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The Weekend Bears Den: March 22, 2014 - Chicago Bears offseason news & notes

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Bears to face slew of familiar faces - Larry Mayer: When the Bears' 2014 regular-season schedule is released by the NFL sometime next month, it will be filled with former players and coaches.

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

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Bearsss

Bears Mailbag - Brad Biggs answers more questions about the draft, Earl Bennett's departure, special teams and veteran QBs looking for work

Roster notes - Jeff Dickerson: Free-agent Zack Bowman is close to signing a one-year deal with the Giants; the Bears are believed to have expressed a desire to bring him back.

Dan Pompei Q&As - Why aren't needy Bears bringing in FS Chris Clemons? ... Orton as Cutler's backup? ... Odds of Bears drafting Jimmy Garoppolo?

Draft preview - Mike Tanier with five rookies who could contribute immediately on special teams.

Ex-Bear news - Calvin Watkins: Henry Melton comes home to become the savior for a defense that was terrible last season, but the local kid must block out distractions.

Ex-Bear news - Moon Mullin:  With all his other receiving options Cutler didn't trust Hester enough to throw him the ball, but the Falcons and Matt Ryan have no such notions.

X&Os / ex-Bear news - Chris Burke: Julius Peppers' 'different' role for Packers may look familiar to NFL fans.

Whut? - Julius Peppers' new address has left some Bears fans blazing mad -- literally. with [Video].

Why you don't want to see expanded playoffs - Mike Tanier picks out some of the worst teams who would have made the playoffs in an expanded format, including the 2011 Hanie/McCown-led Martzfense Bears.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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Polish sausage

Boom or bust: A look at draft probabilities - Tony Villiotti: What are your picks' chances for success?

X&Os - NFL 101: Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the 4-3 defensive front.

Draft preview - Charles Davis: Sammy Watkins among five 2014 NFL Draft slam dunks. QBs falling in the draft?

NFL history - NFL.com: Top 10 upsets in NFL history.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Detroit is working with a somewhat shrinking window to win with its current roster.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Will the Packers get more draft picks?

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Vikings finishing bold defensive line remodel, figures to be younger, nastier and tougher up the middle.

NFL Bracketology - NFL.com enlists your help to determine the greatest QB of all time. Bears fans, turn out in force to vote for... just kiddin'.

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Ireland needed to win in France for only the second time in 42 years to take the Six Nations tournament title - no mean feat, but the team were desperate to give retiring icon Brian O'Driscoll a victorious send-off in what proved to be a nail-biting game.