Wake of the Web: Haugh on Holmes, Reinsdorf, Rose and more

Quick, digital-only thoughts from In the Wake of the News columnist David Haugh.

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For openers ...
 
Santonio Holmes, Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett walk into a huddle.
 
It sounds like the beginning of an NFL joke, doesn’t it, given the colorful and often combustible pasts and personalities of all three receivers. Except opposing defensive coordinators on the Bears schedule aren’t laughing at the punch line. They’re probably already wondering: How to respond? Who to double? Which receiver poses the biggest possible mismatch?
 
In Chicago, they only have one question.
 
Can it work?
 
Signing Holmes on Saturday raised as many eyebrows as hopes, given the 30-year-old’s reputation for not being the NFL’s easiest player to coach. At one point, Marshall and Bennett both have been on that list too. Add quarterback Jay Cutler, not always the picture of calm, and the Bears easily could justify adding the position of conflict-resolution specialist to the offensive coaching staff.
 
But the potential reward trumps any risk at Halas Hall.
 
Holmes arrived with enough baggage to require a fleet of bellmen but the Bears have reason to believe they are equipped to handle it. They have a veteran locker room trusted to establish a professional environment and a tolerant head coach who sees the person before the player. But, most of all, they have a glaring need.
 
Since Marquess Wilson went down with a broken clavicle, nobody has emerged as a legitimate No. 3 wide receiver. Eric Weems never developed a rapport with Cutler – as No. 6 let everybody know with his reactionThursday night after Weems ran the wrong route – and was cut. Josh Morgan played well against the Jaguars but needs to show more consistency. Earl Bennett knows the scheme but the Bears must know something the rest of us don’t, and he remains unsigned. Micheal Spurlock? The Bears have good reason to be more ambitious.
 
That makes Holmes worth a long, hard look before the Bears trim their rosters to 53 on Aug. 30. Even if Lisfranc and hamstring injuries that limited Holmes the past two seasons prevent him from being the receiver he was during his height with the Steelers and Jets, the Bears have no better alternative than the former Super Bowl MVP.
 
It took Bears general manager Phil Emery 36 hours to respond to Weems struggling with Holmes’ signing. That’s encouraging for every Bears fan who wants Emery to take a win-now approach to 2014.  The Bears just added a veteran with 5,963 career yards and 36 TD receptions to one of the NFC’s best offenses. When it comes to contending, they clearly mean business. Now it’s up to Holmes to prove he’s ready to work.
 
ICYMI
 
The Tribune’s Shannon Ryan took a heartwarming look at the bond between the Cvijanovic brothers at Illinois, one that runs deeper than football. A terrific read.

ICYMI 2
 
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement last week after Major League Baseball elected Rob Manfred to succeed Commissioner Bud Selig in January 2016. Reinsdorf said reports of his opposition were overblown. So he won’t like longtime baseball writer Murray Chass’ opinion of him either.

AS EASY AS…

1.  What a dazzling show Derrick Rose produced and enjoyed Saturday nightat the United Center in Team USA’s exhibition victory over Brazil. Rose only scored seven points and missed a breakaway dunk but for the second straight game looked in total command of his body – and again his career. Yet fellow Chicagoan Anthony Davis enjoyed an even happier homecoming with 20 points and seven rebounds in a performance that presaged the greatness that lies ahead. In the United Center hallways after the game, Bucks rookie Jabari Parker (Simeon) and Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor (Young) posed for pictures, putting all four Chicago-raised basketball stars under the same roof. Is it farfetched to wonder if all four Chicago guys could represent their country in the 2016 Rio Olympics as Team USA teammates?
 
2. Cubs fans not obsessed with Kris Bryant’s big toe Sunday saw Javy Baez supply another highlight at Citi Field – but one that had nothing to do with a home run. After shortstop Starlin Castro made a terrific stop of a grounder up the middle with a runner on first, he flipped the ball to Baez, who grabbed it bare-handed and fired an accurate throw to complete the double play. Baez also walked for the first time in nearly two weeks with the Cubs, a welcome sign for the free-swinger susceptible to strikeouts. The Cubs didn’t call up Baez for his defense or plate discipline but refining both areas of the game will help the power-hitting infielder realize his full potential.
              
3. Give credit to former Bears defensive end Phillip Daniels for defending his son, DaVaris, during an appearance on WMAQ-TV’s “Sports Sunday.’’ DaVaris Daniels, a Notre Dame wide receiver, was suspended Friday by the university as part of an investigation into academic dishonesty. Daniels could have gone the “no-comment’’ route like so many parents but instead candidly criticized Notre Dame for “handling this really bad.’’ He sounded hurt and frustrated. According to Daniels, the university looked into his son’s emails to try to prove papers he turned in weren’t authentic. He cited “the girlfriend of the cornerback,’’ (Russell) for helping proofread the papers but strongly denied any suggestion of cheating.
 
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@LuolDeng9: It's always a good time to see the big homie @mistercbooz.#Holdat #StickStickSticklol

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

At his press conference Saturday in South Bend, I asked Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly how vacating victories from the 12-1 season in 2012 – a possibility broached one day earlier by Rev. John I. Jenkins – would affect his view of that season.

“It wouldn’t change in my eyes. I never really counted my victories. It’s not something that I really have spent much time thinking about. The satisfaction I get is in the preparation and relationships with the players and the accomplishments that you have from year to year with your team and how you play the game so I never really put much stock in that.”

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