White Sox

Bears-Texans sidelights: draft picks and deals

934247.png

Bears-Texans sidelights: draft picks and deals

McClellin or Mercilus (or Jones)? Bears made the call
 
When their turn at No. 19 in the 2012 draft came, the anticipated run on edge pass rushers had started. It was the Bears priority in round one.
 
After the defensive tackles were taken (Dontari Poe 11th to Kansas City, Fletcher Cox 12th to Philadelphia, Michael Brockers 14th to St. Louis), the Seattle Seahawks grabbed Bruce Irvin 15th. The Jets took Quinton Coples 16th and San Diego chose Melvin Ingram 18th.
 
Whether the Bears would have taken any of those is conjecture, and GM Phil Emery elected to stand at 19 rather than trade up. The Bears selected Shea McClellin and New England opted for Chandler Jones at 21.
 
When Houstons turn came at 26 they followed their pick of J.J. Watt at No. 11 last year with Illinois Whitney Mercilus.
 
Who had the best pass-rush draft?
 
McClellin, behind Israel Idonije on the Bears defensive-end depth charts, has 2.5 sacks (three according to ProFootballFocus.com), two tackles for loss and nine quarterback pressures.
 
Mercilus, behind Connor Barwin on the Houston outside-linebacker depth chart, has two sacks, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit.
 
The longer it goes, expectations for him grows and grows, said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. We want to see more. Just the little things sometimes, the habits, guys have a tendency to revert back to something. He works, thats the big thing, and hes got speed. So thatll just keep coming for him. Just keep working.
 
(Jones, from Syracuse, is starting for the Patriots with six sacks, eight quarterback hits and 20 hurries.)
 
Trade winds that worked
 
Just before the season opened, the Bears traded fullback Tyler Clutts to the Houston Texans in return for cornerback Sherrick McManis. Clutts was the lead blocker for Matt Forte last year but in the one-back system of Mike Tice, the Bears had less use for a fullback than a special-teams starter.
 
Both teams are pleased with the way the deal has worked out.
 
McManis blocked the Tennessee Titans punt that Corey Wootton lugged into the end zone for a touchdown last Sunday.
 
Clutts has played in all eight Houston games as a reserve fullback and on special teams.

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

machad.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

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

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

cubs_podcast_offense_slid.jpg
USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below: