NFC North: 2013 Week 9 NFL Buzz

Locker Room Buzz: Chicago Bears

November, 5, 2013
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Observed in the locker room after the Chicago Bears' 27-20 win over the Green Bay Packers:

McClellin ribbed: “Three sacks bro,” Zach Minter and David Bass joked repeatedly as second-year defensive end Shea McClelllin attempted to speak to the media after a career day in which he posted a career-high three sacks. McClellin knocked quarterback Aaron Rodgers out of the game in the first quarter, and said that while “I wish him a speedy recovery, stuff happens.”

Coming into Monday night's game McClellin had 3 career sacks, before matching that number against the Packers.

More ribbing: Rookie middle linebacker Jonathan Bostic sports a long goatee, and as he stood in front of his locker, fellow rookie Kyle Long joked about the facial hair being made of Velcro.

Meanwhile veteran linebacker James Anderson said Bostic played well “by the hair on his chinny chin chin.”

Bostic finished the game with four tackles, and spent some time after the game speaking with Anderson in depth about how to defeat blocks from centers. Anderson to Bostic explained the importance of attacking the edge of the blocker as opposed to striking him down the middle.

Emery makes the rounds: General manager Phil Emery could be heard saying “it feels good” as he walked through a celebratory locker room patting players on the back headed toward the team's buses.

It's your birthday: Cornerback Tim Jennings strolled through the locker room and alerted anybody within earshot about the 31st birthday of return man Devin Hester. Jennings said he bought Hester a watch for his birthday, and later joked, “Yeah, right.”

Hester racked up 113 return yards on four kickoffs and a punt return. Hester's longest return of the day was a 29-yard kickoff return.

Locker Room Buzz: Minnesota Vikings

November, 3, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Observed in the locker room following the Minnesota Vikings' 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Defensive linemen frustrated: For the third time this season, the Vikings lost a game in the final two minutes, and just like in the team's Week 2 loss in Chicago, play calling on the final drive was a hot topic. But while players chose their words carefully after the loss to the Bears, they were more overt about their frustrations on Sunday. Both defensive tackle Kevin Williams and defensive end Brian Robison disagreed with the decision to rush only three defenders on the final drive, after the Vikings had sacked Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo three times before that and put consistent pressure on him all day. "We'd just like to get a four-man rush," Williams said. "Release the big guys, let them push the pocket. We did it all day, and then we just start dropping a guy the last drive on the line. I can say from that standpoint, it's kind of terrible when you're trying to stop them. I know they went empty [backfield], trying to throw it quick and all, but if we make them hold it one second, we can probably get there."

Conservative offense: If the Vikings' defensive collapses on two-minute drills have been a consistent theme all season, so has their inability to put teams away before the defense heads back on the field. On Sunday, Minnesota got the ball back with 4:29 left, but threw deep on first down and handed the ball to Adrian Peterson just once on that drive. Then, when the Vikings were on the Cowboys' 36-yard line, facing a fourth-and-5, the team opted to punt after quarterback Christian Ponder couldn't draw Dallas offside. Even the frustration over that call spilled over to the defense. "You'd think we'd run it and run the time out," Williams said, before adding, "I don't coach offense. I just have to play what they call on defense and go from there."

Frazier opts for more "presence" on defense: After the Vikings' loss to the Bears, coach Leslie Frazier blamed himself for not being more involved in the defensive play calling at the end of the game. Leading up to Sunday's game, Frazier said he "felt I needed to make sure the coaches felt my presence, and the players as well, from a defensive standpoint." He said he didn't take over play calling from defensive coordinator Alan Williams, but was more vocal about making play-calling suggestions, he said.

Injuries mounting: Right tackle Phil Loadholt, who left with a concussion just before halftime, could have a hard time returning before Thursday's game against the Washington Redskins, Frazier said. Tight end Kyle Rudolph left with a foot injury, but said X-rays were negative and added he will get further examination on Monday. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes said he landed awkwardly on his leg when he was injured in the fourth quarter, and left the game after returning for one play. "I will be rehabbing, and whatever they say after that is what they say, when I get done with the MRI," Rhodes said. And defensive tackle Letroy Guion, who left with a shoulder injury, was in so much pain after the game that he had to be helped into his dress shirt.