The Bears Den: February 18, 2014 - Chicago Bears offseason news & notes

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Go Bears!

Draft preview: Countdown to Combine - Michael C. Wright with a look at the Bears' positions of need and which prospects the team might be looking taking a closer look at in Indianapolis. First up: defensive tackle.

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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Bearsss

Bears add defensive end Lane - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Monday signed Austen Lane to a one-year contract. Lane has appeared in 30 games with the Jaguars and Lions. Moon Mullin: Emery adds more than training-camp bodies to the offseason roster.

Franchise/transition tags: Bears - Michael C. Wright: Teams around the NFL on Monday can begin designating franchise or transition players, but the Bears won’t be using any of the tags, according to an NFL source.

Bears on watch as franchise tag period begins - Rich Campbell: Although the Bears are unlikely to apply their franchise tag, they're sure to closely monitor other teams' decisions over the next two weeks.

Bears unlikely to use franchise tag - Adam Hoge breaks down how franchise tags across the league will impact the free agent market, and discusses what the Bears will do with Peppers.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - What positions will Bears focus on at NFL Combine? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] - Dan Hampton on Bears defense: It's got to be completely rebuilt.

Tucker defensive preferences hold key to Bears’ 2014 draft - Moon Mullin: The single biggest key to the Bears season lies in Emery finding the skill sets and player types that give both Tucker and those players the optimum chances to succeed.

ESPN Chatwrap - Michael Wright's Q&A session on all things Bears. Would the Bears pass on BPA early if that player is a WR?

Mock Draft - Rotoworld's Josh Norris has the Bears selecting Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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

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Ditka

Ditka - Ryan Wilson: As both a player and a coach, Mike Ditka was a throwback. So it's not altogether surprising that he has some old-school thoughts on how Matthew Stafford should carry himself.

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Polish sausage

NFL Health & Safety - Elizabeth Lopatto: Players using current football helmets aren't adequately protected against hits to the side of the head, which can lead to sometimes-lethal concussions and brain swelling, researchers said. Non-Tribune story.

Draft preview - Doug Farrar's NFL combine 2014 storylines to watch on the Defensive side of the ball. Chris Burke: Offense.

Ex-Bear news - John Breech: Gabe Carimi, the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, signed a one-year deal with the Falcons on Monday. BucsNation: TB signs D.J. Moore, Steve Maneri ... Hester once again linked to Bucs.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Will the Packers bring back B.J. Raji and Jermichael Finley or look for solutions in the draft? Chris Wesseling's offseason forecast.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Patra's offseason forecast: The Vikings are still searching for a franchise QB after missing on Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel voided his contract. Minnesota is likely looking at the end for Jared Allen in purple.

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"Rocket Man" wasn't William Shatner's only well-known cover.

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