Reader Q&A: Dan Pompei's Bears mailbag
Tribune Bears columnist answers readers questions on possible new head coaches, Alshon Jeffery's penalties, Cutler's passing technique and more
Don't you think the Bears should put Evan Rodriguez in the slot? He's physical and quick. Don't see them utilizing him correctly. -- @FacingRyan, from Twitter
Does Jay Cutler make most of his passes off of his back foot? And if so, is it due mainly to pressure from the defense, or is it his throwing mechanics? Rex Grossman took a lot of grief as a Bear for passing off the back foot. Looks like Cutler also passes off the back foot, but he can still throw hard and get the ball where he wants it to be. Would Cutler's passing improve if he threw more off the front foot? -- Robert, Homewood
A lot of times Cutler throws off his back foot because of pressure. Sometimes he does it because of poor form. I have talked with Bears quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates about this, and he does not think it's a problem. In fact, he thinks Cutler's ability to throw from different angles and body positions is one of his strengths. Certainly, Cutler gets amazing velocity on passes sometimes when he is throwing with nothing but arm. So while this is a plus for Cutler, I also think he could be more accurate if he threw with more consistent technique.
The Bears lack third and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft. What might Devin Hester bring in a draft day trade? -- Vic Fiebig, Springfield, Va.
Not much. The going rate for 30-year-old return specialists isn't what you would hope for, even though Hester still is a fine return man. I would guess maybe a fifth round pick. Assuming he does not lose much speed, his value to the Bears is much more than that.
With Chris Conte and Major Wright showing improvement this season, what are the chances of Brandon Hardin being moved back to his natural CB position? With Charles Tillman aging and Tim Jennings being undersized and fragile, the Bears could use a big corner. Or is he too slow to play CB at this level? -- George Mckeown, Phoenix
Speed is not the issue. If Hardin lined up at cornerback for the Bears, he might be the fastest player at the position. He ran a 4.43 40-yard-dash pre-draft. I think the issue would be whether or not he is athletic enough to play cornerback. Hardin might be too stiff to be able to flip his hips, run and change directions with quicker wide receivers. Some even wonder if he might be too stiff to excel at the safety position. But just because the Bears have two promising safeties does not mean they could not use another. You know how this team goes through safeties historically. If Hardin can play, he'll get his chances at the safety position.
I recall after Week 4 the Arizona Cardinals were ranked number one in your power poll. Nine games later they are number 30, having fallen worse than the Bears. We know the Bears' problems, but what happened to the Cardinals? -- George P. Nassos, Glenview
It's pretty simple. They have had seven different combinations of offensive line starters this year and have five offensive linemen on injured reserve. They have changed the starting quarterback six times. No team can win like that.