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The Bears Den: November 03, 2014 - Chicago Bears bye week 9 news & notes

Are the Bears players tuning Marc Trestman out, or is La Canfora doing his usual thing of blowing issues out of proportion for the national media?

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Jonathan Daniel

Team Report - Andrew Seligman: Their offense is underperforming. Their defense is not delivering. Their coach is coming under criticism, too. The Bears are 3-5 with a bye this week after brutal losses to Miami and New England, and they are fading fast in a season in which they were eyeing a run to the playoffs.

Bears in a state of crisis - Jason La Canfora: Players are tuning Marc Trestman out, according to numerous sources, there has been increased in-fighting in recent weeks and the team's dedication has been called in to question at times by players and coaches alike.

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Bearsss

Jay Cutler isn’t the only culprit in Bears’ problems - Adam L. Jahns: Plenty has to change in the second half of the season if the Bears are to have anything to play for, and their list of issues consists of much more than just the QB.

5 questions heading into 2nd half of season - Rich Campbell: From QB to WR, O-line, D-line and the LBs, the biggest questions facing the Bears in the second half of the season.

Team Report - Bob LeGere: The mid-term grades are in for a 3-5 team that has underachieved on offense and hasn't improved as much as expected on defense. Special teams and coaching earned poor marks as well.

Wanny: Matt Forte's got to be the guy for Bears - Marc Trestman & Co. have taken some heat of late for abandoning the run at times. Dave Wannstedt agrees that Forte needs to be the focal point of the offense if the 3-5 Bears are going to turn things around over their final eight games [with Video].

Bears schedule - Moon Mullin: Bears lose ground even when not playing, drop to NFC North cellar.

Even during a bye week, there is no escape from the Bears - Rick Morrissey does his best to move himself further down the Bears' reporters' power rankings...

Did Cutler pick up any tips from Brady? - ... but faces stiff resistance from Mike Imrem, who gets paid for this drivel.  Just think about that for a moment. He gets paid for it.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Jeff Joniak sits down with Kyle Fuller on Bears Confidential.

Mock Draft - Dane Brugler: The Bears need to get faster and more talented on defense, specifically at the LB and DB levels. Washington's Shaq Thompson is a hybrid LB/safety with speed to burn and developing instincts that make his potential very intriguing.

Photos: Walter Payton remembered - ChicagoBears.com looks back at Walter Payton's Hall of Fame career and why we'll always remember him as "Sweetness."

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Vikings 29, Washington 26 - NFL.com game report & [Video] highlights. Ben Goessling: Rapid reaction ... Teddy Bridgewater again on target when it matters most ... pass rush picking up steam.

Five key second half storylines - It could be worse; Joel Corry points out that the Raiders, currently at 0-7 and in a 13-game losing streak, have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL and could conceivably join the 2008 Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history.

Kiwis blow away Eagles in Windy City - Tom Hamilton: For rugby in the US, the result was never that important; this was about showcasing rugby to America and those who were lucky enough to secure tickets for the game revelled in the occasion. What next for American rugby?

Potential gains help mask the pain of All Blacks defeat - USA scrum-half Mike Petri believes the positives to come from their mauling by New Zealand will be felt long after the pain of defeat has subsided. All Blacks dish out rugby lesson to USA ... US staring at enormous chasm to close.

New Zealand run amok against USA but may count cost of injuries - Martin Pengelly: The many thousands of American fans who attended can say they saw an exhibition, not unlike something involving the Harlem Globetrotters, if with slightly less spangly shorts. US defeated by 'legendary Aussie side'.

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Only caught the last 12 minutes of this as the Ulster-Newport Pro12 game overlapped.  Stephen Paea, who grew up playing rugby in Tonga, was at the match.