Black and Blue all over: Ford Jr. speaks

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Ford family doesn't always attend the annual NFL owners meetings, but this week, Detroit vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. has represented ownership. He also spoke to local beat reporters for the first time since suggesting in 2008 that he would fire former general manager Matt Millen if it were up to him.

Millen was fired days later. On Monday, Ford offered a resounding endorsement of the Lions' new direction under general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz.

Ford called Mayhew "the most prepared guy I've been around" and added: "It is the early stages. Early with Martin, early with Jim. But the early returns are, I think, very good. And I know my father's [William Clay Ford] very pleased with both of them."

Here is coverage from the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Mlive.com.

Continuing around the NFC North: