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The Bear's Den: May 20, 2016

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Friday is here! The weekend looms! Today is a YOUR day here at the Den, while we talk about the Chicago Bears let's also talk about you, the WCG family of Bears Fans. What are your plans for the weekend? If you have to work this weekend, what are your plans for your time off? Spill the beans!

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN!!!!

Today is YOUR day here at the Den, so by all means discuss the links and stories of the day, but let's also talk about your plans for the weekend/your next days off. Family? Friends? Will there be pizza involved? Adult beverages? We want to know, what's up, Bears fans? Spill the beans!

BEARRRSSSS

Szafran-Luce: Chicago Bears rookies boost special teams - Cover32 - The Chicago Bears took six defensive players in the draft this year and I expect all of them to compete for playing time.

Emma: Bears Banking On Tight End Production From Zach Miller - CBS Chicago - Relying heavily on Miller, the Bears are also hoping they have something in Ben Braunecker.

Dickerson: Does Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery dislike Chicago? - ESPN - Yes, there's speculation that Alshon Jeffery doesn't care much for Chicago. But what the real focus should be on is if the star WR can stay healthy.

Ottochain: Bears rookie linebacker should see field sooner rather than later - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears fourth-round pick Nick Kwiatkoski has the skill set to challenge for a starting role very early in his career.

Bears fans, get ready to pay more for Packers game - Chicago Tribune - Bears single-game tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and the team also announced the debut of tiered pricing.

Wiederer: How serious are Bears about keeping Willie Young around long term? - Chicago Tribune - According to a league source, the Bears are in discussions toward a potential extension for Willie Young.

Jay Cutler in pictures - FOX Sports - Jay Cutler in pictures

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

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: 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.

Garlewicz: How good is the Chicago Bears defensive line? - isportsweb - The defensive line of the Chicago Bears is not filled with quick, pass-rushing lineman that will have impressive sack numbers. The current roster does not

Mullen: Competition sounds good, but Bears offensive line duels coming down to just two - CSN Chicago - Competition and "best five start" sounds good, but the Bears offensive line duels are coming down to just two.

BIGGS MAILBAG (Broken out to make your life easier)

Biggs: Which free agents might the Bears target now? - Chicago Tribune - Are there any other free agents or potential June 1st cuts you could see the Bears pursue?

Biggs: Is Ben Braunecker a lock because the Bears need another tight end? - Chicago Tribune - Is Ben Braunecker a lock to make the team because the Bears need another tight end?

Biggs: Is Harold Jones-Quartey being overlooked as a potential starter? - Chicago Tribune - Where is the love for Harold Jones-Quartey? Seemed to play well at times last year but not hearing the talking heads discuss as a potential starter.

Biggs: Is Dwight Freeney worth bringing in on a one-year contract? - Chicago Tribune - Is Dwight Freeney worth bringing in on a one-year contract?

Biggs: Has Hroniss Grasu bulked up? - Chicago Tribune - Has Hroniss Grasu added any weight offseason?

Biggs: Why not keep Antrel Rolle on the roster to mentor rookies? - Chicago Tribune - Why not keep Antrel Rolle on the roster to mentor rookies and Adrian Amos this season?

Biggs: Does Alshon Jeffery want to stay in Chicago? - Chicago Tribune - Do you think Alshon Jeffrey wants to be back with Chicago? He said he loves the city but never said he loves the team.

Biggs: Is Kevin White overhyped? - Chicago Tribune - Is the Kevin White hype train real? And what are the odds Daniel Braverman can actually pass up Eddie Royal?

Biggs: What's holding up the Leonard Floyd and Jonathan Bullard contracts? - Chicago Tribune - What's holding up the Leonard Floyd and Jonathan Bullard contracts? Is this a concern?

Biggs: Could the Bears ever hold training camp joint practices in Bourbonnais? - Chicago Tribune - Could the Bears ever hold joint practices at Olivet Nazarene University instead of always going on the road to do that?

POLISH SAUSAGE

Cox: Former Bear “Tank” Johnson working his way up business side of NFL - Bears Wire - Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Terry "Tank" Johnson is working to help current players with social rehabilitation and branding.

Dullea: Kyle Long says Jay Cutler hosts GoT pizza parties - Cover32 - On NFL.com yesterday, Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long revealed something awesome about his starting quarterback: he hosts Game of Thrones pizza parties.

Fan Post I Liked by Grygus: 2015 Sackwatch Collection - Windy City Gridiron - All of Lester's 2015 Sackwatch articles in one place:

Arthur: Matt Walsh on His Beloved Bears and Watching Jim Harbaugh Eat Pizza-| Rolling Stone - Matt Walsh on "Veep," why weed should be legal, his beloved Chicago Bears and watching Jim Harbaugh eat an entire pizza. Helmet tip to Ricard for the link.

KNOW THY ENEMY

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.

Here's Sam:

Let's continue my series looking at the best Bears by jersey number. Last time out we looked at what could possibly the only case of three consecutive retired numbers in all of sports (I'm too lazy to confirm this though, haha). Those numbers were 40 (for Gale Sayers), 41 (Brian Piccolo) and 42 (Sid Luckman). This time however, we're shifting back to the defense for a couple players you've definitely heard of and throwing in a couple well-known offensive guys, as well as a couple "you've probably never heard of them" types. Follow me and check it out!

As I said in my last post, the 40s have given us some great players and this set is no different. Two of the best safeties this team has ever had and one of the best receivers. I had to pick between a bunch of nobodies to fill this set out, but I'm not sure that will be the case next time out, when we hit the 50s. I know some of you have been looking forward to seeing who makes the cut, and with out linebacking history, I'm excited too! But first, here's this post:

45 - Gary Fencik, S (1976-87): Fencik was a staple of the Bears' secondary for his entire career, all of which was spent in Chicago. Fencik twice made the Pro-Bowl and once was chosen as a first team All-Pro. Not bad for a player coming out of the 10th round who played at Yale! Fencik holds the franchise record for career interceptions with 38. Trivia for you, Fencik was originally drafted by the Dolphins but he was released and landed with the Bears. Anyway, Fencik made up one half of one of the best safety duos in NFL history, which leads us to....

46 - Doug Plank, S (1975-82): Plank and the aforementioned Fencik were known as the "Hitmen" in the late '70s and early '80s. Plank is probably best known as the man who spawned the name "46 Defense" for Buddy Ryan's legendary system. Plank was known for his hard hits and his career may have been cut short by his playing style. Plank never logged a Pro-Bowl or an All-Pro nod but he had 15 career INTs and is forever known and loved in Bears lore. Honorable Mention: Chris Harris, S (2005-06, 2010-present): I remember back in '05 when Chris Harris, was a rookie my dad watched a preseason game and said "Wow, that kid reminds me of Doug Plank with his hits! Do you think that's why the gave him number 46?" Haha. Harris is a fan favorite and if he plays a few more years he could become the better-known 46, but for now, he and his 10 INTs as a Bear will have to keep playing.

47 - Johnny Morris, FL (1958-67): Morris is the Bears' all-time leader in receiving yards with 5,059 yards. He was a one-time Pro-Bowler and a one-time first-team All-Pro. In 1964 he led the NFL with 93 receptions, 1,200 yards, 10 TDs and 85.7 yards per game. He ranks second in franchise history in catches, and fifth in TDs. Follow the link on his name to check out Ashley's Taking a Look in the Bears History Book post on Morris. Trivia on number 47: Current defensive backs coach Jon Hoke wore 47 for his one season in the NFL (with the Bears) in 1980.

48 - Allen Ellis, DB (1973-77): Not a number of star power guys here so here he is. Ellis was a one-time Pro-Bowler in '77. With the Bears he started 76 of 94 games and had 22 INTs. Honorable Mention: Beattie Feathers, RB (1934-37): He was the first person ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season back in '34. He did it in 11 games. After that though he never topped 350 yards in a year again. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in '34.

49 - David Tate, DB (1988-92): Number 49 is just packed with nobodies. Tate played five years with the Bears and nabbed seven interceptions and started seven games.

Sam's original article:

Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (45-49) - Windy City Gridiron
The great duo of safeties in team history fall on back-to-back numbers. See that and more!

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