White Sox

Smith expects Forte back for training camp

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Smith expects Forte back for training camp

Jay Cutler said last week that he expected Matt Forte to sign his franchise tag tender offer or conclude a long-term deal with the Bears, meaning that he does not anticipate the running back to miss any games that matter.

Coach Lovie Smith refused to speculate either way on Forte earlier this week and made it clear that the Bears are moving on with the players they have. On Thursday Smith changed direction and, without being asked about Forte, twice volunteered that he was looking forward to having Forte.

Cant wait to get down to training camp, to get a few more of our guys back out there in the mix, Smith said, mentioning, Brian Urlacher, get Matt Forte back out there, those guys.

Later Smith included Forte in his thoughts on the Bears running game for 2012: Were adding Michael Bush to the mix with Matt Forte, Kahlil Bell, Armando Allen, other good football players.

Smith appeared to be making something of a statement to Forte earlier this week. He made a decidedly different one as minicamp concluded on Thursday.

Michael Kopech undergoes successful Tommy John surgery, on track for 2020 return

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USA TODAY

Michael Kopech undergoes successful Tommy John surgery, on track for 2020 return

Michael Kopech's Tommy John surgery was a success.

The White Sox announced Wednesday that Kopech underwent the procedure Tuesday to address the significant tear in his UCL and that he is on track to return for spring training ahead of the 2020 season.

This was the expected outcome when the team announced Kopech's injury two days after he made his fourth major league start. But the news that day sent a shockwave through the fan base, one of the brightest young stars of the rebuild slated to miss a full season as he recovers from this significant injury.

The White Sox said then that Kopech would likely be ready to go for spring 2020, a season many fans and observers have circled as one where the franchise could shift from rebuilding mode into contention mode. Of course, the delaying of Kopech's first full big league season — and the valuable development that comes with that — throws into question what kind of contributor he can be should the rest of the team be ready to win. Similarly, does the delayed developmental time for Kopech and the host of other prospects who suffered significant injuries this year shift the timeline of the entire rebuilding effort?

Those questions won't be able to be answered until Kopech and the rest get back on the field.

The completed surgery brings with it the same projection from 12 days ago, that Kopech should be ready to go by spring 2020. As we wait for that date, the rebuild will progress without him. What will the puzzle and his place in it look like by then? Just another element of the waiting game on the South Side.

Danny Trevathan believes he's not the last Bears player to win defensive player of the week honors in 2018

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USA Today

Danny Trevathan believes he's not the last Bears player to win defensive player of the week honors in 2018

Danny Trevathan figured any one of his Bears’ teammates could’ve received the NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor bestowed upon him on Wednesday, which he earned with eight tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against the Seattle Seahawks. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Prince Amukamara, whoever — what the Bears did defensively in Monday night’s 24-17 win was a collective effort. 

“It could’ve went to any of the guys on defense,” Trevathan said. 

The Bears’ defense finished in the top 10 in scoring and yards allowed in 2017 thanks to a collective effort that was similar, but not exactly the same. That team only four three players finish the season with 3 1/2 or more sacks (Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston) but finished seventh in the league with 42 sacks. 

Through two games in 2018, the Bears lead the NFL with 10 sacks. The collective effort is still there, with seven different players recording a sack so far. What’s different, though, is the Bears now have an elite pass rusher in Mack, which raises the level of that collective play. For example: When Mack makes a play, like a strip-sack, it acts as motivation for the rest of the team. 

“Just seeing it happen, you'll want to go out and do it yourself,” outside linebacker Leonard Floyd said. “It definitely motivates the rest of the team to go out and make those types of plays.”

But it’s not just Mack that’s lifting the play of the Bears’ defense. To throw another guy out there: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman’s work soaking up double teams in the interior of the defense, especially on Monday night, was critical in keeping Russell Wilson contained as well as allowing Trevathan to make a number of the plays he did. 

“Eddie’s the key,” Trevathan said. “The front seven starts up there and he’s one of the disrupters up there. I just let him work his game and play off him. Half of the time I don’t even get touched, so you know you got a good D-linemen when your linebackers aren’t getting touched and able to make plays.”

What the Bears’ defense did on Monday night — and what they did in the first half of Week 1 — feels like the kind of evolution Vic Fangio’s defense needed to reach the top-five-in-the-league goal that a number of players set prior to the season. The collective mentality is there with a group that has continuity, and then the addition of Mack has brought about a different dimension that can take this defense to that next level. 

“We got a lot of hitters on defense,” Trevathan said. “Khalil brings that X-factor, we got a lot of guys there. But it’s all about us working together. You might not get the spotlight, but all really don’t care about that. As long as we get the W, the defense is on top and we’re winning games, we’re having fun, we’re cool with that.” 

So with that in mind, is Trevathan going to be the only player to win a defensive player of the week award this year?

"Oh, heck no. Heck no. Heck no," Trevathan said. "We’re looking to get it every week."