NFC North: Miami Dolpins
Two items of note on the first weekend without football in, well, a long time.
1. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz, speaking to local reporters Friday, significantly downplayed the connection between new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Schwartz said he hired Linehan primarily because of his performance in Miami during the 2005 season, where he executed the vision of defensive-minded head coach Nick Saban.
As for the Linehan-Culpepper connection, Schwartz said: "I think part of the dynamic of a new coaching staff is that you not have those loyalties. I think one of the reasons you have turnarounds is you have players that are proving themselves to new coaches. You have coaches that are proving themselves to new players. I don't want that connection. We were very clear that that connection isn't going to necessarily mean we're either keeping or not keeping Daunte."2. New Green Bay defensive line coach Mike Trgovac spoke extensively Friday to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, explaining his reasons for walking away from his job as the defensive coordinator at Carolina. Trgovac alluded to a lack of family life in the coordinator's role but also made clear he felt his time in Carolina needed to end:
"...I wanted to depart as friends and depart this organization on good terms. I gave everything I had for seven years. ... I can understand how [stepping down from a coordinator to a position job] looks. But things aren't always what they appear, I guess. Sometimes working for a defensive head coach is harder than working for an offensive head coach."