Preps Talk

Packers Driver deal cause for "concern"

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Packers Driver deal cause for "concern"

A stated reason for the change at general manager for the Bears was the failure to gain enough ground on the Green Bay Packers over the last decade. That task hasnt gotten any easier.

In these situations you need either one side (the Bears) to rise or the other (the Packers) to backslide. One has happened; the other, not so sure.

The problem isnt the Bears. Indeed, the trend arrow was pointing up under Jerry Angelo with additions of Jay Cutler and Julius Peppers and under Phil Emery with Brandon Marshall all additions of proven players from other rosters and presumably with a draft that included immediate impact players in the first two rounds (Shea McClellin, Alshon Jeffery).

But the Packers and receiver Donald Driver have agreed to a contract restructuring that presumably allows the distinguished veteran to finish his career with Green Bay.

The problem for the Bears is not specifically Driver, although his 37 catches would have tied Johnny Knox for team high among Bears wide receivers but was only good enough for fifth among Packers.

Its that Driver is the No. 4 or 5 receiver in Green Bay and that the Packers also have four young receivers (Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Shaky Smithson, Dale Moss) clawing for roster spots.

The Bears receiver upgrades at the top of the depth chart put a squeeze on Dane Sanzenbacher, assuming that signees Devin Thomas and Eric Weems are in at Nos. 5-6.

The Packers were last in yards allowed last season and felt good enough about their receiver-based offense to spend the first six of their seven draft choices on defense.

So if youre waiting for the other-than-Aaron-Rodgers strength of the Green Bay roster to decline and the Packers to backslide, its may be a while.

The latest AP preps boys and girls basketball poll

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The latest AP preps boys and girls basketball poll

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: New Trier 13, Bloomington 12, Oak Park-River Forest 12, Normal West 10, Evanston 5, Fenwick 5, Lincoln Park 4, Maine South 3, Rockford Jefferson 3, Quincy 3, Loyola 1.

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 7, St. Rita 4, Benton 3, Burlington Central 2, Murphysboro 2, Morton 1.

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Teutopolis 18, St. Joseph-Ogden 16, Bloomington Central Catholic 15, Corliss 14, Chicago Uplift 5, Trenton Wesclin 2, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 1, Quincy Notre Dame 1.

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: New Berlin 16, Cairo 10, Okawville 5, Bushnell (B-Prairie City) 5, Newark 4, Nokomis 2, Decatur Lutheran (LSA) 1, Cissna Park 1.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Springfield 9, Marist 8, Whitney Young 2, Bolingbrook 1, Bradley-Bourbonnais 1, Chatham Glenwood 1, Naperville Central 1, Normal West 1.

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Burlington Central 8, Bishop McNamara 4, Breese Central 3, Sycamore 1

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Chicago Marshall 15, Harvest Christian Academy 11, Williamsville 9, Tuscola 3, Nashville 3, Knoxville 1, Harlan 1, Hall 1, Auburn 1, Pana  1.

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Okawville 6, East Dubuque 6, Colfax Ridgeview 5.

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

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USA TODAY

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

While taking part in the White Sox hitters camp in Glendale, Ariz., Nicky Delmonico joined Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey on the podcast to talk about his impressions of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. But that was only the beginning. 

Delmonico went in-depth about his first major league season, doing hot yoga this winter with Jake Burger, the one White Sox player he expects to have a big season in 2018 (the answer might surprise you), losing a big bet to Tim Anderson.

Plus, Delmonico helps us give away a pair of 3-day passes to Sox Fest and much more.

Listen to the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here: