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The Bear's Den: June 6, 2016

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Monday, the start of a new week as OTA's are done, and we look forward to Veteran's (Mandatory) MiniCamp.

Greatest Bear #96 is our old friend Alex Brown
Greatest Bear #96 is our old friend Alex Brown
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Fishbain: Ka'Deem Carey ready for another battle in Chicago Bears' backfield - Pro Football Weekly - Carey faces competition from Bears rookie Jordan Howard

Cox: NFL.com pegs Jay Cutler as fantasy football sleeper in 2016 - Bears Wire - Both Jay Cutler and Zach Miller were identified as potential fantasy football sleepers for 2016 by NFL.com writers.

Perez: Bears to sport young and talented defensive line in 2016 - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears added young talent along the defensive line that will pay dividends in 2016.

Jahns: Charles Leno Jr. ready to reward Bears' confidence in him - Chicago Sun-Times - Charles Leno Jr. is the Bears' starting left tackle.

Cox: Zach Miller not phased by number one tight end expectations - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears' tight end Zach Miller enters the 2016 season as the team's number one tight end, and he isn't worried about high expectations

Perez: Freeman says ‘Trust is the biggest thing when it comes to being a linebacker’ - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman met with the media this week and discussed how he idolized Mike Singletary during his early years

Cox: Bears players take time to thank military members - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears players took the time to thank members of the military following their latest voluntary practice on Friday.

LeGere: Hicks already hot topic with Bears - DailyHerald.com - Akiem Hicks has only been a Bear since March 13, when he left the New England Patriots as an unrestricted free agent, but the 6-foot-5, 324-pound defensive lineman is already a hot topic of conversation among his new teammates.

Kyle Long at the Bears Care Gala - Chicago Tribune - Kyle Long on the importance of Bears Care

Campbell: Six Bears who must elevate play in Year 2 under Ryan Pace and John Fox - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears are asking several returning players to increase their contributions as they seek to make player development part of their identity.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Florio: Some coaches are concerned about security issues with tablet video - ProFootballTalk - Panthers coach Ron Rivera recently expressed some concerns regarding the NFL's seemingly inevitable embrace of the full capabilities of the Microsoft Surface tablet, making in-game video available to be scrutinized and dissected.

Florio: Brandon Marshall won’t "steal" money late in his career - ProFootballTalk - As receiver Brandon Marshall enters his 11th NFL season, he has applied a loose expiration date to his career. Specifically, he'll quit playing before he feels like he should be wearing a ski mask.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Carlson: Minnesota Vikings ready to move in to stadium on Chicago Ave. - The Viking Age - It has been a long two years, but U.S. Bank Stadium (located alongside Chicago Ave.) is now ready for the Minnesota Vikings to start moving in to prepare for the 2016 NFL regular season.

D'Amato: Secondary could be Packers' primary strength - jsonline.com - The combination of talent, experience and depth on the back end could make the Packers’ secondary one of the best in the NFL.

Caputo: Why increasing predictions of mediocrity for Detroit Lions in ‘16 are spot on - MorningSun.com - As the NFL season approaches, the Lions are garnering less respect.

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:

This is it, the last in my long-running "Greatest Bears by Numbers" series. It's taken 20 posts and just over two months to get it all done but I've finally reached the end. I know from the comments, as well as emails I have received that not everyone has been pleased with my selections but I have a feeling these last five will be pretty agreeable. Especially since two of them are in the Hall of Fame and are some of the best at their positions, ever. Anyway, after this my posts will focus more on the current season and such issues, however next offseason I might consider a "Worst Bears by Number" but that would take a lot more research, so we'll see.

95 - Richard Dent, DE (1983-93, '95): The newest Bears member of the Hall of Fame was a slam dunk and his story is pretty incredible on it's own. He had very severe dental problems that made it hard for him to eat, so after the Bears drafted him they sent him to a dentist and then he bulked up. He is the franchise leader in sacks with 124.5 and also had eight interceptions, 34 forced fumbles (also first in team history) and 13 fumble recoveries. He was a four-time Pro-Bowler and a one-time First-Team All-Pro. In '85 he led the league in sacks with 17.5 and was Super Bowl MVP.

96 - Alex Brown, DE (2002-09): Brown was a regular contributor on the team and one of the first of Jerry Angelo's famous "late-round steals." Brown was a favorite among Bears fans, a guy who played hard and loved what he did. Brown ranks fourth in team history with 43.5 sacks. His 16 forced fumbles rank third in team history. Not super-flashy or a big name but he was just a consistent player, especially in the run game. Many feel he was somewhat under-appreciated even by the coaching staff, evidenced by the famous benching and then un-benching for Mark Anderson in '07.

97 - Chris Zorich, DT (1991-97): Zorich was a Golden Domer who came to the Bears in the second round, Ditka wanted him in the first round but was over-ruled for Stan Thomas. Of course Ditka was right. Zorich collected 15.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered six fumbles. Honorable Mention - Mark Anderson, DE (2006-10): I know you're thinking 'Why Anderson?' well his 21.5 sacks rank him 16th in team history, higher than Zorich (who ranks 24th) but Anderson was a one-trick pony who rode his situational skills to a rookie-record 12 sacks but collected only 9.5 after that season.

98 - Bryan Robinson, DE/DT (1998-2003): Robinson had a long career other than with the Bears, but he was with the Bears the longest and collected 16.5 sacks, tying him for 20th in team history. He was a solid player on those very mediocre Bears teams of the '90s.

99 - Dan Hampton, DT (1979-90): Hampton played a long, long career for the Bears that ended in Canton. Hampton's 57 sacks rank him third in team history and he added 10 fumble recoveries. Hampton was a four-time Pro-Bowler and one-time First-Team All-Pro. He started 151 of the 157 games he played for the Bears. I read a book Ashley got me for my birthday last year called "What Bears They Were" in it Hampton talks about how after some injuries slowed his physical abilities relatively early in his career he focused on becoming a student of the game and working on the mental game and fine-tuning little details and that that was what made him great. Honorable Mention - Jim Flanigan, DT (1994-2000): Flanigan played seven years in Chicago and collected 40.5 sacks, good for eighth in team history, it is also third in team history among DTs after McMichael and Hampton. He also had four forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.

Sam's original article: Householder: The Greatest Bears by Numbers (95-99) - Windy City Gridiron - The final post in the series showcases some of the best players of a more recent era.

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