Teague takes small step in win over hometown team

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Teague takes small step in win over hometown team

SOUTH BEND, IND. Back in his home state for the first time as a professional, Bulls rookie point guard Marquis Teague felt the pressure to perform.

With starter Kirk Hinrich sidelined, Nate Robinson filled in, meaning that Teague was the second-stringer for the evening.

In the second quarter, the Indianapolis native got his chance and while the numbers werent spectacular 0-for-1 shooting, a turnover and an assist apiece he looked remarkably improved from his previous exhibition outings.

Before the contest, the Bulls coaching staff was privately encouraged by Teagues development in practice and although he hadnt previously had a chance to play extended minutes, head coach Tom Thibodeau was an ardent defender of the first-round picks progress and afterwards, he voiced his satisfaction.

I thought Marquis played very well. In the second quarter, he was aggressive. I thought he got fouled on a full-court drive to the rim, didnt get the call, still stayed aggressive, so thats a good sign, Thibodeau said. I thought defensively, it was much better and thats all I want him to concentrate on, is his improvement. Learn, improve, come in the next day, improve some more.

As for Teague himself, the University of Kentucky product was quietly confident about how he made out.

I felt pretty good. I just want to play aggressive, run the offense and play good defense, he told CSNChicago.com. They just told me when I see the gaps, take them, be aggressive, so when they told me to be aggressive, it made me a lot more comfortable. Im just trying to play my game.

It didnt hurt that he had several well-wishers in attendance.

Oh yeah, always. When I come home, my familys here, everybody, friends, so I want to play better, Teague, who said he didnt grow up a Pacers fan, but acknowledged being a supporter of the NFLs Colts, admitted. I had a lot of people. Every time I play in Indianapolis or Indiana, Im going to have a lot of friends and family here.

Preview: Chris Sale starts for White Sox against Rays tonight on CSN+

Preview: Chris Sale starts for White Sox against Rays tonight on CSN+

The White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (16-9, 3.19 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (1-1, 6.16 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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Bears In-Foe: Can this offense expose two key Lions injuries?

Bears In-Foe: Can this offense expose two key Lions injuries?

Coming off two long fourth quarter drives by the Titans the week before that cost them their home opener, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers kept Detroit's defense in the dumps Sunday, shredding the Lions for 31 first-half points.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has been tasked with replacing the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, and Stephen Tulloch over the last couple of years, and having to Band-Aid the unit from key injuries. One was game-changing linebacker DeAndre Levy, who played just 17 snaps all of 2015 after signing a $20 million extension. Austin, who's had nine head coaching interviews the past two off-seasons, had to be welcoming Levy back with open arms. Then he suffered a quad injury in the Titans game, sat out versus the Packers, and his status will be one to watch this week.

Then there's Ziggy Ansah, the fifth overall pick from 2013 who's only in his sixth year of even playing football.  His 14.5 sacks last season gave him 30 in 46 career games and made him the new centerpiece of the defense. But the Ghana native sustained a high ankle sprain in that same game against the Titans and is not expected to be ready for Sunday's noon date on the lakefront.

Who could possibly pick up some of that pass rush slack? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Kerry Hyder.

Who?

The undrafted free agent spent 2014 on the Jets' practice squad, then moved to the Lions last year. He almost seemed destined to spend another year on The Squad before he finished the preseason strong. The door opened, and the 6-foot-2, 270-pound end has four sacks so far. Tackle Haloti Ngata, who is 32 years old, struggled with injuries after coming over to help replace Suh, but finished strong, and has started well. Second-round pick A'Shaun Robinson rotates in after the Alabama product was passed over by the Bears.

[MORE BEARS IN-FOE: From Megatron to MegaMarv?]

Levy's injury left the Lions with only four linebackers at Lambeau after one promotion from the practice squad. Speedy, physical Tahir Whitehead took over for the now-departed Tulloch in the middle and earned his way into the starting lineup the last couple of years. Austin has given the other starting spot to Kyle Van Noy in a last-ditch attempt to prove spending a second-round pick on him in 2014 wasn't a mistake.

The secondary includes a stud corner and safety. Darius Slay (2013 second round) has turned into their shutdown guy and signed a four-year, $48 million extension in July. Nevin Lawson is just 5-9 but plays physical and fast opposite Slay - and was called for a 66-yard (!) pass interference penalty Sunday. Free safety Glover Quin's interception has the defense's lone takeaway this season and is one of the game's best. The team invested a fourth-round pick on heavy-hitting Miles Kinnebrew, and injury-prone Rafael Bush in free agency. But former Illini Tavon Wilson was signed away from the Patriots and held down the strong side before departing Sunday's loss with a neck injury.

Special teams

The Lions' coverage teams are top ten in both punts and kickoffs. The loss of Ameer Abdullah to his foot injury will affect the return game firepower, with backup wideout Andre Roberts filling in. Kicker Matt Prater is 5-for-6 on field goals thus far after being fifth in accuracy last year, including a 59-yarder versus the Bears at Soldier Field in last year's season finale.