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Weekend Bear's Den & Open Thread: December 31-January 1, 2016-2017

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An open thread Den that's also full of links! What more could you want.

Marty Booker takes on the Vikings back in the day
Marty Booker takes on the Vikings back in the day
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome to your Weekend Den Open Thread.

We have a relaxed atmosphere here in the Weekend Den and we make it an Open Thread to give you good people a place to come and leave comments, links, love-notes to the Packers and whatever else you want to say (as long as you stay within the community guidelines).

The seat belt light is off, feel free to get up and wander around the cabin! As always, open thread responsibly!!!!

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Orr: John Fox sounds positive about staff returning in 2017 - NFL.com - Bears coach John Fox is adamant that his whole staff will return for another season despite a 3-12 record in his second season in Chicago.

DeWitt: Week 17 Preview What to Expect in the Season Finale - Da Bears Brothers - Da Bears Brothers preview the final game of the 2016 season, hit on important news surrounding the team and finish the show answering fan questions.

Hub Arkush: Three big questions for the Bears to answer in 2017 - Pro Football Weekly - With the 2016 season coming to an end this Sunday in Minnesota, the Chicago Bears will have a number of questions to sort through and answer before continuing the process of rebuilding the football team.

Alshon grants fan's wish - ChicagoBears.com - 11-year-old Dylan Healy's wish was to meet his favorite Bear, Alshon Jeffery. The Make-A-Wish foundation partnered with the team to make it happen.

Fishbain: RB Jordan Howard surprised league and team with rookie performance - Pro Football Weekly - It took some time for Bears to see star potential in Howard

The Pick is in: Bears-Vikings - ChicagoBears.com - NFL analysts from across the nation make their picks for Sunday's matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Kwiecinski: Bears coaches recognize RB Jordan Howard’s potential stardom, after almost missing it - Bears Wire - The Bears coaching staff met with the media today and spoke highly of rookie running back Jordan Howard.

Perez: Bears could be watching their next QB in the 2016 Sun Bowl - Bears Wire - UNC's Mitch Trubisky will get the start in the 2016 Sun Bowl and could be the first-round NFL Draft target of the Chicago Bears

Finley: After surprising coordinator, Bears' Jordan Howard nears record - Chicago Sun-Times - As a kid, Jordan Howard idolized LaDainian Tomlinson. In college, he switched to Marshawn Lynch.

Mayer: Howard shares credit with teammates - ChicagoBears.com - Needing 61 yards in Sunday's finale in Minnesota to set the Bears rookie rushing record, Jordan Howard credited his teammates with helping him have a successful first season.

Potash: Stopgap? Fill-in? Unheralded WR Cam Meredith looks like a keeper -Chicago Sun-Times - As recently as the first month of this season, Cam Meredith was just another unheralded wide receiver with potential

Emma: John Fox Faces Decision On Dowell Loggains’ Future With Bears - CBS Chicago - Directing the league's fifth-worst scoring offense, Loggains has come under fire for his play-calling.

Biggs: Tough to believe Bears are 'closer' with quarterback situation a riddle - Chicago Tribune - It's almost impossible to envision the Bears as potential contenders until some sort of plausible quarterback scenario emerges.

Haugh: John Fox's words of better things to come for Bears are of no comfort - Chicago Tribune - John Fox's dismissive shrug and squirm approach does not encourage assurance he knows what he is doing, or even what he is talking about.

Campbell: Running back Jordan Howard a rookie revelation for Bears - Chicago Tribune - Jordan Howard needs 61 yards in Sunday's season finale against the Vikings to break Matt Forte's franchise rookie rushing record of 1,238.

Wiederer & Campbell: & Bigs, oh my!: All winning does is lower draft pick - Chicago Tribune - With only pride on the line for Bears and Vikings and future employment for marginal players, Sunday's game promises little for fans satisfaction.

Rosenbloom: Does John Fox have a clue about his coaching staff? - Chicago Tribune - There will be changes. Or there won’t be changes. Or there will be changes because there are always changes but John Fox isn’t making those changes.

The Bernstein Brief: Ryan Pace Should Face Media Alone - CBS Chicago - The Bears have scheduled Ryan Pace and John Fox to meet the media next Wednesday.

Jahns: An inside look at the high expectations for Bears rookies in 2017 - Chicago Sun-Times - The Sun-Times interviewed five assistant coaches about what’s ahead for their promising rookies.

Bears predictions: Week 17 vs. the Vikings - Chicago Sun-Times - The Sun-Times’ experts offer their picks for Bears-Vikings in Week 17.

Mayer: Meredith taking huge leap in Year 2 - ChicagoBears.com - A surprise contributor last year as an undrafted rookie, Bears receiver Cameron Meredith has taken another huge leap this season, developing into a consistent and dependable playmaker.

LeGere: Meredith catching on with Chicago Bears - Daily Herald - When it comes to breakout seasons, no Chicago Bears player has done it better this year than wide receiver Cam Meredith. The former Illinois State quarterback didn't even dress for the first two games. But going into Sunday's season finale, Meredith leads the Bears with 62 receptions and 827 receiving yards.

Mullin: Bears gaining alternative to Alshon Jeffery with Cameron Meredith's emergence -CSN Chicago - Cameron Meredith's emergence in 2016 gives the Bears leverage as they contemplate Alshon Jeffery's future in Chicago this offseason.

Wiederer: Bears see bright future for second-year receiver Cameron Meredith - Chicago Tribune - Cameron Meredith is the team leader in receptions (62) and receiving yards (827) and consequently praise is flowing his way regarding his development.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Smith: Cowboys plan to play Tony Romo on Sunday - ProFootballTalk - Tony Romo will make his 2016 debut on the first day of 2017. Romo, who has missed the entire season after suffering a back injury in the preseason and then being demoted in favor of Dak Prescott, is expected to play on Sunday, January 1, against the Eagles, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Brandt: Brock Osweiler, Blake Bortles among most disappointing players - NFL.com - Brock Osweiler was benched. Blake Bortles threw picks. Todd Gurley stalled out. Who earned the dubious honor of being No. 1 on Gil Brandt's list of the 10 most disappointing players of 2016?

KNOW THY ENEMY

Thompson: The First Annual Dammys Awards - Daily Norseman - The 2016 season finale doesn’t matter for either team, so we’re handing out awards instead.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong: Chicago Bears Injury Report: OLBs Leonard FLoyd doubtful, Willie Young and Pernell McPhee questionable - Windy City Gridiron - Here’s the final injury report of the 2016 season for the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings.

Mitchell: Should the Bears sit Jordan Howard Sunday? - Windy City Gridiron - There's a lot of talk in the fanbase both here at WCG and elsewhere on the interwebs circulating the idea that it would be wise to sit Jordan Howard for Chicago last game of the season, Sunday in...

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