- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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We're Black and Blue All Over:
Detroit Lions linebacker Zack Follett had an interesting day Tuesday. It started with a radio interview that went awry and ended with a video that, well, explains it all.
To review: Follett referred to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford as a "china doll" while speaking with a Fresno, Calif., radio station. He immediately backtracked and apologized in multiple venues, and later posted an intense video to expand his thoughts Tuesday night. I essentially wrote off most of his comments as those of a "(lovable) nut case unintentionally veering into sensitive territory," and I think you'll understand what I mean if you watch the video.
Follett has yet to re-address the much harsher comments he made in discussing the departure of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler from the NFC Championship Game. In the end, I think they will have more staying power than anything he said about Stafford.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com responds to Follett's video.
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press: "The issue isn't what a lightly regarded seventh-round draft pick thinks of Matthew Stafford's durability. It's whether Zack Follett let something slip during a Tuesday radio interview that more influential voices have discussed privately in Allen Park. The Lions should worry whether they have a 'china doll' at quarterback. And I have a hard time believing Follett's usage of the term during an interview in Fresno, Calif., represents the only such opinion within the organization."
Lance Allan of WTMJ-4 believes the Green Bay Packers need to reverse their plan for the team photo at Super Bowl XLV: "During the lull before Super Bowl week, I'll admit that there are a lot of stories that are trumped up and hype because there isn't a lot to talk about. But this is legitimate, and for a Packers organization that usually handles things the right way, they should correct a mistake."
The Packers took a harder-than-expected road to the Super Bowl, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "If the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, the next most obvious question should be: When will [coach Mike] McCarthy get a street named after him?"
Sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is difficult, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes the new helmet he switched to prevented a concussion after a hit from Bears defensive end Julius Peppers last Sunday. Rodgers, via Peter King of Sports Illustrated: "That was lucky. As much as the new helmet feels uncomfortable and I'm still getting used to it, I'm really happy I was wearing it on that hit.''
There's no reason to expect Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz to give up on Cutler, writes Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com wonders what fair-market value will be for the pending contract extension of Bears coach Lovie Smith.
The Bears could have 16 free agents this offseason depending on how negotiations go for the collective bargaining agreement, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Tom Pelissero of 1500.com offers a season review of the Minnesota Vikings' defense.
The Vikings are interested in CFL defensive end Phillip Burke, writes Adam Caplan of Fox Sports.