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BBAO: Camps winding down

8/16/2010

We're Black and Blue All Over:

One sign that we're getting closer to the start of the regular season: By the end of this week, half of our NFC North teams will have broken training camp.

The Minnesota Vikings, in fact, broke camp last week and will resume practicing Monday in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Chicago Bears' final day at Olivet Nazarene University is Friday.

The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers both hold training camp at their permanent training facilities and thus have more flexible schedules. Officially, the Lions break camp Aug. 25. The Packers' final day of two-a-day practices is Aug. 19, but they will continue holding public practices through Aug. 31.

It should be a busy week. If you haven't already caught up on Week 1 of the preseason, please see this handy one-stop review. Afterward, take a spin around the division:

  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune reviews the film of the Bears' loss at San Diego. Among his conclusions: Safety Al Afalava had a rough night, while receiver Johnny Knox proved to be "the best route-runner" on the field.

  • Injuries to Bears safeties Craig Steltz and Major Wright have clouded the competition at that position, writes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.

  • Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Devin Hester has made fewer mistakes in training camp than any Bears receiver, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • The Detroit Lions started undrafted rookie Randy Phillips at one of their safety positions Saturday night at Pittsburgh. But that left depth thin, and the secondary remains a concern, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Lions coaches were excited by quarterback Matthew Stafford's performance against the Steelers, writes Chris McCoskey of the Detroit News.

  • The Lions' starters played well against the Steelers, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com, but their backups struggled.

  • Two weeks into training camp, the Packers feel more at ease with cornerbacks Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee. Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.

  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sparkled Saturday night against Cleveland, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • The Browns blitzed on 84.6 percent of Rodgers' passes, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That's a high number even for a regular-season game, let alone the first week of the preseason.

  • Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reviews the tape of the Vikings' victory at St. Louis. Receiver Jaymar Johnson was among those who helped his cause.

  • The Vikings' second-team defensive line had a strong showing against the Rams, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.