We're Black and Blue All Over:
If you were the Chicago Bears, would you keep trotting receiver Roy Williams onto the field or would you back off his playing time until he demonstrated more efficiency in the offense? That was one of the questions our ESPNChicago.com crew considered in this week's edition of "Four Downs."
Jeff Dickerson had this strong response: "There is zero chemistry between Williams and Jay Cutler. None. The groin injury can't be used as an excuse because even before Williams got hurt in Week 1 he failed to show anything of substance in training camp or the preseason. He dropped a sure touchdown against the Packers, and his lack of effort on a few other throws was unacceptable. At this point, the Bears would be better served giving Johnny Knox all the game reps. Knox might drop some passes, but at least he runs full-speed while doing it."
I doubt the Bears will follow suit, but I think it's pretty obvious that Williams and Cutler have a lot of work to do in order to become an effective combination. In the meantime, a player Cutler had exceptional chemistry with -- tight end Greg Olsen -- will be standing on the visitor's sideline Sunday at Soldier Field.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Olsen on his return to Soldier Field with the Carolina Panthers, via Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "To say this game doesn't light your fire a little more with everything that happened would be a lie. I'm excited. It's a game we've been looking forward to. I'm excited to come back to play in Soldier Field again. I have a lot of respect for Chicago with the players they have there with [Brian Urlacher] and [Julius Peppers] and [Lance] Briggs. They are one of the best in the league every year. [Coach Lovie Smith] and them do a great job with the defense."
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if Cutler is regressing in his career.
The Ramsey County (Minn.) Charter Commission will hold the first of two public hearings Wednesday night on the possibility of a voter referendum on the sales tax increase that would help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Frederick Melo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has more.
Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb and receiver Michael Jenkins have developed solid chemistry, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
The Vikings have a difficult matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in at least one spot: left tackle Charlie Johnson versus Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali. Writing for 1500ESPN.com, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus explains.
Green Bay Packers guard Josh Sitton was once a telemarketer, he told Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Cliff Christl of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the Packers' personnel philosophy: "The history of the NFL tells us it's more important to monitor the veterans a championship team brings back than the ones it pushes out the door. In other words, holding on to players too long is more likely to spoil a reigning champ's season than discarding them too early."
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel traces the offseason rehabilitation of tight end Jermichael Finley.
The Detroit Lions have lost linebacker/special-teams ace Isaiah Ekejiuba because of a shoulder injury, according to Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Lions rookie receiver Titus Young is coming on strong, notes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
Chances are "slim" that Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot) will play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.