NFC North: Caleb Henie
Linebacker Takeo Spikes' decision to sign with San Francisco left the Detroit Lions in the same predicament they've been in for most of the summer: Mulling changes in the configuration of their incumbent linebackers.
Ernie Sims is stationed on the weak side in the Lions' 4-3 scheme, but the other two positions remain in play with three preseason games to go. Detroit was hoping to bring in Spikes to play on the strong side, according to this analysis in the Detroit Free Press, but for now Alex Lewis is competing with Leon Joe and Darnell Bing for the position.
Rookie Jordon Dizon is running with the second team behind Paris Lenon at middle linebacker, but the Lions might move Lenon to the strong side if and when Dizon gets up to speed on playing the middle linebacker spot.
We plan to be on the ground in Detroit (finally) on Wednesday and will update you on the linebacker position, among others, when we get there.
Elsewhere around the NFC North:
- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the preseason debut of quarterback Aaron Rodgers: "I thought Aaron did a number of solid things."
- Chicago Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand on the public hand-wringing over the state of the Bears' offensive line: "I don't know why everybody is so excited about that. God Almighty. I mean, jeez."
- The best thing going for Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Hanie? His last name isn't "Orton" or "Grossman," writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.