We're Black and Blue All Over:
Sam Monson's snap-by-snap analysis of Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman's 2012 season over at Pro Football Focus includes a detailed breakdown of Tillman's two games against Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
When matched up against Tillman in those two games, Johnson caught five passes on 14 targets. Of those catches, all but one came when Tillman was in a soft "Cover-3" shell that appeared to Monson to be designed to concede short routes.
Those figures proved a metaphor for Tillman's entire season. According to Monson, Tillman allowed 28 completions in 38 targets last season when in that softer coverage, but that percentage dipped to 34 receptions in 59 targets when he was in Cover-2 or man defense.
Everyone associates Tillman with his record-breaking ability to force fumbles from his position. But the crux of Monson's piece is that Tillman had an excellent 2012 season in coverage, far better than people might give him credit for, when given a chance by the scheme. The conclusion: "Charles Tillman might just be Darrelle Revis trapped in a zone defense."
The entire analysis is worth your time here on a steamy July morning. Continuing around the NFC North:
Is Bears quarterback Jay Cutler ready to fly? Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune looks into it.
Bears special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis is getting rave reviews, according to Kalyn Kahler of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Cian Fahey of presnapreads.com examines the 2012 season of Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in sack-by-sack detail.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if the Packers will regret releasing linebacker Desmond Bishop.
Guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton are tied for the Packers' 18th-most important players, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh thinks players meshed well in the offseason. More from Chrissie Wywrot of DetroitLions.com.
Despite a star-studded roster, the Lions have no interest in HBO's "Hard Knocks." Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press explains.
Janet Moore of the Star Tribune has details on the development expected around the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen told the NFL Network that his surgically repaired shoulder will be ready for full participation in training camp.