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The Bear's Den: May 24, 2016

The Chicago Bears have bolstered the third phase roster bringing in aces for special team through the free agency and draft process. On paper, the ST squad looks set to improve from the past two rocky seasons... how will they do?

Deonte Thompson with the big return...
Deonte Thompson with the big return...
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports



Szafran-Luce: Chicago Bears offensive line much improved - Cover32 - The Chicago Bears will have what hopes to be a revamped offensive line after signing Bobby Massie in free agency and the 2016 NFL draft.

Perez: Alshon Jeffery, two other Bears, appear in top-70 fantasy football rankings - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery, two others, appear in top-70 fantasy football rankings

Ottochain: Cody Whitehair’s versatility and technique make him a shoo-in to start - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears rookie second-round pick Cody Whitehair has the requisite technique and versatility to earn a starting spot in year one.

Perez: Ka’Deem Carey has the talent to start at RB for the Chicago Bears - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears are headed for a training camp battle at the running back position, and Ka'Deem Carey could emerge as the team's starter.

Cox: Tight end remains position with most to prove in 2016 for the Bears - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears did little to replace Martellus Bennett on their roster, and many question marks still remain at tight end.

Morrissey: Waving the white flag of surrender: the Bears and NFL are king - Chicago Sun-Times - It’s May, and we’re talking … Bears. The draft is done, training camp doesn’t start for another two months, and we’re talking … Bears. The appetite for the local football team is insatiable.

Mullen: Bears sounding increasingly like Lamarr Houston, Willie Young in ’16 plans - CSN Chicago - Instead shopping various veterans, the Bears are sounding increasingly like Lamarr Houston and Willie Young are in their 2016 plans.

Householder: Should the Bears extend Willie Young's contract? - Windy City Gridiron - Willie Young has been productive for the Bears, he's 30 years old and has never seemed to really enjoy being in a 3-4 defense.

Tedeschi: Jay Cutler’s second chance with the Chicago Bears - isportsweb - With talent on the team finally, Jay Cutler has his second opportunity to be a winner as a Chicago Bear. Chicago Bears.

Lambert: Why It's Okay To Believe The Chicago Bears Defense Will Be Good - - Yes, we know. It’s impossible for Chicago Bears fans to get the nightmares out of their minds whenever they go to sleep at night. Rob Gronkowski laughing on his way into the end zone for another touchdown. Aaron Rodgers grinning after his sixth TD pass. Back-to-back games of giving up 50 or more points, an NFL record nobody would ever dream a Bears defense would hold in any decade.

Rotoworld: Where the Bears QB situation ranks in the NFL - CSN Chicago - The Bears will need consistent play under center to contend for a playoff spot in 2016. Where do they rank in the NFL in terms of their quarterback situation?

Rosenthal: Biggest weak spot for each NFC team - - In a salary cap league with every rule designed to promote parity, there are no perfect depth charts. Here's a quick look at one area that each NFC team has to worry about heading into the season. (Ken's note: Rosenthal may as well have posted this article using ancient Mesopotamian hieroglyphics for all the sense the Bears entry makes... you be the judge...)

Mayer: Bears draft ranked second best in NFL - - analyst Jim Reineking has ranked the Bears' 2016 draft as the second best in the league behind the Tennessee Titans.

Rotoworld: Where the Bears QB situation ranks in the NFL - CSN Chicago - The Bears will need consistent play under center to contend for a playoff spot in 2016. Where do they rank in the NFL in terms of their quarterback situation?

Emma: Key Variables Will Make Or Break Bears’ Offense - CBS Chicago - There are question marks in key spots as Chicago looks to attain offensive continuity.

Cox: 5 questions OTAs can answer for the Chicago Bears - Bears Wire - Watch as Bears Wire takes you through five questions that the Chicago Bears can answer at their upcoming voluntary OTAs.

The NFL's Five Best Offensive Skill Players Of 2015 Include Bears Surprise - Sports Mockery - Arguably the best and the most widely used football grading website, Pro Football Focus (PFF), uses advanced metrics to grade each and every play, and player, in the NFL. These statistics are then available to members who have a subscription to further analyze. When looking over these stats today we noticed something very interesting.

Potash: Player to Watch: Rookie CB Kevin Peterson could be 'a steal' - Chicago Sun-Times - But you don’t have to search too deeply into his profile to find a number of intangibles that tell personnel evaluators this kid has a chance.

Lambert: Bears Have Specific Reason To Think Jordan Howard Exceeds His Indiana Success - SportsMockery - Praise for the Chicago Bears 2016 draft class has been widespread and ongoing.  One of the more exciting picks they made came in the fifth round when Indiana running back Jordan Howard was selected.  Several draft experts had him going as early as the second round, so to get him that late was quite a steal on paper.

Perez: 5 Chicago Bears to target for fantasy football in 2016 - Bears Wire - Five Chicago Bears skill players worth targeting in your 2016 fantasy football drafts

Lambert: Try To Guess The 40 Most Successful Chicago Bears Jersey Numbers Ever - Sports Mockery - A clicky-sorta-annoying-thing but you get to see Bears.

Reineking: 2016 NFL Draft class power rankings. Bears are #2 - Teams 1-8 - - The Titans took home the best class in the 2016 NFL Draft, according to a point system based on Gil Brandt's Hot 100. Find out where your team lands in the draft class power rankings.


Players with most to prove for all 32 teams - free agency, draft picks, pivotal season, Jimmy Graham, Eddie Lacy - ESPN - Can Jimmy Graham rebound from his season-ending injury? Will Eddie Lacy return to his 2014 form? NFL Nation reporters select the player for each team facing a pivotal 2016 season.

Gantt: D.J. Humphries says being a healthy scratch (behind Massie) all year "humbled" him - ProFootballTalk - If D.J. Humphries felt good about being a first-round pick last year, being a healthy scratch all 18 times the Cardinals played last year brought him back down to Earth.

Battista: Future Super Bowl sites, Las Vegas among topics at NFL meeting -
Which cities have the inside track to host Super Bowls LIII, LIV and LV? Is Las Vegas close to getting an NFL team? Judy Battista reports from the Spring League Meeting in Charlotte.


Wood: Analyzing Packers' roster ahead of OTAs - - A position-by-position look at the roster heading into this week’s organized team activities.

Birkett: 5 things to watch as Detroit Lions open OTAs - Detroit Free Press - The Detroit Lions open organized team activities Tuesday with the first of 10 practices scheduled in Allen Park.

Florio: Adrian Peterson to attend Vikings OTAs - ProFootballTalk - Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has said on multiple recent occasions that the demands of training camp ultimately could bring about the end to his career. At least for 2016, he doesn't have the same attitude about Organized Team Activities.


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.

Presented a bit out of order (sorry about that) we have the 45-49 in this episode. Current Bears players wearing these numbers are: Danny Mason (45d), Joe Sommers (45o), Aaron Brewster (46), Paul Lasike (47o), Roy Robertson-Harris (47d), Patrick Scales (48), Sam Acho (49).

Here's Sam:

"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.

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 Bears By The Numbers 45-49 Post & Reader Comments (Click Here)

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