Tice on OL: Lets not get carried away just yet


Tice on OL: Lets not get carried away just yet

Mike Tice may be the first-year, first-time offensive coordinator. But he spent much of Tuesdays minicamp session hands-on with the offensive line, most of whose members he coached directly last year.

And while he is a firm believer in his charges, he is feathering the brakes before any runaway feel-good starts.

To be quite frank with you, youre not going to tell anything about your offensive line until they put pads on, Tice said. To sit there and say, Oh, yeah, this guy, hes going to be the answer to the problems, that would be silly. So we just want to make sure that theyre assignment-sound, technique-sound, working their hands.

One of the areas that we wanted to improve across the board was our hands, using our hands better, keeping the players away from us. We know we have guys that can run, so thats going to help our running game. Thats really all we can look at right now.

Among the things that are being looked at right now:

Gabe Carimi is back in full at right tackle, showing few if any effects from the knee injury that ended his rookie season just short of six quarters.

First-round draft choice thats a very good football player back in the mix, said coach Lovie Smith. Weve been very pleased with what hes done, getting back in, getting back out there, hasnt had any trouble with the knee and it gives us a little more confidence when you see him out there.

JMarcus Webb and Chris Williams are taking nearly equal reps at left tackle. This will be the No. 1 position battle in training camp, between the former who failed to secure the job last season and the latter who lost the job in 2010 and is in a contract year.

Lance Louis is the No. 1 right guard, his position going into last season, and Chris Spencer remains shifted to left guard after emerging as the starter after early season injuries.

Edwin Williams, who started the last seven games in 2011 at left guard after Williams went on IR with a wrist injury, is working almost exclusively as the No. 2 center behind Roberto Garza. Chilo Rachal, a former starter with San Francisco, is the No. 3 guard at this point.

Rules prohibit offensive and defensive linemen from working live against each other, meaning there are no pass-protection drills to gauge how Webb or Williams handles the likes of Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije or even rookie Shea McClellin.

And a team that will commit to running the ball isnt doing anything of consequence in that entire area other than focus on assignments.

To try to come and work in on your inside run game right now is silly, Tice said. All youre going to do is end up breaking some rule and getting into trouble. So weve stayed away from the run game.

Neat Tweets: The Bears were one yard away from a pretty neat finish

Neat Tweets: The Bears were one yard away from a pretty neat finish

The Bears and Patriots played a wild game yesterday, with the outcome literally coming down to the final seconds/yards. 

The Bears didn't get their intended result, and BearsTwitter let 'em know about it after the game. 

Here were the most neat tweets from Sunday's loss:










Shoutout to broadcasts in other languages, they're legitimately always 100X more entertaining. 

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers


Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

The Blackhawks have said all along that they don't plan on carrying three goaltenders, but wanted to do so during the three games in four days stretch just in case, with Corey Crawford coming back from a 10-month layoff because of a concussion.

After being encouraged by how Crawford has responded to his return, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers Monday morning. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for the 25-year-old goaltender and would have to keep him on their NHL roster for 10 games and/or 30 days before he's eligible to go through the waiver process again.

His chances of getting claimed by any of the other 30 teams essentially depends on which teams believe Forsberg would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup — or starter, for that matter — or whether there's an injury to one of the team's two goaltenders that requires a placeholder, like we saw the Carolina Hurricanes do by claiming Curtis McElhinney from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Scott Darling's injury in the preseason.

If Forsberg goes unclaimed, the Blackhawks can assign him to the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. With Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen sharing the goaltending duties in Rockford, it's possible Lankinen gets sent to the Indy Fuel in the East Coast Hockey League to get consistent starts under his belt.

A third option, one that isn't very common but we've seen in the past as recently as last October with Maple Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, is that Forsberg can be loaned to any AHL team while still being a part of the Blackhawks organization. This would allow the Blackhawks to keep Delia and Lankinen in Rockford while Forsberg gets his starts in the AHL, too.

Or, the Blackhawks could simply trade Forsberg to another NHL team that could stash him in the AHL, as long as he clears waivers. They did it last season with Chris DiDomenico, who cleared waivers as a member of the Ottawa Senators but was then traded to Chicago for Ville Pokka days later. Had DiDomenico been claimed by the Blackhawks, he would have had to stay on the NHL roster as noted above.

Forsberg was 10-16-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 35 appearances last season but has not appeared in a game yet this year. He was acquired as part of the Brandon Saad package for Artemi Panarin in June 2017.