Bulls

The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

589690.jpg

The latest on the Penn State sex scandal

From Comcast SportsNet
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State police and their counterparts in State College said they had no record of a former graduate assistant reporting a sexual assault by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower, a detail that runs counter to claims made in an email to former teammates. The police response to Mike McQueary's claim that he reported the alleged assault came shortly after a lawyer said Wednesday that he had a client who would testify that he was sexually abused by Sandusky, who is accused of abusing eight boys, some on campus, over 15 years. "I am appalled by the fact that Mr. Sandusky has elected to re-victimize these young men at a time when they should be healing," Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi said in a statement released by his office. "He fully intends to testify that he was severely sexually assaulted by Mr. Sandusky." The client is not the same boy McQueary told a grand jury he saw being sexually assaulted by Sandusky in a shower on university property in 2002. McQueary, who is now an assistant coach but has been placed on administrative leave, wrote in the email given to The Associated Press that he had "discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police" about what he saw. In the email, McQueary did not specify whether he spoke to campus or State College police. State College borough police Chief Tom King said McQueary didn't make a report to his department. Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said campus police also didn't have any record of a report filed in 2002 by McQueary. Mountz noted that the 23-page grand jury report was the state attorney general's summary of testimony, so it's unclear what McQueary's full testimony was. McQueary and a law firm representing him did not return phone calls Wednesday. Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting to plan for a special commission that will examine the legal issues raised by the child sex-abuse scandal, which has raised questions both ethical and criminal about why allegations of abuse went unreported for so long. The scandal has resulted in the ousting of school President Graham Spanier and longtime coach Joe Paterno, and has brought shame to one of college football's legendary programs. Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down. Schultz and Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report to police, and Sandusky is charged with child sex abuse. All maintain their innocence. The commission being set up by Pennsylvania lawmakers will consider changes to state law in the wake of the scandal. The plan was described as being in the planning stage, including meetings of leaders and their aides. Topics are likely to include mandatory reporting of suspected abuse, and the legal definition of child abuse, said Senate Democratic spokeswoman Lisa Scullin. Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, appeared with him on NBC's "Rock Center" on Monday night and cast doubt on the evidence in the case. "We anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say, This never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred,'" Amendola said. Sandusky, 67, appeared on the show by phone and said he had showered with boys but never molested them. It remains unclear how many accusers have surfaced more than a week after state police and the attorney general's office said at a news conference they were seeking additional potential victims and witnesses. Andreozzi said he has his "finger on the pulse" of the case and knows of no accusers changing their stories or refusing to testify. "To the contrary, others are actually coming forward, and I will have more information for you later this week," Andreozzi said. State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said investigators have told her that published accounts reporting how many people have come forward are inaccurate and they are not disclosing their internal figures. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are starting to advertise on their websites for potential Sandusky victims, vowing to get justice. Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney, has long represented clergy abuse victims and told The Associated Press that he has been retained by several people he described as Sandusky victims. "There's a great deal of fury and confusion," particularly because Sandusky is free on bail, Anderson said. "Getting (them) help and cooperating with law enforcement is our first priority." The "time for reckoning," in the form of civil lawsuits, will come later, Anderson said. Anderson declined to say whether his clients are among the eight boys who were labeled as victims in the grand jury report. A new judge has been assigned to handle the charges against Sandusky. The change removed a State College judge with ties to a charity founded by Sandusky for at-risk children, The Second Mile. Sandusky is due in court on Dec. 7, and a Westmoreland County senior district judge will preside over his preliminary hearing. Robert E. Scott is taking over the hearing from Centre County District Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Dutchcot has donated money to The Second Mile, where authorities say Sandusky met his victims. The office said Scott has no known ties to Penn State or The Second Mile. In State College, Penn State announced that David M. Joyner, a physician and member of its board of trustees who played football and wrestled for the school, will serve as acting athletic director, replacing Curley on an interim basis. New details have also emerged about how the case ended up in the hands of the state attorney general's office. Former Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said that his wife's brother was Sandusky's adopted son. "I reviewed it, and I made the decision it needed to be investigated further," Madeira said. "But the apparent conflict of interest created an impediment for me to make those kinds of decisions."

Underdogs? Not so fast: Reliving the Bulls' dominance over the Raptors

justinholidaybulls.png
USA TODAY

Underdogs? Not so fast: Reliving the Bulls' dominance over the Raptors

Here’s something you’re going to hear quite a bit this season: the Bulls are underdogs tomorrow night. The official start to the rebuild begins as the Bulls travel to Toronto to face the Raptors tomorrow night on NBC Sports Chicago. Pregame Live begins at 6 p.m. with Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill.

