Cubs legendBaseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks to be next featured guest on Inside Look

Cubs legendBaseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks to be next featured guest on Inside Look

CHICAGO CUBS LEGENDBASEBALL HALL OF FAMER ERNIE BANKS TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUEST ON
COMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK

Inside Look presented by Cadillac, hosted by Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan, featuring Ernie Banks to debut Thursday, May 3 at 3:00 PM

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

Chicago, IL (May 1, 2012) 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 presented by Cadillac.

Debuting Thursday, May 3 at 3:00 PM, Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan hosts Part I of an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago Cubs legendBaseball Hall of Famer ERNIE BANKS. Mr. Cub discusses everything from playing his entire Hall of Fame career on the northside, to the devastating disappointment of the 1969 season, along his advice to former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Lou Brock, what his reaction will be if the Cubs win a World Series title 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 Ernie Banks: Part I on the following datestimes: Thu, May 10 at 11am - Sun, May 13 at 12 noon - Tue, May 15 at 4pm - Fri, May 18 at 11:30am & 5:00pm & Wed, May 30 at 5pm. Part II air datestime will be announced at a later date.

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Ernie Banks presented by Cadillac premiering Thursday, May 3 on Comcast SportsNet:

BANKS on playing his entire Hall of Fame career in a Cubs uniform:

There are 800 players that played here, still living, that I played with and Im going over that list now. And through here, theres been many different managers, many different players, many different coaches, and thats what I enjoyed about being here at Wrigley Field. Every year is a new situationits just a new attitude to it, and I enjoyed that, I really enjoyed it.

BANKS on the devastating finish to the 1969 season:

A lot of people ask me (if that was the biggest disappoint in my career), but I went and looked at next year, I was 41, 42, well, next yearwell get em next year. My thing was always in sports that Ive learned is how to overcome losses. I guess Ive learned a lot of that hereits justtheres always tomorrowand I saw this in death. My mother died, my brother, my sister & all that, and I just got over it from playing here with the losses, thats what Ive learned, Im just telling you that, a secret of minethe lossesovercoming losses.

BANKS on his advice to fellow teammate and future Hall of Famer Lou Brock:

Lou once said, Ernie, what does it take to be a major league player?I said Lou, you gotta relaxyou gotta learn how to relax. He said you can do that, I cant do itI dont wanna go back to Louisiana chopping no cotton. He was just really tense just relax. So, my relaxation came with thinking about different situationswith people. Just different situations with people I know, friends, and all of thatand then go into the batters boxand then go to the field. The pressure of playing professional sports is just unbelievable today.

BANKS on what he would do if the Cubs win the World Series at Wrigley Field:

Ill wait til everybody leaves the ballparkand go walk right out there on that mound. Everybodys gone nowand justIll just thinkabout all the things through the years, over 100 years that this team didnt win, and now theyve won, andits amazing.

Bears Grades: Offense ignites to end 1st half, puts up season-high points vs. Niners

Bears Grades: Offense ignites to end 1st half, puts up season-high points vs. Niners

With less than 2 minutes to play in the first half the Bears had gained a total of 45 yards, and had zero pass completions (2 attempts) and zero points . By the end of the half they had 115 yards, Matt Barkley had completed 4 of his last 6 passes and the Bears adjourned for halftime with a 7-6 lead.

For the second straight week Barkley engineered a comeback, this time for a win, and running a two-minute offense that, curiously perhaps for an inexperienced quarterback, seems to suit Barkley even more than the offense run a normal speed. More than one player said that 70-yard drive to finish the first half was a tipping point, on all sides of the football.

The turning point “was that two-minute right before the half,” said right tackle Bobby Massie. “Everybody just executed, did what we needed to do and drove right down the field. Then we come out after the half and drove right down again. It was good.”

More than just good for the offense. “I think that really spurred both sides of the ball to be motivated to finish the game strong,” said Barkley, who got the Bears into the end zone twice in last Sunday’s Tennessee game, and nearly a third, within the final 10 minutes, running 35 plays over the span of those minutes.”

This time the result was the highest point total (26) this season and scores on four out of five possessions beginning with that hurry-up score to end the half.

Quarterback: A-

Once again Barkley was beset by dropped passes, although nowhere near the avalanche of them that defeated him against the Tennessee Titans. Barkley shook off the conditions and poor start to complete 4 of 6 passes on the final drive of the half, for 64 yards – the entire passing production for the half.

Barkley followed a shaky first half with a solid second, completing 7 of 10 passes for 128 yards and zero interceptions, a significant key with the 49ers unable to do much of anything against the Bears defense. Barkley effectively convinced coaches that he could operate in the adverse conditions with passing and not simply handing off to Jordan Howard.

