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Black and Blue all over: Changes everywhere

4/16/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy touched on a couple of interesting topics Wednesday during an interview with Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

While there has been plenty of talk about the Packers shift to a 3-4 defense, McCarthy also said the Packers are making some scheme changes on offense as well. He wasn't specific, but when discussing quarterback Aaron Rodgers, McCarthy said:

"Aaron's been working on fundamentals and just going through some of the scheme changes that we're anticipating making. He does a great job in the fundamental drills and the skill drills."

Most teams edit their offense during the offseason, but the fact that McCarthy mentioned it suggests the Packers are changing a bit more than normal after getting a full year to see Rodgers in action.

McCarthy, meanwhile, acknowledged that safety Nick Collins continues to sit out the offseason strength and conditioning program. Collins' wife recently gave birth, but he is also known to be seeking a contract extension. McCarthy said he did not have a timetable for when Collins plans to return to Green Bay.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Rick Braun of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel checks in on the progress of Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins and linebacker Nick Barnett, who are rehabilitating season-ending injuries.

  • David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune cautions against assuming the Bears are locked into drafting a receiver in the second round. Haugh: "[I]n talking to several sources familiar with the way the Bears will approach the draft, general manager Jerry Angelo won't hesitate to address a position other than wide receiver at No. 49 if the team concludes another player offers more value."

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times downplays the possibility the Bears will pursue New Orleans receiver Lance Moore, a restricted free agent. Friday is the deadline for issuing offer sheets to RFAs.

  • Although there has been talk of Detroit moving Jeff Backus to left guard this season, he will practice exclusively at left tackle during a mini-camp that starts Friday. That nugget is at the end of this story from Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson, who missed 12 games last season because of multiple dislocated toes, is ready for training camp to begin right now. "Those offensive guys are going to be mad at me this year," Henderson told Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.