We're Black and Blue All Over:
A new idea has emerged late in the Minnesota Vikings' push for stadium approval in 2011. Instead of razing the Metrodome and rebuilding on that site, officials have suggested an alternate vision: Buying adjacent land to build a new stadium, allowing the team to continue playing in the Metrodome until its completion.
The plan would eliminate the contingency of playing at the smaller TCF Bank Stadium for up to three years. The adjacent land is currently owned by the Star Tribune newspaper. Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has more.
At some point soon, a single vetted plan needs to emerge to give legislators something tangible to consider. As it stands now, there are plans to study the Arden Hills site in Ramsey County, and there is support for at least three different sites in downtown Minneapolis -- the Metrodome, the Star Tribune land and space near baseball's Target Field on the west side of downtown.
Discussion is good. Distracting noise is bad. Without a unified plan, there is no chance of legislative approval this year.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Vikings know they are going to be a younger team in 2011, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
This draft might not have an immediate, impact starter at quarterback, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
A cornerback or a tackle are the most likely positions the Detroit Lions will target in the draft, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz tweeted that "I must not be snooty enough" to understand the movie "The King's Speech."
The Green Bay Packers have hired Zac Woodfin as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on outgoing strength guru Dave Redding, who is retiring: "Redding, 58, can recite in his sleep the benefits of free weights, position-specific conditioning and the importance of balance and coordinated movements rather than maximum lifting. But what makes him special is his ability to motivate players in the weight room, which led to greater on-field success."
Former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide last week, was having a hard time remembering names and putting words together, his ex-wife told Alan Schwarz of The New York Times.
Former Bears safety Doug Plank estimates he had 30 concussions in his NFL career, writes Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.