Monday, January 28, 2013
NFC North links: Saturday's final snap
By ESPN.com staff
New Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer has a history of developing players and getting the most out of them. "You look at the way we have turned our offensive line over," Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt said. "He has taken Jermon Bushrod as a rookie, now he's a two-time Pro Bowler. You see what he has done with Jahri Evans. You see what he has done with Brian De La Puente. You see what he has done with Zach Strief when Jon Stinchcomb left."
Former Bears safety Chris Harris has decided to call it a career.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "One year after finishing fourth in takeaway differential, the Lions were second-to-last in the category this season. The ball just never seemed to fall into the defense’s hands. In 2011, the Lions’ defense had 34 takeaways. In 2012, it had 17. 'The turnover ratio is really out of whack and a lot of it is because we didn’t get any,' general manager Martin Mayhew said this month. 'Now, for instance, some of our guys, like a guy like Cliff [Avril], we didn’t play with a lot of leads. And we played with some leads last year, so we had some opportunities really to tee off and get our pass rush going and everybody could just cut loose and just go. We didn’t have as many of those. That may have been a reason for some of the decline in sacks and quarterback fumbles. But our guys in the [secondary] didn’t make enough plays.'"
At a Super Bowl event on Sunday, San Francisco 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin had some kind words for Lions offensive lineman Jeff Backus.
Green Bay Packers
Despite being on the opposing team, Jeff Saturday delivered one final snap to Peyton Manning during Sunday's Pro Bowl. "You know what, man, this is what it's all about. I'll remember this one," Saturday said. "It's been a pleasure. We've had a great time. We had a great run together. I've enjoyed playing with him. He's a class act all the way across the board. I've been very appreciative of the time I got to spend with him in Indy and I know he'll do great things in Denver."
Tight end Kyle Rudolph claimed MVP honors Sunday in the NFC's 62-35 rout of the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
The Star Tribune's Jim Souhan details the similarities between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Minnesota's Leslie Frazier.