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  • Dallas Cowboys LB McClain convicted in Alabama Jul 25, 2014 5:45 PM
    A judge on Friday convicted Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in his Alabama hometown and imposed an 18-day jail term that could interrupt the player’s bid to restart his career.

     
  • Rookie CB Fuller has eye-opening first day Jul 25, 2014 6:58 PM
    Bears rookie first-round draft pick Kyle Fuller made an exceptional first impression, intercepting 2 passes Friday morning in the team's first training camp practice.

     
  • Allen plans to lead by example Jul 25, 2014 7:00 PM
    It hasn't taken long for five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen to establish himself as a leader by example on a Bears defense looking to rebound from a disastrous 2013 season.

     
  • Suspended NFL WR Blackmon arrested on drug complaint Jul 24, 2014 6:37 PM
    The Jacksonville Jaguars have no plans to part ways with troubled receiver Justin Blackmon. Owner Shad Khan made it clear Thursday that Blackmon will remain on the roster despite his latest arrest. “We want to keep him as a player,” Khan said following a charity kickoff luncheon at EverBank Stadium.

     
  • No way Bears avoid injury bug a second straight season Jul 24, 2014 5:30 AM
    Can the Bears' offense stay remarkably healthy and remarkably effective for a second straight season? History advises to believe it only when you see it.

     
  • Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL Jul 24, 2014 5:19 PM
    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL on Thursday following his offseason arrest for domestic violence. Rice will miss the season opener against AFC North champion Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The six-year veteran was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer. The 27-year-old Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged. Rice met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month after joining the diversion program. Goodell ultimately decided to suspend the running back for two games without pay and fine him an additional game check “for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.” Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, “the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.” In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote: “As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.” Rice’s suspension will begin on Aug. 30. He will be eligible for reinstatement Sept. 12 after the Pittsburgh game. Rice may participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games. “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement issued by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.” Rice is the team’s career leader in total scrimmage yards and ranks behind only Jamal Lewis in total yards rushing. Bernard Pierce is expected to start for Rice in Baltimore’s first two games. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement: “We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice. The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.” He added, “We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.” Rice’s teammates were not stunned by the news of the suspension. “You knew something was going to happen,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “I’ll be glad when those two games are up.” Coach John Harbaugh said, “It’s part of the process. There are consequences when you make a mistake; we’ll move forward.” Rice participated Thursday in Baltimore’s first full-squad practice. Before that session began, the Ravens lost cornerback Aaron Ross for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, a mishap that occurred during his conditioning

     
  • Cutler knows he can trust O-line Jul 25, 2014 12:16 AM
    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has every right to feel secure behind an offensive line that returns every starter from last year's group that showed substantial improvement in pass protection.

     
  • Bears have 4 position battles worth watching Jul 25, 2014 6:44 AM
    Several critical position battles will be worth watching, including linebacker and safety, when the Bears' training camp practices begin Friday morning. By the time the Bears break camp Aug. 13, some outcomes may be decided, while others could go right up until the season opener. Following are four of the more entertaining competitions.

     
  • 35 special things about Frank Thomas Jul 25, 2014 3:53 PM
    White Sox beat writer Scot Gregor lists 35 facts, moments and Memories for No. 35, White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. The Big Hurt is going to be inducted into the Hall on Sunday.

     
  • Bears not about to rest on laurels during training camp Jul 24, 2014 6:00 AM
    On paper it looks like this could be a great season for the Bears, who have accumulated a talented group of young and old players. But the difficult process of transforming paper to production and performance still remains, beginning with training camp practices which begin on Friday. “We've got to turn paper into performance and excellence,” Trestman said.

     
  • Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s Jul 23, 2014 5:36 PM
    Even as dementia began to rob him of some of his fondest memories over the past few years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen reported to work every day to oversee multimillion-dollar upgrades to the team’s training facilities and roster. So his absence from Dove Valley headquarters on Wednesday as players reported for physicals on the eve of training camp was as jarring as the announcement that the 70-year-old Bowlen was giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer’s disease.

     
  • New book explores Aurora’s long-running prep football rivalry Jul 22, 2014 12:08 PM
    The first definitive history of the oldest football rivalry in Illinois, “Aurora’s East-West Football Rivalry” by Steve Solarz, will be released Aug. 1 as part of an Aurora Historical Society event. Solarz will sign copies of the book from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.

     
  • Special challenges ahead for Bears special teams Jul 21, 2014 7:54 PM
    The turnover in personnel on Bears special teams will create more than the ususal amount of questions in that phase of the game as Marc Trestman's team reports Wednesday to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais for the start of training camp (first practice on Friday). Bob LeGere answers the key questions facings the special teams unit.

     
  • Enough already with cuddly Bears mascot Jul 21, 2014 7:53 PM
    The Bears could learn something from the Cleveland Browns, of all people: Replace their cuddly bear of a mascot with a real bear that is menacing like real football players should be.

     
  • Bourbonnais prepares to feed hungry Bears and fans Jul 21, 2014 11:50 AM
    You might not think local businesses would be happy about the prospect of hulking Bears roaming town, but when those bears are the kind that wear helmets and play at Soldier Field it is a different story. In Bourbonnais, as the Chicago Bears are getting ready to start training camp, restaurants are particularly excited about seeing all those hungry players and the hungry fans that come down to watch them prepare for the season.

     
  • 5 key questions facing the Bears defense Jul 21, 2014 6:07 AM
    There are plenty of questions and room for improvement on the Bears' defense as the team reports for training camp on Wednesday. The addition of of several new players should give Mel Tucker's crew a much different look this year.

     
  • 6 questions facing Bears offense at training camp Jul 19, 2014 3:48 PM
    Expectations are high for a Bears offense that was one of the league's most explosive last season, but there are still plenty of questions as the team prepares for the start of training camp, and most of those questions concern quarterback Jay Cutler.

     
  • 49er Aldon Smith sentenced to probation in weapons case Jul 18, 2014 8:24 PM
    San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was sentenced Friday to serve three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.

     
  • Vikings suspend special teams coordinator Priefer for 3 games Jul 18, 2014 8:28 PM
    The Minnesota Vikings will suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay remarks made by Priefer.

     
  • Former NFL players sue union over concussions Jul 18, 2014 5:04 PM
    Five former NFL players, including six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Neil Smith, are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries. The lawsuit on behalf of Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with the plaintiffs claiming the NFL Players Association “withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries.

     
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