PHOENIX -- I’m traveling back to NFC North headquarters Monday morning, but that doesn't mean we can't get ourselves caught up around the division.
We don’t know who Chicago’s next offensive coordinator will be. But we know one man it won’t be: Southern California assistant Jeremy Bates is expected to join Pete Carroll in Seattle, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Bates had been scheduled to interview Tuesday with the Bears, where he could have re-united with quarterback Jay Cutler. Instead, the Bears will have to move on to other alternatives. Former St. Louis head coach Mike Martz has campaigned publicly for the job.
Meanwhile, the Bears are scheduled to interview Perry Fewell on Monday for their open defensive coordinator job.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the Packers’ 51-45 loss at Arizona: “[F]or all they did over the second half of the 2009 season, it looks like one key element -- their ascendance to a top-five defense -- was illusory.”
The Packers’ season ended with plenty of “ifs,” writes Mike Vandermause of the Press-Gazette.
The play that will stand out from Aaron Rodgers' first playoff game is his unwillingness to get rid of the ball on the final-play sack that led to the Cardinals' winning touchdown, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jason Wilde of EPSN Milwaukee quotes offensive coordinator Joe Philbin calling that final play "Football 101." Philbin continued: "You would hope [the quarterback] could find somebody open and get the ball out or a combination thereof."
Tight end Jermichael Finley and receiver Greg Jennings combined for 14 catches and 289 yards, notes Greg A. Bedard of the Journal Sentinel.
Minnesota players are looking forward to welcoming Dallas to their “hood,” write Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press takes a look at how the Vikings built an all-star team.
Nicholas J. Cotsonika’s season-ending grades for the Lions in the Detroit Free Press included nothing higher than a D.
The Lions shouldn’t be quick to dump linebacker Julian Peterson this offseason, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.