|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Tim Tebow denies asking out of Jets’ wildcat package||12.27.12 at 8:06 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Mavericks at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: New Mexico at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Military Bowl, San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Belk Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Duke, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Holiday Bowl, Baylor vs. UCLA, 9:45 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Tim Tebow finally spoke up and defended himself against accusations he asked out of the team’s wildcat package for Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, although his explanation is open to interpretation.
“You work your whole life to build a reputation,” Tebow said Wednesday. “Then people try to bring you down when they don’t understand even what happened. It’s disappointing. You just want to express your side of the story.”
Tebow admitted telling Rex Ryan that he was frustrated at not being named starter and with “running up the middle” consistently on the wildcat, and he acknowledged the “possibility” that Ryan misinterpreted him to mean he wanted out. But he insisted that he didn’t want to come off as being selfish.
“I never said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do anything. I won’t do anything,’ ” Tebow said. “That wasn’t the talk at all. He knows that. And everybody on this team knows that I would never not do something if I was asked. That’s what’s disappointing. … People saying, ‘Oh, you quit.’ That was not it at all. It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn’t me asking out of anything.”
Added Tebow: “When people talk about how you play football and how much, that’s one thing. That really doesn’t bother me. I think the only thing that’s been disappointing these last few days and frustrating is people saying, ‘Oh you quit on your team or you’re not a good teammate.’ ”
♦ The Bears apparently don’t mind giving the Lions some bulletin-board material heading into Sunday’s regular-season finale.
The last time these teams met — a 13-7 Bears victory on Oct. 22 — Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was criticized (but not penalized nor fined) for driving Bears quarterback Jay Cutler‘s head into the turf on a sack.
Bears DT Henry Melton said Wednesday he’s expecting more of the same this weekend from the Lions.
“They’re dirty,” Melton said. “They’ve always been a dirty team since I’ve been here. I don’t like them. We’ve just got to hold our composure and play the game we know. They just try to do all this extra stuff: talking, little cheap shots. If you look at the tape, they’ve always thrown cheap shots. We had a brawl I think last year. So it is what it is. I’m ready.”
Meanwhile, Bears safety Major Wright said Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford can be rattled if he’s pressured. Wright did acknowledge that Stafford is “a good quarterback” who can “pick you apart” if given time. But, added Wright: “You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates. He doesn’t make that perfect throw. … He can make any throw on that field, so you have to be aware of putting pressure on him because you put a little pressure on him, he kind of folds.”
♦ Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges — keeping busy as the NHL lockout continues — took to Twitter to organize an outdoor hockey game with fans at a neighborhood rink in Montreal on Wednesday afternoon.
“I haven’t played outdoors in a long time, but I figured we’ve got some time and I’ve got nothing else to do,” Gorges told reporters during a break from the game. “I was just looking to skate outdoors and I threw it out there on Twitter and so many people were asking where I’d go play, so I thought why not set a time and place and we’ll all come and play.”
Tweeted Gorges afterward: Thanks to everyone who showed up for the game today had alot of fun!! What do you think should we organize another game??
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 27, 1956, which Celtics player had his consecutive free throw streak ended at 55 — an NBA record that stood for 19 years?
|Report: 49ers QB Alex Smith out for Monday night Bears-49ers game||11.19.12 at 10:43 am ET|
Quarterback Alex Smith will not start for the 49ers on Monday night against the Bears because he was not given clearance from a neurologist after suffering a concussion last week, according to an ESPN report.
If the report proves true, Colin Kaepernick will make his first start in Smith’s place.
Smith had been practicing last week and reports indicated he was on track to start the game.
The Monday night matchup is a backup showdown, as the Bears already ruled out starting quarterback Jay Cutler last week. Jason Campbell will start in his place.
|Backup quarterback showdown possible for Monday night Bears-49ers game||11.16.12 at 1:41 pm ET|
When the Bears and 49ers play Monday night, it might be a matchup of backup quarterbacks as both Bears QB Jay Cutler and 49ers QB Alex Smith deal with post-concussion issues from hits received in their last game.
Jason Campbell would replace Cutler if it turns out he is not ready. Colin Kaepernick would start in place of Smith.
Bears coach Lovie Smith said Cutler continues to improve, but it’s not clear if he’ll be ready to go against the 49ers. Smith added that Cutler could play even if he doesn’t practice.
Meanwhile, the NFL has fined Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins $30,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cutler during the first half of Sunday night’s game.
|Week 11 NFL Injury Roundup: Jay Cutler out indefinitely with broken thumb||11.22.11 at 1:05 pm ET|
As the Bears prepare for their trip to Oakland to take on the Raiders Sunday, they do so without the leader of the their offense. Quarterback Jay Cutler will need surgery on a broken thumb on his right throwing hand and will be out for an extended period of time, according to coach Lovie Smith.
Cutler suffered the injury trying to make a tackle after an interception in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s 31-20 win over the Chargers on Sunday. He finished the game, as the team did not know the full extent of the injury until after the game.
While the injury is a blow to the Bears (7-3), Smith stressed that Cutler will play again this year.
“Is it a season-ending injury? No,” Smith said. “From what I’ve been told right now, we can expect him back at the end of the regular season.”
Following are more notable injuries from Week 11 of the NFL season.
• Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of Minnesota’s loss to the Raiders on Sunday. Peterson’s status for next week’s game against the Falcons is unknown. He will wear a protective boot and not practice until Friday to determine his availability against Atlanta.
• Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is expected to play against the Falcons after suffering a mild strain of the hamstring against the Raiders.
|Bears QB Jay Cutler on criticism: ‘I can’t say it didn’t bother me’||04.08.11 at 11:02 am ET|
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who stood on the sidelines for much of the NFC championship game with a Grade 2 MCL tear in his knee, acknowledged in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that the criticism he received from players around the league affected him.
“I was gone, and I stayed away from it all,” Cutler said. “But I can’t say it didn’t bother me that people questioned my toughness and desire to play.
“I think I’ve been through a lot here in Chicago, and I would have loved to play.”
Cutler said he appreciated the support he received from his teammates.
“Those are the guys you are with a lot of the time,” he said, “and those guys didn’t flinch. I’ve got to thank them for that.”
|Charles Barkley criticizes players for mocking Jay Cutler||01.26.11 at 10:22 am ET|
NBA analyst Charles Barkley weighed in on the Jay Cutler controversy Tuesday, saying he was disappointed with players who criticized the Bears quarterback for an apparent lack of toughness.
“I was mad at the players, to be honest with you,” Barkley told ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy’s heart. Now reporters, they’re going to do what they want to. They’re entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don’t think it’s appropriate to question another guy’s heart.”
Barkley singled out Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who had tweeted a comment Sunday.
“If you go back and start looking at all the stuff that’s been said, and clearly one of the more vocal critics was Maurice Jones-Drew, and then you find out he missed the last two games with a bad knee,” Barkley said. “And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay.
“You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, [Jones-Drew] sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now.”
Jones-Drew, meanwhile, answered his critics by saying he was joking about Cutler and his offending tweet was taken out of context.
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ UConn booster Robert Burton is coming under fire after the publication of his six-page letter to athletic director Jeff Hathaway detailed Burton’s displeasure with the hiring of new football coach Paul Pasqualoni. Burton said he want a portion of the $7 million he has donated to UConn returned because his advice was not heeded (he wanted to hire Steve Addazio). Burton, who sent a copy of the letter to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, also threatened to pull business from the state.
♦ A dozen members of the University of Iowa football team were hospitalized a few days after an especially intense offseason workout. One of the players is freshman linebacker Shane DiBona of Duxbury, who wrote on Facebook last Thursday: I had to squat 240 pounds 100 times and it was timed. I can’t walk and I fell down the stairs … lifes great.
The school announced Tuesday that the players “were responding well to treatment.” DiBona’s father, Alan, told The Des Moines Register that his son is “doing great.”
♦ The Jay Cutler toughness issue continues to be a hot topic in the sports world, especially in Chicago. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Rick Telander writes that Cutler’s image is irreparably damaged and he might have to leave town.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: Jan. 26 is the anniversary of the Patriots’ Super Bowl losses in 1986 (to the Bears) and 1997 (Packers). Both times, the MVP was not an offensive player. Who were the MVPs of those games?
|UPDATE: Bears QB Jay Cutler has sprained MCL||01.24.11 at 12:04 pm ET|
In the aftermath of reports (including this one from the Chicago Sun-Times) that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during Sunday’s loss to the Packers, Bears coach Lovie Smith clarified that Cutler suffered a sprained MCL.
Cutler left the game early and has been widely criticized for a lack of toughness since the NFC championship game ended, but Smith defended his quarterback, and said that the injury was severe enough that his availability for the Super Bowl would have been in question. Smith told reporters that Cutler “showed a lot of toughness” in trying to play through the injury and wanted to return to the game, but that the medical and coaching staff decided that he could not do so.
He added that he was surprised by the intensity of reaction by other NFL players to the injury, suggesting that those who are on and around the Bears do not question the quarterback’s toughness.
The Sun-Times report indicated the team is determining the grade of the MCL tear, which helps determine if the injury can heal naturally or if it would require surgery.
For more, click here.
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY MONDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Kings 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Jets coach Rex Ryan got a sendoff from fans in the town where he lives before the Jets lost Sunday’s AFC championship game to the Steelers. Fans were invited to show up outside his New Jersey house Saturday morning for an early morning pep rally. Invitations were sent by the mayor of Summit, N.J., as well as the local high school football coach. The event was approved by Ryan’s wife, Michelle, who made an appearance.
Meanwhile, after Sunday’s game, Ryan told the media he plans to be back next year, and people that want to criticize his team can “go ahead, but you’ve really got no right.”
♦ Jay Cutler‘s toughness has been questioned after the Bears quarterback left Sunday’s NFL championship game against the Packers with a knee injury. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Rick Telander defenders Cutler, writing that he has many flaws, but lack of toughness isn’t one of them.
♦ The Lakers are showing signs of trouble during the regular season, but that’s something they’ve done before, only to regroup in time for the playoffs. In The Los Angeles Times, Mark Heisler explains why this year’s edition of the Lakers might not be able to turn things around in time.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 24, 1971, the Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-2 at Boston Garden after a pregame ceremony honoring which active player?
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Packers in the first half with a left knee injury. He played the first series of the third quarter before leaving the game for good. Backup Todd Collins (from Walpole) came on in relief but was ineffective and was replaced by Caleb Hanie. The Bears lost the game, 21-14. Afterward, Cutler was being criticized for an apparent lack of toughness.
Tweeted NFL analyst Deion Sanders: Folks i never question a players injury but i do question a players heart.
Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett tweeted: If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher defended his teammate. “Nothing like jealous people at home watching,” he said. “Players around the league you said, right? Yeah, I love jealous people when they are watching our game on TV while their season is over.”
Added Urlacher: “Jay was hurt. I don’t question his toughness, he’s tough as hell. He’s one of the toughest players on our football team. He doesn’t complain when he gets hit. He goes out there and plays every Sunday, he practices every single day, so, no, we don’t question his toughness.”
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