We're Black and Blue All Over:
What's gotten into Mike Martz? When he was hired as the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator, Martz brought a well-deserved reputation for stubbornness and ornery reactions to the most minor of player mistakes. But as Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com points out, this summer Martz has been "the offensive coordinator from Pleasantville" while praising every aspect of what any realist would consider a work in progress.
Greenberg: "After all, it is the preseason; it's time to tinker and teach. And there's no need to harp on mistakes made by a group of professionals trying to digest a complicated new system. And while the public's hunger for Bears news never takes a vacation -- witness the reportorial scrum around newly signed camp arm Matt Gutierrez, which led center Olin Kreutz to howl with laughter as reporters surrounded him -- there's no need for Martz to open his players up to early scrutiny."
There's no way you could apply this kind of praise to any NFL offense during training camp, whether it's the New Orleans Saints or Indianapolis Colts or Buffalo Bills. Martz is simply using the power of positivity as he races against the clock to prepare for the season opener. More than anything, his players need to feel confident that they're on the right track.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears are considering Devin Aromashodu one of their three starting receivers, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Martz offered a vote of confidence for injured backup quarterback Caleb Hanie, according to Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.
Check out this chart of the Detroit Lions' revolving door at left guard from the Detroit Free Press. A total of 15 players have started a game there since 2001.
The Lions' trade for defensive end Lawrence Jackson puts the status of veteran Jared DeVries in doubt, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Lions running backs Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith were working in a version of the Wildcat offense Wednesday, according to Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
The Green Bay Packers might have plucked two Week 1 starters from their draft class, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga can earn more than $5 million in incentives over the next four years if he is a starter, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre: "He is the George Lucas of interviews. He produces wildly entertaining shlock, none of which is believable."
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "What the Vikings should have done Wednesday was to place Brett Favre in one of those Popemobiles and drive him around the Twin Cities so he could smile and wave to his adoring fans from inside the clear, plastic bubble."
Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com: "There may be no tighter locker room bond between a team and its quarterback than the one between the Vikings and Favre."
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "Favre is unlike any player in the history of the National Football League, so I will not doubt him. But if he's anything like the tens of thousands of players who went before him, his performance is going to start to deteriorate at some point."
If you were keeping track at home, the Vikings waived/injured receiver Jaymar Johnson to give them room to reinstate Favre on the roster, as Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500.com points out.