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The Bear's Den: June 3, 2016

The Bear's Den: June 3, roster changes and OTA news dominate the headlines in BearsLand today. Join us for all the details.

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PFF projects Bears at 8-8 this seasonKyle Long is the only projected O-line starter who played above a replacement level in 2015. Put that all together, and you might only have baby steps in the right direction, but Chicago is trending upwards.

Hoge: Grasu Is Most Important Domino On Bears’ Offensive Line - WGN Radio - While many blamed Grasu's lack of strength for his rookie struggles, the center was more worried about the mental side of the game — the part that was never really an issue for him in college.

Jackson: Akiem Hicks backs Rob Ryan, says Ryan’s power was stripped - ProFootballTalk- Rob Ryan believes what Rob Ryan says, obviously. Former Saints (now Bears) defensive lineman Akiem Hicks apparently believes Ryan, too. A few days after Ryan spoke out and claimed his power as Saints defensive coordinator was taken away, Hicks backed up those claims in an interview with Chicago-area reporte...

Weaver: Devin Hester and his Super Bowl return - Cover32- Legend has it that Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy had not been planning to kick the ball to Devin Hester all week.

Emma: Bears Backup QB Brian Hoyer Stays Ready At A Moment’s Notice - CBS Chicago - Hoyer will help work with the Bears offense while preparing as if he's the starter.

Ottochain: On Nick Kwiatkoski's stopping the run - Bears Wire - Bears Wire takes you into Nick Kwiatkoski's film at West Virginia to show you how the young Chicago Bears linebacker thrives in run defense.

Mayer: Bears players discuss new teammates - - Bears players shared some first impressions of their new teammates with the media during OTA practices this week at Halas Hall.

Hub Arkush: Chicago Bears putting faith in Zach Miller to carry the torch at tight end - Pro Football Weekly - Miller had breakout 2015 campaign, but can he replace Martellus Bennett?

Fawkes: Full list of Chicago Bears' point spreads for Weeks 1-16 - ESPN - CG Technology releases the point spreads for every Chicago Bears game through Week 16.

Perez: Drafting Tayo Fabuluje was a mistake from the start - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears released 2015 sixth-round pick Tayo Fabuluje, ending the tenure of what appears to be Ryan Pace's worst pick as GM

Perez: Kyle Long ripped my scouting report on Twitter - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears RG Kyle Long ripped my scouting report on Twitter, and I couldn't be happier.

Finley: 'Mountain' man Akiem Hicks can keep Bears' LB signees clean - Chicago Sun-Times - It takes a big man to play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. It takes an even bigger one to sing Miley Cyrus.

Week 2: Bears OTA session at Halas Hall - Chicago Tribune - Photos from the Bears OTA at Halas Hall on June 1, 2016.

Hoge & Johns: Intentional Grounding Episode 35, Positive Vibes From Bears OTAs - WGN Radio - Podcast by Hoge & Johns.

Mullen: Some Bears carrying 'The Chip' that makes holding a grudge a good thing - CSN Chicago - The Bears signed a lot of players this offseason that have a chip on their shoulder.

Biggs: Healthier Eddie Royal could be difference-maker for Bears - Chicago Tribune - Don't minimize what a healthy Eddie Royal can do for the Bears offense after he missed seven games with a bad ankle sprain, knee sprain and then an illness.

Mayer: Hicks sees Bears defense on the rise - - Veteran defensive end Akiem Hicks signed with the Bears earlier this year because of the opportunity to become an integral part of an ascending defense.


McGuire: Pro Bowl changing format back to AFC-NFC matchup - - After a few years of a "fantasy draft" style format, the NFL is bringing the Pro Bowl back to its boring old AFC vs NFC format.

Rosenbloom: Turning the NFL's pot problem into a profit center - Chicago Tribune - Marijuana should be as legal as alcohol, and if the NFL is looking to push that platform, it has 32 rosters of uniformed, padded employees to deputize.


Peterson: Brett Hundley Offers Upside as Backup QB - Yardbarker.comAaron Rodgers is the face of the franchise and most of the time, the fortune of the Packers rests with him. The Packers have made the young, but talented Brett Hundley, their backup quarterback for the 2016 season and beyond.

