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The Bears Den: June 23, 2014 - Chicago Bears offseason news & notes

Lynda Carter, eat your heart out.

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Christopher Lee

Many defensive positives on display in minicamp - Matt Bowen: Several players Bears will be counting on this fall showed they have potential to improve defense.

A Bears O-line without the ‘oh, no’ - Patrick Finley: With 15 sacks in 12 games against the Bears as a Viking, Jared Allen knows a flimsy offensive line when he sees one. This year’s version isn’t that.

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

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Bearsss

Consistency was Patrick Mannelly's real specialty - Brad Biggs: Retired Bears long snapper was consummate pro snap after snap, game after game, season after season.

More on Pat Mannelly's retirement here; further reaction from Chicago media in the Weekend Den.

Jerry Angelo: Jay Cutler will have 'an outstanding year' - Charlie Roumeliotis: In his first season under Marc Trestman's offense, Cutler was posting career numbers before injuries halted that pace. And Angelo expects him to continue his success.

Bears set up Jay Cutler for his best season yet - Dan Pompei: When Cutler came to Chicago, the Bears expected him to lift the team. Now, the team can lift him. And ultimately, Cutler and the team can lift each other.

The NFL's best and worst receiving corps - Mike Tanier: Brandon Marshall may be the least appreciated truly-great player of our generation, and Alshon Jeffery is like a younger Marshall clone, but lack of depth keeps the Bears from getting any higher than fifth.

NFL’s best cornerback duos - Nate Davis ranks his top 5 and features a pair of Bears Pro Bowlers among them.

How your team structures deals -- and why it matters - Joel Corry: The Bears have shown a lot of flexibility when structuring contracts, electing to use deals with a pay as you go structure that enable them have more cap flexibility with little dead money down the line.

NFL history: Biggest plays of the 1980s - Elliot Harrison: Walter Payton's run to the record book might be the least spectacular of the plays on this list. Yet, if the 40th President of the United States felt inclined to chime in, then the number 12,312 clearly transcended sport.

[Video] NFL Network - Greatest defense of all time? '85 Bears reprazent.

NFL history: Top 20 players of the 1980s - Two Bears make it to Elliot Harrison's Top 20 '80s stars.  Bearsss.

MMQB: Canada Week - Marc Trestman, winner of two Grey Cups in Montreal, explains the rules and nuances that make the CFL unique.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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Polish sausage

X&Os - Matt Bowen's NFL 101 breaks down the basics of the zone blitz.

No summer vacation for NFL players - Matt Bowen: Players train away from the team facility in preparation for the daily grind of training camp and the conditioning test that awaits their return.

Roster depth key to championships - Pat Kirwan: There are 13 categories that have to get a positive answer for a team to qualify as having solid roster depth.

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - 5 bold predictions for the 2014 season: Don’t be surprised to see some teams using more two TE’s on the field at a time.

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The Bears' defense's new attitude: Hangin' Tough. (Blame Gruppenführer Lester; I vas merely followink ord-ahs.)