Black and Blue all over: Building to Monday

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Bit of an unusual weekend here at the Black and Blue. We'll be heading down to New Orleans in a few hours for the big Monday night affair between Green Bay and the Saints. As a result, we won't be at a Sunday game.

The division's three other teams all have 1 p.m. ET kickoffs, so check back here Sunday evening for a few thoughts on each of the games. (If you have some thoughts, send 'em here.)

For now, let's take a Sunday stroll around the division:

  • David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune takes a look at each position in the Tampa-2 defense to find out how they mesh with the Bears' personnel.

  • The Bears should run right at St. Louis rookie defensive end Chris Long on Sunday, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Sunday's game at the Edward Jones Dome features two teams whose expertise -- defense for Bears, offense for the Rams -- has been tarnished, writes Nick Hut of the Northwest Herald.

  • Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune looks for reasons why Minnesota has only six interceptions this season, including two on the road. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier suggests opponents aren't throwing downfield as much because of the Vikings' improved pass rush.

  • Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune examines the mentality that inspires players to stay on the field with painful injuries. "If you're 50-50, you can go," offensive lineman Artis Hicks said. "That's the mindset that you have to have."

  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press gets the last word on the Mike Tice-Brad Childress story line: "Tice did more with less while Childress has done less with more."

  • Beating Tampa Bay last season was special for ex-Buccaneers assistant Rod Marinelli, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • After getting fired as Green Bay's quarterbacks coach after the 1999 season, Mike McCarthy spent multiple nights at a Kinko's in Green Bay working on a plan to be the next offensive coordinator in New Orleans. He got the job, an important turn in his career, writes Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.

  • The Packers changed their in-season weight-training regimen from circuit to basic training after a bye-week self-scouting exercise, according to Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.