The Bears Den: October 26, 2012 - Week 8 News and Notes

David Banks

The Bears Den: October 26, 2012 - Week 8 News and Notes

Bears look to go 4-0 against QBs picked No. 1 - Larry Mayer: In their first four home games this season, the Bears are facing QBs who were selected with the top overall pick in the last four NFL drafts.

Behind the new looks in Bears D - Moon Mullin: The young players have really stepped up on the Bears' defense and have earned the trust of the coaching staff, leading to a dizzying array of looks and matchups so far this season.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Is Tillman best Bears CB ever? Where do STs rank this year? Why didn't the Bears run at the Lions goal line?

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Bears-Panthers

Surging Bears not looking past struggling Carolina - The Carolina Panthers are coming to town in disarray. This sure looks like a mismatch -- or a trap.

[Video] Kip Lewis & Moon Mullin - Previewing the Bears-Panthers matchup on Sunday.

Cutler ready for Sunday, Campbell is, too - Peggy Kusinski: Jay Cutler says he's fine to play on Sunday, but just in case the Bears have a $3.5 million insurance policy in Jason Campbell.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin talks Bears offense and the upcoming matchup against the Panthers.

Know thy enemy - Football Outsiders's quick notes on how the Panthers and Bears match up on both sides of the ball.

Know thy enemy - Maggie Hendricks: What do we need to know about the team the Bears narrowly beat last season?

Four Downs - Should the Bears be concerned about Cutler's ribs on Sunday? Are the 2012 Bears better than the 2006 Super Bowl version? Was trading Greg Olsen away a mistake? Is this the real Cam Newton?

Steve Smith's superior stats against Bears is no tall tale - Brad Biggs: Panthers receiver may be short, but he certainly plays big against the Bears.

Cover 2 killer Steve Smith awaits Bears again - Jeff Dickerson: No player, with the possible exception of the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, has caused more trouble for Lovie Smith's defense than Carolina's star WR.

Tim Jennings relishes coverage test against Steve Smith - Adam L. Jahns: If last week was all about Charles Tillman’s matchup with Calvin Johnson, this week is about Jennings — and his beloved cover-2 — taking on Smith.

Know thy enemy - Dan Pompei: Cam Newton dazzled defenses in 2011; now he's frazzled heading into Sunday's meeting with the Bears.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin’s Playbook: Defending Newton’s zone-read option.

Expert Picks - The CBSChicago crew all pick the Bears to win. Even Hub.

Injury report - Michael C. Wright: With rookie WR Alshon Jeffery already declared out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers, the Bears practiced Thursday with only one absence: TE Brody Eldridge, who missed the workout because of an illness.

Team news - Hester, Bowman, more team news.

Team notes - Mark Potash: Dave Toub hasn’t lost any faith in his record-setting kick returner; plus more injury and team news.

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Defense

Brian Urlacher: Bears' defense can be better - Michael C. Wright: Brian Urlacher says the Bears' defense still has room to improve.

[Video] CTL discussion - Kaplan et al. on where the 2012 defense's play so far ranks in franchise history and, in particular, how the parts stack up against the '85 incarnation.

Urlacher: Think twice before making big hit - Brad Biggs: Says defensive players have to think twice about going for a huge hit because of the consequences.

Lance Briggs: Not stopping ‘til I get a ring - Laurence Holmes: Though he's been playing one of the world's most violent sports at the highest level for more than a decade, Briggs isn't quitting until he accomplishes his goal. [Audio] is well worth a listen.

PFF snapshot - NFL Passer Rating Allowed, CBs: The Bears' shutdown duo of Tillman and Jennings have been good in the past, but they’ve taken it to a whole new level this year.

Joniak’s Journal - Jeff Joniak: It’s telling that before being named NFC defensive player of the week in consecutive games for his performance against Jacksonville and Detroit, Charles Tillman had not been recognized for his work since 2005.

Why Tillman just keeps getting better - Bob LeGere: Tillman has forced 32 career fumbles, more than any current DB since 2003. Among all players, only Colts DEs Robert Mathis (38) and Dwight Freeney (34) have forced more. Tillman also has 32 interceptions. Since 1991, he and Brian Dawkins are the only players in the 30-30 club.

