NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says the Bears have been eyeing Penn State RB Miles Sanders
  • The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs believes the Bears would have cut RB Jordan Howard if no trade partners had emerged. 
  • Biggs expects the Bears to draft a running back, but doesn’t think they’ll trade up to get one this year.  

Lions

Packers

Speaking for the first time since being fired by the Packers, former HC Mike McCarthy said it would be “unrealistic” not to have had any frustrations with QB Aaron Rodgers over 13 years, and that coaching him was “challenging, very rewarding and fun.”  

“When I think about my relationship with Aaron, you’re talking about 13 years,” McCarthy told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “That’s a very long time. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow in so many different ways and see him do so many great things on the field and off. To think you can be in a relationship that long and not have any frustrations, that’s unrealistic.” 

McCarthy added he was stunned when he was let go with four games still left in the season and didn’t believe that situation was handled well.  

“Obviously. It couldn’t have been handled any worse,” McCarthy said. “Anytime you lose a close game, it’s a difficult time emotionally afterwards, but when you lose a home game at Lambeau Field in December, it’s really hard. And that hasn’t happened very often. I walked out of my press conference, and I’m thinking about the game, thinking about how our playoff shot was now minimal. That’s where my head was at. And when I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me — and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make change. He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn’t think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard.”

Given the way he tried to conduct player exits as the head coach, McCarthy says his treatment was jarring.  

“Every time I released an individual, you get your words right,” he said. “There’s a personal component to it. You know he has a family. He’s family. There wasn’t any of that. So that was off. The way people leave that building was very important to me. That’s a part of the business. Hopefully moving forward for guys like Clay [Matthews] and Randall [Cobb] and Nick Perry and Jordy Nelson and T.J. Lang, it’s important for them to leave the right way. That way represents the Green Bay Packers standard that I tried to uphold every day.”

Vikings

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