We're Black and Blue All Over:
I hope everyone had an outstanding summer weekend. Although, I don't know if we can call this "summer" yet -- at least not in the Upper Midwest. As I type this sentence, it's an invigorating 53 degrees outside. That's the June payoff we get for dealing with sub-zero temperatures in the winter.
I thought Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune had one of more interesting stories of the weekend, taking a detailed look at how Mike Martz's traditionally high-turnover scheme will impact the Chicago Bears' Tampa 2 defense. (Martz's teams have averaged 38 giveaways per season.)
From a philosophical standpoint, Pompei suggests the two schemes are a good fit.
What the Bears have going for them is a defensive system that is compatible with Martz's offensive system. The Martz offense is built to strike quickly. The defense is built to play with a lead -- to rush the passer, make big plays and create opportunities for the team's offense. So in theory, at least, what we should see is an offense that builds early leads and then allows the defense to put away opponents.
Sounds about right to me -- in theory.
Continuing to catch up around the NFC North:
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times introduces us to Johan Asiata, among others, in his weekly Q&A.
Martz recently had hip replacement surgery, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson are moving onto the same page, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz cracked some good-natured jokes about backup quarterback Shaun Hill's throwing style, according to Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver: "At 35 years old, Driver is a made man -- the most productive Packers receiver of the last decade. Yet gratitude is what keeps pushing him to school classrooms, business luncheons and charity fund-raisers. Or on this Sunday, to the Packers' annual charity softball game in Grand Chute. Driver may be the only receiver other than Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne to compile 1,000-yard seasons for the last six years, but he continues to make these community appearances -- more than 500 in all."
New Minnesota Vikings cornerback Lito Sheppard is a big "Pretty Woman" fan, he tells Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings have been pleased with the progress of cornerback Asher Allen this spring, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
The Vikings' veteran minicamp starts Friday, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.