NFC North: Kevin Turks
The Chicago Bears have completed a restructuring of their front office following the departure of two key employees.
According to the team's website, Kevin Turks has been promoted to director of pro personnel and Dwayne Joseph has been made the associate director of pro personnel. The pair moved up after the departure of director of pro personnel Chris Ballard, who is now the Kansas City Chiefs' director of player personnel.
As Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune notes, scout Ted Monago was allowed to depart for a promotion as the St. Louis Rams' new national scout. Earlier this offseason, the Bears let go of regional scout James Kirkland. Finally, the Bears have hired Ryan Kessenich as a new scout. He has spent four seasons with the Chiefs.
New general managers often shake up the front office after their first draft, and the Bears' Phil Emery made a number of changes last year at this time. These most recent adjustments appear to be the coincidental result of several promotions available to current staff.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "The [Detroit] Lions took punter Sam Martin in the fifth round of last month’s draft with the expectation that he’ll steady what has arguably been their most unsettled position the last few years. Though most of the league’s top punters were drafted coming out of college, recent history suggests that drafting a specialist is no guarantee of present or future success."
- Lions coach Jim Schwartz on rookie guard Larry Warford, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "I don't know if you can say 'Larry' without saying 'big' in front of it. He probably hasn't been just Larry since he was about five years old; he was Big Larry."
- The Green Bay Packers will wear their throwback uniforms Oct. 20 against the Cleveland Browns, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has called the pants of that uniform "the most comfortable pants I've ever worn."
- Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the busy week of Packers draft pick Micah Hyde: "On Wednesday, he'll appear in court for a public intoxication charge from October. On Thursday, he'll fly to Green Bay for rookie orientation. On Sunday, he'll fly back to Iowa to take two exams. And then, it's off to Green Bay again."
- Packers draft pick Nate Palmer made only one pre-draft visit, and it was to Green Bay, notes Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com has the list of bonuses the Minnesota Vikings gave to their undrafted rookie class.
- The Vikings signed undrafted rookie receiver Adam Thielen after their rookie minicamp, notes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. That means they are unlikely to sign Duron Carter, the son of Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who also tried out for a roster spot, at least for now.
- Mike Rand of the Star Tribune has a Q&A with Cris Carter.
During our SportsNation chat Monday, Jeff of Wayne, N.J., asked:
Now that the Bears have [Jay] Cutler do they have any plans of getting someone he can throw the ball to? Everyone makes fun of them being without a decent QB for years but besides an aging [Muhsin] Muhammad they haven't done anything at WR either...
Bears fans waiting for their team to make a secondary run on the free agent market might not want to get their hopes up. In his regular Q&A with the team's Web site, general manager Jerry Angelo didn't sound too enthused about the idea.
Angelo: "I wouldn't rule it out totally. [Director of Pro Personnel] Bobby DePaul and his staff, Kevin Turks and Dennard Wilson, are always looking for veteran players at all positions that can upgrade us or create better competition. Bobby and his staff have done a great job of doing this over the years."
We've all seen how important words like "totally" can be. (See: "At this time.") But there are no indications the Bears are eager to start adding veterans to their roster. One who has almost no chance is defensive end Simeon Rice, who hasn't played since 2007 but has suggested he would like to play for new Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
Angelo: "At this point I doubt we'd be pursuing Simeon as an alternative. He was a great player and I really respect what he did for Tampa. I thought he was the missing link that put them over the top during their Super Bowl year."