NFC North: Mark Sadowski

BBAO: Friday is upon us!

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
8:30
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Good mid-Friday morning and let's get straight to our morning tour:
  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune answers several questions about Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long in his weekly mailbag.
  • The Bears promoted Mark Sadowski to the position of senior national scout, notes Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Former Bears quarterback Jim Miller has taken a communications position with the team, according to Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News.
  • The mother of Titus Young's son has filed a restraining order against the former Detroit Lions receiver, according to the Associated Press.
  • Hall of Fame defensive lineman Mean Joe Greene on the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "He is a powerful man. Unfortunately for him is that he's letting some of this notoriety and publicity get in his head a little bit. By that I mean it changes the way he approaches the game, cause if he changes that he's not Ndamukong anymore. And you need an edge to play in the pit. Anybody that talks about what you shouldn't do hasn't been in there. I think you have to play the game the way he does, but not go over the edge. A couple times he went over the edge, and he shouldn't be afraid of that."
  • The Lions' defense is gearing up to take on four quarterbacks who threw for at least 4,000 yards last season, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette is outraged that someone would question the job security of Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette talks to former Packers running back Paul Hornung about "Titletown Five," a horse that will run in this weekend's Preakness in Baltimore.
  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed a cigarette tax to cover shortfalls in public revenues to build the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium. Jim Ragsdale of the Star Tribune explains.
  • The roof of the Vikings' new stadium is "self-cleaning," Vikings executive Lester Bagley told Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
We've spent plenty of time discussing the possible combination of offensive linemen the Chicago Bears could be considering with the No. 29 overall pick of next week's draft. But what about the defensive line, where the Bears could use depth across the board and need at least one new starter to replace defensive tackle Tommie Harris?

For that reason, I thought it was interesting Thursday when Bears general manager Jerry Angelo revealed the team has done extensive background work on North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, a classic "three-technique" tackle who could give the Bears a significant interior playmaker.

As you might know, Austin was dismissed from the team last season because he was a central figure an NCAA investigation into improper contact with agents. Speaking Thursday at a pre-draft news conference, Angelo said Austin has "documented concerns" but that the Bears "have delved into those."

In fact, Angelo said, the two most important figures in the life of any Bears defensive lineman -- coach Lovie Smith and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli -- visited Austin and "spent a goodly amount of time with him." So did area scout Mark Sadowski.

"We feel real good about how we feel about him and knowing him," Angelo said.

NFL teams don't typically hold NCAA violations against potential draft picks unless they learn about more significant issues in the course of background checks. Angelo seemingly doesn't have any concerns about Austin, but in this period of strategic misinformation, he might simply be trying to convince a team who is genuinely interested to initiate trade talks for the No. 29 pick.

In an Insider piece earlier this week, Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. notes that Austin seems to be gaining some traction as a late-first round pick -- mostly because of a "steep talent dropoff" after the top 25 or so players. Weidl cautioned against elevating a player like Austin, but it will be interesting to see if the Bears see him as a true value there or a potential trade chip as the first round closes.

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