Content
X

Create Account

Or log in with Facebook

X

Log in

Or log in with Facebook

Around the NFC North

By Category

Around the NFC North

The Packers are in an unusual position this year, as they will be watching the playoffs on television. Changes have already begun in Green Bay, as Dom Capers is out (to the relief of many fans) and Ted Thompson is "transitioning to a new position."

They aren't the only ones who find their coaching staff and front office in a state of flux. Two out of the other three teams have jettisoned some or all of their coaching staff, and are looking to turn things around.

What's up with the Bears, Lions and Vikings? Let's take a look.

Chicago Bears

John Fox might want to ring up Marvin Lewis and find out what vitamins he takes to dodge the "pink slip bullet" that keeps catching Foxy but not Lewis despite similiar mediocrity.

Or maybe he should chat with GM Ryan Pace.

After three straight losing seasons, Fox is out in Chicago but somehow Pace ended up with a two-year extension. It's hard to imagine why that is, given some of the horrific personnel decisions over the last few years, but rumor has it there was a power struggle between the coach and general manager which dated back to the 2017 NFL Draft when Pace kept Fox ignorant of his plans. 

Now Pace will get a coach he wants and is out of excuses. While his draft efforts are a mixed bag (for every Mitch Trubisky there is a Kevin White and we're not even sold on Trubisky totally), his free agent decisions have been abyssmal (how's letting Alshon Jeffery leave looking now?)

The Bears have been perpetually rebudiling for the better part of a decade and while that's not all on Pace, he's not guilt-free.

Our take? The Bears will not improve appreciably with Pace there, and whoever the new coach is will last a short time before both are shown the door. 

Detroit Lions

Now-former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell's expression never changed, so it's safe to assume he looked as non-plussed when he was fired as he did come hell or highwater on the sideline. How blase was his tenure? If you didn't follow the Lions, you had to think hard about who the coach was. Seriously, this team had no identity under Caldwell.

It will be interesting to see who they bring in and the team doesn't seem to be fixated on a coach from any particular side of the ball, having interviews Jim Bob Cooter and Teryl Austin for the job. Both internal candidates are just as responsible for the state of things, but it would be easier to get behind Cooter who at least had the offense mostly effective. Plus, a head coach named Jim Bob? Come on.

Whoever gets the job is going to have a lot of work to do. The window on Matt Stafford isn't as wide as it used to be, there's no coherent backfield and the defense is mediocre when it's hitting on all cylinders (an argument against Austin, really). Calvin Johnson isn't coming back, but Golden Tate and Marvin Jones have been effective, so there are more pieces on the offensive side of the ball. 

Minnesota Vikings

The only NFC North team still playing, the Vikings aren't going to make any coaching changes. They could lose coordinators to the many open coaching spots (the Bears already requested to meet defensive coordinator George Edwards while the Giants, Cardinals, Lions and Bears want to talk to Pat Shurmur), but Mike Zimmer isn't going anywhere. And why should he? He manages on of the best defenses in the NFL, and the offense was effective this year. 

In fact, the only real question mark this offseason — whenever it starts — is quarterback. Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman have to figure out whether Case Keenum is really as good as he seemed this season or will pull a Ryan Fitzpatrick and revert back to type next year. At the same time, they have to decide what to do with Teddy Bridgewater. The 32nd overall pick in 2014, Bridgewater has been on the shelf since he blew out his knee in late August of 2016. He only just came back and looked very rusty but the problem is, the team declined his fifth year so after the Vikings finish this season, he is a free agent.

It's not hard to think he'll see some interest on the free agency market. So what do the Vikings do? A bad Case Keenum post-season could clear that up. But maybe not.

That's a problem for another day though, as the Vikings prepare for their first playoff game of the season.

  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (50) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

I personally can't WAIT to see the Vikings implode in the post season. A season ending Keenum INT would be an appropriate ending, seeing as he's played WAY over his head all year anyway.

They're going to be a mess at QB next year. Again. GB will be back to winning the division. Again. Maybe even with a top 15 defense!

Tarynfor12's picture

Seems a Viking/Keenum loss will ease your disappointment, in not only the Packer season, but more directly for your 2 !st rd draft picks for Hundley.

