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The Bears Den: September 25, 2014 - Chicago Bears week 4 news & notes

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Is that Buddy Ryan in the #12 Jets jersey? Or it might be William Shatner. Has anyone ever seen the two of them together?

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches Corner: Aaron Kromer - Mini-Larry: In order to make sure the Bears offense runs smoothly on game days, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer puts in a lot of work to create a good plan.

What are the Bears? - Tim Baffoe: After three up-and-down games the start the season there is a grayness to this team right now, and this question won’t go away from my head.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Possibly Buddy Ryan or the Shat in hi-res.

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Bears - Packers

Defense faces tough challenge - Larry Mayer: The Bears know that it will take a group effort to slow down Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers in Sunday’s NFC North showdown at Soldier Field.

Facing Peppers, challenging task awaits - Mini-Larry: The O-line has a tough challenge in facing Julius Peppers, a former teammate who is one of the best pass-rushers in NFL history.

Game preview - Rich Campbell: Week 4 storylines as Bears prepare for Packers. Can the Bears kick the Packers while they’re down?

Fuller, new Bears defensive front have Packers' attention - Not-Hub Arkush: The Bears' new arrivals on defense have caught the eye of the Bears' divisional rival.

Bears’ ‘D’ rising? Packers’ ‘O’ declining? - Mark Potash: Sunday at Soldier Field is a litmus test to determine if what we’ve seen so far is real: Whether the Bears’ defense is truly improving and whether the Packers’ offense is indeed struggling.

Bears quick to shower Aaron Rodgers in praise - Dan Wiederer: It's a biannual tradition in Lake Forest, but there are also keys to success the Bears can pluck from the Lions. Brad BiggsRodgers tells Packers fans to relax.

Know thy enemy - Mini-Larry: The Bears' Week 4 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, feature a pair of talented pass rushers in Clay Matthews and former Bear Julius Peppers.

Injury news - Michael C. Wright: Shea McClellin will miss his second consecutive game on Sunday, and Marc Trestman is "not optimistic" about Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson; more injury notes.

Team notes - Patrick Finley: Ryan Mundy, Chris Conte should be ready for Sunday; Kyle Fuller impresses Jordy Nelson; Bears to wear throwbacks on Sunday; injury news.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Larry Mayer and Tom Thayer preview the Bears' first Packers game of the 2014 season.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson looks ahead to the Bears' Week 4 matchup against the Packers.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Previewing Bears-Packers. [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] X&Os - Matt Bowen breaks down how the Packers can attack the Bears' depleted secondary.

Know thy enemy - Adam L. Jahns: There’s a sense of rejuvenation that comes with change and, at 34, it’s perfect for Julius Peppers as he returns to Soldier Field as the Packers' best pass rusher.

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Bears - Jets

Game review - Dan Durkin: Taking inventory of their most recent win against the Jets, a mixture of encouraging signs and concerns can be gleaned about these Bears.

Game review - Laurence Holmes's thoughts, quotes and more from the game; did players-only meeting before 49ers game help kick the team into gear?

X&Os - Hub-or-not-Hub.com's all-22 slideshow from Bears-Jets.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Tom Thayer breaks down Ryan Mundy's pick-6 and run support ability in the Bears' win over the Jets in week 3.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Ryan Mundy was mic'd up during Monday Night Football.

Bears getting respect in NFC Player of the Week honors - Moon Mullin: Martellus Bennett and Kyle Fuller were both among the nominations for NFC O/DPOTW awards.

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Defense

Both veterans, young players step up - Mini-Larry: Impressive performances from all three phases have led the Bears to a pair of road wins, and now the attention turns to the Packers.

Rookies have stepped in and stepped up - Patrick Finley: In a league in which rookies must earn the respect of veterans, the Bears’ defensive newcomers did just that Monday when forced into action.

‘Next play’ mentality benefits Bears’ young secondary - Dan Durkin: In back-to-back weeks, the Bears have found themselves lining up with rookies in the secondary in passing situations to close out one-possession games.

Bostic tackling his opportunity with zeal - Bob LeGere: Jon Bostic leads the Bears with 28 tackles this season, and could contend for a starting job even after Shea McClellin returns from a broken right hand.

Has Bostic replaced McClellin? - Moon Mullin: A scenario in which Jon Bostic inherits the Will job and Shea McClellin delivers pass rush and physicality on the other side is perhaps the Bears’ best-case scenario.

Bears taking bend but don't break approach on defense - Is-Hub Arkush: Through three weeks, the defense is just marginally better against the run but significantly better in the most important stat: points allowed.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Is the Bears defense improved? [KAPCON: 5]

Pass rush merry-go-round - Not-Hub Arkush: NFC North defenders see division rivalries from different perspective after joining new teams.

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Bearsss

Roster news - Brad Biggs: Bears sign LB Darryl Sharpton, who played the last three seasons under Reggie Herring with the Texans.

Team notes - Dan Durkin: Lance Briggs enjoying seeing Jon Bostic’s development; Bears preparing for Julius Peppers’ best shot; injury news.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Ahmad Dixon brings welcome energy and an edge to special teams;;Stephen Paea improving as a pass rusher; injury news.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright discusses the team’s injury situation, with the safety position in particular being a concern.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - David Kaplan sits down with Robbie Gould to talk Bears.

[Video] NFL Network - Heath Evans and Willie McGinest with their top five 1-2 combination at wideout. Bearsss.

NFL's top 10 strongest arms - Chris Wesseling: Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler head the list.

Ranking the impact of injuries on NFL teams - Andy Benoit: The big change for the Bears following losing Charles Tillman to IR is in the nickel package, where Isaiah Frey will carry a bullseye.

Tillman undergoes triceps surgery - Jeff Dickerson: Charles Tillman underwent surgery to repair the torn right triceps muscle that landed him on IR, expects to spend three weeks in a cast.

Tillman's always had his priorities straight - Evan F. Moore: If you chided Charles Tillman for missing a tackle or for getting beat on a deep post route during the 2008 season, you might have mismanaged your priorities.  He had his playbook with him even as he was at the hospital every day because his daughter needed a heart transplant.

[Video] Ex-Bear news - After pro football, including time spent with the Bears, Kurt Becker became a coach & headed back to Aurora East, to bring the heart and soul of football back to the program.

In-depth: Players across eras - Moon Mullin: They are two often-debated questions: Would a player from a past era be able to play in today's NFL? Would today's players have success in a past football era?

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Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Packers - Will Laws: Green Bay can’t flourish with a QB that’s just slightly above-average; if they're to extend their season, they need Aaron Rodgers to return to MVP form. Jason B. Hirschhorn: Offense stuck in neutral. Rob DemovskyPackers sacrificing variety to run no-huddle. [Video] Matt Bowen breaks down Packers' struggles. Sid Saraf: Rodgers surprises young fan, helps raise cancer awareness.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Jonathan Lintner: Their former star college QB Teddy Bridgewater's first career start has Vikings fans in Louisville fired up. Brian Hall: Ponder to back up 'Teddy's show'. Ben GoesslingVikings say Bridgewater ready to start ... Zimmer 'not that discouraged' by Kalil.

Know thy enemy: Lions - (AP): Detroit's offense has been successful moving the ball, but Jim Caldwell looks to fix turnovers problem.

Ex-Bear news - Brett Smiley: Henry Melton practically begging more Cowboys fans to come to game on Sunday.

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I'm more Bard of Avon than West Side Story, but someone called for this.