Bears

CSN to provide expanded Chicago Cubs National League Wild Card Playoffs coverage beginning Oct. 5

CSN to provide expanded Chicago Cubs National League Wild Card Playoffs coverage beginning Oct. 5

 

Coverage to include Season Recap Special, Wild Card Game Preview Special, Cubs Classic Replay,

plus – extensive Wild Card Game Night coverage on a special edition of “Cubs Pregame Live” and an expanded edition of “Cubs Postgame Live” IMMEDIATELY following the game!

 

CSNChicago.com coverage to include numerous game previews, features, and extensive game night reports from Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney,

exclusive video interviews, in-game Twitter coverage from CSN talent and much more!

 

Chicago, IL (October 1, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of 2015 MLB postseason-bound Chicago Cubs, will provide fans with a full line-up of extensive Cubs programming beginning Monday, October 5, in advance of the northsiders’ National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night, October 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

 

In addition to brand new season recap/playoff preview specials, a thrilling “Cubs Classic” telecast against the Pirates from earlier this season, extensive nightly coverage on SportsTalk Live and SportsNet Central, Comcast SportsNet will also be airing a special edition of Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group on October 7 at 6:30 PM and a special, expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinoisimmediately following the Wild Card match-up.  Please note Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive Cubs programming line-up beginning Monday, Oct. 5 (all times are Central Time):

 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and numerous baseball experts.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

7:00 PM – Cubs Classic: Cubs vs. Pittsburgh (from 5/15/15) – This thrilling 12-inning battle between the Cubs and Pirates at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs holding on to a 10-5 lead heading into the eighth inning (featuring a 3-run HR from Kris Bryant in the third and an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the fourth), but the Pirates stormed back to tie it at ten apiece in the ninth. The unexpected, however, took place in the bottom of the 12th inning when Pirates RF Gregory Polanco slipped on a routine pop fly, allowing Starlin Castro to score the winning run.

10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs – Hosted by Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull), this brand new, half-hour, magazine-style special includes a number of fascinating feature stories highlighted by a recap of the Cubs postseason-clinching celebration from Sept. 26 at Wrigley Field.  Plus, fans can look forward to a number of additional special features, including the following among others:

-          #WeAreGood – Feature on how Miguel Montero’s April 18th hashtag created a team slogan that caught on all season long in both the Cubs clubhouse and with fans throughout the nation.

-          Walk Up Music – How do players pick their walk-up music, and why they do it?  Cubs players weigh in on the new walk up feature brought to Wrigley Field, thanks to the brand new in-stadium video boards.

-          Maddon on atmosphere – Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses what makes the Wrigley atmosphere arguably the best in baseball.

-          The ‘Old Scoreboard’ – With most of the attention on the ‘new’ video boards in 2015, SportsNet Central’s Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer) takes us inside the old scoreboard to show us it’s still very much a part of Wrigley Field.

-          The Best of the Cubs – A rollout feature with all the key highlights of the 2015 Chicago Cubs playoff-bound season.

-          Jake Arrieta – A detailed look at the overall dominance of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

-          NOTE: We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs will re-air Tue, Oct. 6 at 9pm on CSN+ and Wed, Oct. 7 at 12 noon on the main CSN channel location.

 

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

9:30 PM/10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Cubs Playoff Preview – Hosted by CSN’s Cubs Pre/Postgame Live tandem of David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28), this special edition of SportsNet Central will provide fans with a full, detailed preview of the Cubs-Pirates Wild Card match-up, including live reports from Kelly Crull and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney), along the latest team/player news, interviews, season-long match-up highlights, and an overview of every upcoming MLB Playoff series.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7

5:00 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs-Pirates Wild Card Game night preview discussion & analysis featuring host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull and Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney.

6:00 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Even more Cubs-Pirates Wild Card Game night preview content, up-to-the-minute player/coaches interviews, along with live, on-site reports from Crull and Mooney.

6:30 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto – Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, this special edition of Cubs Pregame Live will break down and preview every aspect of the Cubs-Pirates battle and will feature numerous interviews, preview highlights, and live, on-site reports from Crull and Mooney.

10:00 PM (time approx.) Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois – An expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the game, plus, additional live on-field post-game reports and much more.

 

In addition to the comprehensive Cubs Wild Card playoff coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com throughout the week for even more comprehensive 24/7 coverage, including:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference (sponsored by Xfinity).
  • “Cubs Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk.
  • “Cubs In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
  • Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Cubs push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs playoffs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and Golf Central. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk and BearsTalk, PrepsTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney will provide extensive team/player news, special feature stories, and much more throughout the week. Follow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for 24/7 inside access.  Cubs digital reporter and producer Tony Andracki will also provide Cubs reports/features on the beat with Mooney.  Follow @CSNCubs on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and the very latest team news.
  • CSNChicago.com’s state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Cubs playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com, NBC Sports and HardBallTalk.com will also produce Cubs content in tandem, which will include on-camera segments and digital reports.
  • Yahoo: Via the Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network digital alliance, CSNChicago.com’s Cubs content will be available via sports.yahoo.com.
  • Cubs coverage on CSNChicago.com/Cubs is presented by Toyota.

Pro Football Focus: Bears rank near bottom-third of NFL in pass protection

Pro Football Focus: Bears rank near bottom-third of NFL in pass protection

If the Chicago Bears want to make a real run at the playoffs in 2018, the offensive line will have to do its part by keeping QB Mitch Trubisky upright. The offense is expected to be more pass-heavy under coach Matt Nagy and will depend on Trubisky having time in the pocket to go through his progressions and find the open target.

New offensive line coach Harry Hiestand should help that cause. He's universally praised as one of the best offensive line coaches in the sport and will be charged with getting a better effort from a unit that ranked near the bottom-third in pass protection last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

19. CHICAGO BEARS

2017 pass-blocking efficiency: 77.9

Best individual PBE: Josh Sitton, 97.4

Because of several crippling injuries, nine different players saw at least 100 pass-block snaps for the Bears in 2017. They gave up 152 pressures on 536 passing plays. The top performance came from left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who enjoyed the best season of his career and allowed just 24 pressures all season. Heading into the 2018 campaign, rookie guard James Daniels is penciled in to fill the shoes of the recently departed pass-blocking star Josh Sitton. Daniels performed well in pass protection during his final college season, allowing just 10 pressures on 371 pass-blocking snaps at Iowa.

The Bears will be without last season's top pass-protector, Josh Sitton, who was let go by GM Ryan Pace this offseason and signed with the Dolphins. 

Pass protection was once all about the play of the offensive tackles, but with the NFL's interior defensive linemen evolving into disruptive forces up the middle, guard play will be nearly as important. A healthy Kyle Long is critical. Chicago can't afford growing pains from James Daniels, either. Cody Whitehair returns to full-time center duties, a role he excelled at during his rookie season. 

Charles Leno should provide reliable play at left tackle. Bobby Massie remains a wildcard, but with little depth behind him, the Bears can do nothing more than hope his bad reps are limited in 2018.

With Hiestand in the fold and a healthy Long ready to compete at a high level again, the Bears' offensive line should be much improved this season.

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Evan Bouchard

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 193 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A highly intelligent defenseman with exceptional vision and offensive instincts. He reads the play very well and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in his team's transition game. He's one of the top offensive-defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League and magician-like when quarterbacking the power play."

NHL player comparable: John Carlson/Alex Pietrangelo

Fit for Blackhawks:

At 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, Bouchard is one of the most NHL-ready defensemen in this year's draft and that could be appetizing for a team like the Blackhawks, who are looking for immediate help on the blue line. But Bouchard is a right-handed shot, and drafting him would add a third high-end right-handed shot defenseman to the organization, along with prospects Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell.

You can never have enough of them, but there's only room for three before somebody would have to play on their off hand and that would mean the third would be playing on the bottom pairing. All three of these players have Top 4 potential.

Still, that may not even come into play here. The Blackhawks will seek to take the best available player, like they always have. And if they feel it's Bouchard, they'll do it.