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The Bear's Den: April 19, 2016

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We have news about the first day of offseason training at Halas Hall, plus updates on potential draft & free agent moves... we also have the picture above showing Alshon & Coach Fox celebrating our Thanksgiving win over Green Bay on Brett Favre night. Nothing except a Super Bowl win is better than beating Green Bay, especially on special nights like that one was.

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Good morning Bears fans! Today we have our usual supply of links, but I'd like for us all to take a moment and do something a bit different in the Den today. I see... and I know from a lot of your comments that YOU see... WCG as a community of people not just a website... and we have a "cast of characters" of commentators & staff that evolves over the years.

What I would like to do is ask each and every person who reads this to take just a moment and tell a brief bit about yourself... your general age group, when you became a Bears fan, the region of the country you live in, and (generally) what it is you do with yourself when you are not here with us at WCG. I'm not asking for anything personal, just some general info to help us all know a bit more about each other... and of course... BEAR DOWN!!!!

DRAFT / FREE AGENCY

Dickerson: Chicago Bears' possible target Shaq Lawson's shoulder checks out OK - ESPN - A consensus All-American, Shaq Lawson is projected to be drafted somewhere between picks 10-20.

Cox: 2016 NFL Draft, offensive linemen the Bears could target in each round - Bears WireThe Chicago Bears could use some young depth on the offensive line, and there are plenty of intriguing prospects to look at in each round.

Wiederer: NFL draft preview, Offensive linemen - Chicago Tribune - On paper, a starting offensive line of Bobby Massie, Kyle Long, Matt Slauson and Charles Leno seems solid, but the Bears will keep their options open.

Mullen: Bears draft preview: Receiver a low priority barring surprises - CSN Chicago - With Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal all healed up, the Bears seem set at receiver. That makes the position a low priority barring early round surprises.

Morrissey: Still holding out hope the Bears will choose a QB of the future - Chicago Sun-Times - They need defense, but the right quarterback could make all the difference down the line.

NFL 2016 Draft Panel: What should the Bears do at No. 11? - Chicago Tribune - What should the Bears do at No. 11?

Householder: Updated list of Bears draft prospect visits - Windy City Gridiron - The pre-draft process may not be slowing down quite yet with just ten days to go before the draft. Who have the Bears been meeting with?

Ottochain: Is Robert Nkemdiche a fit for Ryan Pace and the Bears? - Bears Wire - Robert Nkemdiche is an extremely talented player, but his personality and off-field concerns may cause teams to shy away from him.

BEARRRSSSS

Emma: Bears’ Zach Miller Ready To Make Most Of His Opportunity - CBS Chicago - Initially, Martellus Bennett was the steady support system next to Zach Miller’s stall in the Bears locker room. As Miller worked through unfathomable football fortunes with a smile on his face, Bennett was there for guidance. Then, Miller put together the kind of season he had long hoped to attain, a 2015 that earned him the spot as a go-to tight end. It was Bennett’s spot.

Ottochain: Exclusive Interview with Bears DB Demontre Hurst, Part 1: ‘It’s been a roller coaster’ - Bears Wire
In an exclusive interview with Bears' defensive back Demontre Hurst, he tells us all about what it's like to be cut by the team.

Mayer: Bears' offseason program begins - ChicagoBears.com - For the first time in three months, the Halas Hall weight room was teeming with players Monday as the Bears kicked off their voluntary offseason program.

Wiltfong: Chicago Bears 2016 Offseason Schedule, Bears start offseason workout program today - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears are officially getting back to work. Today starts Phase One of their offseason workout program. Phase one won't bring much in the terms of actual football practice as it's simply...

SportsTalk Live: Will Bears be a contender next season? - CSN Chicago - Will the Bears be a contender for the playoffs next season?

Perez: Bears WR Josh Bellamy signs one-year tender - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears re-signed WR Josh Bellamy, a player who could compete for reps in the slot in 2016.

Fishbain: Chicago Bears begin 2016 offseason training program - Chicago Football - The Bears reported to Halas Hall for Phase One of the offseason

Dickerson: Chicago Bears' John Fox focused on Jay Cutler's continued improvement - ESPN - Jay Cutler made strides in his first year with John Fox. Keeping that momentum going with a new coordinator will be critical to the Bears' success.

Perez (video): Bears offseason workout program begins - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears started their offseason workout program today, and there's video to prove it.

SportsTalk Live: Mannelly on who Bears should take at No. 11 - CSN Chicago - Who will the Bears take with the No. 11 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? Former Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly weighs in on SportsTalk Live.

