Every week leading up to the game, I'll tackle three pressing questions before my full-sized analysis of the upcoming opponent.
This week, let's answer three questions about the Bears and how difficult it will be stop them Monday night at Cowboys Stadium.
In your opinion, is Devin Hester the best return specialist of all time?
Well you saw the explosiveness at Miami and the way they used him. You've got to give the Bears a lot of credit. He's found that niche. They do a great job with him on returns. He's a guy you don't have to have great blocking. His ability is so good as far as making people miss and getting into open field. When you talk about guys that have that feel and vision and the speed and all that, he's one of the guys that's a package. When he's in the open field, he's hard to bring down, like Dez Bryant because of his power. But overall as a returner, I think you have to put Hester up there with guys like Deion Sanders, in terms of ability and explosive players. There's been some great returners in the league with Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Brian Mitchell .. but this guy is an explosive football player.
Do you think the offensive tackles can turn things around and hold their own against Julius Peppers?
Well you're going to see Peppers play on both sides. Free will get his opportunity. When you watch Peppers play, Doug Free has had some success against him before. That was when he was with Carolina and you thought it'd be a favorable matchup for Peppers. But he really hasn't played that well against the Cowboys. So Doug Free, the biggest problems he's had has been technique and playing against a guy against power. Peppers will give you a lot of moves but Free needs to be worried about the bull rush. He has to anchor down on Peppers. Where Tyron Smith has an advantage is his upper-body strength. Peppers can move well and ability to start and stop. That's where Smith's athletic ability will come into play. That'll be an interesting matchup whoever faces Peppers.
Why has Brian Urlacher been so good for so long? You're talking about a very instinctive football player and an outstanding physical player. When Urlacher came out of college, he played strong safety, he played linebacker, wide receiver and returned some kicks. You talk about a point-of-attack player with his take-on, shedding, get the ball – sideline to sideline type of guy. He's going to be a handful to deal with because he's going to be a powerful player. Has he lost a step in the coverage and all… yeah he has. But when you talk about running at him and getting to the ball, Brian Urlacher still plays at a high level.