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The Bear’s Den, January 4, 2018

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Chicago’s three starting wideouts are back and on track to play, Jackson still a huge question mark

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Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles
Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass the ball against Derek Barnett #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 26, 2017 in Philadelphia
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

BEARRRSSSS

Drehs: From selling homes to the NFL - How an 'angel' helped Matt Nagy - ESPN
Larry Wisdom took a chance on a former QB with no experience desperate for a job to support his family and allowed him to pursue his ultimate goal. Ken's Note: Read this one first.

Emma: Bears’ Eddie Jackson Returns To Practice In Limited Role - 670 The Score - Eddie Jackson missed the last two regular-season games with an ankle sprain.

PFW Chicago Podcast 137: Wild Card Weekend! - Pro Football Weekly - The Bears are ready for a Wild Card showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles and PFW Chicago has you covered! Hub Arkush and Bob LeGere podcast from Halas Hall and have the full preview to get you ready for Wild Card Weekend!

McClain: Why Matt Nagy spent one morning as an Eagles backup quarterback - The Philadelphia Inquirer - At age 31, Matt Nagy was an unpaid intern for the Eagles, and Andy Reid was trying to flout an NFL rule.

Emma: Head Coaching Chance In Play, Vic Fangio Stays Himself - 670 The Score - Vic Fangio is set to interview with the Broncos and Dolphins.

Bernstein: Are We Cool If A Bears Trick Play Fails? - 670 The Score - It’s time to make a collective civic pledge in support of Bears trickery.

Keown: Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky is learning to be a leader as he goes - NFL 2018
Mitchell Trubisky never saw himself as a natural-born leader. So as the Bears prepare for their first playoff game in eight years, he's teaching himself as he goes.

In his own words: Leno talks Bears playoffs - ChicagoBears.com - With the Bears preparing to host the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs Sunday, left tackle Charles Leno Jr. shares his thoughts exclusively with ChicagoBears.com.

Mayer: Bears have 13 players with playoff experience - ChicagoBears.com - No current Bears player has appeared in a playoff game with the team. But 13 individuals on the roster have combined to play in 44 NFL postseason games, including Super Bowl-winner Trey Burton.

Obsessive Vic Fangio Watch: Broncos Are Betting Favorites and Appear to be Logical Fit - Bleacher Nation - Based on the criteria laid out by John Elway, the Broncos might not have a better fit than Vic Fangio for their opening.

Medina: Khalil Mack's Technique is Magnificent - Bleacher Nation - Watch and learn how Mack does it all.

Medina: Matt Nagy Says He Has a Plan *IF* Vic Fangio Leaves to Take a Head Coaching Job - Bleacher Nation - Contingency plans are good.

Medina: If You're Calling to Interview Vic Fangio, He Isn't Answering Because His Focus is on the Bears - Bleacher Nation - Fangio's focus is on Sunday's Bears-Eagles game and not on potential interviews next week.

Hughes: Wildcard Weekend Game Preview - Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears - Da Bears Blog - I always like the Chicago Bears… and I’m no longer going to deny what I’m seeing with my eyes. This is a very, very good Bears team. And they have been absolutely dominant in their building. Also, this is the last time the Bears will be favored this season, barring the Saints being upset in the divisional round. A win Sunday puts something of a exclamation point on the regular season success.

Dickerson: Bears DC Vic Fangio focused on Eagles, not head coaching interviews - ESPN - Akiem Hicks and his teammates don't want to think about Fangio leaving, but he has a couple of interviews waiting whenever the Bears are done.

Know Your Foe: Bears-Eagles Storylines - 670 The Score - Danny Parkins of The Score and Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP previewed the matchup.

Emma: Bears Well Aware Of 'Dynamic' Nick Foles, Eagles Offense - 670 The Score - "A big part off this game will be how we defend the deep balls," Vic Fangio says.

Stankevitz: Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says he’s done ‘zero’ preparation for reported coaching interviews - NBC Sports Chicago - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he hasn't taken time away from preparing for the playoffs to prepare for two reported head coaching interviews next week.

Ellis' Bears Mailbag: Taking a deep dive into the Wild Card Weekend showdown with Philadelphia - NBC Sports Chicago - So many angles, so little time.

Mullin: For Bears offense, even in playoff mode, “it’s good to be a little crazy” - NBC Sports Chicago - Through a season replete with surprises, seven different Bears defensive players have taken at least one snap on offense. “It’s good to be a little ‘crazy.’”

Stankevitz: Bears stand by Cody Parkey as playoffs loom: ‘He’s our guy’ - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears aren't wavering in their support of Cody Parkey, who's missed 10 total kicks this year, as the playoffs loom.

Ellis: The Bears' vertical attack could be a big key in beating the Eagles on Sunday - NBC Sports Chicago - The deep ball's been missing from the Bears' offense most of the year. Getting it back might be how they beat Philly.

