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 width=>>Bears Hoping For Big Things With Allen On Defense

Jared Allen insists it's about more than just one player when it comes to Chicago Bears and their defense.

Never mind that he was the big prize, the shiny new centerpiece in an offseason rebuild.

For a team aiming high after finishing 8-8 a year ago, there is no bigger symbol of hope than the 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end. And that symbol was on display Friday as the Bears conducted their first training camp practice.

Allen says the "collective whole" and the "energy of each individual" will determine how well the defense performs this season after struggling a year ago.

>>Bears' Tucker Has Chance To Make Mark On Defense

Given the overhaul, this sure seems like coordinator Mel Tucker's big chance to make his mark on the Chicago Bears' defense.

Tucker shrugged off the idea even though he has a rebuilt roster that now includes Jared Allen and is no longer running former coach Lovie Smith's defense.

He insists it's "a 'we' thing" and "not my stamp or any particular coach's stamp or any particular player."

The Bears are looking for more from a defense that ranked among the worst in franchise history a year ago and are hoping to get back to the playoffs for just the second time since the 2006 team's Super Bowl run.

 width=>>Packers Sign Nelson To New Extension

(De Pere, WI) -- The Packers are locking up one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets. Green Bay has signed wide receiver Jordy Nelson to a contract extension. The terms of the deal have not been released, but ESPN reports it to be for four years and worth 39-million-dollars including an 11.5-million-dollar signing bonus. The 29-year-old had 85 catches for over 13-hundred yards and eight touchdowns last season.

>>Big Ben Contract Extension Won't Come Until After The Season

(Latrobe, PA) -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won't be getting a new contract before the season. Pittsburgh president Art Rooney the Second in an interview on the team's website explained he communicated the organizations plan in a direct conversation with Roethlisberger. "Big Ben's" contract ends after the 2015 season. In the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette," Roethlisberger's response was quoted "As I put my faith and trust in them, when the time is right we'll get it done. Now I can just concentrate on football." He is 32 years old and threw for over 4,000 yards last season with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

>>49ers Running Back James To Miss Month

(Santa Clara, CA) -- The 49ers backfield took another hit over the weekend. According to ESPN, running back LaMichael James will miss around a month with a dislocated left elbow, but he should be ready for Week One of the regular season. San Francisco has already lost halfback Kendall Hunter for the season due to a knee injury. The Niners still have starter Frank Gore and second-round pick Carlos Hyde out of Ohio State to round out the position.

>>Cardinals Peterson To Just Play Corner

(Glendale, AZ) -- Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson will narrow his focus this season. Head coach Bruce Arians discussed on Sunday how Peterson will only play defense and no longer handle punt returns or play wide receiver. After returning four punts for touchdown as a rookie, the LSU product hasn't had the same success in that role the following two seasons. Peterson caught six passes for 54 yards and had four rushes for 21 yards last season.

>>Vikings Sign Contract Extension With Tight End Rudolph

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph will be wearing purple and white for a long time. The team announced a contract extension with Rudolph on Sunday. Fox Sports reports the extension is for five years and worth 36.5-million-dollars. Rudolph had 30 catches for three touchdowns in only eight games last year. He was drafted in the second round by Minnesota in 2011.

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