The Bears Den: August 29, 2013 - Preseason news and notes

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

It's preseason game four! Made you yawn.

Mel Tucker all about results, not credit - Tom Pelissero: New DC is incorporating elements from all his stops into Lovie Smith's Bears defense, building a library he feels comfortable having them execute when it matters.

Earl Bennett reportedly on trade block - Chris Wesseling: Is the concussion-prone WR a candidate to be released if he's not traded? [Video] CSNChicago discussion - Production, concussions a concern. Brad Biggs: Bennett deal unlikely before opener.

Marshall working with avant garde testing program for recovering hip - David Haugh: Aurora chiropractor trying to help put WR's injury woes behind him with concentrated rehabilitation.

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Brandon Marshall

Marshall excused from Bears until Sunday - Larry Mayer: Brandon Marshall was excused from practice Wednesday and won’t return to the Bears until Sunday. But the receiver’s absence is unrelated to the concerns he voiced about his hip Tuesday.

Marshall misses practice day after expressing frustration with hip - Jeff Dickerson rounds up the various items making up this particular story.

Why we should worry about Marshall - Mark Potash: Marshall has done an exemplary job of conforming, rehabilitating himself and being a great teammate since being diagnosed with BPD, yet can’t seem to outrun his star-crossed fate.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Is there cause for concern on Marshall? [KAPCON: 4]

Are Bears hip to what’s bugging Marshall? - Rick Morrissey: Question about how he’ll react if he doesn’t catch the bear’s share of passes this season is a legitimate one. It’s worth noting Marshall’s hip, head or conditioning weren’t public issues after he caught four passes from Cutler in the second preseason game.

Needy Marshall makes himself the story - Dan Bernstein: Regardless of any possible clinical reason for Marshall's diva turn, it does raise concerns.

Should Bears fans be concerned about Brandon Marshall? - James Neveau: The answer, simply put, is no. It’s no longer the Brandon Marshall show for the Bears this season, and that fact should give Marshall the time he needs to get back on track without hurting the team in the process.

What to make of Marshall's comments - Michael C. Wright: Simply Marshall digesting the reality that with less than two weeks before the start of the regular season, with the team learning a new offense, he’s still got a ways to go if he plans on matching his record-setting production from 2012. Less than elite 'unacceptable' to #15.

[Video] ESPN - Adam Caplan discusses whether the Bears have leaned too heavily on Marshall and how they will be affected by his recovery time from hip surgery.

Marshall drops passes, picks up diva act - Steve Rosenbloom: Marshall was asked if this was the right offense for Cutler and Marshall promptly made it about himself, but diva act might be a sign that offense is working the way it's supposed to.

Morning Bears Bits - Adam Hoge: While Marshall’s comments Tuesday were interesting and a little odd, they’re not that big of a deal. [Video] - Adam L. Jahns isn't too worried either, points out team have two days off anyway during Marshall's leave of absence.

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Bears-Browns

Final preseason game could be crucial for Bears on the bubble - Mark Potash: The Bears will cut their roster from 75 to 53 on Friday. Some players who get cut will make the eight-man practice squad. Others might get signed by other teams. But for most of them, the drop from training camp to reality is a steep one.

Position battle: RB - Moon Mullin: Cleveland game has shaped up as the tipping-point game at the No. 3 RB spot, between Ford and Allen.

Position battle: QB - Moon Mullin: Bears will be looking for a QB who, if called on in an emergency, will be able to function in the offense with a minimum of errors and preparation. Brad Biggs: Old friends to make case for 3rd QB spot.

Position battle: WR - Moon Mullin: Even assuming Bennett and Marshall are fully ready for the Bengals on Sept. 8, the Bears still do not have a WR with more than perfunctory experience at the NFL level.

Position battle: TE - Moon Mullin: The Bears clearly want Onobun to win a roster spot and unless he wins it with something positive in the Cleveland game, Trestman and his staff risk raising questions on how players earn jobs.

Team notes - Larry Mayer: There’s more than one reason that Trestman is happy to have veteran Patrick Mannelly still on the Bears roster, and other non-Mannelly Bears news.

Injury news - Larry Mayer: Henry Melton participated in individual drills Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion Aug. 9 and could soon be cleared for full contact; Earl Bennett ran for second straight day; DJ Williams progressing.

Injury news - Jeff Dickerson: Melton expected to be ready for opener, Earl Bennett day-to-day, more injury news from Wednesday.

Pregame updates

10 players to watch - Adam Hoge: Tonight's game is the most meaningless of the preseason, but there are still some semi-important story lines to watch for you true football junkies.

Position battles - Jeff Dickerson's three positional battles to monitor heading into Bears preseason finale. James Neveau: Four things to watch.

Bears QBs and WRs make last practice game worth watching - Steve Rosenbloom: The Bears will sit their starters for tonight's final practice game, which could provide an interesting look at Marc Trestman's play-calling and scheme.

Position battle: DL - Moon Mullin: Statement game for Minter, Washington.

Position battle: OL - Moon Mullin: Webb at career tipping point.

Sorting out a suddenly squirrely Bears WR situation - Moon Mullin: After-throughts[sic] on a couple of Bears WR stories of the past 24 hours.

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Bearsss

ESPN Chatwrap - Readers' Q&A returns in a horrible, horrible format. I ain't clicking through 12 pages of comments.

Anthony Walters fined for hit - Brad Biggs: A jump ball pass from Terrelle Pryor to Rod Streater left the Raiders WR with a concussion and safety Anthony Walters with a dent in his wallet. (Non-Tribune summary)

Bears season prediction: 9-7 - Michael C. Wright: Team is so much better than 8-8 in terms of talent, but new players, coaches and direction as well as a brutal schedule factor into equation.

To Urlacher, Bears still 'we' and they get props - Moon Mullin: He may have said that he wouldn’t be all that thrilled if the Bears won a Super Bowl the year after he retired, but former Urlacher sees the Bears closer to that possibility than a number of others.

NFCN preview - Dave Campbell: The Black and Blue Division now features a lot more flair. Football Outsiders: Bears "below-average offense paired with incredibly solid defense.".

The NFL's best backfields - Chris Burke places the Bears' backfield duo just outside of the top 10 in the league, sandwiched between the Bills and the Saints.

Devin Hester & the language of Hall of Fame exclusion - Tim Baffoe: He only does one thing well. That’s the story of Devin Hester’s career, isn’t it?

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Polish sausage

NFL stats not always on target - Football Outsiders: The more subjectivity involved with a stat, the more likely there will be variation in the data. When people start referencing the same stat from multiple sources, chaos ensues and numbers become meaningless.

The 10 worst current NFL QB situations - As chosen by Chris Strauss. Remember when we would have been high on this list year after year?

Know thy enemy: Packers - Moby's Rob Demovsky's season prediction: 11-5. This team has the makings of one that can win a playoff game or two but lacks what it will take to get all the way to Super Bowl XLVIII. A third straight loss in the divisional round would not be surprising.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert's season prediction: 9-7. The Lions have enough talent to make a playoff run, but we should expect them to get in their own way a few times over the next four months.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling's season prediction: 8-8. The Vikings' run to a 10-6 record and a wild-card spot in 2012 was one of the most surprising stories of last season. It also was, in many ways, a charmed run. In a tough division, they might be in line for a step back. ChatWrap: All about Ponder.

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