NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers


Bears rookie RB Khalil Herbert said he thinks he can help Chicago as much on special teams as he can on offense.

“I’m trying to help out the team any way possible, whether it be any type of special teams or on offense,” Herbert said via Larry Mayer of the team website. “But kick return is something I pride myself on and I know it can affect the game to start out drives and help the offense to get field position. It’s something I’ve been talking to [special teams coordinator Chris Tabor] about. I feel like I’ll be able to help the team out in that way.”


Lions OC Anthony Lynn broke down why Detroit made RB Jamaal Williams a priority signing in free agency and why he has big plans for the veteran running back in 2021. 

“Jamaal is what I’d call a classic “A” back,” Lynn explained to the Athletic’s Chris Burke and Nick Baumgardner. “I like to break the backs down into A and B. My “A” backs are normally my bigger backs. They can run between the tackles, block probably a little better than a “B” back, they can also run the perimeter. I can leave those guys in there for all three downs.

“My “B” back comes in, he’s a guy that sometimes I want to use in space more. He’s my speed-in-space guy. I feel like Jamaal would be an outstanding “A” back. I like his energy, I like his pad level and the way he runs the football between the tackles.”

However, Lynn added Williams has some flexibility as a receiver that means he won’t be limited to being a between-the-tackles grinder. 

“You started watching him catch the ball — and they didn’t run a lot of different type of routes with him in Green Bay — but his hands are very good. He has natural receiving skills,” Lynn said. “Watching him this offseason, he does a heck of a job. He has a camera, wherever he’s at, filming his workouts. I’ve been impressed with some of his work, like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could run that route, young man.’ He’s been telling me. All you have to do is ask Jamaal — there’s nothing that he can’t do better than anyone else. I love his confidence, but it showed up on tape. It really did.”

  • Lions DL coach Todd Wash said third-round DL Alim McNeill will line up at nose tackle while second-round DL Levi Onwuzurike will play defensive end and move inside in sub-packages. (Chris Burke)
  • Wash mentioned that Trey Flowers will line up at outside linebacker in their base defense and move to defensive end in sub-packages. (Dave Birkett)
  • Lions LBs coach Mark DeLeone said he’s excited to work with DE Jahlani Tavai and he reported to their minicamp in “great shape.” ( Jahlani Tavai)


  • The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman thinks the Packers are content with Yosh Nijman as the swing tackle for now, with do-it-all OL Elgton Jenkins also a backstop at tackle. Green Bay drafted OL Royce Newman in the fourth round and is hoping to develop him at tackle as well. 
  • Schneidman notes there’s a really strong chance Packers second-round C Josh Myers is the Week 1 starter. 
  • He also anticipates RB AJ Dillon taking on around 35-40 percent of the snaps on offense and being used more as a receiver than fans might anticipate given his size. 
  • While Schneidman wouldn’t rule out the Packers making Dean Lowry a June 1 cut to save $4.8 million, he points out there’s not a clear replacement to fill the resulting hole that would be left in the starting lineup. 

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