NFC North Links: Vereen, Weems, Perry, Tretter

In his latest chat, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that Bears fourth-rounder Brock Vereen is “absolutely in the running” to be the starter at free safety. Chicago secondary coach Jon Hoke was apparently impressed with the rookie’s performance during OTAs and minicamp, and will stage a training camp battle between Vereen and Chris Conte, who struggled in 2013, specifically in stopping the run. The entire Q&A, which touches on Shea McClellin‘s position switch and the signing of Adrian Wilson, is worth a read. Here’s more from the NFC North.

  • The Bears have several players vying to replace Devin Hester as the team’s primary return man, including offseason additions Micheal Spurlock and Armanti Edwards, but veteran Eric Weems might have the best chance to take up the mantle, and he admits he wants the job. “Most definitely I’ve missed doing it,” Weems told Larry Mayer of “It’s still in the blood. I love doing it. That’s what I was in Atlanta doing. That’s what I made the Pro Bowl doing. There’s no question in my mind that I love doing it.”
  • As part of his series looking at Packers who will need to show improvement in 2014, Rob Demovsky of profiles 2012 first-round pick Nick Perry, who, due to injuries, has only played in 17 games over his first two seasons. The 24-year-old will be playing the “Elephant” role in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense this season, meaning he will roam from linebacker to defensive end, and maybe even see snaps at tackle.
  • In a separate piece, Demovsky offers an early Packers depth chart, with Micah Hyde, who played mostly slot corner in 2013, being listed ahead of first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at free safety.
  • Packers center J.C. Tretter, a fourth-round pick last year, has never played a snap in the NFL, but following the departure of Evan Dietrich-Smith, he might be the most important player on Green Bay’s offensive line, writes Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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