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 Post subject: ***NFC North Thread***
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:16 am 
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We have enough Bears, Packers, and Vikings fans on this site to justify having our own thread.

Thursday:
New Orleans @ Green Bay

Sunday:
Atlanta @ Chicago
Detroit @ Tampa Bay
Minnesota @ San Diego

Keep game-time posts in the main NFL thread.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:17 am 
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Quote:
Chicago Bears: Earl Bennett Is Team's Best Receiver

Coming into the 2011 NFL season, the Chicago Bears are very content with their top four receivers: Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Roy Williams and Earl Bennett.

While the first three get frequent media coverage, Bennett is quietly becoming the Bears' top receiver.

Chicago Sun-Times Bears reporter Sean Jensen wrote on Aug. 31 how Bennett is lauded by quarterbacks Jay Culter and Caleb Hanie, plus wide receivers coach Darryl Drake on how the fourth-year player is extremely key to the offense.

Bennett is not a starting flank or split end receiver, but he provides speed, concise route running and sure hands as a slot receiver. He and Cutler have a good working relationship as the two previously were Vanderbilt teammates.

Including the 2010 regular season and playoffs, Bennett was Cutler's most dependable target. Available for 589 snaps, Bennett caught 50 passes for 619 yards on 74 balls thrown in his direction while never dropping a ball.

No. 80 hauled in four touchdowns and allowed two interceptions.

Meanwhile, Hester was on the field for 771 snaps, caught 42 balls for 486 yards out of 79 thrown his way. He had four touchdowns while giving up five interceptions and dropping six balls.

Knox, the Bears' top receiver in 2010, grabbed 51 passes for 1,068 on 108 thrown his direction. But Knox allowed 13 picks against five scores by giving up the inside too easily. Knox also dropped six passes.

Another impressive statistic for Bennett is his yards-after-catch. He managed 230 yards after the catch, not too far behind Hester (240) and Knox (271).

Roy Williams was a big free-agent pickup, but he has struggled this preseason, raising questions if he is still a top target.

Cutler might have to depend on Bennett more this season as Greg Olsen was traded and the whole tight end corps was revamped with Matt Spaeth, Kellen Davis and Kyle Adams.

Bennett is a class act and an extremely hard worker who does not complain about being the star attraction. He will be a key part in helping Cutler resurrect an inconsistent Chicago offense to prominence.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/8365 ... t-receiver

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Last edited by Roy Johnson on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:24 am 
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If the Bears can't beat the Falcons, then they'll most likely start the season 0-3 after subsequent games against the Saints and Packers.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:34 am 
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The North might end up being the best division in football this year.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:42 am 
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Quote:
Deaf ears for Lance Briggs' complaints
September, 5, 2011

By Kevin Seifert

I understand why Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs feels aggrieved. Really, I do. Especially on this day, when a 4-3 weak-side linebacker who has never made a Pro Bowl signed a five-year contract worth $40 million while the Bears hold steady on the remaining three years and $14 million of Briggs' contract.

[+] Enlarge
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs wants to re-negotiate his contract, but the Bears aren't interested.
That's right. The Minnesota Vikings guaranteed linebacker Chad Greenway $20 million, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and he will earn an average of $8 million over the life of the deal. Briggs, meanwhile, has asked for a trade because the Bears have refused to renegotiate his deal.

Greenway is a good player and teammate, but I don't know that his production or credentials merit higher pay than Briggs. As Briggs has learned, NFL salaries are as much about timing and strategy as they are about rewarding skills or past production.

Briggs' interview with Chicago-area reporters Monday, his first extensive comments since confirming his trade request, suggests one of two things:
He didn't understand what he was getting into when he signed his six-year deal in 2008.
He was under some kind of assumption that the Bears would re-open the contract at some point.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what Briggs was expecting when he signed a deal that called for about $22 million over the first three years and $14 million over the final three. Asked why he agreed to those terms, Briggs said: "If you understand how the [salary] cap works, you have to structure contracts in certain ways. You have to spread it out over six years so you don't count too much against the cap. You have other players that have to be paid at the time, and they tell you, we have to save some of these dollars to pay some of the other players too. So you sign the deal you have to sign at the time. There are things the owners will not budge on. Going into the [new] CBA, things will not change.

"In the NFL, they aren't any guaranteed contracts. If I underperform, owners will cut me. They have the right to do that anytime. They can cut me right before I'm supposed to get a bonus in March. For a player, we have every right to ask for a renegotiating, to ask for a trade, or to hold out."

Well, yeah.

Fair or not, that's how contracts have worked in the NFL throughout the salary cap era. The owners have the upper hand. In exchange for guaranteed or otherwise up-front money, players typically must agree to longer-term deals that prevent their return to the open market during the prime of their careers. They have a right to renegotiate at any time, I suppose, but doing so with no leverage is a fruitless exercise. Quite simply, the Bears have Briggs over the proverbial barrel.

If Briggs wanted to avoid this predicament, he could have pursued a shorter-term deal that would have included less guaranteed money but returned him to the free agent market for another potential payday during the prime of his career. He didn't have to spread his cap hit over six years if he was willing to accept a lower salary and bet on his future play.

