NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings



  • According to Brad Biggs, Bears K Eddy Pineiro has started to build some momentum in the Bears kicking competition.
  • Pineiro hit 8-9 kicks on Thursday, missing a 55-yarder but hitting a 60-yard kick. 


The Lions have relatively high expectations for undrafted free agent OT Ryan Pope, who they gave the highest amount of guaranteed money of any UDFA in the NFL this year. 

“If he didn’t have potential, we probably wouldn’t bring him into the mix,” Lions OL coach Jeff Davidson said via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s why he’s here, that we think he’s got the potential to develop as a swing tackle. That’s really where we’re going to start him. Now, if he develops into anything more than that, we’ll see. Time will tell.”

Lions LB Miles Killebrew started off his NFL career strong at safety. However, a position switch to linebacker under HC Matt Patricia slowed much of Killebrew’s momentum, though he still played a valuable role to the team on special teams. Now he’s trying to jump-start his career and keep embracing the role change.  

“What it comes down to is what is needed,” Killebrew said via Justin Rogers of “I’m trying to be like everyone else on this roster and make myself available for whatever is needed. One thing Patricia loves, (defensive coordinator Paul) Pasqualoni loves is versatility. He asks that of all his players. We don’t know what roles are going to be needed next week, or even tomorrow. We’re all just working on learning the entire defense, all the special teams if we’re on special teams, so we can be plugged in wherever we’re needed. I know one thing, guys that put the team first, they stick around. That’s my goal, to put the team first.”

Regarding Lions CB Darius Slay and DL Damon Harrison‘s holdout, HC Matt Patricia said the team is “trying to do everything right by the players.” 

“We’re just trying to do everything right by the players so they can go out and compete at a high level,” Patricia said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Certainly we’re trying to get everybody out there as fast as we can every single day, but we also understand this is kind of a long haul and we don’t want to rush something into a situation where somebody may not be ready to go.


Vikings HC Mike Zimmer praised CB Mackensie Alexander‘s “work ethic and attitude” this offseason. 

He’s probably changed as far as work ethic and attitude and everything more than maybe any guy I’ve coached,” said Zimmer, via Chris Tomasson. “He’s just completely bought in to everything we’re doing, asking the right questions, doing everything, taking extra reps.”

  • Per Tomasson, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins believes WR Chad Beebe will make a “major difference” for them this season. 
  • Zimmer said Vikings CB Holton Hill, who is set to be suspended for the first eight weeks of the season, took third-team reps during Wednesday’s practice: “I’m not worried about Holton Hill.” (Tomasson)
  • As for the Vikings’ expectations in 2019, Zimmer said he enjoys “being doubted” and hopes to “prove people wrong” this season: “That’s the No. 1 thing for me: Prove people wrong.” (Gennaro Filice)
  • Zimmer mentioned that he has not contemplated retirement: “I still feel young and I look young. I haven’t really thought about retiring, honestly. I don’t have any doubts I can go to 70.
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