Mullin: Bears facing a QB “problem” with Eagles, a tougher ’19, and Fletcher Cox - NBC Sports Chicago - Hopping around the notebook as the Bears move onto final approach for Sunday’s wild-card get-together with the Philadelphia Eagles…

Neveau: Trey Burton Aims to Keep Calm Demeanor as He Battles Former Team - NBC Chicago - Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton is intimately familiar with how the Philadelphia Eagles conduct their business, but he will be aiming to end his former team’s season on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Are You a True Chicago Bears Fan? Test Your Knowledge With This Quiz - NBC Chicago - Think you know the Chicago Bears?

Key matchups in Bears-Eagles game - ChicagoBears.com - When the Bears host the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs Sunday at Soldier Field, keep an eye out for these three matchups, including Kyle Fuller against former teammate Alshon Jeffery.

Mayer's Chalk Talk: Have Bears ever played defending SB champs in playoffs? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether the Bears have ever faced the defending Super Bowl champions in the playoffs, how many teams have gone from worst-to-first and if Roquan Smith broke Brian Urlacher’s team record for tackles by a rookie.

Bears predictions: wild-card playoff game vs. Eagles - Sun Times - The Sun-Times’ experts offer their picks for the Bears’ home playoff game against the Eagles.

Bears-Eagles ticket prices drop as Wild Card game nears - Sun Times - As the Bears-Eagles Wild Card game draws near, ticket prices have dropped 16 percent since Monday, according to TickPick.

Wiederer: 'You're missing awfully small' A pick-me-up for Cody Parkey is among 5 things we heard from Bears coordinators - Chicago Tribune - Bears coordinators Vic Fangio, Mark Helfrich and Chris Tabor all spoke with the media Thursday at Halas Hall. Here are the highlights from what they had to say.

Wiederer: 'I have enough on my plate' Vic Fangio trying to remain laser-focused even with head coaching interviews ahead - Chicago Tribune - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will have his opportunities next week to interview for head coaching positions with the Broncos and Dolphins. But this week, Fangio is keeping his focus on preparing for a playoff game with the Eagles.

Campbell: The Bears had many questions about rookie coach Matt Nagy. 12 wins and a return to the playoffs have answered them. - Chicago Tribune - When the Bears hired the relatively unknown Matt Nagy last January, there were many curiosities about how he would handle coaching and play-calling roles that were new to him. Now, with a 12-4 record and NFC North title, there's a widespread appreciation for how Nagy answered those questions.

Campbell: Eddie Jackson returns to practice as Bears' promising health situation gets even better - Chicago Tribune - Bears safety Eddie Jackson returned to practice Thursday as he recovers from the right ankle sprain he suffered Dec. 16. The Bears play the Eagles on Sunday.

Gallery: 15 moments that mattered most during the Bears' regular-season run to the playoffs - Chicago Tribune - As the Bears gear up for playoff football at Soldier Field on Sunday against the Eagles, here are 15 moments that mattered most during the regular season.

Wiederer: Bears' Sunday storylines - Virginia McCaskey’s summer pep talk, Jordan Howard’s revival and a playoff reunion for the Long brothers - Chicago Tribune - As the Bears prepare to host the Eagles in the first round of the NFC playoffs, we take a deeper look at Virginia McCaskey's September pep talk, Jordan Howard's December breakthrough and a January reunion for brothers Kyle and Chris Long.

Biggs: 'We got him back up loving the game' Matt Nagy was there for Nick Foles' football rebirth - Chicago Tribune - Reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was nearly ready to walk away from football before signing in 2016 with the Chiefs, where Matt Nagy was the offensive coordinator and the guy who loaned him a car for training camp. Now they meet up in the wild-card round Sunday.

Wildcard Game Preview: Chicago Bears - Philadelphia Eagles - The Chicago Audible Podcast - In this in-depth episode, the guys cover everything you need to know heading into the Chicago Bears' wildcard game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vic Fangio says he’s done “zero” work to prepare for HC interviews – ProFootballTalk - Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has interviews for the head coaching vacancies in Denver and Miami slated for Monday, but he said Thursday that those meetings aren't taking up much space in his head.

Kyle Long on facing brother Chris: 'We're not related' - NFL.com - Bears guard Kyle Long and Eagles defensive end Chris Long will battle for their teams to advance to the NFC Divisional Round. Pitting brothers against one another can lead to an awkward family dance.

Potash: The last Bears playoff QB - Caleb Hanie nearly a hero vs. Pack in NFC title game - Sun Times - “It will always be a memorable experience for me just because it was my biggest moment in my career,” said Hanie.

Potash: Eddie Jackson limited in practice; WRs Robinson, Miller, Gabriel good to go - Sun Times - Long was given a scheduled day off as the Bears continue to ease the former Pro Bowl guard back into form.

Jahns: Bears get ready for Alshon Jeffery - Sun Times - Receiver Alshon Jeffery is one part of a diverse Eagles offense run by quarterback Nick Foles.

