Chat with Kevin Seifert
Seifert joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for eight years. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and daughter.
Send your questions now and join Seifert Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (4:32 PM)
Hello everyone. It's time for our weekly NFC North-centric chat. I'll entertain all questions but we'll try to stick to the Black and Blue division as much as possible. Let's get to it.
When is childress going to unleash this kick ass offense we have been waiting for 3 years now in MN? Just doesn't seem like T.Jack is the answer
Kevin Seifert (4:33 PM)
A good question. I think Tarvaris Jackson has made some decent improvement from his rookie year, but at the same time a player in his third year shouldn't be missing wide-open receivers the way he missed them Monday night. It's obvious Adrian Peterson can't carry the offense alone. After his first half performance Monday night, the Packers slowed him down by bringing more people down in the box.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Do you think Greg Jennings will become Aaron Rodgers' favorite target or was Driver just well covered last night?
Kevin Seifert (4:34 PM)
I think it's a possibility. I think Driver was pretty well covered last night, except for the one touchdown that was called back, but in general it seems like Aaron Rodgers has really good chemistry with Jennings.
Noel Louisville, KY
I'm sooooooooooooooo sick of hearing about the packers. We were (DA BEARS) 2 of the 3 losses they had last year with Favre and we will beat Rodgers too. Brady doesn't play for the Bears either.
Kevin Seifert (4:35 PM)
Well, for one week, the Bears and Packers are tied for first place. Their next matchup just got a little more interesting.
whos more to blame, QB or Coach?
Kevin Seifert (4:36 PM)
I assume you mean Jackson or Brad Childress. ... In that case, I think they're pretty tied together. Ultimately, the coach has the responsibility for every player he puts on the field.
With Seattle hurting at receiver, do they rely on their young talent, or look for some solid FAs? If so, who do you think?
Kevin Seifert (4:37 PM)
My NFC West colleague Mike Sando touched on the possibility of the Seahawks signing ... gasp! ... Koren Robinson. Not sure if that's going to happen, but that's what it's come to for the Seahawks.
Jeff: (Ada, MN)
Is T-Jack worth the wait? It seems as if he hasn't improved at all over last season.
Kevin Seifert (4:38 PM)
Based on last night, the improvement is minimal at best. I think he's at a pretty crucial period in his development. He needs to stop looking like a developing quarterback and start looking like a developed one. That's a lot of develops, but you get the point.
Marcus (Aiea, Hawaii)
I never understood why people were so down on the Bears. More than half of the D was hurt last year and Forte/Jones could not be worse than Benson. Like Urlacher, I was not surprised on Sunday. I know you were. What leads you to believe that these Bears can't be as good, if not better than the 2006 NFC Champion Bears?
Kevin Seifert (4:40 PM)
I was surprised for two reasons: The defense hadn't looked very interested during the preseason. I don't care if they were vanilla or not. They just didn't look like they wanted to be out there. That's not usually a good sign. The second reason: I didn't think the Bears offense could muster much of anything. I now know the defense is better than I thought. Still not sure about the offense.
Brett (NY, NY)
If the packers continue to fumble the ball forward to their teamates and get ridiculous no-calls on obvious PIs, they could continue to win. Agree?
Kevin Seifert (4:41 PM)
I'll venture to guess you're a Vikings fan. ... The one play I question was Al Harris' body-slam of Bobby Wade. The officials were right there and no one called it. It was blatant.
Will (Denver, CO)
I was one of the worst T-Jack haters last year. I thought he was one of the worst QB's I've seen to ever play in the NFL. After last night, I thought you were a bit hard on him. He did guide the Vikes down the field on 3 scores in the 2nd half (including 2 TD's). Name me one time he did that last year. I'm not saying he's Tom Brady, but at least it's progress from last year. I'm thinking the Vikes still have enough to go 10-6. What do you think?
Kevin Seifert (4:43 PM)
I appreciate your points. But I don't think what I saw last night was good enough for 10-6. I think sometimes Jackson benefits from low expectations. Leading scoring drives is a basic expectation of the job, not necessarily one to be celebrated. I don't know. He could continue developing throughout the season, but as of Monday night it's not there yet, IMHO.
