Ceiling more important than floor with Emery


Ceiling more important than floor with Emery

How much different the Bears would be under new GM Phil Emery, given that he is operating with essentially the same personnel department and staff as predecessor Jerry Angelo, will be the single biggest story line of 2012 and probably 2013.

Sports Illustrated NFL maven Peter King, in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback, points out perhaps the main change that already has gone into the Bears draft, which is the reason Angelo is no longer GM (that and Jay Cutlers fractured thumb).

Angelo and college scouting director Greg Gabriel used the floor approach with high picks whats the worst the player could be. In theory, it is a conservative, measured tack on talent decisions.

But Emery has espoused the riskier ceiling methodology I want players with high ceilings, with the largest capacity for growth.

Its notable in more than the draft. Emery taking a flyer on Brandon Marshall is betting heavily that Marshalls upside includes his dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder. In Marshalls case that is a distant equivalent of looking at tight end Evan Rodriguez from Temple, who has had maturity issues, and going for his ceiling with a fourth-round pick in this years draft.

Risk-reward. The equation indeed has morphed under Emery.

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule


Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

USA Today

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner with the first practice (non-padded) scheduled for July 21. 

Bears veterans and rookies will report a few days ahead of that first session to acclimate themselves to their new (for some) surroundings. Rookies report on July 16, with veterans coming three days later on July 19.

All eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky and the potentially high-flying offense under coach Matt Nagy. Training camp will take on extra importance because of the plethora of new faces on the roster and coaching staff as well as the installation of a completely new offensive scheme. It's critical that Trubisky builds chemistry with wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White, all of whom he's never thrown a regular-season pass to. Add Trey Burton to that mix and a lot of miscues should be expected in the preseason.

The rookie class is led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who remains unsigned. With less than 30 days until rookies are required to report, a greater sense of urgency -- even if it's not quite a panic -- is certainly creeping in. Assuming he's signed in time, Smith should earn a starting role early in training camp and ascend to one of the defense's top all-around players. 

The Bears have higher-than-usual expectations heading into the 2018 season making fans eager for summer practices to get underway.