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  • Jerry Angelo, Bears couldn’t ask for better guides in Day 2 of NFL draft

    NEIL HAYES: Bears general manager Jerry Angelo needed all the help he could get while evaluating one of the most difficult draft classes of his career.

  • Bears GM Jerry Angelo gets it right with Gabe Carimi

    Lovie Smith redeemed himself in 2010. Starting late Thursday night, it was Jerry Angelo who was on the clock. By leading the Bears to the NFC Championship Game after three straight non-playoff seasons, the Bears coach reminded a skeptical fan base that he can coach …Read More

  • Bigger is better as Bears look to add to offensive line

    There are three reasons why the Bears must beef up the interior part of their offensive line, and they are big reasons, indeed. Their names are Ndamukong Suh, B.J. Raji and Kevin Williams.Together, the defensive tackles for the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota …

    No Tommie Harris means defensive tackle a priority for Bears

    NEIL HARRIS: The Bears might not be as interested in using a first-round pick to protect quarterback Jay Cutler as many assume. With Tommie Harris gone, it could be argued that defensive tackle is an even greater need, especially with the importance of the “three-technique” tackle in coach Lovie Smith’s cover-2 scheme.

    Bears ‘in a tricky spot’

    NEIL HAYES: An injured Jay Cutler standing on the sideline during the NFC Championship Game loss to the Green Bay Packers remains the defining moment of the 2010 season. The Bears’ biggest weakness blinks neon after they surrendered a league-high 56 sacks last season, making general manager Jerry Angelo’s draft-day priority obvious.

    With the 29th pick in the NFL draft, who will the Bears take?

    NEIL HAYES: Putting together a mock draft is always an exercise in futility, but never more so than this year. If Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is still unsure about which direction he will go in with the No.1 overall pick, imagine how Bears general manager Jerry Angelo must feel about holding the 29th overall choice.

    Between NFL and pro boxing, Tom Zbikowski a scholar of hard knocks

    NEIL HAYES: Before Tom Zbikowski signed a pair of boxing gloves during a recent public workout, he wanted to know which autograph he should use. Should he sign his full name, followed by No. 28, Baltimore Ravens? Or should he sign Tommy Z, the moniker he uses as an up-and-coming professional boxer?

    Bears ink Lovie Smith through 2013, boost stability

    NEIL HAYES: The Bears announced Friday that they’ve signed coach Lovie Smith to a two-year extension that keeps him under contract through 2013. Smith’s staff will return virtually intact, which gives the Bears a big advantage over teams with new head coaches and/or coordinators in an offseason that likely will be frozen by a labor stoppage.

    Hayes: Duerson’s suicide rattles ex-Bear Plank

    The photograph was of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ricky Bell, who was falling down backward, his torso and neck twisted as he tried desperately to see what was coming up behind him. Everybody who watched the Bears during that era knows what Bell was …

    Cutler a victim of his indifference

    NEIL HAYES: Jay Cutler’s medial collateral ligament is torn, and his reputation is dangling by sinew. What should be most sobering to the Bears quarterback isn’t his injured left knee or the 31.8 passer rating he posted before exiting the NFC Championship Game on ­Sunday at Soldier Field.

    Packers’ pass rush, corners will be tough to crack

    NEIL HAYES: Diagrams of the opposing team’s defense are on the marker board when Bears players walk into the offensive meeting room to begin installing the game plan on Wednesdays. Mike Martz sometimes draws red X’s over vulnerable defenders so everybody knows the plan of attack from the moment they step into the room.

    NFC title game big for both QBs, but bigger for Cutler

    Leading his team to a lopsided win over the Seattle Seahawks in a divisional playoff game was not a defining moment in Jay Cutler’s as-yet-undefined career — no matter how many wrote or said otherwise. Beating the worst playoff team in history at home is …

    Lovie’s recipe for success: Vanilla

    NEIL HAYES: Lovie Smith insisted his team would play to win in the regular-season finale in Green Bay.

    Hayes: Peppers just one of team players

    His freakish athleticism was expected. The profound impact that Julius Peppers has had on the Bears’ defense hasn’t been the most surprising aspect of his first year with the team, either. It’s been his willingness to play team defense — to be a cog in …

    Philly loss looks like Bears’ gain

    NEIL HAYES: We still don’t know if the Bears are the best team in the NFC, but all doubt was removed about which team has been the most fortunate after an unlikely series of events handed coach Lovie Smith’s team a date with the weakest team in the playoff field when the Seattle Seahawks come to Soldier Field on Sunday for a divisional playoff game.

    Bears have to keep up with young Pack, Eagles

    It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Philadelphia Eagles after quarterback Donovan McNabb and other key veterans departed, but a young nucleus developed faster than expected, quarterback Michael Vick blossomed into an MVP candidate and coach Andy Reid’s team continued its decadelong …

    Angelo: Bears not that talented

    NEIL HAYES: Jerry Angelo would’ve been excused if he had gloated. Instead, the Bears’ general manager took the high road.