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updated: 8/8/2014 6:19 AM

For Bears and Eagles, expectations remain high

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  • With his innovative offense, expectations are rising for Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles and the Bears play tonight at Soldier Field.

      With his innovative offense, expectations are rising for Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles and the Bears play tonight at Soldier Field.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

While many people expect the Chicago Bears to go deep into the playoffs under second-year head coach Marc Trestman, I still believe that road might be pretty tough against the other three teams in the NFC North -- Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota.

Tonight's preseason football game will feature the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bears, two teams with Super Bowl dreams dancing in their heads. Even without top receiver DeSean Jackson, now with Washington, the anticipation in Philly is what the expectations are here.

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The difference is that head coach Chip Kelly is the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, much like Jimmy Johnson was for the Dallas Cowboys back in the 1990s, and quarterback Jay Cutler is the face of the franchise for the Bears.

Let the games begin!

NBA rosters a surprise:

What a difference a year makes.

The NBA rosters this fall will sure look a lot different from what any of us expected at the end of last season. Who thought all-star forward Kevin Love would be joining LeBron James this year on the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Even though they will have the two best players in the East, it will be the rest of the team that will determine whether the Cavs win their division or not.

There is a joke going around that the Cavs, after coveting the aging Mike Miller, are interested in Bill Russell, Dr. J and Luc Longley.

The Chicago Bulls might be deep, but competing against a team with the two best players will be a big challenge for Tom Thibodeau's team ball and defensive style of play. I really think it is going to be a great season of NBA basketball.

Time for change:

Let's say goodbye to the infield shift.

I hate what the replay system has done to baseball, and even more what has happened to the position of catcher.

There are very few bang-bang plays in baseball today, and arguments between managers and umpires have become almost extinct.

The newest pest in baseball, however, is the infield shift, which by definition is "an extreme defensive realignment from the standard positions to blanket one side of the field or another."

The Houston Astros have actually used it more than 300 times this season.

If I was the commissioner, I would say second base is the line and it's illegal to have three infielders on one side.

Here's my reasoning:

In one game, I saw two Philadelphia Phillies hitters, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, get a total of four hits taken away and get thrown out by Houston Astro's second baseman Juan Altuve, who was in short right field.

Since the mound can't be lowered anymore and instant replay is here to stay, if baseball wants more runs, give the offense a break and outlaw the shift.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• 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.

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