Mike Ditka was a guest on Newsmax and he delivered exactly what the program expected, telling NFL players, “if you can’t respect this country, get the hell out.”
This has been Ditka’s take from the git-go and he continues to beat the drum hard.
“Football’s football. It’s not a complicated thing,” the Hall of Famer and former coach of the Chicago Bears and Saints said. “You’re playing the game, you’re enjoying the game. You don’t like the game, get out of it. It’s not for protesting one way or the other. What color you are, what you think, this or that. You play football. That’s it. You’re privileged. You got a gift from God that you can play the game because you got a body you can do it with. I don’t really understand what you’re protesting. I played the game. I coached the game for a long time. It makes no sense to me.”
“I would tell those players go to another country and play football there. You don’t have to come out. You don’t have to come out if you go to another country. You can’t! Because the game’s only played in this country. And if you can’t respect this country, get the hell out of it.”
X League players — the women’s league Ditka is chairman of — had better look out if they decide to make a stand unpopular with him.
Chiefs injury updates following Week 3 vs. Ravens
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t escape their Week 3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens without injury.
Ahead of the game, the team lost RG Andrew Wylie for the duration of the game due to a serious illness. The team had to rush him to the hospital over what was believed to be appendicitis according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Andrew Wylie was scratched right at the last minute there with a stomach illness,” Chiefs HC Andy Reid told reporters after the game. “They took him and hurried him to the hospital and did some tests on him. Things worked out OK, but he’s not feeling very well.”
During the game, Chiefs starting left cornerback L’Jarius Sneed suffered a collarbone injury when he was diving for an interception.
“Sneed hurt his right shoulder,” Reid said. “He’ll have some more things done on that tomorrow. We’ll just see exactly what needs to happen there.”
Sneed is probably going to get imaging done on his shoulder to see if there’s any significant damage. The standout rookie cornerback took to Twitter after the game and shared a message that didn’t seem too optimistic.
Sneed has been absolutely sensational to start the season and losing him would be a huge blow to this defense. Bashaud Breeland doesn’t return from suspension until Week 5, so this could be a big storyline for the Week 4 game against the New England Patriots.
Toward the end of the game, star DT Chris Jones left the game. Reid said that Jones “tweaked his groin.” Jones had dealt with a groin injury during training camp. Perhaps it’s just a minor reaggravation of that injury, but it’s certainly something to monitor on a short week.
With QB situation addressed, Bears now seek consistency
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have made the quarterback change to Nick Foles, a move that was expected throughout the NFL since before training camp began.
Now they need some consistency to avoid situations like what they’ve experienced in the first three weeks of the season.
Bears coach Matt Nagy on Monday announced Foles would replace Mitchell Trubisky as the starting quarterback when they play the Indianapolis Colts. And with the change, the Bears are hoping to avoid more slow offensive starts.
”That said, our resiliency and our perseverance with these players, the high-character guys who we have, there is something special about this group,” Nagy said. ”I don’t know what it is, but there is something special about this team and I love it. I’m proud of them.”
The Bears fell behind 23-6 against the Detroit Lions in the season opener before rallying in the fourth quarter to win. They trailed Atlanta 26-10 in the fourth quarter Sunday before their 30-26 victory to go 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2013.
The offense has been hit or miss, which led to Trubisky’s benching more than anything else.
”We were lacking a little bit of a rhythm,” Nagy said. ”There wasn’t a lot of energy. There was just something missing a little bit.”
Two wins after trailing by 16 points or more in the fourth quarter of each game had never been achieved by an NFL team in the same season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Bears had a wild swing the other way in their other game, a 17-13 victory over the New York Giants in which they led 17-0 and held on at the end.
”Hopefully in the future, we don’t have to dig ourselves out of any holes, but at the same time, again, I mean, that’s why you play four quarters and that just goes to show you that we have a very resilient team,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said.
Now that Foles is at quarterback, they’re hoping to settle into more consistency. For Foles, everything is becoming more familiar – and it helps.
”I felt good out there,” Foles said. ”Not perfect, but I felt good. As I’ve been here since training camp, I’ve gotten to know my teammates more.”
Throwing to the tight ends was a problem all last year when the Bears got only 46 total receptions from the position, but on Jimmy Graham had six catches and two touchdowns Sunday. It was the first time in a regular-season game since Nov. 9, 2017, with Seattle that he had more than one TD catch in a game.
The two TD catches brought Graham’s total this season to three, equaling his total from a full season with Green Bay last year.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Bears need to become more disciplined. They had 10 penalties for 80 yards against Atlanta, a drastic departure from their first two games.
”We had too many penalties,” Nagy said. ”I think we had like 12 penalties going into this game, which I was really proud of our team being disciplined (earlier).”
Robinson, who doesn’t yet have a contract extension for next year, had 10 catches for 123 yards and his first TD catch of the season. He had just eight catches coming into Sunday’s game. Robinson might have had one other TD, but it was taken away by replay after officials first ruled simultaneous possession and a Bears score.
Trubisky. He has no contract for next season and the future is vague for him after Foles went out and earned the starting job Trubisky was said to have won coming out of camp.
