Favorable Reaction

After opening on the road each of the past two seasons, the Bears will open at home for the first time since 1999, hosting Minnesota in the season-opener on Sept. 8.

"I love when the schedule is released because it means we are another step closer to beginning our season. Any NFL schedule is difficult and ours is no different. We remain in a competitive division, but unlike last year, our division opponents are spread out over the entire season. We will point to our opener versus Minnesota on September 8 and will work from there."

The last time Chicago played on the NFL's national stage was Oct. 27, 1997, a 36-33 win at Miami.

"I think we have a great schedule for our fans. We play in three Monday Night games and a Sunday night game giving our fans across the country an opportunity to watch us. We also have an excellent home schedule for the many new fans who will have the chance to join us in Champaign."

Seven of the Bears eight home games will be against teams that have qualified for the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons.

In other news: Defensive lineman Carl Powell was signed by the Washington Redskins Thursday in time to arrive for the team's final day of minicamp. Powell made 15 tackles last season playing on special teams and the defensive line.

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