Reader Q&A: Chicago Bears Huddle Inbox

Reader Q&A: Chicago Bears Huddle Inbox
Bears WR Devin Hester following June OTAs at Halas Hall.

Welcome to Week-4 of Chicago Bears Huddle off-season Reader Q&A. For those who've missed some of the great questions, you can always read the entire series here.

In this week's issue: how does the upgraded talent at wide receiver will affect the offensive scheme, McClellin concerns, and even more Hester happenings. Enjoy!

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With the new talent at WR, how often do you think 4 and 5 WR sets will be used? – Steve Augustyn, via Facebook

To say that you’re not going to see four and five receiver sets might be misleading, but that’s just not this team’s game. First of all, to run a spread offense like that, you probably need to have a bit more confidence in your offensive line then the Bears do in this group. But that aside, my impression is that the team intends to use a lot of two tight end sets (which is what we’ve seen in practice). And Mike Tice—who definitely likes to chuck the ball down field, by the way—will still want to keep offensive balance.

I seem to be one of the few fans who really liked the Shea McClellin pick. What do you think his chances are of being a starter at DE, and with all the attention paid to Peppers, do you think it is possible Shea could have 10+ sacks this season? – Chicago Bulls Fan, via Google+

This is a tough question for me because my only honest answer is that I don’t know. I also don’t want to give you the copout response. I think there’s a lot to like about McClellin, although I still have reservations about his fit for this defense. His energy level makes him a fun player to watch, and I’m excited to see him develop. I just hope the Bears aren’t trying to, once again, fit a round peg into a square hole. To answer the second part of your question: of course it’s possible, but if McClellin puts up double-digit sacks, I’d all but call the pick a rousing success.

There has been a lot of talk about Hester's role in this year’s offense. With his elusiveness and speed, could you see him slide in to the HB position? Similar to how the Vikings use Percy Harvin, or how the Chiefs use Dexter McCluster (both played RB in College though)? – Glynn Owen, via Google+

It’s a great question, but I think the answer is no. The plan is to put Hester at the flanker spot, opposite Marshall. Who knows what happens down the stretch, but it’s time to put a stop to the Devin Hester experiments.

Being Irish, I’m wondering how Chi-Town views the International Series in London each year? – Keith Haughian, via Twitter

Seeing as the Bears played in it last season, I remember how they feel! Most fans seemed to view it as a minor annoyance—I say minor because Chicago took home the win. Had they lost, however, it would have been a travesty of epic proportions, and fans would not have rested until the series was scratched altogether. I, on the other hand, have a different view after a conversation I shared with my good friend Martin Macpherson. You can read why here!

Do I have a right to be a little upset/ bothered that 19th overall pick, Shea McClellin, is working with the 3s [in practice]? – Lance Poirrier, via Twitter

No, not really. The only thing McClellin is guaranteed as a first-round Draft selection is a corresponding contract, which he got. Now . . .  that’s only subjectively true, because the Bears do expect him to start, and, at some point, he will. But to take anything significant out of non-contact OTAs in June would be an exercise in futility, my friend.

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  • Good read yet again, bro!

    Anybody have thoughts on Forte being ranked #33 on the NFL Network countdown of the top 100 players in NFL today??? Should mean that only MJD, Shady, Foster, Rice, & AP are ranked ahead of him. Sounds like #ELITE company to me!

    Forte also commented after broadcast of show that he "is NOT" trying to become highest paid runner in league...just paid like "one of the best."

    Sounds like 20mil guaranteed GM Mouser! Are you willing to relent soon??

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    Thanks! I'm not at all surprised by what Forte said. Never thought he'd be looking for A.P. money. What I found most intriguing was when he said, "All my teammates know that I'm going to be there for them and give them the best in my heart out there on the field."

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    What would GM Mouser do? Well, I can't really answer that specifically but hypothetically, Forte's deal would be less about Forte and more about how I spend $ on other players....Urlacher is the most like cap casualty I have on my radar...unfortunately. Business is business. I would be spreading my spending $ judiciously and the Bears are a passing team now.

    Bears are better with Forte than I would franchise him, have him play under the franchise tag and see how he fares....If I could strike a good deal with him, I would but I would not overpay at this point...tag buys me one year...two if I'm willing to pay for the second year and if Forte is great, the second year will likely be worth it....if not, his value is dropping anyway. I think the Bears are playing this correctly from a business perspective from what I see. I don't get caught up in the emotion...believe me, I want Forte to be a Bear but I want a championship more....54 players to manage and the cap and that is how it is. If the bears suddenly become a 60-40 pass to run team, we have even more options at RB.

    Forte is a mis-match and a very good back...$20 million? high, but I would not let a million or two stand between me and championship if I thought I was better with him than without....I am just not sure the Bears or I see it that way. I say hold under the franchise tag and things will work themselves drama.

  • I'll second Alpha's comment, great responses again, Adam!

    I have to politely disagree with you on I remember all the talk of Urlacher being undersized and a risky pick when he was drafted, and he has turned out to be one of the best Bears players ever. Not to say McClellin will be a perennial pro-bowler or a Hall-of-Famer, but I do think he will at the very least be a starter and contributor at a high level for years to come.

    So, let's hope he proves his doubters wrong, fits into the defense well, and makes us even a better pass-rushing team this year.

    Keep up the great work!!

  • In reply to Jake5280:

    I'm going to politely disagree back! :)

    Ulacher was a top prospect coming out of college and an ideal fit for the Bears' defense—even prior to Lovie Smith.

    I'm not suggesting McClellin can't be great, but the Urlacher comparisons bother me because it's an apples to oranges argument.

    I'm am cautiously optimistic with McClellin—the key word being optimistic!

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    260lbs?...6'2"?...relentless motor?...low base & pad level?...'Dwight Freeney' anyone?

    Plus, he'll add a solid 8-12lbs before this season -- we're in for a treat IMO!


  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I would think he would put on weight too...just maturing does that...the weight room will do that and of course those guys bulk up with diet too... But really, I don't get caught up in the weight thing...for a DE, it just isn't that important in terms of being a predictor of success....or so I believe. Seems to me Dent came into the league really 238 or something like that so there is room for weight to be added. I think it is a combination of his high motor coupled with work in the weight room and then how much upside is still unexploited from a athletic potential perspective...and that is where the dark art of the magic eight ball and crystal ball scrying begins along with a little tarot card and oujia board reading starts.

    Being in a profession where I evaluate human skill and will regularly, I believe it is all there to be measured, quantified and predicted accurately...if only you could figure out the equation and populate it with accurate data....we can only get bits and pieces and then roll the dice.

  • In reply to Mouser:

    I'm not concerned about his size/weight in the least bit. He's an ideal size for that position when you look around the league at who's making an impact.

  • In reply to Adam Oestmann:

    Well, Adam, you are right about Urlacher being highly touted out of college - I didn't realize he finished 12th in the Heisman voting that year. But there were still some questions as to what he was going to be in the NFL as he played a lot of safety at NM, but his work at the combine blew people away (benched 225 lbs 27 times and ran a 4.57 40). And let's all be grateful that Barry Minter got hurt in Game 3 of Brian's rookie year, and they put him in as Middle Linebacker.....the rest as they say is history.
    But I still think McClellan will be a great player for many years, so let's hope he can prove me right and his doubters wrong!

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