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The Bears Den: November 20, 2014 - Chicago Bears week 12 news & notes

Can the defense sustain their season-best performance of last week against the Buccaneers on Sunday?

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Smith, Trestman are ready to mumble in battle of the bland - Rick Morrissey: Some Bears fans have become nostalgic for the Lovie years, forgetting the playoff drought, the bad offenses and a coach who was condescending to media and fans alike. But that’s what happens when the replacement has his own playoff drought, his own bad offense and his own truth-avoidance strategies.

If you know what Bears' offensive identity is, please tell Trestman - Steve Rosenbloom: Trying to run out the clock instead of trying to get points? Like Marc Trestman’s offense has been so prolific and dependable that it could just pick and choose spots to score.

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[Video] - Larry Mayer and Tom Thayer preview the upcoming Bears' match-up with the Buccaneers at Soldier Field.

Bears begin preparing to face Bucs - Larry Mayer: Three days after their victory over the Vikings, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s home game against the Buccaneers.

Bears cornerbacks facing a tall task - Larry Mayer: Tim Jennings and Kyle Fuller will face a big challenge Sunday, literally and figuratively, when Tampa Bay visits Soldier Field.

Know thy enemy - Mini-Larry: With one of the NFL's top young receivers, along with a coach and QB that know the Bears well, the Bucs will provide a tough test.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin: Not much has gone right for the 2014 Buccaneers... or, for that matter, since coach Jon Gruden left after the 2008 season.

[Video] Know thy enemy - Rick Stroud talks Buccaneers.

Game preview - Steve Silverman with a look at how the teams match up.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright discusses the team’s mood about facing Lovie Smith and Josh McCown.

McCown, Cutler supportive of one another - Michael C. Wright: Josh McCown remains in contact with Jay Cutler, but with both players' teams struggling, their relationship has been one of encouragement.  Rich CampbellMcCown, Cutler each struggle without the other's presenceMoon Mullin: Two different 'franchise' QB’s for Bears, Bucs.

McCown surprised to hear Trestman's leadership questioned - Michael C. Wright: Josh McCown attributed his success with the Bears last season to Marc Trestman’s steady approach.  Adam L. Jahns: Respects Trestman, is loved by former teammates.

A year in the life of Josh McCown - Dan Wiederer: How much of a roller coaster has McCown, now the Bucs’ starting QB, been on over the past year as his unpredictable NFL journey continues?  Rich Campbell: McCown more focused on wins than Bears memories.

Lovie Smith's return to Chicago

Lovie tries to downplay game, but players know better - Adam L. Jahns: The Buccaneers want to win it for Lovie while Smith’s former players, especially the ones who adore him the most, want to beat him, too.  Brad BiggsLovie Smith focused on fixing Bucs, not Bears reunionNot-Hub Fishbain: Lovie treating this like any other game.

Briggs: Lovie Smith on par with George Halas, Mike Ditka - Jeff Dickerson: For all of Lance Briggs’ fond memories of the Smith era, the 12-year NFL veteran still wants to win on Sunday and does not expect there to be a conflict of interest.  Bob LeGere: Lovie lovin' it in Tampa.

Let’s hear it for Lovie Smith on Sunday - Mark Potash: Lovie deserves to be cheered when he steps on Soldier Field as the opposing coach on Sunday. He gave the Bears an identity that made them fun to watch. It could have been better. But it could have been worse. A lot worse.  Moon Mullin: How will Bears fans greet Lovie Smith’s Soldier Field return?

Chicago tenure 'a dream come true' for Lovie Smith - Michael C. Wright: Asked if he received a fair shake in Chicago, Lovie Smith eschewed expressing bitterness and focused on the positive.  Pat Yasinskas: Lovie Smith has nothing but fond memories of ChicagoDan Wiederer: 'I loved my time there.' Is-Hub Arkush: Makes homecoming sound happy.

Wanny on Lovie Smith's Bears reunion - (CSNChicago): If anyone knows what it's like to play against the Bears after serving as head coach, it's Dave Wannstedt, and he shared some insight on what it's like to be staring across the field at your former team [with Video].

View from the enemy - Andrew Astleford: Lovie Smith and Josh McCown are preparing for a return to Chicago this weekend, both looking to get back to the type of play that brought them success while with the Bears.

[Video] SportsTalkLive - Is Bears-Bucs a bigger game for Lovie Smith or Marc Trestman? [KAPCON: 5, but Jason Goch sighting]

The Doomsday Scenario of Loviefest - Tim Baffoe: What's the worst that could happen?

[Audio] - Brian Urlacher talks Lovie Smith, the Bears’ underachieving season.


Players-only meeting helped D against Vikings - Michael C. Wright: Mel Tucker approached Jared Allen about holding the players-only film session, and the positive impact was felt on the field.  Patrick FinleyJennings: Different hearing criticism from teammatesDan DurkinAllen: Similar situation in the past with KC.

Marc Mariani ready to help Bears - Patrick Finley: Former Pro Bowl returner is, depending on what happens this week, either their next kick and punt returner candidate or insurance for Chris Williams.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Lovie Smith and Josh McCown return to Chicago; defense aims to sustain last week’s success; special teams carousel spun again.

Team notes - Dan Wiederer: Defense stressed accountability in players-only meeting; love for Lovie; injury updates.  Scoreboard clock issues at Soldier Field appear to be fixed.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Bears face tough task in ex-teammate McCown; Marc Mariani signed as insurance for Chris Williams (hamstring); injury news.

Team notes - Not-Hub Fishbain: Briggs talks Lovie; Tucker sees improvements on 'D'; Joe DeCamillis on avoiding special teams flags; injury updates.

Injury news - Mark Potash: Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) were among nine Bears players, including five starters, who sat out practice Wednesday.

Coaches Corner: Matt Cavanaugh - Mini-Larry: Bears QBs coach Matt Cavanaugh understands the rigors of the position from having played it in the league and has seen first-hand how QB play has evolved.

Ex-Bear news - Justin Kmitch: Former Bears QB Bob Avellini sentenced to 18 months in prison for repeat DUI.

Bears history - Emmitt Smith's bittersweet memory of breaking Walter Payton's record, touched on what made Payton so great on and off of the field.

Polish sausage

The Business of Football - Andrew Brandt: Bill Belichick, Chip Kelly show why coaching hire is critical in NFL. Plus, thoughts on AP's suspension and legalizing gambling.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: Realization of life without Adrian Peterson comes into focus for Vikings.  Ben GoesslingHow Ben Tate fits with the Vikings.


The drumming bit is fun, and one mistake dooms everyone.  It's a metaphor for the O-line, the offense in general, the defense, the special teams... and that's why I watched this video several times.