- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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We're Black and Blue All Over:
We should note that former Detroit Lions cornerback Aaron Berry issued a very non-legalese and presumably heart-felt statement late Monday night, in conjunction with statements from his attorney and agent in the wake of his second arrest in a month. Agent Audie Attar said that Berry will enter the NFL's substance-abuse program and continue training for what he hopes is his next NFL job.
Here's Berry's statement:
"Words cannot describe how embarrassed I am right now. I've let my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire Detroit Lions organization, including the fans down and I'm so sorry. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I know I will continue to get better and grow from this unfortunate experience, I have no choice but to get better. There are always two sides to every story and the legal process will be where I will tell my side regarding this recent incident.
"I love the game of football and still feel I have a bright future ahead of me. I worked my butt off this off-season and I hope to be able to help some team in the NFL win games as I continue to grow as a father, friend, teammate and into the man I want to be. I want to thank Coach [Jim] Schwartz, Coach [Gunther] Cunningham, [general manager] Martin Mayhew and all the Lions staff, players and fan base for such a wonderful opportunity where I was able to showcase my football skills. Again, I'm so sorry for letting you all down."
Obviously, Berry is trying to preserve his career. But I think we have all read post-incident statements from NFL players, and rarely do they read as normally as that one. Take it for what you will.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Lions receiver Ryan Broyles (knee) and cornerback Chris Greenwood (abdomen) are expected to open training camp on the PUP list, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
According to Lions rookie offensive lineman Riley Reiff, no one has spoken to him about playing guard in training camp. Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com has a transcript of Reiff's interview Monday. It's expected he will focus on the two tackle positions.
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice on being prepared now for this role, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: "The biggest difference is I am not a first-time, gangly puppy, over-excited rookie position coach. I've cut my teeth as a coach with some great head coaches and some great co-workers and I have been very lucky to have learned a lot of football from all of the above. Now that I am older and have been down the road -- some of it rocky and some of it smooth -- I know how to go about setting a plan and going and working that plan to become successful as an offense. I think that is the biggest difference. First time around, everything I learned was on the go. This time around, I feel I am a better teacher."
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times offers four possible pitfalls for the Bears' season.
The Bears are cautious about bringing back former Bears players to coach, notes Dan Pompei of the Tribune.
Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements on ceding the No. 2 quarterback job to Graham Harrell, via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "If you had to choose a route to go with the quarterback, you're better off bringing them up in your system. As opposed to getting someone who was in a different system and trying to fit them into it."
Linebacker Clay Matthews is the Packers' second-most important player, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The NFL has not yet reinstated Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly from his indefinite suspension, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com examines the Minnesota Vikings' safety position.
Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune considers eight under-the-radar players for the Vikings.