Orioles

Bears hire CFL coach Trestman to replace Smith

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Bears hire CFL coach Trestman to replace Smith

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears hired Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman on Wednesday to replace the fired Lovie Smith.

He has two basic tasks - fix the offense and lead the team to the playoffs on a consistent basis.

How he meshes with quarterback Jay Cutler could go a long way toward determining his success.

It's the first head coaching job in the NFL for Trestman, a longtime assistant in the league who spent the past five seasons coaching the CFL's Alouettes and led them to two Grey Cup titles.

Trestman was an offensive coordinator with Cleveland, San Francisco, Arizona and Oakland.

Chicago general manager Phil Emery had a wide search, meeting with at least 13 candidates. Besides Trestman, he also brought back Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the Indianapolis Colts' Bruce Arians for second interviews.

Trestman wasted little time starting to assemble his staff, bringing in two new coordinators.

The Bears hired New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as their offensive coordinator, hoping to revive a group that often sputtered with Mike Tice calling the plays.

The also added Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis as their special teams coordinator and assistant head coach to replace Dave Toub.

The Bears announced those moves Wednesday evening.

The coaching changes come on the heels of a 10-win season in which they fell apart after winning seven of their first eight games.

Smith was let go after nine years, ending a run that included a trip to the Super Bowl but also saw Chicago miss the playoffs five of the past six seasons.

That move did not sit well with some players at the time, but Cutler and star receiver Brandon Marshall are looking forward to working with Trestman.

``He's been successful wherever he's been,'' Cutler told the Bears' website. ``He's from the West Coast coaching tree, which I'm familiar with. It's what I came into the league with, with (Mike) Shanahan (with the Denver Broncos in 2006), so I'm looking forward to it.

``He understands quarterbacks. He understands their thought process and the minds of quarterbacks and what we have to go through. It's going to be a quarterback-friendly system and I can't wait to get started with him.''

On Twitter, Marshall made his feelings clear.

``Heard so many GREAT things about Coach Trestman can't wait to follow his lead,'' he wrote. ``Reading his book now.''

Trestman wrote ``Perseverance: Life Lessons on Leadership and Teamwork,'' a motivational biography released in 2010.

The Bears, who have scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning, are turning to the 57-year-old Trestman in part because of his background with quarterbacks.

He worked with Bernie Kosar as an assistant at the University of Miami and again when he was on the Browns' staff in the 1980s. Trestman helped the Raiders reach the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season with an offense he geared for Rich Gannon, the league's MVP that year.

In recent years, Trestman has worked as a consultant in the NFL and in the offseason helped quarterbacks entering the league - including Cutler for a few days. His biggest task will be maximizing the man behind center and getting the offense to click.

That's something that never really happened under Smith, who oversaw a top defense with stars such as Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs but could not solve the issues on the other side of the ball.

The Bears' offense never ranked higher than 15th under Smith, and the problems in that area along with the postseason misses ultimately led to his dismissal.

The Bears have big holes on the offensive line and at tight end, but the No. 1 task is connecting with Cutler. As gifted as he is, questions remain about his makeup and demeanor.

He has one year left on his contract, and the Bears have to figure out if he can lead them to the top. In Chicago, the deck at times has been stacked against him.

His relationship with former offensive coordinator Ron Turner seemed icy, and he took a beating in Mike Martz's system. Cutler will now be working in his fourth system since the Bears acquired him from Denver in 2009.

Besides the issues on the line, Cutler also lacked a go-to receiver his first three years in Chicago, but that changed in a big way before this season. The Bears hired Emery to replace the fired Jerry Angelo as GM after a late collapse that season, and although he was given a mandate to work with Smith for at least a year, he was able to retool the roster.

The biggest move? That was the trade with Miami for Marshall, Cutler's favorite target in Denver.

Marshall set club records for catches and yards, but the Bears still ranked 28th on offense.

It didn't help that receivers Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett missed time with injuries or that running back Matt Forte was also banged up.

More than anything, Cutler would like to see some continuity.

``It's hard,'' he told the team's website. ``You start back at zero every year with the entire offense, so it's definitely challenging. I think if you look across the league at elite and very good quarterbacks, they've all been in systems for numerous years. That's what our goal is here, for coach Trestman to come in and install his system and us win games and keep him around for a long time to be able to grow year in and year out in this system and get everyone better.''

