Cubs

To achieve success, Paea knows he needs consistency

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To achieve success, Paea knows he needs consistency

For Stephen Paea, his rookie year was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. He didn't make his NFL debut until Week Six and he celebrated that occasion when he recorded a sack of Donovan McNabb.

This season, the Bears are expecting big things out of Paea. Early in camp, the 24-year-old has seen significant playing time with the No. 1's alongside Henry Melton at defensive tackle.

Although the Bears view Paea as key to their future, the former Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year knows he needs to work on his consistency if he wants to achieve success in the NFL.

"Being consistent with the plays because sometimes I'll do a good job and then three plays later, the same play will come and I'll be off-balance with my step. I just go to be consistent."

Watching veterans like Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman in practice has been a major learning tool in Paea's young career.

"Peppers for instance, he's very consistent every single day in practice, so seeing that from a 10-year veteran, he takes pride in that and I take pride in that. Coming to practice every day I watch him do bags and he does each drill the same. I'm trying to look up to those guys."

With one year of experience under his belt, Paea could now be a mentor for rookie defensive end Shea McClellin. But first, he has to make sure former Boise State star gets a taste of what he went through last year in Bourbonnais.

"We write down our snacks and it's been a two page list of snacks. That's a good start right there. We all went through it and he's going to go through it this year. It's all part of the rookie experience."

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.

The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.

Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

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NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: