Welcome to Grizzly Detail, NBCChicago’s all-singing, all-dancing, all-up-in-your-fanged-maw Bears blog.
Ever since old man Halas roared into town in 1921, Chicago has been a football town dominated by strong men: Ditka, Butkus, Payton, Nagurski, Singletary and Papa Bear himself created a storied franchise on the Chicago lakefront. Bear down, Chicago Bears.
Today, a motley crew of smashmouthers guards that legacy. We've chosen to focus -- in graphic, grisly detail -- on six of those men who are in the best position to recapture the Bears' gridiron glory:
- Jay Cutler
Mediocre messiah or cannon's second coming?
- Brian Urlacher
Cantankerous vet's still the surly face of the franchise.
- Johnny Knox
Smurfy dynamo could be the receiving corps' salvation.
- Julius Peppers
$42 million answer to the D-line's millions of gaps.
- Lovie Smith
Stoic head coach can't survive sans playoffs.
- Jerry Angelo
Flinty maestro seeking a return to greatness.
We won't cover these guys to the exclusion of game coverage (Halas in heaven forbid) or breaking news -- the six are simply the faces through which we'll tell the stories. And since injury lurks on any given snap and every overenthusiastic swig of Gatorade, we won't hesitate to replace the lame and maimed. Same goes for coaches. Hi, Lovie.
Your guide on this sportily macabre tour: Maggie Hendricks, a lifelong Chicagoan and veteran sports reporter, who also covers mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports and in Fight! Magazine. A graduate of the University of Missouri, she could make you tap out, son.
Complementing Maggie's vicious ground game: veteran sports journalists Peggy Kusinski, Paula Faris and Darryl Hawks, who'll add reporting from the practice and playing fields, plus exclusive video. Bonus: Hall-of-Famer Dan Hampton's providing video analysis.
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