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The Bear’s Den, August 1, 2018

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We are now one day away from 2018 Chicago Bears football. Well, sort of, anyway...

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Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS / DRAFT / FREE AGENCY

Wiederer: With long Pro Bowl drought, the Bears defense needs to find its true game-changers - Chicago Tribune - It's been five seasons since the Bears last sent a defensive player to the Pro Bowl. Now, with an eye on going from good to great, the 2018 defense is listing its game-changing candidates: from Akiem Hicks to Kyle Fuller to Prince Amukamara to Eddie Jackson to Roquan Smith.

Potash: Roquan Smith contract update: Bears say it's a 'stalemate' - Chicago Sun-Times - But if this impasse goes on much longer, the Bears will face more pressure to explain publicly why they haven’t signed their first-round draft pick.

Finley: Bears training-camp report: Observations, analysis from the 10th practice - Chicago Sun-Times - It would be a minor shock if quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw a pass Thursday, if he played at all.

Finley: Bears training camp 2018: Vic Fangio on new tackling and helmet rule - Chicago Sun-Times - There is little doubt the new rule will increase penalties ... But it also will be interesting to see if some teams adjust faster than others.

Finley: Bears ready to make history with the NFL's new kickoff rule - Chicago Sun-Times - When the Hall of Fame Game kicks off Thursday night, the Bears — and Ravens — will do something no other NFL team has done in a game.

Zeglinski's Bears notebook: Battle with Smith continues but teammates unwavering in support – The Rock River Times - We’re now at 16 days of Smith’s holdout from Bears training camp as both parties have drawn a line in the sand divided on key issues like an ambiguous helmet rule and grey area contract language higher-ups at Halas Hall refuse to renege on. Smith and his camp believe they are fighting for NFL players’ labor rights, while the Bears believe they’re making a stand for the league. You couldn’t get more stubborn.

Smith: Matt Nagy - Roquan Smith talks are “at a stalemate” – ProFootballTalk - The Bears don't sound optimistic about getting their first-round draft pick on the practice field soon. Bears coach Matt Nagy said today that talks between the team and linebacker Roquan Smith are stuck and going nowhere, although Nagy said he wouldn't address the issue beyond that.

Mayer: Fangio confident safeties will take next step - ChicagoBears.com - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was pleased with how Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson performed last season and is expecting the young safety tandem to play even better this year.

Mayer: NFL coaches, players share admiration for Urlacher - ChicagoBears.com - With Brian Urlacher set to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night, we take a look back at what several individuals who played and coached with and against the star middle linebacker had to say about Urlacher when he retired from the

Mullin: Best O-lineman Brian Urlacher ever faced in HOF Bears career was right in front of him - NBC Sports Chicago - Six-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz was two years into his Bears career the first time he went to block Brian Urlacher in the rookie linebacker’s first camp, ahead of the 2000 season.

Postcard from Camp: Let the games begin - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears will briefly break camp to head to Canton to play the first preseason game of 2018 on Thursday, with a few key goals to accomplish for each unit.

Stankevitz: Trial and error phase of new helmet rule begins for Bears, just not yet with Roquan Smith - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears will be without Roquan Smith for Thursday's Hall of Fame Game, the first opportunity they'll get to see how the NFL's new helmet rule will be enforced.

LeGere: Chicago Bears ILB Trevathan returns to camp in limited role - Daily Herald - Danny Trevathan missed four games last season, but the seventh-year veteran inside linebacker still led the Bears with 91 tackles; seeing him back at practice Monday, even in a very limited role, was encouraging.

Kane: Bears’ Vic Fangio on NFL helmet rule - ‘It's going to be an extremely hard play to officiate’ - Chicago Tribune - The Bears will be the first NFL players to put the new helmet rule to the test, and nobody, including defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, is quite sure how it will play out.

Campbell: Roquan Smith's holdout is 'not advantageous to anybody,' Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says - Chicago Tribune - Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio expressed frustration at the contract impasse between the team and rookie inside linebacker Roquan Smith.

Haugh: Bears have more to lose than Roquan Smith if impasse continues, so team needs to concede - Chicago Tribune - Bears general manager Ryan Pace has more to lose the longer the contract impasse with rookie linebacker Roquan Smith drags on, a major reason the Bears need to make whatever concessions necessary.

Campbell: ‘We’re nowhere - nowhere - near where we need to be,’ Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich says - Chicago Tribune - Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich acknowledges quarterback Mitch Trubisky has thrown too many interceptions in training camp but is pleased that his growth is trending in the right direction.

Gabriel: What To Watch For In Bears-Ravens - 670 The Score - We get an initial look at how the Bears are picking up Matt Nagy's new offense.

