The Bears Den: October 18, 2013 - Week 7 news and notes

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether the Bears will sign Jay Ratliff, if Julius Peppers will make an impact this season, and stopping Robert Griffin III on Sunday.

Improving Bears' defense is 'a collective responsibility' - Michael C. Wright: Trestman isn’t asking Mel Tucker to magically solve all that ails the club’s injury-ravaged defense with exotic schemes that, in the end, might prove to be more trouble than they're worth.

Bears victory Sunday could trigger bad decisions - Dan McNeil: The Bears may be only seven weeks into the season, but they also are a mere four months away from reconstructing their defense. All over the field.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Bearsss. Click for Chicago Bears Tickets. Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Today's Den pic in hi-res.

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Chicago-Washington

Bears defense gearing up to face Robert Griffin III - Larry Mayer: The Bears are gearing up to face Robert Griffin III, who's beginning to show some of the form that earned him rookie of the year honors in 2012.

Bears defense focusing on technique and fundamentals - Larry Mayer: In an effort to improve across the board, the Bears defense is focusing on technique and fundamentals in preparation for Sunday's game in Washington.

Game preview - Jeff Mezydlo: Washington hope to avoid going 0-3 at home for the first time in 15 years while trying for a fifth consecutive victory over Chicago on Sunday.

Washington ready to exploit Bears’ vulnerable run defense - Steve Silverman: The Bears’ soft underbelly has given up 41 rushing first downs, tied for 27th in the NFL. If it's not fixed, they could provide a road map for every future opponent to follow.

Know thy enemy - James Neveau: After a rocky start, the Washington defense is recovering nicely, and the Bears can't afford to underestimate that group ahead of their Week 7 matchup.

Lance Briggs' busy week - Dan Wiederer: Bears LB triple tasking with the challenge of facing Robert Griffin III, steadying a wobbly defense and guiding rookie Jon Bostic to his first start.

Cutler not expected to repeat 2010 game - Michael C. Wright: Mike Shanahan won’t count on Jay Cutler reliving his four-interception game from 2010 when the teams meet Sunday at FedEx Field.

Shea McClellin gets up for RG3 - Adam L. Jahns: Of all the Bears’ defensive players, McClellin might be most in need of a confidence-building, difference-making game before the bye week.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright & John Keim break down how the teams match up and make their predictions.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Tillman expected to start Sunday, more injury news; Tillman-Griffin reunion; DeCamillis hoping to take advantage of weak Washington ST coverage.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Trestman tailoring offense to each player's abilities; Shanahan on Cutler & Marshall; Gould's strike rate; injury news. Trestman: Griffin looks close to 100 percent.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: Cutler and DeAngelo Hall not revisiting previous encounter; Bostic getting comfortable; more team notes.

Team notes - Patrick Finley: Wootton likely to remain inside even if Paea returns; injury news.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Bears can target Brandon Marshall against man-coverage look, will look to get him in space in a matchup with DeAngelo Hall.

X&Os - Dan Durkin’s Playbook: Like the mesh point on a zone-read play, Mike Shanahan has merged two styles of football - Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense, and Alex Gibbs' zone-blocked running scheme - into nearly two decades of offensive success.

[Video] View from the Moon - Previewing Sunday's game.

Trent Williams: 'It's Julius Peppers, man' - John Keim: “It’s Julius Peppers, man,” Williams said. “It doesn’t get too much harder than that. He’s definitely one of those guys that stays on your mind until after the game."

Briggs thinks RG III hasn't lost a step - Michael C. Wright: Griffin ranks second in the NFL in pass attempts per game (41.8), fifth in the NFC and eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (289.6), and is coming off a game in which he rushed for a season-high 77 yards against the Cowboys.

Tillman and Griffin have more in common than an intriguing Sunday matchup - Rich Campbell: Pro Bowl CB and the Heisman Trophy-winning QB share superstar status at Copperas Cove High School is Texas.

Joniak's Journal - Briggs a linebacking mentor for Bostic; Cutler clutch on 3rd downs and in 4th quarter; restricted reps hindering rookies on special teams units; homecoming for Bushrod.

Shanahan gave Cutler and Marshall early guidance they needed - Rich Campbell: As Trestman sees it, Shanahan deserves significant credit for fostering the potent QB-WR combination he now enjoys.

Grossman embraces elder statesman role - David Haugh: The maturation obvious in Grossman extends to memories of his maddeningly erratic Bears tenure.

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Bearsss

Cutler pleased with progress, not satisfied - Michael C. Wright: Cutler calls what’s transpired over the first six games as “give and take” between the offense and defense, but looks forward to the time when his side of the ball can consistently carry the load.

Bears rookie linemen staying grounded - Doug Padilla: Nobody is calling the rookies Pro Bowl-bound just yet, but as experiments go, one that had the potential for total meltdown has instead shown definite promise.

Bostic to play under Briggs' wing - Doug Padilla: Briggs’ ability to communicate figures to be put to the test as he guides a young teammate. Mark Potash: Briggs will have the most direct hand in guiding Bostic.

Bostic prepared to make most of his chance - Melissa Isaacson: Jon Bostic's dad, a former NFL player himself, has prepared the rookie to make the most of his chances.

Bears want special teams to be more special - Brad Biggs: With a lot of young players around the specialists, coordinator Joe DeCamillis is stressing growth and consistency.

Devin Hester working to age well - Fred Mitchell: Bears returner wants to emulate Brian Mitchell's five returns for TDs after age 30.

Four Downs - Michael C. Wright & Jon Greenberg take a look at four issues regarding the Bears.

Bears mailbag - Jeff Dickerson with a readers' Q&A.

Brad Biggs' Bears mailbag - Reader Q&A about possible free agent signings, Wootton's progress, salary cap space, the 4-3 defense and Cutler.

Bears moves a year too late? - Dan Bernstein: Imagine the fate of the Bears had Phil Emery been given permission to make a coaching change immediately upon his hiring, instead of waiting a season.

Marino: Cutler in ‘upper echelon of NFL QBs’ - Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino thinks the Bears need to stick with Jay Cutler.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Anthony Adams asks Jordan Mills the hard-hitting questions as he takes the rookie for a ride.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Waddle's record day: Former Bear Tom Waddle looks back on his 1991 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, in which he set a franchise record for receptions and earned a spot on the All-Madden Team.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Jeff Bartl's Vikings-Giants preview. Ben Goessling: Vikings looking to get Floyd more work. Brian Hall: Harrison Smith hampered by turf toe.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: Leslie Frazier is turning to Josh Freeman on Monday, the Vikings' third starting QB in six games. Ben Goessling: Move could benefit more than just Freeman.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Tom Powers: At this point, keeping AP on the Vikings is like putting a Mercedes hood ornament on a Plymouth. Gregg Rosenthal: Trading AP is a terrible idea.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Jordan Garretson's Bengals-Lions preview. Michael Rothstein: Lions' goal Sunday is to contain A.J. Green. Michael Rothstein & Coley Harvey: team matchups.

Same Old Lions - (AP) Suh reportedly fined for hit on Weeden. Michael Rothstein: This time, Suh may have been unfairly fined.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Jeff Mezydlo's Browns-Packers preview. Rob Demovsky: How Jermichael Finley's role might change... team may have trouble finding 46 players ... shortage at WR, OLB.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Matt Bowen: Through five weeks of the 2013 season, the Packers currently rank fifth in total rushing yards per game (140.8). How is Eddie Lacy's skill set used in their core running schemes?

What if NFL team logos were fat? - Wonder no more. Wonder. No. More. [Tip of the cap to birthday boy Sam Householder]

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