Green Bay Packers
Under Center: Barring a last-minute change of heart, Aaron Rodgers is the Packers' starting quarterback. He had an impressive first day of training camp Monday, exhibiting the arm strength, athleticism and knowledge of the offense that have the coaches excited.
Under Center: Despite all the controversy and speculation that Brett Favre could end up a Viking, those with better knowledge of the overall dynamics of the situation, including Favre himself, put the chance somewhere between slim and anorexic. That leaves the Vikings still counting on Tarvaris Jackson to take that next step they claim is common in third-year quarterbacks. With solid playmakers finally around him, Jackson will just have to manage the game, but that would include getting better at recognizing defenses. If Jackson should falter early, it’s possible the Vikings could call 15-year veteran Gus Frerotte into starting duty since the expectations are big in Minnesota and the coaching staff might not have much tolerance for regression in Jackson’s game.
Under Center: Jon Kitna is entrenched as the starting quarterback, and expect Detroit to take advantage of the 35-year-old's still-apt scrambling skills. With a new zone blocking offense – and in effort to keep him alive – the Lions will be rolling Kitna out frequently, including several variations of the bootleg. Kitna has looked sharp in practice running the plays, including one stanza in which he laser-guided a throw on the run to receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson soared over a Lions' defensive back to snag the pass.
Under Center: The neverending search for a quarterack in the Windy City continues, as Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton battle for the starting spot in Bourbonnais. Neither of them has been particularly impressive, although Grossman has made fewer mistakes so far and authored more big plays in the passing game – he's always been a great player in practice. Orton seems to be putting a lot of pressure on himself because the job is there for the taking, but he's thrown a fair share of interceptions and keeps misfiring on deep balls.
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Around the NFC North: July 29
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