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The Bears Den: December 12, 2014 - Week 15 Chicago Bears news & notes

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I couldn't find a picture of a dumpster on fire in SBN's stock photos.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Kromer makes emotional apology to offense for remarks on Cutler - Brad Biggs: Offensive players stunned by Aaron Kromer's emotional and tearful apology for criticizing Jay Cutler to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Kromer must go for anonymous low-blow criticism of Cutler - David Haugh: Aaron Kromer's teary apology that he leaked info is latest sign of dysfunctional team in disarray, and the revelation of his breach renders him ineffectual as a Bears coach.

[Video] - Brad Biggs: Dysfunction reaching new levels for Bears.

[Video] - Dave Wannstedt discusses whether Bears have buyer's remorse over Cutler.

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

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Bears-Saints

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Trailer for the Bears' match-up with the Saints at Soldier Field.

Bears begin prepping to host Saints - Larry Mayer: After two off days, the Bears return to the practice field Thursday to prepare for Monday night’s home game against the New Orleans Saints.

Stats & Info - Mini-Larry with an inside look at key numbers for both teams.

Game preview - Not-Hub Fishbain with a look at how the teams match up.

Defense not using youth as an excuse - Larry Mayer: The Bears could play at least five rookies on defense Monday night, but that doesn't mean they plan to wave a white flag before taking the field.

Know thy enemy - Not-Hub Arkush: Bears know they must be physical with Jimmy Graham, who at less than 100 percent is still more dangerous than most TEs in the league.  Dan Durkin: Mel Tucker on facing Graham.

X&Os - Hub-or-not-Hub.com's All-22 scouting report of the New Orleans Saints.

Know thy enemy - Mini-Larry: The Saints haven't played particularly well this season, yet still find themselves in the thick of the playoff race heading into Monday's game.  Dan WiedererWhy Saints' 5-8 record isn't quite same as Bears'.

View from the enemy - Ramon Antonio Vargas: A porous defense and mediocre offense await Saints in Chicago.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Jeff Joniak previews his four Keys to the Game for this Monday's match-up with the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field.

[Video] - Moon Mullin, Chris Boden look ahead to Bears-Saints.

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Bearsss

Mel Tucker shrugs off speculation about job security - Michael C. Wright: Bears DC refuses to give excuses for the defense's lackluster performances over the past two years, focuses on rest of season.  Dan WiedererJoe DeCamillis can empathizeBob LeGere: Job insecurity an occupational hazard.

Jared Allen: 'I know I give it my all' - Michael C. Wright: Veteran DE isn't worried about the perception that he's underachieving on the sack front.  Brad BiggsDouble-digit sacks again within reach.

Paea is one Bear not to blame - Is-Hub Arkush: In his fourth year with the Bears after being drafted in the second round out of Oregon State, the free-agent-to-be had easily his best season as a pro and has been arguably the Bears' best defensive player.

Injury news - Michael C. Wright: Injuries have ravaged the LB unit all season as the Bears expect to start their seventh combo; more injury updates.

Bostic will play in middle for injured Williams after excelling in role - Mark Potash: Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic and Christian Jones have a combined 24 NFL starts at linebacker. That makes Bostic the grizzled veteran of the bunch.

Jon Bostic heads back to Mike - Not-Hub Fishbain: Bears' focus is on now, not where Bostic will play in 2015.  Dan Durkin: Are Bears are playing their young players out of position?

Mundy, Young focused on leading with Bears' playoff hopes dashed - Not-Hub Arkush: The playoffs are out of reach but give Ryan Mundy and Willie Young credit, when a feeling of finality and time for reflection started to sink in inside the Bears' locker room.

Alshon Jeffery out to prove he’s No. 1 - Adam L. Jahns: Monday night will be Jeffery’s first game completely without Brandon Marshall, but he expects an endless stream of encouragement via calls and texts from #15.

Bears receivers prepared to move on without Marshall - Not-Hub Arnold: Alshon Jeffery and his fellow receivers can’t get wrapped up in how Brandon Marshall’s absence will impact productivity.

Do early returns depict a successful 2014 draft class? - Not-Hubs Fishbain and Arkush: With the Bears out of playoff contention and about to enter full evaluation mode, the focus shifts to the current rookie crop.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall relationship could be on the rocks after some public sniping in recent weeks; DJ Williams' nagging neck injury likely a career-ender; Bears sign Montell Owens; more injury updates.

Team notes - Adam L. Jahns: Robbie Gould nears return from ‘freak injury’; Ryan Mundy wins Chicago PFWA's "Good Guy" award; injury notes.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: Bears still taking 'win now' approach at LB; Martellus Bennett might be Bears’ best Pro Bowl candidate; Jared Allen only four sacks behind Richard Dent; more team notes.

Team notes - Dan Wiederer, Fred Mitchell: DJ Williams the sixth opening-day starter to go on IR; Robbie Gould optimistic for Monday; roster and injury notes.

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs' readers' Q&As. Should the Bears tank for a few years so they can rebuild with draft picks?

If Bears re-thinking Cutler, 2015 NFL Draft not promising - Moon Mullin: According to Mel Kiper, there do not appear to be any franchise QBs available in this draft class.

The joyless era of Marc Trestman - Terry Boers comes up with some quite astounding hyperbole in his opening statements.  I'd be quite interested to watch him make good on "I’d rather be eaten live by an anaconda than watch another Bears game."

The coaching path of Aaron Kromer - Not-Hub Fishbain with possibly the most unfortunately-timed fluff article since one UK newspaper wrote about how Princess Diana had finally found love... on the same night as her death in a car crash.

Bears doing good things - Larry Mayer: Ryan Mundy has been named the 2014 winner of the "Good Guy" award presented by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America. [Video]

Bears doing good things - Not-Hub Thorne: The Bears didn't have practice Tuesday, so Stephen Paea visited Dave & Buster's in Vernon Hills to meet fans and help Toys for Tots.

Bears doing Gould good things - Is-Hub Arkush: It is quite possible that long after his career as a Bear is over, Gould will be best known and remembered for what he brought to the Chicago area and the efforts he makes daily on behalf of those less fortunate than him.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Watch Walter Payton become the NFL all-time leading rusher against the Saints in Week 6 of the 1984 season.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.

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Polish sausage

New NFL conduct policy still flawed - Linday Gibbs: While only time will tell whether or not it is effective, it currently comes across as a PR Band-Aid that leaves far too much power in the hands of one man.

The myth of playoff momentum - Keith Goldner: Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s best to finish the NFL regular season strong rather than simply being the best team in the playoffs.

Virtual training could be NFL preparation's sea change - Tom Pelissero: Ability to minimize injuries by using avatars could be a breakthrough. [i.e. Madden goes first-person? - Den]

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: James Ihedigbo and Glover Quin might be the best safety tandem in the NFL and could be the best pairing of safeties not many outside of Detroit know much about.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: A.J. Hawk insists he's not hurt, but he played only eight snaps against the Falcons on Monday night. Is he near the end with the Packers?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: Cordarrelle Patterson meets with Mike Zimmer to discuss playing time.  Ben GoesslingHas only played 4 offensive snaps total in past two games.

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