Black and Blue all over: Offseason arrives

Almost five months after it started, the NFC North’s 2009 season is over. Minnesota’s 31-28 loss to New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game forces us to shift all gears to the offseason.

The status of quarterback Brett Favre is probably the most pressing issue in the division, and it’s one I’m guessing we’ll spend a post or two discussing here in the next few weeks. Ultimately, Favre was the difference in the Vikings elevating from a first-round playoff team to an overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game.

My short take: Favre said he will take some time to make a decision on his future. But I think we’ve learned over the past few years never to take Favre at his offseason word.

I would say the second-biggest issue is Chicago’s two-week search for new offensive and defensive coordinators. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that San Diego assistant coach Rob Chudzinski, who interviewed last week for the offensive coordinator job, won’t be coming to Chicago.

It’s not clear if Chudzinski pulled his name out of the running or whether the Bears weren’t impressed.

Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago wonders whether there is anyone in Chicago’s hierarchy who is qualified to evaluate candidates for the job. With Senior Bowl festivities starting up this week, you would think the Bears will make a move on at least one side of the ball in the coming days.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Indianapolis receiver Reggie Wayne on his former teammate, Chicago receiver Devin Aromashodu: "I think he can make it as a starter and a big-time guy in this league because he works hard," Wayne said. "They just have to give him the opportunity. If they give him the opportunity, he'll be able to show everyone what he can do." Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has more.

  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “How does a team end up with 12 men in the huddle on a play that was called during a timeout? That's ridiculous. And it's very Viking-like. Twelve men in the huddle will go down in history with all the other Vikings playoff tragedies.

  • The Vikings were upset with a number of calls by the officiating crew, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.

  • Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com: “Favre is as addicted to risk and chance as a poker player is to chasing the big score. Until now, that addiction was harnessed. Then it returned at the most inopportune moment like a filthy beast.”

  • John Niyo of the Detroit News notes this inglorious fact: The Saints’ victory Sunday night makes the Lions the only non-expansion team to never reach the Super Bowl.