Black, Blue, and Ornery: Thursday, May 17th, 2012

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Updated: May 17, 2012

Hello, compadres. Today we go back to celebrity birthdays with a bang. I’ll get the football celebrants out of the way first. Wish a Happy Birthday to check-down artists Matt Cassel and Matt Ryan. Don’t waste all those well wishes on them though. The man of the day today is the one and only Bob “Danny Tanner” Saget. I always loved that someone with a mind as filthy as his is best known for playing a squeaky-clean father. Should he have a happy birthday? You got it, dude! Now, on to the links…

  • Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune asks, and attempts to answer, the question “Can Ponder navigate the chaos of the NFL?” It’s a question that will be impossible to answer until Ponder has a few more seasons under his belt.
  • 1500ESPN editor Tom Pelissero tells us that the Vikings plan to use newly signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson as a “legitimate” deep threat. Simpson has always had speed, but his inconsistency has held him back. Perhaps a change of scenery will be beneficial.
  • The Minnesota Vikings have announced their training camp plans and will stay in Mankato for three weeks, longer than in recent history. With their jettisoning of veterans, it’ll be beneficial for all the new faces to have more time to gel.
  • The Chicago Tribune’s Matt Bowen discusses the growing leadership skills being displayed by Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler recently put his offensive line on notice, saying that the instability up front is concerning and needs to improve if the Bears’ offense ever hopes to catch up to their defense.
  • Dan Pompei, also of the Chicago Tribune, answers questions on all things Chicago Bears, including his belief that rookie Alshon Jeffery will not open the season as a starting wide receiver.
  • The Chicago Bears are rumored to be thinking about moving veteran offensive linemen Chris Williams back to tackle. I’ll give Mike Tice the benefit of the doubt since he’s done more with less, but it seems to me that Williams has always been more effective on the inside.
  • Anwar Richardson of mlive.com passes along the second positive story about Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in the last two days. Johnson is generously offering scholarships to senior footballs players in the Detroit area.
  • The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is so excited that he just can’t hide it about rookies Riley Reiff and Ryan Broyles.
  • Did you know that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is under 25? Well, NFL.com certainly does. They’ve ranked Stafford as one of the top 10 NFL players in that age range. More accolades for the Lions! Unfortunately, since he’s no longer 23, it’s all downhill from here.
  • Green Bay Packers safety Charlie Peprah is confident that he’ll retain the starting job in the 2012 season, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. With the release of the injured Nick Collins, it’s most likely his job to lose. He’ll still have to fend off rookie Jerron McMillian, though.
  • The Green Bay Packers will be able to see their highlight reels a little easier this season. Crews began installing new HD video screens/scoreboards at Lambeau Field recently and hope to have them ready for the July 24th shareholders meeting.
  • Congratulations to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver for advancing to the finals of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. It’s a testament to the fitness and fluidity of NFL players that so many go so far in the competition.
  • Head Coach Mike McCarthy talks with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein on SiriusXM NFL Radio about everything from DWTS to the performance of the new draftees at rookie camp. [Please pardon Jason Wilde for the plethora of typos within this article]

 

About the author(s)

Luke Hendricks writes the "Black, Blue and Ornery" NFC North morning links feature for the Water Cooler Sports Network. He is a prolific sports writer of such classics as "BBAO: NFC North News for Monday, August 20th, 2012" and the critically acclaimed "BBAO: NFC North News for Wednesday, July 11th, 2012." Although a confirmed Chicago Bears fan, he is willing to insult old emo quarterback Jay Cutler if the situation calls for it. He enjoys writing the morning news articles, except for the stories about the Minnesota Vikings. He means no offense, but everything about them is boring and hard to write about. He can be reached at [email protected].