We're Black and Blue All Over:
I probably didn't pay enough attention Thursday to some aggressive words that came from New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, especially considering how closely some members of the Green Bay Packers follow what it said and written about them. Here's how Fewell said his team will defend Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers this Sunday, via NFC East colleague Dan Graziano:
"We have to be very disciplined in our rush lanes. But more so than disciplined, we got to get after his [expletive]. If we do that and he scrambles, then that is the price he is going to have to pay because we are going to hit him. We are going to hit him."
Fewell was obviously upset about the way his defense played in a disastrous loss Monday to the New Orleans Saints, and part of his tirade was no doubt meant as motivation for his team. But he also threw down the gauntlet at Rodgers and the Packers' pass protection as well. We'll see how it works out for him.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com speaks with Packers coach Mike McCarthy about his bland personality in front of the media. McCarthy: "[The players] don't need me getting up in front of the camera and trying to be selfish, with extra personality or outrageous comments. I try to keep it very simple for the team, for the players. We all have responsibility. That's my focus. I think when you stay on point, it allows people to be more consistent in their jobs."
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders which anonymous Packers reserve will emerge to take on a prominent role late in the season.
The Packers have moved to their shorter "winter" practice schedule to reduce wear and tear, notes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thinks the Chicago Bears should acquire quarterback Donovan McNabb, whom the Minnesota Vikings placed on waivers Thursday.
McNabb would be an upgrade over Josh McCown, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears are raving about the season defensive end Julius Peppers is having, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press looks at the puzzling inaction this season for Detroit Lions cornerback Alphonso Smith.
The spotlight will shine on Lions rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley during Ndamukong Suh's suspension, notes Eric Lacy of the Detroit News.
The Saints will try to keep the Lions' passing game from getting into a rhythm Sunday night, according to Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
The Vikings blew it when they acquired McNabb, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at how the Vikings might defend the Denver Broncos' option offense.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (ankle) hasn't practiced this week but is still hoping to play Sunday, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.