Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Jeffri Chadiha's profile of Detroit linebacker Ernie Sims contains a blunt -- but, I would say, accurate -- description of the Lions' recent linebacker groups. (This season, Sims has been joined by veterans Julian Peterson and Larry Foote.)
Sims: "We always talk about football and techniques but one the best things J.P. [Peterson] told me was that I have some players to help me now. That was important for me to hear because I've always had dogs around me since I came here. It's good to know I have that kind of support."
Indeed, not many people outside of Detroit could name the players Sims has started next to since the Lions made him their top draft choice in 2006. Last year's group of Alex Lewis and Paris Lenon were particularly underwhelming. Sims knew it, too. It's just a bit jarring to hear them described as "dogs."
You could argue that Sims hasn't always played like a Pro Bowler over that time. But to whatever extent his teammates held him back in the past, that dynamic should not be a factor in 2009.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Lions owner William Clay Ford Jr. promised the team will have sellouts at Ford Field this year, but other team officials were not commenting Wednesday on the status of ticket sales. Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News has more.
Green Bay's Donald Driver is the sixth-oldest starting receiver in the NFL, writes Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Rookie Brandon Underwood has assumed the Packers' No. 4 cornerback position, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune takes a stab at predicting the Bears' 53-man roster. One key decision: Running back Adrian Peterson over tight end Michael Gaines.
The Bears have three receivers competing for two spots, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times. One of the three -- Rashied Davis, Brandon Rideau and Devin Aromashodu -- will go.
Minnesota is soliciting trade offers for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, write Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Jackson is determined to use his feet more in the future, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.