We're Black and Blue All Over:
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few of us did a double-take Friday when Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said he was happy with the job his agent, whom he identified as Matthew Smith, did in negotiating a two-year contract extension. Veteran agent Frank Bauer has long represented Lovie Smith. Who is Matthew Smith?
Friday's rapid-fire activity around the NFC North left that question on the backburner for me, but Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times got it answered: Matthew Smith is Lovie's son and a second-year law student at Loyola. Lovie Smith joked: "I wanted a guy who could spend all his time with one client, so that's what I did."
Smith's contract now extends through 2013. Terms were not disclosed, but it is assumed it included a raise from the annual $5 million salary he has been drawing.
Continuing around the NFC North on the third day of the scouting combine:
Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com: "The truth is Smith is a good NFL coach who fits the ethos of his organization and operates with the trust of his players. There was no reason not to give him this modest extension. Given the general outline of what a professional football coach should do -- be the public face of the team, delegate responsibility to assistants, inspire confidence in the players, organize the season and, most of all, win football games -- Smith did a fine job in 2011."
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune after Bears general manager Jerry Angelo spoke to local reporters: "While he said there will be a 'bevy' of talented players available in free agency, it sounded like Angelo wants to fortify a couple positions instead of hunting the big fish."
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com provides additional highlights of the Angelo interview.
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew on the team's tampering penalty, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "You win some, you lose some. As of right now, we lost that one. I take the blame for that. That's my fault."
Mayhew knows the Lions need to upgrade their No. 3 receiver position, notes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
The Packers have joined the rest of the NFL in taking their offseason business slowly, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
New Packers receivers coach Edgar Bennett will preach ball security, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wonders if the Vikings will seek a quarterback later than the first round.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier will hit the road to help scout quarterbacks, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.