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The Bears Den: August 06, 2012 - Training Camp News and Notes

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"...where I'm never, ever criticising Dane Sanzenbacher ever again, in case I, too, 'retire' / get injured / get busted by the authorities."

WR Devin Thomas tells Bears he's leaving camp - Larry Mayer: "This somehow makes the Bears a stronger team."

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Discusses Sanzenbacher's training camp, if Hester will be in the slot, and the depth that Campbell provides.

USAToday team report - The usual excellent weekly State of Bear Nation.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

WR news

Devin Thomas tweets he's retiring at 25 - Announced his retirement Sunday via a message on Twitter.

Thomas' departure creates roster opening at WR - Moon Mullin: Was on roster bubble anyway; Golden vs Sanzenbacher for sixth WR spot.

Sanzenbacher in position to benefit from Thomas exit - Has been deployed as a punt returner with Hester resting a sore ankle, although Sanzenbacher averaged just 4.9 yards on seven returns last preseason.

WR Thomas leaves Bears - Also cited long-term health as a factor in his decision.

Sanzenbacher jumps at new opportunity - A retirement and an injury moved Dane Sanzenbacher up to the first squad. And a federal-level drug offence, as WCGer Fallen2far pointed out, before asking if he made a deal with some supernatural entity / powerful friends.

Dane Sanzenbacher may stick around - "Could be in a battle with impressive rookie Brittan Golden, and special teams might factor into the final decision." Sixth spot for a WR not guaranteed.

Urlacher news

Urlacher still not practicing, preseason opener in question - Moon Mullin: Brian Urlacher sat out his fourth straight day of practice Sunday as his surgically repaired knee is still bothering him seven months after the injury occurred. Just how concerned are the Bears?

Urlacher’s sore left knee now ‘a concern’ to Bears - Even Lovie Smith no longer could blow off questions about Brian Urlacher’s sore knee after the eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker missed his fourth consecutive practice Sunday. Wants Urlacher to take his time.

[Video] Lovie: Hopefully Brian will be back soon - Wants opportunity to risk him in more meaningless snaps.

Time to worry about Urlacher - Bob LeGere: Absence "turns an above-average defense into a mediocre unit, and that might not be enough to get the Bears to the playoffs."

Urlacher to miss exhibition opener with sore left knee - The eight-time Pro Bowler was scheduled to be limited this preseason whether he felt soreness in the knee or not. Urlacher and the Bears have no plans for him to have knee surgery. (They assured us Carimi would be back last season, and that Soldier Field turf was "fine" immediately before the cancelled Family Night fiasco. Just sayin'.)

Camp roundup

Quick hits: Webb has edge at left tackle - Michael C. Wright: J'Marcus Webb is getting the first shot to start at left tackle; Brittan Golden made several clutch catches; Jeffery, Conte making plays.

Webb has inside track at left tackle - "Maybe the plan for minimizing Allen’s sacks in 2012 will be for Webb to just tackle quarterback Jay Cutler before Allen can get to him." The Lions are the laughing stock of the league for off-field disciplinary issues. We have J'Marcus Webb at left tackle.

Chris Conte's CB skills are a plus at safety - Matt Bowen: second-year DB has ability to cover WRs and TEs as well as play the run tough.

Rookie Brandon Hardin quickly picking up new position - Sean Jensen: Through the first week of training camp, Hardin has looked like he belongs, making his share of plays.

To achieve success, Paea knows he needs consistency - Second-year DT Stephen Paea had an up-and-down rookie season in 2011, but the team is expecting big things out of him in 2012. For Paea, it starts with consistency.

Camp notes - Cory Brandon's size should appeal to Tice; Roach, not DeCicco, getting reps at Mike with Urlacher resting knee; Unga transitioning to H-back role.

Camp chatter: Friday's results - Moon Mullin: "Wootton continues to stand out as a pass rusher and right now is clearly the No. 3 DE"; Sanzebacher getting increased time on STs, Carimi back at 1st-team RT, though Chris Williams continuing to get some reps there.

Camp notes - Michael C. Wright: Urlacher missed fourth straight practice, Matt Forte (thumb) and Earl Bennett (leg) exited Sunday's workout due to small ailments.

[Video] Bears Training Camp Update - John Clayton reports from Bears camp on how Cutler & Marshall are working together so far and how the Bears plan to protect their franchise QB this season.

Matt Forte gets up to speed - Brad Biggs: Forte will remain a significant part of the passing attack; Bush will be goalline back.

Jason Campbell a starter at heart - Backup QB believes he's a winner who was derailed only via injury.

SBN Chicago goes to Camp - It's like Ernest, but with Ricky instead of Ernest.

Chris Williams could follow Greg Olsen's path out of town - Could be too valuable as a reserve to trade, entering an important season for the Bears.

Bear Facts: DT Stephen Paea - Lou Canellis: It's time for the Bears 2nd round pick to step up. Jerry Angelo traded up in the draft to nab Paea and so far, he's been a bit of a disappointment.

Bear Facts: CB Tim Jennings - Dionne Miller: Bears brought him back for 2 years for starter money.

Everything else

Bears-Packers: Five key matchups - "Considered to have perhaps the best instincts of any defender in football, it’s quite likely Woodson's shrewd guesswork against Cutler could turn the tide in the 2012 series — for better or worse."

Saints-Cards game notes - Matt Bowen on the Saints' play calling, Kolb's injury, Jenkins' pick and more. I know, it's nothing to do with the Bears... but, hey, gridiron is back!

Richard Dent plans to join concussion lawsuit - Expresses concern at lack of disclosure from team medical personnel. Duerson family lawsuit bundled with master complaint .

Know thy enemy - Lions looking at Suh and Fairley at DE for some pass rush packages.

Know thy enemy - Lions' Cliff Avril signs tender, reports to camp.

Know thy enemy - WR Jerome Simpson could have a huge impact on the Vikings' offense, especially with rookie WR Greg Childs tearing both patellar tendons.

Know thy enemy - NFCN Blog CampTour'12: Vikings' Matt Kalil offering security. Also, Jared Allen looks tiny by comparison, without pads.

Olympics watch - Lolo Jones through the women's 100m hurdles heats. I got your back, Just Dave.

I heart Tori Amos.