Drew Brees has some critical words for Saints


Drew Brees has some critical words for Saints

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Drew Brees said in a radio interview Wednesday night that he is frustrated by what he views as a lack of communication with the New Orleans Saints in his ongoing contract negotiations, adding the club should have shown more urgency to get a long-term deal done. "It's been extremely frustrating for me. I don't think the negotiations should have been this difficult," Brees said on WWL radio in New Orleans. "What's been a little frustrating on my end, or disappointing, is the lack of communication. We've reached out on quite a few occasions and at times I know I've been frustrated with the lack of response." While Brees said he wants to return to the team as soon as possible, he raised the possibility of missing minicamp and even training camp if he does not reach a long-term extension that he believes is appropriate. Brees has missed several weeks of voluntary offseason training with the club, and New Orleans holds its first offseason practices, called organized team activities, next week. Brees said the Saints cannot pretend that the NFL's bounty investigation and resulting punishment -- including the suspension of head coach Sean Payton for the whole 2012 season -- has not been a huge distraction that makes the remainder of the Saints' offseason work "very important." "This is a big time for our team, especially when you look at what has happened this offseason," he said. Given his leadership role and his performance during his past six seasons, Brees said he would hope the Saints would make his next contract a top priority. "There should be a sense of urgency and it just seems like there's not," Brees said. The Saints did not immediately respond to Brees' comments. However, general manager Mickey Loomis said last month he understands that he has never worked on a more important deal than Brees' extension, and he wants to come up with a deal that makes his star quarterback happy. The Saints this season will attempt to make the playoffs for a fourth straight time. If they do so, they'll be in the running to become the first team to play the Super Bowl on its home field next February in the Superdome. New Orleans has most of the top players back from an offense that set numerous NFL records last season, when Brees passed for an NFL single-season record 5,474 yards, smashing Dan Marino's mark of 5,084, which had stood since 1984. The Saints have placed the exclusive franchise tag on Brees, meaning he won't be playing anywhere else next season. However, Brees does not have to report and has said he has no intention of playing under a one-year franchise tag that does not give him any long-term security. "I feel like our position is very reasonable and certainly appropriate for the situation that I'm in, which is having played the full extent of my (previous) six-year contract," Brees said. "I knew exactly what I was signing up for and over the last few years I have not said a peep about wanting a new contract or not being happy with my current contract. ... Certainly, I took on a lot of risk last year by playing the last year of my contract without anything guaranteed for the future." Brees said he still wants to finish his career in New Orleans and has a plan to be as prepared as possible when he does eventually report. "If that means missing OTAs, minicamp, training camp, I will be as ready as can possibly be," Brees said. "There's no way you can simulate those things anywhere else other than being on the field with your team, but I have a plan, so I'll execute that plan as I need to."

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites. Can Loyola beat Brother Rice on the South Side in the Chicago Catholic Blue title game? Can Oak Park-River Forest upset Hinsdale Central in the West Suburban Silver title game? A playoff spot is on the line in the DuPage Valley: can Wheaton North win on the road at Waubonsie Valley? And can either Thornwood or Thornridge win and remain eligible for a state playoff spot?

Lincoln Park vs. Mather, 4:15 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium

EDGY's Take: The winner between Lincoln Park (7-1, 5-1) and Mather (7-1, 5-1) will head to the IHSA state playoffs while the loser will prepare for the CPL Prep Bowl playoffs. Lincoln Park will look to establish the running game behind senior RB Charles Dale Jr. while Mather will also rely on its backfield and solid offensive line. Can either team stop the run?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln Park 28, Mather 27

Thornwood at Thornridge, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This Battle of District 205 schools is always a big rivalry game. Throw in a potential state playoff spot and that makes this game even bigger. Thornwood (4-4, 1-4) and head coach Bill Bundy features senior QB Jamar Howard while. Thornridge (5-3, 2-3), under head coach Pat Jennings, has posted five wins; however, they do not have a guaranteed state playoff spot yet due to their low IHSA playoff point total (31). Can Thornwood win and get in? Can Thornridge win-- and then sweat out a state playoff bid on Saturday?

EDGY's Pick: Thornwood 34, Thornridge 28

(1) Loyola at (3) Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner here captures the CCL Blue conference crown along with a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Brother Rice (8-0, 3-0) features one of Chicagoland’s top offenses behind senior QB Dino Borrelli and an assortment of playmakers, including senior WR Ricky Smalling (Illinois) and senior RB Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming). Loyola (8-0, 3-0) has been the state's top ranked team since the preseason. The Ramblers will look to their passing game, led by senior QB Tommy Herion and senior WR Jake Marwede (Duke). Loyola's offensive line has also been a strength all season. Can the Loyola defense slow down the Crusaders’ weapons? Can the Rice defense get the football back — early and often — from the Loyola offense?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola 34, Brother Rice 31

Lockport at (12) Lincoln-Way East, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lockport (6-2, 4-2) has been a terrific story this year as the Porters are state playoff-bound. Will Lockport's starting QB Ben Davis, who sat out with an illness in last week’s 35-0 win over Stagg, return to the field? Lincoln-Way East (6-2, 4-2) is in need of a win this week after dropping a 38-21 game to Bradley last Friday. The Griffins counter with dual QBs in seniors Jake Arthur and Max Shafer. Can Lockport move the football against the East defense, minus Ben Davis? Can the Porters defense slow down the East offense?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 34, Lockport 14

Mt. Carmel at Providence, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel (4-4, 0-3) is in a rare position of needing a win this week to become eligible for the IHSA state playoff field. Providence Catholic (3-5, 0-3) is out of the state playoffs for the second straight season. Can the Caravan win on the road and beat Providence Catholic in New Lenox? Will Providence show up and play this game like it’s a state playoff game? If Providence wins, it will result in Mount Carmel missing the state playoffs for the first time since 1985.

