The Ten Top Combine Questions for Bears Answered
Press conferences at the NFL combine are 15 to 20 minutes of coaches or personnel bosses dancing around pertinent issues without tipping their hand about free agency, the draft or specifics regarding the future of their team in any way.
John Travolta, Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Baryshnikov couldn't hold a candle to NFL people when it comes to gliding effortless around key issues.
Vague doesn't even begin to approach the answers given to such inquiries.
Anything suggested at press conferences is possible and nothing is finite.
If anyone thinks Tom Brady's fate in New England or Derek Carr's continued career in silver and black will be revealed at Indianapolis, they haven't paid attention to how things are done.
Here are the top 10 questions Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy will skillfully deflect Tuesday and how they'll do it as they get set to begin several days of studying and talking to key college players.
Q: Will the Bears bring in a quarterback in free agency or the draft who challenges Mitchell Trubisky for his job or simply a backup?
A: The standard answer here would be about how Chase Daniel always has been a job challenger and whoever comes in will be expected to challenge for the job. Daniel can't be ruled out because of his past contributions. Wink, wink.
Q: Could a Bears trade be possible for a veteran quarterback to challenge Trubisky?
A: A trade would be difficult to accomplish because of cap constraints and compensation but you can't rule anything out. And don't forget, Chase Daniel is always still a possibility too.
Q: Will the Bears cut bait with outside linebacker Leonard Floyd to save $13.2 million in cap savings and find a free agent pass rusher?
The 2016 first-round draft pick had one sack over his final 15 healthy weeks last year but is said by coaches to do plenty of things that make him valuable besides get sacks. What they are is unknown, but he's doing things. Big things.
A: The salary cap and such maneuverings, of course, are internal matters and not for public consumption.
Q: Is Trey Burton's health going to allow him to be 100% full strength and ready for 2020?
There is never a guarantee on health, as we all know, but for some reason the most locked-down certain recovery with Burton never seems to come to fruition. Burton had what was described as a hip surgery designed to end his groin injuries and if the Bears could be certain he'd come back at the level he was in 2018 they wouldn't need to waste a draft pick on a position which shouldn't be a major focus. And it is.
A: There's no way to know this yet. It's too soon.
Q: Will the Bears add a tackle in free agency or the draft to challenge Charles Leno Jr.?
A: Of course the answer will be they plan to add players at as many positions as possible to create competition and improve the roster.
Q: Will there be more Bears salary cap dumps like the ones that removed the team's two fastest players, Prince Amukamara and Taylor Gabriel?
A: There are still 3 1/2 weeks until the cap compliance date, so plenty of options are still being studied, naturally.
Q: Are you anticipating Kevin Toliver II will be a starting right cornerback?
A: He, Tre Roberson and Duke Shelley will be in the mix along with any draft picks or other free agents who are signed.
Q: Will you able to afford to keep Nick Kwiatkoski or Danny Trevathan in free agency?
A: The contributions of both Kwiatkoski and Trevathan have been greatly appreciated and cherished. Going forward it will all depend on the marketplace and what it determines about their value.
Q: Is the plan to go forward with Rashaad Coward at right guard?
A: There are several options at guard and center and the plan is to put the best five offensive linemen on the field regardless of position next year and then go from there, of course.
Q: Will James Daniels move back to center or will he remain at left guard?
A: It's too soon to know for sure but it's one possibility under study and in the past he and Cody Whitehair have shown they can play either position. They'll put the best five linemen on the field next year and, well, refer to the previous answer.