Bears

Kaplan: Gould speaks his mind

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Kaplan: Gould speaks his mind

Friday, April 22, 2011
Posted: 6:58 p.m.

By David Kaplan
CSNChicago.com

Bears player rep Robbie Gould was extremely candid in his comments about the NFL lockout when he spoke to me prior to singing the 7th inning stretch at Wednesday night's Cubs vs.Padres game.

"Look fans don't buy tickets to see Virginia or Brian McCaskey. They don't buy tickets to see Jerry Jones. They pay to watch Brian Urlacher, Drew Brees and all of the other great players. This lockout is all because of the owner's greed. I'm sorry if that sounds cold but it is the truth. "

On the topic of players missing game checks if the lockout goes into the regular season he was also very frank.

"I have been saving my money for this lockout for three years. We have known it was probably coming and we were advised to save our money. I know a lot of guys who prepared for this and are fine. The guys that didn't know it was coming or plan for it that is their fault," he said.
The Blackhawks force Game Six

When the Hawks trailed 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks as the week began not many people gave them a chance to make the series competitive. However, after thrashing the Canucks 7-2 at the United Center and then dominating them 5-0 on Thursday evening at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, suddenly the Hawks are back in the series.

So what changed? First, Vancouver tough guy Raffi Torres took a cheap shot at Brent Seabrook. Second, the Canucks started losing their edge, taking undisciplined penalties and doing a very poor job at helping out their fragile goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Now Luongo has shaved his playoff beard to try to change the direction of the series, which is certainly seeing a huge shift in momentum. Can the Blackhawks come all the way back?

Only time will tell, but you have to believe that the Canucks look at the Hawks like the White Sox do the Minnesota Twins or the Cubs do the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like kryptonite, which they just cant deal with.

The United Center should be a tremendous advantage on Sunday evening. Now lets see if the Blackhawks can take advantage and force a decisive game seven on Tuesday night.

That would prove what many believe: That game sevens in the NHL Playoffs are about the most exciting contests in sports.

David Kaplan is the host of Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @thekapman.

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots


 Beating the, arguably, best coach and quarterback pairing in NFL history is a difficult enough task. Trying to do it while allowing two touchdowns on special teams? Good luck. 
 
The Bears will leave Soldier Field frustrated with their 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday for a number of reasons, but top of the list will be Cordarrelle Patterson’s 95-yard kickoff return score and a blocked Pat O’Donnell punt that was raced into the end zone by Kyle Van Noy. A special teams unit that had been solid all year — and forced a fumble on a Patterson kickoff return in the first quarter Sunday — suddenly became a disaster, allowing an uncharacteristically undisciplined Patriots side back into the game, and then ahead in it. 
 
Add in an inaccurate game from Mitch Trubisky — who completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions — and an uneventful afternoon for Khalil Mack and the pass rush, and the Bears had to scratch and claw to hang with New England. 
 
Interestingly, after all week hearing from Bears coaches and players about how they couldn’t let the Patriots take them out of their own game, it felt like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady did exactly that. Mack frequently dropped into coverage — but so did Leonard Floyd, so maybe it wasn’t all about Mack’s injured ankle. While Brady frequently got the ball out quick, when he didn’t he was rarely pressured. 
 
And on offense, Taylor Gabriel had the same number of targets (one) as offensive lineman Bradley Sowell until midway through the fourth quarter. Trubisky dazzled with his legs, covering over 70 yards on an eight-yard touchdown run and dancing his way to a 39-yard scramble that set up a touchdown in the third quarter. 
 
But Trubisky’s struggles were clear, with the second-year quarterback throwing two ill-advised passes that should’ve been picked off in the end zone and then underthrowing Anthony Miller in the fourth quarter, allowing Patriots safety Jonathan Jones to make a tremendous interception. New England drove 96 yards after that pick into the end zone, with Brady taking apart a defense that missed two tackles on a 55-yarder to Josh Gordon, extinguishing any hope the Bears had of a comeback.
 
While Trubisky did lead a scoring drive after Adrian Amos assisted Kyle Fuller for an interception, cutting the deficit to seven. And Trubisky nearly pulled off a miracle with a Hail Mary to Kevin White, which was completed just shy of the end zone. 
 
The loss dropped the Bears to 3-3 and heaps plenty of pressure on Matt Nagy’s side to win seemingly-winnable games in the next three weeks: At home against the New York Jets, on the road against the Buffalo Bills and at home against the Detroit Lions. But then again: When the Jets come to town next weekend, it’ll have been nearly a month since the Bears’ last win. How the Bears fare over these next three games will be a clear window into if this team is a legitimate contender or one that faded after a strong start. 

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

The New England Patriots defense wasn’t giving Mitchell Trubisky many options through the air, so he decided to take matters into his own hands at Soldier Field.

The young quarterback’s legs were the Bears’ most-effective weapon in the first quarter, as Trubisky led the team with 35 rushing yards on four carries in the opening period of play.

He capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown scramble that had him looking like Michael Vick on the field.

The Bears will need to have a more well-rounded offensive attack to keep up with teams like the Patriots, but Trubisky found what was working in the first quarter.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s been smart and safe with his running, opting to slide and go to the ground on his big plays to avoid any big hits.

His legs continue to make this offense more dynamic, to keep up with top-notch opponents like New England.