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The Bears Den: April 29, 2015 - Pre-draft Chicago Bears news & notes

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Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Antrel Rolle says he's ready to bring the fuel to new Bears defense - Not-Hub Atkins: Veteran safety loves the freedom of movement Vic Fangio's scheme affords the safeties to play in the box or in a deep zone.

First look at Bears’ new 3-4 has a touch of 'Where’s Waldo?' - Moon Mullin: A 4-3 coach virtually his entire career, John Fox says that one of the reasons he liked the 3-4 scheme is that it made it difficult to tell who was rushing the QB. Seeing it live for the first time on Tuesday, he wasn’t kidding.

Team notes - Adam Hoge: 10 things to know from Bears' first minicamp practice.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  That gorgeous, thick, manly, Mannelly mullet in hi-res.

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2015 Draft notes

Draft preview: D-line - Bob LeGere: Washington's Danny Shelton could help the Bears and their new 3-4 defense, but can they afford a two-down run stuffer over a solid pash rusher? For Bears defense, the shift is on.

Draft preview - Adam Hoge: Washington DT Danny Shelton has the ability to consistently eat up two blockers at once or can get up field when asked. In a perfect world, the Bears could trade back a few spots and still get him while adding more picks.

[Video] - Not-Hub Fishbain: He's got size. He's got speed. And Texas DT Malcom Brown likely won't be around for the Bears in the second round.

Draft preview: outside linebackers - Bob LeGere looks at the top edge rusher options in the NFL draft, with Clemson's Vic Beasley being among a group of four who could all be in play for the Bears with the 7th overall pick.  Who will emerge as Bears' best linebackers?

Draft preview - Andrew Seligman: For Bears, defense seems like logical route with No. 7 pick unless they take a receiver.

[Video] CSNChicago - Chris Boden, Jim Miller, and Wanny discuss options if the Bears are looking to upgrade at wide receiver.

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Matt Forte wins Brian Piccolo Award, skips ceremony

Fuller, Forte win Brian Piccolo Awards - Larry Mayer: The Bears on Tuesday honored Kyle Fuller and Matt Forte as the 2014 winners of the prestigious Brian Piccolo Award during a ceremony at Halas Hall.  George McCaskey on Piccolo Awards, Forte.

Forte a no-show for Piccolo Award, Bears' minicamp opener - Dan Wiederer: Matt Forte's participation and investment over the next seven-and-a-half weeks – or lack thereof – should prove telling, as the team proceeds through OTAs and mandatory mini-camp.

Forte skips Piccolo award ceremony during contract squabble - Rick Morrissey: The Piccolo award is special. It means a lot to the McCaskeys, and it means something to people of a certain vintage. Blowing off the ceremony over contract issues looks small, petty and self-absorbed.

No point to Forte's unbecoming slight with Piccolo Award absence - Brad Biggs: Passing on voluntary workouts and the voluntary minicamp is one thing. Snubbing the Piccolo event is another, a difference that Brian Urlacher understood in similar circumstances.  Martellus Bennett joins Forte in skipping minicamp.

Forte explains absence from minicamp - Larry Mayer: Matt Forte clarified Tuesday that his absence from Halas Hall is due to speed training he's doing on his own and not a sign that he's unhappy with his contract situation.

Forte fires back at critics through social media - David Just: Matt Forte denies contract issues, says he is away on a speed training trip that was planned "long before" the offseason schedule was released.

Forte has no future at poker - Is-Hub Arkush: The reaction to Matt Forte’s decision to skip the award ceremony was swift and severe on talk radio and social media.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Is Matt Forte skipping workouts a big deal?

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Bearsss

[Video] - Hub Arkush, Not-Hub Fishbain, and Spawn of Hub report from Halas Hall following the Bears' first OTA of the 2015-16 season, as they opened with veteran mini-camp.

Cutler impressed with coaching staff - Larry Mayer: After practicing for the first time under John Fox and Adam Gase Tuesday, Jay Cutler expressed excitement about working with the new Bears staff.

Cutler begins anew — again - Adam L. Jahns: Jay Cutler couldn’t help but smile and make light of his own situation. It’s bewildering to think that he’s now working with his fifth offensive staff in seven seasons as the Bears’ QB.  Jeff DickersonQB on Titans rumors, Brandon Marshall trade.

Kyle Long happy to stay at guard for Bears - Brad Biggs: There is an advantage to having an athletic player on the interior who's better than most at pulling in the running game, and who can reach the second level with more ease than many other interior linemen.

Fuller excited about Bears' changes - Adam L. Jahns: Kyle Fuller, who was named the rookie recipient of the Bears’ prestigious Brian Piccolo award, is excited about getting to play for John Fox and Vic Fangio.  Rich CampbellQ&A with media.

McDonald addresses previous troubles - Melissa Isaacson: Ray McDonald says his explanation of events last year was good enough for his new team, but understands he will be under a microscope for as long as he remains in Chicago.  Patrick FinleyWas vouched for by Vic Fangio.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Reaction from Cutler's, McDonald's press conferences.

Photos - ChicagoBears.com: The Bears took to the practice fields Tuesday for the first time during voluntary minicamp at Halas Hall.

Bears' draft rewind - Jeff Dickerson: A look at how the Bears fared in the 2012 draft under former GM Phil Emery (2 picks of 6 left on roster) ... all six 2013 picks still currently on the roster.

[Video] Inside the Bears - Anthony Adams and some of his former teammates head to the Laugh Factory for Jerry Azumah’s comedy fundraiser. Spice gets some standup tips from one of Chicago’s favorite comedians.

The 16 greatest NFL coaches of all time - Alex Marvez ranks the 16 best coaches to ever wear a headset, fedora or trench coat. George Halas is swag.

The Bears signed Brian Piccolo 50 years ago -- and he became an inspiration - The 1965 draft gave the Bears Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus, but it was an undrafted free agent who became the centerpiece of one of the great sports movies.

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Polish sausage

Draft Town set to open Thursday - Bob LeGere: Fans who don't have tickets to the draft at the Auditorium Theatre can still enjoy the experience at the NFL's Draft Town, which is free, and will be held at Grant Park and Congress Plaza.  Kyle BrasseurFan's guide to the NFL draft in Chicago ... Rich CampbellDraft 'an oasis in a football desert' for those who attend ... Dan DurkinDraft details ... Richard DeitschDraft has a new verve thanks to Chicago backdrop ... (AP): Draft back in 'City of Big Shoulder Pads' for 7th time... Danny Ecker: Impact of draft on Chicago businesses.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Of the 64 players currently on the Green Bay roster, 44 are homegrown players, reflecting draft weekend importance for Packers.

All 30 NBA team logos re-created as NFL helmets - I know nothing about basketball and I may be a little biased here, but I like the Celtics' helmet and can't think why.....

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The L.A. Raiders, as they were at the time, were unable to repeat their feat of going 12-4 to top the AFC West from the previous season; instead, they went 8-8 in 1986, good for fourth in the division.  Matt Millen still a better rapper than he was a GM; I'm not saying a word about Howie Long's rapping - he's got the eyes of someone who could still snap a man in half.