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The Weekend Bears Den: September 06, 2014 - Chicago Bears week 1 news and notes

Jordan Mills is set to face off against Mario Williams on Sunday.

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Bears to unveil prized free agents - Larry Mayer: Months after revamping their DE position, the Bears will finally get a chance to unveil their prized free agent acquisitions in a game that counts Sunday at Soldier Field.

Jared Allen not planning to reduce workload - Brad Biggs: Allen has a history of rarely coming off the field, and part of the appeal of the Bears was that they plan to use him a lot.

Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether Santonio Holmes will serve as the Bears' third receiver Sunday, Christian Jones earning a roster spot, and why the Bears replaced long-snapper Brandon Hartson with Jeremy Cain.

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Chicago Bears - Buffalo Bills previews

Team Report - Adam L. Jahns: Mel Tucker not looking back at history as he attempts to turn last year’s disaster back into a formidable force; Trestman on the Bills' D-line; spotlight on Danny McCray; players to watch.

Game preview - Taylor Bechtold: The Bears could have an opportunity to gain some confidence versus Buffalo, which had difficulty moving the ball throughout the preseason.

Cutler sees calm in Bears huddle as opener awaits - (AP): The Bears host the Buffalo Bills in what they hope is the start of a run to the playoffs after missing out for the sixth time in seven years last season at 8-8.

Game preview - Jeff Joniak's keys to the game.

Game preview - Jeff Dickerson with a look at how the teams match up.

Game preview - Mark Potash: Breaking down Bears-Bills matchups.

Game preview - Dan Wiederer breaks down the matchups and tosses in a few more thoughts, and the Tribune writers make their predictions.

Game preview - Not-Hub Fishbain and Bills beat reporter Joe Buscaglia preview tomorrow's season opener.

[Video] ESPN - Jeff Dickerson, Michael C. Wright and Tom Waddle discuss the Bears' upcoming matchup against the Bills.

Game preview - Dan Durkin with 5 matchups to watch.

Players to watch - Larry Mayer and Eli Kaberon discuss the Bears players they'll be watching on both sides of the ball in Sunday's season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

[Video] - Jason McKie weighs in on Bears-Bills and special teams.

Bears question marks - Adam L. Jahns' thoughts for week 1.

Know thy enemy - brings you a photogallery previewing the Bills' starters.

Containing Bills' packaged plays critical for Bears - Matt Bowen: Can the Bears maintain their gap discipline against C.J. Spiller?

X&Os - Dan Durkin: How the Bears need to go about containing C.J. Spiller.

Mills welcomes challenge of blocking Mario Williams - Not-Hub Arkush: Opposing former Jim Schwartz pupil Willie Young in practice has been a terrific resource to help Jordan Mills prepare for the Bills.

Team notes - Mark Potash: Mills eager to face ‘athletic freak’ Mario Williams; Kyle Fuller says he won’t be nervous in his first NFL game; injury report.

Know thy enemy - Dan Wiederer: Can Jordan Mills contain Mario Williams?  Scouting report: Sammy Watkins.

Team notes - Brad Biggs: Plan to rotate safeties is unconventional; Bears have the most players aged 30+l thought on Bears' nickel situation.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Micheal Spurlock must produce quickly; Lamarr Houston has to live up to his reputation as a rugged edge-setter; injury notes.

Injury news - Jeff Dickerson: Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) was limited in practice on Friday and listed as questionable for Sunday; Conte and de la Puente are probable; Fales remains out.

The Pick is in: Bears-Bills - National and local media outlets make their picks for Sunday's season opener between the Bears and the Buffalo Bills in Chicago. ESPN Chicago picks ... Michael C. Wright: Bears will beat the Bills ... Adam Hoge: Bears win close one ... Is-Hub and various Not-Hubs' picks.

Bills game a must-win - Is-Hub Arkush: 4-4 at the halfway point would leave the Bears playoff hopes in pretty good shape, and even 3-5 probably manageable, but losing to the Bills is something they can't afford to do if they are actual playoff contenders.

Game previews updated Sunday 08:45 CT / 14:45 GMT.

Game preview - Dan Durkin: With 29 new players on the roster, Trestman and his staff must quickly bring the new pieces together into one cohesive unit, and the Bills are a tailor-made opponent for the Bears to start the season against.

Do Bears have enough of a "team" to win? - Dan Wiederer: Marc Trestman stresses the need for his offensive game plans to be synchronized with the visions on defense and special teams, and the Bears will attack Sunday with a group the coach believes in.

