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The Weekend Bears Den: March 28, 2015 - Offseason Chicago Bears news & notes

Oct 29, 1972; St. Louis, MO: Dick Butkus (51) and Tony McGee (71) in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Herb Weitman-USA TODAY Sports

Bears GM discusses draft, free agency - Larry Mayer: Speaking with reporters this week, Ryan Pace talked about drafting a QB, free agency, and placing a premium on pass rushers.  Brad BiggsBears free agency contract breakdowns.

McCaskey's goal: keep NFL Draft in Chicago - Patrick Finley: To keep the NFL Draft here beyond its one-year agreement, George McCaskey said he’ll help the league however he can.

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Bears sign corner Alan Ball

Bears sign Alan Ball to 1-year deal - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Friday signed corner Alan Ball, an Illinois product who has played in 93 NFL games over eight seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jaguars.

Bears add former Illinois CB Alan Ball - Brad Biggs: Cites Vic Fangio and secondary coach Ed Donatell as reasons for choosing the Bears over a return to the Panthers.  Not-Hub FishbainPhysical corner should be a nice addition at position of need.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Bears sign Allen[sic] Ball.

[Video] ChicagoBears.com - Highlights of newly signed cornerback Alan Ball

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Bearsss

Bears vow to collect pass-rushers in new 3-4 scheme - Patrick Finley: The Bears lack any real backup DEs behind Ray McDonald and Jarvis Jenkins but they have more than enough linebackers, with Ryan Pace planning to keep as many as nine.  Rich CampbellHow Bears are shaping up on edges of new 3-4.  Michael C. WrightJohn Fox on his defense.

Jared Allen believes new phase dawning in twilight of career -  Dan Wiederer: New role in 3-4, which occasionally will have this old dog learning the tricks of a stand-up pass rusher, genuinely excites him.

[Video] - Is-Hub Arkush discusses how the signing of LB Mason Foster greatly improves the Bears[sic] need at the inside linebacker position.

Ray McDonald & defending the family - Tim Baffoe: Would a bad guy pay a few hundred bucks for a chance to make seven figures? We should all want our new brothers-in-law to be so noble.

John Fox eliminating gimmicks, implementing changes for Bears - Moon Mullin: New head coach is implementing some specific changes that are part of what will be a new Bears overall fabric in 2015. [Video] View from the Moon.

Draft preview - Dan Durkin: Louisville’s DeVante Parker is the third-best receiver prospect in this class, and should be a top-15 selection.

Ex-Bear news - Neil Hayes catches up with former Bears defensive end Al Harris, who coached Ray McDonald for two seasons with the 49ers.

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Polish sausage

Draft analysis - Tony Villiotti: Compensatory draft picks should be replaced by adjusting a team’s cap through a "luxury tax" based on free agent signings, which would do a better job of contributing to league parity.

Draft preview - Greg Gabriel with a look at two O-linemen who should go fairly high in next month’s draft, Oregon LT Jake Fisher and South Carolina guard A.J. Cann.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Lions are expecting more out of first-round draft pick tight end Eric Ebron after a modest rookie season.

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With three teams who could win the competition, it would come down to points difference and all three attacked the scoreboard furiously.  Ireland defend their title!  Sets up nicely for the Rugby World Cup in September & October.