Word on the Street: Granger calls Noah 'dirty player'

Word on the Street: Granger calls Noah 'dirty player'

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Granger calls Noah a 'dirty player'

Danny Granger was ready to get into it with Joakim Noah after the Bulls finished off the Pacers on Tuesday night. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau intervened and told Granger to cool off.

Then Granger turned his attention to the media and didn't hold back on his feelings towards Joakim Noah.

"Joakim Noah, he's a dirty player," Granger said. Honestly. He elbowed two of my power forwards. One got kicked out. The other got a tech and nothings called on him. I dont think theres a place in the game for it."

Noah didn't spend too much time worrying about Granger's complaint.

I play dirty? Noah said. OK. Im just trying to win basketball games, man. Its the name of the game." (Daily Herald)

Thrashers heading to Winnipeg?

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said he believes the Coyotes will end up staying in Glendale. He said because of contractual and financial obligations the Coyotes have to Arizona, the team wouldn't be able to make the move to Manitoba.

But the people of Winnipeg should not have to worry about missing out on an NHL team relocating to their city: the Atlanta Thrashers, who are also for sale, are a possibility to acquire and move to Manitoba.

The clock is ticking on the deal between Winnipeg buyers, the NHL (which currently owns the Coyotes, and the city of Glendale. (Phoenix Business Journal)
Is Tyler Colvin being demoted?

Well, not officially, but it is looking more and more like Tyler Colvin could be demoted to AAA Iowa.

Colvin has struggled (.128.196.319) during his split time with Kosuke Fukudome (.458.552.479) and has been pushed to the back of the bench. The young fielder has only started one of the last ten games.

Could Mike Quade be transitioning Colvin from the majors to the minors? We'll just have to wait and see. (Cubs Billy Goat Blog)

Bulls unveil new license plate

Joining the likes of the Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks, the Chicago Bulls are the latest team to offer fans the opportunity to support their team with an Illinois license plate. Sec. of State Jesse White and the Bulls unveiled the new Bulls permanent plate.

The plate is striped black and red, and features the Bulls logo. Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and team president Michael Reinsdorf joined White in unveiling the plate at the Thompson Center. (My Fox Chicago)

Bears' Dent owes IRS over 1 mil

The IRS has filed a more than 1.1 million tax lien against Chicago Bears great Richard Dent for failing to pay federal taxes. According to public records, DeKalb County Superior Court in Georgia filed a 1,160,056 tax lien against Dent about one month after Dent was elected for Pro Football's Hall of Fame.

Dent is heading to the NFL Draft on Friday as he is scheduled to be the Bears' guest representative for their second-round pick. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Canucks fans fail at burning Blackhawks jersey

After the Blackhawks heartbreaking loss to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime on Tuesday, Canucks fans took to the streets to celebrate the victory. Among the fans, a group decided to torch a Chicago jersey in celebration.

They had a bit of a tough time igniting the Blackhawks sweater, so eventually they decided to just jump on it. Classy celebration, indeed.

You can watch the 'celebration' below:

(Vancouver Sun)

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Five Things to Watch: Bulls in Detroit for fourth game in five nights on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Coyotes tonight on CSN+

Despite Chris Sale rumors, White Sox say they have contingencies in place for a rebuild

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

Slow start to fourth dooms Bulls in loss to Blazers

Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knows 'it will be very hard to trade' Chris Sale

Cubs: The next steps for Kyle Schwarber

Rajon Rondo used foul language with Bulls assistant coaches following loss to Mavs

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Living well is indeed the best revenge, and sometimes nothing feels sweeter than proving doubters wrong. Akiem Hicks is savoring that exact feeling.

When the New Orleans Saints made Hicks their third-round pick in the 2013 draft, they typecast their big (6-5, 318 pounds) young defensive lineman as a one-trick pony.

“There were people in New Orleans that said, ‘You can’t rush the passer,’” Hicks recalled after the Bears’ win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. “They told me from my rookie year, ‘You’re going to be a run-stopper.’”

This despite Hicks collecting 6.5 sacks and 3 pass breakups as a senior at Regina in Canada. The Saints forced Hicks into the slot they’d decided he fit – nose tackle – then eventually grew disenchanted with him and traded him to New England last year – where he collect 3 sacks in spot duty.

Interestingly, Bears GM Ryan Pace was part of the Saints’ personnel operation. Whether Pace agreed with coaches’ handling of Hicks then isn’t known, but when Pace had the chance to bring Hicks to Chicago for a role different than the one the Saints forced Hicks into, Pace made it happen.

Pace likely saw those New England sacks as a foreshadowing or a sign that the New Orleans staff had miscast Hicks. The Bears defensive end now is under consideration for NFC defensive player of the week after his 10-tackle performance against San Francisco. Signing with the Bears last March 13 as a free agent was the career break Hicks has craved. For him it was a career lifeline.

“They have given me the ability to go rush the passer,” Hicks said. “So I love this organization – [GM] Ryan Pace, coach Fox, Vic [Fangio, defensive coordinator] – for just giving a guy the capability to put it out there and do what you feel like you can do.”

[MORE BEARS: Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved]

Hicks has been showing what he can do, to quarterbacks. For him the best part of win over the 49ers was the two third-quarter sacks of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Those sacks gave the massive lineman, who the Saints said couldn’t rush the passer, 6 sacks for the season – more than any member of the Saints defense this season. It has been a classic instance of putting a player in position to maximize his skills, not jam someone into a bad fit.

“Akiem has been in a couple of different types of packages before with New Orleans and New England,” said coach John Fox. The Patriots switched from a long-time 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 but “we’re more of a New England-type style. But we’re playing him more at end; he played mostly a nose tackle [in New Orleans]. He’s fit really well for us as far as his physical stature.

"But he does have pass rush ability. It shows a little about his athleticism. So he’s got a combination of both.”

That “combination” has been allowed to flourish at a new level, and the Bears’ plan for Hicks was the foundation of why he wanted to sign in Chicago as a free agent. The Bears do not play their defensive linemen in a clear one-gap, get-upfield-fast scheme tailored to speed players. Nor do they play a classic two-gap, linemen-control-blockers scheme typically built on three massive space-eaters on the defensive line.

They play what one player has called a “gap and a half” system, which requires being stout as well as nimble.

One Hicks rush on Kaepernick featured a deft spin move out of a block, not the norm for 336-pound linemen. He got one sack with a quick slide out of a double-team.

“I’m not freelancing,” Hicks said. “But I’m rushing ‘fast.’ There’s a portion of the defense where you have the [run] responsibility and don’t have the freedom or liberty [to rush]. It’s a great system for me and I love what they’ve let me do.”