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John Mullin's answers

FootballChicago BearsNFLBrian UrlacherTed WashingtonNew England Patriots

After the Bears got the big lead against New England they seemed to stop blitzing and pressuring Brady. Why would you do this with a large lead? They already blew a 20-point lead to the Saints. Didn't they learn from their last mistake? --Eric Jameson, Huber Heights, Ohio

Two points here. One is that the Bears like the rush package with Rosevelt Colvin and Alex Brown on the outside and Bryan Robinson and Phillip Daniels inside, and that group can, or should, get good pressure on any quarterback.

The other is situational; one of the absolute strengths of the New England offense is the screen pass, which the Patriots run in a variety of forms, all effectively. To blitz Brady, who is one of the emerging precision passers in the NFL, was to take Brian Urlacher, Mike Caldwell, Bobby Howard or a defensive back out of coverage against a system that is better than most at exploiting gaps and overly aggressive fronts. All that said, however, the rush needs to take over a game sometime this season and that is still arguably the top need area to be addressed next off-season.

Is Henry Burris so bad that Miller with one arm is better? If so, was keeping Burris instead of the kid who directed the come-from-behind win against the Rams in pre-season one more mistake in a season full of them? --Kyle Smith, Louisville

I did not not understand the thinking on keeping Burris over Ken Mastrole at the time simply based on performance, which has been a Dick Jauron standard all along. The stated reason was that Burris offered more variety, including as a scout-team player so that the defense could get work against highly mobile quarterbacks. But now that Jauron is saying that Burris is in no way ready for even an interim lead role in an emergency, the decision is even more curious. Jauron has always stated that just because you are the third best at a position, any position, where the Bears want to keep three does not mean you automatically make the roster. Yet that seems to have been the case here.

Given players of equal skill available, would you draft a defensive end, quarterback or cornerback with the Bears' inevitable top-10 pick in next year's draft? --Peter Grauer, Vancouver

If you noticed my comment regarding the pass rush earlier, my choice would be a defensive end, and GM Jerry Angelo loves to draft linemen with his top pick. Alex Brown may be the steal of the draft this season but the Bears need even more in that area. I also would not rule out defensive tackle if I were sitting at a pick and there was a monster to be had, especially with Keith Traylor and Ted Washington nearing the end of their serviceable years.

John, depending on the seriousness of Reggie Austin's injury, will the Bears have to sign another defensive back? According to my count they have eight healthy bodies at DB and some of these guys have to play special teams. --Adam Newman, Chicago

They brought Travis Coleman up from the practice squad and also have rookie Roosevelt Williams sitting inactive the last two weeks, so they are not likely to add another DB. They added another DB to the practice squad to keep the pipeline full. The way this year has gone, probably not a bad idea.

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