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Five questions with PFW publisher Hub Arkush

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 16, 2010 @ 4:15 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 facing the team. This week, Hub says the Bears' defense already has peaked, but points out that it will look great in its next two games, thanks in part to the opposition.

1. Does moving Monday night's game from a dome to an outdoor stadium hurt the Bears more than it helps them, considering how they just handled the conditions against the Patriots?

Arkush: What happened vs. New England really didn't have anything to do with the conditions. That said, the Bears would much rather play inside than outside when it's zero degrees. But the better point may be that playing outside will hurt the Vikings a lot more than it will hurt the Bears. They're an indoor team that has trouble when the temperature is 25 or 30 degrees, TCF Bank Stadium is 13,000 seats smaller than the Metrodome and another 10,000 won't show up for the game Monday night. The Vikes are basically losing a home game even if they play it at TFC.

2. Do you think the best days for this Bears' defense are still ahead, or has it already peaked?

Arkush: The defense peaked against Philadelphia and now it's all about match-ups. The Patriots wrote the script for any offense with the weapons that can handle it to follow. That said, the Bears' defense will look great against the Jets and Vikes in the next two games because their offenses can't match up with Chicago. But if Aaron Rodgers plays and the game means anything, the Packers will torch the Bears' "D" in Week 17.

3. Will a playoff appearance alone mean the Bears had a successful season, in your opinion?

Arkush: Yes! That's how you measure success. Playoffs, playoff wins, Super Bowls and Super Bowl wins. For a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since the 2006 season, getting there is a success. But that doesn't mean it's unreasonable to point out how fortunate they've been. They're a classic example of a potential division champion that could easily have been 5-11.

4. Major Wright made a mistake in coverage on Tom Brady's long TD pass to Deion Branch at the end of the first half Sunday. Should the Bears scale back Wright's playing time for that error or should he continue to be used just as much?

Arkush: That's why they call them rookies! Put him right back in the saddle and hope he learns from the mistake. Let's be honest — it's not like it had any impact on the outcome of the game. Wright is a physically gifted safety you have to develop and every player who has ever played the position has made that mistake more than once.

5. Have you seen enough of Chris Williams at left guard to say that it's the position he's best suited for?

Arkush: That's what I thought about him coming out of college. The question is, how good of a guard will he be? He's done some nice things, and shown some flashes. But he'll never be a quality left tackle in the NFL.

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