Black and Blue all over: A change for Harrell

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out another likely personnel transition related to Green Bay's switch to a 3-4 defense: Former first-round draft pick Justin Harrell probably doesn't project as a nose tackle, meaning he'll have to move to defensive end.

Harrell is still recovering from a back injury that started bothering him almost a year ago. But if and when he returns, it's likely to be at a new position.

During Tuesday's media availability for the Packers' new assistant coaches, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac noted Harrell's 6-foot-4, 320-pound frame and said: "So you'd probably look at him -- again, it's early on it now -- but you'd probably look at him as an end-type person."

It's assumed that Ryan Pickett will get the first chance to man the nose tackle position. Cullen Jenkins could play one of the end positions. The Packers' other 2008 defensive end, Aaron Kampman, will be shifted to outside linebacker.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • New Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene made clear that Kampman will have at least some responsibilities to cover passes in the flat, according to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.

  • New Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy is planning some significant changes to the group after it gave up an NFL-record seven touchdowns in 2008, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. Said Murphy: "I don't want to stand pat anywhere."

  • Vikings center Matt Birk gave $50,000 to the Gridiron Greats fund to benefit retired players but was disappointed that only one percent of his fellow NFL players followed suit, according to Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times explains why the Bears moved up their mandatory minicamp to March 17-19. Typically, the event is usually held after the draft.

  • Early suggestions are that Detroit will target an upgrade in the return game during free agency, according to David Birkett of the Oakland Press.