NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers

     

Bears

  • The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain writes Bears RB Ryan Nall might be best-suited to take over the workhorse role for as long as RB David Montgomery is out. 
  • Chicago didn’t add any serious competition for Nall and RB coach Charles London has consistently praised him: We’re very, we’re very high on Ryan Nall and what he can do for us.”
  • Chicago also has Tarik Cohen and Cordarrelle Patterson at running back, but Cohen’s size limits him to around 10 carries a game while Patterson is a converted wide receiver.  
  • Bears UDFA RB Artavis Pierce is the only other runner on the roster and has been considered a likely practice squad candidate. 
  • Fishbain mentions RB Devonta Freeman as the best free-agent available, but notes he might be too pricy. Chicago also had RB C.J. Prosise in for a workout recently. 
  • Fishbain and the Athletic’s Adam Jahns note Bears QB Nick Foles finally had a moment where he set himself apart in the quarterback competition with a successful two-minute drill in practice Wednesday. 
  • They add QB Mitchell Trubisky was not as impressive, but he was working with the second team and should have the chance to respond with the first-team on Thursday as the competition continues. 

Lions

Lions LB Jahlani Tavai said veteran LB Jamie Collins being on the team has been a “huge asset” for him to learn from this offseason. 

“He’s been a huge asset,” Tavai said, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site. “My biggest thing last year was I had a lot of wasted movement. That caused me to miss out on plays. Just watching the way Jamie plays, it’s like if you don’t have to step he doesn’t step. The ball just somehow attracts to him and that’s just something I want to adapt to and just get my eyes right, so I can become that kind of player.”

Packers

The Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round because they thought he could be their quarterback of the future. But the early indications from practice are that the future is still far off. Love has looked tentative and hasn’t shown off the arm talent he did at Utah State. So far during team drills, he’s completed just 24 of 43 passes (55.8) percent. 

“You can feel like he just needs more time to learn how to be able to play and go out there and play within the system,” Packers OC Nathan Hackett said via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “And I think that’s kind of what sometimes you’re seeing is he gets that play call, he gets up to the line, he gets everything and it’s like, ‘OK, now let’s play.’ But sometimes it’s that instinct that’s got to take over, and I think that he’s not 100 percent sure at times. That’s why experience is so important, especially at that position. So the more practice that he can get, the more situations we can give him, the better he’ll be.”

It’s not unusual for rookie quarterbacks, overwhelmed by the avalanche of a new offense and the speed of the professional game, to do more thinking in an effort to avoid mistakes. But Packers HC Matt LaFleur said they’re encouraging Love to just let loose and throw. 

“I just told him, ‘Hey, you can’t play hesitant; you can’t play tentative,’” LaFleur said. “We tell the quarterbacks, ‘Indecisive equals ineffective.’ I know there’s a lot going through his mind right now, but sometimes you’ve just got to shut it off and let your instincts take over and really go out and rip the ball. That’s kind of the challenge to him right now.”

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