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The Weekend Bears Den: December 20, 2014 - Week 16 Chicago Bears news & Bears-Lions previews

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"Oh the weather outside is frightful / But the fire is so delightful / And since we've got no place to go / Stay in and read the Weekend Bears Den, yo" - Nat Schweick Cole

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Polian-Harbaugh combo could make the Bears special again - David Haugh: This search for a GM and coach cannot carry the experimental feel previous ones did. The next head coach should have NFL head-coaching experience, and the next GM should have a pedigree from winning organizations. They must demand results, not tolerate empty rhetoric.

Does Santa Claus still believe in Jay Cutler? - Dan Wiederer: QB's high school athletic director sees a different, more tense Cutler now than he did during the his early years with the Broncos, believes the boyhood enthusiasm has been eroded by years of scrutiny and pressure and failure.

At guard, Kyle Long represents what's right about Bears - Brad Biggs: Should the Bears explore moving him to tackle? Having an athletic, physically powerful guard is key to blocking game plan wreckers and aiding the running game.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  Blame ThorCo.  Festive cheer(leaders) in hi-res.

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Previewing Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions

Lions visit Bears looking for playoff spot - Andrew Seligman: QB switch only underscores the idea that Halas Hall is one dysfunctional place at the moment. If Clausen feels as if he's being thrown to the Lions, well, who could blame him?

Game preview - Michael C. Wright, Michael Rothstein: Lions can clinch playoff berth with road victory as reeling Bears try to finish on a high note in their final home game.

Game preview - Is-Hub Arkush: Lions are playing to lock up a division title and a bye in the playoffs, the Bears almost certainly would prefer not to be there at all; in the name of trying to be more competitive, Trestman might just be throwing the game to, in his mind, make some bigger point.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - A roundup of players and coaches speaking throughout the week as the Bears prepare to take on the Lions at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Bears scaling back game plan for Clausen - Michael C. Wright: The Bears are scaling back their game plan for new starting QB Jimmy Clausen, who makes his debut against the Detroit Lions.

View from the enemy - Michael Rothstein: Jimmy Clausen should be in for a long day against Detroit's defense. Even if the Bears use Matt Forte way more than they did in his five-carry performance on Thanksgiving, it might not matter.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright and Tom Waddle discuss Jay Cutler's future in Chicago and break down what the Bears are doing to make sure Jimmy Clausen is ready for his start against the Lions.

Jimmy Clausen in a real pickle - Mark Potash: The move to Clausen has created no buzz at Halas Hall or in the locker room. Sometimes you can feel a sense of anticipation or a sense of relief in these situations. That’s not happening here. [I considered changing the headline but thought, no, I'll leave it as it is so you can see the level of wit I have to wade through sometimes. - Den]

Willie Young out for sack Lions 'stole from me' - Patrick Finley: Young is still annoyed by the roughing the passer penalty he was flagged for the last time he faced his former team, in which he sacked Matthew Stafford but touched his helmet

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson breaks down the Bears' matchup with the Lions at Soldier Field.

Game preview - Mark Potash: How Bears, Lions match up.

Game preview - Not-Hub Arkush with a look at how the teams compare.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak's keys to the game.

Game preview - Dan Durkin's 5 matchups to watch.

Players to watch - Larry Mayer and Mini-Larry discuss the Bears players they'll be watching on both sides of the ball in Sunday's home game against the Lions.

X&Os - Matt Bowen: No surprise Lions will try to get ball to Calvin Johnson on seam route.

Fuller eager for second matchup vs Calvin Johnson - Adam L. Jahns: In their first meeting, Kyle Fuller and others gave Johnson space in coverage. Mel Tucker said that should change for Sunday, and it helps that Fuller is healthier this time around.

By the Numbers: Week 16 - Mini-Larry with a look at key numbers for both teams. Hey, the Bears have a 100% success rate on five attempted two-point conversions!

Injury news - Larry Mayer: Robbie Gould (quad) and Chris Conte (back) did not practice Friday and have been ruled out of Sunday’s game.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Joe DeCamillis laments ill-fated fake punt attempt; injury updates; can Bears run the ball effectively enough to alleviate the burden on Clausen?

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Scaled-back gameplan will include a greater emphasis on the running game; Ndamukong Suh vs Bears guard Kyle Long a key matchup; injury updates.

