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The Bear's Den: May 27, 2016

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The progress of WR Kevin White and C Hroniss Grasu are two big stories of OTA's so far, as is the concept of "leadership". Here's what's going on at Halas Hall.

Kevin White
Kevin White
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Emma: Danny Trevathan Has New Swagger Spreading Through Bears Defense - CBS Chicago - Fresh off a championship with the Broncos, Trevathan looks to instill a winning culture with the Bears too.

Perez; Kevin White on shin injury ‘I don’t even think about it.’ - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears' second-year WR Kevin White fully participated in the team's OTAs and has declared himself 100% healthy and ready for 2016

Lambert: Chicago Bears Best and Worst Off-Season Moments Revealed - SportsMockery - With training camp approaching fast, the 2016 off-season period is drawing to a close for the Chicago Bears. One can say with reasonable confidence that if nothing else it was exciting few months for fans, filled with unexpected twists and turns from surprise trades, big signings and daring draft picks. The question that is now dawning on people is how well did the Bears do?

Hangst: The 10 worst value contracts in the NFL (Jay Cutler Bashing Alert!) - TheComeback.com - Which NFL players aren't living up to their contracts and dragging down their teams' salary caps? Here are the 10 worst value contracts in the league. (Ken's Note: I include this because it's an example of silly reasoning and lazy journalism... and because how many times can you see Jay Cutler back to back in a list with Ndamukong Suh?)

Bears need more interceptions (SM's clickbait headline removed by Ken) - SportsMocckery.com - Chicago Bears fans are hyped about their draft and their future heading into 2016, but there’s a glaring problem that still needs to be fixed. Ryan Pace got raving reviews from most NFL experts for his off-season moves but he did little to address one of the biggest problems last season… and that’s generating interceptions. Specifically from the defensive backs. (Ken's Note:

Emma: Confidence Carries Bears Rookie Cornerback Deiondre’ Hall - CBS Chicago
- A fourth-round pick out of Northern Iowa, Hall knows it's time to prove himself.

Potash: An upgrade from within? Hroniss Grasu bigger, better in Year 2 - Chicago Sun-Times - The biggest reason Grasu expects to be a much better player in 2016 than he was last year is his increased knowledge of the playbook.

Hub Arkush: Chicago Bears fans shouldn't have to worry about inside linebacker anymore - Pro Football WeeklyDanny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman look like great fits (Ken's Note: Freeman, Trevathan and McPhee/Young/Houston/Floyd at OLB's is FREAKING SCARY if you think about it).

Perez: Jeremy Langford is trying to become a leader - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears second-year RB Jeremy Langford is trying to become one of the team's leaders

Potash: Brian Hoyer a better insurance policy for Bears, Jay Cutler - Chicago Sun-Times - Hoyer is a willing back up who thinks like a starter — and has the resume to back it up.

Mullen: Bears 'horizontal' leadership plan building on some surprising leaders - CSN Chicago - The Bears are looking for leadership from players who haven't spent much time with the team, but they're confident in a team-wide approach.

LeGere: Bears WR White says he's 100 percent ready to play - DailyHerald.com - There's no doubt in Kevin White's mind that he's completely over the shin splints that required surgery a year ago androbbed him of his entire rookie season. "I don't even think about it," the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft said after Wednesday's OTA.

Photos: Bears OTA session at Halas Hall - Chicago Tribune - Photos from practice at Halas Hall on May 25, 2016.

Wiederer: Danny Trevathan's arrival should instantly energize Bears defense - Chicago Tribune - Danny Trevathan wants to build a bond within the Bears defense, cultivating friendships away from the workplace while creating chemistry on the field.

Biggs: Bears buy some valuable insurance with 'Hoyer the Destroyer' - Chicago Tribune - Now Brian Hoyer is the backup to Jay Cutler, giving the Bears an experienced No. 2 quarterback who has experience with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.

Lambert: Celebrate Brian Urlacher's Birthday By Reliving His 10 Greatest Games - SportsMockery.com - A list of great games by one of Chicago's greatest linebackers.

Dickerson: Be Like Mike, Motivated Bears WR Daniel Braverman has no regrets - ESPN - Daniel Braverman left Western Michigan a year early after a prolific season, but he wasn't picked until the seventh round.

Fishbain: Jerrell Freeman settling in as Bears defensive play-caller - Pro Football Weekly - And the Bears are spending OTAs without Alshon Jeffery

Campbell & Wiederer: Bear Download - Chicago Tribune - Welcome to the weekly Bear Download podcast with Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer.

Lambert: Some Pure Gold Comments Are Coming From Chicago Bears OTAs - SportsMockery - The first major practices for the Chicago Bears at Organized Team Activities are off and running. Media eagerly awaited a chance to watch the action, hoping to come away with positive impressions from key players on both offense and defense. One of the bigger surprises though came during the interview process. By the look of things, head coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace have assembled quite the cast of characters.

Alper: Jeremy Langford wants to be the leader of the Bears backfield - ProFootballTalk - Running back Jeremy Langford had more than 800 yards of total offense in 2015 and joined Gale Sayers and Walter Payton as the only Bears rookies since 1960 to run for touchdowns in four straight games.

