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Scouting report: Bears


The Bears are 9-6 through 15 games this season and are still fighting for the NFC North division championship. Lovie Smith is in his fifth season as Chicago's head coach. Smith has a 2-2 postseason record, including an NFC Championship and the Bears' first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years (2006), giving him the third-most playoff victories in team history behind the six of George Halas and Mike Ditka.


Quarterback: Kyle Orton beat out Rex Grossman for the starting spot earlier this year and has passed for 2,728 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 14 games. He also has two rushing touchdowns. Orton in is in his fourth year in the league.

Running back: Rookie Matt Forté has rushed for 1,188 yards on 303 carries and has scored eight rushing touchdowns. Forté ranks eighth in the league in rushing yards and third among rookie running backs. He also leads the Bears in receptions with 60 for 452 yards and four touchdowns.

Wide receiver/tight end: Wide receiver Devin Hester switched to a full-time starter this year after mainly being used as a special teams returner the last two seasons. Hester has caught 45 passes for a team-leading 580 yards and three touchdowns. Starting opposite Hester is wideout Rashied Davis, who has 33 receptions for 410 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Brandon Lloyd has started five games this season and has 22 catches for 330 yards and one touchdown. Desmond Clark starts at tight end and has caught 40 passes for 360 yards this season. Tight end Greg Olsen is second on the team in receptions with 50 for 544 yards and four touchdowns. Olsen was Chicago's first round draft pick in 2007.

Offensive line: Six-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz has been the anchor of the Bears' offensive line for the past nine seasons. Kreutz was a third round pick in 1998 by the Bears. Josh Beeman, a fourth round pick in '07, starts at left guard. Left tackle John St. Clair is a nine-year veteran and has been with Chicago since 2005 after being released by Miami. Roberto Garza, an eight-year veteran from Rio Hondo, Texas, starts at right guard for the Bears. To Garza's outside, John Tait, a 10-year veteran and former first round draft pick, fends off defensive ends at the right tackle position.


Defensive line: The Bears' defensive line features two prominent pass rushers in Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown. Ogunleye has 57 tackles this season with five sacks and an interception. Brown has posted 40 tackles and leads the team with six sacks, and he also blocked a potential game-winning field goal in Chicago's Week 16 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris has registered 32 tackles this season, including five sacks. Next to Harris in the middle of the defensive line is nose tackle Anthony Adams, who has 18 tackles this year.

Linebackers: The Bears have arguably one of the best linebacking corps in the NFL, led by six-time Pro Bowl selection Brian Urlacher. Regarded by many as one of the fiercest defenders in the league, Urlacher has 88 tackles and two interceptions this season. Linebacker Lance Briggs was just selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and leads his team with 105 tackles and three interceptions. Nick Roach rounds out the linebacking group. He has 28 tackles this season.

Secondary: The Bears' secondary is loaded with talent and is led by cornerback Charles Tillman. Tillman ranks fourth on the team with 83 tackles and has intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown. At the other cornerback position is Corey Graham, who has posted 75 tackles and one interception this season. Strong safety Mike Brown provides excellent help over the top and has 74 tackles, one sack and two interceptions this season. Brown made the Pro Bowl in 2005. At free safety is Kevin Payne, who has 85 tackles, one sack, and a team-leading four interceptions this season.


Kicking: Kicker Robbie Gould has made 25-of-28 field goal attempts this season and is a perfect 38-for-38 in extra point attempts. He has made game-winning field goals in overtime in two consecutive weeks. Gould made the Pro Bowl in 2006. Punter Brad Maynardhas punted 90 times with a 41.5-yard average.

Returning: Third-year receiver Devin Hester made the Pro Bowl in his first two years in the league as a return specialist. Hester has returned 31 kickoffs for 679 yards and a 21.9-yard average this season. Safety Danieal Manning helps out with kickoff returns and has returned 30 kickoffs for 883 yards (29.4 average) and one touchdown. Hester also handles the Bears' punt return duties, fielding 31 punts with a 6.4-yard average return this season.

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