We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Chicago Bears' hiring of Jeremy Bates as their quarterbacks coach was met with approval from two of his former players, one of whom he will reunite with in Chicago.
Quarterback Jay Cutler, who played two years for Bates when both were with the Denver Broncos, told the Bears' website that "we got the right guy for the job." Cutler added: "He was very vital in my growth and my experience as a quarterback there. The last couple years he had full control of my development and our plays coming in. He's a grinder. He's a guy that's going to work extremely hard to find weaknesses in defenses and he's going to be able to present it to us in a way that we understand and will be able to make plays where we can take advantage of those weaknesses."
Meanwhile, former Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler -- now with the Detroit Lions -- tweeted: "Don't like seeing Jeremy Bates in the NFC North..... #greatcoach"
To the extent that they could have, the Bears have given Cutler a soft landing as he prepares to play for his fourth different offensive coaching staff in the past five seasons.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bates didn't work in 2011, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears still need to hire an offensive line coach, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke out last week about the quality of play in the Pro Bowl, comments that eventually were echoed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Rodgers, via ESPN 540 in Milwaukee: "I haven’t backed down from it, still wouldn't back down from it. I wasn't surprised by the commissioner's comments that not only are they thinking about changing the format but eliminating it completely."
Rodgers also told ESPN 540 that he hopes to have a quarterbacks coach with experience in the role in 2012.
The Packers are hoping to raze two homes near Lambeau Field to make room for satellite truck parking, according to Richard Ryman of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Vikings re-signed offensive lineman Patrick Brown to a one-year deal, confirms Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Site organizers for the Vikings' stadium proposal in Arden Hills, Minn., are continuing to work on their plan, according to Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a better chance to win the Super Bowl than play in the Pro Bowl, according to Terry Foster of the Detroit News. Interesting point, considering the presence of Rodgers, the New York Giants' Eli Manning and the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees in the NFC.