NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Despite trading up for QB Justin Fields in the first round, Bears HC Matt Nagy reiterated that Fields won’t walk in as the starter. He dropped a reminder that he was part of the Chiefs staff that sat Patrick Mahomes behind Alex Smith for an entire season and Chicago is in a position to do something similar with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles already in the building. 

“The way that grew, and just organically happened between Patrick and Alex, I’ll never forget it,” Nagy said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And so here we are in a situation right now with Andy and with Nick [Foles] and with Justin, where Justin is able to come in and just, first off, learn the simple things of how to be an NFL quarterback. Him being on the grass and playing football, that’s easy, that’s what he’s done his whole life.

“But there are so many things that go into being a great quarterback, that are not just on the field but off the field, that he’s gonna be able to learn from Andy and from Nick. And that’s where I think, if you look at the certain situations, some guys make it and some guys don’t. And it’s our job as coaches to make sure we put them in the best possible environment so he can reach that ceiling.”

Lions

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer adds the Lions could bring Panthers scout Mike Martin to their front office in some sort of elevated role. 
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person confirms the Lions are hiring Martin to an “expanded role.”

Packers

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapaport reports the rift between the Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers is partially because Rodgers wants some say in personnel decisions. An example of that is Rodgers didn’t like when the team released WR Jake Kumerow.
  • Per NBC Sports’ Peter King, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst reiterated that he believes the relationship with QB Aaron Rodgers isn’t unsalvageable: “No, I don’t think so at all. That’s my opinion and that’s the organization’s opinion. We want Aaron to be our quarterback. We’re pretty resolute with that . . . We want to leave every avenue open for that to happen.”
  • King reports that he hasn’t heard that Rodgers has demanded the team fire Gutekunst. 
  • Gutekunst says Rodgers hasn’t expressed those feelings to him and he was more focused on the draft this week: “You never want to see those things or read those things. He’s never said that to me and he never said that publicly . . . At the same time, I’m a lifelong scout, and we work all year for these three days. We couldn’t let this distract us from the task at hand.”
  • He added he only took one trade call for Rodgers: “I had no [trade] discussions with any team. I received one call from a team Thursday night, after all the news came out. I said no. That was the end of the conversation.”
  • Gutekunst said a new contract wouldn’t be an obstacle from their end to getting things done with Rodgers: “Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been working on it for quite a while now. I don’t think that would be something standing in the way.” (Albert Breer)
  • In regards to the situation, HC Matt LaFleur mentioned that he’s told QB Jordan Love to focus on himself and continue developing: “There’s a lot of noise out there. You can’t focus on that. You have to focus on yourself. He’s got to be the best version of himself and make sure he knows the expectations and standards we’ve developed at that position.” (Rob Demovsky)
  • LaFleur added that “everyone” in the Packers’ organization wants Rodgers to return: “Everyone in this organization is on board. We all want him back as our quarterback. There’s no doubt about it. I believe he’s the greatest of all time.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur couldn’t imagine Rodgers leaving Green Bay: “I don’t only love the player, I love the person. I love working with him on a daily basis. … I don’t even want to let my mind go there.” (Ryan Wood)

Vikings

East Carolina WR Blake Proehl is excited to work with another undrafted free agent and son of a former wide receiver in WR Chad Beebe.

“I think that’s pretty special right there,’” Proehl said, via The St. Paul Pioneer Press.I know that Beebe was a big receiver for them last year, and I saw him make some plays. … I’m really excited to join the Vikings.”

Proehl is also looking forward to learning from WR Adam Thielen, a player whom he tries to replicate.

“People ask me who I model my game after, and I say Adam Thielen,” Proehl said. “I love how he’s a student of the game, and I love his route running.”

Even though Proehl was looking to get drafted, he is still happy with his landing spot in Minnesota.

“It was a little heartbreaking,’’ Proehl said. “For me, obviously my dream was to get drafted. But I’m really excited about going to Minnesota because I love the organization in general.”

  • Proehl said he signed with the Vikings over the Jets, Lions, Packers and Washington. (Chris Tomasson)
  • Andrew Krammer notes that the Vikings are planning to try out undrafted Virginia Tech P Oscar Bradburn during their rookie minicamp.

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