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The Bears Den: June 19, 2014 - Chicago Bears minicamp news & notes

The competition to replace Adam Podlesh took on a new twist with a surprise entrant.

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Vereen impressing with No. 1 defense - Larry Mayer: Fourth-round draft pick Brock Vereen has impressed coaches in offseason practices while working with the No. 1 defense at free safety.

Kromer on 'Inside Rookie Minicamp' - Larry Mayer: The third of’s five-part series features OC Aaron Kromer working with new members of the offense. [Video]

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Bears' defense trying to toughen up - Hub (yes, Hub) Arkush: Emery, Trestman, Tucker and company deserve a lot of credit. You don’t recover from a train wreck with a fresh coat of makeup. They’ve gone for the full makeover.

Rookie and veteran applaud defense's energy - Dan Wiederer: Brock Vereen and Jared Allen like what they see in insistence of playing with an edge. Moon Mullin: D-line entering 'violent shed'.

Defense playing with 'edge,' but results more important - Michael C. Wright: Defense was salty in training camp last August, yet tumbled to the bottom of the NFL rankings at the conclusion of 2013.

Tucker pleased with Jennings in new nickel role - Dan Wiederer: With Tim Jennings in particular, Mel Tucker has noticed a want-to and a drive that’s been encouraging.

Frey eyes turnovers, return to starting nickel spot - Nate (not Hub) Atkins: Isaiah Frey has added "five or six" pounds to reach his target weight of 191, which he says offers the balance to size up TEs on the line and to track down receivers in the slot.

Bears positive about fluid linebacker situation - Kevin (not Hub) Fishbain: Reggie Herring is a big fan of his group, and the depth and versatility is a good sign for the Bears down the road. Brad Biggs: LB lineup remains unsettled.

Bostic, McClellin getting more work as three-down LBs - Moon Mullin: Too much of the offseason remains to draw position conclusions, but nickel personnel could be indicator of how Bostic-Williams competition is proceeding.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - How is McClellin adjusting to linebacker?  [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] "Being a Bear starts on D." - Marc Trestman addresses the media Wednesday after practice to discuss the Bears' approach on defense.

[Video] "Premium on toughness" - Mel Tucker discusses the Bears defense and the need for toughness upfront.


Cutler seems to have found his comfort zone - Bob LeGere: Tangible difference between the Jay Cutler who came to the Bears in 2009 and the player who will lead what is expected to be one of the league's premier offenses in 2014.

Time for Jay Cutler to get comfortable - Jon Greenberg: With offensive core [More than just the core; with only Earl Bennett missing I would even say corps, too - Den] intact and no new system to learn, Bears' QB should succeed.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - What to expect from Cutler in 2014?  [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright discusses the team's QB situation.

Bennett focused on 'fine tuning' during minicamp - Arthur (not Hub) Arkush: Don’t worry if it looks like some catches and throws are being missed in practice – this is the time of year when he likes to experiment with his route running to develop the best possible rapport with Cutler.

Bears special teams have big shoes to fill - Bob LeGere: Joe DeCamillis considers return specialists a talented and experienced group, which could make it one of the more entertaining training camp battles this year.

Lynch doing "whatever they want" to make team - Luke (not Hub) Srodulski: Despite the attention he garners, Jordan Lynch is just another rookie inside Bears minicamp. That means being responsible for knowing multiple positions, none of which he played at NIU.

Replacing Podlesh already a competition - Moon Mullin: "I think it's going to be a heck of a competition," DeCamillis said. "I think when we drafted Pat O'Donnell, Tress Way really picked his business up. He's really punted well."

Team notes - Jeff Dickerson: Defense lacked toughness in 2013; DeCamillis envisions a fierce battle at punter; more observations from Wednesday's session.

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Bears see Jared Allen as consummate pro; Bears still waiting on Patrick Mannelly decision; Joe DeCamillis pleased with Shea McClellin's performance in special teams drills.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Jordan Lynch tackles role on kick coverage team; five QBs likely to be too many; Patrick Mannelly waiting to see how his rehabilitation from hip surgery progresses before he commits to a 17th season.

Team notes - Kevin (not Hub) Fishbain: Joe DeCamillis says punting battle "going to be a heck of a competition"; Shea on special teams; Allen impressed by CBs; more from minicamp.

Team notes - Rich Campbell, Dan Wiederer: Bostic more comfortable after adjustments; starting O-line yet to be reunited; Conte and Sutton missed Wednesday's session and may not be back for Thursday's.

Team notes - Chris Emma: Jared Allen "consummate professional" say coaches; Bostic settling in while moving around; more from minicamp day 2.

Photos - The Tribune's gallery of Bears' minicamp.

Ex-Bear news - (AP) Jim McMahon honored by the Sports Legacy Institute for his efforts to raise awareness about the long-term impact of repeated blows to the head and make sports safer for athletes at all levels. [Video] Problems started with Charles Martin hit.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Yet to perform like a first-round pick, Packers frustrated with Nick Perry's inability to get on the field, having missed 15 of the 32 regular-season games in his two NFL seasons.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: With new ideas catching on in the NFL over the past few seasons -- in the form of more wide-open offenses and complex defenses that are harder to diagnose -- Norv Turner is looking for ways to tweak his system.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: With the Lions drafting Eric Ebron - a fast, rangy, TE who made the majority of his plays in college lined up essentially as a WR - the Jimmy Graham decision could affect the team down the road.