How I See It: NFC North Stock Watch

March, 25, 2010
3/25/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Offended NFL coaches: A number of NFL coaches, including Minnesota's Brad Childress and New Orleans' Sean Payton, expressed objections to the process by which owners approved an overtime rule change at the recently concluded owners meetings. After indicating a vote would come Wednesday morning, owners instead re-convened Tuesday afternoon during a coaches golf outing to settle the issue. Childress said: "Our understanding was we were going to come back and talk about it more. ... The word 'transparency' comes to mind." I don't doubt it was surprising and perhaps infuriating to feel misled in that manner. In fact, I know it felt that way. In the real world, bosses make decisions and change the rules every day without consulting and/or incorporating the rank and file. For one day, at least, NFL coaches were nothing more than employees. Welcome to paradise.

Rising

Julius Peppers, Chicago defensive end: There has been considerable talk about whether Peppers would play left end or right end in the Bears' scheme. He's a rare pass-rusher who is completely comfortable with his left hand on the ground, allowing him to take advantage of a natural mismatch against the right tackle. But rather than lock him into one position, Bears coach Lovie Smith suggested this week that Peppers will flip between the two in order to maximize flexibility and mismatches. As long as Peppers is comfortable in that scenario, the approach is ideal. Some NFC North teams are weaker at left tackle than they are on the right side. There's no reason to ignore that matchup when it presents itself.

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