We're Black and Blue All Over:
One of the staples of Super Bowl media day is press gatherings with national television analysts. Most of them are former players who come armed with strong opinions on the league and its trends, and their job is to share them in exchange for publicizing their network.
One of their primary topics Tuesday, it seems, was the Detroit Lions. NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp continued his assault on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, calling him a "blind dog in a meat house" because of the way Sapp thinks Suh ignores run defense in search of the quarterback. Sapp said he watched Suh all season and said: "I never saw this dominant player that you guys are selling." He added that Suh hadn't reached out to him properly for advice. (More from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.)
Meanwhile, Sapp merely laughed at the Lions' decision to add defensive line guru Jim Washburn to their staff, saying only that Washburn "leaves something to be desired" as a coach but refusing to elaborate. (More from Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.)
And finally, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason said the Lions have done a poor job of surrounding quarterback Matthew Stafford with weapons and balance. Esiason, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "He’s got no running game, he's got Ndamukong Suh running all over the place up there, they bring in convicts. ..."
Yikes. The Lions were 4-12 last season amid some dramatic headlines, making them easy targets for national criticism. Some of the language used Tuesday was inflammatory, of course, and none of the sentiments were new. But the substance of most of the criticism has merit, and it goes along with a high-profile collapse from a playoff season.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Former Chicago Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake isn't sure why Devin Hester has yet to establish himself as a receiver, Drake said in an ESPN 1000 interview.
The Bears added Brendan Nugent and Carson Walch to their staff as quality-control coaches, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune checks in with former Bears special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo at the Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on his ESPN 540 radio show that it has been "a pleasure" playing with receiver Donald Driver, who is not expected to return to the team next season and might retire.
There is little reason to think that Driver will play anywhere in 2013, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
It's time for the Packers to add a mean streak, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com grades the Minnesota Vikings' special teams, coaching and personnel for 2012.
The rise of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began with a long run against the Vikings in the preseason, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.