Weaver: Brian Urlacher - The best game of his career - Cover32Brian Urlacher will go down as one of the top Chicago Bears linebackers of all time, and he's in some pretty good company.

Dickerson: Jeremy Langford says Bears need me to make plays with Matt Forte gone - ESPN - Chicago Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who played a complimentary role last season, understands expectations will be higher now that he's the starter.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Knoblach: NFL plans to talk with players named in PED report (including Peppers) next month - NFL.com - Next month, the NFL expects to speak to the players who were accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in a report by Al Jazeera America, a league spokesman told NFL Media.

Lauterbach: Richie Incognito fears violating Bills media policy by reporting the presence of cookies in lunch room - TheComeback.com - The Buffalo Bills recently installed a brand new media policy on Tuesday. Richie Incognito was confused about the policy and tweeted about cookies.

Smith: Brandon Marshall appears to be protesting Fitzpatrick situation - ProFootballTalk - Amid a report that Jets receiver Eric Decker is skipping Organized Team Activities to make a statement in support of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, it appears that Jets receiver Brandon Marshall is doing the same.

McClure: Atlanta Falcons special-teams coach: Kickoffs could be eliminated - ESPN - Will the NFL eventually scrap the kickoff altogether? Special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong thinks the league will find an alternative for it.

Jenkins: The NFL acts as if it's above science and the law, and that's unacceptable - Chicago Tribune - "Biased, agenda-driven, and self-approving." With that powerful smack of a sentence, attorney Theodore Olson summed up the NFL.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Orr: Can Jared Cook make Packers' offense any better? - NFL.com - Could Jared Cook be the key to the Packers' offense retaking its place among the top in the NFL? Conor Orr looks at the potential impact of Green Bay's under-the-radar pickup.

Patra: Packers' Davante Adams 'wasn't proud' of 2015 season - NFL.comDavante Adams had a disappointing 2015 season, marred by injury and drops. The Green Bay Packers receiver plans to prove he can live up to the big expectations in 2016. (Ken's Note: WR wasn't proud of droping everything in sight? Hard to figure.)

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:

On and on we roll! Hard to believe we're already into the 70s (or is it FINALLY into the 70s?). Through out the team's history we've had many, many great players and a lot of great offensive and defensive linemen. This is going to be a chance to showcase some of that talent along the trenches. There were some close calls in this post and even one pick that is sure to be controversial, a one-time Pro-Bowler over a Hall of Famer? What am I thinking?

70 - Herman Lee, LT (1958-66): This one was pretty difficult actually. I had never heard of him or the other guy I considered (Dennis Lick) and neither had a Pro-Bowl or any other type of accolade to their name. I went with Lee because he played longer and was a part of a championship team in '63.

71 - James "Big Cat" Williams, RT/DT (1991-2002): This one was another tough one. Williams was drafted as a DT but didn't make much of an impact. In '92 he was converted to right tackle and never looked back starting 143 of the rest of his 144-game career at RT. In total he appeared in 166 games. Williams was a longtime fan favorite for being a blue collar "lunch pail" type guy who came into the league from the tiny Cheyney and made his only Pro-Bowl following the 2001 season. He was also a special teams guy blocking or deflecting eight field goals. Honorable Mentions: George Conner, LT/LB/DT (1948-55): I know you're asking "How could a Hall of Famer NOT be first on the list?" Well, Conner played half his career in number 81 one and half in 71. He went to two Pro-Bowls and was twice a First-Team All-Pro with each number. The man was a tremendous player; playing both sides his entire career and he was one of the first athletic LBs but with the number split he gets knocked down a bit. Earl Leggett, DT/DE (1957-65), Israel Idonije, DT/DE (2004-present)

72 - William "Refrigerator" Perry, DT (1985-93): The Fridge was a staple of the '85 Bears, from bowling over the Packers as a FB, to clogging up the middle of the defensive line, Perry, with his trademark gapped-tooth smile was a character all his own. He had a cult following during the magical run to Super Bowl XX and for most of the rest of his career. He is the face of number 72. For his Bears career he tallied 28 and a half sacks, two rushing touchdowns and one receiving. Plus a postseason rushing TD in Super Bowl XX.

73 - Mike Hartenstine, DE (1975-86): Hartenstine played a long time for the Bears, in fact his career was exactly as long as his fellow Bears draft mate Walter Payton. Hartenstine was taken in the second round in '75. He had 24 career sacks, playing only five years while sacks were a stat. He had 12 in '83 though. He also recovered 17 fumbles and scored a safety. Honorable Mention - Bill Bishop, DT (1952-60): Disadvantaged without sacks but Bishop was a good player, he was voted to a Pro-Bowl in '54 and recovered 14 fumbles for his career.

74 - Jimbo Covert, LT (1983-90): A two-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro he is considered by many Chicago fans and sportswriters to be a Hall of Fame-caliber tackle. He might have been a HOFer if injuries hadn't shortened his career. He started 110 of 111 games at LT for the Bears and was one of the best of his day. Recent Bears Hall of Famer Richard Dent credited Covert with making him a better DE. I ask though, Bears fans, if only one of our '80s linemen could be voted into the HOF, who would you pick; Covert or Hilgenberg?

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