NFC North Notes: Newman, Austin, Bears

With Charles Woodson set to retire, Vikings defensive back Terence Newman would be the NFL’s oldest defensive player if he decides to keep playing in 2016. However, Newman isn’t ready to say for sure whether he’ll continue his career next year, as Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes.

We’ll talk about that once the season is over,” Newman said. “It’s kind of premature to talk about retirement right now. … I don’t really think anybody cares about being the youngest in the league or the oldest.”

While Newman doesn’t want to discuss his future yet, he agreed with the notion that he doesn’t look like a player ready to retire. The 37-year-old, who contemplated retiring a year ago, has played well in his first season with the Vikings, grabbing three interceptions and moving over from cornerback to safety to help out when needed.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the NFC North….

  • Having slipped from third in DVOA to 17th, the Lions‘ defense certainly hasn’t been as effective as it was a year ago. Nonetheless, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is still viewed as a strong potential head coaching candidate, at Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The Bears won’t be caught off guard if offensive coordinator Adam Gase leaves Chicago for a head coaching opportunity this offseason, according to quarterback Jay Cutler (link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune). “We have backup plans in place,” Cutler said. “If [Gase] does get that opportunity, I’m going to be ecstatic for him. I think it’s well-deserved. I think he’s ready for the opportunity. Whatever happens either way I think we’re going to be good and he’ll be good too.”
  • Before signing long snapper Rick Lovato to replace injured starter Brett Goode, the Packers also worked out free agent LS Andrew East, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
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