Jonathan, over at BearsHQ, traded questions with me. Here are his answers to my questions heading into the game this weekend. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter at @BearsHQ.
HAWKBLOGGER:Are the Chicago newspapers normally this dismissive of an opponent, especially one that beat them on their field earlier this season?
BEARSHQ: The Chicago media actually has been very anti-Bear for most of the season. In fact, they’ve been picked to lose a majority of their games. I don’t just think its the Chicago papers, it is all of the national media.
HB: The general feeling I get from Bears’ supporters is that this is a totally different team than they were in the first game, and that losing to the Seahawks would be a humiliating. Has anyone stopped to consider that this might be a totally different Seahawks team than the one that went on that losing streak?
BHQ:I was at the Seattle game and the Bears played like shit. There’s no way around it. Many changes have been made and now the Chicago Bears are a different team. While I’m sure the Seahawks are better than expected, I wouldn’t quite put them in the category with the Patriots. Would I be shocked if the Chicago Bears lost Sunday…no…but I’d be surprised frankly. I picked the Birds to win against the Saints last week because I felt you were better than advertised. However, having a loss to you probably tells the Bears to take this game seriously.
HB:Chicago players and coaches sound so eager to prove they are willing to run, and that their line can handle the blitz now, what would happen if they struggle to run and Seattle does not blitz?
BHQ:If Seattle doesn’t blitz, I owe you a beer. It worked once, they will do it again. As far as the run goes, get ready for it. They’re gonna do it whether it works or not. Now that I say that, the Bears will throw. Mike Martz is a great coordinator when he has time, and two weeks gives him plenty of time to adjust.
HB: What types of offenses and players gives the Bears’ defense the most trouble?
BHQ:Mike Williams did a good job on the slant. He gets his big ass into a defender and is able to clear space. Surprisingly, Matt Hasselbeck is more dangerous to the Chicago Bears than Michael Vick. The ability to throw a slant is a weakness of this defense, and the master is coming.
HB:Much has been made of the Bears’ improved pass protection, but it appears that has more to with simply passing less. When they passed a ton against Green Bay, the big sack numbers were back. Do you think the line is as improved as people are saying?
BHQ:I was in Green Bay, and you shouldn’t use that as a measuring stick. The Bears averaged 5.5 yards per carry and didn’t run in the second half. They were trying some different things out in the passing game. They weren’t going to show a lot and see if certain things worked. You want a better gauge of things, look at the Vikings game. That’s what you’ll see from this team. As far as the line goes, its much better. It ain’t the Hogs but it gets the job done. Mike Martz is a brilliant guy, and he really doesn’t tip his hand.
HB: Where are the Bears’ weakest, and what would be your wish list for improvements in the off-season?
BHQ:Troy Polamalu, Andre Johnson, Nick Mangold and Ndamukong Suh. OK, I’m exaggerating. I think the Bears need to upgrade safety, receiver, offensive and defensive line.