We're Black and Blue All Over:
Hopefully everyone had an outstanding, if not bittersweet, FWWF. (First Weekend Without Football.) Apparently, there is life on the other side.
It was a relatively quiet one in the NFC North, with the exception of this report from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. According to Biggs, the Tennessee Titans are expressing interest in speaking with Chicago Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice about their open offensive coordinator job.
Tice's work in 2010 has pushed his name back into circulation among NFL teams. His roots are in the "three-digit" offensive system popularized by Don Coryell with the San Diego Chargers and perfected by Joe Gibbs with the Washington Redskins. Tice believes in power running and downfield passing, in that order.
With that said, Tice has never been a full-time offensive coordinator nor a primary playcaller. The Bears might be smart to figure out a way to keep Tice rather than let the Titans decide whether to make him an offer. Blocking an interview is one possibility. A contract upgrade is another.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Losing Tice now would make his replacement difficult to find, notes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers the 10 most important plays in the Green Bay Packers' season. The story also provides a link to the Journal Sentinel's year-end grades of the Packers.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Packers general manager Ted Thompson: "I would like to see the 1,500 or so knuckleheads that signed a petition calling for Thompson's firing in 2008 to publicly proclaim how wrong they were. I understand how difficult it must have been to see Favre go -- no one can deny how much he meant to the Packers for 16 seasons. But that was no excuse to engage in the character assassination of Thompson. It was petty, vindictive and downright shameful at times. Thompson has survived with his dignity and class intact. He had zero interest in gloating or rubbing his critics' noses in the Packers' Super Bowl success last Sunday night."
Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "I think the thing is when we start playing again, regardless of when we start playing again, we're still going to have ended up the last time we stepped on the field winning four in a row. We have enough guys in this locker room that know what they need to do in this off-season. They know how to take care of their body. And I think guys realize where this team is going. It's going up. We have a lot of pros in here that will take care of themselves."
Detroit News reporter Jerry Green, who has covered all 45 Super Bowls, writes that Dallas/Fort Worth was the worst site in the game's history.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is looking forward to being featured in the team's new offense, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams had knee surgery earlier this month, reports Zulgad.
Former Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman on falling short of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, via Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "It would be a great honor, but I'm not going to sit up here and say I need to have it to feel that my career was complete. They can't change your numbers. They might keep you off the ballot, but when people look up your numbers, they'll see it."