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The Bear's Den, May 31, 2016

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We've almost made it to June, and the second week of voluntary OTA's about to start again in full swing. Here's a few links for your entertainment and edification. The next OTA session is scheduled June 4-7, with mandatory veteran minicamp to follow June 12-14.

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Leonard Floyd at OTA's
Leonard Floyd at OTA's
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Ken's Note: in yesterday's Den, a discussion involving political ideology errupted. There are many, many places on the interwebs for that type of discussion, The Bear's Den most definitely is NOT one of them. Please refrain from discussing politics and ideology here in the Den. In the great General Store that is the internet, we are the candy department. Thank you.

BEAR DOWN!!!

BEARSSSS

Mayer: Learning curve begins for Bears line - ChicagoBears.com - With several key additions joining an offensive line that's anchored by three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long, the unit is just beginning the process of gelling during OTA practices.

Perez: Alshon Jeffery shows up in Chicago . . . to sing - Bears Wire - Bears WR Alshon Jeffery sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch of the Cubs-Phillies game.

LeGere: Bears' 7th-round Braverman thriving on new challenges - DailyHerald - Wide receiver Daniel Braverman, the Bears' undersized, seventh-round draft pick from Western Michigan, says he grew up with a chip on his shoulder having to prove himself in the talent-rich state of Florida, where many of his opponents were more highly regarded and more heavily recruited.

Perez: Predicting the Chicago Bears final roster: Running backs - Bears Wire - Predicting which running backs on the Chicago Bears will make the team's final roster.

Cox: Don’t get too excited over reports from OTAs - Bears Wire - A lot of positive reports come from OTAs, and Chicago Bears fans need to take them with a grain of salt as this happens every year.

Ottochain: Robbie Gould needs to show improvement in 2016 - Bears WireRobbie Gould will be tied for the second-highest paid kicker in 2016, and he needs to bounce back from his poor 2015 season.

Packers Just Don't Want To Lose To Bears - TotalPackers.com - The NFL Network would really like the Green Bay Packers to lose to the Chicago Bears in week 15, but the Packers are refusing to do that. Watch here.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Bell: The perfect coach to clean up Baylor is Samurai Mike - USA Today - Mike Singletary is not only an alum but a NFL former player and coach who demands accountability.

Florio: Bills haven’t heard from Seantrel Henderson since season ended - ProFootballTalk - As if the Bills didn't have enough issues with the players who have shown up for offseason workouts, they apparently have one lingering issue with a player who hasn't.

Florio: Third-round negotiations become the NFL’s "wild, wild West" - ProFootballTalk - There's a popular belief that rookie contracts under the 2011 CBA should take only five minutes. In one specific round, those talks are slightly more complicated. As explained by Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the third round has become what one agent calls the "wild, wild West.

Zinski: NFC North rankings, five best tight ends - TheVIkingAge - Who are the five best tight ends in the NFC North? We have the answer.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Sanderson: Packers' Randall takes blame for overtime playoff loss - theScore.com - Packers' rookie cornerback Damarious Randall lined up opposite Fitzgerald on the big play and the young defender isn't shying away from his mistake.

Wobschall: Monday Morning Mailbag, Assessing The Wide Receivers - Vikings.com - We are at a point in the offseason where you’re not going to find many veteran free agent signings. Teams are right in the middle of their Organized Team Activities and minicamps, so rather than adding a new veteran to the mix right now they are going to let the guys they already have battle it out for spots on the depth chart.

Birkett: Old man Matthew Stafford now the veteran of Detroit Lions offense - Detroit Free Press - At 28 years old, Stafford is the oldest projected starter on a Lions offense whose average age is 24.9 years

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. I think it's safe to say that Kyle Long is already challenging Fred Williams for the greatest 75 in Chicago history. He's probably not there yet, but if his career track continues look for him to move past Willams by the start of next season.

Here's Sam:

This time we get a good mix of Bears talent; a couple defensive tackles, a couple of guards, two Hall of Famers and the last retired number for the Bears (which was also the first number to be retired for the team). This will be our last look at offensive linemen and the last look at defensive linemen until the 90s. Every guy mentioned in this post was part of a championship winning Bears team, that's a pretty good start!

75 - Fred Williams, DT (1952-63): Williams was a four-time Pro-Bowler who intercepted two passes and recovered nine fumbles. He was a member of the 1963 NFL Champion Bears. He appeared in 140 games.

76 - Steve "Mongo" McMichael, DT (1981-93): Now some members have said that no Bear should be on this list if he played for the Packers. Now McMichael played one season with the Pack, but we can forgive him, right? I mean, it's Mongo!! Nicknamed after the character from the popular film Blazing Saddles, Mongo was a starter the majority of his career as a Bear. He appeared in 191 games which was a team record until a certain Mr. Patrick Mannelly came along. He tallied 92.5 sacks, good for second all time in team history and was a four-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro.

77 - Harold "Red" Grange, RB (1925, '29-'34): Red Grange was an incredible player in his day. Stats are hard to come by but the guy put pro-football on the map. He was a big reason football became so popular because he sold out stadiums all over the country. He was twice a first-team All-Pro and he was as much a running threat as he was a threat in the kick return game. He was a charter member of the Hall of Fame. He was also nicknamed The Galloping Ghost (Sound familiar :)) and the Wheaton Ice Man.

78 - Stan Jones, DT/T/G (1954-65): Jones did it all, he was a Pro-Bowler at both guard and tackle during his Hall of Fame career. He was elected to seven Pro-Bowls and three time was a First-Team All-Pro. Jones was another member of the 1963 NFL Championship team. Honorable Mention: Keith Van Horne, RT (1981-93): Van Horne was another staple of the OL of the 1980s. I know I am too young to remember these guys but from what I understand, each one of them is deserving of their place on my list (which they have all made). Van Horne was never a Pro-Bowler but he played in 186 games with 169 starts. For more read his feature in Taking a Look in the Bears History Book.

79 - Kurt Becker, G (1982-88. '90): I don't know much about this guy but he played years with the Bears, he was a full-time starter in '83 and '84 but after that was a backup. In total he appeared in 92 games for the Bears with 35 starts.

Here's Sam's original article:

Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (75-79) - Windy City Gridiron - The Greatest Bears by Number (75-79) Every Bear in this post was a part of a championship Bears team!