Bears

Sharp calls Kane 'a world-class talent', defends his actions

777380.png

Sharp calls Kane 'a world-class talent', defends his actions

Patrick Sharp has faced plenty of cameras in his career. Its part of the job, part of being a celebrity athlete.

I enjoy it. A lot do as well, told the media during his visit to St. Louise de Marillac School in LaGrange Park on Thursday. But its important to do the right things.

Its been nearly a month since Sharps teammate and close friend Patrick Kane was photographed at a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Madison, Wis. The Blackhawks have talked to Kane about it, and have sparingly talked to anyone else about it. For Sharp, it is about doing the right things And its also about being there and backing his good friend.

Hes my friend, hes my teammate. I love the guy and Im going to be behind him no matter what happens, Sharp said You watch him play, a world-class talent, does all kinds of things on the ice. Hes the same great kid that hes always been.

He lives a pretty famous lifestyle when everyone can recognize him wherever he goes, Sharp continued. Its more of a personal matter, as far as everything he deals with. Its better he answers those questions.
Coaching changes...
Sharp was over in Finland, playing in the World Championships, when assistant coach Mike Haviland was fired. Coach Joel Quenneville said there was a dysfunction that needed to be addressed at the time. If it existed, Sharp said he was unaware of it.

If there was, players didnt sense it. Theyre all professional coaches in that room that do a good job of relaying messages. I didnt know any of that, Sharp said. Its a credit to Joel and his staff for doing a good job the last couple of years.

Sharp said he has a lot of respect for Haviland, who was well liked in the room.

Mike was a great coach to me, a great friend and I enjoyed playing for him, he said. Hes well respected across the league, and its just a matter of time before he lands another job.

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

pod.jpg
USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.