Preps Talk

Bears plan to score more by passing less, not more

818140.png

Bears plan to score more by passing less, not more

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- When the Bears hired Jeremy Bates to be Jay Cutlers quarterback coach, then traded a couple of draft choices to acquire Brandon Marshall, and then spent a second-round draft choice on Alshon Jeffery, the expectation was that the three-party reunion was the signal that the Chicago offense would become the Air in the annual Chicago Air and Water Show.

Dont count on it.

An NFL source told CSNChicago.com that the strongest indications were that the Bears would in fact run the football and run it significantly more than everyone has been inclined to believe based on the passing-game changes of this offseason.

And GM Phil Emery said Tuesday as training camp opened that, after the obvious first tenet of offense that you need to score points, that the best Bears way to do that is not to put on an air show.

I understand that people say theres a shift in the NFL toward passing, Emery said. Yeah, there is, but I think theres a shift where teams are trying to be 50-50 to keep defenders off balance, to run a lot of the same plays out of different formations. Keep you off balance formation-wise, keep you off balance run-pass.

Emery is up on his Chicago Bear history.

The three lowest yardage outputs and all three defeats -- in Cutlers 10 games in 2011 came in the games with the highest numbers of pass plays (New Orleans, Green Bay I, Detroit I).

Those were also the only three Cutler games in which the Bears scored fewer than 24 points, with 13 against both New Orleans and Detroit and 17 vs. the Packers).

It was after that Green Bay game that Mike Tice was, for the second year in a row, given a greater say in game planning. It was at that point also that coach Lovie Smith mandated, not more passing, but more balance.

I think balance is what Mikes mind is and thats what well see, Emery said.

Smith sounded the identical note even as he assessed that this was perhaps the best assemblage of skill-position players in his nine seasons as Bears coach.

Look at our additions just look at the receiver that we brought in we brought in a 1 receiver, so just starting with him, you add a lot, Smith said. We brought in another running back who was a starting running back in the NFL. I think as you look across our board at our skill positions, we have improved quite a bit, and that should put points on the board, which were trying to do.

We talk a lot about the skill in receivers, but just think, were in a position to have the best balance offensively that weve had in a long time.

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time. 
 

Carlos Rodon's first rehab start went well, White Sox set date for next one

0130_carlos_rodon.jpg
USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first rehab start went well, White Sox set date for next one

Carlos Rodon's return to the South Side is coming soon.

The top-five draft pick recovering from last fall's shoulder surgery made his first rehab start Saturday with Class A Kannapolis and threw well. Rodon allowed just one run on three hits in his five innings of work, striking out six and walking none.

The White Sox announced Sunday that Rodon's second rehab start will come Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte.

As for the exact date Rodon returns to the big league roster, it's unknown at this point. General manager Rick Hahn said that Rodon will make multiple rehab starts. One might look to the pitcher's recovery from a spring injury last year as a guide. Rodon made four rehab starts in June before debuting with the White Sox on June 28.

This recovery is different, of course. Rodon is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on May 28.