Rothstein: DT A'Shawn Robinson getting notice at Detroit Lions OTAs - ESPN - A handful of players, including two rookies, are worth keeping an eye on as Detroit's second week of full-team OTAs comes to a close.

Smith: 3 Observations From Vikings 6th OTA Practice - - The Vikings wrapped up their third and final organized team activity (OTA) practice of the week Thursday at Winter Park. Minnesota practiced for approximately 90 minutes outside in helmets and shorts.


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:

We've arrived at the penultimate post in The Greatest Bears by Number series. The 90s are interesting bunch, as few players wore them until uniform standardization went into affect in 1973, so a lot more of the guys in the 90s played in the '80s and '90s with a few exceptions. This is going to be an all-defensive group, as the numbers are only available to linebackers and defensive lineman. We all know that the Bears have a rich history at these positions so let's see who made the cut.

90 - Al Harris, DE (1979-84, 86-87): Harris played nine seasons with the Bears, it would have been ten but he sat out the entire 1985 season looking for a new contract. Oops. Harris missed out on being a part of that historic team. He returned the next year and eventually got a new contract as a free agent in 1989. However, in his time with the Bears he collected 18.5 sacks (while they were stats, he may have had more), eight fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Honorable Mention - Alonzo Spellman, DE (1992-97): Spellman's time with the Bears was marred by his erratic behavior caused by his refusal to deal with his bipolar disorder with traditional medicine, choosing instead alcohol and illegal drugs. I am not going to get into that stuff, nor make jokes about a serious mental disorder but when he was on the field, he was good. He gathered 32 sacks and forced seven fumbles for the Bears.

91 - Tommie Harris, DT (2004-10): Yes, yes, I know, I know we all remember him for his weak sauce, his arguably premature contract extension and his big talk and bigger knee injuries but when he was healthy, he was great. Had Harris not been slowed by those knee issues he could have been one of the best of this era. During his three Pro-Bowl seasons he was one of the most dominant linemen in the league. He grabbed 28.5 sacks in his seven seasons in Chicago. I believe that time forgives all and that in a few more years he'll be a little more fondly remembered.

92 - Barry Minter, LB (1993-2000): The man who played MLB before Urlacher, but he was a bit more than that. He grabbed 11.5 sacks in his eight seasons to go with five interceptions and seven forced fumbles. Honorable Mention - Hunter Hillenmeyer, LB (2003-10): This was too close to call. Both Hillenmeyer and Minter played eight seasons for the Bears. Hillenmeyer had similar numbers as well; seven sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Hillenmeyer played in 101 games with 69 starts and Minter played in 111 games with 61 starts. Neither had a Pro-Bowl selection and I gave the edge to Minter because he had a worse supporting cast than Hillenmeyer. Sorry, Hillenmeyer, we still love ya, stay classy!

93 - Trace Armstrong, DE (1989-94): I got to say, I don't know much about Armstrong as he played before I got into football but I know I've heard an awful lot about him and he was probably one of the guys who became sort of the new face of the defense in the '90s when all the '85 Bears started retiring. Armstrong never made it to a Pro-Bowl but he collected 42 sacks, which is fifth in team history, and he had two seasons with at least 10. He forced seven fumbles and recovered all seven as well. Honorable Mention: Adewale Ogunleye, DE (2004-09): Wale never quite lived up to the billing he received when the Bears traded for him following his 15-sack season with Miami in '03 but he was more than serviceable during his time in Chicago, reaching 10 sacks once in '05. Wale his tied with Armstrong for fifth in Bears history with 42 sacks.

94 - Brendon Ayanbadejo, LB (2005-07): Ayanbadejo had a short stay with the Bears but he made a big impression. Coming over from Miami he was known for his special teams play and Dave Toub turned him into a two-time Pro-Bowler. During his time here he forced three fumbles and recovered five. Special teams tackles aren't widely available but he no doubt led the team in ST tackles at least twice. Honorable Mention - Keith Traylor, DT (2001-03): I couldn't pick a guy who played three seasons with the Bears in a career that saw him play for six teams but Traylor has to get recognized for at least this.

Here's Sam's original article with the comments from 2011: Householder: The Greatest Bears by Numbers (90-94) - Windy City Gridiron - The penultimate post in the series exploring the greatest Bears with every jersey number. Check out our history of great defensive lineman.

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