The Raptors bring back Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and a host of other talent that helped Toronto earn the No. 3 seed in the East last year. They’ll be there this season, so the Bulls open the season with a daunting opponent. But fear not! The Bulls are underdogs, but there’s no opponent they’ve had more success against the last four seasons than the Raptors. The Bulls have won 11 of their last 12 games against Toronto, including 11 straight victories before last season’s late loss in Toronto.

Take a trip down memory lane and see how they did it, and then check back tomorrow night and see if they can get back to their winning ways against Dwane Casey’s group.

1. Feb. 19, 2014 (94-92)

The streak of 11 straight wins begins with an almost-awful collapse. The Bulls lead by as many as nine in the fourth quarter before a frantic comeback from Lowry and DeRozan, who combined for 14 points in a 4-minute span to pull within two points late. But DeRozan can’t close the deal, missing two shots in the final 3 seconds, securing a Bulls win.

2. Nov. 13, 2014 (100-93)

A back-and-forth first half includes five ties and nine lead changes. Then the Bulls decide in the third quarter they don’t care much for see-saws and take over. They close the quarter on a 17-5 run and lead by double-digits until late in the fourth quarter. The Raptors pull within five in the final minute but five Bulls free throws ice the game. Pau Gasol (27), Jimmy Butler (21) and Derrick Rose (20) combine for 68 points.

3. Dec. 22, 2014 (129-120)

Let’s just cut right to the fourth quarter. That’s when the Bulls erupt for a franchise-record 49 points to take the come-from-behind win. Ironically they miss their first three shots of the period. After that? Tom Thibodeau’s group goes 14-for-17 and also makes 16 free throws. Derrick Rose goes 6-for-6 for 15 points in the stanza. Who said Thibs’ offenses don’t score?

4. Mar. 20, 2015 (108-92)

The two teams enter this late-season matchup just one-half game separating them. But the Bulls make a statement, taking the lead late in the first quarter and holding it the rest of the way. Rookie Nikola Mirotic continues to put a bow on his remarkable month of March, scoring 29 points on 11-for-21 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. He even blocks a career-high four shots in the win.

5. Mar. 25, 2015 (116-103)

The Bulls continued pulling away in the East standings less than a week later. Mirotic is solid off the bench, scoring 15 points, but it’s reserve Tony Snell who makes the most noise. He erupts for 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in just 18 minutes, including nine points in a fourth quarter that sees the Bulls outscore the Raptors 39-21 to secure the win.

6. Dec. 28, 2015 (104-97)

The Bulls’ bench continues to star against the Raptors. This time Snell, Bobby Portis and Aaron Brooks combine for 51 of the Bulls’ 104 points. The five starters score 53 points. The trio of Snell/Portis/Brooks shoots 20 for-37 from the field, outscoring the Raptors’ reserves, 51-27.

7. Jan. 3, 2016 (115-113)

Jimmy Butler struggles in the first half, scoring just two points. But the second half is a different story, to say the very, very, very least. Butler scores a franchise-record 40 points after halftime, leading the Bulls all the way back after they trailed by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter. When you play for the Bulls and accomplish a scoring feat that Michael Jordan never did, that’s says something.

8. Feb. 19, 2016 (116-106)

Doug McDermott can't match Butler’s heroics, but he puts together a career night nonetheless. The sharpshooter goes off for 30 points, making 13 of 17 from the field in 31 minutes. Fourteen of those points came in the fourth quarter, his last coming on a 3-pointer after the Raptors had cut the deficit to just three.

9. Mar. 14, 2016 (109-107)

Dwane Casey begins having nightmares of Doug McDermott (probably). That’s because the Creighton legend goes off once again, scoring 29 points on 9-for-11 shooting and somehow getting to the free throw line eight times. The Bulls nearly collapse (just like their first win in the streak), but DeMar DeRozan is blocked by Jimmy Butler in the closing seconds (just like their first loss of the streak).

10. Jan. 7, 2017 (123-118)

Jimmy Butler lives at the free throw line in the only overtime game of the streak. The Bulls, like plenty of these games, make a wild comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Ratpors 33-21 to force the extra period. Butler plays hero with seven points in overtime, and Jerian Grant ices the game with a pair of free throws.

