Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Bears aren’t moved much by Johnny Manziel circus ]]> Lead story image

Bears linebacker Jon Bostic faced Johnny Manziel before his ‘‘Johnny Football’’ persona — all of the noteworthy plays on the field and the notoriety off it — grabbed the nation’s attention and never let go. Hurricane Isaac had postponed Manziel’s Texas A&M debut in 2012, making Bostic’s Florida team his first college opponent instead of Louisiana Tech. And Manziel was a mystery. ‘‘Nobody knew who Johnny Manziel was,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘I’m sitting there watching his high school highlight tape the night before the game. ‘‘[Florida] coach [Will] Muschamp said, ‘Listen, I recruited this kid to play safety at Texas.’ . . . … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:35:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jordan Lynch’s fate still up in the air ]]> Lead story image

Maybe Jordan Lynch has come to accept the Bears’ practice squad as his likely fate. Or maybe he subtly was lobbying to join it. Either way, the 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist from Northern Illinois spent a lot of time talking about the Bears’ 10-man unit Tuesday. ‘‘There’s so many things I can do,’’ he said. ‘‘I can play quarterback. I can play running back. I can kind of split out and play receiver and just give the Bears any chance to get a better look for that week.’’ Squint your eyes enough, and it’s easy to see him mimicking San … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:49:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jordan Palmer joins Bills, raising concerns for Bears ]]> Lead story image

Quarterback Jordan Palmer signed with the Bears’ Week 1 opponent Tuesday — perhaps because the Buffalo Bills found him to be an upgrade, perhaps because they wanted to pump him for information, or both. ‘‘It’s not an ideal situation,’’ Bears starter Jay Cutler said Tuesday at Halas Hall. ‘‘It’s not exactly what you want. He can give them things.’’ Cutler suspected Palmer would meet with Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz upon signing. ‘‘Snap counts and the stuff we do, some of our tricks, what plays we like,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘But they still have to defend it, so we won’t change … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:50:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Drafting RB in first two rounds is a must ]]> Lead story image

Fantasy football is different from reality football. Look no further than the first round of your basic 10-team fantasy draft. Despite the NFL becoming a passing league — the 18,136 total passes last season were the most in league history — the round will be dominated by running backs. The reason is simple: supply and demand. Last season, of the top 20 scorers in a standard-scoring system, 16 were quarterbacks and four were running backs. Even if you pass on the cream of the crop at quarterback, you can come away with a solid starter. But if you pass on … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:46:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears’ special teams need a lot of work ]]> Lead story image

The Bears miss Devin Hester, but they also miss Blake Costanzo. Heck, they miss Eric Weems — and they cut him a week ago. The Bears’ special teams look like a mess less than two weeks before their regular-season opener. They’re no closer to finding a kick returner to replace Hester than they were at the start of camp. Their coverage teams looked as though they were still on training wheels Friday against the Seattle Seahawks. Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 46 yards to set up a touchdown drive. Earl Thomas returned a punt 59 yards to set up … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:33:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears’ old defense seems a step slow ]]> Lead story image

MORRISSEY: After Friday’s game, coach Marc Trestman said the defense’s issues were fixable, but how do you fix “slow?’’ How do you fix “older than Methuselah?’’ ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:48:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Madden 15 ratings: Brandon Marshall leads Bears ]]> Lead story image

There is still hope for you Shea McClellin believers. All 12 of you left. Some extra training in the Game Prep mode for the former first-round pick, a few bonuses thrown at his overall rating, and by Week 10, the former defensive end-turned-linebacker might be serviceable for the Bears. That’s highly doubtful in real life, but on your television screen in 1080p in the new Madden 15, anything is possible, especially on defense. With the release today of the latest edition of the most ­successful franchise in sports gaming history, Madden 15 doesn’t disappoint. Beginning with the gameplay, the version … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:57:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mel Tucker says facing Seahawks good preparation for season ]]> Lead story image

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker tried to paint a positive picture Monday of the thrashing his starters endured Friday against the Seattle Seahawks. One of the positives in his eyes? ‘‘No double-digit runs,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘I think that’s the first time in the preseason we haven’t had a run over 10 yards. That’s the first time in quite some time.’’ The best-case scenario for Tucker is that the Seahawks’ 34-6 rout of the Bears — most of which came against the starters in the first half — will provide his players with a blueprint for better results against other mobile quarterbacks. … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:37:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Upside played in Jimmy Clausen’s favor in winning backup QB job ]]> Lead story image

Even though he insisted Monday that the battle for Jay Cutler’s backup position had been close, coach Marc Trestman offered an unimpeachable explanation for why the team chose Jimmy Clausen over Jordan Palmer. “Jimmy’s played a lot more football in this league,” Trestman said. “He’s younger.” Although he hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass since the last game of his rookie year — Jan. 2, 2011 — Clausen’s 299 career ­attempts are about 20 times more than Palmer’s, who had tried 15 passes in five seasons. Clausen’s upside is greater, pure and simple. The 26-year-old outplayed Palmer — who was cut … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:59:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears coaches saw enough to make a call on concussed Chris Conte ]]>

Chris Conte played “fast” and “aggressive” with “no hesitation” before suffering a concussion on Friday, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said Monday. Despite having played only part of one game after recovering from shoulder surgery, the Bears have seen enough to be able to judge the safety. “With the time available, we felt like that was enough to make a clean evaluation on him,” Tucker said. Coach Marc Trestman called Conte “day-to-day,” saying he could not quantify the severity of his concussion because he was going through the protocol. Fales to start Despite not playing the last two preseason games, rookie … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:59:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ NFL Fantasy Football: The perfect draft ]]> Lead story image

LADD BIRO: In an ideal world, my starting NFL Fantasy Football lineup this season would feature Peyton Manning, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, A.J. Green and Jimmy Graham. ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:48:00 -0500