Chicago Bulls

Tillman on course for NFL defensive player of the year?

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Tillman on course for NFL defensive player of the year?

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman was named NFC defensive player of the week for his performance against Calvin Johnson in the Bears 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions last Monday. It was his second win in the last three weeks, having received the same honor for his play in the Jacksonville game, when he returned an interception for a touchdown for the second straight week.

Tillman is a favorite to add the award for NFC defensive player of the month next week, with two weekly awards in the five October weekends.

But Tillman, who was overlooked in Pro Bowl considerations for his career until last season, is moving into rarified air. His work is expected to move him into the discussion for NFL defensive player of the year.

History and hype against him

Tillmans chances are modest at best. The play and accompanying hype of Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt for his sacks and deflections make him the favorite at this juncture.

Indeed, only five players in the 40-year history of the DPOY award have been cornerbacks and three of those were on Super Bowl winners. Three of the four eligible were installed in the Hall of Fame and the fifth is headed there.

Mel Blount (1975) won as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lester Hayes (1980) won a Super Bowl as an Oakland Raider. Rod Woodson (1993) didnt reach the Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers but he did and won with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, after hed moved to safety, something Tillman and the Bears arent planning in Chicago just yet.

Deion Sanders (1994) played one year with the San Francisco 49ers but made it count for a Super Bowl.

The Woodson template

The Green Bay Packers didnt win the Super Bowl in 2009 with DPOY Charles Woodson but they and he were posting Bear-like numbers that season. And team performance is unquestionably key for the award.

The Packers ranked No. 2 in yardage allowed in 2009; the Bears currently are sixth in yardage but No. 1 in scoring defense. Green Bay had 30 interceptions; the Bears have 14 through six games.

The Packers led the league with 40 takeaways in Woodsons DPOY season; the Bears have 21 through six games.

Tillman needs more than his two interceptions, however. Woodson posted his career high of nine and returned three of them for touchdowns.

Timing matters

But Tillman already has had two pick-sixs. More important perhaps, he has done some of his finest work on the national stage.

Woodson won DPOW (weekly) for his play against the high-profile Dallas Cowboys. Tillman returned his first interception for a touchdown at Dallas, and did it on MNF.

Woodson won his second DPOW for his shutting down of Calvin Johnson, holding the Detroit wideout to two catches, one for a touchdown. In winning his own second DPOW, Tillman limited Johnson to three catches, none for a touchdown.

Woodson was savvy enough to do it to Johnson in a Thanksgiving Day game. Tillman doesnt play on Thanksgiving this year but he did do his work on Johnson on the MNF platform.

After the Bears games vs. Carolina and at Tennessee, the Bears play Houston in the Sunday night prime-timer on NBC (think the network can find a story line with Tillman and Watt in the same game?)

Then they are at San Francisco eight days later for another Monday Night session.

Nothing is ever really settled in six games. But Tillman already has played his way where no Bears cornerback has gone before.

A lots been said about this over-the-hill defense gang that we have, said coach Lovie Smith. I just know that last year Charles went to the Pro Bowl at that age and he had a career year. I just know hes a good football player right now.

Maybe even the NFLs best one on defense.

NBA 2K18 releases the all-time Bulls roster...sort of

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AP

NBA 2K18 releases the all-time Bulls roster...sort of

NBA 2K18 released its all-time Bulls roster on Tuesday. Well, most of it. We think.

Check out the players below and we'll break down each one (including the mystery legs in the background)

From left to right:

Joakim Noah: A fairly easy choice considering his entire career. Noah played nine seasons in Chicago, averaging 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in 572 games. He won Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and was named First Team All-NBA. He also finished fifth in MVP voting and became the face of the franchise post-Derrick Rose injuries.

Jerry Sloan: Another easy choice. Sloan spent 10 seasons as a player for the Bulls, averaging 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 696 career games. He was an All-Star twice and made six All-Defensive NBA teams. He was an assistant in 1978 before becoming head coach in 1979. He spent four seasons with the Bulls before beginning his illustrious Hall of Fame career with the Jazz.

