We're Black and Blue All Over:
INDIANAPOLIS -- On Saturday, former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson was laid to rest. On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune published a chilling account of the final days before his Feb. 17 suicide. Among other points, the story made clear that Duerson had displayed evidence of diminished mental capacity in recent years. An excerpt:
About three years ago -- more than a decade removed from an 11-year career that took him from the Bears to the Giants to the Cardinals -- Duerson noticed something was not right.
It started mildly. Progressively, it became more problematic. Blurred vision. Headaches. Memory loss. Problems spelling common words. He talked specifically of pain on the left side of his brain.
When he was in Chicago not long ago, the former hard-hitting safety couldn't remember how to get places. "That aggravated him because he could always go anywhere in the city or state without having to look at a map," [ex-wife] Alicia Duerson said.
He couldn't remember when and where [daughter] Taylor's volleyball tournament was. His ex-wife had to remind him, repeatedly.
Duerson was 50.
Continuing around the NFC North as the media portion of the NFL scouting combine concludes:
Former NFL safety Ray Ellis, a friend of Duerson, said he noticed only the smallest changes in Duerson's demeanor in recent times. David Haugh of the Tribune has more.
The Bears are entering a week in which they'll have to make roster decisions on up to 14 players, notes Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com grades the Bears' 2008 draft.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette offers a list of possible picks for the Green Bay Packers at No. 32 overall.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews, the brother of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, is too small to be an elite player in the NFL. He checked in here at 6-feet and 7/8th inches and 231 pounds.
Casey's football IQ is his best attribute, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Detroit Lions value their interview time with players at the combine, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions are taking a hard look at Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
The Lions could target Washington linebacker Mason Foster later in the draft, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Although the Minnesota Vikings need a quarterback, their best value at No. 12 overall might be a lineman, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings are working to sign receiver Sidney Rice to a long-term contract this week, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier left the combine Saturday to attend Duerson's funeral, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.