Black and Blue all over: Urlacher's summer
We've spent so much time discussing quarterback Jay Cutler, defensive tackle Tommie Harris and the state of Chicago's secondary that we've hardly mentioned the summer of Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher -- a key to any successful season the Bears might have.
Urlacher seemed a lot less surly during the days I spent in Bourbonnais, Ill., last week. And reports from those who watched every practice of training camp suggest Urlacher, at the very least, seems unencumbered by the physical ailments that have limited him in recent years.
In his camp wrap-up piece, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that Urlacher is "moving like he did a couple of years ago." A healthy offseason allowed Urlacher to train vigorously rather than focus on rehabilitation.
If he remains healthy and happy, Urlacher could be on his way to a revitalized season.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Three members of the Bears' likely starting secondary -- safety Danieal Manning and cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Zackary Bowman -- won't play Saturday against New York. Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago breaks down the Bears' injury list.
- Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a look at the Packers' fullback battle, which includes big rookie Quinn Johnson.
- Rookie free agent linebacker Cyril Obiozor is putting some heat on the Packers' incumbent linebackers, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf is "one of the most aggressive owners in the history of Twin Cities sports," writes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.
- The Vikings have posted a number of behind-the-scenes videos on the "Brett Favre Central" page of their Web site, which humorously includes a photo of Favre in a Packers uniform.
- Detroit has only two players left from its drafts between 2002-06, notes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press profiles rookie defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill.