Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

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Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

DEERFIELD, ILL.A day after Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio made his season debutapproximately nine months after ACL surgeryBulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was posed with the inevitable question about Derrick Roses rehabilitation progress after the teams practice Sunday afternoon at the Berto Center. While the coach was willing to share some information about Roses recovery, he wouldnt go as far as to compare the Bulls superstar with the Minnesota playmaker.
I dont think it has really anything to do with Derrick because I think each guy is different and separate, but Im happy to see it for him. Ricky Rubio is a terrific player and you hate to see anybody go down with that type of injury, so Im glad that hes back. I think itll be a big plus for Minnesota, Thibodeau said. Derricks doing fine. Just got to be patient. Hes just got to keep doing the things that hes doing.
Rubio scored eight points and dished out nine assists off the bench in the Timberwolves win Saturday night, but it should be noted that the Spaniards game is far less explosive than Roses. Still, Thibodeau did admit that its a positive sign that the second-year point guard played at a high level in his first game since March.
I think youre seeing more and more of that. Different players, the way medicine is today, you see guys fully recover, come back, in some cases, even better than they were before the injury, so youve just got to be patient, he said. Its an injury that takes time and hopefully everything works out.
Perhaps a more apt comparison for Rose than Rubiooutside of optimists invoking the name of another Minnesota professional athlete, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is poised to have a record-setting campaign in the wake of his own ACL recoveryis another Chicago-area native, Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert, a second-year pro from nearby Oak Park, Ill., tore his ACL on the same day as Rose on Apr. 28, and while there are lower stakes for New Yorkthe Knicks are leading the Eastern Conference at the moment, have depth at Shumperts position and are obviously less reliant on him to be the future of their franchisehe has similar athleticism to Rose and according to both reports and a source close to the player, he is targeting January or February for his return to the court.
Of course, each player recovers at his own pace, each injury is different and Roses value to the Bulls affects the organizations cautiousness. Thibodeau wouldnt commit to when Rose, who is very visible while doing conditioning or shooting drills after practices at the Berto Center and before games at the United Center, when return to practice or begin sitting on the bench during games, but he did reveal that the All-Star point guard is participating in the teams pre-practice early group sessions, as was previously reported by CSNChicago.com.
Once he starts doing more in practice, then hell be with us more. But right now, the focus still has to be on his rehab and the things that he needs to do. Hes got to a lot of things off the court still. Hes doing more and more on the court, which is encouraging. But hes still a ways away, Thibodeau explained. Hes still a ways away from that, the actual practice stuff.

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

The Blackhawks signed Ville Pokka to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Pokka played in all 76 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season, recording six goals and 24 assists.

The Blackhawks’ defensive depth has already taken a hit this offseason, with Niklas Hjalmarsson traded to Arizona – Connor Murphy came here in the deal – and Trevor van Riemsdyk, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Blackhawks will probably explore free-agent options this offseason, Pokka could vie for an opportunity at training camp.

Are Bears better than Texans, Broncos, Dolphins and others? Pro Football Focus says yes

Are Bears better than Texans, Broncos, Dolphins and others? Pro Football Focus says yes

Pro Football Focus has more than its share of both supporters and detractors of how it goes about grading NFL players. They break down every snap for every player, and while there are general agreements on what's seen by naked, untrained eyes who don't put the time and investment into its system that PFF does, there are other evaluations that seem to come out of the blue. While there's occasional guesswork on a player's particular assignment on a given play within its scheme, those of us who've watched and studied nuances of the game, or those who've played it, can usually identify how many jobs were done correctly.

Tuesday, PFF released its rankings of all 32 NFL rosters but in essence focused on the quality of each team's starting lineup, listing the Bears — are you sitting down? — 18th in the league. That's ahead of the likes of the Ravens, Saints, Texans, Dolphins, a Jaguars franchise that's had tons of high draft picks in recent years, as well as the Broncos and Lions (whom they rank 28th). The top five are the Falcons, Patriots, Titans, Packers and Steelers (the Bears play three of those teams in September alone). Among other Bears opponents, they rank the Panthers 10th, Vikings 12th, Buccaneers 13th and Eagles 15th.

[BEARS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Their evaluation is based on each player's final score from last season, "elite" and "good" being the top two levels, followed by "average" and "below average" to "poor." The only Bear earning elite status was inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Another nine Bears finished with good grades: Jordan Howard, Zach Miller, Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan, Adrian Amos and Quintin Demps (who earned his grade in Houston).

Those earning average grades were Cam Meredith, Kendall Wright, Kyle Long, Charles Leno, Jr., Pernell McPhee and Prince Amukamara. Below average: Mike Glennon (in mop-up duty in Tampa Bay), Kevin White, Bobby Massie, Leonard Floyd and Jaye Howard. The only Bear earning a poor grade among projected starters was tight end Dion Sims (with Miami). The other potential flaw is that PFF lists Kyle Fuller (no grade) and Bryce Callahan (average) as starters when Marcus Cooper and Cre'Von LeBlanc likely have the inside track to start at cornerback and nickel back, respectively.

How did the Bears get to 18th, above three playoff teams and another that won the Super Bowl two years ago? Well, all of those other teams have more elite players at certain positions, but it's offset by a number of spots occupied by more players with poor or below average grades. The Broncos (25th) for instance, had four elite players, just another four falling under the good grade, but five players listed as poor.