Keeping (The) Score: Marshall not good for Bears' offense?

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Keeping (The) Score: Marshall not good for Bears' offense?

A lot of Brandon Marshall chat time during the regular Thursday 10 a.m. visit with The McNeil & Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670. And for good reason.
 
Mac and Spiegs shared my sense that Brandon Marshall and even Lovie Smith were talking as much to the team as to the media on Wednesday. Smiths repeated references to the Bears 8-5 record were perhaps reminders less to the assembled media corps than players who may not feel like winners after dropping four of five. Not a bad point for Smith to stress.

MORE: What's the Bears' record? Don't worry, Lovie's got you covered
 
Marshall flung down challenges to the Green Bay Packers defensive backs, which is fine, but also declared that this was the biggest game of his career.

That was refreshing. Not all games are created equal and this one isnt. Props to Marshall for putting his emotions out there, possibly in a way making it OK for other lesser lights to do the same. Emotion spikes on game days are not bad things.

MORE: Marshall on Green Bay -- 'This is personal'
 
The guys referenced our discussion earlier this season about a point Id made as to whether Brandon Marshall catching 100 passes in this offense would be a good thing. Marshall is indeed every inch a 100-catch receiver (101, actually) and it hasnt been a good thing for this offense.
 
The problem obviously isnt what Marshall is doing; its what others are not. And I suggested a possible reason why Marshalls very strengths as a receiver may play to a shortcoming in Jay Cutlers style as a quarterback.
 
Besides the question of whether Cutler has real trust in his receivers, Cutler is a see-it-throw-it quarterback. His default setting is to wait a tick longer for a receiver to come open rather than throw to a spot at a time with the solid trust that a Devin Hester, Earl Bennett or whomever will get there when the ball does.
 
Marshall is so good, however, that Cutler can legitimately think that if he keeps a play alive and waits another tick longer, Marshall will be open. Marshall will be. He works. He works the entire play. Given enough time, against most coverages, he will win.
 
So Cutler waits and sure enough, 15 is open. Or if hes not, all things being equal, even a well-covered Marshall may be a better choice than a slightly open Kellen Davis.

MORE: Marshall ready for second shot at Packers
 
Mac and Spiegs wondered how I was leaning for outcome this weekend. Hard to pick against the Packers. Mac assessed both teams as having a little bit of hanging on at work, given the injuries all around.
 
My take, however, is that whenever you have Aaron Rodgers under center, you are by definition never just hanging on.

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

The Blackhawks made a minor league deal on Saturday, announcing the acquisition of forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling.

Latta, 25, has two goals and four assists in 29 games this season with the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

He has four goals and 13 assists in 113 career games in the National Hockey League, all with the Washington Capitals from 2013-16.

Latta, who was a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) by the Nashville Predators in 2009, will report to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. He carries a $600,000 cap hit, and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Schilling ranked second among defensemen on the IceHogs with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games, and had a minus-3 rating. The 28-year-old blue liner signed a two-year contract worth $575,000 per season with the Blackhawks in July 2015.

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

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Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.