Twitter mailbag: D can return to form January, 18, 2014 8:00 AM ET By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com With the season over and the cupboard bare in terms of Chicago Bears news, I decided to try my first Twitter mailbag to answer some of the questions you guys had. Throughout the offseason, we'll try to knock out at least one of these per week. So let's get into this: Loading Article Neal Currier @NealCurrier00 @mikecwright Can the Bears defense make the turn around next year that the offense made this year #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright: They can turn things around, but I wouldn't expect any turnaround to be as dramatic as what the offense did in 2013. The offense set several franchise records on offense in 2013 and ranked in the top five in points (second) and passing yards (fifth) as well as finishing eighth in total offense (381.8 yards per game). Obviously, the Bears fell hard defensively. Chicago's defense is still capable of performing the way it has in the past. When the group was healthy, it generated a league-high 11 takeaways over the first three weeks of the season as the Bears rolled to a 3-0 record. And as badly as the defense performed last season, it still finished with 28 takeaways (13th in the NFL), and scored six touchdowns. So, some of the elements that made Chicago's defense strong over the years are still intact. The Bears just have to find a way to add to what they have by bringing in depth and upgrading in a couple of spots, and they should be able to return to respectability quickly. BSugs14 @BSugs14 @mikecwright any chance bears let marshall walk after next year now that alshons emerged? #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright: It could happen because if Marshall produces the way he did in 2013, he'll be highly sought after in free agency and could reach a price the Bears can't or won't be willing to pay. At the same time, I I would expect the Bears to try to make every effort to bring back Marshall. After all, he's got the chemistry with quarterback Jay Cutler, and he's been a positive influence in the locker room; especially to Alshon Jeffery. Obviously we know the stories about Marshall taking Jeffery under his wing last offseason and helping him to reach his current level. So my guess would be the Bears would try to keep Marshall and Jeffery together as long as possible. BigHurtNYC @bighurtNYC @mikecwright When would Bears announce the direction of Defense moving forward? #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright: I don't see any type of announcement coming except for when the team hires a new linebackers and defensive line coach. But I doubt the team will announce a "direction" because that would be like showing the opponent your playbook before a game. Obviously, we'll start to find out the direction they're headed once the team begins offseason work on the field. That time won't take place until the third week of April. still2buck @still2buck @mikecwright whats the likely hood we move to the 3-4? what would that mean for Melton? #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright: The Bears have said over and over again that "everything is on the table" in terms of a potential switch. But if you look at the personnel on hand, I'd say the likelihood of that is very low. That's not to say that the Bears won't try to become more multiple in terms of looks, packages, pressures and coverage. In fact, I could see them trying to do some 3-4 on occasion to confuse offenses and cause disruption. When defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was in Jacksonville (the team I covered before coming to Chicago), he tried to employ 3-4 looks early on in his tenure at the behest of then-head coach Jack Del Rio. Ultimately, that experiment turned out to be a failure because the Jaguars lacked the personnel to pull it off successfully. While it looked good on occasion, the Jaguars never got results. But Tucker is well-versed in both 4-3 and 3-4. dfearless61 @djfear61 .@mikecwright what are fair expectations for defence's turn around in 2014? #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright:: First off, in the states, we call it "defense." Just kidding. But I'm not sure I can put any type of a statistical metric in place to define "expectations" for the defense in 2014. My guess is the team's expectation for the defense moving forward is for it to be a group that is the reason they win games instead of being the reason they lose them, which was too often the case in 2013. Remember, this defense is coming off the worst performance in franchise history. So there's nowhere else to go but up. GM Phil Emery and the personnel staff will make sure the group isn't talent deficient in 2014, and it will be up to Tucker and the rest of the staff to get the most out of those players. Ultimately, Emery will eliminate any excuses for the defense performing poorly in 2014 by upgrading the talent. So, as I said, the fair expectation is for the defense to return to being a unit that wins games for the Bears instead of losing them. k0z9 @k0z9 @mikecwright can you rank the bears positions of need heading into the offseason? #bearsmailbag Jan. 15, 2014 Reply Retweet Favorite @mikecwright:: Defense, defense and defense. Emery said Chicago's defense will be younger in 2014, and I think the place the start that process will on the defensive line, which was ravaged by injuries last season and responsible for many of the unit's problems. Also, Henry Melton, Jay Ratliff, Corey Wootton and Nate Collins are set to become free agents. So if the Bears can't bring back the majority of those for next season, they'll have to completely replenish there. At the very least they'll need to add quality depth; perhaps a starter if they can't get back Melton or Ratliff. So adding to the front four is the priority. Then, the Bears need to add talent in the secondary. Right now, only one starter at cornerback (Tim Jennings) is under contract. Major Wright is a free agent, and Chris Conte is coming off his worse season as a Bear. So Chicago needs to bring in a young cornerback who can eventually take over a starting job, as well as depth at safety to push Conte and Wright, should they bring him back for 2014. After that, the Bears should start looking for a young center they can eventually groom into a starting role.Roberto Garza is a free agent, and the Bears want to bring him back next season. But it's not a slam dunk the sides will be able to come to an agreement. Even if they do, Garza is 34 and will be 35 next season. It's time to start looking toward the future there.