“I thought [the way] he handled the two-minute drive before the half, we had to open it up some and throw the ball,” said coach John Fox. “I thought he executed outstanding.”

Barkley finished with 11-of-18 passing for 192 yards, no touchdowns but no interceptions and a passer rating of 97.5.

Running back: A+

In a game that demanded effective rushing, Jordan Howard delivered a statement game, his fifth in the last eight with 100 rushing yards and 115 total yards of offense.

Howard rushed for 3 touchdowns, giving him five on the year, and carried 32 times, an average of 3.7 that belies the overall, which involved the chemistry of the run game, now averaging 4.4 yards on the season . “He’s fun, man,” said guard Eric Kush. “We block our butts off to try to give him something. Even if it’s not the prettiest block, we try to finish our blocks and give him a chance.”

Howard displayed power inside as well as burst on the Bears’ outside-zone runs that exploited the San Francisco edges. He carried 10 times in the first half, then 22 in the second.

“I’m definitely ready to be that workhorse,” said Howard, who now has 883 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns despite not starting until game four. “Even though they might know the run is coming, they still have to stop it.”

Receivers: B+

Josh Bellamy, replaced in the starting lineup by Deonte Thompson after his drop-laced game against Tennessee, had perhaps one the streakiest game of the Bears year. Bellamy again suffered with drops that included lost TD catches, but Bellamy rebounded to match his career-best 4 catches against Tennessee but with 93 yards and a long of 31 and others of 24, 22 and 16 yards. Bellamy also was handed the ball on an end-around for 12 yards.

All of this despite two egregious drops, one of a potential TD ball with Bellamy two steps behind his defender. “He came up to me and said, ‘Keep feeding me,’” Barkley said. “I’m not going to stop giving those guys the ball… .I’m going to keep coming back to them for the rest of the year.”

Cam Meredith remained in the starting lineup and caught 3 of the 4 passes thrown to him, with Thompson and tight end Daniel Brown catching 2 each.

Offensive line: A

With the adverse weather conditions expected, coaches made a specific challenge to the offensive line to take over this game against a struggling San Francisco front. Guard Josh Sitton was active but still limited with an ankle injury, so coaches stayed with Eric Kush at left guard and were rewarded with some consistent blocking in the run game. Kush executed combination blocks and worked to the second level. Kush and Charles Leno repeatedly dominated the San Francisco left side as the Bears pounded with the run and never let up in the snowy conditions.

“With the conditions, you had to run the ball,” Leno said. “The O-line just tried to come together, not worry about the record and win one week at a time.”

The result was another 100-yard rushing day for Jordan Howard, with 3 touchdowns, and 142 rushing yards, high for the season. “Today the offensive line got great push like they always do,” Howard said.

Barkley was sacked once, in the fourth quarter, on a breakdown in one-on-one blocking by tight end Daniel Brown.

Cody Whitehair going down in the fourth quarter with a leg injury was a blow, but Whitehair was able to return later in the period. The Bears had Sitton dressed and part of field-goal unit, and Sitton came in at right guard and Ted Larsen moved over to center.

Coaching: A

The obvious overall effort and preparation of a 2-9 team for a game of virtually no import to the season was noteworthy, as the Bears again played with intensity and efficiency throughout, including recovering from first-half gaffes on special teams that put the Bears down 6-0.

The defense schemed for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by staying almost exclusively in a 3-4 front, utilizing three down-linemen and two outside linebackers to pressure Kaepernick and with the speed to thwart his runs. The result was the worst game of Kaepernick’s career, with 20 rushing yards and 4 passing, vs. 25 yards lost to sacks.

The offense held to a run-based mindset and plan, even when the 49ers turned two special-teams mistakes into field goals for the first two scores. The 49ers also relied primarily on man-to-man coverage, committing an extra defender to run defense, but the Bears were willing and able to challenge downfield knowing that the San Francisco pass rush was hampered by the field conditions.

“Props to Dowell[Loggains, offensive coordinator] and the whold coaching staff for getting us ready and making adjustments like that during the game,” Barkley said.

Special teams was again mistake-prone with mental breakdowns compounded by physical mistakes.

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

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USA TODAY

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

Here are some of the top stories from Sunday in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls back in action against Trail Blazers

Tune in tonight for Chicago Bulls Charities Night

Blackhawks score late but can't get past Jets

Bears offense finds groove in win over 49ers

Winter meetings preview: Why teams will find trying to copy a ‘Cubs Way’ rebuild is easier said than done

White Sox revamp would mean fewer 'stopgaps' and 'half-measures'

Significance of Bears win over 49ers lies beyond records and score

Five Things from Blackhawks-Jets: Offense still anemic

Bears' Matt Barkley 'showing the world' he can be a starting QB in the NFL

Lars Johansson excited for Blackhawks call-up