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DBB Broken Record: Bears Training Camp Will Be Defined By Health Not Performance

| July 17th, 2014

x There is a chance fourth-round selection Brock Vereen will earn his way into the Bears defensive starting lineup come the end of August.

There is a chance Shea McClellin will thrive in his new role as strong-side linebacker, playing against opposing twos and threes for most of the summer.

There is a chance the new additions at defensive end – Allen, Houston, Young…etc. – will wreck havoc in Bourbonnais and throughout the preseason.

There is a chance the Marquess Wilson will solidify the third wide receiver spot and complete the best receiving corps in the sport.

There is also a chance none of it will matter. A strong chance. Because if Jay Cutler turns the wrong way on his knee during 7-on-7s or Matt Forte takes an awkward shot to the ankle or Brandon Marshall pulls up running through the seam, it will be that moment and nothing else that defines this summer for the Chicago Bears. NFL training camp has become a war of attrition, survival of the fittest, Thunderdome.

It has become a month-long breath hold for every die hard in the league.

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311 Comments

The Joe Anderson Boner

| July 14th, 2014

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I call it The Joe Anderson Boner.

“What is The Joe Anderson Boner?” you ask. Well, I shall tell you now. The Joe Anderson Boner is the yearly occurrence in the pants of Bears fans caused by the over-hyping of meaningless performances in the summer leading up to the NFL season. It might be the result of a few Larry Mayer Tweets that resemble something like, “The player who really jumped off the field in Bourbonnais today was Joe Anderson” or a 7 catch, 110 yard receiving performance in the second half of a preseason contest wherein Joe Anderson is being covered by someone of the skill equivalent to Loni Anderson.

This is not idiosyncratic to Bears fans, mind you. Every team has their summer boners. My brother Jon, a diehard New York Jets fan, once made a tee shirt that said “Kellen is the Answer” due to the boner-inducing camp performances of Kellen Clemens.

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DaBearsBlog’s Five Favorite Songs of All-Time

| July 7th, 2014

Because this is the only down time in the football season unless your football players are getting themselves into trouble, DBB is going to have fun. After a long discussion over the holiday weekend on great music, I decided to compile a listing of my five favorite songs of all-time. If you don’t want to read it or listen to the tracks, well then, you’ll just have to do something else.

#5 Randy Newman, Louisiana 1927

#4 Sam Cooke, Bring it Home to Me

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Kate Grossman: I Don’t Like You

| July 2nd, 2014

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There are some great people working over at the Chicago Sun-Times, most notably friend of the blog and Bears beat man Adam Jahns. But it is impossible to ignore the fact that many of the newsrooms around this country are populated by daft, insignificant morons.

Kate Grossman is one of those. Hell, she might even be two of them. The Sun-Times editor was on some dopey chat show, sliding off her chair at the very thought of a George Lucas museum on the lakefront. The museum would, of course, be the nail in the tailgating coffin for Chicago Bears fans at Soldier Field.

I’ve pulled the quotes from a blog over at ChicagoNow and thank emailer Laura for the notification:

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USA v Belgium Game Preview & Thread

| July 1st, 2014

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Because, really, what the hell could possibly be happening around the Chicago Bears to warrant this column be dedicated to anything else.

So why do I like the USMNT today?

I always like the USMNT.

Points…

  • Set pieces, set pieces, set pieces. Belgium has not allowed a goal in the run of play yet in this tournament and they sport – when healthy – the sturdiest back four in the tournament. Thomas Vermaelen is out and Vincent Kompany (arguably the best center half in the world) will be limited if he plays at all. US needs a big performance off the dead ball and that usually means a big delivery performance from Graham Zusi.
  • US can’t lose the possession battle to the extent they lost it against Germany and that means Michael Bradley has to play better. Bradley is meant to be the catalyst for everything this attack but his timing, pace and ideas have all been a step behind throughout the group stage. That has to end.
  • Eden Hazard has not asserted himself yet in this tournament. If he chooses today to do so, US fans will be looking down the barrel of a several goal defeat. That’s how much better Hazard is than any of the players tasked to defend him.

Today is a huge opportunity for the USMNT. If they win they’ll be playing a quarterfinal on Saturday of Fourth of July weekend. Families gathered around television. Grandparents watching a sport they’d never watch. That kind of event could be the foundation of a whole new generation of soccer fans in this country. “I started watching soccer with my family on 4th of July weekend” kinda thing. More eyes would be on that game Saturday than on any soccer event in the history of this country. That is the opportunity. Will they seize it?

USA 2, Belgium 1 in extra time.

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227 Comments

Bears Take Chance on Former Pro Bowl Safety Adrian Wilson [VIDEO]

| June 24th, 2014

Three thoughts on the signing:

  1. It is another sign that this current Bears regime will not settle for inadequacies on the roster. The previous administration seemed to enjoy going to great lengths to not only defend weak positions but make claims that a weakened position was somehow part of the overall strategy.
  2. Chicago could not enter the summer with Ryan Mundy as the only viable strong safety on the roster. Why? Because Ryan Mundy isn’t that good.
  3. Keep expectations low on Wilson. If the former top safety is on the roster come September, it would be a surprise.

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410 Comments

Pat Mannelly Retiring From the NFL

| June 20th, 2014

Mannelly is a legendary Bear and “the namesake” of our Audibles from the Long Snapper column. Here he is explaining that decision.

Brad Biggs did an excellent job breaking the story on his Twitter feed. Here is a selection of Tweets from the Trib’s leading Bears writer:

Used to joke with Pat Mannelly the last 3 seasons or so on Fridays in the locker room, ask if he was looking forward to setting a record

He was the all-time leader in history for games played. He’d chuckle a little but he just wanted to do his job that Sunday.

K Robbie Gould: Pat Mannelly “is probably the greatest long snapper to ever play the game.”

I don’t know if Mannelly is the greatest long snapper to ever play. I don’t even know how to begin that analysis. But I know he has given sixteen years of his body to the Chicago Bears organization and that is worthy of celebration.

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