I have no problem accepting that the Packers were dethroned of the most precious Division title to a team that wins the SB...a feat that seems to be more illusive for GB each season.....Humble Pie! : )

Spud Rapids's picture

To be properly dethrone you need to defeat the king (#12) who wasn't available to defend his title.

P.S. the vikings are not guaranteed a super bowl win nor did you spell elusive correctly.

Tarynfor12's picture

The 'king' isn't playing and it's a team sport and the team isn't playing....dethroned. Is there more than one way to checkmate the King in chess?
As to spelling...no excuse....never won a spelling bee.

Bearmeat's picture

And once again, I have no idea what you just said......

Tarynfor12's picture

What's more humbling....That during the Rodgers era, the Vikings have not won a SB because of the lack of a QB, not forgetting ever, or that the Packers while having the best have only won one?

Bearmeat's picture

Is that even a question???

Last I checked, 1>0, regardless of the circumstances in which the events occurred.

Spud Rapids's picture

You can't ignore that quarterback is the most important player and tilts the field the most. Look at the 49ers with and without Garrapolo playing. If you don't have the QB position figured out you're not winning a super bowl.

Bearmeat's picture

Oh Taryn, Taryn, Taryn,

If you'd paid attention or read others comments closely, you would have realized that all I ever said about Hundley was "IF he played well and led the Packers to a playoff birth, that could happen in the current NFL." Then, about 6 weeks ago, (after the 1st DET game), I said "Hundley sucks. Our season is all but over. Bench him and play Callahan. Fire Dom and Ted."

Further, the irony is comical: you accusing ANYONE of being less than Nostradamus when your Fackrell love has proven sillier by the week and your Perry hate still blinds you to the fact that he is a red-chip player when healthy. He deserved the deal he got last year and it's entirely possible that he'll play above the deal next year. He's a pretty ok #2 OLB. He's just not a lead dog. And he wasn't paid to be.

Finally, it is entirely possible that GB is right back in the title chase next year. Having the best QB on the planet goes a long way in today's NFL, and there are a lot of pretty good pieces already in place. I'm excited to see what will be done.

Tarynfor12's picture

I acknowledged my fail on Fackrell long ago...and Perry was paid to be the lead dog and his useless,rare barks on the field justify my continued disdain for one who is not and never will or should be playing OLB.

Everyone has hope for the next season....some more grounded.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I just can't believe fackrell is 26 years old and in November he'll be 27 what the heck man I thought he was like 24 he's 2 years past his prime why did they even draft this guy. What a wasted pick again we can't have any wasted picks this is not hit or miss anymore we have to hit every single time that's just the way it is we've missed too many times

dobber's picture

"we have to hit every single time that's just the way it is we've missed too many times"

You're destined to be a very unhappy man.

rdent's picture

As much as I hate to admit it. Minnesota is the only team in the NFC North that has shown any improvement the last several years and apparently have become the new boss in the division. Packers President Mark Murphy stated yesterday that GB needs to catch up with the Vikings. But lets see how far they go in the playoffs, they have choked in the end but each of the last few years it takes them longer for the choke to happen.

Spud Rapids's picture

It's easy to improve over this.... by the way they have averaged 8.25 wins over these 4 years and Packers have managed 9.75

2015 11-5-0 1st -- NFC North
2014 7-9-0 3rd -- NFC North
2013 5-10-1 4th -- NFC North
2012 10-6-0 2nd -- NFC North

Bearmeat's picture

They've been very up and down.

A feat that will continue next year. Yeah, they have a good D, but their QB is a mirage and so is their OL.

dobber's picture

It'll be Russian Roulette for the Vikings and their QB situation this off-season. They'll be hard-pressed to not resign Keenum unless he's just awful in the playoffs. Bradford's deal is up after the season. Bridgewater is up after the season. Both of those guys will get far more on the open market than the Vikes will be able to pay if they decide to re-up Keenum for even low-starter money.

Spud Rapids's picture

Let's face it they've gotten lucky the past 2 years with taking a scrap heap QB and churning out career years for both (Bradford, Keenum). If Pat Schurmer leaves that offense is back to bleh

dobber's picture

The question for them will be how well Dalvin Cook plays when he comes back. He could go a long ways toward making an average QB look decent.

Bearmeat's picture

Don't forget Spielman just throwing crap at the wall on the OL! That OL was the same type of FA OL signings they did last year. And last year they were the worst OL in the league!

