Bears

Bears: John Fox not concerned about another Jeremiah Ratliff incident

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Bears: John Fox not concerned about another Jeremiah Ratliff incident

As details came to light surrounding the volatile situation involving defensive Jeremiah Ratliff and the Bears last week, coach John Fox insisted that any concerns over safety were addressed adequately by the organization calling the Lake Forest police as a precaution.

And while the situation between Ratliff and members of the organization did escalate to the point of police being called, perhaps noteworthy is the fact that the initial call to police from Bears was made, not to the 911 emergency line, but to the non-emergency line with the Lake Forest police.

“As I commented early in the week, we were concerned for the building and that's why the police were called,” said Fox, who remained unwilling to discuss specifics of the incident, which reached the point of Ratliff threatening to kill people at Halas Hall and that he was “the devil.”

[RELATED: Ratliff told Bears 'I am the devil' and 'felt like killing everybody in the building']

“I think it's a personal matter and those [don't] need to be public.”

Fox said that there had been no prior incidents with Ratliff, who did have a protracted spat with center Will Montgomery during a morning practice at training camp. Ratliff did have an incident during the final week of practice last season, in which he was adjudged to be in no condition to practice and smashed a clock before leaving.

That was under the Marc Trestman staff and the policy of the new staff under GM Ryan Pace has been to treat players — Ratliff, Ray McDonald — with a clean slate and zero-tolerance policy in the event there is another incident.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

“I have no direct reasoning to feel anything other than evaluating him as he went forward,” Fox said. “And like I said, prior to that day, there was no issues.”

Ratliff’s outburst was not the result of the Bears releasing the 11-year veteran; the opposite, in fact. The problem occurred on Wednesday, the release on Thursday “so the cart wasn’t ahead of the horse,” Fox said. “This was after the fact.”

Fox said that he was not concerned — “satisfied?” — about another Ratliff problem developing. “Satisfied? I don’t know if that’s the right word. But if you’re asking me if I’m nervous, I’m not.”

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.

Bears

The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.

Bulls

The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.

Blackhawks

Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”