'Snowflake' quarterbacks: Cutler vs. Campbell


'Snowflake' quarterbacks: Cutler vs. Campbell

Quarterbacks are like snowflakes (you have to see where this is going, right?): No two are exactly alike or deliver the football to their receivers or make in-game calls exactly the same.
With Jason Campbell taking over this week from Jay Cutler, Bears receivers will face some subtle adjustments. And at the NFL level, subtle is potentially significant.
Jay has one of the strongest arms in the league so its going to get on you quicker, said wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who played with Cutler all last season and now this, and worked with Campbell through training camp and weekly on the look team running upcoming opponents offenses.
Jason has a more deliberate delivery so you know its coming, very smooth.
Style points
Coincidentally, both quarterbacks worked under the direction of quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, Cutler in Denver and now Chicago, Campbell as a Bear.
But while Cutler prospered under Mike Shanahan and a version of the West Coast offense, typically built around timing throws, Cutler is less the practitioner of that approach than Campbell.
Jason has a firmer ball, doesnt zip it to you quite as much, said wide receiver Devin Hester. Jason is a more timing type of quarterback. Jay is has the arm strength to wait til you get open to throw it to you. Jasons been in a timing offense more before.
Both are the same when it comes to catching the ball. Jay puts the ball there when its time for it to be there. Jason might get the ball to you a little earlier in a route.
Receivers said Campbell does not telegraph throws, just sometimes make earlier ones.
He may anticipate more, which isnt good or bad, just different, Sanzenbacher said. Jays got a stronger arm and just likes to see it first: Its open, Ill get it there.
Accuracy matters
Cutler has a career completion percentage of 61.1. Campbell is nearly identical at 60.8. Cutler has had more success down the field with 7.2 yards per attempt vs. Campbells 6.75.
But Campbells 45-yard completion to Brandon Marshall in last Sundays third quarter made a special impression, even on those used to seeing his passing.
He made great throws last week, Sanzenbacher said. That throw to Brandon was impressive in itself. And thats coming in cold off the sidelines. Impressive.
Hut, hut, HUT
More than the receivers will be dealing with the new quarterback.
Campbell has a slightly different cadence at the line of scrimmage. How much difference that makes remains to be seen.
The Bears had one false start last Sunday in 34 trips to the line behind Campbell.
Whatever the case may be, weve been around him all offseason and training camp, said center Roberto Garza. Weve heard his cadence. It comes down to just hearing the plays and going out there and executing. We dont have to do anything different. We just have to do it better.

Illini take lead into fourth quarter, but Huskers score 21 in final frame to win


Illini take lead into fourth quarter, but Huskers score 21 in final frame to win

The Illinois defense turned in a terrific effort through three quarters, a good enough performance to send the Illini to the final period with a six-point lead on the No. 15 team in the country.

But a dominating fourth quarter from Nebraska — one that featured 21 Husker points — meant there’d be no upset for the visitors in Lincoln.

Illinois had a 16-10 lead on Nebraska early in the fourth quarter, but the Huskers were in the midst of a clock-chewing 10-and-a-half-minute drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown run by Terrell Newby. From there, the Illini offense’s time on the field was brief, and the Huskers rattled off two more scores to grab a 31-16 victory.

That go-ahead touchdown was not without controversy. Illinois stopped Newby for a gain of just one on third and two, and Nebraska head coach Mike Riley opted to go for it on fourth and one. Newby rushed and came real close, the officials spotting the ball and measuring to award the Huskers a first down at the Illini three-yard line. The spot was reviewed, but nothing changed. The next play was a three-yard touchdown rush that put Nebraska in front, and many of Illinois supporters voiced their displeasure with that spot on social media.

The Illini went three and out on each of their next two possessions, while the Huskers twice reached the end zone on long touchdown drives. Tommy Armstrong hit Trey Foster for a touchdown to cap a 59-yard scoring possession, and Newby rushed for a 63-yard score the next time the Huskers had the ball to turn it into a two-score margin.

The first half, and really the first three quarters, belonged to the Illinois defense. The pass rush was terrific the majority of the game, and the defense came away with a pair of takeaways.

Illinois got a 31-yard touchdown run from Kendrick Foster in the first half and added two field goals in the second quarter and another in the third to build that 16-10 lead.

But that massive fourth quarter skewed all the numbers in Nebraska’s favor. The Huskers ended up out-gaining the Illini, 423-270. They also had a 203-124 rushing advantage and a 220-146 passing edge. Nebraska was 11-for-15 on third and fourth down, Illinois going just 2-for-9.

The biggest advantage, though, was in time of possession, with the Huskers more than doubling Illinois' time spent with the ball in the second half.

Newby was the biggest stat-producer of the day, rushing 27 times for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns, also adding 26 receiving yards. Armstrong threw for 220 yards and a touchdown (as well as an interception) and rushed in for the game’s first touchdown.

Wes Lunt was 13-for-22 for 133 yards for the Illini, with Reggie Corbin and Foster combining for 118 rushing yards.

The loss in their conference opener sent the Illini to 1-3 on the season. They’ve lost their last three games by a combined 113-49 score. Next up for Illinois is Purdue next weekend in Champaign.

The win kept the Huskers undefeated at a perfect 5-0, a terrific start to the season following Mike Riley’s 6-7 finish in his first year. Nebraska has a bye week next weekend before a road trip to Indiana.

Report: White Sox to replace Robin Ventura for Rick Renteria as manager

Report: White Sox to replace Robin Ventura for Rick Renteria as manager

It appears the White Sox will have a new manager in 2017 after all.

According Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox are expected to promote bench coach Rick Renteria to replace manager Robin Ventura as manager.

Last week, a report by USA Today's Bob Nightengale said that the White Sox would retain Ventura if he wanted to return, but CSNChicago.com Insider Dan Hayes reported that the White Sox had yet to determine his status for 2017.

Ventura declined to discuss his future with the White Sox amid speculation about a return.

Renteria was signed to be the White Sox bench coach for the 2016 season. His only season as manager came with a rebuilding Cubs team in 2014, going 73-89, where Joe Maddon served as his successor.

General manager Rick Hahn is scheduled to speak with the media on Monday at 11 a.m.