Finley: Bears coordinator Vic Fangio focused on playoffs, not new jobs - Sun Times - The Broncos and Dolphins have asked to speak with Fangio about their vacancies. By NFL rules, he can’t talk until after the playoff game Sunday.

KNOW THY ENEMY

2019 Detroit Lions free agents: List of players with expiring contracts - Pride Of Detroit - A full list of Lions players whose contracts are expiring in 2019.

Vikings Disappointing 2018 Season: Where and When Did It Go Wrong? - Daily Norseman - In one play, a season was lost

What if the Vikings had listened to Mike Mayock? - Daily Norseman - How would he have fared as GM of the Vikings?

Packers 2018 Snap Counts: Season totals illustrate injuries’ impact on the roster - Acme Packing Company - Here’s a look at how the playing time broke down for all the Packers in 2018.

Wide receivers may be the most undervalued position in all of football - Acme Packing Company - A look at the Packers’ results over the past few years shows a correlation to the team’s talent at wideout.

For Packers, Josh McDaniels’ upside outweighs his red flags - Acme Packing Company - Josh McDaniels carries some risk for teams in search of a new head coach. However, if he can settle some concerns about his past and his vision for his next NFL stop, hiring him makes sense for the Packers.

Odds for next Packers head coach favor Josh McDaniels, Matt LaFleur - Acme Packing Company - You can bet on anything sports-related in Las Vegas or on the internet, and the identity of the Green Bay Packers’ next head coach is no exception. On Wednesday evening, online sportsbook BetDSI...

How Nick Foles Is Doing It Once Again - Bleeding Green Nation - Foles kept the Philly machine churning in 2017; in 2018, he seems to have jumpstarted it. What’s the secret sauce for the league’s most dangerous backup QB?

Eagles Injury Report: Good news on Nick Foles, 6 players limited - Bleeding Green Nation - Philadelphia injury news.

NFL Playoffs 2019: Cowboys among 4 teams with worse Super Bowl odds than the No. 6 seed Eagles - Bleeding Green Nation - Oddsmakers aren’t totally sleeping on Philly.

Eagles reportedly making offensive line change prior to Bears playoff game - Bleeding Green Nation - Isaac back.

Brett Favre says the Eagles are the hottest team in football heading into the 2019 NFL playoffs - Bleeding Green Nation - Favre’s feeling good about his old buddy.

Vikings looking at “all kind of options” at offensive coordinator – ProFootballTalk - Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski interviewed for the Browns head coaching job on Thursday and he’s going to be out of contract next week, so the Vikings may be looking for a new coach to fill that position for the second time in as many years.

Mike Zimmer has no problem with having no contract beyond 2019 – ProFootballTalk - Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will coach the team in 2019. Beyond that, who knows? Zimmer, who reiterated at an end-of-season press conference on Thursday that he’ll neither resign nor retire, acknowledged that he has one year left on his deal.

Lions HC Matt Patricia hints at wanting to trade No. 8 overall pick - Pride Of Detroit - It’s way too early to accurately speculate, but Matt Patricia had an interesting answer to a draft question.

Lions DT Da’Shawn Hand is ‘going to be one of the greats,’ teammates say - Pride Of Detroit - You should really be excited for Da’Shawn Hand.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Mitchell's Cold Takes: A Look At Chicago’s Crushing The Vikings Playoff Hopes - Windy City Gridiron - Things look a bit different when you set emotions aside and go back and watch the tapes a couple of times...

Berckes: Five Questions with Bleeding Green Nation - Windy City Gridiron - We have a double decker addition of 5 questions this week as we dig into the wildcard playoff matchup against the Eagles.

Wiltfong's Bears vs. Eagles Wildcard Preview: X-Factors, pass protection, and more - Windy City Gridiron - In Lester’s latest T formation Conversation he quickly recaps the way the Chicago Bears bullied the Vikings in Minnesota before settling in with some Bears vs. Eagles Wildcard preview.

Silverstein: TBT to that time George McCaskey told off Jerry Jones in front of all NFL owners - Windy City Gridiron - A 2018 book on the NFL delivered a gem on the Bears chairman.

Mitchell: Chicago Bears “Bearman” Don Wachter Named “Hall Of Fans” Finalist - Windy City Gridiron - Check out our exclusive interview with "Bearman" Don Wachter about the day he found out he was a finalist for the Hall of Fans. It’s not every day that Bears Hall Of Fame Linebacker Brian Urlacher knocks on your door, so this is a fun story.

Householder's 2019 NFL Wild Card Round Preview: Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles - Windy City Gridiron - After a long wait, it’s here: Playoff Chicago Bears football

Leming's Bears vs. Eagles: Wild Card weekend Mailbag - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears are preparing for their first playoff game in eight seasons. You’ve got questions about the biggest game in years and we’ve got answers.

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 - iTunes - Robert Zeglinski

THE RULES

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