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The Bears Den: February 19, 2015 - NFL Combine Chicago Bears news & notes

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more?

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With 'healthy' cap, No. 7 pick, Pace has plenty of offseason ammo - Mark Potash: With the state of the defense, the transition to a 3-4, it’s safe to say that almost every position on that side of the ball is eligible for an upgrade

Pace will take 'calculated' approach to free agency, draft - Dan Wiederer: Ryan Pace and his personnel staff will first work to identify the Bears’ greatest needs, then cross-check those against what might be available to them both in free agency and in the draft.

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Combine: Bears to switch to 3-4

Bears switching to 3-4 base defense - Larry Mayer: The Bears revealed Wednesday at the NFL Combine that they are switching to a 3-4 base defense that employs multiple fronts and maximizes their players’ skill sets.

Fox says Bears will run 3-4 - Bob LeGere: If enough current Bears can make the switch and some new players can be acquired, the versatility of the 3-4 could help the defense improve because it gives the offense more to think about.

Bears ditch iconic scheme for 3-4 defense - Patrick Finley: The defensive roster has its share of square pegs, but the 4-3 lost any sentimental value when the Bears fielded the two worst defenses in franchise history.  Is-Hub ArkushUpgrade to talent more important than changing scheme.

Bears still trying to determine role for Shea McClellin - Michael C. Wright: Team has yet to decide whether Shea McClellin will play outside or inside in the transition to a 3-4.

[Video] - John Fox talks with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana about the Bears change in defensive scheme.

Draft preview - Michael C. Wright: Change to 3-4 scheme likely means Bears will be searching for linebackers in draft; three prospects the team will likely be considering.  Dan DurkinFive edge rushers to consider.

Combine: Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler

Bears still evaluating Cutler, others - Larry Mayer: As they continue to conduct a thorough evaluation of their roster, the Bears have yet to determine whether some veteran players will remain with the team.

Bears' staff noncommital on Cutler, Marshall - Bob LeGere: Ryan Pace and John Fox said no final decisions have been made on the current players, and that includes two of the three highest-paid players on the roster.

Bears' brass wants Brandon Marshall, others to focus on football - Michael C. Wright: John Fox and Ryan Pace expressed Wednesday that football is where the players' focus should be.

Marshall doesn't seem to be a fit for Pace; is Cutler? - Is-Hub Arkush: While Jay Cutler has gone underground, we assume focused on a possible future with the Bears, Brandon Marshall is out and about working on everything but Pace’s number one priority.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - How will Bears handle Brandon Marshall off the field?

[Video] - Is-Hub Arkush: What it could Ryan Pace's news conference mean for Brandon Marshall?

[Video] - Is-Hub Arkush's take on John Fox committing to a 3-4 defense, but not Jay Cutler or Brandon Marshall.

Early signs good ones for Bears - Mike Imrem: Fans around here might have forgotten how the drill works after Marc Trestman drained it out of the Bears the past two years, but John Fox is the boss, and he showed it. [Mon dieu, an Imrem article that's not utter merde - Den]

Fox remains non-committal on Cutler - Michael C. Wright: John Fox said he met recently with Jay Cutler but has not decided about the QB's future in Chicago [Video].

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Pace, Fox refuse to commit to Cutler for 2015. [KAPCON: 3]

Bears brass still in getting-to-know-you stage with Cutler - Brad Biggs: When considering a weak free-agent class and similarly thin crop of QBs in the draft, it's hard to envision Jay Cutler not being the starter in 2015.  Michael C. WrightBears meet with Josh McCown... [Video] SportsTalk Live.

Fox and Pace certainly deliberate in QB deliberations - David Haugh: In Chicago sports, asking for more time to reach an opinion guarantees a rush to judgment. Truth is, nothing they said precluded the Bears from going into 2015 with Cutler and ultimately making Wednesday's interpretations moot.

[Video] - Moon Mullin and Jen Lada talk Pace, Fox comments on Cutler, Marshall.

Combine: Bearsss

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Bears meet with free-agent Josh McCown; John Fox says" football needs to be the No. 1 priority" for players; Ryan Pace on using free agency to supplement building through the draft.

Three things we learned at Combine - Michael C. Wright: The Bears will definitely be a 3-4 team; healthy cap means Bears can make moves in free agency; John Fox high on Kyle Fuller.  David JustEight things we learned.  More from Not-Hub Fishbain.

[Video] - Jeff Joniak's updates on a busy first day of media availability at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ryan Pace explains pitfalls of drafting safeties - Jeff Dickerson: The Bears have selected a safety in 11 of the last 13 years, failing to fix the position long-term.

[Video] - In an exclusive interview, Ryan Pace discussed the importance of the Combine and the role it plays in the Bears' evaluation of NFL prospects.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright discusses Ryan Pace and John Fox forging their dynamic in Indianapolis.

Photos - Heading into the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, takes a pictorial look at current Bears players when they participated.


Tillman, Briggs face uncertain futures in Chicago - Jeff Dickerson: Bears vague on prospects of re-signing veteran unrestricted free agents Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Should Bears bring back Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman?

Ryan Pace’s experience of watching 2014 Bears game tape - Tim Baffoe: It appears that when you grind into the Bears tape, the Bears tape grinds back at you.

Photos - Brian Urlacher visited Halas hall on Tuesday to promote his new children's book, "The Middle School Rules."

Polish sausage

Draft analysis - Tony Villiotti reviews current starting QBs and determines where they came from, how soon they came starters and other relevant characteristics, as well as trends that may affect a team trying to fill a need at the position.

Top 50 2015 NFL free agents - Pete Prisco: Ndamukong Suh leads a list of impact free agents that's top heavy with defenders and No. 1 wide receivers.

NFL Combine Notebook: Day 1 - Mini-Larry: O-linemen took center stage on the first day of the NFL Combine, as the league wonders if there are any "can't miss" prospects at the position.

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel takes a look at some sleeper candidates, Zach Zenner (RB), DeAndre Smelter (WR), and Tre McBride (WR).

It’s all about the interviews - Robert Klemko: The great irony of this combine spectacle—the live television coverage, the hundreds of reporters present—is that the most important part happens behind closed doors.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Brian Hall: GM Rick Spielman says Vikings are on same page, 'expect' Adrian Peterson to return.  Ben GoesslingVikings banking on time's healing powers.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Ryan Wilson: Ndamukong Suh will be the biggest name to hit free agency next month, assuming the Lions don't franchise him or sign him to a long-term deal, but don't forget about Nick Fairley.

Funky concept helmet designs for all 32 NFL teams - BearNecessities posted this in yesterday's Den.  I quite liked it at the time but, on further reflection, there's too much orange.


I was pleasantly surprised at how well Je Veux went down in the Den last year; she may never top it, but this is another brassy offering from Zaz.