That's precisely what Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings did in June 2009, agreeing to a four-year deal worth about $27 million that will make him a free agent when he is 30 in 2013. It's a risky but ultimately rewarding strategy if you're confident in your health and continued success.

Sure, it would be nice if the Bears recognized that Briggs remains their best player on an aging defense, and if they understood that a happy Lance Briggs probably means a happy locker room. But unless they made a some kid of verbal pledge in 2008 that we're not aware of, I can't say they've wronged Briggs in this instance.

Greenway's superior contract isn't a reflection of how well the Vikings treat their players or how poorly the Bears take care of theirs. It's the difference of three years in the market. When Briggs was the Bears' franchise player in 2008, his value tag number was $7.2 million. Greenway's was $10.091 million. So it stands to reason his long-term deal would escalate accordingly.

Briggs feels hurt, scorned and obviously is frustrated by the Bears' response. But I don't see a way out of this for him. He would have to make things awfully difficult for the Bears to force an in-season trade. His best bet is to have another Lance Briggs-type season and then turn the screws on the team this winter.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:47 am 
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Quote:
Lions won't surprise anyone in NFC North

They came on strong at end of 2010 and got better in the offseason

ALLEN PARK, Mich. ג€” If any of the 32 teams in the NFL appears poised to make a quantum leap in 2011, it is the Lions.

But if any of the 32 teams in the NFL is a perennial tease and an annual disappointment, it is those same Lions.

There may be more reason to smile in the Motor City this year than there has been since America's big three automakers started to lose their grip on the market in the 1970s.

Yes, a look at the standings confirms the Lions were the weak sisters of the NFC North last year. But a closer look at how the season played out paints a different picture.

The Lions lost two to the Bears, but one was what coach Jim Schwartz calls a "TKO" because of the Calvin Johnson play that denied the Lions a late touchdown. The other loss was by a meager four points.

They lost to the Packers by two in Green Bay and beat them in Detroit. They also split with the Vikings.

The Lions won their last four games despite finishing the year with seven starters on injured reserve, including quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. Included in those victories were triumphs over the Packers and Bucs.

"I think finishing strong meant a lot from a confidence standpoint, and also from the fan base standpoint," Lions safety Louis Delmas said. "It's very important we keep the fans on our side, and we have confidence going into this year."

The Lions' finish gave them something they haven't had in ages: credibility.

The team was awarded its first Monday night game this year since 2001, Oct. 1 against the Bears in Detroit. That game was a sellout 45 minutes after tickets went on sale. The Lions even sold out one of their exhibition games.

What's more, the team reportedly has sold more than 11,200 full season ticket packages since the end of last year, the second-highest total in the NFL.

The team has given fans more reason for optimism by adding some talented players in the offseason and going 4-0 in the preseason.

The Lions paid particular attention to their defense, drafting defensive tackle Nick Fairley and signing free agent starting linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant as well as free agent starting cornerback Eric Wright.

The Lions really didn't need Fairley considering they already might have had the most talented defensive line in the NFL. But they couldn't pass him up with the 13th pick in the first round. Fairley had been projected to be chosen in the top five.

Fairley has missed most of training camp with a foot injury but is expected back soon.

"Once we get Fairley out there, I think it might be a whole different game, because he really has it," Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "He's tough, mean."

The Lions believe their new linebackers will enable Fairley, quarterback killer Ndamukong Suh and the rest of the pass rushers to do their job without looking back.

"Durant and Tulloch have great instincts," Vanden Bosch said. "They play downhill and are thumpers, so they are able to clean things up and let us go up front."

The Lions are planning on holdovers to buoy the offense.

If Stafford finds a way to stay on the field, that may be all the offense needs. Former teammate Zack Follett called him a "china doll" because in two seasons the 23-year old has missed 19 games with knee and multiple shoulder injuries. The Bears have knocked him out of games twice.

When he is on the field, though, Stafford looks like a difference-maker. He has torn up defenses in exhibitions and also been a star in camp practices.

The offense appears to be dependent on Stafford and the passing game. If the Lions can't run, they may struggle to challenge the Packers and Bears in the NFC North. Second-round running back Mikel Leshoure from Illinois went down with a torn Achilles early in camp, leaving the Lions with Jahvid Best and Maurice Morris to carry the run game.

"Leshoure was a guy we saw a very specific role for, and he was doing very well in camp," Schwartz said. "But that's not going to change the way we approach our run game, and it's not going to be a hindrance for Matt."

If the Lions can do everything it appears they can, they will stop teasing ג€” and start pleasing.

-Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:49 am 
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Do you feel like the Bears got better at any position? Is anything better about this team compared to last year?

I think this is the bottom-out year. Last season we were gifted two wins and drew Seattle in the playoffs. A lot of people think that game against green bay for the conference was earned.

I don't.

6-10, just like last year, and if I'm off two games I bet it's in the other direction.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:53 am 
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:puke:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:10 pm 
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wheels wrote:
Do you feel like the Bears got better at any position? Is anything better about this team compared to last year?


