Bears

Bears not waiting on Martellus Bennett to show

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Bears not waiting on Martellus Bennett to show

The Bears moved along in their second week of organized team activities without Martellus Bennett as the No. 1 tight end continues hoping for a new contract or trade to a team that will give him one.

OTA’s are voluntary, so Bennett is not incurring any fines. But neither is he incurring any time with a new offensive coordinator and system.

“As I said before, this is voluntary,” said coach John Fox. “It's not going to change for the rest of this off-season…. I just know we've got a lot guys out here working really hard to get better.”

[RELATED - Upon further review: Bears handling of Bennett, Forte warrants watching]

Fox did not venture a guess on whether Bennett, a Pro Bowl’er after his career-best 90 receptions in 2014, will be attending the June 16-18 mandatory minicamp, the last stop before training camp opening on July 29.

“I can't predict what those [attendance] intentions are, just that I'd prefer him to be here,” Fox said, “and now we'll put all of our energy and focus on the guys that are.”

The guys that are in camp number six, headed by Bear Pascoe, like Bennett a former New York Giant. And Zach Miller, plagued by season-ending ankle injuries the past two years, has made an early impression, as he had last preseason with his six catches in the win over Philadelphia before suffering his latest injury.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans]

“[Miller] made a really good grab yesterday,” Fox said. “I think he's flashed. We're kind of monitoring him and his reps. This time of the year, with 89 guys out there, you're able to spread those reps. But he's a guy that we heard had a great [2014] camp, and some of the things we were able to go back and research. So he was a good get for us in the off-season and we just need him to stay healthy.”

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

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USA TODAY

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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