We're Black and Blue All Over:
I noticed a Twitter debate breaking out Monday morning among Green Bay Packers followers who had varying opinions on how seriously to take place-kicker Mason Crosby's uneven performance during the early days of training camp. After having his ups and downs in 2009, Crosby has missed five of his 11 attempts over two practices, according to those who have tracked his kicks.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com writes that "Crosby didn't do anything to calm the fears of fans who worry about his accuracy after last year's struggles," while Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette devoted his entire column to the issue of Crosby's rotating holders.
Vandermause: "Crosby isn't the problem. Instead, the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of McCarthy and special teams coach Shawn Slocum, who insist on saddling Crosby with a pair of inexperienced holders during camp -- punters Chris Bryan and Tim Masthay. At a time when Crosby should be building confidence coming off a so-so 2009 season, he instead has to break in not one but two new holders."
The alternative would be backup quarterback Matt Flynn, but it's understandably smoother for the punter to serve as a holder for practice purposes. I don't know if it's a kicking issue, a holding issue or no issue at all. But you would hate to see a Super Bowl run slowed by missed field goals.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel traces the offseason medical procedure that receiver Donald Driver believes will allow him to play another five years.
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stated the obvious Monday: Cornerback Cedric Griffin won't be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the New Orleans Saints. But Griffin isn't ready to concede that point, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune notes the number of Vikings players who are over 30 or about to turn 30.
Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards has moved past his offseason discontent, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chicago Bears safety Major Wright left Monday's practice because of a groin strain, according to Jeff Dickerson of EPSNChicago.com.
Bears cornerback Zack Bowman has such good hands that it's surprising he didn't become a receiver, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Don't forget about Craig Steltz in the Bears' safety derby. Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times has more.
The Bears have had too many false starts during practice, writes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.
Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson has high hopes for the offense, writes Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.
Lions running back Jahvid Best is leaving an impression on coaches and teammates, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.