Word on the Street: Ditka back on the sidelines?

Word on the Street: Ditka back on the sidelines?

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010

Mike Ditka returning to coaching

"Da Coach" will be coaching again, but just for one game. The former Bears head coach will join former 49ers and Lions head coach Steve Mariucci in directing one of the high school teams in the 2011 Under Armour All-American game.

Judging by this video, Ditka is fired up to be on the sidelines again. (
Kane returning, Morin injured

As's Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers reported earlier, Patrick Kane is likely to be back in the lineup in St. Louis Tuesday night, his first game since injuring his ankle on Dec. 5 against the Calgary Flames.

Kane says he has been happy with how his ankle has responded to practice the last couple of days but will give it one more test Tuesday morning before making a final decision.

On the negative side, Jeremy Morin suffered a shoulder injury in Team USA's victory over Finland during the World Junior Championships on Sunday night. While coach Joel Quenneville said he did not know the status of Morin, sources are saying the injury could be significant.

DePaul freshman earns weekly honor
Blue Demons freshman forward Cleveland Melvin earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors on Monday. Melvin went 9-for-17 from the field, scoring 23 points with four rebounds, two steals, a blocked shot and an assist to lead DePaul over Florida Atlantic.

Melvin is the second DePaul freshman to earn the award in December, following guard Brandon Young's recognition on Dec. 6. (

Former Illinois WR Benn out for season

Still fighting for their playoff lives, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned that they lost rookie receiver and former Illini Arrelious Benn for the season - and most of the offseason as well.

Benn has been placed on injured reserve after tearing a ligament in his left knee during the second quarter of the Bucs 38-15 win over the Seattle Seahawks when he was hit by cornerback Marcus Trufant after a 16-yard reception. (

Under Center Podcast: What should the Bears aim to accomplish at the NFL Combine?


Under Center Podcast: What should the Bears aim to accomplish at the NFL Combine?

With the NFL Combine starting next week, JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Paul Aspan look at if the Bears should still focus their draft strategy on taking the best players available, or if needs at running back and/or kicker should supersede that.

Plus, the gang dives into what questions they want to hear answered from Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy next week and wonders if the thought of trading a draft pick for a running back is a good idea.

1:00: What questions do we want answered by Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy next week?

7:40: Do the Bears need to shift away from taking the best player available to drafting for need?

16:20: Robbie Gould is likely to get tagged by the 49ers. Now what?

20:45: Thoughts on trading a pick for a running back…like Cleveland’s Duke Johnson?

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast


Bears reportedly to cut Sims, save $6 million in cap space

Bears reportedly to cut Sims, save $6 million in cap space

As expected, the Bears will release tight end Dion Sims, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move will net the team $6 million in cap savings, per Spotrac, upping the Bears’ available cap space to a little under $12 million. 

Sims signed a three-year, $18 million contract in 2017 but didn’t pan out as a blocking tight end with receiving upside. The 28-year-old caught 15 passes for 180 yards with one touchdown in 2017, then was only targeted four times in 2018 before landing on injured reserve with a concussion after eight games. 

Prior to coming to the Bears, Sims was somewhat productive with the Miami Dolphins, watching 68 passes on 96 targets for 667 yards with seven touchdowns from 2016-2016. That he wasn’t able to capitalize on the absence of Adam Shaheen at the “Y” (in-line) spot for the first half of the 2018 season largely sealed his fate. 

The Bears were able to keep Sims on their 2018 roster despite a disappointing 2017 thanks to having enough cap space to cover his $6.3 million hit.