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The Bear's Den, June 1, 2016

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Chicago gets ready for the second helping of OTA's starting Saturday, plus other news & info from around the net here in the dog days of the off-season.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

White, Jordan, Langford some of 100 NFL predictions that will frame 2016 season - ESPN - We're officially 100 days away from the 2016 NFL season. To celebrate, our NFL reporters compiled 100 predictions that will help shape next season.

Dickerson: Danny Trevathan eager to bring Super Bowl experience to Chicago Bears - ESPNDanny Trevathan hopes to add stability and chemistry at linebacker for the Bears, who started six combinations in the middle last season.

Campbell & Wiederer: Big questions linger for Bears as Alshon Jeffery's absence continues - Chicago TribuneAlshon Jeffery's nonattendance at Bears OTAs adds several layers of intrigue to one of the team's biggest storylines of 2016.

ITB (video): Behind the scenes at photo day - ChicagoBears.com - Take a behind-the-scenes look at Bears photo day that took place earlier this month as Kyle Long, Pernell McPhee, Danny Trevathan and others smile for the camera.

Infante: Six free agents for the Chicago Bears to consider- Cover32 - The Chicago Bears' OTAs are officially underway, and the regular season is drawing closer by the day. Chicago has done a lot to improve...

Emma: Upgraded Bears Defensive Front Looks To Forge The Fangio Identity - CBS Chicago - The Bears have the kind of front seven that Vic Fangio needs to be successful.

Bears feature in 100 days to NFL kickoff: 100-themed facts - Stats & Info- ESPN - In recognition of the approach of the NFL season, Stats & Info gives you statistical facts centering on the century mark. Check out the numbers.

Mullen: Bears showing prove-it theme with Alshon Jeffery that worked with Jay Cutler - CSN Chicago - The Bears are taking a similar prove-it approach with Alshon Jeffery this season that worked with Jay Cutler a year prior.

Mayer: Chalk Talk, which veteran will have breakout year? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses which Bears veteran he thinks will have a breakout season, the Bears record when Walter Payton rushed for at least 100 yards and the likelihood of safety Deon Bush starting as a rookie.

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

Finley: Barrington's Ben LeCompte relishes chance with hometown Bears - Chicago Sun-Times - The day after Ben LeCompte signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent, Robbie Gould told him he was excited to work together.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Rozner: Just imagine the Olympics in Chicago - DailyHerald - Things are really bad in Illinois, but they would have been worse with the 2016 Olympics. We got lucky with this one.

Fitzgerald: June 1 Salary Cap Changes - Over the Cap - Today is June 1 and today is the day that salary cap rules change around the NFL. Starting with today’s player cuts any acceleration of bonus money will accelerate into 2017 rather than the 2016 season. This generally allows teams with tight cap situations to release players with large dead money charges that they may not have felt they were able to release prior to June 1. Tomorrow is also the day when the NFL will officially process the June 1 designated cuts from earlier this year, which will bring the Redskins, Falcons, and Saints some added cap relief.

Smith: Brandon Browner scoffs at "weak" Saints for paying him millions - ProFootballTalkBrandon Browner spent a year with the Saints last season, didn't play particularly well, and was cut this year. His total take from the Saints will be $7.75 million for that one bad season.

Alper: Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall back at Jets practice - ProFootballTalk - Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets haven't come to an agreement on a deal that would end their offseason-long standoff, so Fitzpatrick continues to be absent from the team as they kick off this week's OTAs on Tuesday. His top two receivers are at the team's facility, however.

These are the unwritten rules of sports - Chicago Tribune - Sports have complicated sets of rules on the books. But some do not appear in any official documents.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Vikings Sign Former Bears DT Bruce Gaston - Vikings.comBruce Gaston joins the Vikings after stints with the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The 3rd-year pro originally signed as an undrafted free agent for the 1st of 2 stints with the Cardinals following the 2014 NFL Draft. Most recently, the Purdue University product spent 11 weeks of the 2015 campaign on the Bears active roster, totaling 11 tackles (8 solo), 4 QBH, 1 TFL and 1 sack.

Hodkiewicz: New season awaits a stronger Davante Adams - Packers.com - Third-year receiver never lost confidence during an injury-plagued 2015

Reisman: Did the Detroit Lions improve at offensive tackle in 2016? - Pride Of Detroit - One of the most addressed positions in the offseason was offensive line, but does that mean the Detroit Lions are much improved yet?

Alper: Vikings shuffle defensive linemen after B.J. Dubose tears ACL - ProFootballTalk - The Vikings suffered a loss on the defensive line last week when B.J. Dubose tore his ACL during one of the team's OTAs. The injury will force Dubose to miss the season and the Vikings announced a move on Tuesday to fill the 2015 sixth-round pick's spot on the roster.

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. Current Bears wearing these numbers are Mark Mariani (80), Cameron Meredith (81), Khari Lee (82), Daniel Braverman (83) and Gannon Sinclair (84), none of whom are locks to even make this year's final 53.

80 - Curtis Conway, WR (1993-99): I remember on Dane's post about favorite lesser-known Bears someone said Conway could have been a household name had he had any string of good, consistent quarterbacks during his career. This is probably true, not only of his time with the Bears but also his career (with stops in the pre-2004 Brees San Diego, the Jets and the 49ers). Injuries also likely factor in somewhat too because he only played in 16 games three times with the Bears. But in his time with the Bears he turned in back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in '95 and '96. His 329 receptions are good for third in team history, his 4.498 receiving yards are good for fifth and his 31 TDs tie him with Johnny Morris for fifth as well. All that in 92 career games.

81 - Doug Atkins, DE (1955-66): This Hall of Famer was an eight-time Pro-Bowler and one-time First-Team All-Pro. He was a part of the 1963 NFL Championship team and was a fierce defender. Agile to go with his 6'8" frame he sounds like an old time Julius Peppers. He might be better remembered had sacks been a stat in his time, NFL Network put him number nine on the Top Ten: Pass Rushers episode. Honorable Mention - Bobby Engram, WR (1996-2000): Engram was the ultimate possession receiver, as evidenced by his 11.5 yds/rec average with the Bears. That said though, he came darn close to 1,000 yards twice with the Bears (987 yards in '98 and 947 in '99). His 246 receptions are good for eighth all-time.

82 - Ray Bray, G/DG (1939-51): Bray was a four-time Pro-Bowler who played guard on both sides of the ball (if I recall correctly defensive guard was a LB before modern defense). He was a part of all four Bears championship teams in the '40s. He also has a pretty cool name.

83 - Willie Gault, WR (1983-87): One of the fastest players, ever, he still holds some sprinting records. It's appropriate then that the only other team he played for after the Bears was the Raiders. You have to assume that had the Raiders picked ahead of the Bears in the '83 draft Gault wouldn't have come to Chicago. But I digress, Gault did go to Chicago and played five seasons with the Bears. His 27 TD receptions rank sixth in team history and 3,650 yards are good for seventh. His 19.8 yards per catch is good for fourth among receivers with at least 100 receptions.

84 - Brian Baschnagel, WR/KR (1976-84): Not a whole lot of greats at no. 84, unless we're going off preseason, in which case this should be Brandon Rideau and no. 83 should be Mike Hass. But it isn't so Baschnagel it is. He caught 134 passes for 2,024 yards and nine touchdowns. He returned 89 kicks for 2,102 yards and a TD. All nine of his seasons were spent in Chicago and he was the longest tenured of the number 84s.

Sam's original article: Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (80-84) - Windy City Gridiron - The Greatest Bears by Numbers (80-84) which Bears made the cut?

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