We're Black and Blue All Over:
We've spent a good portion of the offseason discussing the Chicago Bears' personnel options along the offensive line, most recently suggesting that rookie Gabe Carimi as the best option at left tackle. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune makes an important point along those lines: The NFL's lost offseason, and what could be a shortened training camp, could ultimately make the decision simpler for the Bears.
Carimi played left tackle at Wisconsin. Another candidate for the position, J'Marcus Webb, played right tackle last season. It would be easier for both players to make the transition after a full offseason of work. With less training time, it might make more sense to keep major changes to a minimum.
Biggs: "A case could be made for leaving Carimi at left tackle because there have been no offseason workouts and minicamps. He played there four years at Wisconsin. Let him go with what he's most accustomed to doing and see if he can excel. Meanwhile, Webb could remain where he made 12 starts last season. 'You're going to feel more confident in the stance that you have been playing your career at,' Carimi said last week from Madison, Wis., where he is wrapping up an eight-week training program he began after the draft. 'It doesn't matter to me as long as I can make an impact on the team that it needs.'"
Makes perfect sense to me.
Continuing around the NFC North as we begin another quiet week in June:
The Bears will have some new plays in their offense this year that are "unreal," according to receiver Earl Bennett via Biggs of the Tribune.
Place-kicker Dave Rayner has approached the offseason as if he'll be with the Detroit Lions this fall, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions hired Joe Kelleher as their BLESTO scout, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Former Lions offensive lineman Lomas Brown is continuing his campaign to get Jeff Backus moved from left tackle to guard. More from Birkett in the Free Press.
Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a photograph of the racing helmet presented to Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who as the grand marshal of the Milwaukee 225.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette offers a Packers preview of free agency, suggesting that re-signing place-kicker Mason Crosby will be the team's highest priority.
Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune writes that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will meet with Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf on Thursday to continue negotiations on a workable stadium bill.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus on the status of Vikings receiver Sidney Rice, a looming free agent, via Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "The Vikings have been good to him. There's just so many factors that will take place once the lockout is lifted."
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin is speaking positively about his treatment for migraine headaches, but Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com notes we have heard similar hope before.