BBAO: Getting right to it

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We've got a big day coming here on the NFC North blog, so let's get straight to our morning roundup:

  • Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't agree Monday when a reporter referred to his defense's coverage as "soft," writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.

  • Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald looks at the struggles of the Bears' defense on third down this preseason.

  • Former NFL quarterbacks Joe Theismann and Rich Gannon aren't ready to panic about Jay Cutler' preseason performance, writes Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on the Bears: "Where the Bears likely will end up is where they have been in recent years -- somewhere in that no-man's land between 7-9 and 9-7. Their record will depend on injuries, breaks and whether they can clean up some of these issues and develop some of their potential in other areas."

  • The Detroit Lions' depth at middle linebacker remains shaky, write Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

  • We discussed the likely discipline headed the way of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Lions coach Jim Schwartz, however, wondered if Cleveland Browns linebacker David Veikun should be disciplined for a low hit on quarterback Shaun Hill.

  • Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Barnett has missed twice the number of training camp practices this year as he missed from 2003-08 combined, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • The Packers are going to have to trim their total of eight running backs and tight ends before final cuts, notes the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Rookie defensive end Mike Neal is making an impression on the Packers, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • Mark Craig of the Star Tribune: "To the highly untrained eye, Sage Rosenfels looks more accurate, more comfortable and more qualified than Tarvaris Jackson to stand next in line behind a 40-year-old quarterback with leaky pass protection that threatens the greatest streak of longevity in sports history."

  • Vikings kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd doesn't have a touchback this preseason, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.

  • Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin expects to get his starting job back when his injured knee is healed, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.