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The Bear's Den, June 2, 2016

With the second round of OTA's underway, the Bears front office, coaches, media and fans are trying to get a glimpse of what 2016 has in store for the beloved.

Greatest #89 ever? There can be no doubt, the man invented the modern TE position
Greatest #89 ever? There can be no doubt, the man invented the modern TE position
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports



Mayer: Underdog role not new to Braverman - - Drafted by the Bears in the seventh and final round, Daniel Braverman is determined to show that he can compete with more highly-touted players.

Cox: Former Bear Robert Garza inducted into Latin-American Hall of Fame - Bears Wire - Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Roberto Garza will be inducted into the Latin-American International Sports Hall of Fame.

Perez: 5 players who could breakout for the Chicago Bears in 2016 - Bears Wire - A look at five players who could breakout for the Chicago Bears in 2016.

Fishbain: Charles Leno is confident, comfortable as starting left tackle - Pro Football Weekly - And Willie Young sees himself in Leonard Floyd

Mayer: Grasu feels he'll play faster this year - - Conceding that he was "thinking too much" last year as a rookie, Bears center Hroniss Grasu is confident that a better grasp of the playbook will allow him to play faster this season.

Finley: Living on the edge: Bears defenders bring new attitude, old chip - Chicago Sun-TimesJerrell Freeman earned a three-year, $12 million contract, with $6 million guaranteed. "I stand here right now as a rookie free agent," he said.

Wiederer: Willie Young, 'smelling like a rose,' wants to finish career with Bears - Chicago Tribune - Bears outside linebacker Willie Young has his swagger back and hopes his agent can get him a contract extension to stay in Chicago long term.

Wiltfong: Chicago Bears waive Tayo Fabuluje - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears have waived offensive lineman Tayo Fabuluje.

Wiltfong: Chicago Bears' OTA Notes June 1 - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears are in the middle of Phase 2 of their offseason workout program and today's OTA was open to the media. So just like we did last week on the open media day at practice, we'll drop...

Finley: Willie Young says 'I would like to finish my career' with Bears - Chicago Sun-Times - Willie Young acknowledged a mutual interest in negotiating a contract extension with the Bears, but said he'll leave discussions to his agent

Perez: ESPN can’t decide who the Bears’ starting RB will be - Bears Wire - In a recent list of 100 predictions for the 2016 NFL season, ESPN couldn't decide who the starting RB for the Chicago Bears would be

Dickerson: Can Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler eclipse 4,000 passing yards in 2016 (mailbag)? - ESPNJay Cutler has the ability to pass for 4,000 yards, but having him throw that often might not be the best formula for success for the Bears.

Kozar: John Fox, what to expect in year two - Cover32 - In his first year with the Bears John Fox provided something the team hasn’t had since the latter years of Lovie Smith’s career with the Bears...

Weaver: Alshon Jeffery tests Bears philosophy - Cover32Alshon Jeffery will force the Chicago Bears to answer a difficult question: how much is an elite NFL wide receiver really worth?

Dickerson: Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (still) not participating in OTAs - ESPN - Bears WR Alshon Jeffery remains absent from Chicago's organized team activities.

BIGGS TRIBUNE MAILBAG (broken out for your convenience)

More Kevin White TDs, Hroniss Grasu starts or Bears wins? - Chicago Tribune - Please rank the following from highest to lowest number for the full 2016 regular season: 1. Kevin White touchdowns; 2. Leonard Floyd sacks; 3. Hroniss Grasu

Could Eddie Royal man an outside receiver spot? - Chicago Tribune - Could Eddie Royal man an outside receiver spot?

Will Ted Larsen and Manny Ramirez make the roster? - Chicago Tribune - Will Ted Larsen and Manny Ramirez make the roster?

Has Tayo Fabuluje developed enough to challenge Bobby Massie? - Chicago Tribune - Has Tayo Fabuluje developed enough to challenge Bobby Massie? (KEN'S NOTE: I'm guessing since he was cut after this article was published, that's a no)

Can Jonathan Bullard compete with Mitch Unrein for a starting job? - Chicago Tribune - Do you see Jonathan Bullard starting over Mitch Unrein?

Could Dwight Freeney be an option for the Bears? - Chicago Tribune - Have seen reports of the Bears linked to Dwight Freeney. Is there any real interest there? And would he thrive in the defense?

Can Bears sign Alshon Jeffery or is he likely to play under the franchise tag? - Chicago Tribune - Do you think the Bears sign Alshon Jeffery long term by the July 15 deadline or does he play out the season under the franchise tag?

Why not give Arian Foster a look? - Chicago Tribune - Do you see the Bears bringing in a couple more free agents? They could do with another cornerback and maybe have a run at Arian Foster at running back.

Which undrafted rookie has the best shot at the final roster? - Chicago Tribune - Which of the undrafted rookies would you say has the best shot of sticking with the team when the season starts?


Lanham: Oakland Raiders OTA's off to a crazy start as three fights breakout - - At this time of the year, offseason workouts are typically lower key compared to training camp. That wasn’t the case for the Oakland Raiders, as three fights erupted during Organized Team Activites.


Demovsky: Plenty of potential, and a few ifs, among Packers' receivers - ESPN - The Green Bay Packers have plenty of depth at the wide receiver position heading into the 2016 season.

Zinski: Laquon Treadwell wears Raiders hat, sparks Vikings fan anger - TheVikingAge - Laquon Treadwell has ticked off quite a few Vikings fans by wearing a Raiders lid in a Snapchat video.

