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The Bears Den: September 8, 2012 - Week 1 News and Notes

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"...where my ex-girlfriend's loss is your gain: Saturday Dens, no wang."

Urlacher's 'not up to speed,' but is that a big deal? - Jim Miller: The Bears only need Brian Urlacher on gamedays, and he actually could be better off not participating in practice.

It's OK to go all in for the loaded Bears this season - Jon Greenberg: "Every so often, even Bears fans deserve to be blindly, stupidly optimistic. This is one of those times." We call that being ECD.

On Sunday, the Metrodome will be a place where old philosophies go to die - The featured back is a dying breed; running backs travel in pairs now.

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Injury report

Urlacher set to go for season opener - Brad Biggs: Urlacher returned for the final light practice of the week and will start against the Colts. Podlesh practiced in limited fashion, Booker has been sidelined all week with a concussion suffered in the final preseason game.

Urlacher back at practice - Jeff Dickerson: "Brian Urlacher returned to practice on Friday after he sat out the previous day to rest his left knee." Also, official injury report for both teams.

Sick bay: Urlacher, Conte, Podlesh listed as probable - Moon Mullin: After all the issues the Bears have had with injuries in the preseason, they head into Week 1 against the Colts with some good news.

With Lorenzo Booker iffy, will Armando Allen get the call? - Jeff Dickerson: If they promote Allen from the practice squad, Bears would need to make a corresponding roster move to get the roster down to 53.


ProFootballFocus: 3 things to focus on - New assignments for Freeney and Mathis, an aching knee for Urlacher, and a supporting cast with concerns for Luck. Plenty to look for in this matchup between a hopeful contender and a franchise beginning again. the week's most intriguing matchups - The Bears' offense should be more than capable of matching any fireworks Luck presents. As far as Chicago's defense goes, will Urlacher play, and can he be his old self?

[Video] Laurence Holmes: What to watch for - Bears vs Colts: Urlacher's knee, how Bears' D will attack the rookie QB, how the OL will fare, and the Marshall Ratio.

[Video] The Bear Facts - Jeff Dickerson, Michael Wright and Tom Waddle preview the Bears Week 1 matchup with the Colts.

Joniak’s keys to the game - Jeff Joniak's thoughts on Bears-Colts.

Bears’ defense hopes to crack open a good rook - Does Luck know where the holes are in the cover-2 defense the Bears run? Certainly. But this is the NFL, where big windows on Saturdays become crevices on Sundays. Now, try to jam the football in there. The Bears will dare him.

Expect McClellin to play strong in debut - Tom Thayer thinks that once the ball kicks off at Soldier Field, fans will see a new McClellin. Worth listening to the [Audio].

What you need to watch for - Maggie Hendricks lists five points of interest.

Gould, Vinatieri give Bears, Colts a leg up - Jeff Dickerson: If Sunday's game between the Colts and Bears has to be decided by a field goal, then both teams are in good shape.

Other Bears news & views

Hoke confident Tillman will rebound from rough game - Brad Biggs: The final starter to leave the practice fields Friday afternoon at Halas Hall was Charles Tillman, getting extra work late with DBs coach Jon Hoke.

It's all there for the Bears to either make the best of it or mess up - Scoop Jackson: Welcome to what should be the start of something special. Welcome to "The Season of No More Excuses." Welcome to what should be the best football ride experienced in Chicago since 1985. ECD: "Welcome to my life!"

SBNation's Bears Season Preview - Ricky O'Donnell thinks it's time for the Bears to bring this city another title.

Season has earmarks of Brian Urlacher's swan song - Dan McNeil balances out all the ECDness in the media with a heavy dose of Lostradamus.

Bears leaning heavily on pass rush - Larry Mayer: Few things are more important to Rod Marinelli than generating a consistent pass rush. The veteran coach focuses on that aspect of the game in every practice, meeting and film session.

For Julius Peppers, start of the regular season is a rush - Sean Jensen: Peppers enters his third season with the Bears, having started every game and racking up 19 sacks and forcing six fumbles to assert himself as one of the defense’s cornerstone players.

Kelvin Hayden hopes to make some highlights for the Bears - Plus, team news.

Bears seeking more consistency, production at safety - Brad Biggs: "As dizzying as the Bears' turnover at safety has been, DBs coach Jon Hoke looked at it only one way last season: The next man up had to do the job." Also, team news.

Sean Jensen's Top 10 list of No. 1 receivers in the NFL - Does Brandon Marshall make the list? Hell, yes.

How good of a rookie year can the Bears expect from Jeffery? - Moon Mullin: Rookie Alshon Jeffery has wowed teammates, coaches and fans so far, but how good can the Bears expect the second-round pick to be?

Williams adjusting to 'strange' backup role - Moon Mullin: "It's been nearly four years since Chris Williams wasn't a starter on the Bears' OL, but when the season opens Sunday he'll be on the bench." B-U-S-T BUST! BUST! BUST!

Bears have 4th highest ticket prices; Jets tops - Also, going by the photo, Jay's got really fat, Dick Butkus is really tall, and both caught way to much sun.

Everything else

What about long-term health of NFL players? - Fred Mitchell: Jim McMahon is battling the ravages of early onset dementia at the age of 53.

Which NFL teams are throwing the most cash around? - Jason La Canfora: Lean years from the usual suspects such as the Cardinals, Lions and Bucs have actually translated into bloated payrolls at a time when the salary cap has remained flat.

Final record predictions for all 32 NFL teams - For what it's worth,'s Gregg Rosenthal doesn't think the Bears' D is all that fearsome any more.

Week 1 predictions - For what they're worth,'s Albert Breer, the PFF crew, the NFL “Playbook” analysts (Sterling Sharpe, Brian Baldinger & Donovan McNabb), Dan Durkin, and Pete Prisco all offer their picks.

Know thy enemy - Someday, opposing DCs will be able to remove Rodgers' scrambling tendencies from their Packers game-day check list. It won't be in 2012, however.

Know thy enemy - Packers-Anthony Hargrove reunion unlikely in aftermath of lifting of Saints bounty case player suspensions.

Know thy enemies - PFF's "3 things to focus on" for Jaguars at Vikings, 49ers at Packers, and Rams at Lions.

Lions fan gets probation for phoning in threat - Lack of self-discipline extending to fans, too.

That story in yesterday's Den about male Packers fans getting too grabby for Greg Jennings' liking? - Dude.

Bonus: the Fox Sports North girls - I think I may have found the future Mrs Spongie! I'd rank them blue-green-red. Or possibly green-blue-red.

Surprisingly hasn't be used in an Austin Powers film... yet.