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The Bears Den: December 11, 2014 - Week 15 Chicago Bears news & notes

Can Marc Mariani lock down the Bears' returner position?

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Pick a villain, any villain - Moon Mullin: The demise of the 2014 Bears can't be directed at just one single area, as everyone in the organization has their fingerprints on the disastrous season.

Bears playing for pride at this point - Bob LeGere: Without the playoffs as an incentive, Bears players have to find other methods of motivation while playing out the string in a 5-8 season that includes losses in seven of their last 10 games.

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[Video] - Larry Mayer and Tom Thayer preview the upcoming Bears' match-up with the Saints on Monday Night Football.

Know thy enemy - Mini-Larry: The reeling New Orleans Saints pay a visit to Soldier Field to take on the Bears, as the 18th different opponent Chicago has ever faced on Monday night.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin: Disappointment runs deep in both cities, but the Saints are still in the playoff hunt — thanks to the atrocious NFC South – and Sean Payton has taken a more aggressive approach to holding his team accountable for their inexcusable level of play.


4 things we learned about the Bears in Week 14 - Rich Campbell: Strain showing between Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall; Martellus Bennett deserves Pro Bowl consideration; Matt Forte’s fumble exemplified this season.

Young: Tucker not coaching scared - Michael C. Wright: Despite rumors circulating regarding tenuous job security, Mel Tucker isn’t coaching like a man fearful of losing his job, according to Willie Young.

Demontre Hurst a bright spot in Bears’ forgettable season - Mark Potash: 2nd year UDFA has emerged from the fringes of the Bears’ roster to worthy of a better look at nickel back as the Bears look toward 2015.

Inexperienced Bears special teams a painful work in progress - Brad Biggs: Turnover and injuries has made continuity, something difficult to achieve for any special teams unit, impossible for Joe DeCamillis' young charges.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright discusses how Brandon Marshall's injury could provide an opportunity for Marquess Wilson.

Josh Morgan: limited role ‘very difficult' /facepalm - Mark Potash blames the lack of involvement of a WR3 on the "Jay Cutler offense" because, obviously, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte [combined 2014 salary: ~$13M, both playing at a Pro Bowl level] should be giving up playing time to Josh Morgan.

Jay Feely just happy to get a shot with Bears week to week -  Dan Wiederer: 38-year-old kicker, who had to cancel a tee time with Brian Urlacher so he could sign with the Bears, is embracing an unexpected if tenuous opportunity.

Mills sees veteran teammate as mentor - Larry Mayer: New Orleans-area native Jordan Mills was a Jermon Bushrod fan when Bushrod played for the Saints and now considers his veteran teammate a mentor.

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs' readers' Q&As.  What are most important moves Bears should or could make in the offseason?

Coaches Corner: Skip Peete - Mini-Larry: Running backs coach Skip Peete comes from a family of coaches, and he uses his years of wisdom to connect with both young and experienced players.

Top running backs to start a franchise with - Gil Brandt: Matt Forte is on pace to eclipse 1,900 yards from scrimmage for the second consecutive season, which is phenomenal.

What teams need a new QB in 2015? - Gregg Rosenthal: The Bears are an organization with bigger questions than QB, which is never a great sign. It's hard to imagine Jay Cutler's future until we know more about who is running the Bears next year.

Bears doing good things - Ryan Baker: Jared Allen keeps passion for Wounded Warriors foundation.

Photos - On Matt Forte's happy 29th birthday, takes a look back on his seven-year career in the NFL.

Polish sausage

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - How an underclassman should decide whether to declare for the NFL draft.

Explaining the NFL's new personal conduct policy - Jenny Vrentas: At the owners meetings in Dallas, the league announced a new personal conduct policy. A look at how it will work, why Roger Goodell will retain power as final arbiter, and why the NFLPA isn't going to like it.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Dave Dye: Ndamukong Suh says agent will pick his next team, could walk out of Ford Field for the final time as a Detroit Lion early Sunday evening.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: Teddy Bridgewater rising above other rookie QBs, becoming the face of the Vikings franchise.  Ben Goessling: Jarius Wright seizing larger role.

Whut - Nick Schwartz: Geno Smith says he's 'shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl-caliber QB' for the 2-11 Jets. Rex Ryan deadpanned: “Yeah, then he hasn’t.”


Worth it just for the shot at Nickelback at the very end (blame ThorCo).