INDIANAPOLIS -- Observed and heard at the NFL combine on Wednesday:
Packers' scouts arrive: The last of the Green Bay Packers' scouts arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday, when teams can begin their individual meetings with draft prospects. Those meetings run nightly from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Teams are allowed 60 formal one-on-one interview sessions with players at the combine. Each session lasts 15 minutes. During that time teams are also allowed an unlimited number of informal meetings that take place in the hallway outside the meeting rooms.
New O-line helper: When the Packers hired Mike Solari as assistant offensive line coach last week, he became one of the most experienced members of Mike McCarthy's coaching staff. Solari, who spent the last five seasons as the San Francisco 49ers' offensive line coach, is entering his 27th NFL season. Among Packers coaches, only Dom Capers, who is entering his 30th NFL season, has more experience. When asked what the Packers are getting in Solari, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday: "A heck of a football coach. He's an awfully good football coach. Great technician, great relationship with the players, works hard, enthusiastic. I can't say enough positive things about Coach Solari." Solari will assist offensive line coach James Campen. He replaced Steve Marshall, who left after one season to become the New York Jets offensive line coach.
Getting to know the NFC North: One thing on new Chicago Bears coach John Fox's offseason agenda is familiarizing himself with his division foes -- the Packers, Lions and Vikings. Fox spent the last four years in the AFC West, a division that, incidentally, the NFC North plays this season. "You look at a lot of tape, you do a lot of research," Fox said. "No matter what division you've been in, what conference -- AFC or NFC -- obviously knowing your opponents is important. That'll be part of our preparation, our film study once we get through the personnel phase because that's an important phase as well. Scheme-wise, I think we've got pretty good familiarity with our schedule in that we play both western conference divisions (AFC West and NFC West). Really, probably the most work we have to do is in our division. So we’ll have plenty of time to do it."