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The Bears Den: July 23, 2014 - Chicago Bears offseason news and notes

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Brian Urlacher is confident that Shea McClellin will handle the switch to the linebacker position.

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John Gress

For Bears in 2014, it's playoffs — or bust - Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer: Reasons for optimism and concern abound entering training camp.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses if having a new holder and long-snapper will affect Robbie Gould's timing, why the Bears released Israel Idonije before training camp, and the Bears' most underrated move of the offseason.

Bears presser today on CSN: Emery, Trestman address media - Phil Emery and Marc Trestman will hold press conferences from 2pm; both will stream live on CSNChicago.com.

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

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Bearsss

McClellin has a believer in Urlacher - Scott Krinch: Shea McClellin will now be in a stand-up position where the coaching staff will ask him to blitz more, and Brian Urlacher doesn't foresee the transition being too difficult for him [with Audio].

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - The battle for the linebacker spots. Do the Bears have depth? [KAPCON: 4]

Roster analysis: Few 'givens' in secondary after 2013 - Moon Mullin: The game-losing breakdown in coverage to Green Bay in the final game of the season was far from the only catastrophe befalling the back end of the defense, just the last, worst-timed and most emblematic.

Rookie watch - James Neveau: Brock Vereen's ball-skills need work, and he’s never going to be the most dynamic guy on the field, but his disciplined approach and ability to read plays is going to come in handy if he earns the starting job out of camp.

Why Cutler probably won’t have a 'Pro Bowl' season - Chris Boden: Even if his season is so good to have earned a spot on that roster, the absolute best-case scenario would be being forced by the playoff schedule to skip that Sunday’s game in Arizona.

Time for Cutler to re-brand himself a winner - Jon Greenberg: Last year, the storyline was "Is Cutler worth the contract?" This year, it will be "Can Cutler realize his potential?" [The lines I picked out make the article sound far better than it actually is; don't bother, unless you really want to see Greenberg mailing it in. 75bearsfan wasn't kidding. - Den]

4 position battles to watch during Bears training camp - Adam L. Jahns: From QB to safety, LB to special teams, competition begins when training-camp practices start Friday and intensifies when the pads are put on Sunday

Key positions open on special teams - Larry Mayer: With the Bears looking to fill jobs at return specialist, punter and long-snapper, the competition on special teams in training camp is expected to be intense.

Most important Bears for 2014 - James Neveau: The Bears' O-line saw massive improvements in 2013, but if the team is going to be successful in 2014, second-year guard Kyle Long will have to take the next step in his development.

NFC North training camp preview - Dan Hanzus's things to watch for each team: The Bears need a lane-clogger to emerge on the D-line, and to find answers at safety.

NFC North training camp battles - John Breech: If you lost track of what the Bears did in free agency back in March, here's a brief summary: They signed a lot of safeties.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - With the Bears reporting to camp on Thursday, what is the level of expectation for this team? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] - George McCaskey joins David Kaplan and David Haugh on the eve of training camp to discuss the state of the team, Marc Trestman's influence, and how his life has changed since assuming his current role as chairman.

Visitor's guide to Bears training camp - Moon Mullin with some tips for fans who are making the trip to Bourbonnais.

Ex-Bear news - (CBS) While admitting his messy exit from the franchise following the 2012 season was "frustrating," Brian Urlacher said he has "no issues" with the organization now.  Plus, [Audio] on his respect for Lovie Smith, his thoughts on the revamped Bears defense and more.

Bears doing good things - Kristian Dyer: For Eric LeGrand, an 'honor' that former Rutgers teammate Khaseem Greene will wear his jersey number.

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Ditka

[Video] - Da Coach talks about the Bears in 2014, and his relationship with the franchise.

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Polish sausage

Welcome to NFL training camp, rookie - Matt Bowen looks at some basics that can help first-year players survive while attempting to win a job on an NFL roster. #1: Bring soft toilet paper.

Getting nostalgic for the way NFL training camps used to be - Dan Pompei: Back then, there was a survival-of-the-fittest aspect to camp that exposed the weak. Now it's more about memorization for the mind and the muscles.

Jack Bechta: The Agent's Journal - Bechta shares his thoughts on Dungy’s Sam comment, Hard Knocks and two teams that could be on the move. [Not this "Jags to London" nonsense again /headdesk - Den]

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Eric Ebron knows Detroit’s offensive success this season is going to be somewhat tied to his ability to pick up the offense, to catch passes with regularity and to develop a rapport with Matthew Stafford.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - [Video] Chris Kluwe discusses his lawsuit against his former team and how he thinks the organization is hiding something from the report.

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Carrie-Anne Moss reminding me too much of my ex must be worth at least one on the cinema sin counter.