Bears legend/eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Urlacher to be featured in new weekly Bears show beginning Thursday, September 15
Former Bears defensive end standout Brown to join network’s “Bears Pre/Postgame Live” coverage team beginning this season
COMCAST SPORTSNET ALSO ANNOUNCES ITS COMPREHENSIVE ON-AIR/DIGITAL 2016 CHICAGO BEARS/NFL SEASON COVERAGE LINE-UP
“Pro Football Weekly” (Season Premiere): Friday, September 2 at 5:00 PM
“United Bears Recap” (Season Premiere): Monday, September 5 at 7:00 PM
“Bears Huddle presented by Verizon” (Season Premiere): Wednesday, September 7 at 4:30 PM
“Bears Blitz presented by XFINITY” (Season Premiere): Thursday, September 8 at 4:30 PM
“3 and Out” (Season Premiere): Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30 PM on CSN+
“Real Fantasy” (Season Premiere): Friday, September 9 at 4:30 PM
“BEARS PREGAME LIVE presented by Meijer” (Season Premiere): Sunday, September 11 at 11:00 AM
“BEARS HALFTIME LIVE presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois” (Live stream Season Premiere): Sunday, September 11
“BEARS POSTGAME LIVE presented by State Farm” (Season Premiere): Sunday, September 11 at 3:00 PM
“SportsNet Central: Inside the Huddle w/Dave Wannstedt, presented by Ankin Law” (Season Premiere): Sunday, September 11 at 10:30 PM
RETURN: “The Lance Briggs Show (Season Premiere): Tuesday, September 13 at 11:00 PM
NEW: “The Hard Count with Brian Urlacher, presented by RESTORE” (Season Premiere): Thursday, September 15 at 10:30 PM
“Chicago Huddle” (Season Premiere): Friday, September 16 at 11:30 PM
CSNChicago.com to deliver 24/7 Bears coverage all season long featuring Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin
Details on new “Bears Classics” specials coming soon
Chicago, IL (August 30, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the regional home for the most comprehensive on-air and digital coverage of the Chicago Bears, has announced Bears legend/eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker BRIAN URLACHER, along with former Bears defensive end standout ALEX BROWN, will be joining CSN as part of the network’s massive line-up of Bears programming for the 2016 NFL season.
Urlacher, who spent all 13 seasons of his storied career in a Bears uniform, which earned him numerous honors including NFC Defensive Player of the Year and eight Pro Bowl nods, will be featured in a brand new weekly Bears show this season entitled The Hard Count with Brian Urlacher, presented by RESTORE airing Thursday nights at 10:30 PM beginning September 15. Urlacher will be joined by host Mark Schanowski and fellow analysts, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller and former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt, to discuss the team’s next game and break down the match-up from a defensive, offensive, and head coaching standpoint.
Brown, who spent eight of his nine NFL seasons with the Bears amassing a career total of 45.5 sacks, joins CSN’s signature Bears game day coverage as a studio analyst on BEARS PREGAME LIVE presented by Meijer and BEARS POSTGAME LIVE presented by State Farm, beginning with the team’s 2016 NFL season opener on Sunday, September 11 against the Houston Texas.
“We couldn’t be more pleased and excited to have two enormously popular and well-respected former Bears join our team beginning this season,” said Kevin Cross, Comcast SportsNet Chicago Senior Director of News & Original Content. “The addition of Brian and Alex to our overall Bears coverage team, featuring numerous NFL experts, once again showcases our year-round commitment and desire to deliver the most comprehensive coverage of the Bears to our viewing audience.”
In addition, Comcast SportsNet Chicago has also announced its complete on-air/online line-up of Bears and additional pro football related programming/coverage for the upcoming season. Please note the following on-air and online details:
BEARS GAME DAY PROGRAMMING…
BEARS PREGAME LIVE presented by Meijer – Beginning Sunday, September 11 prior to the Chicago Bears 2016 NFL season opener against the Houston Texans at 11:00 AM CT, Comcast SportsNet kicks off its Bears game day coverage with Bears Pregame Live presented by Meijer. Now in its fourth season, this one-hour pre-game show – the ONLY live, local Bears pre-game show on Chicago television – provides fans with the very latest game day news, player updates, a detailed X’s and O’s game preview breakdown and analysis, along with numerous on-field pre-game reports. Bears Pregame Live is hosted by Chris Boden featuring expert analysis from former Bears linebacker/seven-time Pro Bowler Lance Briggs, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, the new addition of former Bears defensive end standout Alex Brown and CSNChicago.com Bears “Insider” John “Moon” Mullin. Plus, SportsNet Central’s Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis will provide additional pre-game coverage from the field with up-to-the-minute game day information.
