Friday, January 8, 2010
NFC North at night
By Kevin Seifert
About four posts after I thought the day was winding down, here are two late Friday developments in the NFC North:
Detroit’s coaching staff will coach the North team at the Jan. 30 Senior Bowl, but at least one 2009 coach won’t be among them. Special teams coordinator Stan Kwan was fired Friday, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News.
We discussed Kwan’s status earlier this week when the special teams guru Bobby April got out of his contract in Buffalo. It goes almost without saying the Lions need to elevate their special teams play across the board, from coverage to returns. Our friends at Football Outsiders ranked Kwan’s special teams No. 31 in the NFL this past season. I’m not sure if April and the Lions will be a match, but he’s one of the best in the NFL.
Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews was added to the Pro Bowl after Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs pulled out because of a knee injury. Matthews was a first alternate for the honor after amassing 10 sacks. He becomes the Packers’ first rookie to make the Pro Bowl since receiver James Lofton in 1978.
In quotes distributed by the Packers, Matthews said he has “gradually been getting better and better” throughout the season. He added: “I feel like I am playing at a level that benefits our team. I am able to generate pressure on the passer, hold the point of attack against the run, and overall be a force on the right side of the line. I just look to continue to develop.”