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Black and Blue all over: A divisional bye week

10/22/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Wednesday is normally one of the busiest days of the NFL week. It's when recovery time from the previous game officially ends and earnest preparation begins for the next game.

This Wednesday, however, will be pretty quiet with three of the NFC North's four teams entering their bye week. Only the Lions have a game scheduled (for Sunday against Washington), and so things will be a little slower here at the NFC North blog as well.

Chicago is scheduled to practice Wednesday and Thursday and then have a long weekend off, while Minnesota and Green Bay players won't practice again until Monday. Here on the black and blue blog, we'll keep up as much of our weekly schedule as we can, including a "Have at it" topic later today.

In the meantime, a quick jaunt around the division:

  • Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner admits he has toyed with the "Wildcat" offense, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times. The obvious candidate for quarterback in that scheme is kick returner/receiver Devin Hester. Garrett Wolfe and Kevin Jones are other candidates.

  • Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune thinks people are getting carried away with quarterback Kyle Orton's performance -- but understands why: "This is what happens when a franchise's history at quarterback reads like a Shakespearean tragicomedy. If you have been forced to watch Craig Krenzel, Jonathan Quinn and Chad Hutchinson, then Orton indeed looks like the second coming of Montana, though with a better arm and a better tan."

  • Green Bay cornerback Al Harris said he will be "ready to go" when the Packers return from the bye, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to be in the stands for his brother Jordan's first start at quarterback for Butte College in Oroville, Calif., on Saturday. Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal has details.

  • Minnesota coach Brad Childress is continuing to preach patience with tailback Adrian Peterson, noting several running plays in which Peterson lost yardage Sunday at Soldier Field because he took the run away from the hole. Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune lay out the situation.

  • Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press offers five suggestions for improving the Vikings. Among them: "[Players] need to take responsibility for their own mental errors."

  • Looking for a bright spot in Detroit? Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press points out that kicker Jason Hanson has made all 17 of his kicks this season, including eight field goals.

  • Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky thinks he needs to become more vocal, writes Terry Foster of the Detroit News. "I am not much of a loud or energy guy. And maybe I need to switch that up a little bit, come in ticked off and change the energy level. Maybe that is something I will look into and maybe be the spark plug if I have to. As the quarterback, it is on my shoulders to lead this team and lead this offense, and when we start slowly that points right to me."