NFC Notes: Bears, Cowboys, Lions



Regarding his return from suspension, Cowboys DE Randy Gregory explained that he did not want to have any regrets over his NFL career. 

“Just that I knew I had more to offer as a player,” Gregory said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “And I just really couldn’t live with myself knowing that I missed out on an opportunity that I’ve been working for for 15 to 20 years now to this point. That’s all I talked about from age 8 to age 9, playing in youth leagues and telling my dad that I wanted to play in the NFL. I’ve invested so much time physically, mentally, emotionally to the sport that I’m just not ready to give up yet.

Cowboys DC Mike Nolan believes that their lack of in-person training during the offseason program contributed to Dallas’ defensive struggles this season. 

“It’s been an unusual year for everyone,” Nolan said. “I think the biggest thing that has been the most difficult has been dealing with the virtual meetings and accomplishing, it’s such a hands-on profession, and teaching in this profession is like teaching a dancer. You got to put your hands on people a lot of times to show them things. Whether it’s the implementation of the defense, it all comes with technique. Everything you do is technique-oriented. So I would think, much like every other team that’s gone through the COVID this year, which is every team, it affects you. The difference would be for the four teams that came in with new staffs. But it’s affected each one of them differently as well.”


When asked about the Lions’ search for its next head coach and general manager, team president Rod Wood said he is working with special assistant Chris Spielman, executive Mike Disner, and owner Sheila Ford Hamp on “looking at all the candidates.” 

“I’ve been spending a lot of time, along with Chris (Spielman) and Mike Disner and Sheila (Ford Hamp), really looking at all the candidates that we’re hearing about. There’s all kinds of sources of information from other teams and agents and people that are sharing information with us, including our search committee that’s been very helpful. And trying to identify people who want to talk to. Some we can talk to now, because they’re not attached to a team. Some we have to wait until the season’s over with. And just restacking and prioritizing the list of coaches and general managers,” said Wood, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site. 

Wood explained that they are looking into candidates that fit into the Detroit Lions organization, which differs from their thinking when hiring former HC Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn.  

“One of the things that I think we’re doing differently that didn’t occur, at least in the searches I was involved in with Bob and Matt is really identifying what we want for a Detroit Lion coach and general manager. Not what some other team may want, but what do the Detroit Lions want? So we’ve been discussing and detailing a lot of very specific criteria that is unique to us and hopefully will fit a person that we find and we feel that that’s the person. And I don’t know whether that’ll take a month or two months or weeks, but when we find the person, hopefully they match up with the criteria we’ve developed and they’re going to be the right person for us and not the right person for some other team,” said Wood. 

Wood said he will continue to be involved with football decisions going forward.

“That’s the way it was and that’s the way it will be. There’s a reporting structure, but there’s not a meddling structure, I guess, if that’s the answer to the question. I don’t involve myself in any of those decisions anymore than Sheila does. We hire people that are experts at that and we let them do their jobs.”

Wood called the hiring process “exhaustive” and will continue gathering information until it is okay to meet with candidates in person. 

“It’s hard. And it’s an exhaustive process. … I just kind of keep collecting information and talking to people that I trust and then re-stacking the people as I said, in terms of a priority. And hopefully once we meet them it will become really clear. All I’m doing right now is hearing first-hand or second-hand or third-hand information about people, and I think once you meet them you’ll have a sense, ‘This is the person for us.'”


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