packers are 13th, the Lions are 16th and the Vikings are 21st. The Raiders have the toughest schedule primarily because all three of their division opponents (the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers) made the playoffs.