Bears

Bears expect first true test by Colts in practice, preseason game

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Bears expect first true test by Colts in practice, preseason game

Practice is, as Allen Iverson would agree, is just practice. Except this week.

After a one-day stopover for Tuesday's practice at Halas Hall, the Bears were headed for Indianapolis for two days of practice and a Saturday game with the Colts. Inter-team practices typically extend over three days but the third day was done away with this trip for a simple reason, besides the presence of a game.

“One of the things you learn through experience is we’re only going two days instead of three days,” Bears head coach John Fox said. "That third day things get a little chippy, so I think part of the planning is looking at that third day. So we’ll work like we did last week prior to Miami the day before the game’s scheduled and we’ll practice with our own team at Lucas Oil on Friday.”

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The mood was clearly one of looking forward to something other than seeing the same faces day after day after day in practice.

“It'll be really nice to go down to Indianapolis to echo some of the things that coach Fox was just talking about,” said guard Kyle Long. “[The Colts are] a playoff team; they have the model for what it is to be successful in this league.”

(That “model” probably has something to do with staffing a certain position with No. 1 overall picks (Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck) that work out at Hall of Fame levels. But that’s another discussion.)

Still, “it'll be a good idea to see how they practice and how they go about their business and also get an opportunity to see some other guys in a practice setting, you know we get to practice against them twice, get to play against them Saturday, so that'll be a really good experience for a lot of the younger guys and for all of us,” Long said.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The practices are scheduled for mid-afternoon Wednesday and Thursday. As recently as Monday night the two teams were still tweaking plans, including the prospect of rain, in which case half of each team will stay at the Colts’ facility for practice and the other halves will be indoors at Lucas Oil. "There’s been a lot of planning, yes,” Fox said.

That planning includes specifically avoiding fighting, or at least the NFL wants that to be part of training-camp thinking. In the wake of the spate of fights in camps, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent sent a memo to all 32 teams Friday reminding players that prohibiting fights during games will be a point of emphasis for officials, the Associated Press reported.

“I just think it’s important to see other people, the styles of play,” Fox said. “They’re a playoff team from a year ago and I know their staff pretty well; they’re good guys and look forward to it being competitive and yet civil.”

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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