Reviewing Wiltfong's Sackwatch 2015: Week 1 vs Green Bay Packers - Windy City GridironKen's note: leading up to the draft, I am posting these as a review of our pass protection in 2015. Lester does such an outstanding job that it's well worth the time to revisit the articles and see what, if any, progress has been made since that game. Week 1: "As I do every year, I'll be breaking down the pass protection of the Chicago Bears each week in my Sackwatch series. This week the Bears allowed 2 sacks to the Packers, so come see where I assign blame for each."

Sunderbrunch: Five Things Bears Fans Should Look Forward To (Draft-free Edition) - Windy City Gridiron - Bears fans don't need the draft to have things they can look forward to. Here are five things to get the conversation started.

BEARRRSSSS FOR LIFE

Chicago Bears in the Hall - Red Grange - Unique among the immortals honored in the pro gridiron shrine is the fact that Grange, the player, is still best remembered for one superb afternoon against Michigan when he was carrying the mail for the University of Illinois. It was October 28, 1924, and Grange scored on runs of 95, 67, 56, and 45 yards-in the first quarter. He scored a fifth touchdown in the third quarter and passed for a sixth in the final stanza. Illinois not only had beaten mighty Michigan, 39-14, but Grange had galloped for 402 yards on 21 carries and completed six passes for 78 more yards.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Thomas: Joey Bosa's great-grandfather was once Al Capone's bodyguard and a Chicago crime boss - SBNation.com - One thing many people don't know about Joey Bosa is that his great-grandfather, Tony Accardo, was a Chicago mob boss for more than 40 years. Accardo wasn't just some random low-level mafioso, either. Accardo, known to his mob associates as "Joey Batters," or just "Joe B." for short, was a heavy hitter in Chicago, figuratively and literally. Al Capone gave him the nickname after Accardo allegedly killed two guys with a baseball bat.

Alper: (The other) Brandon Marshall hasn’t signed RFA tender, shows for Broncos workouts - ProFootballTalk - There was a report last month that linebacker Brandon Marshall was thinking about staying away from the voluntary portion of Broncos offseason workouts if he and the team didn't agree on a long-term deal.

Florio: "Nothing more important" to Sanchez than winning Denver starting job - ProFootballTalk - As the Broncos continue to look for a new starting quarterback, one man thinks they've already found him. That man is Mark Sanchez. Added as what seemed to be a break-glass-in-event-of-emergency move after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler bolted only two days apart, Sanchez hasn't gotten...

Alper: Texans releasing Brian Hoyer - ProFootballTalk - The Texans signed a new starting quarterback this offseason in Brock Osweiler and they have Brandon Weeden and Tom Savage in reserve, which doesn't leave much space for Brian Hoyer on the depth chart. As a result, Hoyer won't be on the depth chart much longer.

Scott: Titans fans get drenched when team forgets to turn off sprinklers at stadium movie night - USA Today - One job, sprinkler guy. One job.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Detroit Lions Draft: Odds on the No. 16 Pick - SideLionReport - The Detroit Lions draft pick at No. 16 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft is quite the mystery. Trying to figure out what player will cross the stage in Chicago and don a Lions jersey like Laken Tomlinson, Eric Ebron, Ziggy Ansah and Riley Reiff have done in the last four first rounds is quite the parlor game this year.

Bonham: Packers Pay More in Workout Bonuses for Good Reason - Total Packers - The Green Bay Packers pay their players more in workout bonuses than any other team in the NFL. They have a good reason for doing so. They buy chemistry.

Young: Vikings 2016 Schedule: 5 Toughest Games? Vikings.com - The 2016 Vikings schedule was released Thursday, and the Vikings have a handful of interesting games, including four matchups scheduled for prime time. Of the 16 games slated for Minnesota, which will be the most challenging? The Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel weighed in on which five he expects to be the toughest.

Wobschall: 10 Takeaways from the Vikings 2016 Schedule - Vikings.com - The regular season schedule was unveiled late last week, completing the road map for the 2016 season. The Vikings offseason program launched on Monday, beginning the journey of the 2016 season. With two more offseason landmarks in the rear view mirror, here are 10 observations on the Vikings 2016 schedule.

Wilde: Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (ACL) not worried about losing a step - ESPN - It's possible that Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson could lose a step following ACL surgery, but it's not something he anticipates or worries about.

Wodkiewicz: Packers impressed with Eddie Lacy's transformation - USA Today - Fourth-year running back worked with P90X founder during offseason.

DRAFT PROSPECTS OF INTEREST TO BEARS FANS

NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame RB C.J. Prosise | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft returns To Chicago | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft Profile: UCLA DL Kenny Clark | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft Profile: Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott | CSN Chicago

NFL Draft Profile: UCLA DL Kenny Clark | CSN Chicago

Helmet Tip to BearDownIsrael for the poll idea suggestion.