Black and Blue all over: Programming note
Okay, we might as well get this out of the way now: I'm headed to Houston and will cover Monday night's game between Minnesota and the Texans. No sense in arguing about it. The game is on ESPN's air and will give us our best (and only) preseason idea if quarterback Brett Favre is going to be ready to play effectively when the regular season begins in two weeks.
If all goes well, I'll arrive in Houston Sunday night in time to take in the entire Chicago-Denver game, which is also nationally televised (on NBC). ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson will be on the scene at Invesco Field, and along with my AFC West colleague Bill Williamson, I'll be adding some Bears-related thoughts to the blog sometime before Monday morning.
I'll have some pregame Bears thoughts posted by mid-afternoon. Thanks for your patience and continued interest during this crazy summer. For now, let's take a Sunday spin around the NFC North:
- Green Bay safety Nick Collins opens up about the offseason death of his father in this interview with Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Packers receiver Greg Jennings (concussion) might not play in the team's preseason finale Thursday, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press was impressed with the play of the Lions' offensive line Saturday against Indianapolis.
- Amelia Rayno of the Detroit News reviews the two-catch preseason debut of Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
- I like how the News' Bob Wojnowski described the quarterback competition between Daunte Culpepper and Matthew Stafford: "Stafford is playing like he has a shot to grab something, which is precisely [coach Jim] Schwartz's master plan. Culpepper is playing like he's trying to hang onto something, which also is Schwartz's master plan."
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times believes veteran Bears tailback Adrian Peterson will have to beat out tight end Michael Gaines for a roster spot.
- Denver's 3-4 defense will give the Bears a dry run for their Sept. 13 regular season opener against Green Bay, notes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
- Minnesota right tackle Phil Loadholt didn't practice Saturday and might not be available for Monday night's game, writes Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Loadholt's ailment is unknown.
- Favre has lightened up the Vikings' huddle, writes the Pioneer Press' Sean Jensen.
- The threat of local television blackouts in Minnesota has not completely dissipated since Favre's arrival, notes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.