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28, Providence Catholic 21

(14) Oak Park-River Forest at (6) Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner will become the West Suburban Silver conference champion — and they’ll also secure a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Hinsdale Central (8-0, 5-0) has been led by senior QB John Bean and a very solid defense all season long. Oak Park-River Forest (7-1, 4-1) bounced back last Friday with a huge 27-3 win over Lyons. The Huskies also feature a terrific quarterback in senior Jeremy Hunt, who utilizes several weapons all over the field. Can the Hinsdale Central defense slow down the OPRF offense? Will last week's OPRF defense show up again on Friday in Hinsdale?

EDGY's Pick: Hinsdale Central 28, Oak Park-River Forest 27

Wheaton North at Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Wheaton North (4-4, 3-4) and Waubonsie Valley (4-4, 3-4) are seeking a state playoff bid with a win on Friday. Wheaton North will look to a few senior leaders in QB Luke Anthony and LB Erik Mueller. Waubonsie Valley head coach Paul Murphy lost a heartbreaker last Friday to Naperville North. The Warriors have a balanced offense and keep an eye on junior QB Tanner Westwood. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Waubonsie Valley 28, Wheaton North 24

Hersey at Wheeling, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wheeling (4-4, 3-1) is seeking a win and a state playoff berth for the first time since 2008. The Wildcats offense features a very good passing attack led by QB Jalen Dennis. Hersey (3-5, 2-2) will look towards QB Owen Goldsberry to lead the way for the Huskies. Can the Hersey defense slow down the Wheeling passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: Wheeling 31, Hersey 20

Notre Dame at St. Viator, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Notre Dame (5-3, 4-2) and St. Viator (5-3, 4-2) seem to be in line for a state playoff spot, win or lose. St. Viator and first year head coach David Archibald has the Lions playing well. They will look to their passing game, led by QB Bryce Hellgeth and senior TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame recruit). Notre Dame and veteran head coach Mike Hennessey features QB Tom Drabik along with a strong running game. Can the Notre Dame defense slow down the St. Viator passing game? 

EDGY's Pick: St. Viator 27, Notre Dame 19

Viewers’ Choice: Elgin at Larkin, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It's the annual battle for the Town Jug between these two U-46 district schools. Larkin (4-4, 2-3) and head coach Dragan Teonic are looking to secure a state playoff berth with a win. If so, it’ll be the program's first since 2006. Larkin will rely on QB David Hibbler. The Maroons (0-8, 0-5) will be in search of their first win since beating Larkin back in Week 8 of the 2014 season — a 31-13 win. Larkin leads the all-time series 34-20.

EDGY's Pick: Larkin 37, Elgin 14

NLCS: Cubs sticking with resurgent lineup for Game 5

NLCS: Cubs sticking with resurgent lineup for Game 5

LOS ANGELES - Joe Maddon preaches keeping things simple, especially this time of year.

The Cubs finally broke out on offense in Game 4, so why change anything up for Game 5?

Of course, the starting battery will change, with Jon Lester taking the mound and his personal catcher David Ross behind the plate for what could be the final time together with Ross still slated to retire after the season.

After a one-game stint in the cleanup spot, Anthony Rizzo moved back to the three-hole and wound up with three hits - including his first postseason homer.

Addison Russell also had a breakout performance (three hits and a homer) in the eight spot, but moves up one spot in the order with "Grandpa Rossy" taking over the eight hole.

Willson Contreras is 6-for-15 (.400 AVG) this postseason, but sits in favor of Ross at catcher and Jason Heyward in the outfield with right-hander Kenta Maeda on the mound for the Dodgers.

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Here's the way the Cubs will line up behind Lester:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Javy Baez - 2B
6. Jason Heyward - RF
7. Addison Russell - SS
8. David Ross - C
9. Jon Lester - P

The Dodgers are still insisting they're sending Maeda to the mound and not starting Clayton Kershaw on short rest.

The lefty-heavy Dodgers inserted their right-handed lineup against southpaw Jon Lester:

1. Kike Hernandez - 2B
2. Justin Turner - 3B
3. Corey Seager - SS
4. Carlos Ruiz - C
5. Howie Kendrick - LF
6. Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
7. Yasiel Puig - RF
8. Joc Pederson - CF
9. Kenta Maeda - P

These are the same guys (just in a different order) the Dodgers threw out in Game 1 when Lester gave up one run in six innings.

Game 6 will be Saturday evening at Wrigley Field and a marquee pitching matchup of Kershaw vs. Kyle Hendricks.