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The Bears Den: July 31, 2014 - Chicago Bears training camp news and notes

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Long practicing a long time coming - Dan Wiederer: Return to practice should provide a needed catalyst to Long's development, though fellow guard Matt Slauson says it's clearly now mentally clicked for the second-year player. Larry Mayer: Long cleared to begin conditioning.

Bears run D will face early test - The Bears' run defense ranked near the bottom of the league in 2013, and they will be tested early in 2014. Chris Boden breaks down the first five opponents and their running backs.

[Video] NFL Network - The Bears might have the league's best receiving corps, and Michael Irvin grills them in camp.

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

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Bears training camp, Wednesday practice

McCray lines up with No. 1 defense - Larry Mayer: Danny McCray’s impressive work with the second-team defense early in training camp earned him a chance to line up as the starting free safety Wednesday. Chris EmmaCeiling may be higher than just special teams.

Vereen plays backup to McCray for a day - Not-Hub Srodulski: Most of the teaching and learning doesn’t happen on the field, so Brock Vereen doesn’t sweat the switch from ones to twos for at least a day.

Christian Jones doing his best to stand out - Not-Hub Arkush: Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic are competing to start as the Sam, but the future of the position could be tied to Christian Jones.

Defense adopts hand-on approach as a fix - Jon Greenberg: The Bears seek to fix their porous defense with linemen who engage opponents with their hands, slip past them and race to the ball.

Bears want more from rookie Sutton than recent DTs gave them - Moon Mullin: Third-round D-linemen have not always gone well for the Bears with a landscape littered with Jarron Gilberts, Marcus Harrisons and Dusty Dvoraceks over the past decade.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - McClellin's shift to LB, and confidence in the position group. [KAPCON: 5]

Marshall loving new and improved Cutler - Not-Hub Arkush: Brandon Marshall believes Jay Cutler has become one of the hardest working Bears in the offseason, echoing what OC Aaron Kromer said earlier in the week. CSN: Ted Phillips believes Cutler will deliver.

Marshall: Believe in Jay Cutler as the NFL's 2014 MVP - David Haugh: Cutler could enjoy the most successful year ever and lead the Bears into the playoffs without finishing in the Top 10. Maybe Marshall knows this but it was a shrewd way of getting visiting NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin to spread the word nationally.

[Video] ESPN - A decaffeinated Herm Edwards discusses whether he thinks Jay Cutler is poised to have an MVP season.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - What do the panel make of Marshall endorsing Cutler for MVP? [KAPCON: 5Sun-Times writers weigh in.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Kyle Long cleared to practice [KAPCON: 5]

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Brandon Marshall told Michael Irvin that Jay Cutler could win the NFL MVP award, gets playing tips from HOFer; Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton among Bears putting in extra work; more notes.

Team notes - Michael C. Wright rounds up news from practice #5 of Bears camp: Trestman working on footwork of backup QBs Clausen and Palmer.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Michael Irvin appreciative of Marshall and Jeffrey; David Fales's development continues; competition continues to drive up performance throughout practice. Coaches like Matthew Mulligan's ability as no.2 TE.

Team notes - Not-Hub Fishbain's observations from Wednesday: Defensive coaches working offense on ball security drills; Taylor Boggs strong in protection; more from yesterday's session.

Bears lack depth behind Marshall, Jeffery - Actually-Hub Arkush: The Bears can be dynamic and explosive with just their star duo. But if one gets nicked and Wilson, Williams or Weems has to move into that spot, does the offense break down?

[Video] Highlights and photos of Wednesday practice from ChicagoBears.com; photos from the Tribune.

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Bearsss

[Audio] - Tom Waddle joins Jorge Sedano and a caffeinated Herm Edwards to discuss the Bears' offseason, Marc Trestman's offense, and the NFC North.

Most important Bears for 2014: #1 - James Neveau: With new safeties and younger players that need to go through an adjustment period, it’s going to help considerably to have a player like Jared Allen that is putting pressure on an offense.

Let’s focus on Cutler, not his backups - Rick Morrissey: It’s only a matter of time before we in the media go to the hometowns of Palmer and Clausen to find out what molded these men into the nonstarting QBs they are today.

NFL's best receivers - Doug Farrar: Brandon Marshall is one of only three players in NFL history with five or more seasons with 100 receptions, and he'll be prolific for years to come.​

[Video] - Boomer Esiason lists the five most overrated players going into the 2014 NFL season, and includes Cutler among his five.

[Audio] - Charles Tillman talks about his team's talent level and potential this season, what Jay Cutler is like, and the atmosphere in the Bears' locker room.

Bears considering artificial turf at Soldier Field - Tony Andracki: Ted Phillips said on Wednesday the organization would be willing to move to artificial turf on Soldier Field, subject to research confirming that it does not lead to more injuries than a grass surface.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Should Soldier Field switch to field turf? [KAPCON: 5]

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Vikings enter next phase of QB competition, with Ponder's reps expected to decrease. Training camp report.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Paul Imig: Packers architect Ted Thompson signs extension, would be 'nuts' not to stay. Rob DemovskyNext priority: extend McCarthy.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Seeing rookie TE Eric Ebron drop so many routine-or-close-to-it passes should be a concern even if it is early in camp; more from camp. Dave Dye: 2014 preview: Can Stafford halt regression?

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