Chargers looming, so 10 question marks for Bears

SHARE Chargers looming, so 10 question marks for Bears

Defensive lineman Mitch Unrein played for the Chargers earlier this season. (AP)

Adam Gase had a unique way to describe scheming against Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano.

“You feel like you’re playing a game of Battleship sometimes,” the Bears’ offensive coordinator said Friday.

While we wonder what the NFL equivalent of “Candyland” is, here are 10 more Bears question marks:

1. Did Martellus Bennett become, in his words, an ‘a–hole?’

A day after he complained about his usage, both Gase and quarterback Jay Cutler said they had no problem with his public pouting. Cutler said single-high safety defense has helped to limit plays for Bennett.

“It would probably be a problem if he didn’t want the ball,” Cutler said.

2. Will the Bears ever be favored?

Not this week. Vegas still likes the Chargers by four points, meaning that the Bears have officially gone half the season without being favored. The trailer-fire 49ers are the only other team that can make the same claim. One will have the streak broken Dec. 6, when San Francisco travels to Solider Field.

3. Have the Bears met their (bad) special teams equal?

The Chargers’ punt return team has one return yard this season.


“They’ve struggled a little bit in that area,” said Bears special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, familiar with the Chargers from his Denver days.

The Chargers released punt returner Jacoby Jones this week, and could turn to former practice squadder Jevontee Herndon.

4. Did Cutler slip up?

When talking about Jeremy Langford on Friday, he ruled out Matt Forte for the week — which was assumed — and perhaps longer.

“Matt is not coming back — not this game anyway, I don’t think,” he said.

Forte (knee) didn’t practice Friday, nor did receiver Eddie Royal (knee), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) or center Hroniss Grasu (neck.) Shea McClellin (knee) and Jermon Bushrod (shoulder) were among the limited participants.

McPhee didn’t sound concerned he’d miss Monday.

5 . Is Mitch Unrein still paying rent in San Diego?

No, because the former Charger — who signed with the Bears before Game 3 — had rented a fifth-wheel trailer to live in. The defensive lineman and his wife had planned to park it at Mission Bay in San Diego and camp by the beach all season. They were stationed a bit north earlier in the season, to be closer to her job.

6. Which is?

Corey Cogdell Unrein is an Olympic trap shooter. She earned a bronze in the 2008 Games, participated in 2012 and is training for Rio. She trained in Redlands, California, and each commuted to their job from the camper.

7. Should I pack sunscreen?

For every Bears game. The Bears have played one 55-degree game this season; the rest, home and road, have been a balmy 60 degrees or higher. With an indoor game in St. Louis next week, it will be until Nov. 22 before the Bears have a chance to play a game that requires more than a light sweater.

Also worth noting: the coldest Chargers home game ever Dec. 4, 1978 against the Bears; it was 48 degrees.

8. Who’s going to miss making the trip most?

Inside linebacker John Timu, because he’s on the practice squad, won’t fly to San Diego. His wife and 1-year-old son live there, and with good reason: Amanda is an aviation mechanic with the Navy.

“She’s always been on shore duty, lucky for us,” Timu said of his high school sweetheart. “We’re already distant anyway.”

9. What’s the secret to Antonio Gates’ stellar career?

“Him and the quarterback, Rivers, have great karma,” said Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, likely talking about chemistry, not the Buddhist ideal.

10. Who foresaw Langford being successful as a rookie?

Chargers coach Mike McCoy, for one.

“He was a player that we liked out of college — a lot of little things that he did,” McCoy said.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley


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