NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • The Athletic’s Adam Jahns predicts the Bears will use the franchise tag on WR Allen Robinson to keep him from free agency, as they really need him available for whoever their quarterback in 2021 is. 
  • Jahns mentions the promotion of safeties coach Sean Desai to defensive coordinator bodes well for the team re-signing S Tashaun Gipson, probably on another cheap deal. 
  • Bears OL Germain Ifedi is also a strong candidate to return, per Jahns.
  • Jahns lists Bears DL Roy Robertson-Harris, OLB Barkevious Mingo, TE Demetrius Harris, DL Mario Edwards, S Deon Bush, DL Brent Urban, DT John Jenkins and CB Artie Burns as players who will likely hit the market. 
  • The Bears announced that they’ve promoted Mike Snyder from offensive quality control coach to offensive quality control/assistant quarterbacks coach and Henry Burris from Bill Walsh Coaching Fellow to offensive quality control coach


New Lions assistant HC/RB coach Duce Staley had been with the Eagles for a long time, as both a coach and a player. So he was very familiar with Lions RB and Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift, both as a hometown kid and as one of the best prospects in the draft last year, and is thrilled to unlock some of Swift’s “special traits” in 2021. 

“D’Andre is a kid that I’ve been watching for a very long time,” Staley said via the team. “He’s a Philly native. Being able to go out and watch him in high school, he was super talented in high school. Of course, he’s super talented now. I’m just happy to be a part of his growth and his development for the next couple years.”

  • Staley said a call from HC Dan Campbell convinced him to choose Detroit over other opportunities: “I felt the energy through the phone.” (Kyle Meinke)
  • New Lions OC Anthony Lynn praised Swift as well, calling him a three-down back and adding: “We’ll find someone else to go with him.” (Chris Burke)
  • Burke points out he didn’t mention RB Kerryon Johnson, which might indicate the team doesn’t see him as part of the rotation picture. 
  • Lynn is known for being a big proponent of the running game and it sounds like he’ll be bringing that to Detroit: “At the end of the day, we just want to win damn games. If we’ve gotta throw it 50 times, we will. If we’ve gotta run it 50 times, we will…[But] I believe the more ways you can run it, the more ways you can throw it.” (Burke)
  • Lynn said the offensive line is the deepest unit on the team and specifically highlighted LT Taylor Decker, C Frank Ragnow and G Jonah Jackson as players he’s especially excited about. He mentioned improving the depth at tackle. (Meinke)
  • Given how he handled Justin Herbert with the Chargers last year, Lynn’s comments on potentially working with a rookie quarterback in Detroit made sense: “If he wins the battle in camp, you’ve got to play the best player … but I’d love to see the rookie sit and watch for a while.” (Dave Birkett)
  • New Lions DC Aaron Glenn said a major goal for him, especially as a former secondary coach, is fixing the secondary that he says looked “confused” and played with “no confidence” in 2020: “We have to change their thinking so they can play with confidence. Play fast.” (Burke)
  • Glenn is still evaluating the defense but noted the Lions will be “multiple” going forward and use both 4-3 and 3-4 concepts. (Michael Rothstein)
  • The Lions and Glenn are hopeful they can retain DE Romeo Okwara after his breakout, double-digit sack season: “He’s a pressure player. Everyone in the league wants a pressure player.” (Rothstein)
  • The Lions announced they have added assistant special teams coach Jett Modkins and minority coaching intern DeOn’tae Pannell to the coaching staff. Modkins was a diversity intern with the Broncos in 2020 and Pannell was the defensive coordinator at Peru State (Nebraska) the past three years. 


Matt Schneidman of The Athletic takes a look at several impending free-agent that the Packers could take a look at this offseason.


  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff writes that pending Vikings free agent S Anthony Harris and LB Eric Wilson will likely receive better offers to play elsewhere in 2021. 
  • If the Vikings release LT Riley Reiff, Graff says they could bring back OT Rashod Hill who has been the swing tackle the past few years and likely will be looking for a chance to compete to start elsewhere otherwise. 
  • Graff thinks the Vikings will try and bring back QB Sean Mannion as a backup and C Brett Jones as well. Minnesota could also bring back LB Hardy Nickerson and DT Jaleel Johnson because, while they didn’t play great in extended opportunities in 2020, they’re cheap. 
  • Graff lists LB Todd Davis, G Dakota Dozier, RB Ameer Abdullah and S George Iloka as players who more likely than not won’t be back. 

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  1. Mannion, Johnson, Nickerson, jones won’t be back with the team. Todd davis has better chance coming back then those guys for the vikings

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