Bears

Charles Leno Jr. proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch NFC North

Charles Leno Jr. proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch NFC North

Pop the champagne bottles, because the celebrations are about to begin!

Not only did the Bears clinch the NFC North with a big 24-17 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon, but Charles Leno Jr. is now engaged. 

Following the win, the Bears left tackle proposed to his girlfriend, Jennifer, at midfield...and she said yes!

“It’s been a long time coming," Leno Jr. said in his postgame media session. "I knew it was going to come and what a perfect time to do it.”

Leno said that he was going to propose soon, but once he found out the Bears could clinch the division this week, he "had to speed up the process."

“She was surprised," he said. "She was shaking, crying. Right now, I guarantee you right now she’s balling. She tried to hold it in for me, but she’s crying her ass off right now.”

Asked what would have happened if the Bears lost, his response?

“I was still going to do it," he said. "But I just had a feeling. I knew with the way we prepared this week. I knew the way our team was ready. I just had a feeling.”

How about that for a day?

“It’s easily up there as one of the best days of my life.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes a shot at Ryan Pace

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes a shot at Ryan Pace

Laurence Holmes, Jason Goff and Chuck Garfien join Kap on the panel.

It's a Thursday edition of SportsTalk Live filled with heavy hearts following the passing of White Sox radio voice Ed Farmer. Laurence Holmes, Chuck Garfien and Jason Goff join host David Kaplan to remember the former Sox pitcher and broadcaster. Chuck called him a real-life Forrest Gump since he knew seemingly everybody. Jason refers to him as a "professional homer" because of his love for his hometown team.

Reports say Astros’ Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch suspensions will end this year even if there is no baseball. The guys agree this is wrong while Laurence says it's another sign that the commissioner of baseball doesn't like baseball.

Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II says the teams veterans won't have a rooting interest in the Bears quarterback competition. The panel isn’t buying it. The crew also share their pride in mayor Lori Lightfoot after she took a shot at Ryan Pace for the Mike Glennon contract on the radio.

Later, Jason Benetti joins Kap to remember Ed Farmer and how beloved he was by everybody who met him. Benetti also shares stories about crowded radio booths with plenty of free food. Jason also discusses simulating White Sox games on MLB The Show.

0:00- The guys remember White Sox radio voice Ed Farmer and share stories about their interactions with him as well as how he knew pretty much everybody in the world.

8:00- MLB says the suspensions for Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch will end in 2020 even if there is no baseball season. Is that the right call?

11:30- Allen Robinson, II spoke with NBCSPORTSCHICAGO.COM and said the vets on the Bears won't have a rooting interest if there's a quarterback competition. Should we believe him?

14:30- Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes a shot at Ryan Pace for the Mike Glennon contract and we love her for it!

19:00- Jason Benetti joins Kap to remember Ed Farmer and share stories about crowded radio booths filled with plenty of free food. He also previews the "MLB The Show" White Sox game of simulations which are pretty close to the real thing.

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

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Is Kyle Fuller the Bears' best 1st-round pick since 2010?

Is Kyle Fuller the Bears' best 1st-round pick since 2010?

The 2020 NFL draft is quickly approaching, and unfortunately for Bears fans, it'll mark the second year in a row that Chicago will be without a first-round pick. Then again, that's the price a team must pay to land a generational talent like Khalil Mack.

Still, the draft is more fun when the Bears have a first-rounder. 

But that fun has more often than not quickly turned into disappointment. Chicago's first-round success rate hasn't been very good, especially over the last 10 years.

Here's Chicago's first-round breakdown over the last decade:

2010: NONE
2011: Gabe Carimi (OL, Wisconsin)
2012: Shea McClellin (Edge, Boise State)
2013: Kyle Long (OL, Oregon)
2014: Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
2015: Kevin White (WR, Va Tech)
2016: Leonard Floyd (Edge, Georgia)
2017: Mitch Trubisky (QB, UNC)
2018: Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
2019: NONE

First, let's look at the obvious problem: Two of the last 10 drafts resulted in zero first-round picks. Not great. 

Of the remaining eight picks, five are no longer with the team (Carimi, McClellin, Long, White, and Floyd). While Long was a solid starter during his tenure in Chicago, Carimi, McClellin, White, and Floyd were downright busts.

Then there's Trubisky, who might be the most important first-round selection in franchise history. His career is on life support after the Bears traded for Nick Foles this offseason. He's trending in the wrong direction.

Smith, who's flashed elite playmaking upside during his first two seasons in the league, had some bizarre off-field issues in 2019 that impacted his growth as a starter last year. His arrow is still pointing up, but he has to prove he can be relied on for 16 games.

That leaves Fuller, who was recently dubbed the Bears' best first-round pick of the last decade.

Since being drafted 14th overall in 2014, Fuller has been a starter at corner from nearly day one. With the exception of a 2016 season wiped out by a knee injury, Fuller has started all but two games over five years.

The 28-year-old has 18 career interceptions, including seven in 2018 (which tied for the NFL lead). In each of the past two seasons, the former Virginia Tech standout has been named to the Pro Bowl

It's a fair assessment of Fuller's impact, especially when compared to the rest of his first-round brethren. Chicago's failure to hit on first-round picks has been a big reason why they've struggled to sustain success in recent years and will continue to be why they won't be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender.

The Bears' first selection in the 2020 NFL draft won't come until the second round, No. 43 overall, but with two picks in the top 50, Pace has a chance to add two impact players to a roster that isn't far away from competing for an NFC North title.