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Franchise's greatest quarterback also its greatest millstone. Plus: Bill Freakin' Belichick, Jesus Christ, Really?; What We Have Here Is A Failure To Develop A Quarterback; Cubs Play Cards Right; Derrick Rose Doesn't Understand Consent Or Manhood; Abreu And Frazier Put Up Huge Meaningless Numbers; The Blackhawks Are (Almost) Back; Delle Donne's Got A Thumb Too; Chicago Fire Lost In Time; and Lovie, Wesleyan And Duke.
:36: The Jay Cutler Narratives Have Exhausted Us And We're Already Tired Of John Fox.
* Coffman: The Cutler Conundrum.
* Dear McCaskeys: Maybe The Problem Is You.
* Liars From The Start. August 2015:
Asked directly for the reasons behind the disinformation campaign, Pace said, "Protect the player, competitive reasons, all those things."
* Hoge: "John Fox actually forgot that Goldman's backup, Will Sutton, was active against the Eagles and played 19 snaps."
* Bill Belichick: Criminal mastermind.
* Wickersham: "A rising lack of discipline under Fox prompted Elway to sometimes yell at the team because Fox wouldn't. Before a late-season practice in 2014, Fox turned to a few people on the sideline and asked, 'Isn't winning the division enough?' A few weeks later, after the Broncos came out flat in a divisional playoff loss to the Colts, Fox got his answer."
* How (And Why) Athletes Go Broke: Lure of the tangible.
* Advanced Football Analytics: "'Establish the run' might be the three most over-used words in football analysis. Bad football analysis, that is."
23:42: Bill Freakin' Belichick, Jesus Christ, Really?
27:20: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Develop A Quarterback.
While it's easy to question the Bears for not using one of their three fourth round picks to draft Prescott, it's the larger failure to draft any quarterback that is especially confusing. The Bears had nine picks in the 2016 NFL Draft and have had 15 selections overall since Fox and general manager Ryan Pace arrived in Chicago. They've selected zero quarterbacks.
"It's kind of a team effort. Ya know? I think as far as personnel people, as well as the coaching staff, I think we've tried to take, in our opinion, the best available," Fox said. "And it's not been a quarterback."
Indeed Pace and Fox have stuck to the idea of taking "the best player available" regardless of need, but the quarterback position deserves extra attention because the $63 billion league depends so much on the position . . .
Organizationally, the Bears haven't used the top resource to supplement their quarterback depth. In fact, amazingly, the organization has drafted just three quarterbacks in the last 11 years and none higher than the fifth round. Think about that. They haven't used a draft pick higher than the fifth round on the most important position in sports in 11 years.
And if you go all the way back to 2000, the Bears have only drafted one quarterback higher than the fourth round - Rex Grossman with the No. 22 overall pick in 2003.
By comparison, even the New England Patriots - who have had the most stable quarterback situation in the league with Tom Brady as their starter since 2001 - have drafted four quarterbacks in Rounds 2 and 3 since 2008. Two of those guys are Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, who are not only getting the Patriots through the first four weeks of the season without Brady, but are also providing New England with hope for the future and/or trade chips.
* Rhodes: "The best quarterback in Bears history is also the biggest millstone in Bears history."
38:15: Cubs Play Cards Right.
The time will come for the Cubs to focus less on day-to-day success and more on setting things up just right for the postseason. According to manager Joe Maddon, that time will be on the regular-season-ending seven-game road trip that begins after the series against the Cardinals.
Emphasis on "after."
That means regulars on the field and business as usual in the bullpen this weekend. And it means doing right by the Giants, Mets and baseball on the whole.
"With respect for everybody, you've got to play these next three games right," Maddon said. "Not that I don't trust our other guys, but, industry-wise, you just want to be able to do that.
"I've been on both sides of it. When you're on that other side, you definitely want to make sure that the teams that are in contention are playing against what you perceive to be the other team's best team. So, yeah, we'll play it straight-up."
* Bring on Baker.
* The "sports builds character" myth.
56:23: Abreu And Frazier Put Up Huge Meaningless Numbers.
* Our very own Roger Wallenstein: Reload.
* Previously: Fire Sale.
1:01:40: The Blackhawks Are (Almost) Back.
1:03:11: Delle Donne's Got A Thumb Too.
1:03:19: 'The Chicago Fire Look Like A Team Lost In Time.'
* Opponents' biggest challenge is guarding against a letdown.
1:03:27: Lovie, Wesleyan and Duke.
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Posted on Jul 24, 2017