NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Brian Gutekunst


Bears GM Ryan Poles wants the veterans along the team’s offensive line to play as if their jobs are on the line. Chicago added four rookie offensive lineman in this year’s draft — including fifth-round OT Braxton Jones, sixth-round OL Zachary Thomas, sixth-round C Doug Kramer and seventh-round OT Ja’Tyre Carter — which Poles hopes will create a competitive atmosphere along some key positions.

It’s human nature to relax when there’s no threat to your job, so I want these young guys to come in and compete for jobs,” Poles said, via the team’s official website.


Lions GM Brad Holmes had a rule for himself when he took the job in Detroit. Don’t take injured players in the first round. He broke that rule for WR Jameson Williams, though, trading up all the way from the end of the round even, and it’s because he was so blown away by his tape compared to the other players in this class. 

“I had Jameson in his own box,” Holmes said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “You want to be as sure as possible with first-round players, of course, and I was absolutely convicted on Jameson … the speed, how fluid he was, how confident he played. I consulted with our medial team, and they felt it was a clean ACL tear. So now I had to get comfortable with picking an injured player. I thought, I can’t preach to our organization to be open-minded with their decisions if I’m not going to be open-minded myself.”


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks the Packers will take some time during camp to evaluate their roster at wide receiver. But he points out they were aggressive with midseason additions last season, signing LB Jaylon Smith, OLB Whitney Mercilus and making a run at WR Odell Beckham Jr.
  • He expects the same in 2022 from GM Brian Gutekunst with an eye toward maximizing their competitive window now with QB Aaron Rodgers

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