NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


When GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell took over the Lions this year, they quickly recognized they faced a pretty steep rebuilding challenge. Since it was impossible to address all of their needs in just one offseason, they focused on where they could get the most overall impact, and to them, that meant turning the offensive line into even more of a strength by drafting OT Penei Sewell in the first round. 

“We had a lot of work to do when Dan and I got in this chair just on the roster. A ton of work to do on both sides of the ball,” Holmes said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “It’s easy to say more work defensively, but we had work to do at all the skill positions, especially when Matt (Stafford) wanted the trade. There was so much work we had to do that we were like, ‘OK, offensive line, if there’s anything that can help out anything surrounding it, it’s that.’

“That was obviously already a strength, but how can we maximize that strength and make it more powerful? That’s the direction we went. Couldn’t be more thrilled with landing Penei. We definitely feel good (about the offensive line).”

Holmes is also well aware that QB Jared Goff played his best ball with the Rams when the offensive line in front of him was ironclad. 

“I know Jared is really excited about our offensive line,” he said.


  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers responded to broadcaster Brian Anderson‘s question on whether he’ll be Green Bay’s starting quarterback for the season opener: “I don’t know, BA. We’ll see … I’m just out here trying to have a good time with Tom [Brady].” (Matt Schneidman)


Vikings’ Co-DC Andre Patterson notes that the players Minnesota has brought in this offseason will provide competition and experience to a team that needs help defensively.

“Competition makes everyone better,” Patterson said, via “Competition makes everybody compete and makes everybody strive to improve because they’re all fighting for a job, and to me, what we have going on right now in the secondary … is great competition. And that’s going to cause everyone to improve. That’s going to cause everyone to see who’s getting better, and the cream is going to rise to the top. So, to me, that’s how you get better, when you have a lot of competition.”

  • S Harrison Smith believes in the team’s improved defense: “We’ve got a good mix of young guys and vets. We’ve got a lot of potential.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Smith is also excited to have DL Sheldon Richardson back: “Sheldon’s a baller. … The plays he can make, he’s a really athletic guy.” (Tomasson)
  • Entering the final year of his deal, 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 OC Klint 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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