Good morning, folks! Welcome to the NFC North News for Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.
R&B singer Aaliyah was born on this date in 1979. She died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.
Who wants to hear some interesting things that happened on this day in history? You don’t? Too bad! You’ll read them and you’ll like them.
- In 1988, the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals announced their intention to move to Phoenix, Arizona.
- In 1939, the daily Superman comics strip, written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Joe Shuster, started appearing in newspapers around the world.
- In 1973, the last episode of the long-running television show Bonanza aired.
- In 1972, Super Bowl VI is played with the Dallas Cowboys defeating Miami Dolphins with a score of 24 to 3.
More important than all those events (at least to their parents) is the fact that these fine celebrities were born: the only non-elite quarterback still in the playoffs, Joe Flacco; Halloween director John Carpenter; and singer-songwriter Jill Sobule.
NFC North News
I kissed a link . . . for the first time.
Morning Update: The Chicago Bears have hired their new head coach and it’s… Marc Trestman, long-time NFL coach most recently of the CFL. They also hired former New Orleans Saint interim head coach Aaron Kromer as their offensive coordinator. Trestman will call the plays, so Kromer will most likely be working with the offensive line, similar to what his job in New Orleans.
Apparently, losing your special teams coordinator is all the rage these days. Yesterday it was the Detroit Lions; today it’s the Chicago Bears.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the team will part ways with their special teams coach Dave Toub. I’m sure Bears fans will be sad to see him go considering his success under previous head coach Lovie Smith. Toub’s special teams unit was ranked in the top ten eight of the nine seasons he was with the organization and helped Devin Hester set the NFL record for special teams scores.
It’s believed that he is leaving the team because he didn’t want to be in the difficult situation of working under a head coach against whom he competed for the Bears job. He may be heading to Kansas City to reunite with Andy Reid, who, according to the article, gave Toub his first NFL job with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2001.
All is not lost, though. ESPN Chicago reports that there won’t be a shortage of candidates for the newly opened position.
Michael C. Wright passes along that Brandon Marshall will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his hip. He only expects to be out about two weeks. No word on whether or not he’ll attend the Pro Bowl.
Outgoing Chicago Bears special teams coach, says his time in Chicago was “a great run.”
Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril’s future is up in the air, according to a recent Detroit Free Press article.
Avril was a free agent last year but was franchised tagged by the Lions and played out his one year, $10.6 millions dollar tender in 2012. Now that general manager Martin Mayhew has confirmed that Avril will not be franchised for a second time, it looks like it’s time for him to return to the bargaining tables.
The article notes that his stats decreased a little this year, but that it could have been due to a back injury in the second half of the season or, as Mayhew pointed out:
We didn’t play with a lot of leads. We played with some leads last year, so we had some opportunities really to tee off and get our pass rush going, where everybody can just cut loose and just go.
When asked about his plans, Avril stated that he’d love to return to the Lions, but he’s going to take things slowly and see how they shake out when free agency opens.
The Green Bay Packers lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a hip injury in 2012.
The Free Press also notes that wide receiver Calvin Johnson has pulled out of the Pro Bowl due to nagging injuries sustained throughout his record-setting season. He is, however, still taking all his fellow receivers to Hawaii to watch the game. Classy, dude. He’ll be replaced by Tampa Bay’s Vincent Jackson.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers didn’t have the best season when it kept to keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. One of the reasons for that was the absence of offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga as he dealt with a hip injury.
According to a the “Packers Blog” over at the Journal Sentinel, Bulaga says he’s “pretty confident” he’ll be ready for training camp. According to the former Hawkeye:
If it were up to me, I would do everything. That’s just the way I operate. We’ll see. It’s a little bit far out in advance to tell what I’m going to be doing but I’m pretty confident training camp is a good goal to definitely look at.
The article delves a little bit more into the offensive line and Bulaga’s rehab, so give it a look if you’re interested.
According to Jason Wilde, Rodgers will not participate in this year’s Pro Bowl, due to multiple injuries. It sounds like Rodgers didn’t even pass his exit physical. He did acknowledge that one of the injuries was to his ankle, but stated that none of the injuries will require surgery.
Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton was a self-described freak when he took the field in the 1960s.
During his end of season press conference, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke on several topics, including defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Mike Vandermause passes along that McCarthy didn’t really give him any votes of confidence, but did say that he is “very confident” Capers will return for the 2013 season.
The Minnesota Vikings official site wants you to know about some important offseason dates for the team. It ranges from the East-West Shrine Game all the way up to the NFL’s spring meeting in May. You don’t even have to be a Vikings fan to view it!
Writing in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, legendary Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton reflects on his own career as a running passer and compares it to today’s NFL.Tarkenton says that he was a “freak” back in 1961, when his skill set was one not normally seen in professional football. Now, you see a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick who runs for 181 yards in a single game and can still make NFL-caliber throws.
It’s an interesting read, so give it a look if you like Vikings, football, running, or Fran Tarkenton.