Ask K.C. Johnson

SportsFootballChicago BearsChicago BullsNBANFLLovie Smith

Hey KC, how come you are writing the Bears now and not the Bulls? Are you going to come back when the NBA season starts? --Henry, Ann Arbor, Mich.

I'm writing about the Bears because Urlacher threatened to beat me up if I didn't. (Guess I'll have to work on my NFL humor.) Actually, I'm covering the Bears because my bosses asked me to and, more important, my wife is pregnant. Eight road games versus 41 translates to more sleep for her and more diaper changes for me. I'll miss covering the Bulls---in my opinion, they're one of the coolest stories going---but new challenges are always good.

K.C., I was under the impression that we had a good offensive line. However, Sunday showed me that in fact we don't. You are very close to the team and I am very much interested in your perspective. --Harold Bryant, Algonquin, Ill.

Given their pedigrees and veteran status, I think everybody was surprised by the line's ability to aid the run game and the three straight false start penalties. The pass protection proved solid, though. I think you'll see a much better effort in Week Two.

Do you think that the Skins games is what we Bears fans can look forward to? Or can we look forward to some quality growth this year? --Steve Roberts, Lawrenceburg, Ind.

I do think there will be quite a few low-scoring games like the opener. I also think the offense will have occasional breakout games. The defense really came down hard on itself after the loss, and it does need to improve. But let's keep one thing in perspective: It only allowed nine points. Teams should win when that happens. The funny thing is: The Bears were once in field-goal range and another time nearing field-goal range late, and if they had kicked one of those and won 10-9, the perspective of everybody would be different. They certainly need to run the ball better, though.

Can you offer an opinion on what the Bears see in Thomas Jones? He has to be one of the slowest backs in the NFL. Can the Bears afford to stick with Jones when the lack of running production places that much more pressure on Orton? --Terry Tyrpin, Schaumburg, Ill.

They see versatility and toughness, even though he is small. Jones also is an excellent pass blocker and is popular with his teammates. I do think you'll see more of Benson in the near future. But as much as the run game needs to improve to take pressure off of Orton, a No. 2 receiver also needs to step forward.

During the game sideline announcer Tony Siragusa mentioned the Bears O line was telegraphing run or pass on every down, Has this issued been addressed with the team? If so what's the response? --Mark Bianconi, Ithaca, N.Y.

Lovie Smith got asked about this accusation and denied it to be the case. The Bears passed so much that maybe their play calling served as the telegraph.

Lots of questions. Did you play DIII football as well? Do you ever get questions about the Bulls from Bears players? Are there many friendships that across the teams that you've noticed? Any ballers on the Bears? --Mark, Durham, N.C.

I'm 6-3 and 195 pounds, so football wasn't in the cards for me. Knocking out my two front teeth in a college basketball game was enough violence for me.

Some of the Bears are big hoopsters and some of the Bears also know some of the Bulls. Kyle Orton hung out with Chris Duhon one night. Brian Urlacher, as we know, used to love playing pick-up hoops and his agent represents a ton of NBA players as well. His hamstring problems from last season have limited his runs. Justin Gage also has a hoops background and caught the eye of the Missouri coaching staff.

Thanks for your questions,

K.C.

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