We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave comes across as your classic mild-mannered schemer, the kind whose brief and measured conversation suggests a man whose mind is always focused on the next play call. But it sounds as if Musgrave and his offensive assistants turned up a verbal assault Monday night on the Vikings' offense, disappointed in its sloppy training camp performance earlier in the day and demanding a better one Tuesday.
By most accounts, Musgrave got what he wanted.
The Vikings had a sharper practice Tuesday and quarterback Christian Ponder offered a glimpse of Musgrave's speech. Via Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune: "He had a great metaphor of lighting a fire. He finds some unique ways of motivating us. But it works. I'm not going to go into details. It might get some people in trouble. … Let's just say it involved a bucket of water, some leaves and some sticks. It was interesting."
It wouldn't be the first time a coach lit into players during a training camp practice, but it's also a fact that the Vikings are under enormous pressure to improve from their dismal 2011 offensive performance. Sometimes, that can lead to, ahem, a fiery mix.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Veteran Vikings receivers coach George Stewart is confident he has enough good players to work with, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
There is a small club of NFL players who have torn the patellar tendons in both knees, and one of them -- former Cleveland Browns cornerback Gary Baxter -- is planning to visit Vikings receiver Greg Childs in the hospital, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson on having a female official in Thursday night's preseason opener, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "It's probably about time."
The Packers pulled back on the intensity of practice Tuesday because of their injury count, according to Wilde. Two starters, left tackle Marshall Newhouse and receiver Greg Jennings, won't play Thursday night because of concussions.
With backup Herb Taylor likely to start at left tackle Thursday night for the Packers, you wonder how much quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play. Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
Receiver Jordy Nelson might have had the best camp of any Packers player, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Detroit Lions' unofficial depth chart includes cornerback Alphonso Smith as a starter, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News answers 10 questions about the Lions' training camp, asserting among other things that rookie offensive lineman Riley Reiff isn't likely to be a starter this season.
Practicing against receiver Calvin Johnson every day has made cornerback Chris Houston better, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune speaks with new Chicago Bears quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates.
The Bears weren't panicking after middle linebacker Brian Urlacher missed his sixth consecutive practice, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Urlacher's situation seems like a bad omen for a Super Bowl-or-bust team, writes Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com.