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Trestman hire puts Cutler, Emery on clock

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Trestman hire puts Cutler, Emery on clock

Jay Cutler spent time with Marc Trestman when the quarterback was preparing for the 2006 NFL Combine. Now he will be working with Trestman preparing for something considerably more important.

Trestman was selected to become the 14th head coach of the Bears, a decision in no small part based on Trestmans demonstrated ability to work with quarterbacks. Rich Gannon became the NFLs Most Valuable Player in 2002 while working with Trestman, then the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.

MORE: After long search, Bears name Trestman head coach

More important, with GM Phil Emery stating as his first stipulation that the new coach must have a record of excellence in whatever role he worked, Trestman has 17 years of experience as an NFL assistant. In those years his teams have gone to postseasons eight times.

That record, plus two Grey Cup championships in five years as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, was built on successful offense. Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo was Canadian Football League MVP in 2009 and 2010.

RELATED: Marc Trestman career timeline

Emery did not specify offensive excellence as a job requirement but the failures on that side of the ball are why Lovie Smith is no longer in the corner office at Halas Hall.

On the clock

The Trestman hire puts Cutler squarely on the clock. It puts Emery there as well, as the defining move of his young tenure. General managers rarely hire second head coaches. And the Bears now have a head coach and general manager hired on the watch of chairman George McCaskey.

This marks the first time since George Halas re-hired himself that the Bears have hired a head coach who has been a head coach. Not in the NFL in this case, but Bud Grant and Marv Levy were CFL head coaches before coming to the NFL and their Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, respectively, went to multiple Super Bowls.

That also was a stipulation of Emerys: championships (plural). That clock is now ticking.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

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USA TODAY

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.