The Bears Den: January 01, 2014 - Chicago Bears news & notes

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Some Bears never really accepted new coaching regime - Adam L. Jahns: Rooting out dissent and determining players' commitment to the Bears’ new approach will be as important as signing the best, most capable players.

A Bears Post Mortem - Scott Lindholm: Going forward, the Bears are in very good shape offensively; with a productive draft and two or three key defensive free agents, it’s conceivable they could be right at the top of the heap next year.

How Bears operate once season ends - Michael C. Wright explains how the games within the walls at Halas Hall continue to be played well past the time the players are done for the season on the field.

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

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Defense

Bears defenders call injuries a lame excuse - Bob LeGere: The 2013 season was a disaster for the Bears' injury-ravaged defense and Mel Tucker. Some players blame the rash of injuries, but others say that shouldn't be an excuse.

D.J. Williams hopes to stick around to aid Bears defense - Dan Wiederer: Williams is set to become a free agent in March but said he's "ready to talk now" about re-signing in Chicago.

Trestman has Lovie’s problem in reverse: ‘O’ is good, ‘D’ is woeful - Mark Potash: Whether or not Mel Tucker is the problem, the Bears’ hopes hinge on Trestman knowing how to fix the defense.

Do you trust Emery and Trestman to fix the defense? - Steve Rosenbloom: What does Phil Emery know about defense? Marc Trestman, same question.

Briggs reveals call on final play against Packers - David Kaplan: Briggs discusses the game and the upcoming off season. [Video]

Video] CSNChicago discussion - Should the Bears bring back Julius Peppers? [KAPCON: 5]

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Bearsss

Cutler must return if Bears are to return to glory - Steve Silverman: The Bears can’t be chasing after a new QB in the offseason because the defense needs to be rebuilt, and Cutler is good enough to lead a solid team to the championship.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Should the Bears keep Cutler? [KAPCON: 4]

Final look in 2013 at the exciting, but disappointing Bears - Adam L. Jahns, Patrick Finley and Mark Potash with their thoughts on the 2013 Bears. (AP) Best & Worst of Bears’ 2013 season.

[Video] - Moon Mullin & Adam L. Jahns: Who will the Bears re-sign this offseason?

Open market: Varied futures await Bears this offseason - Moon Mullin: Up to two dozen Bears are approaching free agency or will be, and not all want to be back, or will be.

Bears add Butler to compete with Podlesh - Michael C. Wright: The club is bringing in Drew Butler -- the son of former Bears kicker Kevin Butler -- to compete with Adam Podlesh during training camp.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Bears' top 2 WRs will train together again in off-season; 14th overall Draft slot has been good for productive D-linemen in past three years; schedule and roster news.

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Polish sausage

The NFL knows what it has with Lovie Smith - Dan Pompei: Leadership, strong defense and questionable offense. For risk-averse NFL teams, that kind of reliability should make Lovie Smith a desirable quantity when they look to fill their next head coaching position.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Tom Pelissero: The Vikings may turn to an offensive-minded coach as they look to find and develop a franchise QB.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: For the third time in eight years, the Vikings are looking for a head coach, and unlike the processes that landed Childress and Frazier in the job, this year's search could be a long one.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Jarrett Bell: Jim Schwartz took the Lions out of an 0-16 hole but could never break through. The next coach will rely on Johnson, Stafford and Suh to help take the next step.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein with some names that could pop up in the search based off the Lions' blueprint for their next coach ... Schwartz's fate was always tied to Stafford.

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