Your New York Giants face the Chicago Bears this week on Thursday Night Football. That means our weekly 'Five Question's segment is with Windy City Gridiron head honcho Dane Noble. Here are Dane's answers to my questions.
Ed: Your impressions of Marc Trestman thus far. Do you see him as a guy who can have a long, successful run as Bears head coach?
Dane: It's still very early, but so far, he seems like he could be the guy. Trestman is incredibly intelligent, and very thorough with his game-planning, and so far seems to be bringing the best our of Jay Cutler. He is transparent with the media, has his players promoting his messages (which signals buy-in), and has done very well with a new offense that happens to have two rookie offensive linemen. So far, so good.
Ed: How is ex-Giant Martellus Bennett fitting in, both on the field and in the locker room? We know he has a "unique" personality.
Dane: He does seem to have a big personality, and so far on the field, he looks great. Personally, he reminds me of a much bigger version of Desmond Clark-- Makes tough catches, and hard to bring down. As far as him fitting in, from the limited perspective we've had of the team dynamic, he seems to blending right in... Very unique personality, but also pretty refreshing to see a professional football player showing his goofy side pretty regularly.
Ed: The Bears started fast, winning their first three. Now they have lost two straight. what has been the difference?
Dane: To be fair, I think the team is just having some growing pains. They have a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator, mostly new assistant coaches, and four new offensive linemen (including two rookie starters)... That's a LOT of newness, so some bumps are to be expected. On the defensive side of the ball, we've got some players who haven't been as consistent as the team would like starting off the season, but there's plenty of football left to get on the same page. By the way, the Bears are due for some defensive and/or special teams touchdowns...
Overall, there's just a lot of changes that have occurred in Chicago over the last few months, so hopefully we're just seeing the kinks getting worked out.
Ed: If you could take one player off the Giants' roster and put him in your starting lineup who would it be? Why?
Dane: I really, really wanted to say Victor Cruz, because I really, really like him as a wide receiver... he would compliment Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett incredibly well, and bring just one added layer of sexy to this Marc Trestman offense. BUT, I will take the easy way out and say Jason Pierre-Paul. We're potentially seeing the last of Julius Peppers in a Chicago Bears uniform this season, and oh boy would it be nice to see JPP slide in and take the wheel for the next many seasons on the DL... *swoon*
Ed: Tell us about a couple of under-the-radar Bears players, maybe a couple of young guys, that we don't know much about but who could have an impact Thursday night.
Dane: One is quickly making a name for himself, especially after last week's record-breaking performance (10 catches, 218 yards, 1 TD) but sophomore WR Alshon Jeffery. He's a big fella (6-foot-3, 220), makes some very athletic and aggressive catches in traffic, and is a legitimate deep threat. Besides the two rookies on the right side of the offensive line (G Kyle Long and T Jordan Mills), also keep an eye out for 3rd year DT Stephen Paea. With All-Pro Henry Melton and DT Nate Collins out for the season with ACL tears, Paea is going to have to turn up the heat on the interior of the DL, and something tells me he'll be up for the challenge.