Introducing the 2009 All-NFC North Team

Lorenzo ReynaCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 4:   Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Wild Card playoff game on January 4,2009 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After looking at the North, this division has perhaps the league's best running back, the league's best defensive tackle tandem, and one of the best free-agent pick-ups.

In the end, this was still not an easy team to compile, especially at quarterback.

Here is the preseason All-NFC North team.

Oh, before we get started, Jay Cutler is actually not the top QB. I'll explain later, especially to Cutler and Bear fans.


QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay- Yes, even on a 6-10 team, and his performances late in games, Rodgers still had a higher passer rating than Cutler, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio was 28-13. Plus, he knows he has a pro bowl receiver to throw to in Donald Driver.

RUNNING BACK: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota- It won't be long until we see him rush for 2,000 yards.

FULLBACK: Jason McKie, Chicago- Not only is he a solid lead blocker, he can run and catch as well. He is one of the league's most versatile fullbacks.

WIDE RECEIVER: Calvin Johnson, Detroit- On a team that did everything wrong, he did almost everything right with 1,331 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

WIDE RECEIVER: Greg Jennings, Green Bay- He is an emerging star with 80 receptions and 16.2 yards per catch last season.

TIGHT END: Greg Olsen, Chicago- He's a 255-pound guy who has very good speed and hands. He'll be one of Cutler's new favorite targets.

LEFT TACKLE: Orlando Pace, Chicago- The Bears hope he can provide a good two to three years of play before he calls it a career.

LEFT GUARD: Steve Hutchinson, Minnesota- He is the best at what he does, even after nine years in the league.

CENTER: Olin Kreutz, Chicago- He may not be a pro bowl caliber player anymore, but he still remains a strong presence in the huddle and in the locker room.

RIGHT GUARD: Stephen Peterman, Detroit- He may not be dominant, but he's competitive and fiery.

RIGHT TACKLE: Breno Giacomini, Green Bay- If this massive, 6'7", 311-pound tackle can block out Aaron Kampman well in practice, he can block almost any good rusher.


DEFENSIVE END: Alex Brown, Chicago- He has been a high-motor guy for the Bears throughout his career, and he led the team in sacks last season.

DEFENSIVE END: Jared Allen, Minnesota- He was the boost the Vikings' defensive line needed with 14.5 sacks.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Kevin Williams, Minnesota- His 8.5 sacks was his best total since the 2004-2005 season. He even has two career touchdowns, off of interceptions.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Pat Williams, Minnesota- The massive 317-pound defender is an immovable force and a key reason why the Vikings are always good against the run.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Lance Briggs, Chicago- He's emerged as the Bears' best all-around linebacker, even with Brian Urlacher alongside him.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Julian Peterson, Detroit- Jim Schwartz gets his Keith Bulluck type player on the outside. The versatile five-time pro bowler should be used in a variety of ways.

INSIDE LINEBACKER: Brian Urlacher, Chicago- He's getting older, plus he has missed the last two pro bowls. But he can still make impact plays.

CORNERBACK: Antoine Winfield, Minnesota- He still remains a physical corner and one of the league's fiercest hitters in the secondary.

CORNERBACK: Charles Woodson, Green Bay- He's still not showing his age. He tied for the conference lead in picks at age 32.

FREE SAFETY: Nick Collins, Green Bay- Like Woodson, he tied for the NFC lead with seven interceptions.

STRONG SAFETY: Daniel Bullocks, Detroit- He can hit you hard. Schwartz should love his aggressiveness.


PUNTER: Brad Maynard, Chicago- 40 of his punts were placed inside the 20-yard-line.

KICKER: Jason Hanson, Detroit- He's still reliable and still loyal to the Lions after 18 seasons.

RETURN MAN: Devin Hester, Chicago- Last season was a disappointment because he focused more on being a receiver. But when you put him back on returns, he can still make special team units cringe.

SPECIALIST: Korey Hall, Green Bay- If he's not considered a good fullback, he's better at handling special team duties.


Jay Cutler, quarterback, Chicago- Yes, he has pro bowls and a rocket-arm. But he doesn't have a go-to-receiver right now. He must prove himself after his Rocky Mountain fallout and elevate this slow-moving Bears offense.

Matt Forte, running back, Chicago- Maybe he can be Cutler's best offensive option. He's a do-everything back for the Bears.

Donald Driver, wide receiver, Green Bay- He's averaged over 74 catches in the last five seasons. The former pro bowler still has great speed at 34.

Bernard Berrian, wide receiver, Minnesota- Berrian is the deep threat the Vikings needed. Averaged 20.1 yards per catch.

Visanthe Shiancoe, tight end, Minnesota- Improved significantly in his second season with the Vikings. He scored seven touchdowns last season.

Ryan Grant, running back, Green Bay- He rushed for 1,203 yards last season even after contract squabble.

Bryant McKinnie, left tackle, Minnesota- If only he can excel in the zone-blocking scheme his team uses, he'd be a complete left tackle.

Jeff Backus, left tackle, Detroit- Since 2001, he's started every game for the Lions on the left side.

Ray Edwards, defensive end, Minnesota- If he contributes in a big way, the Vikings front four will become the league's best unit.

Tommie Harris, defensive tackle, Chicago- When healthy, he's an elite three-technique tackle, and he makes the unit better.

Ryan Pickett, nose tackle, Green Bay- At 6'2", 330 pounds, he'll have no problem lining up in the middle in the new 3-4 Packer defense.

Aaron Kampman, outside linebacker, Green Bay- Even if he hasn't played linebacker since high school, count on one thing: he'll still rush the passer.

Chad Greenway, outside linebacker, Minnesota- Greenway went from having a season-ending injury his rookie year in 2006 to leading the Vikings in tackles last season. He performs at a near-pro bowl level.



Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Minnesota- He's an explosive playmaker who can be used in a variety of ways.


B.J Raji, defensive tackle, Green Bay- He mauled offensive linemen everywhere for Boston College. At 6'2", 337 pounds, he'll share nose tackle duties with Pickett and even line up at end.


Head Coach: Brad Childress, Minnesota- His teams win by two more games each year (six, eight, ten). Another two-game improvement should easily mean the NFC North title again.

Offensive Assistant: Joe Philbin, Green Bay- The Packers' offense ranked eighth overall and scored 419 points last season, without Brett Favre.

Defensive Assistant: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota- In time, he'll be an NFL head coach because of the work he's done with the new Purple People Eaters.

Special Teams Coach: Dave Toub, Chicago- He not only has Hester, but he has the accurate Robbie Gould and Brad Maynard.