Dave - Savage,MN
Nice surprise by Garrett Mills..Vishante makes no plays..hopefully vikes continue to use Mills. Can Mills be a traditional TE or is size an issue.
Kevin Seifert (4:45 PM)
He is a really intriguing receiver. My understanding is his size makes him an average blocker on the line of scrimmage. But he's a much more reliable receiver than Shiancoe.
Nice debut for Rodgers, but the Packers were very conservative in their approach. Do you think that will continue or will they let Rodgers play more aggressively?
Kevin Seifert (4:47 PM)
I thought they did the right thing given the circumstances. There was some downfield throwing, and they'll build n that as the season progresses.
Alex, Lake Minnetonka
wow, biology sucks. maybe not as much as the refs last night for the vikes game. Honestly, how did they miss that 2nd PI on harris?! he was draped all over berrian! and then what about the pass to bobby wade? the guy covering him was holding his other arm! Now, I'm not saying the officials cost the vikes the game, but it was a horribly called game for both sides. Do you think the NFL will look at these questionable calls and inform the ref of things they missed?
Kevin Seifert (4:48 PM)
I thought the Al Harris body-slam non-call on Bobby Wade was bad. Now, get back to your xylem and phloem or whatever they're called.
You think Lions have a chance against GB at home? Now that Favre is gone, who haunted us, I believe we have a fair shot!
Kevin Seifert (4:49 PM)
No. Not at this time. Sorry.
McCarthy seems like a dour sour humorless fat guy, but he sure can coach. What's he really like?
Kevin Seifert (4:49 PM)
Actually, I've found him to be a pretty laid-back, humorous guy.
Jerad (Brooklyn, NY
Everyone keeps talking about how amazing Aaron Rodgers was last night. I thought he was good, but to say he was great is an overstatement. He threw one touchdown and that throw was pretty lucky if you ask me.
Kevin Seifert (4:50 PM)
I think you have to take circumstances into account, and all the pressure he was under. But in any game, to complete 18 of 22 passes is pretty sharp. And don't forget he had a 68-yard touchdown to Donald Driver called back because of a silly offensive line penalty.
i think the mn recievers were just as much to blame for t jacks bad stats as he was. they seemed to miss alot of catchable balls do you think that this is because he didn't get to play or practice with them the last few weeks or is the talent at reciever worse then epected
Kevin Seifert (4:51 PM)
The entire offense did seem a bit out of synch.
Matt (St. Paul)
What can the Vikings do about their OT situation? Without McKinnie, I thought their running game lacked alot of explosiveness and it seemed like Tavaris was underpressure alot of the time!
Kevin Seifert (4:52 PM)
They pretty much have to wait for McKinnie to come back.
nathan (sioux falls, sd)
do you think that the Vikings coaching staff should start games passing the ball to get t jackson in to a groove? the run game will always be there and how is he supposed to put up good stats in the first half if the only time they pass is 3rd and 10 or 15?
Kevin Seifert (4:53 PM)
No. I think Jackson is at his best when he can throw off the play-action, which requires the run to have been established.
Brad M, AZ
Was the Bears win a fluke, or has the mainstream sports world underestimated them?
Kevin Seifert (4:54 PM)
Based on Sunday night, they were underestimated. I think a lot of people still have questions about whether the offense can sustain itself for an entire season, but the defense played pretty legitimately Sunday night.
Matt (St. Paul)
What's the story on Kitna's blowups at the coaching staff on the sidelines? It was definitely out of character for him and it seemed to affect his teammates.
Kevin Seifert (4:55 PM)
He seems to me to be a pretty fiery guy. The one day I was at Lions camp this summer he had to be held back from going after a first-year linebacker he thought was hitting people too hard. He's a hothead.
Matt (St. Paul)
Kevin, how much trouble are the Vikings in with their two current OT's? Cook, Hicks, and Johnson looked HORRIBLY outmatched last night.
Kevin Seifert (4:56 PM)
I thought Hicks played ok, but Johnson is a total mismatch at left tackle. Childress said today he thinks Hicks will be OK for this Sunday's game against the Colts, but we'll know more as the week goes on.
