The Bulls have lost the services of All-Star point guard Derrick Rose for the rest of the playoffs. But the team rallied together Sunday, acknowledging that while their road to a NBA championship is much tougher now, it's not impossible.
"Derrick's not only a great player, he's a great teammate, he's a great person, but it's not a death sentence," head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after Sunday's practice. "It's not a death sentence for him, it's not a death sentence for our team. He's going to come back. He'll come back better than ever. It's just the way it is and we've got to deal with."
"Our margin for error is a lot smaller with Derrick out," center Joakim Noah said. "Can you replace a guy like Derrick? No. But it's on us to step up as much as possible. Just cause Derrick's not on the court, there's still a game to be played on Tuesday and we're going to fight as hard as we can and make the city proud."
You can see what else Thibodeau, Noah, general manager Gar Forman and point guard John Lucas III and Mike James had to say at Sunday's practice by watching the videos below:
The Chicago Bears made their first free-agent move of the 2020 NFL offseason Tuesday with the signing of CFL cornerback Tre Roberson (Calgary). According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Bears will pay Roberson the biggest contract given to a CFL free agent since the Dolphins signed Cameron Wake.
Roberson, 27, played quarterback at Indiana and Illinois State before making the position change to cornerback prior to the 2016 NFL draft. He was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent and stuck with the team on the practice squad and on a reserve/futures contract until September 2017.
Roberson signed with the Calgary Stampeders in May 2018 and used his time in the CFL to develop and sharpen his craft.
Roberson appeared in 32 games over the last two seasons in Canada and enjoyed a breakout seven-interception year in 2019. He totaled 10 picks in his two-year CFL career.
Roberson's addition to the roster spells trouble for veteran Prince Amukamara. Already on shaky ground because of his hefty $10 million cap hit. The Bears can save $9 million against the salary cap if they decide to part ways with him this offseason. It's a difficult decision for GM Ryan Pace to make considering Amukamara has been one of the team's most consistent and reliable defenders over the last few seasons.
But the investment in Roberson suggests the Bears are ready for a change in the secondary. It doesn't mean Roberson is a lock to start in Chicago, but he's a talented and cheaper alternative to Amukamara, who's failed to record an interception in two of his three seasons with the Bears.
Pace may have been ready to move on from Amukamara even before adding Roberson. Kevin Toliver, II played well in relief of Amukamara last season and proved capable of at least spot starter's duty. He was signed by the Bears as an undrafted rookie in 2018 and has developed nicely over the last two seasons. He'll fight for a starting job in training camp regardless of whoever Pace adds to the roster. Toliver played 175 snaps in 2019 with all but three of them coming between Weeks 14 and 17.
There's also Duke Shelley, 2019's sixth-round pick who failed to make any significant contribution as a rookie. He played just eight snaps on defense and will enter a training-camp battle for an active roster spot this summer. His quest to the final-53 got a lot more challenging with Roberson in town.
Roberson's addition represents a strong and relatively aggressive start to the offseason for Pace. Bears defensive backs have been put on notice, too. Competition is coming.
The Bears have made an intriguing signing, landing the services of the much sought after CFL cornerback Tre Roberson. He was a hot topic this NFL offseason, a player most critics agreed was the No. 1 CFL free agent.
Roberson has an interesting background. He originally came up through the ranks as a quarterback, eventually becoming the first true freshman to ever start at quarterback for Indiana University Bloomington. After transferring to Illinois State and playing the 2014 and 2015 college football seasons with the Red Birds, Roberson turned pro and ultimately went undrafted as an extremely under-the-radar prospect.
Eventually, the athletic Roberson made the switch to cornerback. He didn't stick with the Minnesota Vikings after making their roster ahead of the 2016 NFL preseason, being a part of the final round of roster cuts. He made his way to the Calgary Stampeders in 2018, where he really started to make a name for himself at cornerback.
Roberson has a total of 95 tackles and 10 interceptions over his two seasons in the CFL, helping lead the Stampeders to a Grey Cup (CFL's title game) win. He chose the Bears over nine other NFL teams and according to NFL insider Adam Schefter, is expected to get the largest CFL-to-NFL compensation since the Miami Dolphins signed Cameron Wake.
The Bears have made their first "splash move" and for the sake of Bears faithful, hopefully, this represents the first of many great additions to the Bears' roster.