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

In a fitting tribute to most games this season in Baltimore, Trey Mancini had a terrific day at the plate, but the pitching staff allowed too many home runs and the O's ended up losing.

Here's everything you need to know about the Orioles.

Player Updates:

OF Trey Mancini hasn't slowed down at all for the Orioles, turning in a 4-for-4 night to tie his career high in hits. He's hitting .286 with 34 home runs during his breakout season.

OF Austin Hays enjoyed a banner night, hitting his first home run of the season and making one of the year's highlight catches, robbing a home run well over the centerfield wall.

SP Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs in 6.1 innings. He didn't walk anyone and allowed just six hits, but he also only struck out one batter despite pitching into the seventh inning, and two of the hits allowed were home runs.

Injuries

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Friday, 9/20: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards

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Mystics take Game 2 and put Aces on brink of elimination

Mystics take Game 2 and put Aces on brink of elimination

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Mystics beat the Las Vegas Aces 103-91 in Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals on Thursday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. Before Thursday's game, as she was accepting her second WNBA MVP award, Elena Delle Donne explained how she had learned in the four years since winning her first MVP trophy the importance of making her teammates better. That approach paid off in Game 2, as the Aces' defense swarmed to limit her to just 14 points, well below her 19.5-point average, and to 33.3 percent shooting.

Delle Donne made sure she was effective in other ways. She grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked two shots and used her length to eliminate passing lanes. Though she wasn't making shots, she created space for others by drawing Las Vegas' tallest defenders to the perimeter.

Delle Donne wasn't the star of the box score, but her approach and execution were pivotal in a Mystics win, one that gave them a commanding 2-0 lead as the five-game series shifts to the desert.

2. What many on the Mystics predicted entering the playoffs has come true through two games that Emma Meesseman would be a major difference-maker after she missed last year's postseason run that ended with a loss in the Finals. After dropping 27 points with 10 rebounds in Game 1, she was back throwing haymakers in Game 2, posting 30 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Meesseman (6-foot-4) isn't nearly as big as Aces center Liz Cambage (6-foot-8), yet she attacked the lane consistently to look for her shot and to set up others. She had a play midway through the second quarter where she spun around Cambage and finished through contact with her right hand for an and-1. It got many fans out of their seats and some emphatic fist pumps from Wizards guard Bradley Beal who was sitting behind the basket.

Meesseman's toughness and craft are perfect for postseason basketball. She can score inside and out and is a disruptive defender despite not being a major rim protector.

3. The Aces' defensive adjustment after Game 1 was clearly to take away the three-point shot. The Mystics made 11 threes on 28 attempts on Tuesday, but by halftime on Thursday had only seven shots and two makes. Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud had a combined two attempts.

Washington missed their first three shots from long range to open the second half before Meesseman got one to fall. The Mystics finished 8-for-20 (40 percent) from the perimeter.

4. Meesseman's contributions were crucial and the same for LaToya Sanders, who played well above her regular season level on offense in Game 2. She had eight points in the first nine minutes of the first quarter, more than her season scoring average (6.1). She had 17 points with six rebounds and two steals by the time it was over.

Sanders' main priority is defense and has been tasked with checking Cambage so far in this series. But she can affects games on offense as well and the Aces paid for forgetting that. They left her open on midrange shots and long twos, banking on her to miss because she rarely even attempts threes. Sanders, though, knocked them down and gave the Mystics an unexpected lift.

5. It was only the second game back for guard Kristi Toliver, who is still sporting a leg brace after missing over a month due to a right knee contusion and MCL strain. Though she has practiced and is now back in-game action, it will naturally take time for her to find a rhythm and to get back into game shape.

In Game 2, she showed some rust by getting into early foul trouble. She picked up her third foul late in the second quarter after just eight minutes of action. That forced head coach Mike Thibault to go deeper into his bench and give Shatori Walker-Kimbrough some playing time. Walker-Kimbrough did not play at all in Game 1.

Toliver was able to get going later on and ended up with 10 points and three assists, including a three late in the third quarter where she turned and cupped her ear to the crowd before it swished through the net.

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