Hoge and Jahns, Episode 163: Roquan’s Holdout Continues; Bears Prep for Hall of Fame Game | WGN Radio - 720 AM - Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns each take a side as the negotiations between the Bears and their first round pick, Roquan Smith continue. Smith remains the only unsigned draft pick from the entire 2018 draft class.

Soble: It's Time for Jordan Howard to Become a Threat in the Passing Game - The Loop Sports - Despite everything Jordan Howard has brought to the Bears since being drafted in 2016, Jack Soble writes that in order for him to be successful in Matt Nagy's offense he will need to improve in the one area where he has always struggled.

Hensley: Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wants to show off growth against Bears - ESPN - First-round pick Lamar Jackson says he wants to show off his growth as a quarterback, "from college to my new chapter of life," in his preseason debut for the Baltimore Ravens.

Emily Getting Real: 3 Things Bears Must Do to Keep Fans Optimistic in 2018 - Da Bears Blog - Here at DBB, we’ve been high on optimism for the Bears’ 2018 season pretty much since Matt Nagy was hired back in January, and we’re not the only ones. Both local and national media are feeling the enthusiasm and energy emanating from Halas Hall, and with good reason!

Medina: Jordan Howard Isn't Playing Thursday and It Sounds Like Mitch Trubisky Won't Either - Bleacher Nation - It sounds like both QB1 and RB1 are sitting out on Thursday.

Medina: Meet Vic Fangio and the Chicago Bears' Defensive Assistants - Bleacher Nation - The band is back together with Vic Fangio retaining a defensive staff that helped guide a top-10 defense in 2017.

5 questions with the enemy: Chicago Bears - Ravens WIre - I sit down with Bears Wire editor Lorin Cox to find out a little more about the Baltimore Ravens' first opponent: the Chicago Bears.

Florio: Ryan Pace doesn’t have much to say about Roquan Smith holdout – ProFootballTalk - With Jets quarterback Sam Darnold under contract, one 2018 draft pick remains unsigned: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. Smith has yet to agree to terms because the Bears want to be able to void his future guarantees if he’s suspended for on-field behavior.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Mike Tomlin hopes Le’Veon Bell arrives sooner, in better shape than last year – ProFootballTalk - Last year Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell didn’t sign his franchise tag and report to the team until training camp and the preseason were over. This year coach Mike Tomlin hopes that’s not the case.

Johnny Manziel will start for Montreal on Friday night – ProFootballTalk - Johnny Manziel will get a chance to start for the Montreal Alouettes this Friday. Manziel did not see regular season time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the first five games of the CFL season and he sat behind Vernon Adams after being traded to Montreal last week, but...

Knoblach: Martellus Bennett ‘never felt at home’ during career - NFL.com - Martellus Bennett’s left a fine (and often hilarious) legacy on the NFL, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the former standout tight end harbors a very real-world perspective about his decade-long NFL career.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Injuries: Packers fear Jake Ryan has serious knee issue - NFL.com - The Packers could begin the regular season without a starting linebacker. Coach Mike McCarthy said Jake Ryan continues to undergo tests, but the fear is Ryan suffered a serious knee injury.

Nate Burleson working on ‘something very special’ with Detroit Lions - Pride Of Detroit - A secret project is in the works, and you know it’s going to be great when Nate is involved.

Report: Mike Remmers injured in Tuesday’s practice - Daily Norseman - It appears to be a left leg injury

APC Podcast: Packers training camp is underway! - Acme Packing Company - With Packers players reporting for training camp, what are the biggest question marks on this roster?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Bears vs. Ravens 2018: Time, TV schedule for the Hall of Fame Game - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears will face the Baltimore Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday Night, and we have all you need to know to watch it.

Infante's Bears UDFA breakdown: Michael Joseph - Windy City Gridiron - Every year a few UDFAs make the Chicago Bears’ 53-man roster, so we’ll take a look at the Top 10 most likely to do so. This time, we’re looking at Division III star Michael Joseph.

Wiltfong's Chicago Bears 2018 Position Battles: Does the safety depth concern you? - Windy City Gridiron - Safety is my final roster battle/positional breakdown for the Chicago Bears, and there isn’t much drama at the two starting spots for them this year.

Curl's Chicago Bears Fan Fiction Chapter Five: Smashing News - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears face the Rams in the divisional round of the 2018 playoffs. Then shocking news drops in bundles.

Mitchell: Hall of Fame game - I don’t want to see these Bears players play in this game - Windy City Gridiron - Well, OK, I do want to see them play... just not this week in the Hall Of Fame Game

WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS

2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s StreamingTwitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - Robert Zeglinski

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WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.