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The Bears Den: November 21, 2014 - Chicago Bears week 12 news & Bears-Buccaneers previews

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Fine performance against Vikings boosts confidence of Bears defense - Rich Campbell: Bears defense avoided miscommunications, failed execution that previously resulted in two embarrassing defeats.

Bears’ D looks to take next step - Mark Potash: It remains to be seen just how much of the Bears’ progress last week was real and how much was that Teddy Bridgewater was not Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.

Lovie Smith era had more good than bad for Bears, but don't go overboard - David Haugh: Declaring Smith a better NFL head coach than Marc Trestman means little because, with 134 more games of experience, he should be. Bears players respected Lovie, but that doesn't mean his firing was a mistake.

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Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

[Video] - Trailer for the Bears match-up with the Buccaneers at Soldier Field.

Game preview - Not-Hub Fishbain takes a look at how the teams stack up.

X&Os - Dan Durkin takes a look at the dagger route, with which the Bears attacked the Falcons' Tampa-2 looks earlier in the season.  Patience is the key against Lovie’s schemeMoon Mullin: Lovie playing more man coverage.

Game preview - Mike North: Both sides want a victory for personal reasons, but Bears should handle McCown and Smith.

The big game nobody cares about - Greg Gabriel: What looked like a great matchup back in August no longer carries the same appeal.

Forte stressing ball security against Bucs - Michael C. Wright: Lovie Smith established a takeaway mentality on defense with the Bears, and Matt Forte is aware that ball security will be a major key on Sunday.

Stats & Info - Mini-Larry: Numbers don't tell the whole story in football, but they can provide great insight. Here's a look at some key numbers for the Bears and Buccaneers throughout the season.

Game notes - Larry Mayer: Bears will be challenged by Bucs’ pass rush; O-line to change for sixth straight game; Jay Cutler hopes designed rollouts will remain in the game plan; injury updates.

Game notes - Not-Hub Fishbain: Bears know what to expect from Bucs defense; injury updates.

Bucs Smith, McCown ready for Bears - Mini-Larry: Lovie Smith and Josh McCown are each excited to return to Soldier Field, though both are aware of the different circumstances they face as Bears opponents.

Know thy enemy - Dan Wiederer: What's wrong with Lovie Smith's D? Iis Josh McCown nearing a breakthrough with his new offense in Tampa Bay?

Know thy enemy - Bob LeGere: Josh McCown struggled in the early going and then missed seven weeks with a thumb injury, but he's back and providing the veteran leadership that he displayed with the Bears in 2103.

Cutler: McCown will 'make you better' - Michael C. Wright: Jay Cutler recalls his QB experiences with former teammate Josh McCown.  Patrick Finley: Some of what Cutler learned from McCown being passed on to Jimmy Clausen.

Lovie's return raises question - Michael Wilbon: As the Bears prepare to face former coach Lovie Smith, it's tough not to second-guess their hiring of his successor, Marc Trestman.  Michael C. Wright: Cutler: Lovie Smith's firing 'was tough to see.'

Bears' past, present collide with Lovie Smith's return - Jon Greenberg: We've got six weeks left in this season, plenty of time to daydream about the future. For now, let's live in the past. Lance, pass the ribs and tell me another Lovie story.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - How will Bears fans react to Lovie Smith's return? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] View from the Moon - How will Lovie Smith's time in Chicago be remembered, what did the defense do differently against the Vikings, and will Trestman commit to the run?

Rewriting Bears history - Adam Hoge: Would Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman have been the tag team that the Bears really needed 10 years ago?


Versatile Forte 'does it all' for offense - Larry Mayer: Matt Forte continues to bring consistency, productivity and durability to the Bears offense as a rusher, receiver and blocker.

DeCamillis promises to ‘churn it up’ on special teams - Mark Potash: Though it’s been a nightmarish season, Joe DeCamillis sees the big-picture progress that Phil Emery is looking for with the infusion of inexperienced but talented players on special teams.  Moon Mullin: Can Marc Mariani unlock Bears' return game?

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Jared Allen saw Willie Young's emergence coming; Lance Briggs' fond memories of playing for Lovie Smith; defense adding accountability; Joe DeCamillis gives kudos to Vikings' fake punt.

Team notes - Patrick Finley: Bears decided to roll Cutler more after self-scouting during bye week; injury news.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Matt Forte has no intention of lightening workload; Mel Tucker on taking over Lovie Smith's defense; injury updates.

Injury news - Michael C. Wright: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery return to practice after sitting out previous workout.

Four Downs - Jeff Dickerson, Jon Greenberg on four issues facing the team: Do Bears players have a greater allegiance to Lovie Smith than Marc Trestman?

The Bears held a players-only meeting to figure out what? - Steve Rosenbloom: Bears players needed other players to explain how the three levels of defense work together? What does that say about the coaches, and the players themselves?

Photos - with photos from practice this week at Halas Hall as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers.

[Video] - All the best plays from the Bears' victory over the Vikings in stunning slow motion.

Bears history - Fred Mitchell's top 10 all-time Bears coaches.

Bears history - John Schulian's article from 1999, recalling Walter Payton setting the single-game rushing record 37 years ago.

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Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein, Mike Reiss: Something has to give when Detroit's No. 1-ranked D meets the Patriots' high-flying offense.

Know thy enemies - Rob Demovsky, Ben Goessling: The Vikings, who faced Green Bay without Teddy Bridgewater last time, will have the rookie back as they try to slow down the league's hottest team.  Packers expected to keep Cobb-Nelson duo together.

X&Os - Matt Bowen takes a look at game tape for week 12.


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