The Bears Den: September 6, 2012 - Week 1 News and Notes

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"...where the season is finally here!"

Urlacher, Podlesh participate in practice - Brad Biggs: The team took a big step on Wednesday as Urlacher practiced for the second time, significant because it means his left knee did not flare up following Monday’s practice.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Discusses Paea's return from injury, why Hardin isn't on the PUP list, and the Bears' team captains.

USAToday team report - At least, I think it's the USAToday report that Yahoo Sports normally uses. First!

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Injury updates

All’s quiet on Bears injury front - Sean Jensen: In the first official injury report of the 2012 season, the Bears didn’t have much information to share. The only player who didn’t practice was third-string RB Lorenzo ­Booker, who was out with a head injury.

Good signs for Urlacher, Podlesh, Conte ahead of Colts - Moon Mullin: The Bears got some welcome news ahead of the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts as Brian Urlacher, Adam Podlesh and Chris Conte edge towards fitness.

Adam Podlesh won't rule out punting in opener - Jeff Dickerson: Veteran kicker was listed as having limited participation in practice.

Urlacher says his knee is pain-free - Larry Mayer: Urlacher said that when he woke up Tuesday morning, his knee was pain-free. He intends to keep it that way by scaling back his work during the week.

Gabe Carimi ready? Mike Tice uncertain - “He’s going to take a while to be up to full speed,’’ Tice admitted. Chris Williams is ready and willing to give Carimi breathers throughout the game.

Carimi could be limited Sunday - Adam Hoge: Mike Tice confirmed that Carimi is not 100 percent and suggested that he might not even be able to take all the snaps during Sunday's opener against the Colts.

With game vs. Packers coming up, Brian Urlacher shouldn’t play on Sunday - Rick Morrissey: I’m resurrecting a Dan Hampton quote from last week. “Whoever wants to play him against Indianapolis is nutty,’’ the Bears Hall of Famer said.

Offensive line

Smith believes in offensive line - Larry Mayer: While some outside Halas Hall may view the Bears offensive line as a question mark heading into the 2012 season, coach Lovie Smith has the utmost confidence in the unit.

Carimi suddenly the “X” factor on Bears O-line - Moon Mullin: Despite only playing in one complete game last season, the Bears have high hopes for former first-round pick Gabe Carimi. If Carimi plays up to his capabilities, the O-Line may be in good shape.

Mike Tice likes progress he sees in Gabe Carimi - Right tackle isn't 100 percent after right knee injury early last season, but Bears OC believes he will get better every game.

What to watch for: Bears, Colts - Kip Lewis highlights one area to watch for during the Bears-Colts matchup. How will the Bears O-Line be able to contain Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis off the edge?

Pressure on line to allow offense to thrive - Michael C. Wright: Until proven otherwise in live, sustained action, the OL remains arguably the team's chief concern for the 2012 season headed into Sunday’s opener.

Jay Cutler makes pressure a point - Joe Cowley thinks Cutler is throwing the OL under the bus.

JayBrand

Bears finally build around Jay Cutler - Brad Biggs: Instead of asking QB to carry the team on his back, Bears finally have armed him with the weapons for success.

Jay Cutler still somewhat in John Elway's shadow - Mike Mulligan: Bears QB, as Andrew Luck will experience similarly, can't escape it completely until he wins a Super Bowl.

Can Cutler, Marshall finally win the "big" one? - Moon Mullin: The hype surrounding Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall is in full force, but will the duo finally be able to win the big game? Also, more thoughts from the ManWhoLooksLikeKennyRogers.

With Cutler, Marshall together, Bears aim high - Jay Cutler wasn't quite sure what the results will be this time around. The last time he and Brandon Marshall were together, they were impressive, though.

Cutler endorses Emery shift to philosophy of offense - Moon Mullin: Jay Cutler credits GM Phil Emery and his philosophy for the boost in the team's offensive improvement in addition to the team's strong defense.

Cutler: Opener 'going to be fun to watch' - "Up front, I think the guys know there is some pressure on them because Matt Forte can run if you give him holes. And if I get the guys the ball on the outside and we hold up and have time, we can make some good plays. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

Cutler eager to put new toys on display - There's a rattle, and a range of dummies (pacifiers), and some cuddly toy animals, and a Jay Cutler talking action figure that says "Who the [Edit: Martz] are you?"