11. Feb. 14, 2017 (104-95)

The Raptors do not ask Doug McDermott to be their valentine. That’s because he once again goes off, scoring a team-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Jimmy Butler adds 19 (with 15 coming on free throws) and adds 12 assists and five steals in the wire-to-wire victory.

Mitch Trubisky's next developmental step is adjusting to NFL defenses

mitchtrubiskybears.png
USA TODAY

Mitch Trubisky's next developmental step is adjusting to NFL defenses

Mitch Trubisky is no longer an NFL secret (well, maybe a little one, after only two games). Now the real intrigue shifts in significant measure to what the rest of the NFL is going to do about him.

Because while the Bears have/had a plan to bring his development along at a measured pace, the rest of the league, beginning with the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, has quite a different plan in mind.

What do the Panthers (and others) have waiting for Trubisky?

The Baltimore Ravens presented a Cover-2 look on 40 or so of the Bears' 75 snaps, something “on film we really didn't see any of that at all, so it was really surprising for them to come out in that two-high shell,” Trubisky said. “Our plan was just to run them out of it.”

A simple NFL operating philosophy is to find out and understand what an opponent likes to do and does best, and then take that away from him. Trubisky is very good on the move; colleague JJ Stankevitz uncovered the fact that Trubisky against the Baltimore Ravens had the longest average time in a play of any NFL quarterback, meaning he works well out in space and extends plays.

The math from there isn’t especially complicated: A quarterback who is accurate and comfortable getting outside the pocket, extending and improvising plays, is someone to be kept inside the pocket, ideally one collapsing around him. By using a mush-rush, for instance, a controlled assault on the pocket without edge rushers selling out for max pressure and focusing on lane integrity, a defense potentially takes much of Trubisky’s mobility out of play. This is a common strategy against Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and mobile quarterback who is as or more dangerous when flushed from the pocket as he is in it.

A “Chico Plan” then?

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has done bad things to Bears quarterbacks and comes from an attack-dog mindset as a member of the 1985 Bears. He learned from then-coordinator Buddy Ryan that a prime directive of the defense is to simply get to the quarterback.

Rivera and then-coach Lovie Smith differed on the use of blitzing, with Rivera on the side of crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of war. After Rivera was excused from his job as Smith’s defensive coordinator, he went to San Diego as Chargers linebackers coach and opened the 2007 season against the Bears blitzing, sacking and harassing Rex Grossman in a 14-3 San Diego win.

The next time the teams met, in the 2010 preseason opener, Rivera was by then defensive coordinator, and he had the Chargers blitzing Jay Cutler from the outset on the latter’s only series, sacking Cutler with a corner blitz on just the seventh play of the game. Not exactly gentlemanly conduct for preseason openers.

But if the past is prologue, Rivera’s past should be revealing to Trubisky.

Scouting Trubisky

But how do the NFL and the Panthers in particular scout Trubisky with a body of work consisting of just two regular-season games?

Rookies with little pro time on tape are scouted from their college play. The Bears took looks at Carson Wentz’s North Dakota State play before they faced Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in game two last season. That was out of some necessity, since Wentz played 39 snaps in the Eagles’ first preseason game and not again until opening day after he’d been installed as the starter following Sam Bradford’s trade to Minnesota.

Predictably perhaps, Wentz powered the Eagles to a 3-1 start with 100-plus passer ratings in three of his first four games. Teams progressively adjusted and Wentz had only two games with ratings in the low 90’s the rest of the season, none better. He had seven TD passes and one interception through the first four weeks, then nine TD’s and 13 INT’s the rest of the way.

“You go back and look at his college film if you don’t have much film from the NFL,” said linebacker Sam Acho. “You may see that he moves well in the pocket or likes to move outside or whatever. But Mitch played in the preseason and now has played a couple games. It wasn’t like Wentz which was the first game or two of the season.”

Attention is indeed less likely to be paid to Trubisky’s college body of work for the simple reason that he did play extensively through the preseason, with 126 snaps and 53 pass attempts, the most of either for any of the Bears’ four quarterbacks through preseason. But Trubisky happened to play his college football at the University of North Carolina, down the road from Charlotte, so “we remember Mitch mostly because of what he did when he was here at UNC-Chapel Hill,” Rivera said. “We got to watch all 14 games and we were impressed. We think the young man has got what it takes. We like who’s he’s gonna become. We do. We think the future can be bright for him. We are big fans here.”

Guessing that Chico wasn’t including next Sunday.