Packers win war of words with Bears on the field

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Packers win war of words with Bears on the field

To say there was a little chatter off the field leading up to Sundays Bears-Packers game would be an understatement. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley made it known he thought the Bears may be better without Brian Urlacher. Lance Briggs responded by calling Finley "an idiot."With all the talk prior to kickoff, would there be any words left for smack-talking on the field?I didnt hear nothing, Finley said. The trash talking is in the papers, but when you touch the grass its all business.Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught six balls and scored a touchdown in the Packers' 21-13 win, also made it a point to call out Packers defensive backs Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson earlier in the week. Woodson was sidelined while still recovering from a broken collarbone, Williams did a solid job containing Marshall most of the afternoon.We just won the game, Williams said I aint worrying about no comments. Comments dont play the game, we played the game. We won the game.Williams was backed up in the secondary by nickelback Sam Shields, something Shields continued off the field."Marshall do all the talking in the paper, we do it on the field," Shields said.
Even though he didnt play, Woodson had a little jab for the Bears too.I think those guys would like to be where we're at, but they're not, Woodson said. Bottom line. I love beating the Bears"Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji has been known to be a little mouthy since joining the oldest rivalry in the NFL, which was played for the 186th time on Sunday. But he still has respect for Marshall and the Bears."Brandon is a good guy, he's a good player," Raji told CSNChicago.com. "It wasn't the first time he was talking and it won't be the last. Our guys weren't worried about that. We've been here before. We came with a focus of wanting to win this game and clinch the division and we did exactly that."That sentiment was shared by left tackle Marshall Newhouse."It's always a tough game to play them, but we played them hard," Newhouse told CSNChicago.com. "There was some stuff pregame, people talking back and forth, but when it comes down to it you have to come to play and show it with your pads."Clearly the Packers handled themselves when they strapped it on and ran out the tunnel on Sunday, winning 21-13 and clinching the NFC North division."That's what we all wanted," Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. "When you're playing the Bears it's a good chance for us to win a division and kind of push them down.

Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr. looks to follow in Mariano Rivera's footsteps

Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr. looks to follow in Mariano Rivera's footsteps

Carl Edwards Jr. couldn't dream up a better pitcher to try to emulate than Mariano Rivera.

Not for a young right-hander who is still getting used to being a reliever with a cutter as his bread and butter pitch.

After picking up his first career save late in 2016, Edwards mentioned how he has been watching video of Rivera. At the Cubs Convention earlier this month, Edwards name-dropped Rivera again in response to a fan question and went into more detail with exactly what he's aiming to accomplish by watching Rivera tape.

Let's be clear: Mariano Rivera is inimitable. He's a once-in-a-lifetime talent and there almost assuredly will never be a better closer in Major League Baseball.

But Edwards knows that. 

"He's great. He's a Hall of Famer," Edwards said. "He goes out there like he has the world in the palm of his hand. He's very competitive; I've never seen him back down. That's one [takeaway] for myself — I'm gonna go out and never back down.

"I don't really get into trying to be like him. I just look more into how he goes about his business. That's something that I can control — how I go about my business."

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Cubs coach Mike Borzello was there with Rivera in 1997 when the now-legendary cutter was born.

It's not fair to compare Edwards' cutter to one of the greatest pitches ever, but his version is pretty nasty in its own right:

The Cubs are still searching for long-term answers in the rotation, but don't have any intentions of moving Edwards back to a role as a starter.

Like Edwards, Rivera began his career as a starting pitcher coming up through the Yankees system. But Edwards actually has a leg up on baseball's all time saves leader: Edwards' first save came in his age 24 season while Rivera didn't tally his first save until age 26 in New York.

Edwards also struck out 13 batters per nine innings in 2016 while Rivera never posted eye-popping whiff totals (a career 8.2 K/9 rate).

As Edwards gets set for what he and the Cubs hope will be his first full season in the big leagues in 2017, his maturation will be important in an age of baseball where relief pitchers have never been more valued.

Rivera pitched in the playoffs nearly every year, routinely working more than one inning and posting ridiculous postseason numbers: 0.70 ERA, 0.759 WHIP and 42 saves while taking home the World Series MVP in 1999 and ALCS MVP in 2003.

The Cubs hope Edwards will be pitching in the postseason on a regular basis, too.

For now, the 25-year-old is still reveling in the glory following the 2016 Cubs championship.

He served as honorary drummer at the Carolina Panthers game in November.

"That was pretty amazing. That's a highlight of my offseason," Edwards said.

He grew up as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan despite being a South Carolina native, but Edwards said he did get a pair of Cam Newton cleats to wear for 2017 when he and Cubs teammates like Addison Russell or Matt Szczur throw the football around in the outfield to get loose.

Edwards was also blown away by the reception from Cubs fans at the Convention — "This is my third year and every year as been better" — but still hasn't fully wrapped his mind around the ending of the 108-year drought.

"Everything happened so quick," he said. "Hopefully in the next couple weeks when I have a break, I can sit down and soak it all in."

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Vote for this week's High School Lites Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, for the first time ever in our “Viewers’ Choice” poll, we will have girls basketball as our focus:

Warren at Lake Forest, 7:00pm

Glenbrook South at Maine South, 7:00pm

Vernon Hills at Maine West, 7:30pm

Poll opens Monday at 12:00pm and closes Thursday at 4:00pm. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

**Follow @CSNPreps on Twitter.

**Note the “pinned Tweet” atop the @CSNPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.

**Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @CSNPreps just after 4pm Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other basketball news, scores and highlights this season.