We're Black and Blue All Over:
Longtime head coach and current Fox broadcaster Jimmy Johnson caused a stir early Friday morning with this tweet:
"Looks like 2 of my guys getting NFL jobs..Chud Cleveland and my QB coach at U Trestman to Chicago"
The Chicago Bears portion of that tweet refers to Marc Trestman, who was with Johnson at the University of Miami in the early 1980's and then spent nearly 20 years as an NFL assistant -- including two stints with the Minnesota Vikings and another with the Detroit Lions. He has spent the past the past five years as the head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and is known as a creative offensive mind.
The Cleveland Browns hired the other coach in that tweet, Rob Chudzinski, late Thursday night. Does that mean the Bears are going to hire Trestman? He was scheduled to interview earlier this week, but I honestly have no confirmation that the Bears have developed a list of finalists, much less zeroed in on a likely hire. At last check, they still had multiple first interviews with other candidates scheduled through the weekend.
At the same time, Johnson remains plugged into the league rumor mill and his thoughts aren't to be dismissed. So we will have to stay tuned on that one.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon backs Trestman's candidacy, reports Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, via ESPN 1000: "The part that hurts the most is the change that happens ... we don't know what the future holds. We don't know what the new coach is going to come in here and how he is going to run things and how he is going to change things. We've known for the last nine seasons how our approach to football is going to be."
Green Bay Packers place-kicker Mason Crosby believes his late-season problems have been fixed, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is among the players in his team's locker room who were sick this week, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers got some help from rookie linebacker Terrell Manning last weekend, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Detroit Lions could get some help from offensive lineman Bill Nagy next season after he spent the year on injured reserve. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explains.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: "This is it. This is the offseason we learn if Martin Mayhew is truly clever, or simply an Accidental GM. This is the most important juncture of Mayhew's career, which also makes it the most important of Jim Schwartz's career."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz plans to evaluate his own performance this offseason, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com projects the Minnesota Vikings' adjusted salary cap totals for 2013.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was vague about the team's offseason plans during a meeting with reporters Thursday. Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune has more.
Spielman on receiver Percy Harvin, via Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Percy was, as any player is, so competitive that they want to play. Mentally you may want to play, but physically you may not be able to play."