Bears

Cubs will look at other options besides Wells

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Cubs will look at other options besides Wells

Randy Wells has been through enough of these prove-em-wrong auditions with the Cubs. He didnt need to be reminded of what it meant.

Wells didnt take advantage of the opportunity on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, and he wasnt guaranteed another spot start after a 7-0 loss to the White Sox in front of 32,311 fans.

Filling in while Ryan Dempster rests his lat muscle before the July 31 trade deadline, Wells gave up three runs on five hits and four walks and didnt finish the fourth inning.

Four walks is just unacceptable, Wells said. I wont accept it. They shouldnt accept it. I dont know whats going to come after that.

Manager Dale Sveum wouldnt commit to Wells (1-2, 4.91 ERA) either.

We got other people, Sveum said. The Volstads and the Rusins are down there. So well weigh our options probably here in the next day to see where were at, what we want to do.

Chris Volstad, the guy traded for Carlos Zambrano, went 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA in eight starts before being demoted to Triple-A Iowa, where he has a 4.78 ERA through six starts.

Chris Rusin a fourth-round pick out of the University of Kentucky in 2009 is 5-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts at Iowa.

The Cubs (24-45) may have to prepare for life after Dempster, their Opening Day starter and clubhouse leader, and Wells had a nice major-league resume (27-30, 4.01 ERA) heading into 2012.

But Wells didnt have much of a chance to make the rotation out of spring training, because Volstad and Jeff Samardzija were viewed as having more upside and took the inside track. Wells was blindsided when he had to begin the year at Iowa.

The day before his showcase start, Wells reflected on his time with the Cubs, the organization that drafted him as a catcher in the 38th round of the 2002 draft.

I used to worry a lot about where I fit in, Wells said, and what I can do for this team having good seasons as a starter and all this stuff. And then you realize that you just got to shore up every day. Whatever they ask you to do, you try to do it to the best of your ability.

I know theres pressure here to win and when you perform subpar youre going to take heat for it. I know that firsthand. Theres so much pressure to win that you cant put added pressure on yourself to do stuff that youre not capable of doing. If Im starting, then all I can do is try to give quality innings to the best of my ability.

Aaron Rodgers has high praise for Bears' legend Lance Briggs: "There is just no comparison"

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USA Today

Aaron Rodgers has high praise for Bears' legend Lance Briggs: "There is just no comparison"

We must be a long ways off from another Packers game, because Aaron Rodgers is saying nice things about Bears players right now. 

Talking to The Athletic's Dan Pompei for a wide-ranging piece on Lance Briggs, Rodgers had only great things to say about the Bears' legend

“When I think about outside linebackers, I think about Lance,” he told me. “When I compare him to other guys who started for a long time over the years in those spots with other teams, especially division teams, there is just no comparison. Sean Lee had a good run for a long time as a weakside ‘backer. But I think Lance was definitely more dominant and more impactful and did more.”

Rodgers goes on to call for Briggs' inclusion in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which figures to be a commonly-held opinion now that the league-mandated five year waiting period has passed. 

Rodgers wasn't the only great player to weigh in on Briggs' talent. Pompei talked with Steve Hutchinson, Rod Marinelli, Ron Rivera, and Brian Urlacher. The latter even gave his best Retired NFL Player Opinion: 

“Some of the hits he had were unbelievable,” Urlacher says. “He couldn’t even play in today’s game. Too physical.”

If you're a Bears' fan jonesing for a trip down memory lane while on the bye week, Pompei's piece is a good place to start. 

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings after seven weeks of football.

1. Lincoln-Way East 7-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Lockport, 45-7
This Week: @ Sandburg
EDGY's Take: The Griffins continue to roll along. Will they face another serious challenges the remainder of the regular season?

2. Mount Carmel 7-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat De La Salle, 28-21
This Week: @ St. Viator
EDGY's Take: The last few wins for the Caravan haven't been pretty, but a win is a win. 

3. Nazareth Academy 6-1 (3)
Last Week: Beat Marist, 39-29
This Week: @ Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners bounced back from a 14-0 deficit to beat Marist on Friday night. When the J.J. McCarthy to Tyler Morris connection is on, look out.