Brandon Marshall hit Blackjack last time vs. Colts - Michael C. Wright: The Broncos, with dat Kyle Orkman at QB, lost the game 28-16, but Marshall exploded to surpass Terrell Owen’s 20-catch single game record.

Brandon Marshall hit ‘blackjack’ vs. Colts last time - Sean Jensen with Marshall's thoughts on Forte, Cutler and the Bears, from the Bears press conference.

Brandon Marshall's 1,000-yard potential something new to Bears - Vaughn McClure: Veteran WR has reached that plateau in each of the last five seasons and there's no apparent reason to believe this year will be any different.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin: Brandon Marshall catching 100 passes this season might not be a good thing.

Brandon Marshall: No hard feelings with Vontae Davis - Michael C. Wright: With the Dolphins mired in an 0-7 record last November, frustrations between Marshall and Davis boiled over resulting in an altercation that involved Marshall throwing a football at the CB's face.

Davis-Marshall, Part II: This time it counts - Moon Mullin: Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis got into a physical altercation as teammates in Miami last year and now the two will be going head-to-head in Week 1.

Colts’ game plan: shut down Brandon Marshall - Adam Hoge: Phil Emery spent the offseason getting Jay Cutler more weapons. Now that he has them, it's up to the rest of the league to stop them.

Other Bears news

Phillips pleased with job Emery has done - Larry Mayer: The upgrades at key positions have increased expectations, and that's just fine with Phillips.

Bears having fun with Northwestern-Vandy - Jeff Dickerson: There will be bragging rights on the line for seven Bears in the NU-Vandy game.

Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - September 3 and September 5 - "No question the NFL has become a passing quarterbacks league. (Hello 5500 yards from Drew Brees last year- Seriously?!)" ... Hello - that's how she writes. Seriously?!

Bernstein: Rules for idiot Bears fans - You think you have it tough, Bernstein? You don't have to wade through the in-game threads after a loss and/or bad performance...

Mannelly playing in 216th NFL game on Sunday - Jeff Joniak could have replaced the body of his article with one word: Awesome!

Bucs gave Okoye $600,000 for nothing - But, as Brad Biggs pointed out yesterday, he could have collected more if he hadn't renegotiated on his way out.

Everything else

Football Outsiders Film Room: The Rise of the Tight End - The meat of gridiron's evolution is taking place in two-tight end sets. Somewhere, Martz shakes his head.

NFL insiders answer 20 questions - NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah grilled 20 personnel men with 20 questions about the 2012 season.

Power Rankings: Bears move up two - For what it's worth, the Bears moved up two spots in this week's ESPN Power Rankings.

More power rankings from Dave Gilbert and Lester A. Wiltfong, Jr, looking at the best and the worst teams in the league.

Andrew Luck will be paying attention to reports of how Brian Urlacher progresses this week - Brad Biggs: The rookie QB for the Colts might be new to the league but he knows enough about the defense he will face in the season opener Sunday at Soldier Field to realize Urlacher is a primary force.

Former Bears QB Jim McMahon and his girlfriend in SI cover article about brain trauma - Fred Mitchell: Laurie Navon tells the magazine she started noticing changes in McMahon’s behavior in early 2007 before tests revealed early onset dementia.

Bears rated as eighth most valuable NFL franchise - Valued at $1.19 billion, according to an annual survey released by Forbes on Wednesday. Operating income dwarfed by Cowboys'.

Know thy enemy - Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: "The Lions don't even try to disguise their intent anymore ...virtually every move the Lions make, every offensive player general manager Martin Mayhew adds, is done with the goal of maximizing [Calvin] Johnson's ability to affect a game."

Know thy enemy - "In analyzing this team, there are a few too many weaknesses without readily discernible solutions." Cheesendoom?

Know thy enemy - Kevin Seifert: How the Packers hope to improve.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin previews the Colts.

NFL.com Photos - How a Lombardi Trophy is made. Needs more Bears, Ditka, and polish sausage.

Bacharach/David were prolific in the 60s. At songwriting, I mean!

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