Preseason Schedule Includes Five Games

Most players think the preseason is too long as it stands with four games, but the Bears will get a fifth thanks to the NFL pitting them against the Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame Game on August 8th in Canton, Ohio.

The extra game gives the Bears the option to open training camp a week earlier. Although the team is in the midst of lightening their off-season schedule in order to avoid injuries, the additional time could be useful with the installation of a new offense and quarterback Rex Grossman coming off a knee injury that limited him to just three games last season.

The nationally televised matchup on Monday Night Football at 7 p.m. caps the enshrinement weekend of the Hall of Fame Class of 2005 that is headed by Dan Marino, Steve Young, Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard.

Marino, one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, played for the Dolphins from 1983-99 and is the NFL's career leader in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns.

Pollard was born in Chicago, and became the NFL's first African-American quarterback and head coach.

The Bears will celebrate this year the 20th anniversary of their Super Bowl XX title (1985). They went 15-1 that season, losing only to the Dolphins in one of the most memorable Monday Night Football games in history. On December 2, 1985 in Miami, the Dolphins broke the Bears' 13-game winning streak with a 38-24 victory sparked by Marino's three touchdown passes.

Chicago (3-0) is one of four NFL teams who are undefeated in the Hall of Fame Game. The Bears also lead all NFL clubs in Hall of Fame enshrinees with 26 "primary" members. The Dolphins with Marino now have nine primary players.

The Hall of Fame Game will mark the NFL head-coaching debut of the Dolphins' Nick Saban. The Bears pursued Saban before hiring Smith, but the two sides could not agree on compensation or power distribution.

The NFL preseason national television and full preseason schedule will be announced shortly.


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