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Bears' Smith Optimistic Heading Into Camp
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith kept mentioning the Super Bowl. He couldn't resist invoking the Monsters of the Midway, either.

Whether it's unbridled optimism or the pure delusion of someone whose job is on the line, Smith sounded more like the coach of a reigning champion than the guy with a win-or-else mandate.

Smith says the Bears "know what a Super Bowl team looks like," but they've hardly resembled one in the three seasons since they played for the championship.

Now, they're looking for more. And there's no shortage of storylines as training camp begins.

There's the arrival of prized free agent Julius Peppers. There's the relationship between new offensive coordinator Mike Martz and Jay Cutler. And there's that win-now mandate for Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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