We're Black and Blue All Over:
I hope everyone had an outstanding weekend and is ready for a full week of NFC North bloggage. I know I am.
We start this week with Dan Pompei's look at the career arc of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler this weekend in the Chicago Tribune. Pompei compared Cutler's career to 10 other established starting quarterbacks and found a few lessons to be learned.
Among them: Cutler's production matches up favorably, but his career winning percentage ranks last among the group in part because he's one of only two to change teams over his first five years. Pompei's conclusion: "The circumstances of Cutler's career make it difficult to judge him. We should find out if he has the fiber that made [Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben] Roethlisberger a champion in the coming seasons, assuming he continues to mesh with [offensive coordinator Mike] Martz and Bears receivers. Cutler has an excellent base to build on. If he has the will and stability around him, he still can become a premier quarterback."
Cutler's career certainly was sidetracked when he departed the Denver Broncos, a move he must share significant responsibility for. But he advanced to the playoffs for the first time in his career in 2010, and at age 28, it's too early to make any permanent career judgments.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times: "If the Bears want to start beating the Packers they need to get more physical up front on both sides of the ball."
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette profiles Green Bay Packers executive Eliot Wolf, the son of former general manager Ron Wolf who recently received a promotion. Eliot Wolf is 29 but has worked in the NFL in some capacity for 15 years.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com also looks at Eliot Wolf's career, noting his first Packers draft came in 1993.
Offensive lineman Mark Tauscher isn't sure if he'll be returning to the Packers or to the NFL in 2011, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News thinks that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh showed up for a Detroit Lions players-only workout on Friday as "a brazen piece of self-promotion."
Cornerback Nate Vasher hopes to be part of the Lions' secondary this season, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit News: "After the second session of player-organized workouts at Birmingham Detroit Country Day, the Lions seem to have accomplished the most on offense."
The second professional boxing match of Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards has been canceled because his opponent backed out, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Businesses in the city of Mankato, Minn., could lose out on a $5 million if the lockout forces the Vikings to cancel their annual training camp there. Dave Campbell of the Associated Press has more.
Any connection between the Vikings and a Los Angeles group hoping to lure an NFL team is merely an orchestration at this point, writes Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.