Black and Blue all over: Linehan's approach

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

You long-timers might remember that in the early stages of this blog we discussed our linking practices and how they relate to independent and/or fan blogs. I like to look at them as often as I can and many of you have contributed URLs for me to take into consideration.

There are so many blogs out there that I’ve tried to be picky about those I pass along. But if you’re a Lions fan, or just an X’s and O’s fan, I suggest you take a look at The Lions in Winter. In this post, the author produced a really smart analysis of the way Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan attacks defenses.

One of Linehan’s central tenets, dating back to his days in Minnesota, is to demonstrate an ability to run out of passing formations and to pass out of run formations. Linehan considers it essential to keeping a defense honest, and it’s nearly fool-proof if you have the personnel to pull it off.

We’ll be getting back to Favre-Packers I later today. But this is a four-team division, you know.

In that vein, let’s take our morning spin around the division:

  • Lions safety Louis Delmas became the first player in team history to win the NFC defensive rookie of the month award, writes George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.

  • The Lions are expecting Chicago to test its run defense Sunday at Soldier Field, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.

  • Bears tight end Desmond Clark has progressed rapidly in his recovery from a cracked rib and might play Sunday against the Lions, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Strong quote from former Lions receiver Roy Williams on his former head coach, current Bears defensive line coach Rod Marinelli: “If Rod were to be a head coach again somewhere, I'd play for that guy any day of the week. If he ever got with a football team that was established, had decent players -- not that we didn't have decent players, but somewhat more decent players -- he'd be one of the best head coaches in the league." Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune has the story.

  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette found Brett Favre “at times defensive, evasive and combative” during a conference call Thursday with Wisconsin reporters.

  • Packers players have watched film of Favre to catch up on his tendencies, notes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Packers receiver Greg Jennings said players are motivated to support current quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whom they believe was treated poorly by fans during the 2008 transition from Favre. “It wasn’t like he kicked Brett out of here,” said Jennings, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee. “He was just the guy who was taking his spot.”

  • Vikings officials aren’t signing any business deals that extend beyond the 2011 expiration of their lease at the Metrodome, writes Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune.

  • Vikings receiver Greg Lewis, who caught Favre’s improbable game-winning touchdown pass last Sunday against San Francisco, doesn’t know if he’ll be active for Monday night’s game. Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at that situation.