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Five questions with PFW publisher Hub Arkush

About the Author

Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Sept. 30, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Each week throughout the season we'll ask five questions of PFW publisher and Bears expert Hub Arkush to get his analysis on some of the top issues in Chicago. This week we get Hub's take on Tommie Harris and when the Bears will lose their first game.

1. Do you agree with how the Bears are handling Tommie Harris, and should he be active vs. the Giants?

Arkush: The benching of Harris vs. the Packers was absolutely the right thing to do. The question is, was it a last-gasp ploy at motivating him, or is he just physically unable to get the job done anymore on bad wheels? The problem with Harris is nobody is really sure. He's a classic example of a guy who hasn't done a thing since he got the big contract.

2. When do you see the Bears losing their first game?

Arkush: If the Bears beat the Giants — and I give them a 50-50 chance right now since nobody knows what's going on in New York or what Giants team will show up — they probably go to at least 8-0 before the first Vikings game on Nov. 14. Whether they're for real or not, they certainly have enough to handle Carolina, Seattle, Washington and Buffalo before facing Minnesota.

3. Should there be any doubt about who starts at corner between Zack Bowman and Tim Jennings?

Arkush: None whatsoever. My favorite question these days is how many players do the Colts miss on? I've always thought the Bears overrated Zack Bowman, but even so, he's definitely bigger, stronger and more capable than Tim Jennings. When the Colts cut the cord early on a high pick like Jennings you know there's a talent deficit. Playing Jennings at corner and D.J. Moore at nickel is begging a good passing team to torch you.

4. Is the offensive line doing a better job in pass protection than you thought it would?

Arkush: No. Cutler is getting clobbered. The O-line has done just enough to keep its quarterback from getting killed, but barely. As strong and as tough as Cutler is, if the protection doesn't get better soon, something bad is going to happen. The question is, where do they go from here? The insertion of J'Marcus Webb for a series at right tackle vs. the Packers was telling. If he doesn't have the ability to contribute more, the problem could get worse.

5. Have you seen much improvement from WR Johnny Knox in Year Two?

Arkush: Not really and I'm really surprised. He was one of the few Bears who seemed to have a really good preseason, but now he seems to be strictly the deep threat in Mike Martz's arsenal. I don't know if he's having trouble with routes and/or adjustments, but other than the deep ball, he's not much of a factor and that's another potential problem brewing for the Bears. Cutler doesn't have a go-to guy and Devin Hester will never be dependable enough at wideout to be that guy.

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