We're Black and Blue All Over:
Overt talk of the Super Bowl is on everyone's mind at the Chicago Bears' training camp, as we noted in our official Camp Confidential. Receiver Brandon Marshall mentioned it during Friday night's practice at Soldier Field, and it's worth passing along what Marshall said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Monday.
"We break it down on 'Super Bowl' or 'champions' every single day, and it's a reality for us around here," Marshall said. "… [E]veryone's goal is to make it to the Super Bowl, but for us I think we really have a chance. We have the pieces, we have the coaches to do it."
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs concurred in another interview, which can be found through this link.
What to make of all this? The excitement over a Super Bowl "prediction" has been watered down by its frequency over the years. But given the investment the Bears have put into this roster, both from personnel and financial standpoints, it would be disappointing for them if they thought they would fall anywhere short of the Super Bowl.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears are dramatically better at backup quarterback, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher missed his fifth consecutive practice Monday, but it was for personal reasons and not his sore left knee, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is a strong supporter of receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, according to McClure for the Tribune.
Green Bay Packers defensive backs coach Joe Whitt has dug deep into his bag of coaching tricks to re-emphasize tackling for his players, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop quickly made his presence felt after straining a calf muscle, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers receiver Diondre Borel has a big backer in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Detroit Lions' defensive linemen had a joke waiting for defensive end Cliff Avril when he reported for his first meeting of the summer. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has more.
The Lions' defensive line had a good day at practice Monday, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Lions tailback Kevin Smith keeps plugging along, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Childs had surgery to repair both of his injured knees Monday, according to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Everson Griffen got some work with the first-team defense Monday, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings are thrilled with place-kicker Blair Walsh's leg strength, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.