Their OL has stayed extremely healthy all year and it's played above it's talent level. I wouldn't expect that to be the case next year. And it is an OLD unit.

They might get to the super bowl this year (GO PANTHERS AND SAINTS), but they won't be winning the division next year if ARod stays healthy.

dobber's picture

They've been pretty healthy in general. Who of the, like, six guys on their IR is a starter? Nick Easton and Sam Bradford. That's it.

Bearmeat's picture

And Cook. But yes, they've had a VERY lucky year. They're nowhere near as good as they've shown this year.

I expect a pretty healthy regression to the mean next year.

Rossonero's picture

I think the Vikings could go to the Super Bowl, mainly because they handled the Rams already, the Eagles are done without Wentz, Falcons aren't themselves and Carolina barely has any WRs to speak of. Only team might be the Saints. I hope they can take the queens down.

On another note, here's an interesting fact: Thompson was pressured to give Mike Sherman a 2-year extension during his first year (2006) as GM just so Sherman wouldn't be a lame duck. Murphy has done that for McCarthy. Thompson fired Sherman after the '06 season with two years left on his deal.

Will history repeat itself?

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Packers screwed up when they signed Ray Rhodes and then when they had to fire him they still had to pay him money for 3 years so they brought in 2 coaches one was Marty Schottenheimer and the other was Mike Sherman . Marty Schottenheimer wanted 5 million dollars a year and Mike Sherman just wanted 500,000 per year. The Packer said oh we didn't pick Mike Sherman because of the money we felt he was a better coach Ben Marty Schottenheimer . what a bunch of crap.

dobber's picture

NFL teams are flush with cash. Sure, they don't want to be laying out cash to all these coaches, but how often are failing coaches retained on the basis of their contracts?

In truth, Mike Sherman was not a bad coach. He was completely out of his element as a GM, though.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Packers screwed up when they signed Ray Rhodes and then when they had to fire him they still had to pay him money for 3 years so they brought in 2 coaches one was Marty Schottenheimer and the other was Mike Sherman . Marty Schottenheimer wanted 5 million dollars a year and Mike Sherman just wanted 500,000 per year. The Packer said oh we didn't pick Mike Sherman because of the money we felt he was a better coach Ben Marty Schottenheimer . what a bunch of crap.

dobber's picture

"The Bears have been perpetually rebudiling ..."

You can say that again...

Bearmeat's picture

The Bears have been perpetually rebuilding.

dobber's picture

No...rebudiling.

Bearmeat's picture

lol. oops.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

WR _ 1st Round
TE - 2nd Round
OT/LB- 3rd Round
DE/LB - 3rd Round (Compensatory)
OT/CB - 4th Round
RB _ 5th Round
DT _ 5th Round (Compensatory)
WR _ 5th Round (Compensatory)
LB _ 5th Round (Compensatory)
Safety_6th Round
TE/OG/T _ 7th Round

These are my needs for 2018

dobber's picture

How about this...
Rd 1 --BPA
Rd 2 --BPA
Rd 3 --BPA
.
.
.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

What is BPA? How about TFTA!!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Best player available you don't even know the hell best player available you mean like Adam thielen undrafted ..you mean Terrell Davis undrafted.. I mean like Rod Smith undrafted... give me like Case Keenum undrafted me and Mike seventh-round Marques Colston or 7th round Donald Driver or fifth round Dorsey Levens or second round Brett Favre or 7th round Mark Tauscher or 25th pick in the first round Aaron Rodgers over first round pick pick number one Alex Smith you don't The Green Bay Packers have signed WR Jake Kumerow, WR Colby Pearson, TE Robert Tonyan, LS Zach Triner and WR DeAngelo Yancey. The transactions were announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

All of the players finished the season on the Packers’ practice squad.even know who the best player available is BPA.. this is coming from Packers who took Tony Mandarich Packers who took John Michaels Packers who took J.Reynolds and Justin Harrell.. you take who I tell you to freaking take. We ain't got time for no best player available crap tell the Packers show me they know how to pick every single round properly we take the players that I've listed and the first pic is going to be a wide receiver and the second picks going to be a tight end and we'll go from there.

