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Twitter mailbag: On coach candidates, players returning, Bears needs

The Sun-Times’ experts can answer your Bears questions all week on Twitter. Here’s a sampling of queries sent to @PatrickFinley, who responds with more than 280 characters:

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I miss the 140-character limit. The first question I want any job candidate to answer is how they will develop Mitch Trubisky into a franchise-altering quarterback. Perhaps a defensive-minded coach has a good answer — or a good offensive coordinator to bring with them — but I presume the Bears would turn to an offensive mind with a history of doing just that. Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels would be my first phone call. He has some inside knowledge of Halas Hall; brother Ben is an offensive assistant.

Fun fact: That’s how Sean McDermott got the Bills job. Dude is ripped.

In order: wide receiver, outside linebacker, cornerback. If the Bears play their cards right, they can trade their high draft selection to a quarterback-needy team and try to solve all three of those problems.

The Bears’ two likely starters, Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho, are each in their seventh season. The team knows what they have in those veterans. I’m more curious to see Isaiah Irving, an undrafted free agent from San Jose State who posted spectacular stats in preseason games but has been mostly limited to special teams in his six games this season. He played only two defensive snaps Sunday. Leonard Floyd could be lost for the year; coach John Fox said on his WBBM radio show that “it will require some work” to fix the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara is at the top of my list. He’s been solid since signing a one-year, $7 million deal. If Dontrelle Inman continues to play well, I’d throw him back into the wide-receiver competition next year. Cornerback/special teams wiz Sherrick McManis and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein are criminally underrated.

His pride. He has missed three starts but deserves credit for playing through pain in the rest of his games; his surgically repaired right ankle still hurts, as does his left shoulder and the fingers on his left hand.

No. Barth didn’t blame the turf; he said he grounded his foot before it hit the ball. The Bears’ higher-ups have been in favor of playing on real grass — no matter how muddy it gets — for years. Even after Hroniss Grasu tore his ACL without being touched at Family Fest last year, coach John Fox said the Bears didn’t want to get rid of the Soldier Field grass.

“Your alternative is to go on turf,” he said last year. “I don’t anything anybody really loves that idea. Sure, it’s grippier, but that can be a negative, too.”