We're Black and Blue All Over:
You can go ahead and put running back near the top of the Detroit Lions' offseason shopping list. Again.
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew gave a candid interview Wednesday night to local reporters, admitting that "the biggest mistake I made last year" was counting on Jahvid Best to return from a concussion suffered in October 2011. Mayhew said that "I'm not at all inclined to rely on his return at this point" and added he should have had an alternate plan to provide a running back of Best's skill set in 2012. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has the full story.
Mayhew did claim that Best is the first player in NFL history (that he is aware of) "who was asymptomatic that wanted to play that wasn't allowed to play," implying doctors have held him to a new standard.
I applaud Mayhew's honesty, but we should point out that doctors aren't at fault here. No matter what their approach was, Mayhew's job as general manager is to plan for the worst-case scenario. He fell short.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Mayhew said the Lions' defense needs more playmakers, according to Justin Rogers of Mlive.com. Mayhew: "We have a lot of guys, who are good guys, that line up right, they know what their job is, but they don't impact the game. We need interceptors, guys that can sack the quarterback, we need guys that cause fumbles, that make plays on third down. Those are the kinds of guys that can change the game for us."
Mayhew is on the clock, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Add New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. to the Chicago Bears' growing list of candidates for their head-coaching job, according to ProFootballTalk.com via ESPNChicago.com.
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, in a radio interview via the Chicago Tribune, on the firing of Lovie Smith: "I’m not bitter, I’m still taking it in. It’s a big shock … I’m more shocked than anything."
The Bears are offering the best job of the seven coaching vacancies, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
In reality, not all Green Bay Packers players like being in the cold, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers' special teams have grown under Shawn Slocum and Chad Morton, writes Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on running back DuJuan Harris, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "I think he's kind of a Transformer. There's more than meets the eye with DuJuan."
It has been Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin's choice to remain apart from the team after being placed on injured reserve, according to the Star Tribune.
Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson has moved back into a full-time role in the nickel defense, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson has lobbied to play special teams, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.