Bears

CSN Chicago to air IHSA Playoff Pairing Show on CSN

CSN Chicago to air IHSA Playoff Pairing Show on CSN

2011 IHSA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PAIRING RELEASE SHOW TO AIR THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 ON COMCAST SPORTSNET PLUS (CSN)

Chicago, IL (October 19, 2011) The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will broadcast its 2011 Football Playoff Pairing Release Show on Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus (CSN), live from Comcast SportsNets downtown Chicago studios on Saturday, October 22 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In the Chicago area, the show will air on CLTV for Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers. Satellite subscribers (i.e. DirecTV, Dish Network, etc.) in the Chicago area, throughout Illinois, and in surrounding states will access to the show via CSN (Click here to view CSNs channel finder to find out where you can see CSN in your area). The show will also be available via live interactive stream on the internet at IHSA.tv and CSNChicago.com

Fans can interact with the show in a real-time chat on Saturday by visiting CSNChicago.com, where they can make comments or ask questions that may be read on the air. Questions and comments can also be submitted ahead of air time on the IHSA Facebook Playoff Pairing Show Page. Fans looking to interact with the show via Twitter should include the hashtag IHSAonCSN to have their tweets included on the show. If your team or school is hosting a playoff party on Saturday, send us a photo via email (mtroha@ihsa.org, csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com) or Twitter using the hashtag above. Your photo will be included in CSNChicago.coms online gallery and may even be used during the show.

The show will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet anchorreporter and former IHSA standout student-athlete Sarah Kustok, along with longtime IHSA TV Network personality Dave Bernhard, renowned CSNChicago.com prep sports writer Taylor Bell and NBC 5 ChicagoWSCR 670 The Score personality Matt Rodewald.

The show will feature the following highlights:

The release of the 32-team brackets in all eight classes, as all 256 playoff qualifiers find out their first round playoff opponents and path to Champaign for the first time.

Highlights from nearly 100 schools from around the state

Analysis from experts on nearly 100 teams from across Illinois

Live look-ins from schools hosting playoff pairing parties

Feature stories and interviews

CSN Interactive segments with fans

Rodewald will host IHSA on CSN Interactive, a live web stream and chat on CSNChicago.com and IHSA.tv that will offer viewers the opportunity to interact directly with Rodewald, Kustok, Bernhard and Bell. Viewer questions and comments will be featured throughout the show and posted on CSNChicago.com. Viewers are encouraged to use hashtag IHSAonCSN to deliver Tweets to the live chat and show.

Coaches scheduled to appear on the show include:

Chris Andriano, Montini; Ric Arand, Lena-Winslow; Don Beebe, Aurora Christian; John Belskis, Downers Grove South; Todd Hutchinson, Greenville; Ray Kauling, Centralia; Frank Lenti, Chicago Mt. Carmel; Ken Leonard, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin; Ken Piron, Batavia; Keith Pogue; Mahomet-Seymour; Rich Thompson, Triopia; Rob Zvonar, Lincoln-Way East and many more.

Media members scheduled to appear on the show include:

Aaron Bennett, WCIA-TV Champaign; Mike Clark, Chicago Sun Times; Marty Maciaszek, Chicagoland Daily Herald; Jim Mattson, WHOI-TV Peoria; Scott Mees, Carbondale Southern Illinoisian; Ken Roberts, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Steve Soucie, Kankakee Daily Journal; Joe Stevenson, Crystal Lake Northwest Herald and Emily Tropp, Rockford Register-Star.

Click here to view CSNs channel finder to find out where you can see CSN in your area.

Follow IHSA on Twitter at @IHSA_IL

Follow CSN Chicago on Twitter at @CSNChicago

Become a fan of IHSA on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comIHSA.IL

Become a fan of CSN Chicago on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comCSNChicago

As the Bears begin to form an identity, special teams need to catch up

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USA Today

As the Bears begin to form an identity, special teams need to catch up

If you squint, you can start to see the Bears forming an identity. The offense, at its best, will control the game with Jordan Howard and an offensive line that’s improving with cohesion over the last few weeks. The defense will stop the run, rarely blow assignments and — at least last week — force a few turnovers. 

Those can be the makings of a team that's at least competitive on a week-to-week basis. But they also leave out a critical segment of this group: Special teams. And that unit is obscuring whatever vision of an identity that may be coming into focus. 

Jeff Rodgers’ special teams unit ranks 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings, and is below average in all five categories the advanced statistics site tracks: field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts and punt returns. 

Had the Bears’ just merely "fine," for lack of a better term, on special teams Sunday, they would’ve controlled a win over the Baltimore Ravens from start to finish. But a 96-yard kickoff return (after the Bears went up 17-3) and a 77-yard punt return (which, after a two-point conversion, tied the game in the fourth quarter) were the Ravens’ only touchdowns of the game; they otherwise managed three field goals. 

Rodgers didn’t find much fault with the way the Bears covered Bobby Rainey’s kickoff return — he would’ve been down at the 23-yard line had the officiating crew ruled that Josh Bellamy got a hand on him as he was tumbling over. But the Bears players on the field (and, it should be said, a number of Ravens) stopped after Rainey hit the turf; he got up and dashed into the end zone for a momentum-shifting score. 

“A lot of our players stopped, all their players stopped,” Rodgers said. “There were players from both teams who came on to the field from the sideline. So there’s a lot of people on that particular play who thought the play was over.”

That return touchdown could be chalked up to an officiating-aided fluke, but Michael Campanaro’s punt return score was inexcusable given the situation of the game (up eight with just under two minutes left). The Bears checked into a max protect formation, and no players were able to wriggle free and get downfield toward Campanaro (Cre’von LeBlanc, who replaced an injured Sherrick McManis, was knocked to the turf). Rodgers said O’Donnell’s booming punt wasn’t the issue — it didn’t need to be directed out of bounds, he said — and instead pointed to a lack of execution by the other 10 players on the field. And not having McManis isn’t an excuse here. 

“We expect everybody to play at the standard at which that position plays,” Rodgers said. “I don’t put that touchdown on one guy getting hurt, but you’d always like to have your best players on the field.”

In isolation, the special teams mistakes the Bears have made this year can be explained — beyond these two returns, Marcus Cooper slowing up before the end zone was baffling, yet sort of fluky. But while the Bears’ arrow is pointing up on defense and, at the least, isn’t pointing down on offense, these special teams mistakes collective form a bad narrative. 

“We take those players, we practice it, and like all mistakes, you admit them and then you fix them,” coach John Fox said, “and then hope to God you don’t do it again.”

Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Midseason trade targets and who you should sell high on

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USA TODAY

Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Midseason trade targets and who you should sell high on

Rotoworld and NBC Sports fantasy analyst Josh Norris joins the Fantasy Football Fix Podcast to discuss if Derrick Henry's time in Tennessee has finally arrived. Plus, the CSN Fantasy crew analyzes which players you should sell high on and who you should target in midseason trades.