NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Aidan Hutchinson, Vikings


Bears QB Justin Fields believes that rookie WR Velus Jones can be a difference maker with the ball in his hands.

At rookie minicamp there was one play that stood out to me, he had a 10-yard dig route in and caught it and hit that second gear kick for a touchdown,” Fields said, via Bears Wire. “I think he caught it at 10 yards and took it 60, so he’s a great run-after-the-catch guy. He’s going to pick up a lot of yards and is physical. He’s almost like a running back at receiver. Having him on the outside and putting the ball in his hands and letting him work will be great.

Bears WR coach Tyke Tolbert said that the team is throwing a wide range of concepts at Jones, but he wants him to learn all the positions so that he can be versatile to the team’s offense.

“We’ve thrown him into the fire pretty quick, put him at two positions immediately,” Tolbert said. “Get him to learn it now. Because we want him to learn the whole concept but, specifically, a couple of positions to get him going. The more he can do, the more, obviously, he’ll have a chance to play.


Lions HC Dan Campbell had high praise of first-round DE Aidan Hutchinson‘s presence in their offseason program and is proving that he’s eager to learn. 

“His approach is everything we thought it would be,” Campbell said, via the Lions’ official Youtube. “He’s in the meeting rooms, he’s attentive, he’s wanting to learn, he’s taking it all in, he’s doing what’s asked of him. And then it’s trial by fire, like the rest of them.”

Campbell thinks Hutchinson will benefit from going against OTs Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell in practice. 

“I think that’s huge,” Campbell said. “I think that’ll play more into his development than a lot of other things. So, I feel like he’s going to be going against quality tackles so that in and of itself is, I think, can [accelerate] his progression.”

Campbell added that Hutchinson has plenty of room to improve but has enough ability and strength to be a factor. 

There’s still a ton of meat on the bone with him. That’s pretty exciting,” Campbell said. “So, you can never tell for sure, but I would say this — it’s one of the reasons why we wanted to pick this guy, is his DNA says he’s going to do everything that he can to be successful. And he’s got enough ability and enough strength, he certainly does, to go out there and help us and help us win some games.”


Vikings’ second-year QB Kellen Mond thinks that new HC Kevin O’Connell will help him develop as a quarterback.

“I think so,” Mond said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I think Kevin, he’s obviously a young guy and he has some youth, especially with his offense. I think he’ll add a little bit more flavor. I think that’s something that the fans were missing a little bit last year. … New coaches, fresh team. So I think a lot of people will be excited about what we have to offer this year.” 

Mond said that he lost around 10 points when infected by COVID-19 last year.

“Last year, I kind of got hurt when I got COVID and lost a bunch of muscle, so a lot of ability and power and strength,” Mond said. “I kind of had to detour a little bit. … I was down to like 204, 205 (pounds) and lost a lot of muscle, so it definitely set me back.”

Mond added that he was incapable of lifting weights when dealing with his illness. 

“It was hard to recover during the season just because I wasn’t lifting (weights),” Mond said. “You can’t really lift and pump iron during the season. So I didn’t get that really back until this season. So right now, I’m about 212, 213. I’ll probably play at 216.”

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