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The Weekend Bears Den: November 01, 2014 - Chicago Bears bye week 9 news & notes

"The Weekend Bears Den, easily the greatest thing since December 20th, 2008" - Steven Schweickert. He didn't elaborate; I have my theories.

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That little extra something - Patrick Finley: Marquess Wilson isn’t the answer. He’s an answer, sure, but not the answer to the Bears' disappointing offense. Still, the talent he promises could give it a much-needed spark.

Team Report - Sun-Times writers assess the state of the team at the midseason point: Matt Forte is the team’s MVP, but not much else has gone right and the Bears are unable to stop the pass.

Can Bears right the many wrongs in their offense? - Brad Biggs: The Bears have had an aversion to playing physical football, too much window dressing to the ground game and not enough brawn and muscle.  They must commit to running rough, dominating the line of scrimmage.

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

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Bearsss

Offense first-half review: Now what? - Moon Mullin: Brandon Marshall may not like it, and Jay Cutler may need to make further adjustments to his thinking and tendencies, but the offense clearly cannot continue to run through its wide receivers.

[Video] - Jim Miller and Kip Lewis head to the drawing board to dissect the positives and negatives from Bears-Patriots, most notably the offense's lack of execution ... [Video] Receivers must get open.

One crucial task each NFL team must accomplish in second half - Nate Davis: Bears need to re-think their offensive approach and force feed Matt Forte.

Defense first-half review: Solution simple, but can group can reach it? - Moon Mullin: D-line was THE priority of the offseason and it has not played anywhere close to the commitment the organization made to it.  It has been too blockable and if that continues, so will the slide toward collective irrelevance.

Every NFL team’s biggest regret at midseason - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: Kyle Fuller is one of the few young pieces the Bears can build upon, as Chicago made an ill-advised decision to build its defense around veterans on their last legs rather than investing in the future. [...what, other than ~also~ spending second, third, and fourth-round draft picks on defense? This is what they mean by "Out Of Town Stupid". - Den]

Bears' young special teams units uninspiring - Dan Wiederer: A push to go younger and build for the future on special teams has had the Bears taking their lumps.

Marshall wary of 'groups' forming in locker room - Michael C. Wright: Based off his own experiences on losing teams, Brandon Marshall worried that losing will turn toxic.

Finding balance in NFL locker room is constant goal - Lindsay H. Jones, Tom Pelissero: Every team has issues. But as the 49ers, Seahawks and Bears discovered the first half of this NFL season, when those issues become public, there's a whole other set of problems to deal with.

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs' readers' Q&As.

Bears mailbag - Is-Hub Arkush answers readers' Qs on Bears' brass job security and 2015 NFL Draft needs.

Bears mailbag - Michael C. Wright discusses Christian Jones, Shea McClellin, and different coaching options.

[Video] - Not-Hub Arnold, Is-Hub, and Not-Hub Arkush: The Bears are on a bye week with hopes that key players on defense can return to help right the ship.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Bears Roundtable Bye Week pt.1: Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Larry Mayer, and Anthony Adams discuss Adam's comedic side and the history of the NFL sack dance.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Bears Roundtable Bye Week pt.2: Joniak, Thayer, Mayer, and Adams discuss the leadership in the Bears locker-room.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Bears Roundtable Bye Week pt.3: Jeff, Tom, Larry, and AA discuss the impact of the bye week on the players and coaches.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Bears Roundtable Bye Week pt.4: The quartet discuss the Bears' run game.

Phillips: Bears have to now refocus - Larry Mayer: Appearing on Comcast SportsNet Thursday, Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said he's not happy with the team's 3-5 start but still believes in Marc Trestman and Phil Emery.  Michael C. Wright: George McCaskey disappointed, but remains confident.

10 teams that are done in 2014 - Dan Hanzus: Lamarr Houston's injury encapsulates the 2014 Bears, a group with way too much talent -- particularly on offense -- to be this mediocre. The blame deserves to go beyond Jay Cutler (but it won't).

Bears history - Neil Hayes: The 1977 Bears were 3-5 and coming off one of the most embarrassing performances in franchise history. How did they respond? By winning six games in a row to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

Soldier Field to be resodded in time for next home game - Mark Potash: Depending on the wear-and-tear from the rugby match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the USA Golden Eagles, the grass field will partially or totally replaced.

Bears doing good things - Larry Mayer: Jared Allen will host his annual "Helping Heroes Gala" for the first time in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 21 at the Palmer House.

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Polish sausage

X&Os - Doug Farrar: How mobile QBs pose challenges for both sides of the ball.

Patriots' Akeem Ayers fined for kicking Kyle Long - Brad Biggs: Kyle Long was given an unnecessary roughness penalty for pulling the leg of Patriots linebacker Akeem Ayers; Ayers was fined $8,250 by the NFL for kicking Long in the groin area.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling and John Keim preview Minnesota-Washington, a matchup in which the teams' new head coaches square off after three years together in Cincinnati.

The best of the week 8 cheerleaders - NFL.com ... SI.com ... SportingNews.com.

USA v All Blacks: who are the US Eagles? - Martin Pengelly: A teacher, a former tennis starlet and plenty of NFL experience ["plenty" = Hayden Smith; that's how little the NFL has permeated the UK's sporting consciousness - Den] all feature in the United States squad to face the All Blacks.

Where Eagles Dare - Tom Hamilton: The All Blacks will win and handsomely at that, but it is a match where the significance of the occasion transcends the result.  Martin PengellyNew Zealand ready to leave USA a lasting legacy in Chicago.

[Video] Awfully cute bears - (BBC.co.uk): A breeder in China's Chendgu province was trying to give two baby pandas medicine instead of their usual bamboo leaves- and they were having none of it.

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Duelling hats.