We're Black and Blue All Over:
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery has referred a number of times to advanced statistical analysis services that he consulted with over the past season. This week, the Bears joined a growing group of NFL teams that have dedicated a full-time position for that growing industry by hiring Mitch Tanney as director of analytics.
Tanney played quarterback at Division III Monmouth and has spent the past two years at STATS LLC. Said Emery, via Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com: "We needed somebody with an expertise in filtering through subsets of data to make sense of them in terms of which pieces are important and which pieces can be put together to give a clearer picture of projecting performance, whether it's on the field in situational football or in scouting projecting players moving forward."
Here on the blog, we try to use the vast troves of data available from ESPN Stats & Information to flesh out our discussions and either support or dissuade certain conclusions. According to the Bears' website, Tanney's role will go much deeper. He will develop "techniques to identify, extract and analyze data to support decisions made by the personnel department and coaches. He will primarily research player evaluation and game situations in an effort to project future outcomes."
Continuing around the NFC North:
Congratulations to Chicago Tribune football writer Dan Pompei for winning the Dick McCann Memorial Award for distinguished NFL reporting. More from Brad Biggs of the Tribune.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the team's prospects in the running game for 2013, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "We'll be better, I promise you that. Big letters."
Packers rookies have spent an extra week around Lambeau Field, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette traces the story that largely felled the rookie season of Packers linebacker Terrell Manning.
The Packers released their training camp schedule. The first practice will be July 26. Family night is Aug. 3.
Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune profiles Minnesota Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, focusing on the way the team is teaching him the playbook.
Rookie Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd took some first-team repetitions during Wednesday's minicamp practice, notes 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer acknowledged he felt "very strongly" that a change was needed at punter. More from Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The attorney for Detroit Lions defensive end Ronnell Lewis is expecting a favorable outcome in court next month on charges stemming from a bar fight in Oklahoma. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has more.
Lions running back Joique Bell had an "outstanding" offseason, according to coach Jim Schwartz via Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website.