Review Category : National Sports

Bears Introduce Ryan Pace

iStock/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) — The Chicago Bears introduced the youngest general manager in the NFL, Ryan Pace, on Friday.

Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired after the season ended, and spent the previous 14 seasons working in the New Orleans Saints front office, the last two serving at the director of player personnel.

Pace will now have the duty of finding a head coach after the Bears fired Marc Trestman when the season ended.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s an offense or defensive coach, if it’s a 3-4 or 4-3 [defensive system],” Pace said. “I’m looking for the head coach that has the traits we’re looking for. That’s confidence, charisma, discipline, leadership; the best man for the job.”

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

“In 2005, we came into that season when Sean [Payton] got there in ’06 and everyone thought, ‘This is a massive rebuild,” Pace said. “This team has been decimated.’ And we quickly put together a team to go the NFC championship that very next year.”

“But then if you think about the next two years, we were continuing to build, continuing to progress. So 2007, [we were] progressing, 2008 progressing, 2009 we won a Super Bowl,” Pace continued. “The most important thing is we have an aggressive plan and we’re improving, [we] developed an organizational philosophy right then and there on the players that we wanted to acquire, and the whole building was on the same page. Everything was focused on winning games, everyone dropped their egos, and the rest is history.”

Chicago has missed the postseason seven out of the last eight years.

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Bears Introduce Ryan Pace

iStock/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) — The Chicago Bears introduced the youngest general manager in the NFL, Ryan Pace, on Friday.

Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired after the season ended, and spent the previous 14 seasons working in the New Orleans Saints front office, the last two serving at the director of player personnel.

Pace will now have the duty of finding a head coach after the Bears fired Marc Trestman when the season ended.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s an offense or defensive coach, if it’s a 3-4 or 4-3 [defensive system],” Pace said. “I’m looking for the head coach that has the traits we’re looking for. That’s confidence, charisma, discipline, leadership; the best man for the job.”

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

“In 2005, we came into that season when Sean [Payton] got there in ’06 and everyone thought, ‘This is a massive rebuild,” Pace said. “This team has been decimated.’ And we quickly put together a team to go the NFC championship that very next year.”

“But then if you think about the next two years, we were continuing to build, continuing to progress. So 2007, [we were] progressing, 2008 progressing, 2009 we won a Super Bowl,” Pace continued. “The most important thing is we have an aggressive plan and we’re improving, [we] developed an organizational philosophy right then and there on the players that we wanted to acquire, and the whole building was on the same page. Everything was focused on winning games, everyone dropped their egos, and the rest is history.”

Chicago has missed the postseason seven out of the last eight years.

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Patriots Reward Patrick Chung and Brandon Bolden with Contract Extensions

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New England Patriots are already looking ahead to the future as they have agreed on contract extensions with safety Patrick Chung and running back Brandon Bolden.

ESPN reports Chung’s deal is for three years and worth up to $8.2 million, with $3.4 million of that guaranteed.

Meanwhile Bolden signed a two-year deal worth $2.32 million

Chung spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots and was a solid defender for them as they made the playoffs on an annual basis. He played for the Philadelphia Ealges in 2013, but re-signed with the team in 2014 and recorded 85 tackles — the most he’s had in a season 2010.

The 24-year-old Bolden is in his third season with the Patriots. He had just 28 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, but his true value comes on special teams. He’s considered one of the team’s best special teams players so his value does not also show up in the box score.

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Nationals’ Jayson Werth Expected to Miss 3-4 Months After Shoulder Surgery

Eliot Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is expected to undergo shoulder surgery on Friday and will miss around 2-3 months.

The 35-year-old Werth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint of his right shoulder. He had battled some shoulder issues back in August, even missing about a week as a result.

Because of the surgery, it is unknown just when Werth will be ready to resume baseball activities, but the hope is that he’ll be ready to join the team once the regular season starts in April.

In his 12th Major League season, Werth is still a very productive all-around outfielder for the Nationals. In 147 games this past season, Werth hit .292 with 16 home runs, 82 RBIs, and a .394 on base percentage.

Werth still has three years left remaining on his seven-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Nationals back in 2011.

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Trail Blazers Extend GM Neil Olshey

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — As the Portland Trail Blazers continue to ascend as one of the best teams in the Western Conference, they’ve rewarded general manager Neil Olshey with a contract extension.