BEARS HALFTIME LIVE presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois – Also returning for its fourth season, debuting Sunday, September 11, will be Bears Halftime Live, a special “live-stream” exclusive that fans can view on CSNChicago.com & ChicagoBears.com. Bears Halftime Live features Boden and Miller, who will breakdown the first half of every game focusing on the key plays/game moments that had the greatest impact during the first 30 minutes of action, along with their thoughts on precisely what the Bears need to focus on for the remainder of each contest.
BEARS POST GAME LIVE presented by State Farm – Immediately following the Bears-Texans NFL season opener on Sunday, September 11 (approx. 3:00 PM on CSN), Bears Postgame Live presented by State Farm returns as THE destination for fans to hear from the experts who played the game, along with their always-entertaining, no-holds-barred take on the day’s events. Bears Postgame Live presented by State Farm is a 90-minute post-game show hosted by Boden and features detailed post-game analysis from Briggs, Miller & Brown. In addition to the spirited banter from the stars of the show, Bears Postgame Live also showcases the live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams. Lewis & Mullin will also provide immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room. Bears Postgame Live presented by State Farm can be seen on Comcast SportsNet following every Bears game this season with replays airing regularly throughout the season on Sunday nights and Monday afternoons.
WEEKLY BEARS/NFL PROGRAMMING…
UNITED BEARS RECAP – Comcast SportsNet is the place for Bears fans to watch the official team press conference featuring head coach John Fox. Hosted by Boden and former Bears offensive lineman/veteran Chicago sports personality Dan Jiggetts, United Bears Recap will go to Halas Hall each week to hear from the Bears head coach, along with additional Bears players/coaches. The show will also air game highlights and viewers can also look forward to additional United Bears Recap content on CSNChicago.com. The one-hour United Bears Recap makes its 2016 debut on Monday, September 5 at 7:00 PM with a special “season preview” edition with weekly premiere airing to take place on Mondays at 4:30 PM throughout the entire Bears season.
BEARS HUDDLE presented by Verizon – Every Wednesday at 4:30 PM beginning September 7, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with a preview of the team’s next opponent on Bears Huddle. This one-hour show, hosted by Boden and Jiggetts, features weekly interviews with Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Additional content via team updates and interviews will be provided by Lewis and Mullin. To go along with numerous game highlights, Bears Huddle will also provide a multitude of key stats for all categories and will feature in-depth player match-up analysis for every upcoming game. Fans can also interact with the show on Twitter by utilizing the hashtag #BearsTalk.
BEARS BLITZ presented by XFINITY – Every Thursday at 4:30 PM beginning September 8, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with even more in-depth game previews and analysis on Bears Blitz. This one-hour show also features the same talent line-up and similar show format as presented in Bears Huddle and will include interviews with Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and additional Bears players. Fans can once again interact with the show on Twitter by utilizing the hashtag #BearsTalk.
THE HARD COUNT with BRIAN URLACHER, presented by RESTORE – CSN proudly presents the network on-air debut of one of the most popular players in Bears history as The Hard Count with Brian Urlacher, presented by RESTORE premieres on Thursday, September 15 at 10:30 PM. Featuring the eight-time Chicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker and former NFC Defensive Player of the Year, Urlacher will be joined each week by host Mark Schanowski and additional panelists, which include former Bears standout QB/Bears Pre-Post Game Live analyst Jim Miller and former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt. This new, weekly, half-hour program provides fans with a complete preview of the Bears’ next game, featuring the prospective from a defensive (Urlacher), offensive (Miller), and coaching (Wannstedt) standpoint. Highlighted segments from the show include a social media fan interactive segment with select questions to be answered by Urlacher and the crew, along with additional special feature segments. Weekly premiere airings of The Hard Count with Brian Urlacher, presented by RESTORE will take place regularly on Thursday nights at 10:30 PM.
THE LANCE BRIGGS SHOW – Bears fans can also look forward to the return of The Lance Briggs Show, featuring host Pat Boyle and seven-time Chicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs. This half-hour program provides fans with a complete preview of the Bears’ next game, including a discussion about all the key plays from the team’s previous contest. Highlighted segments from the show include a social media fan interactive segment with select questions to be answered by Briggs, along with the popular, two-minute “Hurry Up” segment with Boyle firing off a multitude of questions to Briggs. The season premiere of The Lance Briggs Show on Comcast SportsNet airs Tuesday, September 13 at 11:00 PM. Weekly premiere airings will take place regularly on Tuesday nights at 11:00 PM with repeats to be shown at varied times on Wednesday afternoons.
