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NFC North Whispers

Packers OG Colledge raising his level of play

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By PFW staff

Here are some whispers that we've heard recently regarding the NFC North:

• Although he is widely considered the weak link on the Packers' offensive line, the consensus in Green Bay is that OLG Daryn Colledge is playing much better than he did last season, especially in pass protection. But we hear it remains to be seen whether he has improved enough to help his chances of being re-signed after his contract expires at the end of the season.

• Although Tony Dungy has said repeatedly he is happy with his NBC gig, we hear he could be someone the Vikings might be interested in talking to. Owner Zygi Wilf might want to restructure his front office and could go for a magistrate type to oversee the team's operations. And beyond Dungy's obvious ties to the area with his alma mater and having formerly worked for the Vikings, he also has close connections to Leslie Frazier, whom he coached with in Indianapolis.

• The Lions could be looking for two new starters at linebacker. They love DeAndre Levy in the middle and think he'll be a star, but it's clear that the OLB spots need an injection of talent and youth. Expect it to be a prime area of focus in the offseason.

• The Bears have been encouraged by second-year DE Henry Melton's play this season, and he's been getting more praise from team observers of late after making a sack in each of the past two games. Melton is emerging as a substitute who can contribute quality snaps while keeping starting DEs Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije fresh.

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