Dan Santaromita

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

The Bears defense gave up a season-high 24 points in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The bye week that followed meant they had to stew on that performance for an extra seven days.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted the defense “didn’t hold up” in an interview on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. It sounds like they are fired up to not have a repeat performance against the Saints.

“We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a bye week.

“Now we got to make a statement game here at home.”

That statement game will have to come without stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Hicks got injured in the loss to the Raiders and is expected to miss significant time.

Jackson talked about what Hicks’ absence will mean to the defense.

“That’s a tough loss for us,” Jackson said. “The style of play Akiem brings is hard to fill. Right now we’re doing a good job holding up with guys coming in and stepping up, but at the end of the day that’s Akiem. His resume speaks for itself. What he does speaks for itself. Film, everything. It’s a tough loss, man. We’re hoping to have him back real soon for playoffs or the end of the season. It really hurts us, but we ride with him. He still comes around. He’s still engaged and meetings and things like that.”

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Blackhawks make a dream come true for young fan who joins practice

Blackhawks make a dream come true for young fan who joins practice

For Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks, Thursday’s practice was just another day at the rink. For Megan Hill, it was a dream come true.

Hill got to join Blackhawks practice as part of the Make-A-Wish program. The 14-year-old has cystic fibrosis.

She plays hockey and skated with the team during practice. She scored on Crawford in a 1-on-1 situation.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Hill said after. “It’s insane. I never thought that this would happen and it did and I got to play with the Chicago Blackhawks. I scored on Corey Crawford.”

The Blackhawks held morning skate at the United Center ahead of Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Hill’s pure joy at being there helped provide some perspective for the players.

“Someone that gets a chance to come out on the ice and obviously it means a lot to them,” Toews said. “To see that smile...

“We don’t realize what hockey and what the sport means to people. When we see it first hand and it changes people’s lives for the better, I think it makes you feel pretty good. It’s added motivation and obviously you’re pretty grateful you get to play this game, too, so it’s cool to have Megan out there today.”

Watch some of the highlights from Hill’s time at practice in the video above.

“I was standing between Corey Crawford and Patrick Kane and they were talking to me and each other and it was just another day,” Hill said. “I can’t stop smiling right now.” 

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Two White Sox prospects to feature on USA Baseball's Olympic qualifying roster

Two White Sox prospects to feature on USA Baseball's Olympic qualifying roster

Olympic baseball is coming back in 2020 and two White Sox prospects will take part in qualifying to make it to Tokyo 2020.

Andrew Vaughn and Tyler Johnson were both named as part of USA Baseball’s 28-man roster for the upcoming Premier12 tournament. The tournament consists of the top 12 teams in the world rankings. The group phase will take place from Nov. 2-5 in Mexico and the final round will be in Tokyo from Nov. 11-16.

Olympic qualifying is complicated with some teams potentially getting as many as three chances to qualify, but if the U.S. is the top finisher among the seven Americas teams in the tournament, they will book a place in the Olympics. If they don’t secure an Olympic spot in November, the next qualifying tournament will take place in March.

This collection of players is comprised of those not on MLB 40-man rosters. Vaughn and Johnson both have USA Baseball experience. Johnson was on the 2016 collegiate national team while Vaughn was on that team a year later.

Vaughn, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft, is one of the top prospects in the White Sox system. MLB Pipeline ranks him third in the system and No. 21 in baseball. The White Sox aggressively pushed him through three levels of the minors after he got drafted, culminating in a 29-game stint with Single A Winston-Salem.

Vaughn could start next season in Double-A and, if everything lines up perfectly for him, he could even make the White Sox roster sometime in 2020. This tournament provides solid competition for him during his first offseason as a professional.


Johnson isn’t as highly regarded as Vaughn as a prospect, but he remains an interesting case. The right-handed reliever is Pipeline’s 19th-best White Sox prospect. He missed the first two and a half months of 2019 due to a lat strain and finished the year with a solid stint in Double-A Birmingham.

Johnson struck out 23 against six walks and 10 hits in 18 1/3 innings for Birmingham. The White Sox sent him to the Arizona Fall League, which is currently ongoing, to get him more innings. Johnson’s stint in the AFL has been mostly productive. He has allowed just one run, which came in a relief appearance yesterday, in 6 1/3 innings with one strikeout and four walks.


An interesting note on the Olympic qualifying team is that Joe Girardi is the team’s manager. The other Chicago baseball team interviewed him for their managerial opening on Wednesday.

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