4. Loyola Academy 5-2 (4)
Last Week: Beat Benet Academy, 46-14
This Week: @ Marian Central Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers offense has started to make some noise while the defense remains a big strength. 
 
5. Warren Township 7-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Lake Zurich, 24-3
This Week: @ Stevenson
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils hold Lake Zurich to a field goal while RB Derrick McLaughlin carries the load on offense for The Township.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 6-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way West,  35-0
This Week: vs Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Vikings offensive line, running game and speed on defense should play well in 8A this postseason.

7. Glenbard West 7-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Lyons, 42-0
This Week: vs Hinsdale Central
EDGY's Take: This Saturday's game against Hinsdale Central will be the most anticipated regular season game in quite a while on the shores of Lake Ellyn.

8. Notre Dame 7-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Leo, 40-8
This Week: vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Dons' defense has been a strength all season. They get their biggest test on Friday as the Roadrunners come calling.

9. Hinsdale Central 7-0 (10)
Last Week: Beat Proviso West, 49-6
This Week: @ Glenbard West
EDGY's Take: Can the Red Devils win on the road on Saturday at Glenbard West? 

10. Bolingbrook 6-1 (11)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 34-13
This Week: @ Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Raiders' triple-option run game and athletic defense could combine to make some big moments this postseason.
 
11. Neuqua Valley 6-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Metea Valley, 43-21
This Week: @ Naperville North
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are now aiming to win out the remainder of the regular season. Can they earn a high seed in Class 8A?
  
12. Hersey 7-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Buffalo Grove, 42-14
This Week: vs Elk Grove
EDGY's Take: The Huskies will need to beat Elk Grove this week before locking in on a huge Week 9 showdown vs. Rolling Meadows.

13. Minooka 7-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 19-10
This Week: vs West Aurora
EDGY's Take: The Indians' defense has been rock-solid all season long. They limited a tough Yorkville offense. 

14. Oswego 7-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Oswego East, 14-3
This Week: @ Yorkville
EDGY's Take: The Panthers keep their winning streak alive (15-0) over district rival Oswego East. 

15. Maine South 5-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Glenbrook South, 40-10
This Week: vs Glenbrook North
EDGY's Take: The Hawks are getting healthy at the right time of the year. 

16. St. Charles East 6-1 (22)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 30-29
This Week: vs Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: The Saints post back-to-back wins over St. Charles North and Batavia. Impressive. 

17. Batavia 5-2 (7)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles East, 30-29
This Week: @ St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs now need to get back on track. Another DuKane rival looms in St. Charles North.

18. Hillcrest 6-1 (18)
Last Week: Beat Tinley Park, 41-0
This Week: @ Lemont
EDGY's Take: The Hawks will get a huge test on the road this Friday at Lemont.

19. Willowbrook 6-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat York, 35-21
This Week: @ Morton
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got off to a quick 14-0 lead against York and never looked back. 

20. Huntley 6-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Hampshire, 56-0
This Week: vs Burlington Central
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders are also rolling and are playing for a high seed in Class 8A.

21. Montini Catholic 5-2 (21)
Last Week: Beat St. Joseph, 2-0 (forfeit)
This Week: vs De La Salle
EDGY's Take: Will the forfeit win last week be a blessing for the Broncos?

22. Fremd 5-2 (25)
Last Week: Beat Barrington, 14-0
This Week: @ Conant
EDGY's Take: The Vikings' defense has been a strength all season; the run game pounded out enough yards in the win over Barrington.

23. Crete-Monee 7-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 44-12
This Week: vs Bloom 
EDGY's Take: The Warriors are also in line for a top seed in the postseason.

24. Andrew 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way Central, 33-21
This Week: vs Lockport
EDGY's Take: The T-Bolts enter the Top 25 aiming for a high seed in the postseason; however, they shouldn't overlook the Porters.

25. Cary-Grove 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Jacobs, 16-6
This Week: vs Prairie Ridge
EDGY's Take: The annual grudge match against rival Prairie Ridge should be a good one Friday night.