NFC North: Wally Pipp

We're Black and Blue All Over:

A surprise candidate has emerged in the early competition to replace Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins. On the first day of June, at least, the battle appears to be a three-way race.

As Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette points out, second-year safety M.D. Jennings is at least making things interesting for the Packers. Jennings has been taking the first-team repetitions this spring while veteran Charlie Peprah recovers from minor knee surgery, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers said this week that he has made "real progress" since his rookie season.

Conventional wisdom suggests Jennings is holding the spot only until Peprah is ready to practice or until coaches decide to look at rookie Jerron McMillian, a fourth-round draft pick this spring. But you never know what can happen when a motivated and ambitious player is given an opportunity. Ever hear of Wally Pipp?

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "We're going to be a lot stronger. The way we played last year… that's my group and I take responsibility for it. The additions, I don't care if we added anybody or didn't add anybody. We’re going to play better -- period. We're going to get back to playing like we did in the past. That will happen."
  • Ball security has been a big emphasis of the Packers' organized team activities, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
  • It seems unlikely that Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson will be ready to participate in the first day of training camp, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
  • The Vikings will not pursue a portion of retired cornerback Asher Allen's rookie signing bonus, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford called his team's offseason incidents "disappointing, very disappointing" and "a shame" while speaking to reporters Thursday. Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press has more.
  • Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com reviews the top five moves of Lions general manager Martin Mayhew this offseason.
  • Chicago Bears long-snapper Pat Mannelly (knee) is on track to be ready for training camp this summer, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "If Chicago wanted to be host to a Super Bowl, it should have done two things differently in 2001 when the city decided to rebuild Soldier Field. It should have made the capacity significantly larger, and it should have put a dome over it."
  • Pompei believes that free-agent acquisition Kelvin Hayden has a decent chance to start at cornerback for the Bears this season.

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NFC NORTH SCOREBOARD