We're Black and Blue All Over:
Reading Chris Houston's assessment of the 2012 Detroit Lions prompted me to re-publish it as a public service message for the 2013 Chicago Bears.
Last year's Lions group had a high number of veterans in contract years. The same goes for this season's Bears team. In speaking with Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News, Houston minced few words in describing the impact of that situation on a 4-12 season.
Houston: "It left a bad taste, but you can see the chemistry is so much better now. A lot of guys were working for themselves last year. We got a lot of young guys now and they listen, no big egos or nothing. It's going to be a much better year."
Contract situations don't by rule consume a team. The Bears' policy of holding off negotiating until after the season could serve as a motivator. If Houston is correct, however, the motivation it provided those affected with the Lions was not positive.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Lions rookie Larry Warford got a taste of working with the first team Monday. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News tells us how it went.
Gillian Van Stratt of Mlive.com profiles Lions linebacker Travis Lewis and his drive to earn a starting job.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune is impressed by the early work of Bears rookie guard Kyle Long.
New Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker would be smart to incorporate as much as he can from the team's previous scheme, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden is looking comfortable, notes ESPNChicago.com.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today details the injuries Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had repaired this offseason.
The Vikings' cornerbacks are a big question mark, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press details the Vikings' plans to reduce defensive tackle Kevin Williams' snaps this season.
Marshall Newhouse is feeling comfortable as the Green Bay Packers' right tackle, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette profiles Packers linebacker Andy Mulumba.
Injured Packers running back DuJuan Harris is eager to get back on the field. More from Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.