We're Black and Blue All Over:
Mike McCarthy is going to wish he thought of this one. The Green Bay Packers' coach often unveils some sort of new technology or practice approach in his efforts to improve over the previous year, but the newest thingamabob in rookie minicamps belonged to the Chicago Bears.
New Bears coach Marc Trestman had a small video camera installed on the helmet of quarterback Matt Blanchard, who participated in the three-day camp over the weekend as a first-year player. (You can see the camera on the left side of his helmet in the photo accompanying this post from Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.)
The idea is to record where the quarterback looks, his progressions and what he sees as a play develops. It provides another set of tape to grind through, but in the case of quarterback development, I'm sure it's worth it.
I doubt the Bears are the first team in the country to use this approach, and I can't say for sure that no other NFL team has tried it. I just thought it was a cool and potentially useful addition to rookie minicamps that are difficult to draw many conclusions from.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears need new team leaders after the departure of linebacker Brian Urlacher, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, and Lance Briggs is working to be one. Pompei: "After the Bears and Urlacher divorced, Briggs went to defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and volunteered to call defensive signals. He took over the responsibility as quarterback of the defense in minicamp, even though he won't be playing middle linebacker."
Bears rookie Kyle Long was among those who met with quarterback Jay Cutler over the weekend, writes Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
One of the goals of the Bears' rookie minicamp was to teach players how Trestman expects them to practice, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com has observations of the Detroit Lions' rookie minicamp.
Two Lions rookie tight ends, Michael Williams and Joseph Fauria, stood out to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Lions guard Larry Warford had his weekend cut short by a neck injury. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has more.
The Green Bay Packers are expecting a spirited competition at running back in training camp. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more.
Rookie running back Angelo Pease stood out in the Packers' rookie minicamp, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Quarterback B.J. Coleman, who participated in the Packers' rookie minicamp as a first-year player, is going to compete for the team's backup job. More from Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Minnesota Vikings will debut their new stadium design Monday night, notes 1500ESPN.com.
I noted last month that the design isn't likely to have a retractable roof, and here's what Richard Meryhew of the Star Tribune adds: "Several sources with knowledge of the design say the most recent renderings by HKS Inc., the project architect, call for a fixed roof with a giant, sliding window or wall that opens to the west, showcasing the downtown Minneapolis skyline."