NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


After the Lions demoted former OC Anthony Lynn last season, TE coach Ben Johnson and HC Dan Campbell ran the show on offense largely with just a few tweaks to Lynn’s system. This year, it seems that Johnson will be running things himself and putting his own twist on things. It’s not clear quite yet what that will look like, but apparently it’s going to be different in a lot of ways from 2021. 

“I would definitely say it’s different than last year,” Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown said via the Athletic’s Chris Burke. “Definitely new. It’s basically like learning a new language — you’ve gotta kinda start over. Obviously, there’s a little bit of rollover from last year but not much. He’s kind of revamped it and made it his own.”

Campbell may have offered a clue though, saying they’ve tried to simplify things to be able to incorporate more up-tempo looks into their offense. 

“I would say this, we’re going to be much more efficient just on how we get things in and out of the huddle,” Campbell said. “The ability to change our tempo will be big. Some of that just comes from verbiage alone, believe it or not. I just feel like everything is just going to be so much more streamlined. The ability to, shoot, get on the line if we need to and — one word, one call. Whether that’s with high tempo or not, we’re just back on the line … which, that in itself puts stress on the defense.”


Three solid cornerbacks in the modern NFL are a must considering most defenses play the majority of their snaps in a nickel package (five total defensive backs). The Packers feel fortunate to have the trio of Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas, the only trick is figuring out which one bumps inside to the slot, which has its own unique challenges compared to playing on the boundary. 

“I think it’ll be Jaire. I think it’ll be Stokes. I think it’ll be Rasul. It could be (S Darnell) Savage,” Packers DB coach Jerry Gray said via the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “We got a lot of guys. Again, we’ve got a lot of good guys that can play in the slot. That’s the best part that we have here. We don’t have just one guy. Our guys are, ‘Hey, coach, I want to go play in there.’ … There’s a lot of action at the nickel, and everybody wants to be in the action.”


Vikings RB Dalvin Cook understands the team’s decision to draft rookie RB Ty Chandler, acknowledging that injuries happen in the NFL and it’s never bad to have depth.

We’re in the NFL. Things happen. Guys go down,’’ Cook said, via The Pioneer-Press.

Cook said that fellow RB Kene Nwangwu is “special” with the ball in his hands.

He doesn’t have a ceiling,’’ Cook said. “He’s got it all. We see it on special teams…The thing I haven’t seen is him run the ball more consistently and get the ball more. I think that’s going to happen coming up. He’s special with the ball in his hands, and I want to see him make more plays.” 

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