The TKstinator's picture

The above is a little feature we like to call “How NOT To Draft”.
Or possibly, “How To Reach for Need”.

dobber's picture

I'm surprised anyone got THAT much out of it...

The TKstinator's picture

Heh heh
We aims to please!

CAG123's picture

Honestly Kirk Cousins in Minnesota doesn’t sound impossible , he did everything he could with no Oline this year and marginal offensive weapons where a rb was his best target. He’ll have a better def to work with and he is a way better arm talent than any of the QBs they have on the roster now, it’s actually a pretty scary thought.

dobber's picture

Perhaps, but I think they'll go far more conservative--cost-wise--than Cousins. He's going to cost a small fortune.

Bearmeat's picture

Any idea what MIN's cap situation is like?

dobber's picture

Haven't looked, but Bradford comes off the books so that's about $18M right there.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I just looked MN up. $57M in cap space, but no QBs signed for 2018. They can easily afford Kirk Cousins if they want. Also have Shariff Floyd ($6.7M) and Robison ($3.5M) with no dead money. Danielle Hunter and Diggs are both still cheap but are entering contract years. They might be in line for extensions. FAs include Bradford, Keenum, of course. Also Terrence Newman, DT Tom Johnson, OG Berger, McKinnon, and DT Shamar Stephens. None of those guys will break the bank, and I assume they let Bradford go. Not sure what they will do at QB.

I think MN's cap situation is very good. For them.

TXCHEESE's picture

If he isn't signed by Washington, I see Cousins now as a real possibility in Arizona, and wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in Jacksonville, if they fail to advance deep in the playoffs. I have a hard time believing Bridgewater is going to get much interest in free agency. He wasn't a top tier QB when he went down and there are too many question marks about the health of his knee (see Bradford, Sam). I have to give the Vikings props, they played very solid ball all year. If they don't resign Keenum, or go after Cousins, they risk dropping a notch behind the Packers in the division. I have a feeling the Lions and the Bears are in for a couple of lean years.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Why are we talking about Kirk Cousins who really cares about the Vikings or the Cardinals we just care about the Packers this is cheesehead TV not bonehead TV

dobber's picture

The column is "Around the NFC North"...includes 3 other teams.

Just thought you'd like to know.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Packers need to draft BPA and fill in holes in free agency. That's the way draft and develop should work but not the way Thompson worked it, despite everyone saying he was draft and develop. Aside from taking a QB in the first couple of rounds, the Pack should absolutely take the highest player on their board regardless of position in the first two rounds. That's how you stock a team with the best players. Was Randall BPA?... Perry?... King?... even HaHa?... Thompson too often went for need and yet he was hailed for taking the best player. The fact that he did better in later rounds was due to the fact that he was a good talent evaluator and at after the 3rd round he generally did go BPA. Wish he'd done it in the first more often.

dobber's picture

Thanks, Johnny. I agree. The roster needs an influx of talent across the board.

In case you were wondering, the Packers apparently signed a bunch of street free agents....

Doug Niemczynski's picture

The Green Bay Packers have signed WR Jake Kumerow, WR Colby Pearson, TE Robert Tonyan, LS Zach Triner and WR DeAngelo Yancey. The transactions were announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

All of the players finished thge season on the Packers’ practice squad.

Hooray hooray but go to the Super Bowl!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Best player available you don't even know the hell best player available you mean like Adam thielen undrafted ..you mean Terrell Davis 5th round or undrafted.. or like Rod Smith undrafted... give me like Case Keenum undrafted me and Mike seventh-round Marques Colston or 7th round Donald Driver or fifth round Dorsey Levens or second round Brett Favre or 7th round Mark Tauscher or Tony Mandarich Packers or John Michael or J.Reynolds or Justin Harrell.. or Kurt Warner who came from the arena league and I don't think he was drafted or Vince Young QB or Ryan Leaf QB or all the Cleveland Browns QBs are all the Chicago Bear QB. Don't give me your BPA. There are way too many busts in the NFL

dobber's picture

Why do I suddenly have images of the scene from Scanners where that guy's head blows up?

DD's picture

Good remarks,but not correct yet. Vikes will have Cook back and solid defense. Lions need one running back and a solid defense. Packers have Rodgers back, but defense remains a huge problem to be corrected we hope. No defense, we'll have trouble winning the division. Facts.

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook

 
 
 

Quote

"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"