NFC North Notes: Bears, Gaine, AP, Lions

As the last NFC North team left standing prepares to host its divisional playoff game this Sunday, let’s round up a few items on the Packers‘ division rivals….

  • A scouting director who has worked directly with Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard thinks Ballard should be “a lock” as the Bears‘ next general manager, writes Michael C. Wright of That same source believes that if Ballard lands the Chicago job, he could look at ex-Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub as a head coaching candidate.
  • While Ballard may be the favorite for the Bears‘ job, multiple sources tell Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link) that Texans executive Brian Gaine is interviewing for the position today. A league source suggests to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link) that Gaine may be consultant Ernie Accorsi‘s top recommendation for the team.
  • The first court date in Adrian Peterson‘s legal case challenging his suspension will be February 6, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Vikings running back and the NFLPA will likely push to get resolution in time for the start of March’s free agent period, to allow Peterson the opportunity to reach the market along with everyone else, if Minnesota decides to cut him.
  • Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said on Monday that he has yet to decide whether to make changes to his coaching staff, and strongly defended the work of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Kyle Meinke of has the details and the quotes from Caldwell.
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