Word: Bears denied entry to Halas Hall

Word: Bears denied entry to Halas Hall

Thursday, April 28, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Olsen, Gould denied entry to weight room

The NFL Lockout has been officially lifted, but some Bears players who have made an effort to get back to work have been denied entry to the Halas Hall weight room. Greg Olson, Robbie Gould and Kahlil Bell were among the players who attempted to work out at Halas Hall on Thursday morning, but were disallowed from entering the weight room.

"Pretty much all you could do is walk in, walk around, and walk out," Bell said. "I didn't see any of the coaches. Just the training staff and the strength coach."

"I mean, it's been a long time, and we've never spent this much time apart," Bell said of not being able to work out with his teammates. "I was figuring everything would be cool. But I guess that's not happening." (Chicago Tribune)

NFL tells teams to lift lockout

Hours after news broke that Greg Olsen, Robbie Gould and Kahlil Bell were denied entry to the Halas Hall weight room, the NFL has told teams to begin allowing players to resume football operations on Friday morning. The league is also releasing detailed guidelines for teams to follow in regards to signing and trading players. (The Pueblo Chieftain)

Cavallari shows off ring

Kristin Cavallari, reality TV star and fiance of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, was caught wearing her new engagement ring. TMZ posted the photos on their website, which were apparently taken on Wednesday in Los Angeles. (TMZ.com)

Sox to unveil "Harrelson Level"
The Chicago White Sox will unveil a plaque commemorating the "Hawk Harrelson Broadcast Level" at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday before the Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles. Hawk is in his 26th season as the Sox television announcer, including 22 consecutive seasons. Jerry Reinsdorf and radio play-by-play announcer Ed Farmer will attend the event. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Former Gov. takes over sports facilities agency

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, who own and operate U.S. Cellular Field, terminated the contract of long time executive director Perri Irmer on Wednesday. Former Republican Gov. James Thompson will fill the position until a replacement is found. According to Thompson, this was a move that had been planned for some time and that Irmer had been working under a month-to-month agreement since she signed her last contract. (Clout Street - Chicago Tribune Blog)

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Insert title of this "Bowl" game here...

Two teams. Three wins combined. December. So much for holiday cheer. The snow may provide a certain Christmas element on the lakefront Sunday. But something different has to happen for the Bears defensively. In their spirit of giving, the 49ers have allowed a league-high 76 points off their turnovers. Problem is, the Bears have just eight of them in eleven games. If that San Francisco generosity doesn't change – either by Vic Fangio's defense finally making plays despite the core of their defense missing, or by the visitors finding a way to protect the ball in those conditions after practicing in Orlando all week – it's a golden chance for the Bears to gain a smidge of momentum before becoming a factor in the division race (because they face all three other NFC North contenders in their final four games).

1. Read zone read

Colin Kaepernick has grown much more comfortable with time in Chip Kelly's offense. He had the Dolphins hanging on for dear life until the clock struck zero last week. He became just the sixth quarterback in league history to pass for three touchdowns in a game while rushing for over 100 (no, Bobby Douglass isn't one). The challenge becomes greater minus the talented inside linebacker tandem of Danny Trevathan (injury) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). It becomes even greater if Leonard Floyd's quickness and speed is taken away as a shadowing option as he recovers from being carried off the field on a flat board two weeks ago. He's listed as questionable. So that makes it imperative for inside replacements John Timu and Nick Kwiatkowski to find a way to be instinctive while remaining disciplined enough to contain the league's best rushing quarterback by yards per attempt (8.1).

2. Don't stray from the run

Give this Niners defense without NoVorro Bowman and Eric Reid enough opportunities to be gashed, and they'll let you. Too many times the pregame formula has been for Jordan Howard to get the ball, only to find reasons not to – whether it's looking at the clock while trailing by double digits, too much traffic at the line of scrimmage or panic after injuries up front (to name a few). The 172 rushing yards per game allowed by San Francisco is the worst in eight years (Detroit).  Howard's 5.14 average gain per attempt is fifth in the NFL. Enough said.

3. Catch the ball!!!

Okay, Marquess, Josh and Deonte. Okay, Cam, Jordan and Jeremy. Okay Daniel (and/or Eddie?). We know conditions might be a little slick if it's snowing/sleeting/raining. You're supposed to be among the best in the world at what you do, even if you're down the original depth chart. Can you get your mitts on the football and hang on to it this week? Help your guy Matt out a little bit? After all, if you cut last week's nightmare in half, and maybe you're shooting for (oooh!) a fourth win Sunday, not a third.

Get set for Sunday's noon kickoff at 11 a.m. on CSN as ex-Bears Jim Miller, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Chris on "Bears Preagme Live." Then as soon as the second quarter ends, come back here to CSNChicago.com, where Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments. And finally, when the game goes final on Fox, switch immediately back to CSN as Chris and the three former Bears give you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live."

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

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USA TODAY

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

Things are not going too well in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes saw their losing streak stretch to four games Saturday with an upsetting 98-89 home loss to Omaha.

Iowa has been a high-scoring team this season, entering the weekend with the Big Ten's No. 2 scoring offense at 85.6 points a game, but it's also been the league's worst defensive team, allowing an average of 85 points a game. And that's before the Mavericks nearly hit the century mark on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes were out-rebounded, including a big advantage for the Mavericks on the offensive boards, where they turned 19 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. Omaha's bench outscored Iowa's bench, 37-9, and the Mavericks had a 40-26 scoring edge in the paint.

Trailing by six after allowing 53 first-half points, the Hawkeyes led for just 18 seconds over the game's final 21-plus minutes.

Peter Jok, the Big Ten's leading scorer, poured in 33 points in this one, though efficiency was not his strong suit, going 8-for-21 from the field. He added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Iowa's losing streak stands at four, the loss to Omaha linking with losses to Virginia, Memphis and Notre Dame. In the last three games, the Hawkeyes have surrendered an average of 96.7 points. In four of their five losses on the season — the heretofore unmentioned one coming against Seton Hall — opponents have scored at least 91 points.

The Hawkeyes' only wins this season have come against Kennesaw State, Savannah State and Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

Iowa has five more non-conference games — including a date with ranked in-state rival Iowa State — prior to the start of Big Ten play at the end of the month.