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Bears keeping egos in check

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 7, 2012 – 3:37 pm

Ten players on the Bears’ 53-man roster have been voted to the Pro Bowl, with five of those individuals receiving a combined 28 invitations to the league’s annual all-star game.

Despite that type of talent, receiver Devin Hester doesn’t think that egos will be a problem as the Bears pursue a common goal that has eluded most of their players, including all 10 Pro Bowlers.

“You’ve just got to look at the big picture, plain and simple,” Hester said Friday. “The big picture is winning the Super Bowl, and everybody is buying into that.

“This team is full of stars, full of Pro Bowlers. But there are very few of us that have Super Bowl rings and that’s what we’re trying to achieve. When we talk about that, we put our egos to the side and say, ‘we’ve got to look at the bigger picture and let’s try to win a Super Bowl ring.'”

Only three players on the roster have won a Super Bowl: Defensive backs Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Bears to cap the 2006 season and tight end Matt Spaeth when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals to end the 2008 campaign.

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Podlesh listed as probable

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 7, 2012 – 2:58 pm

Bears punter Adam Podlesh practiced without limitations Friday and is listed as probable on the injury report for Sunday’s season opener, meaning there’s a 75 percent chance he’ll play.

Podlesh injured his hip flexor Aug. 18 in a preseason win over the Redskins. If he’s unable to go Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, undrafted rookie Ryan Quigley will take his place.

“Adam’s got a little bit more control with his direction whereas Ryan is more of a bomber-type guy,” said special teams coordinator Dave Toub. “He’s real good at hitting the ball down the middle deep high with hang time whereas Adam can control it better, which is conductive for the Chicago weather with the wind that we get and what we do with our coverage.”

Quigley performed well in Podlesh’s place in the final two preseason games. He averaged 43.6 yards while placing three of seven punts inside-the-20 against the Giants and landed three-of-four punts inside-the-20 while recovering a fumble on a punt return versus the Browns.

“I’m very comfortable [with Quigley],” Toub said. “He’s established himself. He had two solid games for us those last two preseason games. We feel good about Ryan.”

In other injury news, running back Lorenzo Booker (head) missed practice for a third straight day Friday and is listed as questionable. Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee), safety Chris Conte (shoulder) and receiver Earl Bennett (hand) are probable.

For the Colts, linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) and guard Joe Reitz (knee) are out; running back Delone Carter (chest) and receivers Austin Collie (head) and T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) are questionable; and running back Mewelde Moore (chest), cornerback Jerraud Powers (knee) and defensive end Cory Redding (knee) are probable.

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Marinelli a big Urlacher fan

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 7, 2012 – 2:32 pm

Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is thrilled to have Brian Urlacher back on the field after the star middle linebacker missed more than a month of training camp with a knee injury.

Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler,¬†practiced without restrictions¬†Friday after a day off Thursday and is slated to start Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field.

“I think his stats and his play speak Hall of Fame,” Marinelli said. “That’s a statement. But it’s the intangibles that we see every day. He’s an unbelievable leader, an incredible leader. He’s smart, understands the defense. All of those things make him special.”

Urlacher, 34, and fellow linebacker Lance Briggs, 31, have both continued to play at a Pro Bowl level despite being on the wrong side of 30.

“We’re older now and we’re smarter and we know how to play the game a little better I think and play it smarter,” Urlacher said. “Whatever we have lost in athletic ability or speed or whatever, I think we make up for it with our mental game just like most players do when they get older. They get smarter as they play longer and hopefully get better as they get older.”

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