How is Mills so reliable? Didn't he have a pass that would have been for a first down blow right through his hands and he barely touched it? Yes, Pro Bowl here we come.
Kevin Seifert (4:57 PM)
If I remember correctly, that was hardly an easy catch. ... For the most part, he catches it when it's thrown to him. Can't say the same about Shiancoe.
John (fargo, ND)
the bears TE squad are a force to be reckoned with.
Kevin Seifert (4:58 PM)
Yes. I can agree there. Greg Olsen could make the Pro Bowl this year if Kyle Orton can get him enough balls.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
Is Turner that good or are the Lions that bad?
Kevin Seifert (4:59 PM)
It was a bad combination: A really hard, physical runner against a defense that can't tackle well.
Packer corners play physical - get over it.
Kevin Seifert (5:00 PM)
Right. Harris and Woodson push the envelope. That's why the only play I really had a problem with was the body-slam.
Peyton M. (Indianapolis, IN)
Aaron Rodgers was able to neutralize Jared Allen with a lot of bootlegs. What am I going to do with the lack of mobility in my knee? I can't imagine I'll have much luck running the ball with my chump backup center against the Williams brothers!
Kevin Seifert (5:00 PM)
Two words: Quick release.
Brent - Milwaukee
What was your take on the Tony Moll, ineligible man downfield penalty? I was at the game and according to many viewers at home, this was an extremely ticky-tack call. Donald was not pleased.
Kevin Seifert (5:01 PM)
I didn't get a close look but usually that call isn't made unless it's blatant. And on a play like that, I have no idea why Moll would be downfield.
Justin (Dayton, OH)
I am not throwing in the towel on the Lions yet. I think they can right the ship. Their offense proved worthy...uhm they just need to learn to tackle. After week 1, are you still holding on to your predictions for the North?
Kevin Seifert (5:02 PM)
I agree those predictions don't look good right now. But I've got to hold my convictions for at least one more week.
Can the Bears O survive if the TEs are the best receivers?
Kevin Seifert (5:03 PM)
Sure! You can't double-team both tight ends, right?
Lions over/under 4 wins this season?
Kevin Seifert (5:04 PM)
Over. I'm keeping the faith for one more week.
Jeff san ramon ca
Do you think Matt Forte could be the rookie of the year?
Kevin Seifert (5:05 PM)
He is after Week 1.
Erik (Los Angeles)
According to the TV guys, the play was a run that was a Receiver - QB audible to slant and go, so all the line man thought it was a run. On a different note, will we continue to see as much Jackson or was McCarthy just being cautious with Grant?
Kevin Seifert (5:06 PM)
I would think Grant will get the vast majority of carries once he's full-speed, especially after Jackson's fumble. It's pretty clear Grant is the more skilled runner.
Zach (Mpls, MN)
Kevin, I too think you've been a bit harsh on Jackson - yeah, mistakes were made, but it's not like he got a lot of help last night. Besides Shiancoe's lack of skill, it looked like Jackson didn't get a lot of time to throw. Better playcalling and protection schemes would've done wonders. Childress was thoroughly outcoached, IMO.
Kevin Seifert (5:09 PM)
The Packers seemed to be the crisper team Monday night, that's for sure. Jackson did get rushed a lot, and it's always disconcerting when you have a new left tackle. I just think there were a couple of key throws -- the 2-point conversion and the interception -- that have to be made if you're an NFL quarterback.
Howard (New Ulm,Mn
Kevin - The reason for the illegal man down field penalty was because the original play call was a run it was changed only Driver and Rodgers new about it was suppose to be a slant but the cornerback jumped the route so they had to pump and go by that time offensive lineman was down field. At least that is how Jaworski of MNF explained it.
Kevin Seifert (5:10 PM)
That makes sense. Thanks.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
I think Eddie Royal is the leading canidate for ROY.
Kevin Seifert (5:11 PM)
Yes, I should have included the AFC in that assessment.
With Calvin Johnson in his 2nd year and not very productive against the Packers his rookie season, how do you think he performs against them at home?