Photos - ChicagoBears.com's gallery of yet another outstanding practice this week at Halas Hall.

Know thy enemy - ChicagoBears.com with a preview of the Lions' starters.

Know thy enemy - Brad Biggs compiles a scouting report on Lions LB DeAndre Levy.

Game picks - ChicagoBears.com: National and local media outlets make their picks for Sunday's game between the Bears (5-9) and Lions (10-4) at Soldier Field.  More from: ESPN Chicago ... Hub-or-not-Hub.com ... Sun-Times.

Updates

Bears to host Lions in home finale - Larry Mayer: The Bears will try to snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 6-9 when they host the Lions in their final home contest of the season Sunday at Soldier Field.

Game preview - Dan Durkin: Most assumed the Bears had already bottomed out during their dismal season with the first loss to the Lions, yet they hadn’t. All signs point to the 10-4 Lions making it four straight against the 5-9 Bears who somehow managed to find a place less than zero.

Game notes - Adam L. Jahns: Bears’ staff has seen encouraging signs that position switch was best for Shea McClellin; unsung spotlight on Brock Vereen; Aaron Kromer on Jimmy Clausen.

Game preview - Adam L. Jahns: In their own words,  five Bears and five Lions to watch.

Game preview - Moon Mullin: If Jimmy Clausen can do a McCown, one conclusion could be that Cutler and not Trestman’s offense was the reason the Bears lost nine of their 14 games this season.

Game preview: Attention on defensive fixtures - Moon Mullin: Two of the matchups in today's game command special attention, not because of 2014, but because of implications for the future.

Game preview - Chris Boden's three Bears necessities for a win over the Lions.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - How will Clausen fare Sunday? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] - Moon Mullin, Chris Boden: Forecasting Jimmy Clausen's first start for Bears.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Should the Bears clean house? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Is there a split between Trestman and Emery?

[Video] - Dave Wannstedt discusses Marc Trestman's future.

[Video] - Kevin Gilbride talks Bears' struggles.

Jay Cutler expected back with Bears in 2015, with new coaching staff - Jason La Canfora: Phil Emery may still have opportunity to retain his job; Mike Shanahan would have interest in reuniting with his former pupil, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, and he and Cutler maintain a very close relationship.

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Bearsss

Team notes - Patrick Finley: No indication yet Titans have any interest in Cutler; Bears receivers having to adjust to Clausen's timing and velocity; more going into the game.

Stephen A. Smith rants for 5 minutes about Jay Cutler - The Voice of Calm and Reason speaks. [Video] ... Not-Hub Fishbain: More regrettable QB contracts.

Cutler trade should interest many, but sane for only a few - Vinnie Iyer: We can count 10 teams that at least need to look at the possibility, some for much longer than others.

Why Jay Cutler hasn't worked out - Greg Cosell: My sense from afar, watching the film, is that Jay Cutler is not that kind of precision QB for Marc Trestman's offense and would function better in a system that lets him use his arm talent to throw when he sees a receiver come open.

Slideshow - Vinnie Iyer: 10 best potential Bears replacements for Marc Trestman. Includes the Touber.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, and Larry Mayer are joined by former Bear Rashied Davis on Bears Roundtable to discuss his career and other Bears topics (parts 2, 3, 4, 5).

Ex-Bear news - Jarrett Bell: Mike Singletary among NFL coaching candidates on Fritz Pollard Alliance list.

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Ditka

Ditka - Sportingnews.com with a gallery of Ditka through the years.

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

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Polish sausage

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - NFL Players Christmas List: So what do you buy the guy who has everything?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert, James Walker: Vikings, Dolphins are two clubs that represent the up-and-down middle class in the NFL, and they meet in Week 16.  Norv Turner: Teddy Bridgewater has been 'pretty incredible'.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky, Pat Yasinskas break down Sunday's game between Tampa Bay and Green Bay.  Big plays come at home for Jordy Nelson ... all quiet on Randall Cobb's contract talks.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Based on how successful his defense has been this season, Teryl Austin may get some interest in the offseason for heading coaching jobs.

Cheerleaders - The best of week 15 from NFL.com (bonus gallery: celebrating the holiday season) and SI.com.

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