Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has already beaten the odds and blown away the stereotypes, and he's only played 11 games in the NFL.
Just barely 5-foot-11, the third-round pick from Wisconsin is the NFL's shortest quarterback, but he's been Seattle's starter since Opening Day. No one is selling him short.
"He's a mobile guy who can buy time in the pocket," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "He's accurate throwing the ball. It seems like he has full control of the offense. For him to be the starting quarterback, they put a lot of money into (Matt) Flynn, so that says a lot. For him to beat (Flynn) out and be in this position kind of tells you all you need to know about him."
Flynn, the former Packer, signed a three-year deal in the off-season with the Seahawks that included a $10 million signing bonus and could be worth as much as $26 million. But coach Pete Carroll decided to go with the rookie.
Much like the Seahawks in general, Wilson has been tremendous at home and mediocre on the road. His passer ratings at home are 112.7, 99.3, 133.7, 131.8 and 139.8. Not surprisingly, the Seahawks are 5-0 at home. Away from CenturyLink Field, Wilson's passer ratings have been more rookie-like, but they've improved: 70.9, 75.1, 56.8, 74.5, 101.7 and 97.1.
"He's got a laser for an arm," Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said. "He's short; I think everybody knows that. I think that hurt him in the draft, (but he's) a smart guy, and he's producing. They're getting some wins, but he's still a rookie. You get pressure on him, keep him in the pocket and force him to beat us."
After a full week of working with the first team at right guard, former right tackle Gabe Carimi should be more prepared to perform at his new position than he was last week, when he was tossed into the fray and held his own.
"It's helped him a lot," coach Lovie Smith said of the practice reps. "Last week he was on the sideline thinking about tackle, and we asked him to play guard. This week he's thinking tackle and guard."
Carimi started the first 10 games at tackle before being replaced by Jonathan Scott.
Thoughts and prayers:
Jack Pardee, an NFL linebacker for 15 years before he was the Bears' head coach from 1975-77, is battling gall bladder and liver cancer.
"We've had a lot of great players come through here and coaches who have contributed to what we've done and our history," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Jack Pardee is one of them, so our prayers definitely go out to him. He's battling a serious disease. Jack's done an awful lot for us, and we're definitely thinking about him."
Pardee, 76, is the only person to have served as a head coach in college football, the NFL, the USFL (United States Football League), the WFL (World Football League) and the CFL (Canadian Football League).
Wide receiver Devin Hester (concussion) and guard Chris Spencer (knee) are out.
Wide receiver Eric Weems will handle all the return duties and take Hester's reps in the offense, along with playing on the punt- and kickoff-coverage teams. Edwin Williams will remain at left guard, where he finished last week's game after Spencer was injured.
Cornerback Charles Tillman, linebacker Lance Briggs, running back Matt Forte and tight end Kellen Davis, who all have ankle injuries; and defensive tackle Stephen Paea and Williams, who both have shoulder injuries; are expected to play after going through a full practice Friday.
For the Seahawks, three starters, defensive end Red Bryant (foot), linebacker LeRoy Hill (ankle) and wide receiver Sidney Rice (calf) are all questionable. Bryant and Hill did not practice Friday, while Rice was limited. Backup cornerback Marcus Trufant (hamstring) did not practice and is doubtful.