Bulls

Timeline of Kenny Williams' career

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Timeline of Kenny Williams' career

The White Sox officially announced today that Kenny Williams, who spent the last 12 seasons as general manager, will now serve as the organization's executive vice president. It's been a long journey for Williams, who made plenty of stops around the country before landing in Chicago. Here's a timeline of Williams' career in the sports world.

-- June 7, 1982 - Selected by White Sox in 3rd round of 1982 June Amateur Draft out of Fort Pleasant HS in San Jose, CA. He did attend Stanford, but played only football there, where he was a teammate of John Elway.

-- September 2, 1986 - Williams makes Major League debut, going 1-4, singling off the Royals' Danny Jackson. Ozzie Guillen, a man he'd later hire as White Sox manager hit ahead of him in the order that day.

-- March 23, 1989 - Williams traded to the Tigers for pitcher Eric King

-- November 18, 1991 - Williams released by the Montreal Expos. His final ML game was October 4, 1991. He played with both Canadian franchises; the Blue Jays and the Expos in his final big league season.

-- 1992-93 - Williams started his post-playing career as a scout with the White Sox

-- 1994 - Williams served the White Sox as a special assistant to Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf

-- 1995-96 - Williams earned a promotion to Club Director of Minor League Operations

-- 1997-2000 - Williams took the next step forward as White Sox Vice President of Player Development

-- October 24, 2000 - Kenny Williams named White Sox General Manager, replacing Ron Schueler

-- October 26, 2005 - Under GM Williams, White Sox win first World Series since 1917

-- October 26, 2012 - Kenny Williams promoted to White Sox President of Baseball Operations

Notable signings & trades

-- November 30, 2000 - Jose Valentin signs as Free Agent (spent 2000 with Brewers)

-- January 14, 2001 - David Wells acquired with Matt DeWitt from Blue Jays for Mike Sirotka, Brian Simmons, Mike Williams, and Kevin Beirne

-- June 21, 2001 - Jose Canseco purchased from Newark of the Atlantic League

-- January 15, 2003 - Bartolo Colon acquired with Jorge Nunez from Expos for Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer, and cash

-- July 1, 2003 - Roberto Alomar acquired from Mets with Cash for Andrew Salvo, Edwin Almonte, and Royce Ring

-- November 4 2003 - Ozzie Guillen named White Sox manager

-- December 2, 2003 - Juan Uribe acquired from the Rockies for Aaron Miles

-- January 22, 2004 - Shingo Takatsu signs as Free Agent (spent 2003 with Yakult Swallows in Japan)

-- June 27, 2004 - Freddy Garcia acquired from Mariners with Ben Davis for Mike Morse, Miguel Olivo & Jeremy Reed

-- July 18, 2004 - Carl Everett acquired from Expos for Gary Majewski and Jon Rauch

-- July 31, 2004 - Jose Contreras acquired from Yankees for Esteban Loaiza

-- December 9, 2004 - Jermaine Dye signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Athletics)

-- December 13, 2004 - Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and player to be named later (Travis Hinton) acquired from Brewers for Carlos Lee

-- December 17, 2004 - Bobby Jenks selected off waivers from Angels

-- January 3, 2005 - Orlando Hernandez signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Yankees)

-- January 6, 2005 - A.J. Pierzynski signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Giants)

-- January 27, 2005 - Tadahito Iguchi signs as Free Agent (spent 2004 with Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in Japan)

-- July 31, 2005 - Geoff Blum acquired from Padres for Ryan Meaux

-- November 25, 2005 - Jim Thome acquired from Phillies with cash for Aaron Rowand, Daniel Haigwood, and player to be named later (Gio Gonzalez)

-- December 20, 2005 - Javier Vazquez acquired from Diamondbacks for Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino, and Chris Young

-- March 20, 2006 - Matt Thornton acquired from Mariners for Joe Borchard

-- December 6, 2006 - Gavin Floyd & Gio Gonzalez acquired from Phillies for Freddy Garcia

-- December 23, 2006 - White Sox acquire John Danks, Nick Masset, and Jacob Rasner for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano

-- November 19, 2007 - Orlando Cabrera acquired from Angels for Jon Garland

-- December 3, 2007 - Carlos Quentin acquired from Diamondbacks for Chris Carter

-- January 3, 2008 - Nick Swisher acquired from Athletics for Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney, and Fautino De Los Santos

-- January 18, 2008 - Alexei Ramirez signed as an amateur Free Agent

-- June 5, 2008 - Gordon Beckham drafted 8th overall out of the University of Georgia in the 2008 June Amateur Draft

