We're Black and Blue All Over:
INDIANAPOLIS -- The first day of the NFL scouting combine was a whirlwind of interviews, minor news updates and unexpected dustups that only a year-round football fan could appreciate. We covered a ton of ground on the blog but there is plenty more to catch up on in our morning post, starting with the lawsuit filed by the family of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson.
In essence, the lawsuit claims that the NFL didn't do enough to protect Duerson from and educate him about the brain injuries that ultimately led to his suicide last year. Duerson's son, Tregg, said: "If they knowingly failed to inform and implement proper safety concussion procedures, then their indifference was the epitome of injustice."
More than 600 former players are currently suing the league in concussion-related cases, but as Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune points out, Duerson's family has the added evidence of a brain study that demonstrated he had a condition brought on by multiple concussions. The mounting legal cases against the league might be the single biggest challenge it faces going forward.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bears coach Lovie Smith seemed to endorse the safety tandem of Major Wright and Chris Conte, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune took note of Smith's enthusiastic endorsement of big receivers.
Getting Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson signed to a long-term deal isn't going to be easy, according to Lions coach Jim Schwartz via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions' draft will be shaped by what does, or does not, happen in free agency, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Schwartz did not rule out the possibility of signing free-agent cornerback Courtland Finnegan, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin on becoming the Miami Dolphins coach days after burying his son, Michael, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Hopefully, you guys know when you put nine years of heart and soul into something, it's hard to leave. So I'm very grateful about this opportunity. I'm ecstatic about the reception we had as a family and the way the organization has embraced us, but it's tough. I'm not going to lie. It's been tough."
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette thinks it's a "real possibility" that the Packers make quarterback Matt Flynn their franchise player.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com speaks with various team officials about the Flynn possibility.
The Minnesota Vikings like the nasty demeanor of USC left tackle Matt Kalil, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Kalil is an interesting prospect, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Vikings officials will meet soon to finalize plans for their pending free agents, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.