Katzenstein: Ngata likes depth at defensive tackle - The Detroit NewsHaloti Ngata of the Lions is impressed with the depth of talent at defensive tackle this year.


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:

In the third-to-last post in this long-running series we're getting into some more recognizable names, including one who I have seen argued for as the former Bear who most deserves to have his number retired. Oh and how about number 87? There is no doubt I am going to tick some of you off with my choice there, but how do you choose between legends and fan favorites like Ed O'Bradovich, Tom Waddle and Harlon Hill? Throw in a productive guy like Emery Moorehead and I really had my hands full. That led to easily the longest Honorable Mentions of the series. A couple punters get mentioned, as well as some productive receivers and tight ends. So let's see what's what!

85 - Dennis McKinnon, WR/PR (1983-90): Just as his teammate Dennis Gentry was known for being a KR, McKinnon was known as the PR during his time with the Bears but that's not all he did. To go along with his 1,171 PR yards and three return TDs McKinnon added 180 receptions for 2,840 yards and 21 TDs, which ranks him 22nd, 14th and tied for 11th, respectively.

86 - Marty Booker, WR (1999-2003; '08): Booker is probably most famous for being the last Bears receiver to reach 1,000 yards, which he did in back-to-back seasons in 2001 and 2002. He was voted to his only Pro-Bowl in '02. The Bears traded him to Miami for Adewale Ogunleye following the 2003 season but we welcomed him back in 2008 for one largely forgettable season (the exception being this awesome catch vs. the Lions). Booker is tied for third in team history with Curtis Conway with 329, his 3,895 yards is good for sixth and his 25 TDs are good for eighth. Honorable Mention - Bob Parsons, TE/P (1974-83): I feel like I need to mention Parsons who punted 884 times for 34,180 yards for the Bears. His long was 81 yards and his average was 38.7 yards. He also added 19 receptions for 231 yards and four TDs as a tight end, as well as nine rushes for 29 yards and he was 7/13 for 131 yards passing.

87 - Ed O'Bradovich, DE (1962-71): This is easily one of the toughest choices I've had in this entire series. A productive TE in Emery Moorehead, one of the best receivers in team history and a fan favorite to this day in Tom Waddle but I went with "OB" as he was known to teammates. My reasoning is pretty simple: O'Bradovich is a Chicago guy through and through. He attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill. attending U of I and played his entire career for the Bears. He is still a radio personality on the Score with former teammate Doug Buffone. Oh and he gave the induction presentations for the Hall of Fame for both Mike Ditka and Dan Hampton. Apologies to the rest but I can't argue against that resume. Honorable Mentions - Harlon Hill, WR (1954-61): Hill is second in team history in receiving yards with 4,616, second in TDs and 11th in catches. His 20.4 yards/rec are fourth among WRs with at least 100 receptions. He was a three-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro. Tom Waddle, WR (1989-94): Who doesn't love Waddy? He won over Chicago for his hardwork and Chicago mentality of playing tough and being the sort of "everyman" Bears fans seem to love to root for (see; Sanzenbacher, Dane, among others) because of his size, toughness and aforementioned work ethic. Waddle appeared in only 60 games with 41 starts and caught 173 passes for 2,109 yards and nine TDs but he played with determination, including being knocked out in games only to be brought back with smelling salts and coming back into the game (like that would happen today). Waddle was the Bears' leading receiver in '93 before being demoted by Wannstedt in '94. Emery Moorehead, TE (1981-88): Moorehead played for the Giants and Broncos before finding a permanent home in Chicago and he ranks third in team history in receptions among TEs (behind Dez Clark and Mike Ditka) and ranks second in receiving yards among TEs.

88 - Desmond Clark, TE (2003-10): This one may seem like a strange choice but it was actually closer than I expected. Dez is nine spots ahead of Marcus Robinson in receptions in team history (9th vs. 18th) and Robinson is in a four-way tie for 13th in receiving TDs while Dez is right behind them in 17th with 18 (he's tied with Bill Karr) and Clark is exactly 56 yards behind Robinson in 10th on the receiving yards list (2,639 vs. 2,695). So why Dez? Well, he played for the team longer, was a part of more winning teams and was a quiet leader type. He helped the players around him, including Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis. Plus Robinson played for Vikings. Honorable Mention: Marcus Robinson, WR (1998-2002), Among all the stuff mentioned above he also holds the single-season record for receiving yards with 1,400, which he achieved with Cade McNown, Shane Matthews and Jim Miller throwing to him.  Bobby Joe Green, P (1962-73): Played 12 seasons for the Bears and averaged 42.1 yards per punt and made a Pro-Bowl in '70.

89 - Mike Ditka, TE (1961-67): It was going to be obvious wasn't it? Ditka revolutionized the tight end position with his combination of speed, catching ability and overall toughness. His competitiveness is well-documented, as are his achievements; he's a Hall of Famer for starters and he was a five-time Pro-Bowler and a two-time First-Team All-Pro. He currently ranks in team history: fifth in catches, fourth in yards and fourth in TDs. His number is generally argued to be the next one most worthy of retirement, if the Bears were to ever do such a thing (unlikely seeing as their 13 current numbers makes only 87 available for the large offseason rosters). He makes this list for his player accomplishments alone but it is worth noting he is among the few to win a championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He also won championships as a player with two teams.

Sam's original article with comments:

Householder: The Greatest Bears by Number (85-89) - Windy City Gridiron - The Greatest Bears by Number (85-89) - Some great WRs, TEs and a defensive legend.

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