Black and Blue all over: LT and Bears

If sentimentality plays any role, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, LaDainian Tomlinson could be a good fit in Chicago.

Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton was one of Tomlinson's first football heroes. He named his dog "Sweetness," and his personal trainer calls him "Walter" during conditioning work for motivation.

As Haugh writes, the Bears should only pursue Tomlinson if it's on their terms. And that means Tomlinson recognizing he is no longer a feature back, and accepting a secondary role behind Matt Forte. That role could still have exceptional production, especially in new offensive coordinator Mike Martz's passing game, but would require a career realization that Tomlinson probably hasn't made yet.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • In a letter to Bears season ticket holders, team president Ted Phillips lauded the "renewed focus on winning" that Martz and new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will bring to the team. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has more.

  • Minnesota place-kicker Ryan Longwell is expected to receive a $500,000 roster bonus on March 7, notes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.

  • New Buffalo coach Chan Gailey didn't provide a ringing endorsement of former Green Bay quarterback Brian Brohm, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • The Packers' need for offensive linemen will coincide with one of the deepest line groups in recent memory, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As many as eight offensive linemen could be selected in the first round of the draft.

  • Detroit coach Jim Schwartz wants to find a permanent starter at left guard, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Schwartz did not endorse the premise that the Lions must take a defensive tackle with the No. 2 overall pick, notes Cotsonika.