-- July 31, 2008 - Acquired Ken Griffey Jr. from Reds in exchange for Danny Richar & Nick Masset

-- December 12, 2008 - Dayan Viciedo signed as an amateur Free Agent

-- July 31, 2009 - Acquired Jake Peavy from Padres in exchange for Clayton Richards, Adam Russell, Aaron Poreda, and Dexter Carter

-- August 10, 2009 - Selected Alex Rios off waivers from the Blue Jays

-- October 21, 2009 - Alejandro De Aza selected off waivers from the Marlins

-- June 7, 2010 - Chris Sale drafted 13th overall out of Florida Gulf Coast University in the 2010 June Amateur Draft

-- July 30, 2010 - Edwin Jackson acquired from Diamondbacks for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg

-- December 3, 2010 - Adam Dunn signs as Free Agent (spent 2010 with Nationals)

-- October 6, 2011 - Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

-- June 24, 2012 - Kevin Youkilis acquired from Red Sox for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart

-- July 28, 2012 - Francisco Liriano acquired from Twins for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez

Bulls thankful Kris Dunn's injury wasn't worse; Zach LaVine cleared for extended minutes

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USA TODAY

Bulls thankful Kris Dunn's injury wasn't worse; Zach LaVine cleared for extended minutes

The fall was nasty and the concussion was substantial for Kris Dunn. But at second blush the Bulls are thankful it wasn’t worse.

Given the way his body jerked after Dunn released himself from the rim, the Bulls are glad he didn’t suffer a neck injury in addition to the concussion and dislocated front teeth.

“It could have been a major, major injury,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Obviously, it is a significant one with the concussion. You can't take these things lightly, but with the way that he fell and hit head first, we're really thankful that he'll be back hopefully before too long. But obviously we'll take things very cautiously, a cautious approach with this because of how significant concussions are. But hopefully we'll get him back soon.”

Dunn has braces on the front teeth to stabilize them, and Hoiberg said he’ll see the doctor every day over the next several days, per the league's concussion protocol. There’s a chance Dunn could join the Bulls on the three-game road trip, but he’ll miss at least Saturday’s game in Atlanta. The Bulls travel to New Orleans on Monday and Philadelphia on Wednesday.

It’s the second freak injury Dunn has suffered this season, in addition to dislocating his finger in the preseason. He struggled with it initially upon returning but recently had shown no signs of issues with it.

Dealing with a concussion and also a mouth injury makes things more complicated as far as his playing style. He plays aggressive and fast, bordering on recklessness occasionally.

Hoiberg doesn’t believe that will change when Dunn returns.

“I don't think it's going to change the way Kris plays,” Hoiberg said. “Obviously it was very unfortunate in the timing because he had a couple of really good plays there to get things really turned in our favor and get the momentum going down the stretch and they get a called timeout and get a layup out of it right away. Then we still had our chances late in that game. Kris was responsible as anybody for getting that game to striking distance. Unfortunately, we just couldn't make the plays we needed to to get the win.”

The more conservative style of Jerian Grant will take over in Dunn’s absence. Grant has been steady as a backup, averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 assists. Unlike Dunn, though, Grant hasn’t had issues with turnovers, at a four-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio this year.

Teams will dare Grant to beat them from the outside, as he’s missed 15 of his 16 3-point attempts this month.

“I've been here before, so I'm prepared. I've started a lot of games so far in my career, so I'm ready for it,” Grant said. “The last time I started, we got a win. I did what I had to do so I'm prepared to do whatever we need to do to get a win.”

Where Grant will receive relief is from Zach LaVine getting clearance for more minutes, as he’ll play in the fourth quarters and will have his minute-restriction increased to 24 minutes.

LaVine will likely play some point guard during stretches, and is shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range in the small sample size of three games and 19.7 minutes.

“We're not going to overextend him right now because he's still obviously very early in the process as far as getting back on the floor and getting in game shape,” Hoiberg said. “We don't want to get him fatigued out there so we'll keep his rotation stretches short. But wee will hopefully have him available some in the fourth quarter to give us what Kris does down the stretch, who's been as good as anybody on our team as far as helping out close games.”

Bears' offense touts a new identity whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts

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USA TODAY

Bears' offense touts a new identity whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts

When the Bears hired Matt Nagy, they were getting a disciple of the West Coast offense as evolved under one of its foremost practitioners in Andy Reid. What they got when Nagy secured Mark Helfrich as his offensive coordinator was a proponent of the spread offense as practiced by the high-speed Oregon Ducks.

