We're Black and Blue All Over:
On Wednesday, Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. told fans at a season kickoff luncheon: "We're going to bring you a Super Bowl." Ford added: "When the Lions win the Super Bowl, this city will have a party like we haven't seen before."
The statement wasn't uncommon for the kind of sports pep rallies you often see around the country, but it's pretty unusual for the Lions under Ford ownership. As it turns out, Michael Rosenberg posted a really insightful column Wednesday about Ford Jr.'s father, William Clay Ford Sr., and why his perceived passive approach to winning has made him "hated" in Detroit.
Rosenberg: "Ford bought the Detroit Lions in 1963. Since then, the Lions have won one playoff game. The losing alone does not explain the anger. No, what really has really driven people in Detroit crazy over the years is that Ford didn't seem to care as much as they did. Sometimes the Lions won, more often they lost, but either way Ford would wake up rich."
Ford Jr. appears to take a more outwardly passionate approach, and it's worth noting that his urging of his father to fire former general manager Matt Millen is what started this Lions renaissance. But I thought his Super Bowl comments provided an interesting juxtaposition with Rosenberg's column on his father.
Continuing around the NFC North after way too much early-morning thinking:
Quarterback Kellen Moore is one of the Lions' top bubble players in Dave Birkett's projection of the team's 53-man roster in the Detroit Free Press.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz tries to treat players who get cut with dignity, notes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
The Chicago Bears have released veteran special-teams player/receiver Rashied Davis and also linebacker Dom DiCicco, notes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. Both players had suffered relatively minor injuries but were expected to be key special-teams players.
Davis' release helps the chances of receiver Dane Sanzenbacher making the team, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears are looking to settle their special teams in Thursday night's preseason finale, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune.
Rookies Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels are competing to be the defensive tackle next to B.J. Raji in the Green Bay Packers' nickel defense. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains.
Packers cornerback Tramon Williams had a good summer after overcoming last year's shoulder injuries, writes Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush and safety Jerron McMillian could solidify significant Week 1 roles in the coming days, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwakee.com.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com has a nice column on the motivations of Minnesota Vikings free agent running back Matt Asiata.
Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press speaks with Vikings cornerback Chris Carr.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune considers how the Vikings might use quarterback Joe Webb in regular-season games this season.