HomeTrade RumorsNFC Update: Aidan Hutchinson's Draft Prospects, Matt LaFleur's Leadership, Jordan Love's Development,...

NFC Update: Aidan Hutchinson’s Draft Prospects, Matt LaFleur’s Leadership, Jordan Love’s Development, Lions and Packers Team News

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Lions

It was a special moment for the Lions last week when they won their first playoff game in three decades, beating the Rams in the wildcard win. Now Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson says the team has its sights set much higher after beating the Buccaneers to book a spot in the NFC championship. 

“Last week, it felt a little foreign,” Hutchinson said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “That atmosphere that vibe, it was different. I feel like getting one under our belt, getting a playoff game under our belt, getting the win, we can move on from the 30 years, from all the history of what we haven’t been able to do in the past and it was good to get over that hump. We’re just getting over mountains right now. That’s what we’re doing. It’s just one mountain after another. They said we couldn’t win two playoff games in a row. Now we’re going to keep climbing that mountain.”

  • Ian Rapoport reports that Lions C Frank Ragnow suffered both a sprained knee and a sprained ankle against the Buccaneers but is still expected to play in the NFC Championship Game.

Packers

Packers HC Matt LaFleur said the team will have a detailed plan in place this off-season to strengthen and rehabilitate WR Christian Watson‘s nagging hamstring injury.

Yeah, we have a plan, we have a plan in place,” LaFleur said, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I know [head athletic trainer Bryan Engel] Flea’s been diligent working on that on terms of going to different places to do all the scans and do whatever we need to do. And I think, certainly Christian’s going to be a big part of that process. But yeah, that’s something that we need to figure out because he is, he’s an impact player. We see his value when he’s going at full strength. His ability to make plays for us, explosive plays, and we’re better when he’s on the grass.

Watson has attempted countless treatment processes and will continue to do so until his hamstring is in better shape.

The cost doesn’t really matter to me as much as figuring it out and getting it taken care of, so I’m going to continue to do so and spend what I need to spend to get it taken care of,” Watson said. “Hopefully once I get it taken care of, I’ll be able to maintain it a little bit better.

Watson added that the first step of the plan is determining what exactly is causing his hamstring to fail and then attacking it.

I gotta find out what the root of it is,” Watson said. “That’s the start and then I’ll be able to formulate a plan around that. But if I can find out what kind of things can possibly be leading to it, make sure I’m doing the right things in the offseason, doing the right things during OTAs, into training camp, just find ways to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be conscious of it. That’s my No. 1 plan.

LaFleur was also noncommittal about the return of DC Joe Barry in 2024.

I know there’s going to be a lot of long-term, big-picture questions,” LaFleur said. “I’m not there yet, fellas. We’re just starting the process.

  • Matt Schneidman reports that the contract of Barry is not expiring and the team would need to fire him if they wanted to move on.

Packers

Packers QB Jordan Love said there will be a strong emphasis this offseason on finishing out close games late in the contest.

I think when we get back to OTAs,” Love said, via Packers Wire. “Just obviously some of these late 2-minute drills to go win the game is areas that we didn’t capitalize on throughout the season. So that will be an area to look at. But I think there’s so many areas I’ll have to look at and break down the film but I definitely think just those critical situations when you’ve got to go win it, finding answers and better ways to go take advantage and find a way to win.”

Packers HC Matt LaFleur said he plans to sit down with Love and go over not pressing late in games and said he believes they still had time to exploit a few key matchups.

I thought we had plenty of time,” LaFleur explained. “We had two timeouts. We felt like there was some things that we could exploit and unfortunately didn’t get it done. So I think that’s an area that we certainly got to improve on a little bit, is those end-of-game situations. Jordan and I have talked about that,” LaFleur added. “Just what we’re calling, what we’re asking guys to do. You’re always going to look at yourself first and be critical on yourself and making sure that you’ve got the right plays dialed up for the guys and making sure just that communication so everybody’s on the same page. Never want to surprise guys with a call or anything like that. I think that’s an area of our game where we can certainly see some improvements moving forward.

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