NFC North Rumors: Lions, Packers, Vikings



  • According to Ian Rapoport, there’s no question that Matt Patricia will be the Lions’ head coach moving forward.
  • If there’s a change, Rapoport says it will likely lead to OC Jim Bob Cooter moving on, given that his contract is up and could garner interest from other NFL teams.
  • The Lions have downgraded CB Jamal Agnew (knee) and CB Nevin Lawson have been downgraded to out for Week 17. (Tim Twentyman)
  • Lions placed CB Deshawn Shead on injured reserve. (NFLTR)
  • Lions promoted CB Andre Chachere to their active roster.


Ian Rapoport reports that while Packers interim HC Joe Philbin will get an interview for the full-time job, it would be a surprise if he was hired.

Rapoport says the Packers could interview as many as 10-12 candidates and then bring back three or so for final interviews.

Sources have told Rapoport that Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald is expected to be one of the Packers’ targets with Josh McDaniels also a name to watch in Green Bay.

  • According to Tom Silverstein, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst is a “huge admirer” of Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald from his time as a college scout.
  • While there may be some question about how Fitzgerald may fair at the NFL level, Silverstein both Gutekunst and Packers president Mark Murphy view him as someone they must have on their short list of candidates.
  • Silverstein mentions that one crucial question for Fitzgerald will be the kind of staff he can put together, given that his current staff could be overmatched in the NFL. Beyond that, Fitzgerald would have to compete for hiring available assistants.
  • Even so, a scout tells Silverstein that Fitzgerald would be more of a “CEO type of coach” if hired by Green Bay: “He’s more of the CEO type of coach. You look at a guy like (Tennessee head coach) Mike Vrabel. He can command a room. I think Fitz has that. He’s very intelligent without acting like he knows everything.”


  • Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Vikings are expected to promote QBs coach Kevin Stefanski to full-time offensive coordinator after the season and have Drew Petzking serve as their QBs coach.
  • Rapoport mentions that the one potential snag in this scenario is that Stefanski is a free agent after the season and Minnesota may have to battle for his services.
  • According to Rapoport, Vikings TEs coach Todd Downing will also have other options next year.
  • Rapoport still expects former Vikings OC John DeFilippo to be one of the more coveted coordinator candidates this offseason, despite being fired midseason.
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