NFC Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings


  • Bears HC Matt Nagy said he didn’t promise QB Andy Dalton the starting job but he was signed with that intention: “There were no promises, but we told him and I specifically told him, ‘You’re our starter.’ That’s that.” (Adam Jahns)
  • Asked to confirm that first-round QB Justin Fields couldn’t win the starting job in training camp, Nagy said: “Yes, correct. Andy Dalton is our starter.”
  • Nagy elaborated: “Our coaches understand that we all get excited about Justin Fields. We’d all be lying if we said something different. With that said, we’re excited about Andy Dalton, too. And we know that if we stick to this plan that we have, everything is going to be just fine.”


Former Packers FB John Kuhn expects Aaron Rodgers to return to the organization this offseason and doesn’t think there will be any changes to the situation until training camp in July. 

“It’s going to be an interesting stretch here. I personally believe nothing is going to happen until training camp,” Kuhn said, via Ethan Cadeaux of Yahoo Sports. “But I do eventually believe, because the Packers hold some serious leverage, too, I do believe the reigning NFL MVP will play quarterback again in the NFL. And I believe the only team he can play for this year is the Green Bay Packers.”

Kuhn added that there’s “a possibility” that Rodgers will miss a portion of training camp and thinks the quarterback would be fine with just two weeks of practice before Week 1 of the regular season. 

“I believe there is a possibility he sits out a portion of [training camp]. This is a guy that through 16 years of his career, has never missed one voluntary practice, let alone anything mandatory,” Kuhn said. “This is a guy that I fully trust if he has two weeks of preparation for the opening day game down in New Orleans against Sean Payton and the Saints, he will be just fine to run this offense, lead this offense and sling it at a good clip.”


  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said he let the organization’s front office handle DE Danielle Hunter‘s contract situation and the defensive lineman “looks fantastic” in their offseason program: “I let the front office handle all that (negotiations). I know he wants to play football. … He came up and gave me a big hug. … We weren’t sure he was actually healthy until he came in and did his physical. He looks fantastic.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer anticipates recently signed DT Sheldon Richardson to play a pass-rushing role, but also thinks Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce can fill that role as well: “We anticipate that he’s going to be the pass-rushing guy in there, not that Dalvin and Michael can’t do that.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • As for Vikings’ first-round LT Christian Darrisaw, Zimmer said he is already “fitting into the mix” for their offensive line: “He’s fitting into the mix. He’s a very talented athletic kid who’s very smart.”  (Chris Tomasson)
  • Regarding the Vikings’ No. 3 receiver role, Zimmer said it’s “really hard to tell” at this point in time but mentioned that WR Blake Proehl and K.J. Osborn are having good camps. (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer stressed the importance of protecting Vikings QB Kirk Cousins from the inside-pass rush and providing him a clean pocket: “I think it’s important we protect Kirk, especially inside-out … If he has a clean pocket, he’s obviously very accurate.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer believes Vikings’ new OC Klint Kubiak is doing a “great job” and wants the coordinator to get a feel for calling games: “I’m trying to give Klint as many opportunities to get a feel for how things are going to run, how he calls a game, different situations and things like that. He’s done a great job. The players have all the respect in the world for him. He knows what we want to do as a football team and how we want to approach things. I think he has a really good feel for what the players do best and I think that’s really important.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Entering the final year of his deal, Vikings S Harrison Smith said he would love to stay in Minnesota, but he’s “going to look at those things and see what we can do.” (Tomasson)
  • Richardson said he isn’t worried about finding a role with the team: “Get in where I fit in — simple as that. It’s the first year where I’m not the starter, so I’ll get in where I fit in.” (Ben Goessling)
  • WR Adam Thielen said Kubiak is putting his spin on the offense instead of just using his dad’s playbook: “It’s his playbook, it’s his plays and he’s implementing his offense. It’s not his dads or last year’s offense. It’s the 2021 Vikings’ offense.” (Courtney Cronin)

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