NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers

     

Bears

Bears DT Akiem Hicks signed with the Bears in 2016 as a free agent already looking for his third team by the end of his rookie deal. Three years later, he’s started every game and made his first Pro Bowl in 2018.

“I’m appreciated here for everything I am,” Hicks said via the Athletic’s Dan Pompei. “I’ve never been expected to be anyone but myself here, and when I’m myself, I’m at my best.”

Bears GM Ryan Pace called Hicks a “catalyst” for the Bears success on defense. Hicks says adding LB Khalil Mack via trade was key in taking them to the next level. 

“We already had this dominant defense, and then you add, let’s call it what it is, one of the best defensive players in the league, top five for sure, top three to me,” Hicks said. “It was lagniappe, as they say in the south.”

Lions

  • According to NBC Sports’ J.P. Finlay, the Redskins and Lions are not closing in on a trade of WR Marvin Jones for WR Josh Doctson, despite internet rumors that surfaced over the weekend. 
  • Finlay writes Redskins GM Bruce Allen, who executes all trades, was out of the office in France last week and likely not negotiating. 
  • The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett speculated last week the Lions could trade Jones because he doesn’t fit with HC Matt Patricia.

Packers

Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com did some digging regarding Aaron Rodgers and the team’s plans for his ability to adjust plays at the line of scrimmage. According to Breer, the two sides are “working on it.” 

Guys from the Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan tree have become acquainted with what’s called the “double call.” The idea is for the coach to give the quarterback two calls, and a read to make the decision on which one is in on a given play,” Breer writes. “It’s great for younger quarterbacks, because it simplifies another element of the game, and safeguards them against snapping the offense into a bad call. Rodgers, on the other hand, has become accustomed to getting a play call and adjusting as he sees fit from there. So how will the Packers marry those two? As I understand it, the plan is to go with the double-call, while giving Rodgers the freedom to adjust past that. Similarly, as those systems have entrusted protection calls to the center (again, to get the quarterback faster), the Packers will train Corey Linsley to manage that area of the game, with Rodgers having power to make corrections.”

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