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The Weekend Bears Den: August 10, 2014 - Chicago Bears training camp & preseason news and notes

The Bears return to practice in Bourbonnais today at 3pm CT.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Why non-elite QBs get elite contracts - Jim Trotter: Since the talent pool is so shallow, teams are willing to lavish big bucks on signal-callers who haven't been elite performers. Even if Emery had balked at re-signing Cutler, what were the acceptable options?

Team Report - Robert Klemko: Jay Cutler looked sharp in the opener and the wideouts will be top-tier again, but depth and health on defense remain Chicago’s big camp questions.

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Chicago Bears 34 - Philadelphia Eagles 28

Miller makes most of opportunities - Larry Mayer: Looking to get his career back on track after it was derailed by injuries, Zach Miller took a major stride in that direction in Friday night’s preseason opener.

As Chicago debuts go, Zach Miller's was memorable - David Haugh: Nobody with only four games' experience in the last three regular seasons guarantees an NFL team anything, but Miller's emergence at least reminded wayward starter Martellus Bennett the Bears have options if he cannot clean up his act.

Defense already looks much better - Bob LeGere: Initial indications from Friday night's preseason opener are that the Bears' defense, much maligned in 2013, could be much improved with an influx of new talent.

Bears-Eagles by the numbers: 'New' defense delivered - Moon Mullin: It's only preseason, but too many positives were there in the win over the Eagles to dismiss completely.

Linebacker alignment warrants watching this week - Moon Mullin: A threesome of Briggs, Williams and Bostic may not be far off. Plus, notes on the safeties.

Special teams get off to bad start - Mark Potash: A 102-yard kickoff return for a TD by the Eagles’ Josh Huff was the most glaring of a number of gaffes that left a lot of room for improvement.

10 thoughts - Brad Biggs lies.  He has more than 10 thoughts on the Bears' win over the Eagles.

Bears take a moment to smile - Chris Emma: The Bears were told to give their all in their preseason opener, and there was no sign of a letdown for a game that doesn’t count.

Photos - See the angles of the field that the TV cameras didn't capture as the Bears took on the Eagles in their preseason opener.


[Video] - Mel Tucker discusses the Bears' defense in 2014 and what they are working to improve on during camp.

Is Chicago ready for some football? Heavens, yes - Rick Morrissey: This is how desperate the city was for any non-baseball pursuits: Martellus Bennett, Kyle Long, Tim Jennings, Jordan Mills and Jared Allen didn’t play, and it didn’t matter.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

Polish sausage

Big nickel package emerging as NFL's hottest defensive trend - Bucky Brooks: Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Berry are two of the NFL's most dynamic safeties. Not coincidentally, both stars are focal points of the next major defensive trend.

Know thy enemy: Vikings beat Raiders 10-6 - Dave Campbell: Matt Cassel was crisp from the start, Bridgewater's debut was mixed at best, and that's the early snapshot of the starting QB competition.