We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson cleared up a number of question marks about his status in an interview Sunday night, leaving him to report to training camp on time and in the right frame of mind.
Speaking with Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, Peterson said that contract unhappiness "was not the reason at all" that he skipped last month's mandatory minicamp. He said he will report to training camp Friday on time and that "I'm letting my agents take care of their job" in regards to future discussions.
Further, Peterson said there was no intended message in his decision to skip minicamp, saying the date for the fourth annual Adrian Peterson day in Palestine, Texas, was set before he knew when minicamp would occur. We discussed the logistical semantics of that issue last month, but there's no sense in debating when the Vikings' offseason schedule arrived in Peterson's mailbox. It appears everyone has moved on from that issue.
In the big picture, the Vikings can rejoice in the fact that Peterson plans no major contract protest this summer.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Peterson's position coach, Eric Bieniemy, turned down the offensive coordinator job at Southern California last week. The Vikings promoted him to assistant head coach -- offense. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will continue to call plays, reports Zulgad.
There is no evidence that the Detroit Lions seriously considered signing free-agent linebacker Keith Bulluck, who agreed to terms with the New York Giants over the weekend. Based on our previous discussions, Lions fans should be neither surprised nor disappointed.
Cornerback Dre Bly will help the Lions "reduce the mismatch" they will face against multiple-receiver sets, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press suggests 11 things for the Lions to work on in training camp.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News predicts a 5-11 record for the Lions this season.
Tim Twentyman of the News: "If everyone stays healthy and [Ndamukong] Suh is a good as advertised, the Lions could make a huge leap into the top 15 in the NFL against the run and producing sacks."
Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald: "When the Bears take the field Friday afternoon at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais for their first of 23 training camp practices, they will begin to address issues that will ultimately determine whether head coach Lovie Smith, his staff and maybe even general manager Jerry Angelo and others in the front office will be back next year."
The Bears are working to revive their secondary, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "The Green Bay Packers appear to have succeeded where almost all NFL franchises fail: They've immediately replaced a future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback with another winning player."
Receivers Jordy Nelson and James Jones both had strong offseasons, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.