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The Bears Den: February 10, 2012

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"...where we're potentially combustible."

Bates should be big boost for Cutler Bowen: Position coach key to quarterback's success and their previous relationship bodes well for the future and the playbook.

Garza, Melton land on "All-Joe" team Mayer: Bears center Roberto Garza and defensive lineman Henry Melton were recently selected to USA Today's 20th annual "All-Joe" team.

Bears, Giants are close, but there is some separation If the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are the last two Super Bowl champions, how far away can the Bears be? Mark Potash has the dope.

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Dan Pompei's Chicago Bears mailbag: This week: Hiring Bates, looking at possible free agents and who the Bears should draft at No. 19.

Could Bears be the 2012 Giants? The Giants won the Super Bowl this year despite not even making the playoffs last year. Could the Bears do something similar next season? Moon says it could happen.

On the receiving end...Vincent Jackson?On the receiving end...Vincent Jackson? It looks like Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson will be hitting the open market when free agency opens up in a few weeks. Moon takes a look at how much he could cost.

Mullin: ‘Martz Was A Terrible Hire’ WSCR: With a new offensive coordinator at the helm, the Bears can move forward with a new mindset.

Offseason position outlook: Tight end Michael C. Wright continues his roster breakdown with a look at the TEs.

Hoge: 2012 Bears Mock Draft 1.0 The first in a series of mock drafts for the Chicago Bears leading up the NFL Draft April 28-30. Adam Hoge makes selections for all eight of the Bears' 2012 draft picks.

Trending in the NFC North Khaled Elsayed discusses who's on the rise in the NFC North, who took a step back and the more promising players in the black and blue division.

Tentative NFC North salary-cap status Seifert: The NFL's new CBA has brought an issue we haven't faced in a number of years: Tight salary-cap situations.

Unprecedented 600 players potentially free agents Klemko: Eighteen Pro Bowlers, including Drew Brees, Matt Forte and Mario Williams, are among the hundreds who could be available on March 13.

Banks: 10 big questions this offseason. SI's Don Banks has 10 questions and they are oh so huge.

"Lights Out":