Brandon Pettigrew signed a four-year contract worth $16MM this offseason to stay with the Lions, but will be in line for more of a blocking role than in years past, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. When the team drafted tight end Eric Ebron with the 10th overall pick, it was assumed that Ebron would significantly cut into the targets available to other tight ends on the roster.
Here are some more links from around the NFC North:
- New Lion James Ihedigbo knows what it takes to become a Super Bowl-winning team, after being a part of the 2012 Ravens championship squad. He believes the Lions have what it takes to win it all, writes Justin Rogers of MLive.com. “It’s one of those things, you can feel it. With this team, I can feel the makings of a championship-DNA team,” Ihedigbo said. “Are we willing to sacrifice? That’s the question, and I know we are. There are guys in this locker room that are willing to pay the price, whatever it is, to put the work in to be a champion. Yeah, we definitely have that championship DNA.”
- While Jay Cutler is entrenched as the Bears‘ quarterback, the departure of Josh McCown leaves the backup job open in Chicago. Former Notre Dame standout Jimmy Clausen could push for the job, writes Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com. “It’s always tough when you get into a new system late and you’re trying to learn the verbiage,” said quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. “Because he has some years in the league, I don’t think there are any schemes we’re running that he is not familiar with.”
- The Bears know the importance of having a glut of talented cornerbacks, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. Even though the team has transitioned from a defensive powerhouse under Lovie Smith to an offensive team under Marc Trestman, Chicago knows first-hand how hard it is to cover teams that regularly put two or three elite pass catchers on the field. “You need to have multiple corners,” Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “A lot of the defenses we have to play, that we’re required to play nowadays in the National Football League, are sub packages with three corners or corner types in the game.”
- Packers‘ linebacker Brad Jones will need to take on a bigger role in the team’s defense, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Jones took a major step back last year, but is paid to be a contributor. Demovsky writes that he must return at least to his 2012 form for the team’s defense to be successful this season.
- Although he was a talented prospect, one of the knocks on Vikings‘ first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater was that he could not be the “face of a franchise,” but the rookie believes he can do that too, writes Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com. “Of course, I feel I can be that guy,” Bridgewater said. “With my personality, I just feel that’s something I can definitely do.”