Game preview - Chris Boden: The three Bears necessities to victory against the Bills.

[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin looks ahead to Bears-Bills Week 1 clash.

Game preview: Looking for a fast-start from Cutler - Moon Mullin: In the last four season openers Jay Cutler has posted a passer rating of 93 or better each time, and the Bears have won all four. Bears looking to speed up offense in Trestman Year 2.

Game preview: Forte, Carey keys to success - Moon Mullin: The Bears' best medicine against a Bills pass rush with three 10-sack rushers could be a heavy dose of Matt Forte and Ka'Deem Carey.

Game preview: Beware big-yardage game from WRs - Moon Mullin: The Bears were 0-5 last season when Alshon Jeffery caught more than 100 yards, and Chicago is hoping it was only a one-time anomaly.

Game preview: Is Mills ready for Buffalo stampede? - Moon Mullin:Jordan Mills missed the entire preseason and will be thrown into the fire against Pro Bowl DE Mario Williams.

Game preview: D-line must play part in stopping Buffalo's rushing attack - Moon Mullin: The Bears' goal will to be to force the ball out of the hands of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller and more into those of E.J. Manuel.

Game preview: Chicago's 'future' on display at linebacker - Moon Mullin:Both Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic have their positions set going into Week 1, but that's only part of the answer the Bears need from two players representing core elements of their defensive future.

Game preview: DBs facing a physical offense - Moon Mullin: How often Kyle Fuller and Sammy Watkins face off on Sunday will be a sideshow to the overall, albeit a very interesting sideshow.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - How will Bears, Bills defenses fare?  [KAPCON: 5]

RB coach Skip Peete on Forte - Chris Boden: Bears RB coach Skip Peete, who evaluated Matt Forte coming into the draft as a member of the Cowboys, has high praise for the workhorse back.

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Ka'Deem Carey the next man up if Forte needs a break; Jared Allen still pumped up on game days; DeCamillis consulted Robbie Gould on long snapper decision.

With lots of luck to offset flaws, Bears could win it all — maybe - Rick Morrissey: This might be the last time we can put ‘‘Bears,’’ ‘‘win’’ and “Super Bowl’’ in the same sentence this season, so let’s enjoy the heck out of it.

Madden 15 simulation - Rich Mayor: Bears 17, Bills 14.  Martellus Bennett grabs two TD receptions.  Bearsss.

Cutler's 'journey' has him poised to lead - Bob LeGere: Jay Cutler admits he has undergone drastic changes brought about by marriage and becoming a father to two young boys.


Coaches on spot to mold young defensive players into strong foundation - Mark Potash: Overall, the Bears have a roster worthy of a Super Bowl contender. But they are paper thin on defense because they have been unable to develop the next set of stars to follow the veteran core of Urlacher et al.

Jeremy Cain took long road back to Bears - Patrick Finley: A veteran snapper, Pat Mannelly said, ‘‘keeps the head coach comfortable, the GM comfortable and the special-teams coach comfortable.’’ The kicker, too.

Joniak’s Journal - Jeff Joniak: Marc Trestman fired up about the season; Joe Kim's hiring may be one of the team's best under-the-radar moves; thoughts on Briggs-angst and Kyle Long's ceiling.

Bears will name their 5 captains game by game - Rich Campbell: Marc Trestman says the Bears have so many leaders he wants to make his picks weekly (non-Tribune link).

Team notes - Bob LeGere: Despite questions, Trestman excited for season to start; Jared Allen to have Cutler as his QB; injury report.

Bears preview - Matt Abbatacola thinks the Bears will go 8-8 this year, but argues that would make for a better season than last year's 8-8.

Bears adjust to NFL’s sideline viewing system - Adam Hoge: Instead of black-and-white photos that need to be printed out, now color images of each play are delivered to WiFi tablets in under five seconds.

Check WCGer Sackman's selection of Bears-themed tops here, or some t-shirt designs here.


Ditka - Da Coach predicts the Bears' season, talks about which teams can win the Super Bowl, and picks out his best and worst storylines for the upcoming season.

Polish sausage

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Jeff Bartl's Vikings-Rams preview: Cassel-Hill will be a battle of former UDFAs, rather than one between first-round picks. Ben Goessling: Mike Zimmer set for regular-season debut.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Green Bay might need some help at tackle if they've lost faith in former first-round pick Derek Sherrod.