Ask K.C. Johnson

Is it just me, or does Kyle Orton fumble a lot? He seemed to have this problem last year at Purdue as well. Is there anything specific that causes this? - Dan, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Orton has three lost fumbles this season but I have to say two of them were on freak plays. One came when Adrian Peterson knocked the ball out of his hands as he blocked on a Cleveland blitz and another came when Orton tripped over Olin Kreutz and botched a handoff to Thomas Jones. He has had other fumbles that the Bears didn't lose, though, so your question is valid. I think it's just yet another adjustment for a rookie quarterback to figure out the speed and size of defenders, as well as how hard they hit.

I was at the Cleveland game and the Browns' pass defense needed to cover only 40 percent of the field. The middle 60 percent never saw a Bears receiver. If it is not a tight end or Justin Gage running down the middle of the field maybe that mythical second wideout could wander through the middle. --Mark Seloover, Clinton, Ohio

The Bears haven't utilized the middle of the field much this season in the passing game. But I think the emergence of Desmond Clark last game could change that. Granted, his two touchdown catches came on short plays. But anytime a team has success going to a receiver like that, he usually is incorporated more in the game plan the following week. Baltimore is a tough defense to get anything against, but maybe the Bears can find some seams in the middle of the field.

Hey, K.C., thanks for the good reads. I am really curious why DT Alfonso Boone is playing defensive end? And why our first round (14th overall) draft pick Michael Haynes, drafted to play DE, is not playing? I realize it is good to put the best players on the field, but is a DT at DE better than a first-round DE at DE? -- Chris P, San Mateo, Cal.

Haynes obviously doesn't fit well into Lovie Smith's scheme. Haynes is known as a strong run defender. Angelo drafted him when the Bears had a different head coach and different defensive coordinator. The Bears like Boone's versatility to play either position, albeit in a backup role.

It's clear that Cedric Benson hasn't yet found his niche on the playing field, both because of his long holdout and because of Thomas Jones' stellar play. How about in the locker room? Have his teammates embraced him yet, or is there still some remaining negativity from the holdout? Are the veterans rallying around Jones at the expense of forming a friendship with Benson? --Joe, Chicago

If this dynamic exists, I haven't witnessed it or heard about it. I'd be surprised if it is an issue. Players nowadays understand that this is a business and when Benson signed, there were no hard feelings about his missing time. If Benson eventually becomes the featured back and performs the way Jones is, his teammates will embrace him just like they're embracing Jones now.

I'm not an idiot (at least that's what I keep telling myself), but I must be stupid to continue rooting for this Bears' organization. When the season began, even idiots like myself knew we had no second WR, no kicker, and no veteran QB. General managers at 7-11 get fired for less significant errors (my apologies to the Big Gulp). That's my way of asking when Angelo's contract is up, will he be filing out an application at the local 7-11? - BFT, Chicago

If you like Big Gulps, you're definitely not an idiot. Angelo is under contract through the 2008 season. The Bears feel Mark Bradley eventually will be an impact No. 2 receiver and that Kyle Orton eventually will be a bonafide starting quarterback. Edinger didn't look too good in his first return visit to Soldier Field, did he? The Bears made a mistake with Doug Brien and admitted it, cutting him. Granted, they now are trusting a rookie, which isn't ideal. And I'm not apologizing for Angelo because facts are facts: His five first-round picks haven't exactly set the world on fire yet. Tommie Harris has a chance to be an impact player. But there are legitimate questions about Rex Grossman's durability, Cedric Benson hasn't done anything yet, Marc Colombo has been cut and Michael Haynes looks to be out after this season.

Hey, K.C., are you upset that you covered the Bulls for so long when they were horrible, and now just as they are getting interesting again you get switched to covering the horrible Bears? - Scott, Palatine

That's the first-place Bears, baby. Just kidding. I've said this before and I'll say it again: Covering a team is the same no matter if it's good or bad. It's your job to find the stories and report on what's happening on and off the field. Plus, I definitely don't miss seeing O'Hare three times a week.