We're Black and Blue All Over:
Mel Tucker's decision late Thursday night to return to the Jacksonville Jaguars as their defensive coordinator leaves the Minnesota Vikings without either of the two outsiders they're known to have interviewed for a job that Fred Pagac apparently will soon vacate. (Raheem Morris, who joined the Washington Redskins as a defensive backs coach, is the other.)
Assistant head coach/linebackers Mike Singletary remains an internal candidate, but Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reports there are serious internal concerns about his aptitude for the job and suggests coach Leslie Frazier might turn to Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo if he leaves his job, as reported.
Frazier and Castillo worked together on the Eagles staff from 1990-2002. Castillo was a longtime offensive line coach whom the Eagles turned to last winter in a surprise move to replace the fired Sean McDermott. Reports have suggested that the Eagles plan to bring back former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in that role. Stay tuned on that one.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will make a recommendation on a site for a new Vikings stadium next week, according to Doug Belden of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
There is a significant split among Minnesota political leaders about whether the speed of the stadium issue is sustainable, according to the Star Tribune.
With a healthy team, the biggest playoff decision Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has is whom to deactivate on game day. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains.
Packers cornerback Charles Woodson would like to establish a rare legacy, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press Gazette. Woodson: "That's why I play like I play. Because when people watch me play, I want them to say, 'Now that’s how you play football.' Every time I step on the field, every time I strap 'em up, I'm going out there to make an impression on people about how I play football and my passion for it. And how much I love the game and how much I'm willing to sacrifice out there for my teammates and our coaches and this team. I think about it all the time."
Packers left tackle Chad Clifton has drawn a tough playoff assignment: New York Giants All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette has more.
Rookie kick returner Randall Cobb could be the Packers' X factor in the playoffs, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew on the team's rebuilding effort, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "I think we’re on schedule. We've gotten to the point where I think we're certainly a better-than-average football team."
The Lions need to address receiver Calvin Johnson's contract situation, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
The Lions will soon address the contract of coach Jim Schwartz, which expires after the 2012 season, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
The Chicago Bears won't consider Jeremy Bates for their quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator job, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
ESPNChicago.com staff members debate whether Tim Ruskell is a legitimate candidate for the Bears' general manager job.