bears excited about unga..
Q: Harvey Unga: does he have a chance to work his way onto the field? Did he part ways with the Bears? I haven't heard anything about him since early last season. Some other fans and I are hoping for a "hidden gem"; a one-two punch with Matt Forte and another young formidable back. Shore up the O-line and keep defenses honest. -- John, (Clinton, La.)
A: Well, a pulled hamstring in the preseason landed Unga on the injured reserve (the Bears effectively hid him there). So that's why you haven't heard much about him. But I'll tell you that the Bears are extremely excited about Unga's potential in terms of his power and versatility. Running backs coach Tim Spencer said that Unga will have to earn his way into the backfield rotation by showing his stuff on special teams. So Unga appears to be in line to become the team's No. 3 running back, and I wouldn't count him out as a potential short-yardage option that might push Chester Taylor for that role.
Q: Do you see the Bears turning to free agency (assuming it happens) for their starting strong-side linebacker, or do you think the job is Roach's to lose with free agency being used more for special teamers and depth? Personally, I think Nick Roach deserves a shot. -- Kenny, (Springfield, Mo.)
A: Kenny, the fact is the Bears need depth at linebacker, period. The team drafted only one player (J.T. Thomas) at the position, and Lovie Smith told me the plan was to add at linebacker. Naturally, through the additions, there will be competition for that starting spot. I don't envision the Bears -- regardless of their confidence level in him -- simply handing Roach the starting job. Besides that, Brian Iwuh -- assuming he returns once his free-agent status is cleared up post lockout -- will also be a strong candidate for that starting spot on the strong side. There's also a possibility the Bears could bring back Pisa Tinoisamoa to compete with Roach for that job.