Bears

Word on the Street: Trio of Bears leading Pro Bowl ballots

Word on the Street: Trio of Bears leading Pro Bowl ballots

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Trio of Bears lead Pro Bowl ballots

Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester won the fan voting for their respective positions for the NFC team in the Pro Bowl.

Tom Brady was the leading vote-getter with 1.9 million votes, edging Michael Vick, who netted 1.5 million votes to lead the NFC.

The 43-man rosters will be announced Tuesday. The Pro Bowl game will be played Jan. 30 in Honolulu. (Chicago Tribune)

Illinois Lottery embarks on second annual Blackhawks ticket

The Illinois Lottery launched the second Chicago Blackhawks Cash scratch-off ticket, following up on the huge success the inaugural campaign brought last year, which was also fortunately accompanied by the Hawks' Stanley Cup Championship.

There are six different tickets, each with a separate Hawk on it, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Towes, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith.

The tickets are 5 each and the prizes range from a Blackhawks jersey to up to 100,000 in cash. (Blackhawks.com)

Favre to Peppers: Beat the Packers

After Julius Peppers and his teammates annihilated Brett Favre's Vikings Monday night (including a sack from Corey Wootton knocking Favre out of the game), the veteran, record-setting QB had a simple message for Peppers: beat the Packers in a couple of weeks. (NBC Sports)

Jets' QB Sanchez has shoulder tear

Mark Sanchez, the second-year quarterback of the New York Jets, has a slight cartilage tear in his right shoulder, but is still fully expecting to play against the Bears on Sunday. Jets head coach, never one to shy away from the media, said he was "99 percent" sure Sanchez will start. (NY Daily News)

Chicago Sky announce '11 schedule

The Chicago Sky have released their 2011 schedule, which will open against the Indiana Fever on the road on June 4. The home opener at Allstate Arena will be June 10 against the Connecticut Sun.

The Sky also host the defending WNBA Champs, the Seattle Storm, in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 on July 19. (Chicago Tribune)

Driver in Adenhart death gets 51 years to life

Andrew Gallo, the man who was drunk driving in the accident that killed Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart last year was sentenced to 51 years to life, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. In September, Gallo was convicted of three counts of murder, one count of fleeing the scene of a crash and one count of driving under the influence. (The Epoch Times)

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.