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NFL Scouting Combine

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NFC NORTH: What the head coaches are saying

We covered what the NFC North general managers had to say earlier this week, so now let's hear from the head coaches for the Lions, Packers, Vikings and Bears.

Here are three takeaways from each of the media sessions:

Green Bay: Matt LaFleur

1. The Packers had one of the worst special teams units in football in 2022, ranking 32nd in Rick Gosselin's annual special teams rankings. It played a big factor in their playoff loss to San Francisco. The Packers hired Rich Bisaccia to be their special teams coach this offseason.

"He has such a proven track record," LaFleur said. "In my opinion, he should be a head coach in this league. Just the job he did with the Raiders last year was unbelievable and getting a chance to be around him and get to know him, it's not a secret as to why guys love being around him, love playing for him. I think we're all going to benefit learning from him."

2. LaFleur said the Packers will continue to utilize a two-back system with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. The Packers love what both players bring to the offense in the passing game. LaFleur said Dillon is just scratching the surface of what he can become. Dillon carried the ball 187 times last year to Jones' 171. Don't be surprised if that gap widens in 2022.

3. LaFleur and the Packers are going to be respectful of the process MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going through to decide if he wants to play an 18th season, and whether he wants to do that in Green Bay or not.

"You always want to be respectful," LaFleur said. "I know it's a lot to take on, he's got a lot to think about, and certainly I'm making sure that I'm consistently communicating with him but also want to be respectful of his time and the process that he has to go through."

Minnesota: Kevin O'Connell

1. O'Connell, who came to the Vikings after being the offensive coordinator for the LA Rams the last two seasons, said he wants to evolve the Vikings' offense to have the "illusion of complexity." It essentially means he wants the offense to look confusing with shifts, motions and different alignments in an attempt to misdirect the defense while focusing on their basic principles.

2. O'Connell said his biggest focus on offense right away will be getting better situationally, not just in two-minute situations at the end of the half and fourth quarter. He specifically talked about third down and in the red zone.

3. O'Connell does have some bragging rights here at the Combine over the other head coaches who played in the league and took part in the Combine. O'Connell was a quarterback and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds. That tops Arizona's Kliff Kingsbury (4.76), Tennessee's Mike Vrabel (4.94) and Detroit's Dan Campbell (4.86).

Chicago: Matt Eberflus

1. Roquan Smith is one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL, and Eberflus said he hasn't decided yet if Smith will play the MIKE or the WILL in the defense he's bringing over from Indianapolis.

2. The Bears will be on the lookout for defensive line help this offseason, and Eberflus said the No. 1 thing a three-technique defensive tackle needs to play in his defense is the ability to be explosive. They need to be able to win one-on-one matchups and when they run zone away be able to stay in the B-gap.

3. Depending on what happens with free agent wide receiver Allen Robinson, Chicago could be looking to add a receiver or two this offseason. Don't look for them to bring in a possession type of player. Eberflus said he wants receivers who can produce chunk plays. Expect this new Bears offense to try and stress opposing defenses vertically.

Detroit: Dan Campbell

1. The Lions will have more of a 4-3 look to their defense this season as Campbell thinks four-down linemen fits his personnel a little better. They will still have 3-4 elements of what he originally did last year, so it isn't a 100 percent wholesale change, but they want to be a little heavier in a 4-3.

2. New offensive coordinator Ben Johnson talked this week about needing to get a No. 1 outside receiver. Campbell echoed that sentiment.

"Anytime you can add a piece or a weapon on the perimeter, particularly, that's going to help (quarterback Jared Goff) and it will help us," Campbell said. "So that's one of the things that we'd like to do, whether it's free agency or it's the draft. And we'll keep our eyes open. But there again, it's got to be the right guy and the right fit for us."

3. Campbell and the Lions are on the lookout for options at quarterback behind Goff. Campbell is looking for a player who can move the offense and get them into the right play with run checks and audibles.

"We just need to make sure that this guy can move it," he said. "Can move the ball. Can move his offense. I think that's what you're looking for, no more no less."

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