Keeping Score: How will Trestman's Bears draft?

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Keeping Score: How will Trestman's Bears draft?

Always a good time visiting on Thursdays at 10 a.m. with Danny and Spiegs on The McNeil and Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670 The Score, and this morning was especially timely given that there is a new Bears coaching staff in place.

Mac raised the hiring of Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator, which was a slight surprise to me because I thought a couple of other candidates came a little higher recommended.

But what makes Tucker intriguing begins with how he will use Shea McClellin, because now that Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli are gone, so is the law that McClellin will be a hand-on-the-ground defensive end. Tucker has run 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, and there are 3-4s that are de facto 4-3s, so where does Tucker see McClellin lining up?

Because heres the deal: If Tucker sees McClellin as a true hybrid, maybe that solves the Sam linebacker situation, and expands a scenario where Nick Roach fits in the middle and under the salary cap as well as Brian Urlacher. And how does that affect what or whom the Bears then draft?

Mac threw in that McClellin and tackle Gabe Carimi both needed to bunk together in the weight room this offseason. Both do need to muscle up and best guess, with new strength-and-conditioning coordinator Mike Clark, is that both will be adding functional strength.

The most common personnel theme of the offseason (again) is the offensive line. Spiegs wish-list starts with a veteran starting tackle signing and Carimi and JMarcus Webb competing for the other spot.

My question back is: Given that starter-grade tackles rarely hit the truly open market, would you pony up two No. 1s for a Ryan Clady if the Denver Broncos franchise-tag Clady as expected? Spiegs wasnt sure about that price tag, but if you want elite, youre going to pay elite.

All to be played out in the next three months before the start of the draft on Thursday Apr. 25.

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

If the Lions beat the Bears in Detroit, it'd be a recent rarity. No, not the Bears losing, but in this long series that reaches 175 games Sunday. One team or the other has swept the season series 11 of the last 12 years (the lone exception being 2011). The 17-14 Bears win Oct. 2 ended a string of six consecutive losses to their division rivals. At that point, both clubs were 1-3. The Bears have remained at that pace since, while the Lions have taken off, winning seven of eight.

It was Brian Hoyer's steady hand that guided that win, while a Vic Fangio defense missing Eddie Goldman, Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan forced Matthew Stafford into easily his worst game of the season.

1. STAY COMMITTED

That first meeting was Jordan Howard's first start, and his first 100-yard game, and the rook ran it 23 times for the first of five 100-yard rushing efforts (113). And since the two Bears touchdowns were scored by a couple of players who won't suit up Sunday (Eddie Royal and Zach Miller, from a quarterback who also won't be suiting up), keep feeding the beast. He's 117 yards from reaching the 1,000-yard mark (after just a dozen carries the first three games), and another 100-yard effort would give him the most for a rookie in Bears franchise history.

2. A FASTER START FOR MATT

...meaning Barkley, not Stafford. The Bears want to avoid a faster start by Stafford and the home offense, which was held to just one first down and 14 total plays on their first four possessions back in October. As Barkley makes his first NFL road start in a dome, he and his offensive teammates need to get out of the gate quicker than they have the last two home games. Before they got things rolling on the final drive of the first half against the San Francisco 49ers, they had four possessions that totaled 14 plays, 27 net yards and two first downs. In Barkley's first start two weeks ago against the Tennessee Titans, they surrounded one 13-play touchdown drive in the opening half with five possessions, totaling 16 plays, 108 yards, three first downs, and an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

3. HOO-RATIO

The Bears have lost the turnover battle in eight of their 12 games, and just twice have they won it. One of those instances was in Week 4. For a team that has just five interceptions all year, against a quarterback who's thrown just five picks, two came in the first meeting on the lakefront. And those picks were by (....wait for it....) Deiondre Hall (the rookie who'll play for the first time since that game), and Jacoby Glenn, who's now back on the practice squad. Now, yes, Stafford is a different beast in his den, and there's a completely different confidence level now for the NFC North leaders. But what if the defense can pull an encore? And can Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks pick up where they left off against another mobile quarterback? The Bears had just two sacks in the first meeting, registered by (....wait for it....) Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington.

** Finish up your snow removal by 11 a.m. Plop yourself in front of CSN, and watch ex-Bears Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Alex Brown join Chris for Bears Pregame Live. Then as soon as the second quarter ends on CBS, log on here to CSNChicago.com as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Finally, as soon as the team's start sharing handshakes, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Chris provide 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, press conferences and locker room interviews from Detroit on Bears Postgame Live. **

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

The Bears and Detroit Lions square off Sunday at noon and CSN Chicago has you covered along the way.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Chris Boden, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago