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The Bear's Den: May 23, 2016

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It's Monday, one week closer to the start of the season. It was a quiet weekend in Bear's news land, but there were, as always, some news and opinions expressed. Here's what we have for you today.

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Lance Briggs, greatest 55 for the Chicago Bears... and Bear For Life Charles Tillman
Lance Briggs, greatest 55 for the Chicago Bears... and Bear For Life Charles Tillman
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

PFF: Bears Earn Off-Season A- Grade - Pro Football Focus - After years of having limited draft picks and subsequently adding limited talent to the roster, the Bears have turned a corner from a talent standpoint the last two years, both in the draft and in free agency. The defense has continued to add pieces after disastrous efforts in 2013 and 2014, and they should improve once again in 2016.

Perez: A look at the Chicago Bears’ 2016 offseason - Bears Wire - The Bears made several key moves during the NFL's 2016 offseason period.

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

Infante: Chicago Bears position battles to watch - Cover32 - The Chicago Bears have done a lot this offseason to improve their roster, but there are still question marks. While some positions...

Lambert: Determining Who Makes The Chicago Bears Mount Rushmore - SportsMockery.com - Clearly it takes being somebody of special merit to qualify for being on that mountain. So this begs the question. Who would hold that honor if there were a Chicago Bears version?

Perez:Jay Cutler is one of the most hated players in NFL history - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was recently named as one of the NFL's most hated players in NFL history.

Caputo - Packers? Vikings? Detroit Lions may be bypassed by Chicago Bears - Detroit DailyTribune.com - When the subject is the NFC North, and how the division is probably the strongest in the conference and perhaps the NFL, the discussion usually begins and ends with the Packers and Vikings.

Lambert: How Jay Cutler's Personal Record Factors Into Bears 2016 Schedule - SportsMockery.com - By this point in his career, Jay Cutler has played at least one game against every team in the NFL, and the records against each of those teams could offer an interesting indicator on how things might play out for the Chicago Bears going into 2016. Courtesy of a Reddit user, his complete record including the playoffs was posted against all NFC and AFC teams. There are a few surprises.

Dullea: Bears Rookie Profile, LB Nick Kwiatkoski - Cover32 - Nick Kwiatkoski was a stat-stuffing play maker for the Mountaineers. Can the fourth round draft pick contribute right away for the Chicago Bears?

Lambert: Call Goes Out For Chicago Bears To Bring Back Familiar Face (Wiltfong featured) - SportsMockery.com - There might be a Peanut mentioned in this story.

Emma: Bears’ Kevin White Is Raring To Go - CBS Chicago - After a lost rookie season, White is eager to take the field in 2016.

Cobb: Bears WRs White & Jeffery can be special - Cover32 - As a senior at West Virginia, Bears WR Kevin White posted big numbers, 109 receptions for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns, and...

Sears: Bears Legend's Impact Still Resonates With Fans Today - SportsMockery.com - Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher retired from the NFL three years ago today, leaving a massive hole in Chicago and NFL fan's hearts.

Hoge: Realistic Rookie Expectations For All 9 Bears Draft Picks - WGN Radio - 720 AM - The Bears’ 2016 rookie class joined a host of tryout players this past weekend at Halas Hall for rookie minicamp. While the three-day camp allows coaches to get their hands on their new toys for the first time, the workouts aren’t particularly helpful in judging how the Bears’ new players will adjust to the NFL. (Ken's Note: Missed this one while I was on vacation, it's a few days old but not time-related so I posted it anyway)

Miller: Chicago Bears can finish strong this offseason - isportsweb - The Chicago Bears have had a solid offseason in upgrading their team. Here's how they can really top off their already successful offseason,

POLISH SAUSAGE

Rosenthal: Aaron Rodgers responds to 'dumb' fan criticism - NFL.com - After a letter to the editor in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel claimed that Aaron Rodgers' "hard counts" are ruining the game, the Packers star quarterback responded over social media. (Ken's note: There's a great comment to be made here, but in my position I just can't do it... I'm hoping one of your folks will bail me out and nail it in the comments)

Breech: Lions start a Twitter fight with the Packers and get destroyed - CBSSports.com - The Packers aren't just beating the Lions on the field anymore... (Ken's note: is it possible to root for a Twitter Meteor?)

Florio: The Raiders stadium is like poo - plumbing problems plague Coliseum, again - ProFootballTalk - As the Raiders contemplate a possible move to the land of craps, well, you get the picture. Via ESPN.com, toilet problems have returned to the Oakland Coliseum. On Saturday, they emerged in the form of a clogged toilet in the visiting clubhouse during a game between the Yankees and the A's.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Lions notes: Eric Ebron responds to Pro Football Focus calling him a bust - Pride Of Detroit - The Detroit Lions tight end had to laugh when given the "bust" label just two years into his professional career.

Gates: What's The Most Embarrassing Vikings Jersey You Own? - Daily Norseman - USA Today has weighed in on what the most embarrassing Vikings jersey to own would be.

PurplePTSD.com RoundTable: August’s Surprise Cut - Vikings Journal - A rambling and kinda hard to follow but interesting article...

Boden: Bears' offseason rivalry report, Green Bay Packers - CSN Chicago - CSN's Chris Boden takes a look at how the 2016 offseason has gone for the Bears' NFC North rivals following the NFL Draft. Next up: Green Bay Packers.

Boden: Bears' offseason rivalry report: Detroit Lions - CSN Chicago - CSN's Chris Boden takes a look at how the 2016 offseason has gone for the Bears' NFC North rivals following the NFL Draft. First up: Detroit Lions.

Boden: Bears' offseason rivalry report - Minnesota Vikings - CSN's Chris Boden takes a look at how the 2016 offseason has gone for the Bears' NFC North rivals following the NFL Draft. Next up: Minnesota Vikings.

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:

55 - Lance Briggs, OLB (2003-present): Briggs has been a staple alongside Urlacher for much of the last decade and is probably the one most easily identified as the best of Jerry Angelo late-round finds. He's also been one of the faces of the Lovie Smith era since he entered the league just one year before our current coach arrived. He has been elected to six straight Pro-Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2005. His career numbers: 10.5 sacks, 12 INTs, nine forced fumbles and 60 pass deflections. Honorable Mentions - Doug Buffone, LB (1966-79): 14 seasons all with the Bears, that kind of longevity has to be recognized. He's also a Chicago radio guy and even though I don't listen to him I'm sure he is a pretty good homer, haha. Otis Wilson, LB (1980-87): 36 sacks, 10 INTs and a Pro-Bowler in 1985.

56 - Bill Hewitt, E (1932-36): Perhaps best remembered as the last player to not where a helmet, Hewitt was a good receiver for the team back in the '30s. He totaled 52 career receptions for 939 yards and 13 TDs. This doesn't sound like much but it was obviously enough for the Bears to retire his number. He was a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection for the Bears.

57 - Olin Kreutz, C (1998-2010): Yes, we are all painfully aware of the nasty divorce between the team and the long time leader of the o-line. Frankly though, he is probably my favorite Bear since I really got into following the team. His leadership, grit and determination was something to admire. He was one game shy of Walter Payton's all-time starts as a Bear. While Kreutz's physical play has dropped a bit in the recent past, his leadership could leave a void for the foreseeable future. He was a six-time Pro-Bowler (all consecutive) and a one-time First-Team All-Pro. Also, I was afraid if I didn't pick him, he'd break my jaw. Honorable Mention - Tom Thayer, RG (1985-92): Thayer started 120 of 123 games with the Bears. In his time in Chicago he missed only five games. He never made a Pro-Bowl but he is remembered for being a tough guy and a staple of the great Bears o-lines of the '80s. Thayer is a Chicago guy through and through, being from Joliet and he played at Notre Dame. He's now the other half of the great broadcast crew with Jeff Joniak and his knowledge of the game is impeccable. The link on his name goes to his TLBHB post.

58 - Wilbur Marshall, LB (1984-87): Marshall played only four seasons in Chicago but he is a colorful character (as evidenced in the linked Taking a Look in the Bears History Book two-part post on him Part I on his name, part II here). Marshall could have made this list on his 1985 NFCC Game fumble return alone but he was a hell of a player and probably one of the first post-'85 departures that hurt the team the most. I remember reading a book about the rise and fall of the '85 Bears and there were a lot of players who seemed to think that the McCaskey's thought they could replace Marshall and the team should have payed him. Marshall made two Pro-Bowls and was an All-Pro selection once in his time in Chicago and some say he should be a Hall of Famer. In just his four years with the Bears he picked up 16.5 sacks, nine INTs and eight forced fumbles.

59 - Rosevelt Colvin, LB (1999-2002): Colvin played only four years with the Bears but in that time he started 36 games, while appearing in 56 overall. He got 26 sacks, two INTs and 10 forced fumbles. He was never a Pro-Bowler or an All-Pro but he was a great contributor for the team. Honorable Mention - Ron Rivera, LB (1984-92): He started only 56 of the 137 games he played in for the Bears but in that time Chico grabbed nine INTs and seven and a half sacks. He later contributed as a defensive coordinator for the team.

Sam's Original Article:

Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (55-59) - Windy City Gridiron - The Greatest Bears by Number (55-59) - Check out the latest installment!

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