I like the concept of having two tight ends that can cover up for some of the O-Line's weaknesses. I'm expecting good things out of Davis and Spaeth. Hopefully, the former will emerge as a capable red zone target. This time last year, Olsen and Clark were on top of the depth chart, and neither one could hold off pass-rushers.

Tommie Harris was clearly damaged goods last season, but they kept trotting him out there anyway. Henry Melton shows elite-level anticipation, and he put on 30 pounds of weight in the offseason to get from 265 to 295. That's a lot of enchilada suizas. I'm excited to see what he can do - I think he'll prove to be a major upgrade over Tommie Harris.

Barber as the #2 back is an enormous upgrade over Chester Taylor. Let's just hope that he can stay healthy.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:03 pm 
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I agree on Barber, but I can't get too excited about a second string upgrade.

I saw Henry Melton on Sunday at a bar, and he looks.... solid. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but I wouldn't have come back with any useful information anyway. I agree with you here.

I liked Olsen. He didn't fit in this offense, but I liked him. I'd be lying if I said I understood Martz's thing but I don't know why he had to go.

Every other position is at best, no better and a year older. Roy Williams was a bad signing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:13 pm 
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I have not really been a fan of anything the Bears did in the off season. Already these flyers they took on high draft pick that flamed out elsewhere (Williams, Gholston) has not worked and they got rid of their most reliable receiver in Olsen because Martz doesn't like to use the tight end. Season just feels like a backslide. I think they will be competitive but not a playoff team. Since lots of the main cogs are getting older I could really see them blowing it up and starting from scratch after this season. I kind of feel like they missed the window with this group.

I know everybody loves the Lions on paper, myself included, but they just have Houston Texans written all over them IMO. Too much hype too soon. Plus, I always get nervous when there is one team everybody loves going into the season.

I think The Pack win the division and the three other teams slug it out and all miss the playoffs.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:01 pm 
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skins all the way fuck you homos


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:12 am 
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NFC North straight telling motherfuckers to stop being gay.

Quote:
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took a jab at fellow signal caller Mark Sanchez on Wednesday, calling the Jets quarterback's GQ photo spread "embarrassing."

Rodgers was presented with a copy of the magazine's September issue ג€” complete with Sanchez's smiling face on the cover ג€” during an ESPN radio interview in Wisconsin.

"I mean, look at this. That's embarrassing," Rodgers said.

"Page 94 of the GQ thing here. That's terrible," he added, glancing at a photo of Sanchez sporting sunglasses, white slim-fit jeans and a black tank top, with a shearling coat slung casually over his left shoulder.

Asked if a similar photo spread was in the offing for the Super Bowl winning quarterback, Rodgers responded, "That's not really my style.

"I like my anonymity. I like my privacy. I like being able to be the quarterback during the week and in the offseason be able to do what I want to do and not have to be in the public eye."

Later Wednesday, Sanchez said he felt Rodgers was just kidding, the New York Post reported.

"I think he was, obviously, making a joke out of it," he said.

"That's fine, [he was] giving me a good ribbing like the guys on our team."

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:31 am 
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Tonight is going to be all kinds of satisfying. Mmmmmmmm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:34 am 
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is this thread really necessary?

what is going to be the difference between this thread and the other nfl thread that we'll have.

EXPLAIN YOURSELVES AT ONCE

LIVELIHOOD OF THREAD DEPENDS ON IT


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:51 am 
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It's just an experiment. I don't want to overwhelm the main thread with NFC North related stuff. All game-time posts should go in the weekly threads, of course.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:07 am 
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This is a direct response to the attempted takeover of every NFL thread by 49er fans.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:20 am 
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I'd like to have a headcount because i'm pretty sure there are just as much if not more NFC East fans on this board.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am 
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King Duggan

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We are cool though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:39 pm 
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What is this horseshit

there are enough bay area fans alone for a AFC West thread too...after stow and that shooting in the parking lot we know sf fans are either too busy getting beat up or shot.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:54 pm 
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blastmaster wrote:
We are cool though.


once you count kel and hayzoos amongst your ranks, this is extremely questionable.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Gregg Popabitch wrote:
blastmaster wrote:
We are cool though.


once you count kel and hayzoos amongst your ranks, this is extremely questionable.


Forgot about Hayzoos... Kel is the biggest Packers fan on the site, so he is cool with me.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:01 pm 
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packer-dom is forever tarnished


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Where AFC East thread for me, Pesci, rzn, and that one Bills fan??


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:42 pm 
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naturalborn103 wrote:
Where AFC East thread for me, Pesci, rzn, and that one Bills fan??


Please disappear again.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:03 pm 
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not Psychosis

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naturalborn103 wrote:
Where AFC East thread for me, Pesci, rzn, and that one Bills fan??


Pretty sure Rappin Coffin is a Pats fan, I'm a dolphins fan.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:44 pm 
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the north has been the best division and will continue to be

haters gonna hate

thread stays

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:39 am 
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i'll let the week 1 thread turn to other topics...

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... -game-pain

not good.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:51 am 
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it's just a stinger


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:55 am 
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you're being facetious.

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