We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is spending this July 4th week in the Persian Gulf, visiting U.S. troops as part of a USO tour. Former NFL coaches Bill Cowher and Eric Mangini, now television analysts, are also among the group.
From an Associated Press story:
"Frazier said when he got back, he'd remind his daughter that whenever she sees servicemen and women, to thank them. And he won't have much patience if his players gripe about the heat during training camp.
'It just puts in perspective that there's nothing you should ever complain about,' he said."
We're in the midst of the only downtime that NFL coaches have during the year -- the time between the end of offseason workouts and the start of training camp. There are lots of ways to spend that time, but I would imagine Frazier couldn't find anything more rewarding.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Vikings quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson on the progress of quarterback Christian Ponder, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com: "I think there's no question, he's come light years" since last year.
Dave Southorn of the Idaho Press-Tribune speaks with Detroit Lions quarterback Kellen Moore.
Former Lions cornerback Eric Wright was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, notes the Associated Press.
Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis figures to benefit from the team's new offense, writes Brian McIntyre of NFL.com.
The ESPN NFL Live crew debates the merits of the Bears' new plan for pass dropbacks in this video.
Rookie safety Jerron McMillian hasn't given up on earning a starting job for the Green Bay Packers, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers receiver Randall Cobb is on the rise, writes Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.