Patrick Sharp to be the next featured guest on CSN's 'Inside Look'

Patrick Sharp to be the next featured guest on CSN's 'Inside Look'

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS ALL-STAR PATRICK SHARP TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUESTON COMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK

Inside Look, hosted by Comcast SportsNets Sarah Kustok, featuring Patrick Sharpto debut Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 PM

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of Inside Look, including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (October 6, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look.

Debuting Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 PM, Comcast SportsNets Sarah Kustok hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago Blackhawks left winger2011 NHL All-Star Game MVP PATRICK SHARP. Sharp discusses everything from his youth in Canada, life lessons from his parents, the team bond of winning a Stanley Cup, his heart-throb status and much more.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for additional interview content never before seen on TV. Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Patrick Sharp on the following datestimes: Sat, Oct. 15 at 9:30pm; Sun, Oct. 16 at 1:30pm; Wed, Oct. 19 at 12:30pm, Fri, Oct. 21 at 1:30am, Mon, Oct. 24 at 1:30am and Sun, Oct. 30 at 11pm.

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Patrick Sharp premiering Wed, Oct. 12 on Comcast SportsNet:

SHARP on being a labeled a troublemaker in his youth:

I wouldnt describe myself (as a troublemaker), but Ive heard it told to me so many times. I know my mom has gotten into a few fights because of me with parents in the neighborhood. They were always sending me home early from kids houses. I had a little bit of a reputation growing up, but I like to think that Ive controlled it by now.

SHARP on life lessons from his parents:

They always wanted to see me having fun. Whatever I was doing -- if I was upset or concerned or unhappy about something -- they tried to step in and help me out the best way they could. I think the biggest thing I can remember my dad telling me is just have no regrets and do things as hard as you can. Don't go through the motions and realize one day that maybe you could've played a little harder. That applied to everything in my life whether it was hockey or sports.

SHARP on the team bond of winning a Stanley Cup:

I think everyone in the organization that year has a special bond with (winning the Cup) and we always will. It's not about individual success, ever. In playoff time, its about wins and losses and you play for the guy beside you.

SHARP on his proudest moment outside of winning a Stanley Cup:

Wearing a letter in the National Hockey League, that means a lot to me -- being named one of the captains of the Chicago Blackhawks. With all the history the organization has, and every time I put my jersey on, I look at it and that jersey means a great deal to me and as far as great memories, there's a lot of them.

SHARP on his heart-throb status:

It's certainly tough being a pro hockey player and then walking into the locker room and seeing those magazines everywhere and taking the abuse from my teammatesI don't know how to handle it, really. Its not like I wake up every morning and tell myself how beautiful I am, you know what I'm saying. It's something that you take in stride and you laugh about it. My mother is certainly proud of it. She's got the magazines framed in her office at home, but I consider myself a hockey player.

SHARP on the journey of his successful NHL career:

I'm happy where I am right now. I know that it's all a process. It's all a journey to get to where you are, but I'm happy now. It was difficult leaving Philadelphia, but look at the situation I'm in now. I'm in the best organization and in the best city in the world, so my job now is to go out and win Stanley Cups. I don't think there are 30 teams in the league that can start every season and say that, but we can say that every year. Our organization gives us the best chance to win, puts us in the best position to win, so I wouldnt really change anything about my life.

What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

WASHINGTON – Cubs president Theo Epstein watched the Washington Nationals run wild on his iPad on Tuesday while visiting the Class-A Myrtle Beach affiliate. As Epstein did some work in his hotel room later that night, he got a text message from general manager Jed Hoyer alerting him to Miguel Montero’s explosive comments.  

Epstein’s management style is to not overreact or worry about the next day’s headlines. He generally believes in second chances, tries to keep an open mind and looks at the problem from every angle, occasionally to the point of paralysis by analysis.

But Epstein said it took “probably 10 seconds” before he realized the Cubs needed to designate Montero for assignment after the veteran catcher pointed the finger at Jake Arrieta – a Cy Young Award-winning, All-Star pitcher – for Washington’s seven stolen bases.    

“It screamed out as something that we should do,” Epstein said.     

As Montero’s rant caught fire on Twitter, Epstein called Hoyer and spoke to Montero on the phone, but he wanted to sleep on it and consult with some players before making Wednesday’s final decision, which could cost approximately $7 million. Epstein could not envision this as a team-building moment after Montero’s mea culpa and clearing the air with Arrieta.

“That was not my read on it, knowing the dynamics, present and past,” Epstein said. “This was not something that we would benefit from – trying to pursue a path of putting it all back together again.”

The Cubs pursued Aroldis Chapman after the New York Yankees closer began last season serving a 30-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy. The Cubs cautiously didn’t judge or unconditionally support Addison Russell after a third-party abuse accusation on social media triggered an MLB investigation this month. The Cubs tolerated Tommy La Stella’s refusal to report to Triple-A Iowa last summer, allowing him to chill out at home in New Jersey.

