Bears

Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Red Sox manager gets involved in Ozzie-Jenks war

Terry Francona, the manager of the Boston Red Sox--Bobby Jenks' current team, got himself involved in the Jenks-Ozzie Guillen war of words Sunday.

Jenks was recently very outspoken over Ozzie's use of the bullpen during the tail end of the 2010 season when the husky pitcher was a part of the White Sox, and also took a shot at Ozzie's son, Oney, who called Jenks out via Twitter a couple months ago. Never one to shy away from controversial statements, Ozzie responded with comments to Jenks through the media and a war of words was started.

Francona attempted to halt that Sunday.

"That's over," Francona told the Boston Globe. "Spoke to Bobby. Went back and forth with Ozzie, not speaking, but just messages. I'm confident that will be over. I don't care if they like each other. But Bobby's a Red Sox and you need to move on. I think he understands that." (Chicago Tribune)

Danieal Manning rejected Bears contract offer?

The Bears offered Danieal Manning an extension during the season worth 6 million over three years, according to NFL Sources. Manning rejected that offer.

With no salary cap and CBA, Manning is now technically a restricted free agent. Any team that signs Manning would owe the Bears a second-round pick. That could all change once the new CBA and salary cap come to fruition.

Manning was drafted by the Bears in the second round in 2006. In his five-year career with the Bears, Manning has registered 346 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 INT and a return TD. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

How the Oscars are like Rose's MVP run

With the Oscars Sunday night, ProBasketballTalk.com discussed the impact the Academy Awards could have on the NBA MVP race, especially since Chicago's own Derrick Rose is one of the leading candidates for the award.

As Matt Moore writes in the blog, if Rose doesn't win the MVP, he shouldn't be considered a lesser player because of it. (ProBasketballTalk.com)
Does the Seabrook extension hurt the Hawks?

On Sunday, the Blackhawks inked defenseman Brent Seabrook to a five-year extension. According to Joe Yerdon at ProHockeyTalk.com, that move might put the Hawks back in the same salary cap bind that cost them after the Stanley Cup victory last May. (ProHockeyTalk.com)

Are Cubs fans the worst in baseball?

IvyReport.com attempts to answer this question with a resounding "yes." But, not for reasons you might think. The Cubs' futility has led this blogger to realize being a Cubs fan may not be the smartest option. (IvyReport.com)

Bowman losing his voice?

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has reportedly been talking so much regarding potential trade deals before the deadline Monday afternoon that he might be losing his voice.

Im losing my voice here a little. Ive been on the phone all day, he said. ...Theres a lot of talking still but its probably one of those thingswhere the first domino has to fall and then I think itll spur otherthings. If we end up with the group we have now, Im verycomfortable with that. But were aggressively trying to improve theteam. (CSNChicago.com)

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

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AP

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

Don't tell Wendell Carter Jr. the center position is a dying breed.

The 19-year-old rookie hasn't exactly been able to ease into the NBA, finding himself up against a handful of All-Stars and powerful frontcourts just five days into his career.

It culminated Monday night with a date against Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, and once again the seventh overall pick held his own. It was much of the same as it was against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Detroit's Andre Drummond last week (and Nikola Jokic in the preseason finale): some good, some bad, plenty of poise and zero backing down. The NBA is unforgiving, but this could very well be the toughest stretch Carter faces all season.

"He’s playing against top level centers now," Fred Hoiberg said before Monday's game. "It’s a great experience for him. He’s going to learn and get better and he plays within himself, we will continue to look for him to be more aggressive."

He was as aggressive as the Bulls have seen him against Jordan and the Mavericks. He blew by the 20 and 18 minutes he played in the first two games of the year, totalling 32 minutes. His final line won't tell the story - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block - of a Carter who defended well at the rim, picking and choosing his spots on when to attack shots and when to simply use his verticality.

He wasn't credited for a block but he contested a Jordan dunk that turned into a Bobby Portis dunk on the other end. Plus-minus isn't always a good indicator of a player's worth, but Carter was a +5 in a 14-point Bulls loss. He even attempted a corner 3-pointer early in the shot clock, showing no hesitation. Carter's had his moments, but it's also apparent he's got a 19-year-old body going up against veterans each night. That'll come with time in the weight room. For now the experience is 

"I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early in my career," Carter said after the loss to the Pistons. "What I need to work on is I have to get stronger; that’s the first thing I recognize; just being up against the best. I love the competition. It’s always a great feeling going against the best."

What the Bulls are finding out is they have a player mature beyond his years. As he progresses he'll continue to get more difficult assignments. He had his rookie moment late in Monday's loss, committing a turnover in the backcourt after the Bulls had cut the deficit to five with 35 seconds left. The fouls are also an issue, as Carter has committed 10 in three games (after committing 17 in five preseason games).

That doesn't necessarily seem important for a Lottery-bound team, but considering the continued struggles of Robin Lopez (and Cristiano Felicio is entirely out of the rotation) it is. Lopez had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes while committing five personal fouls. In three games he has 11 personal fouls and 11 points, and also has more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four). If the Bulls are going to compete until Lauri Markkanen returns, Carter will need to hover around the 32 minutes he played Monday.

He'll get a much easier test on Wednesday when the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town. Cody Zeller doesn't exactly have the credentials of a Jokic or Embiid, meaning Carter may have a little more room to work. 

The Bulls know they have something in Carter. It'll be abother month until they can deploy him alongside Markkanen, but if the first three games are any indication, Carter won't have any problems matching up with some of the league's best.