The Sun-Times’ experts can answer your Bears questions all week onTwitter. Here’s a sampling of Tuesday’squeries sent to @patrickfinley, who responds with more than 140 characters:
Shoot, they haven’t won two in a row in almost a calendar year. Health has bred optimism inside Halas Hall that the Bears can improve; I have them going 4-4 in the second half.
By Phil Emery’s definition — does he win more than he loses? — the Bears have one in Jay Cutler, who is a whopping 51-49 with the franchise. If you mean “acquiring the quarterback of the future,” then the answer is, probably this offseason. Whether the Bears trade for one (Jimmy Garoppolo?) or spend significant draft capital depends on where they finish this season.That they have no developmental quarterback in the system already is an oversight by both Emery and GM Ryan Pace. This draft isn’t considered a spectacular one for signal-callers; Clemson’sDeshaun Watson, whose coach said Tuesday he will turn pro after the season, is near the top of the list.
A scenario exists where he could return: Cutler plays well down the stretch and the Bears, in possession of a mid-round pick, decide to draft a quarterback on Day 2 to develop behind him. The Bears have plenty of other needs to fill via the draft, but the long-term quarterback question must be answered.
He hasn’t been a playmaker, but in fairness, neither have his teammates. If you want to praise the second-year safety, do it for his availability: he’s started 24-straight games with the Bears, the longest streak on the team.
Presuming both are healthy enough to return, White. The Bears still don’t know what they have in the receiver, who has played all of four games in his first season-and-a-half. They need to find out — preferably before they make a decision on Alshon Jeffery’s contract. Fuller was not drafted by Pace and doesn’t have the same upside. The Bears have a decision to make on him this offseason, though — whether or not to extend him a fifth-year option for the 2018 season.
It’s too early to grade Pace, for better or for worse. But early returns are decent in the trenches: nose tackle Eddie Goldman, only 22, can be a stud, and center Cody Whitehair has been solid. Pace seems to have hit on free agent defensive end Akiem Hicks, but I’m not as sold on Bobby Massie at right tackle. Josh Sitton was a gift.