NFC Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings


When asked about Chicago’s poor pass defense last season and playing under new DC Alan Williams, Bears CB Jaylon Johnson feels like they hit a reset button on their defense. 

“It’s a complete reset,” Johnson said via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. “Everything I’ve done in the past with the other coaches, with the other staff, it really doesn’t mean anything. I mean, the film is not going to lie to you. But at the end of the day, they want me to show them what I can do in person.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes the Bears are expected to make an extension for LB Roquan Smith a priority later this summer. 
  • Smith is representing himself and Fowler adds should command a deal in line with the top of the linebacker market which is $19 million a year. 


Packers DC Joe Barry only had a few games to work with CB Jaire Alexander before he went down with a shoulder injury. But heading into 2022 with a healthy and well-compensated Alexander, the Packers’ expectations are high. There’s a good chance Alexander moves to the “Star” position in Barry’s defense, the same role Rams CB Jalen Ramsey plays where he travels all over the secondary depending on what the week’s matchup requires. 

“He can shadow, he can play on the outside and lock guys down, he can move inside, he can kind of do it all,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said earlier this offseason via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “So I imagine that might be a little bit game by game, but that’s probably something we’ll get to once we get down in the season.”


  • Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out Vikings DT Armon Watts lined up as the starting five-technique tackle alongside DT Harrison Phillips and DT Dalvin Tomlinson in Minnesota’s base defense at Tuesday’s practice.
  • Krammer adds WR K.J. Osborn lined up as the third receiver, while WR Olabisi Johnson was “mixed in” after recovering from a torn ACL.
  • Krammer writes C Garrett Bradbury was the full-time starter in practice.  
  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff adds 2021 fifth-round WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette is someone the new coaching staff is intrigued by and partially why they didn’t feel the need to draft a receiver high this year. 
  • Graff notes new HC Kevin O’Connell might be more open-minded to 2021 third-round QB Kellen Mond as the primary backup. He’s competing with veteran Sean Mannion.
  • On the offensive line, Graff mentions Oli Udoh has moved back to tackle after starting a chunk of last season at guard. He projects as the primary swing tackle backing up both sides. He adds 2021 third-round G Wyatt Davis may be fighting for a roster spot given the additions of Jesse Davis, Chris Reed and second-round rookie Ed Ingram.

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