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NFC North Watch: Catching Up

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Will Graham Harrell be the backup for the Packers in 2012?
Will Graham Harrell be the backup for the Packers in 2012?

It's been a month since we've done this. Let's get back to keeping up on the rest of the division.

So the Packers let Matt Flynn run off to Seattle to have a chance at starting in the NFL, and they have third-year backup Graham Harrell taking his place. If history means anything, the Packers will only be looking to add to their total of quarterbacks taken in later rounds. They've taken a fair number of quarterbacks - in the '90s they drafted six quarterbacks, three of whom have had long careers and starting spots (and the other three, I'm not quite familiar enough with) - the starters being Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, and Aaron Brooks. Maybe Matt Flynn can add his name to that list, who knows.

In Detroit, Jahvid Best missed the last ten games last season with concussion symptoms, and still hasn't been cleared by team doctors to work out with the team. Between Best's concussions and Mikel Leshoure's ACL and marijuana pickups, I expect a "Help Wanted" sign to pop up in Detroit any minute now.

Speaking of Mikel Leshoure's marijuana ticket, Detroit's 70's Show-style reefer circle apparently lost it's three biggest traffickers over the offseason, and Nate Burleson wants to go all Sly Stallone on them. Or not.

"I'm a little bit different, I don't want to put people on blast in front of the team," Burleson said. "Sometimes you're going to need to do that. Or a certain guy, certain situations, they need to feel that embarrassment of everybody looking down on them. But some of these guys that we saw on the board, these are good young men and I know that they're passionate about being professional athletes, it's just that they make mistakes."


"Obviously, when you talk to a young guy and he doesn't listen, the old-school method is physical confrontation," Burleson said. "I came (into the NFL in) ‘03 and some of these vets, they put your hands on you before they let you damage what they helped build. But I don't think we're going to get to that. And also coaches might say we're just going to sit the guy down, we're going to take the guy away from him and then see how he responds."

Good luck being invited back into the circle, Nate.

Adrian Peterson won't be ready for the Vikings' preseason activities. Toby Gerhart expects to be back before OTAs.

Also with the Vikings, they feel like they've got "the perfect choice" to run the team. Earlier this offseason, Mark Wilf (co-owner) was cited as pursuing Bill Parcells to run the team, including the option to "name his price."

"It's not true -- that was my reaction," said Wilf, the team's president and co-owner with his brother, Zygi. "That's why we quelled that report immediately and moved on with our business."


"From A to Z, he has all the tools you need to run a football operation," Wilf said. "We felt he was the perfect choice to be our general manager."

Former Bears and Lions quarterback Erik Kramer lost his son in October to a heroin overdose. He opened up about it to the Tribune this week.

What are the top three needs for Green Bay's 15-1 squad? Defensive end, outside linebacker and safety. And a look at the last four times the Packers picked 28. Also known as, just how much money is in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's research department?

The Lions will be getting offensive tackle Corey Hilliard back in the fold, as he will sign his RFA tender and take part in the workout program.

Last one, which fits in with the topic, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks in the seventh round for offensive linemen. No word on whether Jerry Angelo was hired as a consultant.