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The Bears Den: February 18, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

Here's one guy who wouldn't mind seeing the Bears' #69 go elsewhere.

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Draft dominoes will start before draft day - Moon Mullin: Best-case scenario is taking a “need” off the critical list and leaving the Bears in the draft-ideal position of being able to truly opt for the best player available.

Bears could franchise tag Henry Melton - Brad Biggs: Carving out $8.3 million for Melton will give the Bears a considerable amount of their salary cap in four defensive players, though.

Peter King's MMQB - Manti Te'o, Alec Ogletree have most at stake at NFL Combine.

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New coaching staff should benefit Bush and Forte tandem - Kip Lewis: This new system is likely to take advantage of Forte's skills in space, whether it's catching the ball downfield or on screen plays.

[Video] ESPN - Decaf Herm likes the Bears' hiring of Marc Trestman as head coach.

New offense will feature elements from multiple systems - Larry Mayer: The new Bears offense that Jay Cutler will operate will be a compilation of multiple systems that Trestman and Kromer have had success with in the past.

Steven Schweickert: Bears' Offense to combine multiple systems

For now, Bears offensive coaches content to evaluate on film - Fred Mitchell: The new coaches apparently are looking for a heretofore hidden combination of skill, desire and technique among the incumbent linemen.

Cutler should expect many teaching moments - Dan Pompei: Matt Cavanaugh brings 28 years of NFL experience to the task of making the most of Bears QB's talent.

Bears QBs coach Matt Cavanaugh on Cutler - Sean Jensen: Trestman and Cavanaugh have avoided commenting on Cutler’s mechanics or even saying he’s a franchise player, stressing it's too early to give a proper evaluation.

Bears coaches eye fullback's role - Brad Biggs: A traditional FB could lead the team to keep three TEs on the final roster instead of four.

TE use figures to change, will personnel? - Michael C. Wright: The plan in 2013 is to step into the modern age of TE play.

Steven Schweickert: 2013 NFL Draft: The Tight End Position


Defense & STs

Tucker excited about opportunity with Bears - Larry Mayer: New DC Mel Tucker can't wait to start working with a unit that boasts a storied history as well as a strong core of veteran Pro Bowlers.

Tucker won't change much on defense - Michael C. Wright: It's almost a sure bet moving forward that the team won't lean as heavily on the Tampa-2 style favored by Smith and Marinelli. Given the personnel on hand, the Bears won't totally abandon it either.

DB coach Hoke happy to stick with Bears - Jeff Dickerson: Retained coach is content working with the team's secondary, a group that once again figures to be a strength of the defense.

Bears position analysis: STs - Brad Biggs: The Bears have personnel in place that should allow them to remain one of the best units in the league.

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert with the NFCN's must-keep free agents, including Henry Melton.

Decisions coming for Bears, Melton, others - Moon Mullin: Feb. 18 marks the first day when a team can place its franchise tag on a player.

Steven Schweickert: Melton will be expensive to keep


Polish sausage

NFP Sunday Blitz - Dan Pompei: How the coaching pipeline works on some teams; best coaching promotions and all the latest NFL chatter.

Draft preview - Manti Te'o will have plenty of off-field questions to answer at next week's combine. But on the field, Bucky Brooks says the Notre Dame linebacker can play, and the Bears are on his list of five teams that could draft him.

Draft preview - Projected first-round pick Alec Ogletree recently was arrested and charged for DUI, his agent said. It's another red flag for the former Georgia LB, who failed drug tests during 2012 spring practice and was suspended four games.

Free agents - PFF ranks the top Guards and Centers likely to be available in free agency.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Chris Burke's offseason preview: AP, Christian Ponder need help at WR for Vikings to maintain their role as NFL playoff team. "No intention of trading WR Percy Harvin".

Know thy enemy: Packers - Paul Imig: The Packers have released DB Charles Woodson after seven stellar seasons with the team, saving more than $10 million on their 2013 salary cap..

Laugh at the Lions - Titus Young has been placed on waivers by the WR-needy Rams after only a few days in St. Louis.

After a week off, the 1-1 Irish team visit Murrayfield to face the 1-1 Scots, whose rugby anthem - the first two verses of "Flower of Scotland" - is traditionally unaccompanied by the pipe band for the second verse.