Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Friday, Sept. 30, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Bear's Brian Urlacher hit the web and made his feelings known by posting a Facebook status about the recent unauthorized Walter Payton biography.

"For the record, the new Walter Payton unauthorized biography doesn't change my view on what 34 was or is. From one Bear to another - no matter what some jackass says in some book - I have the utmost respect for 34." (Facebook)

Red Wing suspended for hit on Ben Smith

An eight game suspension was given to Detroits Brendan Smith after Wednesday nights illegal hit to the head on Blackhawks forward Ben Smith. The tough punishment came after the NHL ruled the collision could have happened shoulder to shoulder, rather than the shoulder to head check that left Chicagos Smith unconscious. (ProHockeyTalk)

Brendan Shanahan explains the hit and suspension here:

Kings, Doughty finally agree on 8-year contract

Drew Doughty said it was only a matter of time until contract negotiation were finalized as he reassured fans and the media that he always planned to stay in LA. Doughtys new 8-year, 56 million contract now makes him the highest paid player on the Kings' roster.

Its a win-win for both sides the Kings got the longer contract they were looking for and Doughty received the pay raise he was fighting for. (ProHockeyTalk)
Dan Johnson left off Rays postseason roster

Dan Johnson shocked baseball fans after his big game-winning homer that saved the Rays season, but that apparently wasnt enough to get his name on the teams postseason roster. The Rays instead opted to keep three catchers on board and placed Elliot Johnson over the recent hero. (HardballTalk)

Hit on Cutler costs Packer 15,000

The NFL is charging Packers linebacker Eric Walden 15,000 for a shot to the head of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. The fourth quarter hit resulted in a roughing the passer penalty, wiping out an interception by cornerback Tramon Williams.

Walden has the right to appeal the fine and claims he did not land on Cutler or send him to the ground. (ChicagoTribune)

Kobe shows strong possibility of signing in Italy

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has reportedly reached a 3 million deal with Italian basketball team Virtus Bologna. The contract covers the first 40 days of the season, beginning on Oct. 9.

Although the deal hasnt been finalized, Bryant is set to get his work visa and return to Italy sometime next week to sign the contract. (ChicagoTribune)

Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

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Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

Loyola women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes is under investigation for coaching practices at the university.

The investigation was sparked after 10 of the team's 12 players have transferred or have requested releases — nine having been recruited by Swoopes. Loyola began an "independent and comprehensive university investigation" on April 15.

According to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, five former players have stated that Swoopes' "unusual coaching style" was the reason behind their exits.

Swoopes has declined to comment on any allegations, according to Ryan. Loyola released the following statement on Thursday:

"Until the investigation is completed, the athletics department and women's basketball coaching staff are conducting business as usual as we prepare for the 2016-2017 season."

Swoopes is listed as one of the greatest WNBA players of all-time. She was hired to coach Loyola's women's basketball team in 2013.

Click here to read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.

Cubs-Braves game has been postponed due to weather

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Cubs-Braves game has been postponed due to weather

There won't be any baseball at Wrigley Field on Saturday.

The Cubs-Braves game has been postponed due to weather. No makeup date has been announced yet.

It's the second time this week a Cubs game has been postponed due to weather — Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers was also rained out.

The Cubs were looking to extend their winning streak to five games on Saturday with John Lackey on the mound, but that will have to wait until Sunday.

Lackey will still pitch Sunday with Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester slated for Monday through Wednesday for the big three-game series in Pittsburgh. Kyle Hendricks was pushed back and will start Thursday at Wrigley Field in the series opener against the Washington Nationals.

'Trader Pace' keeps making Bears draft picks appear

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'Trader Pace' keeps making Bears draft picks appear

The Bears results through the first two days of the 2016 NFL Draft could qualify GM Ryan Pace as something of a conjurer:

After turning two picks into one player (Leonard Floyd) on Day 1, Pace went into Day 2 with seven remaining picks in the draft. He made two selections in the persons of Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair in the second round and Florida defensive end Jonathan Bullard in the third, and finished the day and headed into Saturday with…seven picks. Eight actually, if you count the 2017 fourth-round pick he added via a round-two trade with the Buffalo Bills.

(So I’m wondering, if I gave him my checkbook, could he maybe turn those lonely little numbers into… . Naah, probably not).

Pace and the Bears started the 2016 draft with two fourth-round picks; by early Friday night had three: the 19th, 26th and 29th picks, Nos. 117, 124 and 127 overall. Add to those their one pick in the fifth round, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Of course, that’s before Pace picked up his magic draft wand for the day’s activities. It’s early yet.

Pace is on record stating his philosophy of staying true to the team’s player rankings on the draft board, rather than succumb to the temptation to fill a need with a lesser player than one with the highest grade available. That was apparent in trades both up and down (twice) in the first two rounds of the 2016 draft.

Throughout those proceedings, the Bears also were aggressively working the phones, according to NFL reporter Aaron Leming, shopping outside linebackers Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, the Bears’ two sack leaders but rendered surplus with the acquisition of Floyd.

The Bears traded up to snag Floyd at No. 9 because of their grade on him, rather than simply use their designated pick at No. 11 and select Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, their next-highest-rated edge rusher. To make that deal Pace parted with the first of his two picks in the fourth round.

After Floyd, 23 more picks went off the board with only one edge rusher (Lawson) selected before Emmanuel Ogbah was chosen by Cleveland with the first pick of the second round. Meaning: Beyond Floyd, if the hope was a pass rusher, the falloff was considerable.

Then, before Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry was taken at No. 35 by the San Diego Chargers, the Bears reportedly tried unsuccessfully to trade up to No. 34 to grab Henry. Pace said that wasn’t really in play Friday night.

“We had some early talks, honestly, before the draft even started,” Pace said. “Nothing really came to fruition.”

But other things did. The Bears traded down from No. 41 to the Buffalo Bills’ spot at No. 49. In the process they acquired not one, but two fourth-round picks: Buffalo’s No. 4 in this draft (117th overall) and the Bills’ fourth-rounder in the 2017 draft.

But the Green Bay Packers then appeared to scramble plans by jumping over the Bears to take Indiana tackle Jason Spriggs. Whether because the Packers had snatched a Bears target or because the Halas Hall draft board did not have a player worth that second-round pick, or perhaps they had designs on Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (taken at No. 46 by the Detroit Lions), the Bears moved down – again.

“When our pick is approaching and we’re realizing that there are a lot of guys here that we like, there is a chance for us to go back knowing that we got enough names that we can still get a good player and pick up some picks. That’s why we did [the trade].”

In exchange for that Buffalo pick at No. 49, the Bears acquired Seattle’s pick at No. 56 and No. 124 in the fourth round.

“I would say, a little bit of [no difference-makers],” Pace conceded. “Also, we just had enough names that I felt like if we could go back they would still be there. At some point in this draft I wanted to acquire more picks.

“This night couldn’t have worked out better for us in regards to that. So I was very happy when we were able to go back and still get the guys that we want and still get these additional picks.”