Bulls

Campbell has something to prove in preseason opener

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Campbell has something to prove in preseason opener

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. For most veterans, the first and fourth preseason games are a nuisance. For Jason Campbell, Thursdays preseason opener against the Denver Broncos is one of the most important games of his career.

Campbell, in place as the Bears No. 2 quarterback, will see significant playing time against the Broncos. He signed a one-year deal with the Bears last March 16 after finding little real interest in the free-agency market following his release from the Oakland Raiders.

The reality is that there are not 32 better quarterbacks starting in the NFL. But Campbell suffered a broken collarbone in game seven last season, the Raiders traded for veteran Carson Palmer, and Campbell hit the market without a true chance to demonstrate that his collarbone was healed.

Consequently, he has as much to prove in this first preseason game as any rookie trying to show he belongs in the NFL.

It does feel a little like being a rookie again, Campbell said. But I want to show everyone that Im back healthy, moving well, and make sure Im ready if called upon here. I dont want me or the team to miss a beat. During the season youre not going to get the reps anymore. You get better as the games go on.

Campbell was the 25th overall pick of the 2005 draft, by the Washington Redskins, and spent that rookie season as the No. 3 quarterback.

He has a career passer rating (82.8) near that of Jay Cutler (84.5) but also understands the need show that he is past his injuries.

The trouble there is that once the regular season starts, the vast share of practice reps will go to Jay Cutler. So when the preseason is over and Bears tighten focus for Cutler and the opponent of the week, Cutler will take the dominant share of reps.

Preseason is definitely the time for me to come out and show, Campbell said. I missed those last nine games last season so its been a while since Ive played a game. So its going to be good for me to get back out there, get back to playing again, seeing things and get to the point where I was before I got hurt.

Because thats the only preparation that I have before the season starts. Its not like I can go out there and just treat the game as another practice. I need to start moving around quickly, making decisions, because this is all the preparation Ill have before the season.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Moral victory for the Bears?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Moral victory for the Bears?

David Schuster, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel.

0:00- Dave Wannstedt joins the panel to discuss the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots? Was it a moral victory? Is Matt Nagy crazy to say Mitch Trubisky didn’t play that bad?

13:00- Joe Girardi pulls his name out of the Reds managerial search and Jon Heyman reports that industry sources believe he might wait to see if there’s an opening in Chicago. What are the chances that he replaces Joe Maddon?

14:30- Adam Amin joins Kap to preview the Bulls/Mavericks game and discuss the lack of defense in the NBA.

NBA Power Rankings: League on pace for best offensive season in decades

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USA TODAY

NBA Power Rankings: League on pace for best offensive season in decades

The NBA season is off to an explosive start, with offense being the theme so far.

NBA fans have gotten to see great offense from all around the league. Rookie guard Trae Young went off for 35 points, the Pelicans scored 149 points in a (no overtime) game and even well-known downtrodden franchises like the Sacramento Kings have got in on the fun, putting up 131 points in a surprising win over the Thunder. 

If the pace of play keeps up league-wide, the 2018-19 season will end up being an offensive masterpiece, sure to spark change to defensive systems in the ever-evolving NBA.

With the Golden State Warriors still shaking off rust and the Rockets looking weaker, (relatively) new powerhouses like the Raptors and Nuggets have dominated this very early portion of the NBA season.

You can take a look here to see how the new hierarchy is shaping up in this week's NBA Power Rankings.