Now what they are developing, based on their respective ideas laid out this week, is an offense that may defy simple descriptors as it incorporates two different systems. But rather than appearing to lack a clear identity, the meshing of schemes projects to be something that is at the same time neither, and both. The result in fact projects to something new, and for a football team in need of some kind of breakthrough on offense and something to actually occasionally confound opposing defenses, that is a very, very good thing.

That was axiomatic in Helfrich’s appeal for Nagy, with both inclined to push stylistic envelopes. “As you could tell from some of the things we did in Kansas City offensively, we were trying to be a little bit out of the box and new wave type of stuff,” Nagy said.

Not that just throwing together ideas ensures anything, good or bad. But from a defensive dean who knows something about the difficulty of going against new concepts, the chances of creating a dangerous hybrid that gets a jump on and forces defensive adjustments are there.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio faced the Oregon offense while he was on the staff at Stanford. It was a problem for him. “They had an ‘X and O’ advantage but [also] a method advantage that people hadn’t caught up to yet at that point, and they had good players doing it,” Fangio said on Thursday. “Kind of like back in the ‘90s when we started the zone blitz, and we were ahead of the curve then and we had a lot of success beating teams that possibly had more talent than we did… . At that point the newness was still in their favor.”

That newness has multiple aspects, not all simple to judge at this point.

Under center or shotgun?

Young quarterback Mitch Trubisky is beginning work under his third different offensive staff in three seasons. That didn’t work to the benefit of Jay Cutler (although Cutler was in fact the reason some of those changes happened in the first place), but two things here:

One is that the Trubisky Nagy and Helfrich are inheriting is one with 12 NFL starts. The one that Dowell Loggains was handed came with 13 college starts, so Trubisky’s starting point is advanced from what it was last year.

And the other is Trubisky’s background is in the spread offense. The incoming offense won’t necessarily be that, but whatever form/forms it takes, Trubisky won’t be spending time just learning to take a direct snap.

Nagy/Helfrich also come into a quarterback imbued with the importance of ball security. Despite seeing NFL defenses for the first times, Trubisky’s INT rate of 2.1 percent was only a few ticks higher than that of his entire college career (1.7 percent). Helfrich said that one thing that jumped out about Trubisky “is his accuracy and taking care of the football.”

But Trubisky will again be tasked with learning something dramatically different from what he’d had the year before, being coached into him by three former quarterbacks. “Teaching” will involve a strategy as well as specific tactics: “You have to get in their corner at the beginning, challenge them like heck until that first snap,” Helfrich said, “and get them thinking about as little as possible at the snap.”

Personnel considerations

GM Ryan Pace didn’t plan on making a massive coaching makeover this time last year. But he could scarcely have drafted more accurately for what his team’s offense will be if he’d set out to staff it.

The West Coast and Oregon’s offense make extensive use of tight ends and running backs as receivers. Besides quarterback Trubisky, Pace’s second-round pick last draft was Adam Shaheen, a pass-catching tight end. His fifth-round pick was Tarik Cohen, whose 53 pass receptions ranked second on the Bears and tied for 11th among running backs. (Seven of the 10 ahead of him were components of playoff teams.)

Coincidentally, Pace invested a third-round pick in his first (2015) draft on Oregon center Hroniss Grasu, the starting center for Helfrich and Chip Kelly. Notably, of the 20 offensive linemen on Helfrich’s 2014 Oregon team, only one was listed at bigger than 300 pounds. Even guard Kyle Long the year before played at 300 pounds, going eventually up to 330 with the Bears.

All of which points to the Bears already having myriad pieces in place for what Nagy and Helfrich are designing. Reid himself was a tackle under LaVell Edwards at BYU, another of the crucibles where the West Coast principles were forged, and Nagy comes from the Reid school with an understanding of O-line physiology that works.

Same with Helfrich, who succeeded Chip Kelly as Oregon coach and watched with great interest what Kelly did in the NFL, what worked and what didn’t. Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles put up consecutive 10-6 seasons before he flamed out and did it running plays at a pace considerably faster than the NFL norm. Not all of his concepts worked, however, and won’t be coming to Halas Hall with Helfrich.

“The biggest difference is literally size and plays,” Helfrich said. “Size of squad and plays in a game. College football, you can run however many plays you want almost – 80 or 90. At the NFL level, that’s not going to happen. You cannot practice like you do in college in the NFL. 53-man roster. Limitations. All those things… . There are a lot of things that we learned from that. And there are a lot of good things they did as well.”