SPORTSNET CENTRAL: INSIDE THE HUDDLE (featuring Dave Wannstedt) presented by Ankin Law – Debuting Sunday, September 11 at 10:30 PM and airing every Sunday night at 10:30 PM during the Bears/NFL season, SportsNet Central: Inside the Huddle presented by Ankin Law features the in-studio appearance of NFL expert/former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt, who will discuss the day’s game in detail and offer his thoughts on what the Bears did right or wrong in that particular’s day’s game. Plus, the half-hour show will showcase full NFL highlights from all the day’s key match-ups. In addition, all season long, SportsNet Central’s team of anchors and reporters will provide the very latest Bears/NFL updates nightly at 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM, 10:30 PM and midnight.
PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY – Entering its 29th season on television, Pro Football Weekly is a half-hour program hosted by SportsNet Central’s Pat Boyle and features an expert panel led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Hampton, NFL expert/former Bears head coach Dave Wannstedt and PFW founder Hub Arkush. The program’s in-depth preview analysis and unique format make the show a preferred vehicle for football fans desiring the most thorough coverage of the NFL. This hard-hitting program features the latest NFL news reports, opinions and insider information. Pro Football Weekly makes its regular season premiere on Friday, September 2 at 5:00 PM with regular weekly debuts airing on Fridays at 4:30 PM while replays can be seen Saturday afternoons/evenings at varied times and Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM.
3 AND OUT – Debuting Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30 PM on CSN+, NBC Sports Regional Networks’ football analysis and debate program 3 and Out returns for its fourth season on CSN Chicago, which will also air on Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks across the country. Hosted by CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Chick Hernandez, this fast-paced, weekly 30-minute program features hard-hitting opinions via CSN New England host of “Felger & Maz” Michael Felger, along with former Pro Bowlers Brian Mitchell and Bill Romanowski. For specific weekly air times, fan can check their local listings or visit CSNChicago.com for weekly scheduled airings.
REAL FANTASY – CSN is known for its award winning NFL analysis. Now, drawing on their unprecedented local inside access and nationwide via NBC Sports Group resources, CSN brings you the information you need to win your Fantasy Football league with Real Fantasy. Debuting Friday, September 9 at 4:30 PM, Sebastian Salazar of CSN Mid Atlantic, Josh Norris of Rotoworld and Kay Adams of NFL Network draw on CSN and NBC personnel & perspective to bring you information beyond stats and depth charts, letting you know who to sit and who to play, who to keep and who to trade, AND how to WIN week in and week out. Real Fantasy will air on Friday afternoons throughout the NFL season at varied times; viewers are urged to check their local listings or visit CSNChicago.com for weekly scheduled airings.
CHICAGO HUDDLE – Back for its fourth season on Comcast SportsNet, Chicago Huddle is hosted by former Bears longsnapper/17-year NFL veteran Patrick Mannelly, who will be joined each week by Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman, defensive back Tracy Porter, along with special appearances from other Bears standouts during the season. Taped at Chili’s in Vernon Hills, Chicago Huddle provides fans with an in-depth, weekly Bears review/preview/interview show throughout the entire 2016 campaign. The season premiere airs on Friday, September 16 at 11:30 PM with replay airings at varied times on Saturdays, along with Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM.
SPORTSTALK LIVE presented by The Chevy Silverado – Comcast SportsNet sets the table with lively sports talk every Monday through Friday night at 5:30 PM on SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado. Throughout the 2016 NFL season, SportsTalk Live host David Kaplan and a panel of local pro football experts (including former Bears longsnapper Patrick Mannelly every Monday), along with guests from local sports talk radio and national media, will breakdown the games and preview the match-ups that lie ahead for the Bears and other key games from around the NFL. In addition, SportsTalk Live will also feature a number of special guests from the world of football all season long, including appearances from players, coaches, celebrities and many more.
CSNCHICAGO.COM – Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 24/7 Bears and NFL coverage all season long via its “Bears Talk” platform featuring the following digital and social media highlights this season:
- Bears Pulse – a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Plus, “Bears Pulse” aggregates all Bears player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #BearsTalk.
