It's Friday! That means we are one more week closer to actual football being played by actual players refereed by not-actual replacement refs.
We'll all hope it doesn't come to that, but it comes to this: We've got a ton of news.
Are you a Bears fan worried about rookie Shea McClellin? Well, I’ve said it could take time, given he’s playing with his hand in the dirt for the first time in a long time, and yesterday we saw some flashes of what makes him special. ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers says that while he struggled early on in the day, he made some great plays later, including a leaping interception of a Jason Campbell pass.
It’s going to take time, as he is a bit overwhelmed and from what I can tell, over-thinking things. Not uncommon for a rookie, even a first-round pick.
With the additions they’ve made on the offense and a solid defense, the Bears are a real contender for the NFC North crown. So B/R columnist Will Grant took a look at the advantages they have over each of their divisional foes.
Anwar Richardson has a training camp review over at MLive.com, covering a dominant Ndamukong Suh, forgotten running back Keiland Williams getting second-team reps and a rock solid Willie Young.
Given the Cliff Avril situation, Lions fans have to be happy—more than that really—with Young’s play. Avril and his agent perhaps less so.
All the talent on the offense means that to some extent, Brandon Pettigrew is a bit of a forgotten man. The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky says he’s poised for a huge year in 2012.
****Bonus Fantasy Football Note: I love Pettigrew this year after the elite guys have gone, but before guys like Owen Daniels are off the board. Could have a big season, though not as big as he’d have with a slightly less packed offense.****
Green Bay Packers
A few times over the last week or so, I have been asked by Packers fans why we haven’t heard much about rookies Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy—if there is anything to worry about in that.
My response has been to preach patience for two players making changes—in Perry’s case major ones—in their position. In my opinion, a quiet few weeks is actually a good thing because you’ll mostly hear about them when they are struggling.
Kevin Seifert said much the same thing (and apparently is getting the same questions) in his piece yesterday about the two. He details in particular Perry’s adjustments and preaches patience.
Wise man that Seifert!
Tyler Dunne has a great piece at the Journal Sentinel about how safeties coach Darren Perry is helping Charles Woodson and how he’s not. The more I read, the more I have felt that, as the staff says in the article, it’s not moving him to safety as much as getting him to the ball.
Woodson isn’t a full-time safety (yet), only playing in the base package which is used about 25 percent of the time but staying at corner in the nickel package and others.
That can change, but even if it doesn’t, this is about getting the best defensive back in the best position to make a play on the ball.
Arif Hasan has a great writeup of the last two days of training camp which he attended in person. Head over to the Daily Norseman and take a gander at the article which includes some discussion of Tom Pelissero and Judd Zulgad as well.
Finally, Dan Weiderer talks about two of the highlights of camp over at the Star Tribune—a fantastic catch by rookie receiver Greg Childs, while cornerback Chris Cook had two fantastic interceptions on the day.
Follow the linked writers on Twitter!
@espn_nfcnblog @Fbgwill @AnwarRichardson @cmccosky @tydunne @ArifHasanDN @StribDW