Tarik Cohen suffered a torn right ACL in the game and is done for the season. Defensive back Sherrick McManis injured a hamstring.
3 – The Bears have had one interception in each game this season after Tashaun Gipson’s 24th career interception sealed Sunday’s game. In 2019, they had just 10 interceptions.
The Bears try to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 when they host Indianapolis (2-1) on Sunday.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Bumpy season ends in big disappointment for frustrated Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many things in everyday life this year, little went according to plan for the New York Mets.
And with a change in ownership pending, more upheaval could be coming soon.
After starting 2020 with such high hopes, the Mets finished 26-34 under rookie manager Luis Rojas in a rocky season cut short by the coronavirus. They tied Washington for last in the NL East and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year — even with the field expanded to eight teams per league.
“That’s pretty frustrating,” said ace Jacob deGrom, who delivered another stellar performance on the mound. “There’s a lot of disappointment.”
With slugger Pete Alonso powering a young corps of rising hitters, a second-half surge last year propelled New York to an 86-76 record and generated optimism. Former star Carlos Beltrán was hired as manager to replace Mickey Callaway, and the Mets set about beefing up their pitching staff in free agency.
That’s when everything went haywire.
Beltrán was let go after 2 1/2 months without managing a single game because he got implicated in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal from his time as an Astros player.
New York quickly turned to Rojas and went to spring training in February with six established starters — six All-Star selections and three Cy Young Awards between them — for five spots in what appeared to be a deep rotation.
Then the pandemic hit, and No. 2 starter Noah Syndergaard had season-ending Tommy John surgery. Marcus Stroman was supposed to slide into that role, but he got injured in summer camp and later opted out of the season because of COVID-19 concerns. Veteran newcomers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha went a combined 2-11 in just 93 innings, and the rotation ended up in shambles.
A mediocre bullpen got taxed as the Mets compiled a 4.98 ERA that ranked 22nd in the majors and 12th in the National League.
“We let some games get away,” deGrom lamented.
Coming off a long injury layoff, Yoenis Céspedes seemed to be a perfect fit for the new designated hitter slot in the National League. The enigmatic Céspedes played eight games, then abruptly left the team unannounced in Atlanta and opted out of the remainder of the season, also citing coronavirus concerns, according to his agent.
And that was just the beginning in a somber season marked by the death of franchise icon Tom Seaver.
In the end, the Mets stumbled backward to their ninth losing season in 12 years despite bounce-back campaigns from Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz.
“Our defense compromised a couple of games,” Rojas said.
New York still had a chance to sneak into the playoffs on the final weekend, but lost its last three to the Nationals.
“Not the season that we anticipated,” Rojas said. “This is a talented team.”
“`We’re a lot better than that. We’re a lot better than what the result was this year,’” the manager said he told his players. “We’ve just got to show up next year and correct some of the things that kind of like stopped our momentum, didn’t let us get hot in this type of season.”
Mets fans are hoping a new owner with deep pockets will reverse the organization’s fortunes.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen recently reached an agreement to purchase the franchise from the Wilpon and Katz families in a deal that values the club at about $2.4 billion.
Cohen announced if the transaction is completed — it is subject to approval from at least 23 Major League Baseball owners — longtime baseball executive Sandy Alderson will return to the Mets as team president to oversee all baseball and business operations. The 72-year-old Alderson was New York’s general manager from 2010-18 before stepping down after a cancer diagnosis.
What that means for current GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the former player agent who succeeded Alderson and his temporary replacements, remains to be seen.
“In terms of my own job security, I don’t think about that,” Van Wagenen said.
Perhaps if Cohen takes over this offseason he’ll pursue big-money free agents at the top of the market such as catcher J.T. Realmuto, starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and outfielder George Springer. Any one of them could plug a problem area.
In-house, right fielder Michael Conforto is coming off an excellent season and can become a free agent after 2021.
“It’s really tough to judge a lot of things with this short season,” Rojas said. “I’m looking forward to those conversations. A lot of data that we’re going to take.”
AT THE PLATE
New York led the majors with a .272 batting average, ranked second with a .348 on-base percentage and third in OPS at .807. But the Mets had a terrible time hitting in the clutch and finished 13th in runs.
“When we have those tough losses, it’s just that little things get to us. So if we can get back to the fundamentals and playing the game the right way, we’ll be in a good spot next year,” pitcher Seth Lugo said.
ON THE MOUND
Poised rookie David Peterson impressed, going 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA and probably earning a rotation spot for 2021.
But with Stroman eligible for free agency and Syndergaard rehabbing, the Mets have several openings on the starting staff — especially after Steven Matz (0-5, 9.68) fell apart — behind the 32-year-old deGrom, who hit 102 mph on the radar gun and topped the NL with 104 strikeouts.
Two players who blossomed this season play positions where the Mets thought they were already set.
Dominic Smith had a huge breakout at the plate, creating a potential logjam at first base with Alonso, who slumped early and came on too late. Young rookie Andrés Giménez flashed all-around talent and great instincts, taking playing time away from a struggling Amed Rosario at shortstop.
With the Mets in dire need of pitching, maybe that makes for trade bait.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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