- John “Moon” Mullin – CSNChicago.com’s resident Bears “Insider” returns for his eighth season on the beat. Fans can follow Mullin at Twitter @CSNMoonMullin for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7. Mullin will also file daily stories/video reports, which include his popular “View from the Moon” segments, and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on Bears Pre/Postgame Live, SportsTalk Live and SportsNet Central.
- CSNChicago.com digital BearsTalk contributor Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) and Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) will also be providing game day reports, analysis and features.
- BearsTalk, presented by Max Madsen – CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bears news section featuring original commentary, news reports, trades and rumor via contributions from Mullin, Boden, Lewis, and other in-house experts as they lend their knowledge and expertise to the latest happenings in the NFC North, as well as league-wide. BearsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk and BearsTalk, which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
- Facebook – Facebook Live “Bears Warm-up” – A half-hour prior to every edition of Bears Pregame Live, host Chris Boden, along with analysts Alex Brown and Jim Miller, will hold a special Facebook Live segment on CSN Chicago’s official Facebook page: Facebook.com/CSNChicago. Bears fans will have an opportunity to have their questions answered by submitting their game day inquiries via the “comments” section on the live stream.
- Twitter – Bears Talk (@CSNBears) is THE Twitter source for Bears breaking news, updates, rumors, trade and much more 24/7. Fans are encouraged to use #BearsTalk to voice their opinions and interact with CSN reporters and analysts. Additional must-follow Twitter handles include @CSNBoden (Chris Boden), @CSNkiplewis (Kip Lewis), @15miller (Jim Miller), Alex Brown (@alexbrown96) and @LanceBriggs (Lance Briggs).
- CSNChicago.com’s Bears content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.
In addition, Comcast SportsNet will be airing four, brand new BEARS CLASSICS documentaries this fall/winter. More specific details and air dates for these specials will be announced separately in the coming weeks.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — We’ve finally reached game week after a long offseason, and with that, Notre Dame released its first unofficial two-deep depth chart of 2016 on Tuesday. A few notes and observations from it:
— Sixth-year graduate student Avery Sebastian is listed as Notre Dame’s starting free safety over freshman Devin Studstill. “Sebastian's had a good camp,” coach Brian Kelly said. “He's been really rock solid.” Kelly sees Sebastian as someone who won’t be prone to mistakes, and he’ll replace dismissed senior Max Redfield even though the more natural in-the-box safety will be playing out of position.
— Junior Andrew Trumbetti jumped ahead of redshirt sophomore Jay Hayes after Hayes missed a few days of practice due to a high ankle sprain. Hayes had taken most of Notre Dame’s first team reps at weakside defensive end since the end of spring practice, but Kelly said “being out five or six days in a very competitive situation gave Andrew just enough opportunity to take more reps and put himself in a really good position.”
— Three of the four players who were arrested earlier this month but not suspended (RB Dexter Williams, WR Kevin Stepherson, LB Te’von Coney) appeared on the depth chart. Williams will split No. 1 kick return duties with receiver C.J. Sanders, while Stepherson is Torii Hunter’s backup and Coney will be behind Nyles Morgan at Mike linebacker (Kelly said Coney, a natural Will linebacker, has been cross-training at Mike). Ashton White didn’t earn a No. 2 cornerback nod, with those going to sophomore Nick Coleman and freshman Julian Love. All four players are expected to play this Sunday against Texas.
— There weren’t any surprises on the offensive two-deep. As expected, the No. 1 QB is listed as DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire, while top running back duties will be split between Tarean Folston and Josh Adams.
— There are five true freshmen on the defensive two deep: weakside defensive end Daelin Hayes, Sam (outside) linebacker Jamir Jones, cornerback Julian Love, strong safety Jalen Elliott and free safety Devin Studstill. Expect more than just those five freshmen to see snaps this year, too (for example, Kelly said freshman defensive end Julian Okwara will travel with the team to Texas) which underscores how young a lot of Notre Dame’s defensive depth will be this fall.
