- Looking to replace retiring DC Chuck Pagano, the Bears could consider an in-house candidate such as DL coach Jay Rodgers, according to Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune.
- Biggs reports the possibility exists that Rodgers, whose contract is currently set to expire, could leave for another staff if he is not promoted to coordinator. One such staff could be that of the Chargers and their new HC Brandon Staley.
- Biggs also reports that another in-house option for Chicago is safeties coach Sean Desai, who could also be considered by some of the new regimes around the league.
- According to Biggs, Bears’ HC Matt Nagy has a relationship with James Bettcher, the former defensive coordinator of the Giants and Cardinals. The team has also requested an interview with Colts’ CB coach Jonathan Gannon.
- As for Bears’ passing game coordinator Dave Ragone possibly going to the Falcons with HC Arthur Smith, Biggs says not to worry as the team has plenty of coaches familiar with the system, including OC Bill Lazor and QB coach John DeFilippo.
New Lions GM Brad Holmes had multiple teams pursuing him as their next general manager, so he was interviewing the Lions just as much as they were interviewing him. He said he came away impressed with the vision ownership was projecting to him as the team tries to rebuild its culture from the ground up.
“My first interview with the Lions, I got off and I told my wife, I said, ‘I wasn’t expecting that.’ I had already been through an interview the day before and I thought it was going to be very similar, but it felt completely different,” Holmes said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “I’ve always used the analogy that I felt like we were sitting around a fireplace just getting to know each other. I truly believe that is the mindset and vision of [Lions owner Sheila Ford] Hamp. She just has a genuine soul. When I got off that call I just said, ‘she’s who you want to win for.’ She just has that type of spirit.”
Holmes was the director of college scouting for the Rams for the past several years, and he’s drawn attention for having success without the benefit of a first-round pick for years as well as innovative methods of scouting.
“I’m under the belief that just because scouting has been done one way, it doesn’t have to be done the same way all the time,” Holmes said. “Let’s utilize that technology. That’s something we will definitely utilize here with the Lions.”
- The Lions are expected to hire Saints assistant HC/TE coach Dan Campbell as their next head coach, though it hasn’t been confirmed by the team. Lions team president Rod Wood indicated Holmes played a role in the search: “When the head coach is announced it is going to be with Brad’s awareness and support.” (Judy Hammond)
- Holmes raved about Lions QB Matthew Stafford in his opening press conferences Tuesday: “Great player, and what you really appreciate … is how his intangibles show on film.” (Chris Burke)
- However, Holmes said his job is to evaluate the entire roster and stopped short of fully committing to Stafford going forward.
The Packers were lambasted all offseason for not adding to what most saw as a precariously-positioned receiving corps. That continued at the trade deadline when Green Bay passed on a chance to acquire Texans WR Will Fuller. But in Saturday’s divisional round win over the Rams, the Packers’ unheralded receivers came through in a major way, like they have all year, highlighted by WR Allen Lazard‘s nail-in-the-coffin fourth-quarter touchdown reception.
“I think we believe in our wide receiver group the utmost,” Lazard said via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “We have the No. 1 offense in the league, so we’re not really worried about who’s on the other side of the ball, so to speak. We knew that we could stretch them vertically and horizontally as well. We were just playing fast and just doing our job.”
- The Athletic’s Chad Graff writes that if the Vikings can’t repair things with DE Danielle Hunter and end up trading him, he expects their asking price to be two first-round picks using the trades of Khalil Mack and Frank Clark as frameworks.
- Graff adds a trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson is also highly unlikely, as the Vikings don’t have the draft capital some other teams do and Houston probably wouldn’t be that interested in Kirk Cousins as opposed to a younger, potential franchise quarterback.