The Sun-Times’ experts can answer your Bears questions all week long on Twitter. Here’s a sampling of Tuesday’s queries sent to @adamjahns, who responds with more than 140 characters:
I completely agree. Cutler is the No. 1 reason the Bears have two wins and have been competitive. He’s playing within offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s system and playing well. His fundamentals and decision-making have stood out. His strong performances are actually making up for some of the Bears’ talent deficiencies.
That said, the Bears should still draft a quarterback to develop, especially if Gase remains in town. The better Cutler plays the more time the next quarterback has to acclimate himself to the NFL. Any NFL evaluator will say there is a growing divide between pro and college quarterbacks. College schemes have impeded their development.
The Bears need to upgrade their pass rush and find better edge rushers that fit their 3-4 scheme. Veteran outside linebacker Sam Acho is a solid contributor and deserves to return, but overall, the Bears’ pass rush has turned into a one-man show. Pernell McPhee needs help. The Bears’ defense has had positive moments this season, but it ranks 27th with 12 sacks (five by McPhee).
Yes and yes. Jones may not be best suited to handle the calls, but he has the physical makeup that suits the interior of the Bears’ 3-4 defense. Linebackers coach Glenn Pires said Jones is playing well, but the goal is get him to be more assertive and reactive on plays. There is room for growth in Pires’ eyes.
Good question. He’s played sparingly at outside linebacker, and the Bears have had turnover up front. But Houston said long ago that he wanted to play outside linebacker and felt at his best doing so. His production hasn’t met his or the Bears’ expectations. Coaches have credited him with only three quarterback pressures and 12 total tackles in 116 snaps this season. As for playing five-technique, Houston isn’t really a two-gap player who eats blocks. Houston is listed at 6-3 and 270 pounds and would have to add weight for that role.
It’s a major concern, but really, were they ever on track? Special-teams failures have played a role in all five of their losses, and there isn’t a quick fix coming. Coach John Fox is sticking with coordinator Jeff Rodgers. The Bears have already signed special-teamers such as Chris Prosinski, Lamin Barrow and LaRoy Reynolds to help. The players simply have to execute better.
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