Charles Tillman getting better with age - Melissa Isaacson: Like his pre-Bears days, when Tillman was considered an obscure name but a top-10 CB in a very deep draft class, he's still a highly regarded talent with a relatively low profile.

Peanut Tillman says Sunday Is "No Easy Day" - Peggy Kusinski: His teammates say Tillman's not only playing better, but smarter. What Tillman may have lost in his step, he's gained in his work ethic.

PFF's Secret Superstars - Week 7: Henry Melton dominated in the pass rush against the Lions.

Biggest Bears surprise for '12? Hard choices - Moon Mullin joined McNeil and Speigel on 670 The Score to discuss the biggest surprise coming from the Bears this season.

JJ Watt, Tillman head list of League’s best defensive players - Steve Silverman has two Bears on his shortlist of eight names.

Bonus pic - Hires version of today's Den photo of a menacing-looking Peppers and Urlacher as they were waiting to take the field against the Lions.

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Offense, STs & general Bears news

Cutler, Marshall, Webb the best defenders for the Bears? - Moon Mullin: The less you see of the Bears’ defense, the better it gets. Indeed, some of the best players on the Chicago “defense” are arguably named Cutler, Marshall (Brandon, not Wilber) and Webb.

[Video] Matt Bowen's playbook - Matt Bowen goes to the whiteboard to break down Brandon Marshall's TD against the Lions on Monday night.

Brandon Marshall seems to have left troubles behind - Rick Telander: Marshall, 28, has held it together since coming to Chicago and has become a star, without which the Bears’ offense could barely function.

Is Hester the answer to fill Jeffery void? - Jeff Dickerson: Hester played 59 of the Bears' 72 snaps on offense (82 percent), his highest play-time percentage of the season. However, the increased reps did not necessarily translate into huge numbers for Hester, who finished with three catches for 38 yards on just six targets.

[Video]: E:60 on Brandon Marshall - E:60 looks at the Bears' new offensive weapon and his past struggles.

PFF snapshot - Play Action Passing: Jay Cutler's completion percentage jumps from 54.1% to 71.4% when using playaction.

[Video] ESPN - Lomas Brown discusses Jay Cutler's decision to continue playing following the vicious hit he took from Ndamukong Suh in the Lions game.

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert discusses three huge QB contracts looming for the NFCN, including Jay Cutler's, whose current deal expires after the 2013 season.

Bears looking for more from Hester - Jeff Dickerson: Dave Toub says Devin Hester has to improve his decision-making on returns.

NFL fines Earl Bennett for orange cleats - NFL charities $10,500 better off for WR having worn orange cleats in Monday night's win over the Lions.

Dionne Miller's `Happenings at Halas' - October 25: Peanut Tillman doesn't want to hear about accomplishments or record books until his career is over. Dionne, the plural of "camera" is not "camera's".

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Polish sausage

Matt Bowen's playbook - What is a 'jump' call? Using Steelers' All-22 tape to highlight the technique.

Ranking the NFL's toughest division - Alex Marvez: The NFC North would be the only division to send three teams into the postseason if the playoffs started today.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Game report: Buccaneers 36, Vikings 17. Kevin Seifert's rapid reaction - Loss at home leaves the Vikings at 5-3.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert: Thursday night provided 3 hours, 20 minutes of evidence for those who doubted the validity of the Vikings' surprising start, with Ponder playing another underwhelming game and the defense being gashed by a diminutive RB for the second consecutive week.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - PFF's three performances of note: "When you struggle to connect on screen passes to your slot receiver you can be fairly confident that you’re going to be in for a long night."

Ex-Bear Olsen finds new perspective dealing with newborn son’s serious health issue - Sean Jensen: Although he was traded from the Bears to the Panthers in July 2011, Olsen exchanges many texts with Brian Urlacher, trains in the offseason with Matt Forte and talks to Kellen Davis. Many Bears reached out to Olsen when they heard about T.J.’s diagnosis.

Marvin... he was a friend of mine, And he could sing his song, His heart in every line

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