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Holmes' Bears Mailbag: Is Wide Receiver Help Coming?

By Laurence Holmes-

(WSCR) Football is back! As I will do every Tuesday throughout the season, it's time to answer your Bears questions. Let's go!

Hey Laurence, Love listening to you on the score. You bring such a great feel and vibe to the station. Anyways, do you think the bears are ever going to address their Wide Receiver situation? - Richie, Chicago

Richie, I wasn't totally unhappy with the Bears wideout situation last year. I thought Johnny Knox vastly improved. He has become their leading deep threat. Last year, he finished in the top 10 in the league with 17 catches of more than 20 yards. He finished with 960 receiving yards. Devin Hester got more comfortable in his role and made some big plays. Earl Bennett turned into one of the most reliable third down threats in the NFL last year as he converted every third down ball he caught (11) for first downs. He does a good job working back to Jay Cutler when plays break down. I expect the Bears will look to add someone, but I don't think it will be a big name guy. Also, it's an issue of the chicken or the egg. Would the Bears wideouts have better numbers if the offensive line did a better job protecting Cutler.? Cutler was sacked 52 times in 15 games last season. Think about what happens if he has more time.

Who steps in at linebacker if Urlacher and Briggs go down?? We are very weak there. - Kenny, Oswego

Well, Kenny, if that happens, the Bears season will be a very unhappy one. As I write this, Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are the only linebackers on the roster. That'll change in the next few days. I expect them to re-sign Nick Roach who will be in the mix to start at strong-side linebacker. Pisa Tinoisamoa had knee surgery that is probably going to limit him. I'm not sure if the Bears want to risk bringing him back. LeRoy Hill is available and would seem to be a fit. Brian Iwuh did a nice job when he got playing time and is an excellent special teams player. Remember, the Bears spend a lot of time in Nickel, which puts D.J. Moore on the field. That's a good thing. He made a ton of plays last year. Moore made four interceptions, got a sack and had a return for touchdown, being on the field with Urlacher and Briggs.

With the offseason (or lack there of) being what it was, is it possible that the Bears could bring back Tommie Harris (at a discount of course) just because he knows the team, coaches, and system??? - Lawrence, Lakemoor

I don't think so Lawrence. Beyond his ineffectiveness, I think the relationship between Harris and the Bears is a bit strained. The last three seasons have been frustrating for Harris and the team because he never really got back to being the player he was when he was going to Pro Bowls. It's best for both sides to move on. I do expect Harris to sign in a similar system, like Indy or Tampa. The Bears have faith in Henry Melton and new draft pick, Stephen Paea, will compete for time. Paea has tremendous strength and athleticism. I watched him at Oregon State and am looking forward to seeing him on the NFL level. The shame is that Marcus Harrison was expected to step in and be a factor by now. Will this be the season he breaks out? If they need to bring back someone on that line, my vote would be for them to sign Anthony Adams. He's a smart reliable nose tackle who can help your young guys learn good work habits. Start there and let the guys vying for the 3-technique position fight it out.

Hi Laurence, I am emailing you because you are my favorite host on The Score. I have a question that you may or may not have an answer to. We have a co-worker here who is turning 50 next month, and we want to buy her tickets to a Bears game. We have a customer who has season tickets and who is willing to sell us preseason tickets, but which game should we go to? :) Thanks!! - Michelle, Chicago

Thank you Michelle, that's very nice of you. Know what you're getting into for pre-season games. They're usually boring after the first couple of series. The Bears play the 1st and 4th pre-season games at home against Buffalo and Cleveland, respectively. The 1st game is usually sloppy and in the 4th game, the starters don't play much. I'm all about comfort so I would say go to the Cleveland game. It may be cooler outside by then and since the season is close, it'll have a bigger feel to it. Plus, that game is the last chance that guys on the bottom of the roster have to make an impression. I hope that your co-worker appreciates how much thought you're putting into this. Go enjoy yourself and thanks for the note.

If you have questions for next weeks mailbag, email them to me: and follow me on twitter: @lholmes670.

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