“Our team has made great strides under Neil’s leadership, and I am excited to extend his contract,” said owner Paul Allen. “Neil has done an outstanding job as General Manager by quickly rebuilding our team into a playoff contender. The franchise is clearly on the upswing, and I hope to see further improvements in the years to come.”

Olshey took over GM duties for the team prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season, and he’s played a huge role in the team’s rise in the standings since then.

One of Olshey’s first moves was drafting Damian Lillard sixth overall in 2012. He’s become one of the best point guards in the NBA.

At 28-8, the Blazers have the second-best record in the NBA entering Friday.

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ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Kyle Shanahan has resigned as the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.

ESPN also reports quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains has been fired.

Shanahan spent only one season in Cleveland and, according to ESPN, left because he did not agree with the front office about Johnny Manziel. Shanahan didn’t believe the team could win with Manziel as the starter, but the front office insisted on starting him.

The Browns’ offense was 20th in passing yards per game and 17th in rushing yards per game last season.

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ESPN: Kenyon Martin Joining Bucks

Christopher Trottman(NEW YORK) — Forward Kenyon Martin will sign a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN.

The move means 37-year-old Martin will join forces with Bucks head coach Jason Kidd once again: the two played together for the New Jersey Nets, going to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.

After the contract is up, if the Bucks decide that they want to retain Martin’s services, they can offer him one more 10-day contract before having to choose between signing him for the rest of the season or letting him go.

Martin has played for the Nuggets, the Nets, the Knicks, and the Clippers during his 14-season NBA career. During that time, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft has averaged 12.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

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Red Wings Place Franzen on IR

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DETROIT) — The Detroit Red Wings placed center Johan Franzen on the injured reserve list due to an upper body injury.

Franzen was injured in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton.

The Wings called up forward Teemu Pulkkinen from their AHL team in Grand Rapids to cover.

Pulkkinen leads the AHL in goals (20) and is second in points (39). He also set a Grand Rapids rookie record last season with 31 goals.

This season, 35-year-old Franzen has seven goals and 15 assists in 33 games for Detroit (22-10-9, 53 pts).

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Mueller’s Ray Rice Report Flags NFL’s Effort to Get Videotape

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) — The NFL’s investigation into the domestic abuse case involving Ray Rice lacked thoroughness, according to a report released Thursday by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the Feb. 15 incident,” Mueller said in a statement accompanying the report.

The report says no one at the NFL saw the video of the former Ravens star punching his now-wife in the Revel casino elevator before it was posted to TMZ, but Mueller’s report suggested the NFL didn’t try very hard to obtain it.

“League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information. No one from the League asked Rice or his lawyer whether they would make available for viewing the in-elevator video they received as part of criminal discovery in early April,” Mueller wrote.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS Sept. 10, “On multiple occasions, we asked for it. And on multiple occasions we were told no.”

The NFL released a statement by Goodell that did not directly address Mueller’s claim that the commissioner’s office did not try very hard to obtain the elevator video, but said, “We accept his findings and recommendations.”

“We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault,” the statement said.

The NFL and Goodell came under scathing criticism for initially punishing Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, with just a two-game suspension. After the surveillance video became public, Goodell acknowledged falling short and suspended Rice indefinitely from the NFL.

Who was contacted by the NFL and when they were contacted have become central focuses of the domestic abuse scandal that engulfed the league and, for a time, jeopardized the commissioner’s career atop the most valuable sports organization in the country. Goodell, who has apologized repeatedly, has insisted efforts were made to find out what Rice had done to Janay Palmer, now his wife.

Mueller’s report said, “Had the League undertaken a more substantial investigation, it may have gathered available information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release.”

The report is flawed because the Associated Press, which reported a woman at the league confirmed receipt of the video in an April 9 telephone call, declined to cooperate.

“We have reviewed the report and stand by our original reporting,” said Kathleen Carroll, the AP’s executive editor.

The Atlantic City Police Department also declined to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, and those are the two parties who possibly would have been able to provide evidence that the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown.

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Bears Name Saints Executive Ryan Pace General Manager

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) — The Chicago Bears have named New Orleans Saints executive Ryan Pace as general manager, replacing the fired Phil Emery, the team announced on Thursday.

Pace spent the previous 14 seasons working in the Saints’ front office, the last two serving as the director of player personnel. From 2007 to 2012, he was New Orleans’ director of pro scouting.

The Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman in late December after they finished the 2014 season with a 5-11 record.

Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.

The Bears have missed the postseason seven of the past eight seasons.

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