Chicago Bears

Word on the Street: NBA reviewing Pacers' fouls

Word on the Street: NBA reviewing Pacers' fouls

Friday, April 22, 2011
CSNChicago.com

NBA upgrades Foster's fouls to flagrant

Jeff Foster's foul on Derrick Rose with 5 minutes, 59 seconds left in the third quarter and Foster's foul on Luol Deng with 1:59 remaining were both reviewed by the NBA's discipline chief Stu Jackson.

And the result?

The NBA league office upgraded the two personal fouls by the Indiana Pacers forward to flagrant-one fouls. Foster will not be suspended for Saturday's Game 4.

Two flagrant-one fouls during a game are grounds for automatic ejection. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Ozzie worried about being fired?

Not a chance. Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he's not worried about being fired despite the slow start, and he said it in typically amusing Ozzie fashion:

"I come to work, put a smile on my face, talk to you guys and do my managers job and go home and cry. In front of you guys, Im fine, Im cool. I got a lot of money. I got a lot of work. If Im not managing the White Sox, I will manage somewhere else. Maybe Mexico, Japan. I know I will manage in Venezuela. I can do a lot of great stuff in baseball."

He also noted that he'd be just fine with being fired.

"Ive been fired and released before. If I get fired, I can at least enjoy my 2 million or something that Im going to get next year. Ill do like Manny Ramirez. Ill go to Spain for the bullfights and come back for the World Series. I dont worry about it." (Pro Hardball Talk)

NFL could cancel Weeks 2 and 4

In another interesting piece of information about the newly released NFL schedule, there are no divisional games in either Week Two or Week Four of the regular season.

That means is that if Week Two and Week Four were completely scrapped, the NFL could still keep every divisional game, and still make sure every team got an equal number of home and road games.

This once again showing that the league office planned the 2011 season with the possibility of canceling some early games in mind. (Pro Football Talk)

Bears: Where does Kyle Fuller fit with Prince Amukamara back?

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USA Today Sports Images

Bears: Where does Kyle Fuller fit with Prince Amukamara back?

Prince Amukamara (ankle) is expected to make his 2017 regular season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers after being a full participant in practices Thursday and Friday (he wasn't listed on Friday's injury report). But that leads to the question: What does defensive coordinator Vic Fangio do with Kyle Fuller?

Fuller acquitted himself well in starts against the Atlanta Falcons — in which he helped limit Julio Jones to four catches on five targets — and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears signed Amukamara to start opposite Marcus Cooper, but Fuller has at least earned the opportunity to keep his job — or a job — on Sunday. 

And it's worth noting that both Fuller and Amukamara are in contract years, so both should be motivated to not lose playing time going forward. 

“I was pleased with the waay Kyle played overall,” Fangio said. “There's obviously some plays he'd like to do over and play them a little better, but overall I thought he did a good job. I like where he's at right now.”

Fangio didn’t play Fuller as a nickel corner in 2015. But if the Bears want to get their best defensive players on the field could Fuller force his way into a nickel role with Amukamara and Cooper as the outside guys? 

That’s an especially pertinent question given Pittsburgh’s explosive trio of receivers: Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

“No matter where a receiver lines up, it’s not going to be a down to take off,” Amukamara said. “We’re always going to have to have our ‘A’ game.”

Avisail Garcia's 'big head' isn't getting in the way of defensive improvements

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USA TODAY

Avisail Garcia's 'big head' isn't getting in the way of defensive improvements

Avisail Garcia's "big head" almost cost the White Sox on Friday night. At least, that's Reynaldo Lopez's humorous theory. 

With the game on the line and the Royals' tying run dashing for the plate, Garcia slipped a bit before making a clutch recovery to nail Whit Merrifield. The craziness continued after the tag as Narvaez caught Lorenzo Cain drifting off first base to seal a win. 

"I was watching the game on the TV here," Lopez said, "and then when I saw the hit from Cain, and I saw that Avi fell down because he has a big head, I was concerned but at the same time I saw that his throw, he has a good arm and he made a very good throw." 

Just your average 9-2-4-6 double play to end a game on the South Side, right? 

"Obviously, when he slipped we took a little gasp," Renteria said. "But we were talking about his body control to be able to maintain himself enough to get up and make the throw that he did. Unbelievable. It's pretty exciting finish to a ballgame that kind of got a little ugly early on."

Ugly is an apt way to describe the first few innings. Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada both made errors in the Royals' six-run third inning, and Lopez capped it off with a wild pitch that allowed Eric Hosmer to score. But it went from an eyesore loss to an overzealous "we could make noise in 2019" rebuild win from there, and Garcia's defense -- of all things -- played a significant role. 

Garcia's outfield assist in the ninth was his second of the game. The first, an absolute strike to cut down Alex Gordon in the sixth, didn't involve a slip, though. 

And while much has been made of Garcia's breakout year with the bat, he believes his defense is hugely improved, too. 

"I think 100 percent," he said. "I just try to get better every day with hitting and defense. That’s baseball so get better in everything."

He has 12 outfield assists on the season, up from five a year ago. And despite his overall fielding percentage being down, his strong arm may give him a stronger defensive reputation. 

"Since last year, he's always had an excellent arm," Renteria said. "I think his accuracy is something to be pointed out too because as off balance as he was, he's made some throws to the plate that have been really spot on."

Renteria attributes Garcia's accuracy to the outfielder putting in extra time with Daryl Boston. 

"(Boston) has those guys throwing, and none of you guys are out there watching them work, but they'll throw quite a bit to the bases, especially second base," Renteria said. "They'll get deep and they'll work on doing that, so that's just a part of their routine."

The evolution of Avi carries on.