Word on the Street: Bears eyeing Boise State WR

Word on the Street: Bears eyeing Boise State WR

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Bears eyeing Boise State WR

The Bears will apparently be attempting to sure up their receiving corps in next month's NFL draft. According to an "NFL source," the Bears put Boise State wide receiver Austin Pettis through a private workout on Tuesday. Pettis is 6'2" and weighs in at 209 lbs, making him bigger than any of the Bears' current wide receivers with the exception of Andy Fantuz.

Last season with the Broncos, Pettis caught 71 passes for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Yang found guilty

A jury has found Marni Yang guilty of the 2007 murder of the pregnant girlfriend of ex-Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle. After an 11-day trial, jurors deliberated for only four hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Of course I have regrets, the fact that Rhoni is not here and we do not have a 3-year-old daughter, Gayle said. At least I feel Rhoni and the baby are at peace. (Chicago Tribune)

Obama fills out bracket

It's that time of year again; March Madness. And at the White house, that means it's time for President Obama to fill out his brackets. This year, Obama picked all four one-seeds to advance to the final four. The rest of his bracket will be revealed wednesday.

In the women's tournament, Obama predicted Baylor, UConn, Stanford, and Tennessee to advance to the final four. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Soccer player beaten into breaking contract?

Nikola Nikezic, a Russian soccer player, claims that he was beaten into breaking his contract with his former team in the Russian Premier League. Nikezic, who played for Kuban Krasnodar, sent a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter detailing the alleged event. He says he was beaten by two armed men over a period of about 20 minutes in an attempt to make him terminate his contract with the club. A team spokesman called the claim "pure idiocy." (USA Today)

Gavin Floyd pitches simulated game

The Chicago White Sox enjoyed an off day on Tuesday; except for Gavin Floyd. Floyd threw an 83-pitch simulated game in front of Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who said that Floyd had an "outstanding day." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

NHL cracking down on charging, boarding

The NHL, like other professional sports organizations, are looking to crack down on excessive contact in an attempt to prevent concussions. In the second day of meetings between league general managers, the league stated that it would be seeking stricter penalties for charging and boarding calls. However, they stopped short of completely banning all head shots. (NHL.com)

Morning Update: Bulls win season opener; World Series returns to Wrigley

Morning Update: Bulls win season opener; World Series returns to Wrigley

Complete Cubs-Indians World Series Game 3 coverage on CSN

Naperville North vs. Lyons Township Friday on CSN

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Dwyane Wade's 'perfect storm' makes his debut a dramatic one in Bulls' win

Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks ready for the next biggest start of his career

John Fox: 'No truth' to reports he’s done with Jay Cutler

Bulls physicality a new wrinkle from last season

How Kyle Schwarber is such a ‘baseball rat’ that Cubs used him in their draft war room

Together again: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunite on top line vs. Devils

Cubs 'can't imagine' what Wrigley Field atmosphere will be like for World Series

Bulls physicality a new wrinkle from last season

Bulls physicality a new wrinkle from last season

College teammates Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder made plans to go to dinner after Thursday’s game in Chicago but for a few short moments they weren’t just competitors but unexpected combatants, getting tangled up in the second quarter.

There looked to be some harsh words exchanged after Butler took a charge on an unsuspecting Crowder near three-quarter court, with Crowder putting the basketball in Butler’s chest while Butler was still on the floor, causing players on both teams to convene for some tense moments.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas got involved and then before Butler could blink, Bulls guard Rajon Rondo joined the proceedings, as pushing and shoving ensued before technical fouls were assessed to both teams after an officials’ review.

If one wondered whether these Bulls—a team that touts itself as young with so many players having three years or less professional experience—could play with some bark and bite, perhaps the season opener provided a bit of a positive preview for the next 81 games.

Nearby, an unbothered Dwyane Wade took a practice 3-point shot, much to the delight of the United Center crowd, as observers witnessed the first sign of tangible proof the Bulls have intentions on regaining a bit of an edge on the floor.

Wade joked and took it as a sign of respect between the two teams.

“It looked like it, right? Yeah. It was a little something out there,” said Wade when asked if there was some chippy play. “Every time we play them it’s gonna be like that. Two teams finding their way in the Eastern Conference. We know we gotta see each other a lot. They never give up. They can be down 30 with 15 seconds left and they’re still gonna fight.”

The Bulls have externally preached toughness from the start of camp. Although Wade didn’t participate in that meeting of the minds, he isn’t exactly running away from such matters.
And Rajon Rondo is competitively ornery enough to have his voice hard no matter the setting.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“It’s been a big theme of practice,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We want to play with physicality and toughness. I think it was evident on the glass tonight.”

Yes, the Bulls outrebounded the Celtics by 19, but that could’ve been a by-product of the Bulls’ crashing the offensive glass on a porous shooting night. And yes, the slightly tense moment between Butler and Crowder probably won’t be an expected occurrence.

But when’s the last time one had multiple examples to dissect to discern this team’s level of toughness—or lack thereof.

“That’s something to show that the guys are out there fighting for each other,” Hoiberg said. “That they were playing with an edge. It happens with this game. You have to be competitive.”

Competition boiled over slightly, but considering the NBA isn’t exactly UFC, one doesn’t have to do much to display a little physical resolve.

“The fact that nothing escalated was good,” Hoiberg said. “The fact that those guys are out there and playing for each other and have each other’s back, that’s a huge thing right now.”

Too many times last season, it seemed the Bulls would submit in situations like those. Not that they were particularly soft, but it didn’t appear they had the collective will to fight for one another if an altercation arose.

Half the time, they looked like they could barely stand to be in the room with each other.

“It’s people’s will to win. Not saying a bad thing about anybody from last year,” Butler said. “To tell you the truth, I study the game and put in a lot of work but Rondo studies the game a lot. Every time I’m in the gym, he’s in the gym. That lets me know, these (dudes) are going to war with you. Every day. When I hit that deck, Rondo was right there. I wanna play with guys that’s gonna play hard, that’s gonna fight.”

And it didn’t take long for Butler to realize he has at least a couple teammates willing to jump in the foxhole with him.