Cubs

How a Columbus goalie change would impact Blackhawks

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How a Columbus goalie change would impact Blackhawks

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have seen enough of Steve Mason in goal.

After a spectacular rookie season in 2008-09, Mason struggled for the third straight season in 2011-12, posting career-worst numbers in goals-against average (3.39) and save percentage (.894) in 46 games.

Columbus general manager Scott Howson said: We need a different look in goal. We need better play from that position. I told Steve in our exit interviews (earlier this month) that were going to have a different look at that position next year, but that right now, nobody can predict what form thats going to take.

Almost any goalie on the unrestricted free agent list would be an upgrade over Mason based on last season's stats. Howson could look for a quick fix without much for the future by attempting to persuade Martin Brodeur to continue his career outside of New Jersey. He could also roll the dice on Tomas Vokoun or go after Minnesota's solid backup Josh Harding.

Regardless of who takes over the starting job for the Jackets, not facing Mason would be bad news for the Blackhawks who scored 19 goals on him in four games. Patrick Sharp scored four of his 33 goals while Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg each scored three on Mason.

David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

After much speculation, former Cubs catcher David Ross is set to become the team's next manager, replacing Joe Maddon.

While we'll know more soon about what went into the Cubs' decision to hire Ross, minor details are coming out regarding the interview process. According to two reports, the team was impressed with Ross' delivery of a mock speech and how he handled a mock press conference.

 

This isn't the first time the Cubs have asked managerial candidates to partake in such activities. After interviewing for the Cubs' vacancy In November 2011, former manager Dale Sveum partook in an actual press conference featuring questions from the media. He wasn't hired at that point, but the presser was part of the Cubs' interview process. 

No, Ross wasn't named the Cubs' next manager solely on the mock speech and press conference. His clubhouse leadership and familiarity with the organization are two factors. But the speech points to Ross' strength in the latter category; his ability to represent the organization positively through media relations — one of Maddon's strenghts — is important, too.

Whether these strengths lead to wins is to be determined, but Ross clearly impresed the Cubs for a multitude of reasons.

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Chargers' Anthony Lynn says Mitch Trubisky reminded him of Aaron Rodgers

Chargers' Anthony Lynn says Mitch Trubisky reminded him of Aaron Rodgers

Imagine, for a moment, what this Bears team would be like if it had Aaron Rodgers under center, leading the offense, with a defense captained by Khalil Mack. It seems nearly impossible to picture it, but according to Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, it wouldn't have been as difficult back in 2017 when Trubisky was a highly-touted draft prospect.

Lynn, during his conference call with reporters Wednesday, said Trubisky reminded him of the future Hall of Famer back when he was coming out of North Carolina.

"He made throws. He had a quick release. He reminded me sometimes of Aaron Rodgers," Lynn said. "The way he moved around. If he ever got in a bind, he could create. I just thought he had the total package."

Trubisky's final season as a Tar Heel feels like ancient history, but Lynn's assessment isn't far off. Trubisky completed 68% of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions. His 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is an elite stat, and his ability to create with his legs made him that much more appealing to NFL general managers. He was so desired that GM Ryan Pace infamously traded up one spot (from No. 3 overall to No. 2) to draft him.

What may have been overlooked, however, was the offense Trubisky operated in at UNC. It was a very basic, quick-hitting system that didn't require much "quarterbacking" from the now-struggling pro. And while it's still too early to say Trubisky will never become a franchise passer, it's pretty clear he isn't destined to be in the elite tier.

Through five games (four if you factor in his early exit against the Vikings in Week 4), Trubisky's completed 64.4% of his passes for 839 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Sadly, more than 250 of his yards and two of his touchdowns came in what Matt Nagy admitted was garbage time in Week 7's loss to the Saints.

General managers, coaches and scouts will often hold onto scouting reports way too long. Maybe it's a pride or ego thing. Maybe it's a failure to accept reality. But with Trubisky, it's pretty clear his college scouting report was flawed, and it's on Pace and Nagy to make sure they know if his issues are correctable. If not, they can't hold onto hope that a Rodgers-like breakout will suddenly (and miraculously) occur.

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