The Sun-Times’ experts can answer your Bears questions all week long on Twitter.
Here’s a sampling of queries sent to @patrickfinley, who responds with more than 140 characters:
I thought franchise tagging him this upcoming offseason made the most sense for the team, given he missed so much time earlier this season. But Jeffery’s been such a monster the past three weeks that he’s proving he deserves better.
The tag would keep him here for likely more than $13 million next season, and give the Bears starting point to negotiate a larger deal. When he’s healthy (and that’s an important caveat), he’s a star. And he’s only getting better.
That’s the exact player they need to keep — even if they have to pay up.
A: Beside block better? I bet the Bears go back to the quick screen game that produced decent results Monday, one week after being comically ineffective in a home loss to the Vikings.
A: Even if it was the left side, that’s Pernell McPhee’s spot. Houston’s two sacks on the final drive came with McPhee out; he had his hand in the ground on one and stood up on the other. We’re starting to see sparks from both Houston and Willie Young. One week after not playing much, Young had 47 snaps, Houston 16. Sam Acho took 18 snaps, his lowest total since taking Jared Allen’s starting spot.
Combine that with a lack of touchbacks early in the season, and you could make an argument. But Gould’s track record suggests this is just a blip. Soldier Field is a difficult place to kick; and no one has mastered the swirling wind and bad grass like the team’s all-time points leader. Jay Cutler joked Monday that Gould missed because San Diego’s weather was too perfect.
They need a pass-rusher to put opposite McPhee. If they don’t find one, he’s going to get double-teamed for the rest of time.
As for quarterback, Cutler’s earned the right to start next season. I’d like to see the Bears draft someone in the second-through-fourth rounds to develop behind him.
He played his lowest percentage of snaps all season, 74, Monday, with rookie Jonathan Anderson calling the plays in place of Shea McClellin.
At 24, Jones is young, athletic and someone they’ll keep around.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley