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The Bears Den: November 22, 2013 - Week 12 news & notes

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Jonathan Daniel

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses Bears players who've returned interceptions for TDs since 2004, if some QB runs count as sacks, and Craig Steltz's recovery from a concussion.

Cutler contract decision is franchise-defining for Bears - Andrew Brandt: With the importance of the QB position and the financial commitment involved, all other decision-making with the team will flow from their action with Cutler.

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


Game preview - Nick Wagoner & Michael C. Wright take a closer look at Sunday's matchup and make their predictions.

Game preview - Jeff Mezydlo: Though McCown has been solid while guiding an offense that ranks third in the league averaging 28.2 points, it's the injury-ravaged defense that has made strides of late despite missing multiple starters.

[Video] Game preview - Tom Thayer and Larry Mayer discuss the Bears week 12 game in St. Louis. Not only will the Bears have to contend with the Rams' speed on the turf, it's the first game in which Kyle Long will face off against his older brother Chris.

X&Os - Dan Durkin takes a look at the Rams' power running attack, spearheaded by Zac Stacy.

Bears in a hurry to stop rushing game - Rich Campbell: Bears defense needs to be more consistent to shut down the Rams and rookie RB Zac Stacy.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Inside breaking routes can hurt Rams: Bears, McCown can exploit the single safety look just as the Panthers did with Cam Newton.

Know thy enemy - Michael C. Wright: Tavon Austin as dangerous as Devin Hester, and the Bears spent a portion of Wednesday’s practice focusing on tactics for neutralizing him.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: Coaches resting players in readiness for facing Rams off their bye week; offense working on improving red zone package; more team notes.

Joniak's Journal - Jeff Joniak: Jordan Mills not fazed by prospect of facing Chris Long; Isaiah Frey expected to cover Tavon Austin on Sunday; Eben Britton working on his hands in practice.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Injuries have taken their toll on run D; away game on fast artificial turf a tough combination for pass blockers; Chris Williams at home on Rams' O-line; injury news.

Know thy enemy - Adam L. Jahns: Quinn (12 sacks) and Long (6.5) are double trouble and have combined for the second-most sacks in the league. As a team, the Rams lead the league in sacks per pass play.

[Audio] - Howie Long joins Carmen & Jurko to discuss his sons' first NFL meeting on Sunday in St. Louis.

Long day coming, Howie - Steve Rosenbloom: Howie Long the Hall-of-Famer will experience the pride of having two sons face each other in an NFL game. And then the game will start and Howie Long the parent will be miserable.


McCown still growing as player in 11th NFL season - Larry Mayer: Josh McCown has played in 54 NFL games over 11 seasons, but that doesn't mean he isn't still learning something new every day he steps onto the field.

Everything going right for McCown - Bob LeGere: Teammates say Josh McCown, with his Texas drawl, sounds a lot different than Jay Cutler, but the offense has continued to be the strength of the team, even with the No. 1 QB sidelined by injuries.

For McCown, success is in details - Andrew Seligman: At 34, McCown is at least enjoying a sort of rebirth if not playing the best ball of his career. After all, he has a 100 rating with five TDs and no turnovers.

McCown settling into starting role - Fred Mitchell: QB cites Jay Cutler for helping him, and capability of teammates around him.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Can Josh McCown keep it rolling? [KAPCON: 5]

Backup QBs becoming essential - Brad Biggs: Success of Josh McCown and failure of Aaron Rodgers' fill-ins has shown how they can change the complexion of any division in the NFL.


Bears go back to school to avoid slow starts - Adam Hoge: After miscues against the Ravens, Trestman said it was "a red flag" for players to get back in their playbooks.

Marshall, Jeffery top WR duo ranks - Chris Wesseling: Both receivers are mismatches due to their size, ability to get vertical and run-after-catch skills. Their combined 1,646 yards lead all wide-receiver duos through 11 weeks.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Trestman wants Bears to prepare first 15 scripted plays better than against Ravens; more team notes.

[Video] - Tom Thayer breaks down a few plays from Sunday's OT win over the Ravens at Soldier Field. He focuses on the O-line's ability to keep McCown clean.

David Bass is opening eyes - David Haugh: Rookie DE, cut by the Raiders in the preseason, is showing the Bears he belongs in the NFL.

Bass excited to return home to face Rams - Larry Mayer: David Bass likely will feel very much at home on the road Sunday when the Bears battle the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

[Video] - Corey Wootton sits down with Jeff Joniak to discuss his season so far and moving around on the D-line.

Ted Phillips: Trestman has brought this team together - Bears president Ted Phillips joined Mully & Hanley on Thursday and spoke of Trestman's influence in the locker room. Jeff Dickerson: Bears still opposed to Field Turf, says Phillips.

Phillips: Shorter-term contracts will be the norm - Moon Mullin: A projected flat salary cap over the next several years will make this a more common situation around the NFL.

Injury news - Adam L. Jahns: Broken hand won’t sideline nickel back Isaiah Frey; Cutler out of hard cast; more injury news.

SI's Pass Rush Pressure Points - Despite tallying three sacks against Ravens, the Bears' pressure rate is still dead last in the NFL.

Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - November 21: "He sounds like a combination between Jesus and Ben Stiller." Martellus Bennett delivers again.

[Video] ESPN - Sport Science: John Brenkus explains how Robbie Gould made a clutch, overtime field goal in gusty winds to lift the Bears to a 23-20 victory.

Photos - On the 97th anniversary of Sid Luckman's birth. takes a look at the franchise's legendary QB who won four championships for the Bears and still holds the franchise record for TD passes.

Looking for more Bears attire? Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.


Bears played Steelers with heavy hearts after JFK assassination - Mark Potash: Mike Ditka, Ed O’Bradovich and others reflect on playing a game just two days after JFK was assassinated.

Polish sausage

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - The tough choice for players to play injured usually comes down to pride.

Know thy enemies - Alan Ferguson's Vikings-Packers preview: Christian Ponder faces a Green Bay defense that could be missing CBs Casey Hayward and Sam Shields. Rob Demovsky & Ben Goessling: matchups & predictions ... Allen's days as Packers villain almost over?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Jordan Garretson's Buccaneers-Lions preview: Diverting opposing defenses' attention away from Calvin Johnson remains an issue, particularly once adjustments have been made. Michael Rothstein & Pat Yasinskas: matchups & predictions ... Johnson, Revis offer an exciting matchup.

More from Windy City Gridiron:

Is younger Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor wearing a Packers jersey at 40s into this video? (Clips from 1997's "A Life Less Ordinary")