Notre Dame’s full depth chart is below (players with "OR" are listed in alphabetical order)
1. DeShone Kizer (RS sophomore) OR Malik Zaire (RS junior)
1. Josh Adams (sophomore) OR Tarean Folston (RS junior)
W (Boundary) receiver
1. Equanimeous St. Brown (sophomore)
2. Miles Boykin (RS freshman)
Z (Slot) receiver
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore)
2. Corey Holmes (RS sophomore)
X (Field) receiver
1. Torii Hunter Jr. (RS junior)
2. Kevin Stepherson (freshman)
1. Mike McGlinchey (RS junior)
2. Hunter Bivin (RS junior)
1. Quenton Nelson (RS sophomore)
2. Trevor Ruhland (RS freshman)
1. Sam Mustipher (RS sophomore)
2. Mark Harrell (Graduate student)
1. Colin McGovern (RS junior)
2. Tristen Hoge (RS freshman)
1. Alex Bars (RS sophomore)
2. Tommy Kraemer (freshman)
Weakside defensive end
1. Andrew Trumbetti (junior)
2. Jay Hayes (RS junior) OR Daelin Hayes (freshman)
Strongside defensive end
1. Isaac Rochell (senior)
2. Jonathan Bonner (RS sophomore)
1. Daniel Cage (junior) OR Jarron Jones (Graduate student)
1. Jerry Tillery (sophomore)
2. Elijah Taylor (RS freshman)
Sam (outside) linebacker
1. James Onwualu (senior)
2. Jamir Jones (freshman)
Will (inside) linebacker
1. Greer Martini (junior)
2. Asmar Bilal (RS freshman)
Mike (middle) linebacker
1. Nyles Morgan (junior)
2. Te’von Coney (sophomore)
1. Shaun Crawford (RS freshman)
2. Nick Coleman (sophomore)
1. Cole Luke (senior)
2. Julian Love (freshman)
1. Drue Tranquill (junior)
2. Jalen Elliott (freshman)
1. Avery Sebastian (6th-year graduate student)
2. Devin Studstill (freshman)
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore) OR Dexter Williams (sophomore)
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore)
2. Chris Finke (RS freshman)
1. Montgomery VanGorder (RS sophomore)
2. DeShone Kizer (RS sophomore)
1. Justin Yoon (sophomore)
2. Tyler Newsome (RS sophomore)
1. Tyler Newsmen (RS sophomore)
2. Jeff Riney (RS freshman)
1. Scott Daly (graduate student)
2. John Shannon (freshman)
1. Tyler Newsome (RS sophomore)
2. Justin Yoon (sophomore)
East St. Louis senior four-star ranked wide receiver Jeff Thomas (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) put on a show in the Flyers' 34-3 win over Providence Catholic in New Lenox.
Thomas, who hauled in 5 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns while also playing defensive back, is still uncommitted and doesn't seem to be in any hurry to make a college choice.
"Everything is the same," Thomas said. "It's all about my team and the season for right now."
Earlier this summer, Thomas listed his top schools as Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Missouri. Missouri just added a recent verbal commitment from East St Louis QB Rey Estes and the Tigers many feel could have an advantage in landing Thomas. Missouri has four former East St. Louis Flyers on its current roster.
Deerfield senior three-star ranked defensive end Joshua Maize (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) recently released his list of favorites schools which includes Toledo, UConn, Indiana, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio and Ball State. Maize however has also been drawing heavy recruiting looks from several other BCS level schools including Purdue, Syracuse, Rutgers, Illinois and Penn State and those schools plan to re-evaluate Maize early this fall. Maize plans to make official visits before making a final college choice and recently said, "my recruiting process is still very open at this time."
[RELATED - Edgy Tim's Top 25 power rankings: Week 2]
One position that is having rough recruiting ride in the Class of 2017? Quarterback. So far just three in-state Class of 2017 signal callers have given BCS level schools a verbal commitments including Jacob's Chris Katernick (Bowling Green), Marian Catholic's Cameron Thomas (Illinois) and Estes (Missouri). So far, the only FCS level in-state known verbal pledge comes from Hinsdale Central's Josh Bean (Columbia).
This Thursday (Sept. 1st) is a big day in football recruiting circles for the Class of 2018. Thursday is the first day that prospects are allowed per the NCAA to receive recruiting materials (mail) along with unlimited electronic transmissions (text/instant/direct messages) from college coaches.
"I've stayed in touch with a handful of college coaches and they all said that I would be hearing from them on Thursday," Lake Zurich junior inside linebacker Jack Sanborn said. "It's exciting to hear from those coaches along with hopefully some new schools as well."
Need proof that the recruiting process calendar is getting pushed up earlier and earlier? From my recently-released State of Illinois Class of 2017 Top 60 recruit rankings, 49 out of the 60 recruits have already given schools a verbal commitment. Out of the 11 uncommitted players, I would say nearly half of those players are being held up from giving a verbal commitment because of various academic questions/issues.