We're Black and Blue All Over:
The NFC North will hum along Monday, Labor Day or not, so why not join us for the ride? We'll start by catching up on a series of interviews that Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams conducted over the weekend in response to his two-game NFL suspension that begins this week.
Williams termed it "unbelievable" that the NFL added a two-game fine on top of the suspension, bringing his total bill to $1.4 million. Speaking to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com, Williams added: "At the end of the day, you can say from the outside that they cut us a break [by reducing the suspension from four games to two games.] But you look close, they're not putting that out there for the public to see that we're still going to get fined four games. Who wants to work for free?"
I can see where Williams is coming from. If the NFL wanted to keep in place the four-game fine Williams was originally on the hook for, it should have based on the total on his 2008 base salary ($1 million) rather than his 2011 total ($6 million). And tacking on the additional fine allows him to play an extra two games, but he won't be paid for them. In the end, however, Williams took a chance on the terms of his discipline changing when he mounted a 2 1/2-year legal challenge.
The NFL could have been more lenient, but I'm guessing it wanted to make clear that any future challenge to its discipline program will be dealt with in a similarly hard-edged manner.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the Green Bay Packers' no-huddle offense. Silverstein: "There's a chance the Green Bay Packers won't play any no-huddle offense against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. And there's a chance that they will. Whatever the case, the purpose in using so much of the no-huddle scheme had more to do with coach Mike McCarthy's concern about a slow offensive start than any game-plan feature for the Saints game."
The Packers have a deep challenge with the Saints' offense, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Kudos to Detroit Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams for encouraging his teammates to stop trash talking, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "We don't have time for that. We ain't got time for all that arguing back and forth. We ain't going to do no talking with our mouths. We're going to do it with our play, and I think that's one of the things we should have worked on more last year. Anybody can talk. You can say anything. But can you back it up? And that's what we're about showing. We ain't about doing no talking no more. Talking is over with."