We're Black and Blue All Over:
Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk didn't play a single defensive snap in last Sunday's 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and you wouldn't expect that to go over well. Hawk, sidelined because the Packers played the entire game in their nickel and dime packages, told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that "I'm sick of it, but who wouldn't be?"
Hawk is technically a starter in the Packers' 3-4 base scheme, but coordinator Dom Capers didn't use that package at all in Philadelphia. It's unclear how Capers will deploy personnel moving forward, but Hawk added: "What I'm playing in now, the package I'm in, is not my football destiny. It's not to be a part-time guy. As of today, that's how it goes. I'll stick with it and do my thing."
Hawk would be open to a trade, agent Mike McCartney told Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. McCartney: "A.J. is a pro's pro and wants to do his part to help the team win, and his first priority is to be the best Packer he can. But if some team called and wanted him to play on all three downs, I think he'd be excited about that."
Hawk was reported to have had an outstanding training camp, but the Packers emerged from the preseason with Brandon Chillar taking his place in the nickel. I can't say I disagree with that decision. Chillar seems pretty good in coverage. And I would be surprised if Hawk were traded. Beyond this year, however, you would have to assume his days with the Packers are numbered if the defensive coordinator can find no suitable role at any part of a game, no matter what the defensive calls are.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be in favor of trading for Buffalo Bills tailback Marshawn Lynch, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com takes a look at the newest Packer, rookie tailback Dimitri Nance.
Will the Minnesota Vikings be interested in San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson if his suspension is limited to three games in a hearing Thursday? The Star Tribune considers that question.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Minnesota's perfect 9-0 record at the Metrodome in 2009 was only the third time in 49 years the team went undefeated at home. That domination was underscored by an average margin of victory of 33-14."
Poor blocking, and not a coaching lapse, was responsible for tailback Adrian Peterson's lack of carries in the second half last week in the Vikings' 14-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com reviews the attempts of Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian to explain why Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson's touchdown-turned-incompletion was the correct call.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: "The Lions deserve a little sympathy, sure, not that they're requesting it. They lost their franchise quarterback, lost a touchdown because of a goofy NFL rule apparently devised by intoxicated engineers, and lost an opener they clearly could have won. But they don't get to lament, not with the season one game old, not with the Eagles coming to town and bringing Michael Vick's legs with them. It's the fans' job to gripe (excellent work, people) and the media's job to dig for an explanation (the Lions are cursed!). It's the Lions' job to figure out a way to recover, and it begins with their strength, a deep, defiant defensive line. They smacked around the Bears in that 19-14 loss, with Kyle Vanden Bosch a red-eyed dynamo and rookie Ndamukong Suh a heaving force."
Lions middle linebacker DeAndre Levy (groin) still hasn't returned to practice, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz took the blame for the team's failure to punch the ball in from the goal line last Sunday during the fourth quarter of a 19-14 victory over the Lions, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune on the Jay Cutler-Devin Hester dynamic: "Nobody's suggesting the Bears implement a Devin Ratio. But these two kids must work harder at establishing a rapport and hooking up for the passing game to reach its downfield potential. Running back Matt Forte isn't going to catch 151 yards worth of passes every week."
NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp referred to Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris as "a blind dog in a meat house," notes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald. Harris' response: "Thanks for saying that on air, but you can call me anytime, Warren. Warren knows my number. If he has anything to say, he can call me." But what fun would that be?