BBAO: Lions claim QB Thaddeus Lewis

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The arrival of a new quarterback always generates offseason buzz, even if it's to a team such as the Detroit Lions -- whose starter and backup appear firmly in place. Just the same, the Lions claimed former Cleveland Browns quarterback Thaddeus Lewis on waivers this week, according to Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News among others, and he will at least give them an intriguing arm to evaluate this spring.

Matthew Stafford is the Lions' starter and veteran Shaun Hill would appear set as his backup, but No. 3 quarterback Kellen Moore's job could be available. Also, Hill is recovering from minor foot surgery and has been in a walking boot this spring. If nothing else, Lewis gives the Lions a live arm during organized team activities while Hill completes his recovery.

Lewis, a second-year player out of Duke, started the Browns' season finale last season, completing 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • The Lions are looking for progress from linebacker Tahir Whitehead, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Retired left tackle Jeff Backus will work with the team's linemen as a part-time coaching intern, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.

  • Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji on his contract situation, via USA Today: "Obviously, the Packers are a great organization and I'm sure they'll do right by me. I'll leave it at that."

  • Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers on experimenting with defensive end Mike Neal at linebacker, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "The more he can do, the more versatile it's going to make us, make it harder for the offense to identify some of the things we're doing. He's been more of primarily an inside rusher for us, and we liked the way he rushed inside for us last year. We're just trying to expand his role. If he can be both an inside and an outside rusher, then that's an asset to us. … Mike's a guy that has a combination of strength, size, speed, quickness, power. We're trying to get him a little more work rushing outside than inside because we know what he can do inside. He'll be involved in different packages in different places."

  • Packers tight end Andrew Quarless apparently is recovered from a devastating knee injury and is ready to resume his role, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly hasn't joined the Packers yet this offseason, but the team remains supportive of his path. Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.

  • Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was the only missing player from the first day of organized team activities (OTAs), according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. Allen traditionally works out on his own in the offseason.

  • Mike Wobschall of vikings.com offers highlights of the first OTA practice.

  • The NFC North is wide open behind the Packers, write Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. Dickerson: "So the real question is: Have the Lions passed up the Bears in the offseason? That's tough to say for sure with the regular season still over three months away. Let's start with what we know -- both teams desperately need to make the playoffs in 2013."

  • Patrick Rishe of Forbes.com wonders if the Bears' decision to retire Mike Ditka's No. 89 was based on public relations.