Preseason Week 3 is here: the penultimate preseason game which has so much and yet so little importance.
A dress rehearsal for the season is what they call it, and to some extent that is true, though quite often teams continue to play very vanilla football.
Still, plenty of players will be fighting for their jobs, and for them, this is the most important game ever.
Lots to talk about today, so let's get started.
One of the questions about the Vikings has certainly been the secondary, and Judd Zulgad writes at 1500espn.com that the team has worked hard to turn that around.
The anecdote that another coach in the league called head coach Leslie Frazier and essentially said "wow is your secondary a mess" is crazy, but tells you just how tight coaches in the league can be. Adding Harrison Smith is a move I have grown to love, but he's just a part of it.
Health factors in, and guys like Antoine Winfield have to stay on the field. Chris Cook needs to stay focused and out of trouble, while Chris Carr and rookie Josh Robinson provide depth.
It's been a lot of work, but there is more to be done.
Field position off a punt or kickoff is a vital part of the game, perhaps not as much as finding a franchise quarterback or stud running back, but important and good territory makes those guy's jobs easier.
The Vikings have been trying to figure out who their returners will be and, at least for punts, they have their guy, according to Bruce Brothers at the Pioneer Press.
David Haugh talks about Urlacher's knee (sounds like a band) in the Chicago Tribune and how all the unwillingness of Urlacher and the Bears to discuss his injury is doing is fanning the flames of interest.
Teams never want to talk injuries. If this was the Patriots, we would be having the same conversation.
I doubt the Pats would have allowed Urlacher to fiddle around until right before the season though.
Over at ESPNChicago.com, Tom Waddle breaks down what to expect in the Bears-Giants game this weekend.
It's going to be an interesting test—my thoughts will be up later today.
Your Dwight "Little Bill" Bentley update is brought to you today by Anwar Richardson of Mlive.com.
Not surprisingly, Bentley is bent on starting at cornerback for the Lions this season. You can't argue he hasn't put the work in and frankly, nobody else has leaped out at me for the job. Bentley isn't a prototypically-sized corner, but he's smart, savvy and will hit hard.
If he has a good game this week, I say give the man his shot.
Another guy getting his shot is former seventh round pick Willie Young and as Drew Sharp writes in the Free Press, his success could be a problem for Cliff Avril, if a boon to the Lions' defense.
With Avril out, Young took advantage and showed off a lot of talent. Avril is in house now and hoping his play in 2012 will warrant a significant payday. However, if the Lions see that Young is just as effective and cheaper, that payday may not come as a Lion.
Not surprisingly, Cedric Benson is very excited to play against his former team the Cincinnati Bengals tonight, says ESPNMilwaukee.com's Jason Wilde.
Benson isn't a fantastic back by any means, but he can pass protect and stay healthy, something the Packers haven't seen in a while.
There's some more Bengals/Packers analysis over at AllGreenBayPackers.com as Kris Burke breaks down some key points for the game.
My thoughts are here, if you haven't seen them before.
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