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The Bears Den: April 08, 2014 - Chicago Bears offseason news & notes

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Get cut from the team, or win the role of the Bears' kickoff and punt returner? It's an offseason of possibilities for Eric Weems.

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether de la Puente will challenge Garza at starting center, candidates to return punts and kickoffs, and the likelihood of the Bears playing on Thanksgiving.

Bears sign CFL's Chad Rempel as snapper insurance - Chris Boden: Patrick Mannelly, coming off hip surgery, needs more time to gauge whether a 17th season is in the cards. Brad Biggs: All signs point to Mannelly returning.

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

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Bearsss

Josh Freeman visits Bears - Jeff Dickerson: FA QB worked out for the club, but the Bears do not plan to sign him. Rich Campbell: Under scrutiny after acrimonious falling out with Schiano / Bucs.

Team report - Adam Hoge's thoughts on what Brian de la Puente's signing means for the O-line, where the Bears rank in the NFC North going into the draft, the roles of Nate Collins and David Bass in 2014, and the likelihood that the Bears draft Jordan Lynch.

Draft preview - Oregon running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas will visit the Bears on Tuesday. Scouting report [with thanks to Banjo Legs].

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs' readers' Q&A. [Did you know the Bears' special teams were top in the league in covering kickoffs last season, and sixth covering punts? Blimey.]

Ravens, Bears equipped for Super Bowl run? - Jay Cutler's Bears missed the playoffs last season. Could they make a Super Bowl run in 2014? NFL.com analysts identify non-playoff teams that could win it all.

NFL Draft Double Dipping - Mike Tanier's list of the biggest double first-round draft success stories, with two entries from the Beloved. [Doff of the hat to weepingbear.]

Ex-Bears doing good things - A generation after his father helped build a Bears championship team, Tom Finks is focused on teaching the next generation of football stars, with former Bears serving as instructors.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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

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Polish sausage

Safety becoming a very valuable position in today's NFL - Dan Pompei: For years, safety was considered a second-class position, the place where teams would stash failed CBs who couldn't run well enough. Those days are over.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Evan Silva & Josh Norris: Positions and prospects the Vikings could target in the draft. Mel Kiper: When Vikings should take QB. John Breech: Vikings unlikely to host Monday or Thursday home games in 2014.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Evan Silva & Josh Norris: Positions and prospects the Packers could target in the draft. Kiper: Peppers gives Packers draft flexibility. Rob Demovsky: Who is GB's No. 1 WR?

Know thy enemy: Lions - Evan Silva & Josh Norris: Positions and prospects the Lions could target in the draft. Michael Rothstein: Orlovsky excited about return to Lions.

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Some Motorhead for Candlejack!