NFC North Tour: Quarterbacks

In an accompanying piece to our look at the Packers' quarterbacks, here's the scoop with the NFC North rivals.

Chicago Bears

Starter: Jay Cutler. Backups: Todd Collins, Caleb Hanie,

Cutler has elite arm strength, excellent athleticism for avoiding the rush and scrambling for significant yardage at times and the size and strength to take on back-seven defenders when necessary. He and offensive coordinator Mike Martz worked extremely well together and Cutler was able to grasp Martz's scheme quickly. Collins is clearly long past whatever prime he had. Hanie may have impressed Martz enough against Green Bay to earn the No. 2 job.

Detroit Lions

Starter: Matthew Stafford. Backups: Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton and Zac Robinson.

The only way the Lions are going to be playoff contenders next season is if Stafford can stay healthy. He has shown flashes of being an elite-level quarterback, but he has sat out more games (19) than he's played (13) in two seasons. In Hill, the Lions have a more than capable No.2, but they will most likely lose Stanton. He is unrestricted and will be seeking a chance to compete for a No. 1 or No. 2 spot. The jury is still out on Robinson, but the Lions would prefer more of a developmental player at No. 3 and Robinson, at 24, fits the bill.

Minnesota Vikings

Starter: Joe Webb. Backups: Patrick Ramsey, Rhett Bomar, Tarvaris Jackson.

Webb started the last two games of the season after Brett Favre suffered a concussion but there is little certainty about what will happen at this position and the Vikings likely will have to look outside for their next starter. Webb was drafted in the sixth round last April with the intention that he would be moved to wide receiver. That didn't happen after former coach Brad Childress saw Webb throw at a rookie camp. Webb, however, remains a very raw quarterback and has plenty of learning to do. It's not beyond reason that he could still be shifted to wide receiver. Ramsey and Bomar were brought in late in the season. Ramsey was signed to serve as a backup for the rest of 2010; Bomar, however, received a multi-year contract and will get a shot to stick after being signed off the New York Giants practice squad. Jackson, a second-round pick in 2006, could be an unrestricted free agent depending on what happens with the collective bargaining agreement. Both Jackson and the team likely feel it will be best for him to move on after five seasons.

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