NFC North: Gil Byrd
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
If you're hoping to leave Lambeau Field on Saturday night with a strong sense of Green Bay's new 3-4 defense, you might be disappointed. As Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes, the Packers might not use even 40 percent of their defensive playbook in the preseason opener against Cleveland.
Coach Mike McCarthy said the volume target is 33 percent to 40 percent. According to Wilde, the Packers have more than 100 plays in Dom Capers' new 3-4 scheme. Doing the math, you'll see about 35 of those looks Saturday night.
Capers: "I think there's a balance there. There's certain things you'd rather not play, rather not show, but you want to see your package and execute some of your package, too."
That balance will be noteworthy throughout the preseason as the Packers continue to unveil the new scheme.
Moving around the NFC North:
- Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the strong summer performance of linebacker Brandon Chillar.
- Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette is eager to see how the Packers' offensive line performs against Cleveland.
- As Detroit rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford prepares for his preseason debut, Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press checks in with Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan about playing as a rookie.
- The Lions' third preseason game could decide their quarterback derby, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- The Lions likely will start Keary Colbert and Adam Jennings at receiver Saturday night against Atlanta, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
- Chicago could flip-flop at safety Saturday at Buffalo, with Kevin Payne moving to free safety and rookie Al Afalava working at strong safety, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Buffalo's second-round draft pick, Jairus Byrd, is the son of Chicago assistant coach Gil Byrd. But Jairus Byrd won't play Saturday because of a sports hernia, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago.
- Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf toured Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday to glean ideas for a stadium he hopes to build in downtown Minneapolis, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.