Word on the Street: Cubs to consider Cliff Lee?

Word on the Street: Cubs to consider Cliff Lee?

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Cliff Lee to the Cubs?

It may be unlikely, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote Friday that the Cubs could be among the three or four potential suitors for the lefty this offseason. Over the last two seasons, Lee has led two different clubs through the difficult final months of the regular season and deep into the playoffs. Sherman speculates that his success in leading the Phillies and Rangers deep into the postseason could spur more teams into the hunt for Lee this winter - including the Cubs. (NYPost)

Blackhawks recall Brophey

The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forward Evan Brophey from the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

Brophey, 23, has appeared in all six of Rockford's regular-season contests this season, scoring two goals and pacing the IceHogs with a 4 rating. Chicago's fourth selection (68th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the Kitchener, Ontario, native has registered 36 goals and 56 assists over the course of 238 career regular-season AHL tilts with Rockford from 2007-10. (sbnation.com)
NBA looks to cut salary by 800 million

Sports fans may find themselves in a strange predicament in 2011 as both the NBA and NFL seem to be heading towards lockouts. The NBA, which currently spends 2.1 billion per year on player salaries and benefits, wants to cut player salaries by around 800 million to help make the league profitable once again. The league claims it lost 400 million last year and expects to lose about 350 million this year.

"We would like to get profitable, have a return on investment," NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday. "There's a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of 750 to 800 million that we would like to change." (NY Daily News)

NFL: Favre investigation ongoing

The NFL says it is still investigating allegations that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent inappropriate photos and text messages to former New York Jets game hostess Jenn Sterger in 2008 when Favre played for the team. Sterger's manager told the Associated Press that she is "strongly considering" talking to the NFL officials conducting the investigation. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Sox's Hahn not going to New York

The New York Mets said Friday that they have narrowed their search for a new general manager to two names; Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes. White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn had previously been rumored to be a candidate for the job but is now apparently out of the running. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Briggs likely to play vs. Redskins

Though he was limited in practice on Thursday, it looks like Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs will be healthy enough to play in Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Briggs was held out of last week's game against Seattle with a sprained ankle.
(NationalFootballPost.com)

Ex-Rams WR: Martz can be too stubborn

Ex-Rams wide receiver Ricky Proehl played under Mike Martz for five years in St. Louis, including the 1999 "Greatest Show on Turf" Super Bowl championship season. Proehl, no doubt, benefited from Martz's pass-heavy offensive mindset, but as he told "The Danny Mac Show" on WSCR-AM 670, he believes Martz is sometimes too stubborn for his own good.

Proehl pointed to something Martz told the Rams during their 20-17 Super Bowl XXXVI loss to the New England Patriots.

"New England did a great job game-planning our offense and they showed blitz and dropped into zone," Proehl said. "They basically rushed three and dropped eight. His comment was, "We're going to throw the football anyway," and that kind of upset us as players." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

More ex-Hawks get their rings

Blackhawks vice president Alan Maclsacc flew to Atlanta on Friday to personally deliver Dusting Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd, John Torchetti and Ben Eager their 2009 championship rings. (Chicago.SBNation.com)

Cubs to sign Adam Dunn?

Baseball agent Matt Sosnick said in an interview that he believes the Cubs are the most likely destination for free agent outfielderfirst baseman Adam Dunn. Dunn played for the Nationals in 2010 and put up a .260 batting average with 38 homers and 103 runs batted in.

"If I was going to guess, I would say Adam Dunn is probably going to the Cubs, and he'll probably get, you know, 3 years and 40 million bucks," said Sosnick. (ChicagoNow)

Bears approaching 2016 with change in attitude

Bears approaching 2016 with change in attitude

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – When John Fox succeeded Marc Trestman as Bears coach early last year, at the top of his to-do list was changing what was a palpable losing culture that had come to hang over the organization and Halas Hall. That involved changes of personnel, practices and even to the point of placing an emphasis on winning preseason games, not simply treating them as evaluation exercises.

This year, attitude adjustment is the least of his concerns. Besides the improvements even amid a season that ended 6-10 but was within a pair of missed field goals of going past .500, the additions of critical players have brought with them exactly what Fox wants, beginning with inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, bringing a Super Bowl ring from the Denver Broncos.

“I’ve experienced a lot of new attitudes here the past few years,” said guard Kyle Long. “This is above and beyond my favorite attitude that we’ve adopted.

“People throw the word ‘culture’ around, [but] it’s just taking pride in what you’re doing. You don’t get paid to play. You get paid to win. I’ve heard John Fox say that a million times and I’m sure I’ll hear him say it 2 million times this year.”

