NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings

     

Bears

Lions

Former Lions HC Jim Caldwell coached two years under GM Bob Quinn, leading the team to the playoffs in 2016 and finishing 9-7 in 2017. But Detroit missed the playoffs in 2017 and that was enough for Quinn to pull the plug on Caldwell and bring in current HC Matt Patricia, who has gone 6-10 and 3-12-1 in his first two seasons. Caldwell says he got the impression that if it had been entirely up to Quinn, he would have been fired as soon as the new GM came on board. 

“I think without question that had he been left to his own devices I probably would have been gone the day he came in, just kind of the feeling that I got even though obviously it went through a two-week process of kind of going through an interview process with him in order to keep my job,” Caldwell said via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “And I was thankful to be able to continue because I did think that we were going to move in the right direction, I did think that we had something that was pretty special.”

  • ESPN’s Michael Rothstein lists guard as the biggest position battle on the team, with a wide-open competition at right guard between rookies Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg and veterans Oday Aboushi and Kenny Wiggins
  • Rothstein notes someone could even unseat incumbent starting left guard Joe Dahl.
  • Lions fifth-round WR Quintez Cephus worked out with WR Marvin Jones this offseason in California and impressed the veteran: “He definitely has the tools — his strength, his explosiveness, dude can jump out the gym. It’ll be great to see him go.” (Chris Burke)

Vikings

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports the Seahawks and Vikings went “back and forth” with signing DE Everson Griffen, but the Cowboys “quietly” pursued the veteran and ultimately got a deal done. 
  • Per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, Vikings co-DC Adam Zimmer mentioned DT Shamar Stephen as the first man up to replace Michael Pierce at nose tackle: “He’s as good of a nose as there is.”
  • ESPN’s Courtney Cronin lists cornerback as the biggest position battle on the team, with an almost brand-new projected starting trio with Mike Hughes, first-round rookie Jeff Gladney, third-round rookie Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd and Holton Hill battling it out. 
  • Zimmer said the Vikings will look at potentially moving Hughes from the slot to outside while Gladney plays inside: “Mike has done a good job in the past (at slot) and also has played well outside.” (Tomasson)
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