Kevin Seifert (5:12 PM)
Calvin Johnson is the least of the Lions' concerns.
have you heard any new info on maduoi williams coming back
Kevin Seifert (5:13 PM)
The Vikings are still hoping for the fourth game of the season. Last I heard, Williams was walking around in a neck brace.
Is it that the personnel for the Lions aren't suited for the Tampa 2, past their primes, or have draft picks just not panned out? 3 years should have been enough time for a defensive coach (Marinelli) to get it together, right?
Kevin Seifert (5:15 PM)
Their personnel is familiar with the Tampa 2, but it all comes down to talent. And when you look at the Lions' defense, only one player scares you: Ernie Sims. That's a bad percentage.
Alex, Lake Minnetonka
So you're saying that since packers DBs play physical, the officials should call the game differently than they would? theres no way that would fly, they should mean they get more PI calls, not less.
Kevin Seifert (5:16 PM)
No. It's just a fact of life that they play more aggressively than most. Their game is to be physical and push things right up to the point of a penalty without getting called. It's a good balance if you can get there.
Do you think the Lions should go back to flinging the ball like last season with the Wide Reciever core they have or keep trying to establish the run, which Rudi Johnson looked not to good in?
Kevin Seifert (5:17 PM)
I think they should be balanced. Don't ignore the two big weapons, but understand they can be better if they're helped by a running game.
Tim Shelby Twp. Mi.
Do you think Matt Ryan will continue to progress or was just he was playing the lions?
Kevin Seifert (5:17 PM)
He looked pretty good to me.
Nadir (Smithfield, VA)
I know its just one game but is Matt Forte the front runner for ROY
Kevin Seifert (5:18 PM)
Some people are voting for the Royal kid in Denver.
Devin Hester Chicago,Il
It seems you wondered where the Bears points and how the o line would stack up I hope we answered your questions. P.S I think the bears have regained its 06 form
Kevin Seifert (5:19 PM)
Well said. You can stand down now.
Hey Kevin it's true Tav. Jackson has alot of work to do, but for those who are knocking him why not try this: Who at this moment would you rather have at QB T.Jackson or Jason Campbell?
Kevin Seifert (5:19 PM)
Apples and oranges. Jason Campbell has had to change offenses so many times. Tarvaris Jackson has been in the same system for three years.
Over/under on Orton throwing for more than 3,200 yards and 18 TDs?
Kevin Seifert (5:20 PM)
Rich Muskeg WI
Who do you think has the best QB?
Kevin Seifert (5:21 PM)
In the division? I'd probably take Kitna at the start of the season, but the fact of the matter is that Rodgers had the best game of week 1.
Forte or Chris Johnson the rest of the year fantasywise?
Kevin Seifert (5:22 PM)
Wow. ... Did someone say Chris Johnson got hurt? I was so caught up in MNF I didn't review everything from Sunday. ... But all things equal, I love him.
Joe, Lexington KY
I know it's early, but the overall accuracy of Rodgers was more consistent than we have seen from Favre in recent memory. Packer fans should be very excited.
Kevin Seifert (5:23 PM)
Ah. You fell into the trap. I think Favre threw downfield more often than Rodgers did last night. Regardless, it was an impressive opener.
A. Hill Iowa
How long will Ziggy wait in Minnesota to pull the plug on the Tjack and Childress experiment. It's obvious to all that its not going to be Super in any way.
Kevin Seifert (5:24 PM)
It's a little early to start talking about that. But we just don't know what Wilf's temperament is about firing head coaches. It'll become an issue if they don't make the playoffs, but Childress won't get fired for missing the Super Bowl.
Kevin, what do you think about the Pats without number 12?
Kevin Seifert (5:26 PM)
If Belichick is the coach everyone says he is, they'll be fine. OK, one or two more here...
Kevin Seifert (5:26 PM)
What do they say about lies and statistics?
Colin St. Paul, MN
What are the vikes going to do about their return game? It seems nonexistant
Kevin Seifert (5:27 PM)
Good question. I think they're hoping Maurice Hicks gets back. And fast. OK everyone, thanks for coming. Let's chat next week.