Bears 'lucky' four more times vs. Lions

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Bears 'lucky' four more times vs. Lions

Alabama coaching legend Paul Bear Bryant long preached that Luck follows speed. Along with that was the insight that The harder I work, the luckier I get.

No argument from linebacker Lance Briggs, who took issue last week when a question was raised about the role of luck in takeaways, particularly ones coming in the kinds of clusters being forced by the Bears.

Let me get this right, he said to the questioner. So youre saying me and Peanut and everyone has just been lucky?

No, that wasnt the suggestion.

Of course, there is a little bit of luck, but a lot of that stuff comes from really just playing hard, Briggs said. If Im not running to the ball when the ball is tipped in Jacksonville, there is no interception.

Its about how we play the game. If you play the game hard, there is some opportunities there; just dont miss the opportunities.

Briggs then made his point Monday night with a fumble forced from running back Mikel Leshoure inside the Chicago 20, recovered by Julius Peppers, who was lucky enough to out-maul a pride of Lions, to end a potentially momentum-changing Detroit drive.

Zackary Bowman marked his first game back in a lucky Bears uniform when he pounced on a punt muffed by Stefan Logan at the Detroit 27. That was turned into a Robbie Gould field goal.

Defensive tackle Henry Melton reached up a lucky hand and knocked the ball out of Joique Bells unlucky hands when the Detroit running back tried to stretch and put the all across the goal line in the third quarter. The fumble was recovered by Brian Urlacher. Luckily.

With 2:39 to play, D.J. Moore got lucky for the second time this year when he intercepted Matthew Stafford at the Chicago four on a fourth-and-goal.

The Bears lead the NFL with 21 takeaways, three more than New England and the New York Giants. Since the start of the Lovie Smith tenure in 2004, the Bears lead the NFL with 287 takeaways. New England is back at 260.

We practice it every day, Moore said. Weve got someone like Peanut Charles Tillman, who does it time and time again, and it gets contagious. Then you have Lance and Urlacher and all those guys doing it in practice, practicing, stripping and getting takeaways.

Its just contagious.

Jay says Jay OK

Quarterback Jay Cutler said Tuesday on his ESPN radio show that there is zero chance of him not playing next Sunday, although he said hed be good to go on Thursday instead of the usual Wednesday practice.

His coach is feeling the same.

From what Im told, hes OK, Smith told Bears play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM-AM Tuesday. He should be good to go.

Joniak asked Smith what the coach thought of the hit by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on which Cutler was driven into the Soldier Field turf with what looked on replays to be not just to tackle, but an intent to injure.

What hit? Smith countered. We hit their guys hard, too. I just refuse to believe there are guys out there trying to hurt each other.

At least one of his players can believe it.

Teammate Brandon Marshall went on Twitter to admonish Suh for the tackle but Cutler stayed with the code by which players and coaches pass on publicly denouncing apparent actions outside the rules of the NFL or professional respect.

"I think it was a clean hit, Cutler said on his show on WMVP-AM 100 show. That defense, you know going into it what their intentions are. They play hard football, they get after the quarterback, they're tough tacklers, that's just who they are. I'm not going to take anything away from him. I still think it was clean, and he's a good player.

And that's what makes him who he is, is playing that way."

Bill Dineen, father of Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen, passes away

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USA TODAY

Bill Dineen, father of Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen, passes away

Bill Dineen, former AHL and NHL coach and father of Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen, passed away on Saturday morning. He was 84.

Kevin Dineen was not at the Blackhawks’ practice on Saturday. Coach Joel Quenneville called Bill Dineen “a tremendous man.”

“Everyone who had the privilege to meet Bill and be around him loved the guy. He was probably one of the most liked people you’d ever want to meet. Great family man; the kids are just like the dad,” Quenneville said following Saturday’s practice. “We had a good time with him on the dad’s trip last time. Seeing him at that stage and being around hockey again, it was fun to be there.”

Bill Dineen played for the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. He later was a head coach, mostly in the AHL. He was named the AHL’s outstanding coach twice and led the Adirondack Red Wings to the Calder Cup in 1986 and 1989. He also had an NHL coaching stint with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1992 to 1993, during which he coached Kevin.

AHL president David Andrews released a statement regarding Dineen’s passing.

“During his time as a player and coach, and in the values he instilled in his family, Bill Dineen created a legacy of greatness in the American Hockey League that still resonates today. Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Dineen family at this time.”

Brent Seabrook could return, but Jonathan Toews will miss ninth straight when Blackhawks play Stars

Brent Seabrook could return, but Jonathan Toews will miss ninth straight when Blackhawks play Stars

Brent Seabrook came onto the ice on Saturday morning, a welcome sight for a Blackhawks team that has dealt with a few injuries lately.

And while Seabrook's return seems imminent, Jonathan Toews’ status remains very much up in the air.

Seabrook (upper body) practiced on Saturday and could be available on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Toews (back) did not skate and will miss his ninth consecutive game. Corey Crawford (appendectomy) will also be out, with Scott Darling getting his fifth consecutive start.

Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll see how Seabrook feels on Sunday morning before making a decision.

The defenseman said he felt good following Saturday’s practice.

“The lungs at the end were burning a little bit with Kitch,” said Seabrook, referring to assistant coach Mike Kitchen. “But just trying to get ready to roll.”

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Seabrook hasn’t missed many games in recent years — he played 81 of 82 games in 2015-16, all 82 in each of the two seasons prior to that and 47 of 48 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

“It’s tough. You want to be out there and want to be playing. It’s tough not being out there with your teammates and helping them out and battling with them so I think we did a great job (Friday) night,” Seabrook said. “Had a great game, had a chance for two points in overtime there but got one, which is huge for our group. I think it’s good.”

As for Toews, Quenneville had hoped the captain would be skating by this weekend. He said following Saturday’s practice that Toews could skate on Sunday. Whether or not Toews accompanies the Blackhawks on their upcoming trip to New York depends on what happens on Sunday.

“If he skates tomorrow, we’ll have a better sense of that,” Quenneville said. “We have to do what’s right, long-term, and make sure he’s 100 percent and ready to go.”

Quenneville said he saw Crawford, who had his appendectomy on Dec. 2, Saturday at the rink.

“He’s doing all right,” Quenneville said. “Being away and then getting back on the ice, it’ll take some time to get him back to square one. He’s excited about getting back into equipment soon.”

Marian Hossa and Richard Panik did not practice on Saturday but were just taking rest days. Both are expected to play vs. the Stars.