Derrick Rose: You knew he was going to be on the list. The youngest MVP in NBA history was simply breathtaking in his seven seasons with the Bulls. He was a three-time All-Star, averaged 19.7 points and led the Bulls back from one of the ugliest stretches in franchise history. The knee injuries slowed him down entirely, and he'll never be what he once was, but his spot in Bulls history is cemented.

Artis Gilmore: The best left-handed player in Bulls history is also the best center in Bulls history, averaging 19.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over seven seasons. He led the NBA in field goal percentage twice, was a four-time All-Star and led the Bulls to a pair of playoff appearances.

Luol Deng: We see you back there, Lu. One of the most recognizable (and probably tired) Bulls was an absolute fixture of the organization for 10 seasons. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 637 games. He was twice named an All-Star (while leading the league in minutes both years) and made the All-Defensive Second Team in 2012. An all-time Bulls team wouldn't feel right without him.

Michael Jordan: Um, yeah.

Dennis Rodman: The Worm was another easy choice for this list. His three-year stay in Chicago resulted in three championships for the Bulls, where Rodman averaged 15.3 rebounds (leading the league all three seasons) and set the tone every night for Phil Jackson's squad.

Scottie Pippen: Another no-brainer. Let's keep moving.

Horace Grant: The power forward for Scottie and MJ averaged a cool 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds in seven seasons, winning three titles in the early 90s while donning his famous goggles. He made the All-Star team in his final season before taking a big payday from the Magic in 1994.

Toni Kukoc (we think): This could be one of two players: Kukoc or Pau Gasol. But seeing as he's just a smidge taller than Jimmy Butler (to the right) we'll guess it's the 6-foot-7 Kukoc and not the 7-footer Gasol. All Kukoc did in seven Bulls seasons was average 14.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists out of primarily sixth man role. He was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1996, and he was instrumental in the Bulls' second three-peat. He's littered across the Bulls all-time record books, including 3-pointers (9th), assists (10th) and steals (10th).

Jimmy Butler: The youngest player on the all-time Bulls team is the third of three current players no longer with the Bulls. Butler became a star during his six seasons in Chicago, improving his scoring in each season, being named to three All-Star games and earning All-NBA Third Team honors this past season. He didn't leave on the best of terms, but a player of his caliber deserves a spot on this squad.

Mystery guys in the back: To the right of Rodman in the back, we're going to guess that's Steve Kerr. The second digit looks like a "5." It's also a good bet that on the left side Bob Love is behind Artis Gilmore. Chet Walker may be back there, too. We're still holding out hope that Captain Kirk Hinrich took the team photo and is part of the team.

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 3 Loyola

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 3 Loyola

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Loyola Academy

Head Coach: John Holocek

Assistant Coaches: Beau Desherow, Tim Feldheim, Pete Devine, Mike Dooley, Tyler Vradenburg, Mike Kotowski, Pat Naughton, Ryan Gallagher

How they fared in 2016: 13-1 (4-0 Chicago Catholic League Blue Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated O'Fallon, Oswego East, Huntley and Glenbard West before losing to Maine South in the Class 8A state title game.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 26th vs Phillips at Gately Stadium

September 1st vs Bishop Amat at New Trier

September 9th vs Mount Carmel

September 15th @ St. Francis

September 23rd vs Fenwick

September 29th @ St. Rita

October 7th vs Leo

October 13th @ Providence Catholic

October 21st vs Brother Rice

Biggest storyline: Can the Ramblers replace 16 graduated starters and not skip a beat in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior OL Charlie Gross (Fordham) Senior DL Marty Geary Senior RB Hamid Bullie

Biggest holes to fill: The Ramblers will need to replace 9 starters on offense.

EDGY's Early Take: If any program in the State of Illinois has proven that they can reload year in and year out, it's the Ramblers under head coach John Holocek. Loyola will no question have challenges starting Week 1 against Phillips, yet the program remains strong at all levels. Keep an eye on several new faces including QB Quinn Boyle along with WR Noah Jones and TE Charlie Gilroy.