NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers

     

Bears

The Bears believe 2019 will finally be the big breakout year for former first-round LB Leonard Floyd as a pass rusher. 

“As he gets better at one or two things, his numbers will go up,” Monachino said via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune “(What) may happen first are the effective rushes, right? He may affect the quarterback. He may affect the launch point. He may move a guy off the spot. But the more of those that come along, the more productive rushes he’s going to have. The more he’s going to get home and finish. Right now we’re focused on just a couple of things with Leonard. And it’s not because he can’t handle more. It’s because we want to build his toolbox in a way that, ‘This is my go-to, and this is the counter off of it.'”

Floyd had his fifth-year option picked up by Chicago despite recording just four sacks in 2018 while working across from LB Khalil Mack. Floyd and the Bears believe his improved health will help him make the jump they think he’s capable of. 

“I have to sharpen my tools. It’s been very different because I have been able to train and do all of the things with no limitations this spring,” Floyd said. “I believe I was playing my best football during the second half of last year after I really got over my hand injury. I felt like I was playing a lot better and I am looking forward to this year and just building off of that.”

  • Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly announced on his Twitter account that he has elected to stay in Chicago after interviewing for the Jets general manager position and receiving interest as a potential assistant GM. 

Lions

Newly-signed Lions CB Rashaan Melvin should have the inside track on the No. 2 starting cornerback position in Detroit thanks to his skillset and his past experience with HC Matt Patricia

“I’m a long guy,” Melvin said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “I like to get my hands on receivers. Anytime you can have that kind of player, it’s good for the defense to strip routes.”

Melvin has played for a number of teams so far in his career, with two years being the longest he’s ever stayed with one. He’s hoping to eventually top that in Detroit. 

“Anytime you can transition into a defense you’re kind of familiar with, in a role that you can play and help the team win, it’s good for the team and good for the player,” Melvin continued. “I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to see what the future holds. Excited to see the progress we continue to make this offseason getting ready to come back for training camp.”

Packers

  • Packers CB Jaire Alexander has high expectations for his second season in the league: “I just want to have a good year, for real. I see myself in the Pro Bowl. I see myself as an All-Pro. I’ve got all the confidence in the world. Last year was a great starting point for me, but this year is going to be my dog year. I’m putting my stamp on that.” (Packers.com)
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that Alexander has looked good this spring and could be an All-Pro in 2019. 

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