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The Bears Den: April 18, 2013 - Minicamp news and notes

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Where Gabe Carimi is lining up during minicamp, the likelihood of Josh McCown serving as the Bears' No. 2 QB this season, and the strongest positions in the draft.

STs coordinator Joe DeCamillis’ task? - Mark Potash: DeCamillis has inherited one of the best special-teams units in the NFL with a particularly high-profile challenge: getting Hester right again.

Steve Ronkowski: Bears Playbook - The Punt Return

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Bearsss minicamp

Bears minicamp observations - Brad Biggs: Trestman pleased by Bears' lack of mental errors.

What we learned on NFL's first day of minicamps - From Jay Cutler to Michael Vick to Alex Smith, some big names were back on the football field Tuesday. Gregg Rosenthal breaks down what we learned after Day 1 of minicamp season.

Defense’s turn to turn up the tempo - Moon Mullin: The defense that was third in scoring last season appeared to decide that it was time to show these new coaches that the big deal has been them for quite a few years in Chicago. Kip Lewis: Familiarity helps.

Defense maintains same takeaway mentality - Larry Mayer: The Bears have a new HC and DC, but their emphasis on generating takeaways remains unchanged.

Bears minicamp observations - Brad Biggs reports on Hester as a gunner, the defense, Bears' recent moves down in the draft, and more. DeCamillis seeks speed foremost in a gunner.

Hester's special teams role could grow - Jeff Dickerson: In addition to serving as the Bears' primary return man, Hester lined up on the second-team kickoff and punt-team coverage units during the second day of the team's voluntary mini-camp.

Bears minicamp observations - Adam Hoge: Hester as a possible gunner; defense remaining the same; coaches stress avoiding head-to-head contact; more observations.

Bears minicamp observations - Bob LeGere: Tucker likes what he sees in McClellin; Hester working on kick coverage; defense keeping turnover mentality.

Photos from minicamp - Marc Trestman getting very involved with the huddles. More photos from


High expectations for sophomores

Emery expects McClellin, Jeffery to contribute more - Larry Mayer: While much of the focus at Halas Hall is currently on this year's draft, Phil Emery has high expectations for top 2012 picks Shea McClellin and Alshon Jeffery.

Bears expect big things from Class of 2012 - Brad Biggs: Production should be up considerably from second-year players Shea McClellin, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Hardin and Evan Rodriguez.

Bears counting on Shea McClellin for greater role - Adam Hoge: After a year in which Bears fans’ only compliment for the first-round draft pick was to anoint him Urlacher’s replacement at MLB, McClellin is still at DE and a brand new coaching staff likes what it sees.

Steven Schweickert: Shea McClellin can continue to develop at DE

McClellin hopes to take 'big step' in Year 2 - Michael C. Wright: McClellin worked to add bulk and cut fat, is also working to increase speed and quickness, and wants to learn to utilize his hands better as a pass rusher.

Bears minicamp observations - Adam L. Jahns: Shea McClellin gets bigger, hopes for bigger role; Trestman said he doesn’t know what he has in safety Tom Zbikowski quite yet, but he’s encouraged.


Draft news & previews

Emery eyeing extra draft picks - Bob LeGere: The biggest difference from last year's draft might be that the Bears' G.M. is already looking to trade down and accumulate additional picks.

T.J. Shouse: Bears trade scenarios & NFL draft value charts

Draft preview - Jeff Reynolds' five players who should be on the Bears' draft radar.

Draft preview - Michael C. Wright: The Bears brought in former Oregon MLB Kiko Alonso on Tuesday for a pre-draft visit at Halas Hall.

Draft preview: DTs - Dan Pompei: Seeing the importance of DT to the Bears' defensive scheme, and the depth this draft offers, it would not be a surprise to see the Bears select an interior rusher.

Draft preview: RBs - Michael C. Wright: The team so far has shown some interest in at least four RBs with varying styles during the pre-draft process.

Draft preview: WRs - Kevin Seifert: Todd McShay's breakdown of WRs after Tavon Austin.


Other Bears news

Team-by-team strength of schedule - For what it's worth, the Bears lie mid-table and have the easiest schedule of the NFCN. Sucks to be the Lions.

Cutler's big pay day is not coming this year - Brad Biggs: Now it’s up to Cutler to determine his standing in the marketplace for 2014.

Jermon Bushrod celebrated first day of Minicamp with Olive Garden trip - For all that we give Maggie Hendricks a hard time (Den > Bites), we have to give her props for insightful Bears coverage such as this.


Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Packers - Paul Imig: Clay Matthews has signed a five-year extension with the Packers. Kevin Seifert: An easy decision; exact salary cap figures not yet known.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: If the team are preparing to move on from Jermichel Finley, the Packers might consider taking Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert or Stanford’s Zach Ertz in the first round. Jason Wilde: Offense could benefit from an explosive RB in the backfield.

French actress Carole Bouquet made crossbows sexy. (Film intro)