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The Bear's Den: May 19, 2016

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Welcome to Thursday, Bears fans! We've got news, we've got links, we've got the last of our AFC poll, and we've got some great numbers to look at in Sam's "Greatest Bear By The Number" series today.

The Kansas Comet himself, #40 Gayle Sayers
The Kansas Comet himself, #40 Gayle Sayers
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Emma: Bears’ Safety Competition Marked By Youth - CBS Chicago - Rookies Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson will have their chance in a position battle.

Dickerson: Deon Bush attributes work ethic to father, who played with Jerry Rice - ESPN - Deon Bush learned a lot from his father. And that has translated to the football field.

Fishbain: Offseason moves should lead to much-improved third phase for Chicago Bears - Pro Football Weekly - Re-signings, new players and draft picks give Bears better special teams group

Mayer: Fox lauds Loggains' work with Cutler - ChicagoBears.com - Bears coach John Fox feels that Dowell Loggains did an excellent job coaching Jay Cutler last season and is confident the two will build on their success in 2016.

Fishbain; Chicago Bears post-draft, pre-OTAs depth chart - Pro Football Weekly - Battles will come into focus when the Bears start practice over the next month

Perez: Brian Hoyer on being the Bears’ backup QB - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears signed a critical piece to the roster with backup QB Brian Hoyer. Watch as he discusses what it means to become a Bear.

Ottochain: Harold Jones-Quartey in control of his own future with the Bears - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears safety Harold Jones-Quartey will be in a tight competition that could see him either earn a starting job or miss the final 53.

Perez: John Fox gives team’s new offensive coordinator vote of confidence - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears head coach John Fox expressed confidence in the team's new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.

Biggs: Bears will see familiar faces in training camp practices with Patriots - Chicago Tribune - Before Bears fans get a look at former players Martellus Bennett and Shea McClellin, the team will get the new Patriots up close and physical.

Emma: Bears Have Made Message To Alshon Jeffery Loud And Clear - CBS Chicago - By missing OTAs, Jeffery could follow the path Martellus Bennett took out of Chicago.

Dickerson: Source tells Caplan Chicago Bears looking to extended OLB Willie Young - ESPN - A league source told ESPN Insider Adam Caplan that the Chicago Bears are in talks to extend outside linebacker Willie Young's contract.

Perrez: Predicting the Chicago Bears final roster: Quarterbacks - Bears Wire - A new series on Bears Wire predicting the final roster for the Chicago Bears in 2016

Biggs: Bears have confidence they can deliver with youth in secondary - Chicago Tribune - Fourth-round picks Deon Bush and Deiondre' Hall and sixth-round pick DeAndre Houston-Carson got a crash course during rookie minicamp over the weekend.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Morrissey: If you're for PEDs in sports, you can't stop there - Chicago Sun-Times - Technology is the next logical step.

Hansen: Coach says legalizing fantasy sports puts student athletes at risk - DailyHerald.com - A suburban baseball coach warned Illinois lawmakers that fantasy sports contests are wagering in the eyes of the NCAA and put student athletes who participate at risk of being suspended.

Tucker: Falcons to lower food prices at new stadium: $2 for hot dogs, soft drinks - Chicago Tribune - The Atlanta Falcons will seek to alleviate one of the biggest gripes of sports fans everywhere with a plan unveiled Monday for their new downtown stadium.

Maske: NFL to name former congressman, Eagle Jon Runyan its chief disciplinarian for illegal hits - Chicago TribuneJon Runyan will join the NFL office as the league's discipline officer for on-field violations such as illegal hits.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Sharper: Worst Green Bay Packers Jersey Ever? - TotalPackers.com - What is the worst possible Green Bay Packers jersey a fan could own? USA Today said Brandon Bostick. They are so very wrong. Here are six that are worse.

Reno: Which Lions UDFAs have the best chance of making the roster? - Pride Of Detroit - At least one undrafted free agent has made the Lions' final roster for four straight years now. Who has the best shot at making the team this year?

Gates: Anthony Barr Highlights USA Today Under-25 Team - Daily Norseman - One member of the Minnesota Vikings made a team of players under age 25 from USA Today, and it's one that it's hard to argue.

GREATEST BEARS BY THE NUMBER

In 2011, WCG's Sam Householder did an outstanding "Bears By The Number" series that a lot of folks with us today haven't read. With Sam's permission, I am sharing some of the info with you folks over the couple of weeks as it appeared in 2011, plus the link to the original post that contains more information.

For the most part, little has changed, but there are some numbers that may well be transforming from one "greatest Bear" to a new one.

Current Bears to wear these numbers (the not-retired ones) are: Ben Braunecker (42o), Don Cherry (42d), Nick Kwiatkowski (44)

Here's Sam:

This will be the easiest post I write in this series, bar none. Seriously, we have three consecutive numbers retired in this sequence so I only have to look up two numbers. That's what I call a win! Follow me below the jump and we'll explore the wonderful 40s, that have been kind to our Bears, giving us  the greatest QB in our team's history, the youngest member of the Pro-Football Hall of Fame and his teammate whose career and life was cut tragically short. Onward friends!

Pretty straight forward post from my perspective. I have said all along, if the players number is retired he'll get the nod. This is the only post I'll write with three consecutive retired numbers. It also makes it easy that their numbers were retired relatively early on in team history so before them no one of note toted that particular number. The other two numbers though, 43 and 44 really didn't turn up a whole lot of gems as far as players go but I was able to fill them with players who definitely contributed and made an impact for the team. Including one guy who hails from my ala mater. Yes, I'm a bit biased but I wouldn't have chosen him if his stats couldn't justify it.

40 - Gale Sayers, RB (1965-71): The Kansas Comet, who else would it be? The guy scored 22 TDs as a rookie, including six at a muddy Wrigley Field against the 49ers. He was a four-time Pro-Bowler and a five-time first team All-Pro. He was lightning in a bottle and known for his toughness as much as his grace on the field. He famously returned from a devastating knee injury to have an 1,000 yard season long before modern knee surgery practices. His career YPC was 5.0.

41 - Brian Piccolo, FB (1966-69): He will forever be tied to the man above because of the movie Brian's Song. While his career looks somewhat sub par, only 927 career yards and four TDs in only four seasons but his life was cut short when he got an aggressive form of embryonal carcinoma, which ended his life at age 26.

42 - Sid Luckman, QB (1939-50): He owns every career passing record except for attempts in Bears history. Considered to be the greatest T-formation quarterback in history, Halas hand-picked him coming out of Columbia as the man to lead his offensive creation. He led the Bears to four championships in the 1940s and was elected to three Pro-Bowls and was a five-time First Team All-Pro selection. This Hall of Famer also has his number retired.

43 - Jim Dooley, WR (1952-61): While he later coached the Bears, which weren't very good teams, he also played for the Bears for eight seasons. While he didn't appear in any Pro-Bowls or anything it's safe to say he was a much better player than coach. He had 211 career receptions for 3,172 yards and 16 TDs. He led the Bears in receiving yards three times.

44 - Terry Schmidt, CB (1976-84): There have been some unique names to wear 44 including Brock Forsey, Ray Richards, Bob Margarita, Frank Szymanski and a WD Garrett. Also, interestingly college football coach Mike Stoops donned it for his one year with the Bears in '87. Anyway, none of these guys had an impact for the team so I went with Schmidt who played nine seasons for the Bears. He is a Ball State alum, just like Brad Maynard, Jon Hoke, Ashley Czuba and yours truly. He appeared in 121 games and started 77 of those. He tallied 21 INTs, returned for two TDs and 3 fumble recoveries. Not bad at all.

Sam's original article:

Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (40-44) - Windy City Gridiron - Come check out the only three consecutive retired numbers on the team!

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