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The Bears Den: February 17, 2015 - Offseason Chicago Bears news & notes

If Chris Conte doesn't return, the Bears will be in the market for a playmaking safety.

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Ranking Bears' top 5 draft needs - Adam L. Jahns' list consists entirely of defense, which should come as no surprise to anyone after the Bears fielded the two worst defenses in franchise history over the past two seasons.

With questions ready, will Bears' bosses answer? - Chris Boden: Wednesday will be the first time John Fox and Ryan Pace speak publicly about exactly what they’ve inherited, personnel-wise, since they took the podium at Halas Hall.

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Draft preview: Countdown to combine - Michael C. Wright: Safety should be a spot the Bears consider with their first pick, and Landon Collins is the guy if they do.

[Video] - Not-Hubs Fishbain and Arkush break down defensive fronts from last season that used current Bears in a position that could translate to a 3-4 'D'. [More on the Bears' expected switch to a 3-4 from John Clayton; hat tip to Mike Ditka's Cigar.]

Draft preview - Not-Hub Fishbain: Notes from Mike Mayock's conference call as they pertain to the Bears' position needs.  Dan Wiederer: Dante Fowler shapes up as edge-rushing option.  Brad BiggsNo slam dunk at top of draft.

Draft offers Bears QB options without 'reaching' - Moon Mullin: In a soft QB draft, the Bears may need to pull a surprise on Day 2 if they want to get a viable young backup in waiting. Dan Wiederer: Should Bears take Marcus Mariota? Patrick FinleyMaycock: Jay Cutler can help the Bears more than Mariota.  ( More from Maycock.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - What do the Bears need to focus on specifically in the draft?

[Video] - Otis Wilson on John Fox: Hopefully the third time is the charm.

Tillman still hungry for a championship - Tom Pelissero: Charles Tillman has no interest in walking away now – or approaching his 13th NFL season as a last chance to remind everyone how productive and durable he has been.

Jared Allen still climbing NFL sack chart - Chris Trapasso: With the NFL Scouting Combine upon us, we look at the career of Jared Allen, the free-spirited pass rusher who entered the league with little fanfare and will leave as one the all-time sack leaders.

Bears benefit from 49ers' attempt to force staff on Gase - Moon Mullin: The 49ers had all but sealed a deal for Adam Gase to succeed Jim Harbaugh as their head coach, but lost him when he disagreed on their pick for DC. [Video] SportsTalk Live.

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

Polish sausage

2015 NFL Combine: Do you know the drill? - Dane Brugler: From the 40-yard dash to the bench press, the on-field tests at the NFL Combine will produce a lot of numbers this week. Let's break down the steps of each drill and make sense of it all.

NFL Combine - Frank CooneyTop 64 prospects ... Michael Middlehurst-SchwartzTop prospects ... Will LawsCandidates for fastest 40-yard dash ... Dane BruglerFive bold predictions ... Doug FarrarSmaller-school players with the most to prove.

What to expect in free agency - Tony Villiotti: What can we learn from the 2014 free agent process and the following 2014 season?  Kenneth ArthurThe 100 best 2015 NFL free agents ... ( Position-by-position guides.

Are players better off under the new franchise tag methodology? - Joel Corry: May be fewer players dealing with franchise tags in the future with teams becoming more judicious in using the designation as it gets more cost prohibitive.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Green Bay would like to avoid the franchise tag and find a way to sign Randall Cobb for the long term.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Lions have several options to consider with Ndamukong Suh, who can now be franchise tagged, that could impact other offseason moves.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: Vikings stadium construction 'coming fast', near 40 percent completion.