Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

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Jennings, Tillman could combine to make franchise history

Not to be outdone, cornerback Charles Tillman was named NFC defensive player of the month for October, following running mate Tim Jennings receiving that honor for September.

The back-to-back distinctions could have Jennings and Tillman on course to both be in the Pro Bowl, which would mark the first time in history that two cornerbacks from the same Bears team were selected for the all-star game.

In Bears history seven players have won player-of-the-month awards. All but one defensive end Trace Armstrong in 1990 were voted to the Pro Bowl. Armstrong had the misfortune of winning his months award in a year when Reggie White, Chris Doleman and Richard Dent had Pro Bowl seasons. All three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bears Pro Bowl CBs rare, period

The Bears have sent numerous safeties to Pro Bowls but rarely even one cornerback. Tillman did it last season for the first time, vastly improving his chances for a return on top of his month and season so far.

Nathan Vasher went after the 2005 season, one in which he led the NFC in interceptions with eight. Jennings leads the league with six through seven games.

(While not cornerbacks, safety Roosevelt Taylor led the NFL with nine interceptions in 1963 and went to the Pro Bowl, as did safety Mark Carrier in 1990 to earn a trip across the water.)

Donnell Woollford went after his 1993 season. And thats about it.

Vs. the best

Tillman sealed his award with the job done on Detroits Calvin Johnson in a Monday night game, national TV against one of the elite receivers in the NFL.

Jennings added luster to his September award by doing major work on Carolinas Steve Smith, including a turning-moment interception for a touchdown in the Bears win.

I grade myself pretty well just because Steve Smith is an All-Pro receiver and I felt like I made a couple plays on him, Jennings said. For him to be the type of receiver he is, I just want to put myself in position to make some plays and I think I was.

That sort of thing impresses Pro Bowl voters, too.

Competition

From last years Pro Bowl cornerbacks, Green Bays Charles Woodson broke a collarbone and is out, besides having played safety this season also.

Carlos Rodgers will benefit from playing on a very good San Francisco 49ers defense, and Patrick Peterson has three interceptions as well as a growing rep, which gets votes.

Brandon Browner from Seattle was an alternate and the Seahawks are a top-five yardage and scoring defense.

Others will get votes. Indeed, if voters are not inclined to pick two DBs from the same secondary, Jennings and Tillman could cancel out votes from each other.

Pro Bowl voting is open now on NFL.com.

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

The Bulls will introduce first round draft pick Denzel Valentine on Monday at the Advocate Center, and CSN has you covered all the way.

Tune in to CSN Chicago or catch a live stream on CSNChicago.com at 11 a.m. as GM Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg introduce Valentine, the Michigan State senior whom the Bulls selected 14th overall in last week's NBA Draft.

Valentine, last year's AP Player of the Year, became the first player in NCAA history to average at least 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a single season. The shooting guard's versatility and ability to shoot from the perimeter will make him a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg's system, and his passing will help in the wake of the Bulls dealing Derrick Rose to the Knicks.

Check out our coverage of Valentine and the rest of the Bulls draft:

Bulls 'absolutely thrilled' to land Denzel Valentine

Gar Forman shoots down Jimmy Butler trade talk

How the NBA cap spike will affect the Bulls

Bulls get 'a well-rounded player' in Paul Zipser

How the Bulls' Central Division foes fared in the 2016 NBA Draft

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

CSN's JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos discuss the struggles of James Shields while also going over a difficult upcoming series for the White Sox in this week's Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.

On the back of Chris Sale and his 13th win, the White Sox are back to .500 after taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays.

The South Siders have now won five of their last seven games, and won back-to-back series for the first time in nearly two months. They're now 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot and are playing much better baseball as they head toward the All-Star break.

Hear what JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos had to say about their big week, as well as their upcoming three-game series against the Twins, in this week's Honda Road Ahead video above.

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

The White Sox have been adamant the baseball they’ve played the past six weeks isn’t far removed from their torrid start to the season.

Now they have something to show for it.

Courtesy of a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox have back-to-back series victories for the first time since they swept the Texas Rangers and Toronto two months ago. With five wins in their last seven tries, the White Sox improved to 38-38 as they head into a much-needed day off.

“It’s huge,” said outfielder J.B. Shuck, whose second homer in as many days provided an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. “You feel kind of a weight lifted off the shoulders in the clubhouse. We’ve been grinding. Even some of our losses, we’ve been in games. We’ve come back, we’ve given ourselves a chance and one thing here or there kind of led us to losing and now it’s starting to work for us a little bit.”

A week ago the White Sox were coming off yet another demoralizing road sweep against an AL Central opponent. They had played well in two of three contests against the Cleveland Indians but came up empty. That sweep followed one at the Detroit Tigers earlier in the month and another previous one during a hellish May weekend in Kansas City.

But starting with an extra-innings win at the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the White Sox have started to put things together more consistently than they had of late.

They capitalized on good pitching in the first two victories over the Red Sox and then the offense did the heavy lifting in an 8-6 win on Wednesday. Though they didn’t close out a sweep of Boston, the White Sox carried it over to their home series against Toronto.

“We need some of those,” said closer David Robertson, who retired the side on 10 pitches in the ninth to convert his 20th save. “When you get your butt kicked and you get swept in places, you gotta come home and win some games. We’re playing a lot better baseball. We’re pitching better. Hopefully it continues and we stay strong.”

Sunday’s victory was full of quality play in all aspects for the White Sox.

-- Chris Sale was dominant for seven of eight innings and earned his 13th victory in 15 decisions.

-- Robertson’s inning aside, Sale gave the bullpen another critical day of rest.

“It’s kind of relaxing,” reliever Zach Duke said.

-- Beginning with Adam Eaton’s major-league leading 10th outfield assist in the first inning, the defense turned in several big plays behind Sale, including double plays in the fourth and seventh.

-- The offense provided several timely hits, whether Melky Cabrera’s two-out RBI single in the third or Shuck’s solo homer to increase the lead back to three runs in the eighth.

Now the White Sox have a day to rest before they continue their homestand on Tuesday with the first of three against the Minnesota Twins.

“I like the way we're playing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think offensively, we're swinging it a little bit, doing some things, and playing defense along with it. That's a good sign for us to be able to continue to do that. Pitchers are getting back to being healthy and getting after it. I like the way this is headed. I like the fire that these guys have shown and bouncing back in some tough situations.”