Free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft are in the rear view mirror, which means that were that much closer to some real Minnesota Vikings football. With OTAs just around the corner, many of the intriguing storylines that we’ve seen unfold this offseason in the Twin Cities will continue to take shape.

Meanwhile, there’s also plenty going on around the rest of the NFC North. That’s where “Eye on the Opposition” comes in. Every Friday, I will be breaking down the past week’s news from around the conference as well as giving some insight into what it means for the Vikings. It’s always good to be aware of what the enemy is up to.

So here we go. My first shot at breaking down what the opposition is up to in the NFC North. Enjoy.

 

Chicago Bears

OTAs have begun in the Windy City, yet there is one Bear who’s still in hibernation. According to reports, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi is working out in Arizona while every other one of his teammates is back in Chicago working on getting better. For a guy who already dons the “bust” label, it doesn’t seem like a logical move. GM Phil Emery, though, has said that the Bears would welcome Carimi back with “open arms.” At this point, Carimi is battling for a roster spot; absences from voluntary workouts won’t will coaches over. Without him on the roster, though, the Bears blocking might be better off.

In other news, Bears QB coach Matt Cavanaugh was quoted saying that Jay Cutler is “borderline football brilliant.” Coming from a guy who has worked with guys like Randall Cunningham and Phil Simms, that’s pretty high praise. I know that Cutler has been a train wreck at times in the past, but this new coaching staff and a revamped offensive line could help get him over the hump in 2013. The Vikings secondary better be ready come September 15.

Detroit Lions

Word around Detroit is that the Lions plan on getting offseason acquisition Reggie Bush plenty of touches this season, especially through the air. That’s not going to make life any easier for the Vikings, who have struggled at times corralling running backs out of the backfield. It’ll be interesting to see what the defense looks like in Week 1, when the Vikings will be tasked with slowing down a dangerous Detroit passing attack that now features one of the NFL’s best pass-catching backs.

Have you seen the recent news regarding former Lions receiver Titus Young? The troubled pass-catcher was arrested three times in one week, and has now been accused of domestic violence by the mother of his 9-month-old son. According to Young’s father, though, his son has a brain disorder that is allowing these questionable decisions to continue uncontrollably. Even though he played for the Lions, it’s sad to see such a promising young talent suffer such a colossal meltdown.

Green Bay Packers

Seriously? According to ProFootballTalk, there’s a reality show in the works that will focus on the lives of Packers fans. So because they wear cheese on their heads, live “loud, proud and with lots of beer,” and have man-crushes on Aaron Rodgers, they deserve their own television show? The glimpse into the lives of Green Bay fans that we so desperately wanted. Makes sense…

The Packers are considering pulling Randall Cobb from returning duties in 2013, which could work out well for the Vikings as well as the rest of the NFC North. While the Vikings stole Greg Jennings away from Green Bay, it opened up the starting slot receiver gig, a role that Cobb appears ready to wreak havoc in. Just another reason why Minnesota needs to make sure that their secondary is good to go when the regular season rolls around.

There’s a good chance that Mason Crosby could lose his roster spot this offseason, as the Packers have added competition at kicker in the form of Giorgio Tavecchio. That’s unfortunate; I was starting to enjoy his inconsistency.

So long for now.