Bears

CSN hires Siera Santos as full-time reporter/anchor

CSN hires Siera Santos as full-time reporter/anchor

Chicago, IL (October 14, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the hiring of sportscaster Siera Santos as its newest on-air talent member for the network’s signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central.  Santos will primarily handle on-site reporting duties covering a variety of Chicago’s professional, collegiate and high school sports stories, along with co-anchoring the program on occasion.  In addition, Santos, who will begin her on-air duties this evening on Comcast SportsNet , will also participate in a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com.  The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

“We are very pleased to bring someone of Siera’s news reporting experience and local sports enthusiasm to our network,” said Cross.  “A variety of successful multimedia achievements in her rising career has certainly prepared her for her arrival at Comcast SportsNet.  We are looking forward to Siera joining our already talented roster.”

Santos most recently was a sports anchor/reporter for CBS affiliates KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles, CA (since August 2014), where also hosted KCAL’s Sunday night “Sports Central” program, along with hosting sports web briefs on CBSLA.com, handling social media/update hosting for “Thursday Night Football” and “March Madness” postgame shows, and providing live pre/postgame reports for all area MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. 

Prior to making the jump to Southern California, Santos was a sports journalist at CBS affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City, OK where she handled numerous multimedia duties including reporter, photographer, producer, editor, and fill-in anchor. Her stint in Oklahoma City was highlighted by the NBA’s Thunder's 2014 playoff run into the Western Conference Finals. She also covered the Big 12, primarily the University of Oklahoma. 

Santos got her start a news reporter/multimedia journalist at NBC affiliate KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs, CO covering national news stories including the Waldo Canyon Fire and Aurora Theater Shooting.  As an auxiliary sports journalist, she has served as the NFL’s Broncos game day reporter, shooting post-game interviews in the locker room and filing stories from Mile High Stadium.  She also spent two stints with Fox Sports Arizona, ranging from being a production assistant to hosting/producing Arizona State Sun Devils multimedia content.  Among her numerous career achievements include earning the distinction of being the first woman to ever win the award for “Best Television Sports Anchor” from the Broadcast Education Association.

Santos, who was raised Phoenix, AZ, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where she was named “Outstanding Undergraduate Student” for her accomplishments.  In 2006, her internship at Telemundo solidified her decision to minor in Spanish and complete her minor in overseas in Spain. She has also added a third language, Dutch, while studying communications at the University of Amsterdam.

Thomas Jones tweets plan to fix Bears' struggling offense

Thomas Jones tweets plan to fix Bears' struggling offense

It didn't take Thomas Jones long to become a fan-favorite during his tenure with the Bears, which spanned three seasons from 2004-2006.  Jones, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, resurrected his career in Chicago with back-to-back seasons over 1,200 rushing yards in 2005 and 2006.

So, when he speaks about how to improve the offense through the running game, coach Matt Nagy and the rest of Chicago's offensive staff should at least give it a listen.

Technically, Jones tweeted his plan to repair the Bears' struggling offense. But, the point remains.

"Nagy should learn the history of the Bears," Jones tweeted. "When they've won in the past it's because they ran the ball 1st! The fans & the makeup of the Bears is blue-collar. Hard-nosed, physical fundamental football. Limit turnovers, chew up the clock & let the defense get you the ball back.

"And where is their fullback? How can you run the ball in Chicago without a fullback in the game? When u have a fullback in the game the linebackers know they have to strap up their helmets. It's going to be a physical game & some of them don't want that. Can't make it easy for them."

To be fair, fullback is a nearly extinct position in the NFL. But Jones' suggestion runs deeper than that; the Bears need to at least appear like they want to run the ball in order to make the defense respect the threat of a running game.

"They NEVER try to establish the run which puts all of the pressure on a young QB who is still learning & trying to figure out who he's going to be in this league," Jones said. "The O line won't get into any rhythm if they don't run block enough & the defense can only hold up for so long."

According to Jones, Mitch Trubisky isn't ready to be the centerpiece of Chicago's offense just yet.

"Mitch is too young to have all of that pressure on him at once. He's talented but he's not ready yet. You have talented backs & an incredible defense. The O Line just needs to gain confidence run blocking in real-time. They have to establish a running game or things won't change."

Jones drew on some experience from the 2005 season when the Bears kept things pretty basic for then-rookie quarterback Kyle Orton, who enjoyed some moderate success that year. He also chimed in on the Trubisky vs. Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson debate.

"Everyone matures at different times in the NFL. He's not those other guys so comparing him to them isn't going to help them win games right now. Establish a run game & take pressure off of him. Simplify the offense by giving him basic pass plays like we did with Orton in 05."

So how do the Bears get their offense back on a winning track? You guessed it: run the ball!

"It's not a old times sake thing. It's football. Every winning team establishes some sort of running game. Even if it's running back by committee or a running QB. The more tired a defense is from having to chase & tackle the more mental mistakes they're going to make.

"Which gives you a higher chance to win the game. When you run the ball you can take more chances throwing the ball downfield, running specialty plays such as screens and reverses. The defense can't just lay their ears back because they know they can get gashed at any time."

Head over to Jones' Twitter page to follow along with his complete Bears breakdown. It's pretty epic and is a great reminder of just how passionate he is about this team, this city, and winning.

Blackhawks make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

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USA Today

Blackhawks make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Ian McCoshen from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward prospect Aleksi Saarela, the team announced Tuesday. He will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

McCoshen is on a one-year contract that runs through the end of the 2019-20 season. His cap hit is $700,000 and he's set to become a restricted free agent.

Originally drafted by the Panthers in the second round (No. 31 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, McCoshen has appeared in 60 career NHL games and has seven points (four goals, three assists) and an ice time average of 14:26 per game. He has four assists in seven games with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL this season.

The motive behind the move appears to be giving each player a fresh start elsewhere, although Saarela's time with the Blackhawks was short-lived. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in June, along with Calvin de Haan, for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling and had one assist in five games with the Rockford IceHogs.

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