As the Chicago Bears rev up for the season, no one really knows how the division standings will unfold, but it feels good to have some freshness at the top.
While former defensive-minded coach Lovie Smith and the Bears won 10 games last year, the 2013 Bears have finally realized you need to outscore teams to win in today's game.
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Winning with the focus on defense first just isn't getting it done anymore.
I am not sure if the Bears will win 6 or 10 games this year, but the "no contract extensions for anyone" mandate issued by the general manager Phil Emery leads me to believe we will see plenty of effort -- making it an entertaining season.
The unknown is the best draw!
A questionable outfield
The Chicago White Sox have the worst record in baseball since the all-star break, and the scary thing is that this team was picked to contend.
Now we are picking up other people's top prospects. The Sox in a three-way deal picked up the Detroit Tiger's 22-year-old outfield phenom Avisail Garcia, a five-tool player traded within the division.
Is the Tiger's president and general manager Dave Dombrowski taking a big chance, or does he see something we don't? Why is Garcia gone if he is all that?
I see a problem with weight and discipline with this young player. We just might have ourselves another Dayan Viciedo, a 5-foot-11 and 240-pound outfielder.
I can't wait for that lightning quick outfield of Garcia, Viciedo and whomever. It's possible the Sox will have the slowest and biggest outfield in the league.
Manziel may want out:
It is being reported Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel collected a five-figure fee to sign autographs in an apartment at the BCS title game in January.
I recently wrote the kid should take a step back, and my advice still stands.
The young man is from a relatively well-to do family, so I'm left wondering if this story is true, why do it?
Does he want out?
At this point, I wouldn't want him on my team.
Here's my question: is he the next Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or the next Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell?
I pick the latter two. There's plenty of blame to go around between his coaches, his parents and, of course, himself.
Will he ever be successful again and fulfill expectations? Right now it is 50-50 whether he even takes a snap this season.
I'd like to extend my condolences to the entire Lauricella family on the sudden death of my cousin John, who died from injuries suffered in an accident.
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.