Culture means nothing unless it translates into wins because of a collective mindset. Trevathan, linebacker Jerrell Freeman, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, offensive linemen Ted Larsen and Bobbie Massie – all came from going to the playoffs at least twice in the past four years, Freeman and Trevathan three times.

The change was particularly evident during offseason sessions when members of the defense worked at a practice level that initially irritated some on offense, with coaches even joining in the chirping.

“I’m all about attitude and hustle and just playing ball,” said Trevathan. “I don’t care what happened before. You can always make up for it, just go 100 miles per hour and have fun.

“This game is short. Your attitude carries over to the team. There’s a lot of time when a team’s down you put your head down. I hate that. Even if we’re down we’re going to fight until the end. That’s what it’s all about, having that band of brothers and that attitude and going to, I won’t say ‘war,’ but going out there and battling together.”

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One word that surfaced from multiple players during offseason sessions was “hungry.” That was not something that was heard even as recent as last season despite the change in coaches. Without that as a starting attitude, mediocrity was not surprising in recent seasons.

“I think with this group the thing that kind of stands out is just how good a group a group of guys it is, and how important football is to them,” said quarterback Jay Cutler.

“I think you look at OTAs and you look at minicamp and you saw how competitive offense and defense and even special teams were. There weren’t any days where guys were laying off of it. Every single day, guys were getting after it trying to get better, and the competition level I felt was extremely high for being in OTAs and minicamp. Whether that’s gonna translate to wins, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Bears open 2016 training camp with Pernell McPhee, two others on PUP list

Bears open 2016 training camp with Pernell McPhee, two others on PUP list

The 2015 Bears training camp began with rookie wide receiver Kevin White hampered by what would eventually become a season-ending stress fracture of his leg. The 2016 Bears will have White back in uniform but they will start training camp without one of the linchpins of their defense, placing rush-linebacker Pernell McPhee on the physically unable to perform list after he had offseason surgery on his left knee and did not participate in on-field work through final OTA’s and minicamp.

Additionally, the Bears announced that recently signed guard Amini Silatolu, coming off ACL surgery surgery, will also open camp on PUP, along with wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who injured his foot during organized team activities last month.

McPhee, the primary free-agency signing by GM Ryan Pace last offseason, was third on the Bears with six sacks but played a decreasing percentage of defensive sacks as last season wore on. He was deactivated for the St. Louis and Washington games, returned but played no more than 27 snaps in any of the final three games.

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The Bears worked to have him drop upwards of 10 pounds after playing last season at his then-customary mid-280s. That part of the program for McPhee was a success.

“He came in [at] a really good weight right now, really good shape right now,” Pace said. “We just got to acclimate himself into football activities so he’ll work with the trainers. … I know he’s been working hard over the summer so that’s very encouraging. And really in the OTAs, he wasn’t doing a lot of football stuff. He was doing stuff more on the side with our strength and conditioning coaches.”

McPhee is unlikely to play in preseason games although the Bears will not make that decision until closer to the start of games.

Bears QB Jay Cutler: 'You can't' replace Matt Forte

Bears QB Jay Cutler: 'You can't' replace Matt Forte

Jay Cutler spent his first seven seasons in Chicago with Matt Forte lined up behind him, but his eighth one will be a little bit different.

The 33-year-old quarterback reported to training camp in Bourbonnais on Wednesday knowing Forte isn't on his side anymore and knows it will take a collective effort to help ease the loss of a two-time Pro Bowler.

"You can't," Cutler responded when asked how you replace Forte. "Just his knowledge and him being here for so long and experience on the field, experience playing with me. Most times I didn't have to tell him something, I just look at him and he knew exactly what I was thinking, so you can't replace him.

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"We've got a good group of young backs that we're going to develop and we're going to put as much time as we can into those guys, and they'll get there. It's a good group, it's a talented group, so we're still excited about what we have."

With the departure of Forte, Cutler knows he's become one of the most experienced players on the team, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

"I was looking at the roster weeks ago and I feel like there's been a major shift in experience, especially on the offensive side," Cutler said. "I'm at 11 (seasons in the NFL) and then you look down, there's a couple 9s, a couple 8s and then mostly it's five and under, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

"I think a new town, new guys in the building is new energy, new attitude, so I've embraced it, I've enjoyed it. I think the coaching staff has done a great job of getting all these young guys up to speed. It's a good group right now."

Check out the video of Cutler's interview from training camp above.