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

But Montero doesn’t have a 100-mph fastball. Montero isn’t an All-Star shortstop. Montero isn’t being preserved for one hypothetical pinch-hit at-bat in the playoffs. The Cubs are hovering around .500 now – no longer the World Series favorite – and all those variables become part of the calculus.   

“I just came to the conclusion that now more than ever we really need to be a team,” Epstein said. “This was an example of someone being a bad teammate publicly, and that we’d be better off moving on and not standing for it, because we do hold our players to a higher standard than that.

“In our role as the front office, we can’t always be in the clubhouse and push the right buttons to help everyone come together as a team. But we certainly are in a position – when we see something that could fracture the group – to try to fix the situation and remove that issue.

“Miggy’s not to blame at all for the issues that we have as a team right now. He should not be a scapegoat for what’s going on. This was just an example of someone publicly not being a good teammate and making comments that weren’t accountable and weren’t supportive and weren’t in furtherance of the team concept. And we felt we had to act on it.”

There is a chicken-or-the-egg mystery to clubhouse cohesion. But Montero probably would have had a longer fuse – and the bosses would have had a longer leash – if the Cubs were 24 games above .500 the way they were at this time last year. Montero could also get away with a lot more when he was a two-time All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks and playing in a sleepy market. 

“Had we been in a spot where this group had already formed its identity and was clicking on all cylinders,” Epstein said, “and had already overcome adversity together and come together completely as a team and we’re rolling in those respects, maybe it could have been handled differently by the group without sort of action from above.

“But I think you have to factor in where the team is and what the team needs and how close we are to reaching our ideal and how close we are to living up to all the values that we have as an organization.”

The Cubs Way isn’t exactly making it up as they go along. But there are always double standards and rationalizations in a bottom-line business. It sounds like Epstein did his due diligence without giving it a second thought: Montero wasn’t worth the trouble anymore. 

“There aren’t that many opportunities for people out of uniform to positively impact the group or nudge it in the right direction,” Epstein said, “or underscore the importance of team or emphasize the values that we try to embody as a group.

“This was one that made sense, given the history, the group dynamics, all the factors involved.”

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

The Bears believe Leonard Floyd will make the leap from being a promising rookie to a breakout second-year player, the kind who can be a centerpiece of a defense as soon as this fall.  

The Bears in 2016 totaled 37 sacks —12th in the NFL — despite dealing with a rash of injuries and not having a standout player in terms of getting to the quarterback. Willie Young led the team with 7 1/2 sacks, which tied him for 31st in the league last year, while Floyd and Akiem Hicks each had seven. 

Sixteen players recorded double-digit sacks last year. That’s not the end-all benchmark for Floyd in 2017, but for a former top-10 pick with elite skills and, as his coaches and teammate said, the right mentality, it’s not out of the question. 

“With most players, you go from your freshman year to sophomore or rookie to second year, … it slows down, they understand it, they're not thinking, they're reacting,” coach John Fox said. “And so I'd expect that and I've seen that already even in the off-season.”

Floyd, earlier this month, talked about how much more comfortable he feels after a full year of practicing and playing at the NFL level. 

“Everything was just fast when I got here last year,” Floyd said. “This year’s it’s way slower and I feel like I’m doing pretty good this year.”

There are two issues with Floyd that won’t go away until he proves they’re not problems in the regular season, though: His weight and his concussions. 

The weight issue is one Floyd has heard for a while, joking with reporters during veteran minicamp that he was surprised it wasn’t the first thing he was asked during his session with the media. He said he “definitely gained some weight” without revealing how much he’s put on, only saying he feels like he’s in much better shape now than he was as a rookie.

“It’s like night and day compared to last year,” Floyd said. 

The concessions are a far more serious — and scary — issue given it took Floyd two months to fully recover from the second concussion he suffered in 2016. 

The Bears believe Floyd’s concussion issues are correctable, though, given they were the product of poor tackling form made worse by collisions with Hicks. The crown of Floyd’s helmet was too low, so he and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio worked with tackling dummies and sled machines in an effort to fix that issue. 

The hope is that Floyd can stay healthy and marry his skills with a better knowledge of the game to put together a breakout year in 2017. His teammates sounded confident during the offseason program that everything was falling into place for the former ninth overall pick. 

“He’s a great competitor,” Hicks said. “Great energy, fast, athletic, he’s everything you want in an outside linebacker, right? Nonstop motor — I can give you all the cliche terms, but I just feel like as far as the defensive line or an outside linebacker, another year under his belt is only going to make him better.”

Added linebacker Jerrell Freeman: “That guy is going to be good for a while.”