'Concerned' about the offensive line? Not Marshall

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'Concerned' about the offensive line? Not Marshall

On Monday, quarterback Jay Cutler said that the offensive line was a concern as it worked at settling players into positions and coming together. By the time it was flipped and sautd by some commentators, Cutler was concerned about the offensive line.

Not exactly the same thing, but hey.

On Tuesday, wide receiver Brandon Marshall had a precisely opposite slant on the supposed concern. He had tried to drop in and do some drills with the O-linemen during Tuesday mornings voluntary team workouts at Halas Hall and they got on me and threw me out, Marshall said, laughing.

Marshall spent Tuesday afternoon visiting with the kids at UCAN Academy in Chicago, answering questions and giving advice.

He also had a prediction about the offensive line:

When I look over and see our offensive line working, I get chills and get so excited, he said.

Those guys are working hard and I think theyre actually going to be the group thats going to lead us to where we need to be.

So youre not concerned then?

Oh, not at all, Marshall said.

The suspicion here is that neither is Cutler, whose comments had to do with finalizing the front five, injured players like Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams coming back, and how JMarcus Webb pans out at left tackle after a struggling first season switching to left tackle without an offseason of orientation.

One spin of Cutlers comments was that he was going against the need assessments of coach Lovie Smith and coordinator Mike Tice, who have been on record as being comfortable with the players available. Not surprisingly, the Bears did not spend any draft choices on an offensive lineman, finishing with defensive backs in rounds six and seven.

Heres the problem with portraying Cutlers comments as being concerned with the offensive line:

Cutler lobbied for Jeremy Bates twice, first for the coordinator position in 2010 (Bates opted out and for Seattle instead) and again this offseason, with the result that Bates was hired as quarterbacks coach.

If the franchise quarterback had meaningful reservations about his offensive line, beyond the obvious wanting to see decisions on whether Webb or Williams is the left tackle and which of four options emerge as the starting guards, does anyone really think he couldnt have lobbied for something in a draft that saw the Bears take a backup safety in the third round and third tight end in the fourth?

Trevor van Riemsdyk on the move hours after being selected by Vegas in expansion draft

Trevor van Riemsdyk on the move hours after being selected by Vegas in expansion draft

Less than 14 hours after being taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Trevor van Riemsdyk is already on the move.

The Golden Knights have traded the 25-year-old defenseman to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he will reunite with former Blackhawks teammates Scott Darling, Joakim Nordstrom and Teuvo Teravainen. Carolina also receives a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2017 second-rounder.

Vegas general manager George McPhee made it known that he was going to draft "a lot" of defensemen Wednesday night, and he did just that with van Riemsdyk being one of 13 blue liners selected. Because of that, it makes players like van Riemsdyk expendable, giving McPhee the opportunity to collect assets by trading some of them and using the returns on other parts of the roster.

Van Riemsdyk joins an up-and-coming Hurricanes team that has a young, promising defensive corps featuring 25-year-old future All-Star Justin Faulk, 20-year-old Noah Hanifin, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2015, and 23-year-old Jaccob Slavin, who has emerged into of their best defensemen.

Van Riemsdyk has one year left on a deal that carries a $825,000 cap hit, and is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

Shakeup: Cubs planning to demote Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa and put Jason Heyward on DL

Shakeup: Cubs planning to demote Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa and put Jason Heyward on DL

MIAMI - The Cubs are preparing for a major shakeup that would send struggling World Series hero Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa and put Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward on the disabled list.

Stuck in a 36-35 pattern but still only 1.5 games out of first place, the Cubs are expected to add outfielder Mark Zagunis and reliever Dylan Floro from Iowa before Thursday night's game at Marlins Park.

Schwarber will try to regain his confidence on a Triple-A level he almost skipped while skyrocketing through the farm system as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft. While still showing flashes of the power (12 homers) that made him a Wrigleyville favorite, his .171 batting average ranked last among qualified big-league hitters this season.

Unable to grip a bat, Heyward has been waiting for a nasty cut on his left hand to heal after trying to make a diving catch on Sunday in PNC Park's foul territory.

For a banged-up Cubs team, Heyward would join a World Series MVP (Ben Zobrist) and a Cy Young Award finalist (Kyle Hendricks) on the disabled list.