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The Bears Den: May 24, 2013 - Offseason news and notes

Not shown: Ditka glaring at gravity, which changed its mind and floated the ball back into his hands a split second later.

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Bears to retire Mike Ditka’s number - Larry Mayer: The Bears will honor legendary former player and coach Mike Ditka by retiring his No. 89 jersey at halftime of a Dec. 9 Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field.

Relentless Trestman expects a lot from Bears’ QBs - Adam L. Jahns: Part disciplinarian, part friend, the Bears’ QBs are learning that Trestman is all about details. He strives to trust his QB, empowering him to decide which of three plays to use at the line to attack the defense.

Steve Ronkowski: Bears Playbook - Marquess Wilson's West Coast Style

Team report - "They don't get old. I just get old." - 32-year-old Lance Briggs, when asked if OTAs and minicamps ever get old.

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NFL coaches, players share admiration for Urlacher - Larry Mayer: After Brian Urlacher retired Wednesday following 13 illustrious seasons with the Bears, several individuals who played and coached with and against the star MLB shared their thoughts. Aaron Rogers heaps praise on #54; more reaction from around the NFL.

Urlacher's game of legends - Steve Rosenbloom: For that game, if not also that position-changing career, Urlacher was who we never thought any linebacker could be. Moon Mullin: Not #54's personal highlight.

The truth about Urlacher - Dan McNeil: On and off the field, there was way more good than bad with #54.

Urlacher legacy one of loyalty to Bears - Jeff Dickerson: Urlacher's sometimes frosty relationship with the media shouldn't matter to fans nearly as much as the loyalty and legendary generosity he displayed towards teammates, especially the rookie or practice squad guys with no family in town who were invited to spend the holidays at his house.

Did Urlacher call it quits too soon? - Jeff Dickerson: It doesn't sit well with me that Urlacher's final NFL play ended with him limping off the Soldier Field turf after the second-to-last snap of an overtime loss to Seattle. Chris Wesseling: Would have finished out career with Cowboys.

Manning, Colts saw Urlacher potential - Michael C. Wright: Peyton Manning revealed on Thursday that his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, hoped that Urlacher would fall to them in the 2000 NFL Draft.

Urlacher’s career should be defined by brilliant start, not halting finish - Steve Silverman: Urlacher did not have a definitive position when he was selected in 2000. By the time he retired, he had redefined the MLB position in a way that suited the modern game.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Brian Urlacher is a lock for the Hall Of Fame

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Is Urlacher a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

Debating greatness: Urlacher vs. Lewis - Both will be on the 2018 ballot for Canton and have been compared throughout their careers. Jeff Dickerson and Jon Greenberg state the case for each. John Breech: Urlacher: "Ray's the best of all time". Lindsay H. Jones: Marquee MLB eventually could become extinct.

Photos - A few shots of #54 from a Tribune photojournalist (thanks to Sam Householder).

Five Chicago athletes who didn’t go out like Urlacher - Dave Wischnowsky: Here are five Windy City athletes who looked the weirdest playing for a team other than the one they’re best known for.

Will Brian take up skyscraper-climbing and biplane-catching now that he's retired?


Bearsss Around the League - Marc Sessler takes a look at teams who are shaking things up in an attempt to reinvigorate their stagnant offenses. Not surprisingly, the Bears number among that group.

NFCN Blog - Kevin Seifert: Looking at projected starters, the Bears have NFL's oldest starters.

Urlacher vouches for Cutler's toughness - John Paschall: "I played against him when he was in Denver and I played with him in Chicago, and I'd just rather play with him in Chicago. He's a tough dude."

Selecting four faces for the Bears' Mount Rushmore - How do you condense the achievements of a franchise of legendary names down to four faces? Moon Mullin gives it a go.



Bears to retire Mike Ditka's No. 89 - Brad Biggs: A sure sign relationships are healing, Hall of Fame TE will become the 14th Bears player so honored and the first since Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers in 1994.

A timeless classic - Dan Pompei: To everyone who has called Bears football a significant part of his or her life, he is a treasure, the closest thing to founder-owner-coach George Halas still among us.

Ditka timeline - There wasn't enough space for all the butt-kickings he handed out.

Dane Noble: Greatest coaches in NFL History, per ESPN

Photos - A gallery of retired Bears' numbers. That's the players who wore them and not the numbers themselves, you goobers.


Polish sausage

NFP Agent's Journal - Jack Bechta: Some useful tips for those who want to work in sports.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert: To this point of the offseason, the Vikings have elected to carry untouched the largest salary-cap hit for a non-QB in the NFL. So what does that mean about Jared Allen's future with the team as he enters the final year of his contract?

Know thy enemy: Packers - Kevin Seifert: Mike Neal has been working as an OLB at OTAs. Are they really going to use a 294lb LB?

Know thy enemy: Lions - John Niyo: Lions need Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley at front of line as leaders. Good luck. Louis Delmas already injured?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert: TE Brandon Pettigrew's drop percentage over the past three years is 7.2 percent, the fourth-highest in the league. Kellen Davis would kill for that.

The live performance on Letterman suggested by jetcitybearfan is here; I'm a fan of Jamie Hewlett's artwork from his time with British comic 2000AD.