We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Detroit Lions' decision to hire respected veteran coach Jim Washburn, confirmed this week by coach Jim Schwartz, is a creative way to adjust their defensive coaching staff without firing anyone.
The Lions have replaced three offensive assistants, all of whose contracts had expired. They retained defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and his staff, but Washburn will take on an unspecified role that will include partnering with current defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.
"The more eyes on those guys the better," Schwartz told reporters Wednesday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "That can help with technique, that can help with scheme, it can help with the game plan, it can help with game day. There's a lot of positives there. He's very familiar with our scheme. He's had a lot of production."
Washburn, 63, has been an NFL defensive line coach for 14 seasons and coached Kocurek when both were with the Tennessee Titans. Washburn's role with the Lions is relatively unique on NFL coaching staffs, but in the end the Lions added a good coach without rocking the boat.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Schwartz said that receiver Titus Young's rant on Twitter earlier this week was "a pretty good example of a not-so-good idea." Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News has more.
Schwartz isn't worried about defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh's participation in a celebrity diving television show, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com. Schwartz: "Celebrity ice skating, that might be a little bit different. A lot of players did that celebrity dancing thing, even a big man like Warren Sapp. There's a high incidence of injury in all those things -- cheerleading, dancing -- a lot of foot injuries and stuff like that, but I don't think we have a lot to worry about with celebrity diving."
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the Green Bay Packers' salary-cap situation.
It's not clear which of the Packers' 2012 running backs will return in 2013, writes Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski, who played for new Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman when both were with the Oakland Raiders, thinks Trestman can earn the Bears' respect by improving quarterback Jay Cutler. More from ESPNChicago.com.
Bears offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has shown a knack for improving offensive linemen, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Offensive lineman prospects look good at the Senior Bowl, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune speaks with Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, a former Minnesota Vikings player and St. Paul native, about reaching the Super Bowl.