Friday, February 6, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Udeze update
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
I get regular requests for updates on the health of Minnesota defensive end Kenechi Udeze, who missed last season while fighting an acute form of leukemia.
Minnesota coach Brad Childress told local reporters Thursday night that Udeze remains on track to participate in the Vikings' Organized Training Activities when they begin this spring. Those drills typically are scheduled for after the draft.
Udeze was declared to be in remission early last summer and then underwent a bone marrow transplant. He remains under contract, and the Vikings will give him every opportunity to make the team in 2009. Here is Rick Alonzo and Sean Jensen's report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Continuing around the NFC North on this Friday morning:
- The Vikings promoted offensive assistant Chad O'Shea to assistant special teams coach, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. O'Shea had spent the past three seasons working mostly with receivers.
- The Vikings signed Canadian Football League linebacker Kenny Onatolu to a contract, according to Sun Media. He played college football at Nebraska-Omaha.
- Chicago became the latest team to freeze ticket prices for the 2009 season, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The Bears will absorb a 1 percent increase in the City of Chicago's amusement tax as part of the decision, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
- Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette examines how long it might take for the Packers to make the transition to the 3-4 defense. Here's how new defensive coordinator Dom Capers put it: "You have enough flexibility that you adapt your scheme to the players you have. You can't totally change the players you have. As you gradually work toward your percentage of playing a defense, it's not as high the first year as it is the second year, and you gravitate."
- Soon to be ex-Detroit cornerback Leigh Bodden on Sirius NFL Radio: "I don't want to say divided but I don't think everybody was on the same page, to tell you the truth. That's what I felt and that's what I saw, especially in my situation. I can only speak from my situation and that's what I felt." Dave Birkett of the Oakland Press provides a transcript of Bodden's interview.