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Bears mailbag: Will David Fales get his shot at QB?

Jay Cutler is in his seventh season with the Bears. He likely will return this season after suffering a hamstring injury vs. the Cardinals. But next season is up in the air. (John Froschauer/AP)

The Sun-Times’ experts can answer your Bears questions all week long on Twitter.

Here’s a sampling of Tuesday’s queries sent to @MarkPotash, who responds with more than 140 characters:

A: It wouldn’t surprise me if at least in the back of his mind, Ryan Pace already has decided to move on. But if he hasn’t, Cutler has to (1) get healthy; (2) stay healthy and (3) prove he can manage the offense like he did against the Packers and Cardinals WITHOUT making the killer interceptions. It’s unfortunate that Cutler doesn’t have the margin for error other quarterbacks have. But he’s just not good enough to rise above the muck. Cost-efficiency will be vital at the quarterback position in 2016, and Cutler does not provide that.

A: If Cutler is out for an extended time, there is little doubt that David Fales will get a chance to show what he can do. The Bears are in major evaluation mode right now and want to see as many players on the field as they can. And right now the Bears do not have a quality backup quarterback.

A: By his third draft, Jerry Angelo already had acquired Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Tommie Harris, plus five other starters on the 2006 team that went to the Super Bowl (Alex Brown, Bernard Berrian, Nathan Vasher, Tank Johnson and Rex Grossman). Next question.

A: Kyle Long and Pernell McPhee for sure. Eddie Goldman looks promising. Haven’t seen Kevin White yet. Still too early to tell which young players — if any — will become playmakers in Vic Fangio’s defense.

A: Not much, actually. “Homeland” marathon on Showtime; Michigan State vs. Ohio State — in soccer — on the Big Ten Network; a replay of the Ole Miss-Florida game; the Bears-Raiders might still be your best bet.

A: Matt Forte is the second-leading rusher in the NFL right now. He’s durable, proven and versatile. But he’s also an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Can’t see a team given up much more than a late-round draft pick for 10 or 12 games.

A: The Bears are in a developmental phase, but it’s tougher for player behind established starters. Langford had three snaps out of 77 against the Packers and 13 out of 72 against the Cardinals. He did not play on offense against the Seahawks, but as John Fox alluded to, the Bears ran just 46 plays.

A: If Cutler returns, Dec. 6 against the 49ers at home. This team won’t implode like last year’s did.

A: Cal junior Jared Goff is at the top of most lists at this point of the process. The Bears scouted Goff in person at the Cal-Washington game in Seattle on Saturday, prior to the Bears-Seahawks game on Sunday. Goff was 24-of-40 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions in a 30-24 victory.

A: Those are all good questions that require more research than this format allows. The simplest answer is that the rebuilds that worked the best and the quickest almost all involved getting the quarterback right. The Packers get all sorts of credit for overcoming injuries and winning with homegrown players — and they deserve it. But they are 2-7-1 when Aaron Rodgers has been injured. That’s how much of a difference the quarterback makes.

A: First of all, that’s still a big assumption at this point. The Bears are 0-3, but they’ve played three playoff teams in the Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks — without Jay Cutler for half of those games — and have faced three of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Unless Cutler is out for the season, the Bears are likely to win some games against a much more playable schedule in the second half.

Regardless of where they pick in the first round, their priorities are not a secret: Quarterback, offensive tackle, inside linebacker and guard.