Bears

2015 NFL Draft Bears coverage all week on CSN

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2015 NFL Draft Bears coverage all week on CSN

Comcast SportsNet, the television and online home for the most in-depth Chicago Bears coverage all year long, is ready to deliver extensive coverage of next week’s 2015 NFL Draft (to be held in Chicago for the first time since 1964), highlighted by a pair of half-hour SportsNet Central NFL Draft specials, nightly reports on SportsNet Central, extensive Round 1 draft night coverage (including a remote edition of SportsTalk Live from Tavern at the Park in downtown Chicago & a 90-minute Bears Draft Special to air on CSN+), along with 24/7 NFL Draft coverage on CSNChicago.com.

SUNDAY, APRIL 26

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: AT&T U-verse Road to the DraftThis half-hour NFL Draft preview show, hosted by Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller (@15miller) and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will provide a detailed recap of the Bears off-season, which included the hiring of new Bears GM Ryan Pace and new Head Coach John Fox, interviews with Bears players/coaches/front office execs, along Miller and Wannstedt providing their expert thoughts on which areas the team needs to improve upon and which potentially available players can fill those spots with on-field success.

MONDAY, APRIL 27 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Chris Boden, Jim Miller, and Dave Wannstedt will continue to provide nightly reports on the latest NFL Draft news and rumors leading up to Round 1 of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

[SHOP: Get the latest Bears gear here]

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 – NFL DRAFT DAY COVERAGE presented by MILLER LITE

5 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado – Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and a panel of Bears/NFL experts will set the table for a full night of comprehensive NFL Draft coverage with a special remote edition of SportsTalk Live to be held at Tavern in the Park in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Kip Lewis (@csnkiplewis), along with Dave Wannstedt and former Bears director of college scouting/current National Football Post columnist Greg Gabriel (@greggabe), will provide the latest draft updates, player analysis, and preview all Bears potential first round (#7 overall) candidates.  In addition, SportsNet Central’s Bears beat reporter Jen Lada (@JenLada) will provide live updates from the Draft (being held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University), along with additional reports from Halas Hall via Chris Boden and CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin).

7:30 PM – BEARS DRAFT CENTRAL brought to you by Miller Lite  (NOTE: This Chicago Bears-produced special will stream live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com) – Chris Boden, along with “Bears Pre/Postgame Live” analyst Dan Jiggetts and ChicagoBears.com’s Larry Mayer, will host a 90-minute, comprehensive Bears/NFL Draft night special LIVE FROM HALAS HALL featuring detailed pick-by-pick analysis, live press conference coverage featuring Bears GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach John Fox, a live interview with the Bears #1 pick from the Bears Draft Party in Millennium Park, and much more.

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralComplete Round 1 NFL Draft recap featuring up-to-the-minute player and team news, interviews, and analysis via Kip Lewis, Dave Wannstedt, Greg Gabriel, Jen Lada, Chris Boden and John ‘Moon’ Mullin, along with a look ahead at the potential Bears picks on Friday (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday (Rounds 4-7).

FRIDAY, MAY 1 – SATURDAY, MAY 2

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Complete coverage of Rounds 2-7 over the weekend featuring detailed analysis of every Bears draft pick, along player highlights, interviews, and more.

SUNDAY, MAY 3

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Draft Special Chris Boden, along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will assess the entire draft from both a Bears and overall league perspective.  The show will also feature interviews with Bears management with their reflections on the draft.

In addition to the extensive coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for even more comprehensive 24/7 NFL Draft coverage (presented by AT&T U-verse), including the following highlights:

  • For a deeper look at potential NFL draftees, fans need to check out CSNChicago.com’s comprehensive "Road to the Draft" section (presented by AT&T U-verse), featuring over 200 extensive player draft profiles, including video analysis for players projected to go in the first two rounds provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris. 
  • In addition, CSNChicago.com’s “Road to the Draft” section will be the home for everything NFL Draft-related throughout the week, including instant reaction and analysis during the draft with updated profiles, an up-close look on how the draft affects the Bears rivals in the NFC North, along with a detailed draft overview of the entire NFL.
  • Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) will file daily reports leading up to and throughout the 2015 NFL Draft from Halas Hall, featuring the latest news and on-camera reports.  Plus, CSNChicago.com Bears digital reporter Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) will be covering the Draft from Roosevelt University and will provide a number of “digital exclusives,” including coverage of the “NFL Draft Gold Carpet” event on Thursday night.
  • Fans can chat NFL Draft and potential Bears moves by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsTalk and by visiting the “Bears Pulse” page at CSNChicago.com.  For 24/7 Bears/NFL Draft updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBears.
  • CSNChicago.com will profile numerous mock drafts from a number of CSN anchors and reporters.
  • CSNChicago.com will work closely with NBC Sports and “Pro Football Talk” throughout the week for additional nationally-based NFL Draft content.

Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack appears in line to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack participated in the Bears’ final practice of the week on Friday, clearing the way for the edge rusher to play Sunday against the New England Patriots. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier Friday that the Bears expected Mack, who hasn’t missed a game in his career, to play after suffering an ankle injury early in Week 6’s 31-28 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Mack is officially questionable for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. 

Mack had little interest in discussing his ankle with the media on Friday, passing on answering questions about his readiness for New England. Coach Matt Nagy, though, said he thought Mack “looked pretty good” during practice on Friday. 

Mack didn’t record a sack against Miami and was held to just one pressure, per Pro Football Focus. The Dolphins’ gameplan was to commit plenty of resources to stopping Mack, but he wasn’t effective even when he had one-on-one pass rushing opportunities as the game went on. 

“He was (affected),” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “I can't put a percentage on it, but he definitely was.”

Having Mack available — even if he’s not full strength — will be critical for the Bears’ defense to have a chance at keeping Tom Brady from lighting up the scoreboard. The key for the Bears will be to generate pressure on the 41-year-old quarterback without blitzing, which is something Fangio’s defense was successful at prior to Sunday’s wacky loss to the Dolphins. 

Brady’s passer rating is 138.4 when he’s blitzed, per Pro Football Focus, while when under pressure his rating is 87.2. That’s still pretty good, but it’s worth noting that all of the six interceptions he’s thrown this year have come when he hasn’t been blitzed. And only one of the eight sacks he’s taken has come when he’s been blitzed. 

The point being: If the Bears feel like they have to start blitzing to generate pressure, they can expect Brady to pick them apart.  

“You could say all of that but ultimately (Brady’s) a gamer,” Mack said. “He’s going to take those hits, and you gotta be able to deliver them but also have coverage over the top. It’s going to be real important for us.” 

The good news for the Bears, perhaps, is that New England’s tackles have struggled at times this year. Left tackle Trent Brown has allowed 17 pressures in 234 pass blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus (about one in every 14 snaps). And starting right tackle Marcus Cannon is out with a concussion, giving way for backup La’Adrian Waddle, who’s allowed eight pressures in 78 pass blocking snaps (about one in every 10). 

So the opportunities will be there for Mack, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks and the Bears’ pass rush to affect Brady on Sunday.

A bigger injury concern?

While cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) was a full participant in Friday’s practice and will play Sunday, slot corner Bryce Callahan suffered an ankle injury during Thursday’s practice and did not participate Friday. He’s officially questionable for Sunday. 

Callahan “did his ankle,” Nagy said, toward the end of Thursday’s practice, and he felt worse as the day went on. Nagy characterized Callahan’s absence from Friday’s practice as “precautionary.”

Callahan’s availability may be more of a pressing concern than Mack’s, given how well the Patriots’ offense has played since slot receiver Julian Edelman returned from a four-game suspension to begin the season. While his numbers aren’t eye-popping (11 catches on 16 targets, 111 yards, 1 TD), New England’s offense has scored 38 and 43 points in his two games back. 

“Brady has always had a guy in the slot that he’s comfortable with; whether it be (Wes) Welker, (Danny) Amendola or Edelman,” Fangio said. “It’s a big part of their offense. They haven’t missed a beat, but I really think it’s helped their offense and played a big part in them basically averaging 40 points in the last three weeks. I really appreciate and respect how good of a player he is and has been.”

If Callahan isn’t available, Sherrick McManis could be the next man up at slot corner. 

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

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USA Today

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

The Bears are back in Chicago and Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town! With a week of practice wrapping up today, here's what's been happening in the lead up to Sunday's Bears-Pats matchup: