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The Weekend Bears Den: October 04, 2014 - Chicago Bears week 5 news & Bears-Panthers previews

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Jonathan Daniel

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether Sherrick McManis will compete at the nickel back position, if Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson are assured of regaining their starting jobs, and why the Bears lined up in the shotgun at the 1-yard line against the Packers.

Forte shows his value in new NFL - Jon Greenberg: Matt Forte is bucking the trend in the new NFL, proving that a big contract was money well spent for a versatile back who actually needs the ball even more.

Bostic has tools to be great but lacks consistency - Brad Biggs: Bostic possesses the speed, short-area quickness, lateral movement, ability to shed blockers and hitting prowess to wow people. But the ordinary plays — lots of them — are needed to go along with the highlight-reel clips.

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

Chicago Bears - Carolina Panthers news & previews

Bears-Panthers breakdown - The Tribune's look at matchups, game predictions, and thoughts going in to Sunday.

Game preview - Jeff Mezydlo: As poorly as things have gone for the Bears at home, the club has managed to fare well on the road through the first quarter of the season.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright, and Tom Waddle break down the Bears' week 5 match-up against the Panthers.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson takes a look at how the teams match up.

Game preview - Not-Hub Fishbain and Panthers beat reporter Bill Voth look ahead to Sunday's game.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak's keys to the game.

Game preview - Mark Potash breaks down Sunday's game.

10 thoughts on Bears-Panthers - Patrick Finley: Jared Allen should help MIA pass rush step up.

Bears players to watch versus Panthers - Larry Mayer and Mini-Larry discuss the Bears players they'll be watching on both sides of the ball in Sunday's game. Dan Durkin: 5 matchups to watch.

X&Os - Matt Bowen: Bears can maximize the skill set of Martellus Bennett in the red zone against Panthers.

Bushrod ruled out of Sunday's game - Larry Mayer: With Jermon Bushrod being ruled out of Sunday's game against the Panthers, the Bears will start their third different O-line combination in five weeks.

Bushrod out vs Panthers - Michael C. Wright: In anticipation of Jermon Bushrod’s absence, the Bears shuffled in multiple players along the O-line at practice Thursday in an attempt to find the best combination up front.

Injury news - Not-Hub Fishbain: Jermon Bushrod, Jeremiah Ratliff out for Sunday but Jared Allen practiced in full on Friday and is likely to return to action.

Team notes - Dan Durkin: Bushrod, Ratliff ruled out; Chris Williams to get shot as KR; Marshall a full-go for Sunday. Ola’s versatility a boon for Bears.

Team notes - Mark Potash: Week of practice encourages Brandon Marshall; Bushrod optimistic about injury; injury report.

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Jon Bostic has shown progress; Marc Trestman on Panthers linebackers; unsung spotlight on Eben Britton.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Marshall proclaims himself full strength; injury news; will this be the week the offense finally puts it all together?

Know thy enemy - Is-Hub Arkush: This Panthers squad won’t vaguely resemble Carolina’s 2013 playoff team from a year ago, but Cam Newton can't be ignored.

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs' scouting report on the Panthers' leader in sacks, DE Mario Addison.

Know thy enemy - with a photogallery previewing the Panthers' starters.

[Video] - A roundup of players and coaches speaking throughout the week as the Bears prepare to head to North Carolina take on the Panthers.

Jennings, Jeffery return to Carolina - Mini-Larry: For Tim Jennings and Alshon Jeffery, the game against the Panthers is a return close to where it all started for the Carolina natives.

Game picks - National and local media outlets make their picks for Sunday's game between the Bears (2-2) and Panthers (2-2) at Bank of America Stadium.  More predictions from: ESPN Chicago ... [Video] NFL Live ... ... Adam Hoge ... Sun-Times.

Madden - Rich Mayor gazes into the crystal ball that is Madden '15 to see what the future holds for Sunday.

Game previews updated 19.00 CT / 01.00 GMT.

Game preview - Dan Durkin: In order to win, both of these teams must protect their vulnerable defenses. The Bears rank 23rd in total defense, while the Panthers rank 24th.

Game preview: QB - Moon Mullin: Jay Cutler has yet to throw an interception in a road game this season, a trend the Bears hope can continue on Sunday afternoon in Carolina.

Game preview: RB - Moon Mullin: Carolina's run defense has been shredded in the past two games; can the Bears wear them down to afford opportunities for Matt Forte and Ka'deem Carey?

Game preview: WR/TE - Moon Mullin: The plan will be to replicate some of the approach the Ravens used last week that netted 327 passing yards, three TD passes and zero sacks of Joe Flacco.

Game preview: O-line - Moon Mullin: Mario Addison's speed will test Michael Ola in a different way from the power players he’s seen at guard.

Game preview: D-line - Moon Mullin: Pass rush can get to Cam Newton but cannot allow itself to create running opportunities for a woeful rush offense; how will underweight Jared Allen stand up to 340-pound Byron Bell?

Game preview: LB - Moon Mullin: Expect Chicago to attack Cam Newton and Carolina's vulnerable run game, as the Panthers are down to their fourth string RB.

Game preview: DB - Moon Mullin: Panthers'  top receiving tandem of Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen mirrors what the Bears' secondary go up against in practice every day.

Stand 'Pat?' Bears position coach can only wish - Chris Boden: After having all five starters start all 16 games a year ago, O-line coach Pat Meyer has now had to work with three replacements so far this season.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - With Bushrod being ruled out for Sunday's game, how big a problem is the state of the O-line?  And whose fault was the no-score pass to Martellus Bennett at the end of the first half in Bears-Packers? [KAPCON: 3]

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Can Bears offense get going against Panthers defense? [KAPCON: 5]

Sunday updates 09.30 CT / 15.30 GMT.

Bears set to battle Panthers in Carolina - Larry Mayer: The Bears will look to rebound from last weekend’s loss to the Packers and stay perfect on the road Sunday when they battle the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Game preview - Chris Boden: Three necessities for a Bears victory against Carolina.

Game preview - (AP): Ron Rivera says it's time for his star players to begin stepping up Sunday when they host the Bears; meanwhile, Cutler could look to test new starting corner Josh Norman.

Forte heats up against Panthers - Bob LeGere: Matt Forte seems primed for a big game against the Panthers, whom he has victimized in the past for the two most productive rushing games in his career.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Chris Williams is expected to return kickoffs Sunday, the third Bear to hold the job already this season; Forte not concerned about lack of blocking fullback; Bushrod's iron man streak ends; Jared Allen to be on reduced snaps in return from illness.


Healthy Marshall feels more explosive - Larry Mayer: After being hampered by an ankle injury that kept him out of all but one practice the last couple weeks, Brandon Marshall finally feels like Brandon Marshall again.

Marshall expects to be full-speed in Carolina - Jeff Dickerson: Brandon Marshall refused to cast or accept blame for his role in the turnover against the Packers, but seemed to follow Trestman's lead in regard to the importance of practice.

Willie Young reels in fish, QBs - Dan Wiederer: When he isn't reeling in QBs, there's only one place Willie Young wants to be.

Teddy Williams’ high-speed connection continues with Bears - Patrick Finley: Fast Teddy will play on all four special teams on Sunday, serving as the gunner and jammer on units desperate for a spark.

Four Downs - Jeff Dickerson, Jon Greenberg discuss four topics pertaining to the Bears. Are the Bears better off at TE with Martellus Bennett over Greg Olsen?

Bears mailbag - Is-Hub Arkush's readers' Q&As.  Do the Bears miss Hester on offense?

'Road warrior' Bears may be better off away from home - Moon Mullin: The last three Bears playoff teams were strong on the road; the 2006 and 2010 NFC champions [I'm pretty sure we weren't NFC champions in 2010 - Den] were in fact better on the road than they were in Soldier Field.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

Polish sausage

NFL Draft nice event for Chicago, but that's it - Darren Rovell: The NFL draft is a nice feather for Chicago, but it's not an event that will provide a big economic boost. Is-Hub Arkush: Much ado about nothingDavid Haugh: McCaskey, Emanuel driving forces behind Chicago getting NFL draft.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Defense has made steady improvements, has allowed just 46 points over the past three games.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Mike Zimmer says Vikings need to stay in gaps and be more disciplined in run defense.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Jeff Bartl: Boasting the NFL's top defense, Detroit looks to continue its strong start Sunday as it hosts a struggling Bills team which is changing its QB. Michael RothsteinWhat to watch for in Jim Schwartz' return to Ford Field.

EJ Manuel benching underscores NFL's flawed approach to QBs - Albert Breer: Young QBs need time to develop, but today's NFL climate doesn't allow teams to have patience.

Cheerleaders - The best of the week 4 cheerleaders from ... ...'s potential future Mrs Spongie.


I'm a bit gutted that Postmodern Jukebox were playing a gig about 15 minutes' walk from where I live in early summer, and I didn't know about it.