NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Much of the Bears’ recent success has come from keeping the passing attack closer to the line of scrimmage. But in the Wildcard Round against the Saints with their full complement of weapons back and healthy, QB Mitchell Trubisky thinks Chicago will need to air it out more. 

“I think we definitely need to open it up a little bit,” Trubisky said via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Potash. “As far as staying aggressive, I like going for it on fourth down. That’s just a mindset, but I think, more importantly, we’ve got to score more touchdowns in the red zone…

“Our special-teams unit is doing incredible, and we gotta keep that going. But we gotta help our team and put our defense in better positions by finishing with touchdowns. That just makes you a better offense and better team, so I think that’s the main improvement we want to see this week.”

Lions

  • According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Bengals are interviewing Lions OL coach Hank Fraley for the same position on their staff. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Lions are a little leery that they’re being used as contract leverage by Seahawks GM John Schneider
  • Lions DL coach Bo Davis is expected to take the same position at the University of Texas. (Jeff Howe)

Packers

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says if Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett gets the Falcons head coaching job, one of his candidates for offensive coordinator is Packers OL coach Adam Stenavich.
  • Hackett said he loves where he’s at but “for the future, you never know.” His goal is to eventually be a head coach: “I think [I’m] definitely ready. I think it’s something you’re thinking about the minute you get into this profession.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he feels as good as he can remember going into the postseason: “I definitely feel as good as I’ve felt after the season since I can remember. That’s a huge positive, being 37.” (Wood)

Vikings

  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that he wouldn’t be surprised if Vikings’ executive George Paton lands a GM job with the Lions, Falcons or Broncos.
  • Canfora reports Paton completed his interview with Detroit on Wednesday and is “very close” to Vikings GM Rick Spielman, who is Lions’ special assistant Chris Spielman‘s brother. 
  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff thinks it’s about 50-50 whether Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is back in 2021 or a cap casualty. Minnesota can save $5.1 million by releasing him. 
  • He adds the Vikings would also like to improve their depth at wide receiver, potentially with a low-cost free agent and a mid-round draft pick. 
  • Graff mentions Vikings OT Brian O’Neill could be in line for an extension this coming summer. 
  • Defensive line should be a high priority for the Vikings in 2021, per Graff, as both DTs Jaleel Johnson (free agent) and Shamar Stephen (cap casualty) could be gone. 
  • Graff doubts the Vikings bring back S Anthony Harris, which means finding another starter there is another big need. 
  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. mentions to keep an eye on the Vikings as a landing spot for former Lions ST coordinator Brayden Coombs

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