NFC Notes: Romeo Doubs, Brian Branch, Bears, Lions, Packers

Bears

There has been plenty of talk about Bears first-round WR Rome Odunze breaking 1,000 receiving yards in his first NFL season. Meanwhile, veteran WR D.J. Moore says that the race is on to see which receiver on the team can get there first. The race will also include longtime Chargers WR Keenan Allen.

“You’ve got Keenan, Rome. You’ve got Velus [Jones Jr.]. You’ve got Tyler [Scott],” Moore said, via Gabby Hajduk of the team website. “You got endless playmakers in there. It’s probably going to be a race to 1,000 [yards] now. I don’t know who’s going to get there first, but it’s going to be a race.”

Lions

Lions defensive assistant Jim O’Neil said they were a bit wary of playing CB Brian Branch last season but now plan on being “more aggressive with him” in the second year of his career. 

“Last year they were a little more hesitant with BB (Branch) to just kind of fix him at one spot. Now that he’s going into Year 2, I think we’ll be more aggressive with him,” O’Neil said, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s site. 

O’Neil thinks Branch is a cornerback they want on the field for “all three downs.”

“He’s the type of player you want to see out there on all three downs, so we’re going to push him to that. At the end of the day, he still has to come out in training camp, and he has to take that job.”

O’Neil is confident that Branch can become one of the best cornerbacks in the league. 

“I think he can be really good,” O’Neil said. “I think he can [be one of the] better ones in the league coming off the rookie campaign he just had and some of the things he did coverage-wise and run-fit-wise and blitzing. I’m excited about him. I’m really excited about him.”

Packers

Packers HC Matt LaFleur said he’s been impressed by WR Romeo Doubs this offseason and thinks the receiver has been “very deliberate” about his development. 

“I think Rome had an outstanding spring. I really do,” LaFleur said, via PackersWire. “It’s evident in the work he puts in on a daily basis. He’s in there in the morning, catching off the JUGS, he’s one of the last guys to leave the building. He’s very deliberate about the work he puts in. And it shows. We challenged him on a couple things that we thought he could do a better job with, really stressing the importance of opening up his stride, he’s embraced that. You’ve seen that. He’s had a lot of great moments.”

LaFleur can’t recall a single bad day Doubs has had this offseason. 

“Matter of fact, I can’t think of a bad day he’s had out there (during the offseason workout program),” LaFleur said. “He’s definitely improving.”

Doubs has found things to work on every day in practice and is focused on keeping that mindset going into training camp. 

“I thought it was progressive,” Doubs said. “Every day it was something I could get better at, and that’s what I look forward to over the course of this summer and going into camp.”

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