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 3 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (3:02 PM)
Hi everyone. Sorry I'm a bit minutes late. Let's get to it.
Hey Kev, What's the ABSOLUTE LATEST coming out of the Lions Den?
Kevin Seifert (3:03 PM)
The latest we've heard is that Jedd Fisch, who was the Denver receivers coach, is a candidate for the Lions offensive coordinator job. Jeremy Bates, who was the top choice, is going to coach in college at USC.
Ryan (Toledo, OH)
Could you lend some insight into the possible selection on Jedd Fisch for the Lions' OC? I know they need to start from scratch, but it seems like a more established hand would be more suited for this offense.
Kevin Seifert (3:05 PM)
I don't know if he's a top candidate or one of many, but I think the Lions do have to look into all of the possibilities. They're competing with a lot of other teams for an OC.
Ryan (Madison, WI)
So Mike McCarthy announced yesterday that the Packers will be switching to a 3-4 defense next year under Dom Capers. How do you see the current defensive personnel fitting in that scheme? I think a couple players could really benefit, Poppinga and Bishop in particular seem to be much better when allowed to attack the line of scrimmage rather than drop into coverage and Jenkins seems a perfect match as a 3-4 end... does it mostly hinge on whether Kampman can be a 3-4 outside linebacker?
Kevin Seifert (3:06 PM)
All good points, many of which I'll address in a post that will publish this afternoon. I agree that Jenkins is good 3-4 end. Kampman is a case where the Packers are going to have to find what works for him. If they try to pigeon-hole him as a linebacker, it's doomed to fail. They need to find the right alignments, including an occasional 4-3, that best maximize his skills.
TRD, Bloomington, MN
Pack switches to a 3-4, and hires the "Dom" -- is Peppers realistically in their future given the conservative offseason nature of TT?
Kevin Seifert (3:07 PM)
Yes, that is a major issue. Capers will work hard to match his scheme to the players he has, but at some point Thompson is going to have to get him some new players. If you rely only on the draft, it's going to take a while. For this to work, Thompson has to be willing to use the free agent market.
Matt (South Dakota)
now that McNabb is going to be back in Philly, what quarterback do you see the vikings going after in the offseason?
Kevin Seifert (3:09 PM)
At least, that's what they say right now. (Although I do think it's unlikely that McNabb leaves.) I'm not sure if the Vikings will go after any established quarterback. But they would be wise to give a hard look at Jeff Garcia.
Tony, Altanta GA
Let's pretend that everyone thinks that Brad Childress has gotten better each year. Would it be better for the Vikings to take a potential RT to protect WHOEVER is the 2009 QB, or should they take an offensive weapon (like Harvin or Maclin) to make teams only play 7 in the box?
Kevin Seifert (3:10 PM)
You never know who is going to be available at your spot in the draft. But if you're asking me what the Vikings need most, I'd go with a right tackle.
Hypothetical question for you - Last Thursday/Friday the temperature in Chicago was -17 with a wind chill of -29. Taking your gloves off for 3 seconds in order to take out a bus pass was painful. If the Bears were playing a playoff game on a day like that, would the offensive lineman would stupid enough to play without sleeves? Would the NFL consider postponing the game? It was a dangerous atmosphere.
Kevin Seifert (3:12 PM)
Wasn't much different in Minneapolis, either, but of course there is a dome here. I think you bring up a good point. The NFL has postponed games because of lightening because of the danger to the teams and fans. How is -17 not dangerous to teams and fans as well? I think it's very possible a playoff game in those conditions could get moved.
Jonathan, Chicago, IL
Mike McCarthy appears to think the Packers can run the 3-4 with a minimum of personnel adjustments. Reports are surfacing that some opponents and others feel that position is fantasy-land. What's your take? I can't imagine Capers would take on an assignment he felt was doomed.
Kevin Seifert (3:13 PM)
It's going to require Capers to blend his scheme with the personnel they have. I agree. Switching cold-turkey would be a mistake. But I don't think they're going to do that.
Kevin, Are the Packers the only defense in the NFC North that run a 3-4?
Kevin Seifert (3:14 PM)
Yep. Jim Schwartz, the Lions' new coach, said last week that it was very likely he would stay with a 4-3.
Hi Kevin, just wondering with the switch to the 3-4, do you see the Packers making a strong push for Julius Peppers or Albert Haynesworth? and how would that affect their draft?
Kevin Seifert (3:15 PM)
Probably not on either count. Haynesworth is best as the the "under tackle" in a 4-3. You'd rather have him penetrating than just playing a traditional two-gap nose tackle. And I think the same is for Peppers. To me, he's ideal as a 4-3 speed rusher.
Kevin also, what did you think of the Chief Justice screwing up the oath? Hilarious!
Kevin Seifert (3:16 PM)
Seemed like he wanted to get it over quickly, didn't he?
Jeff (Rochester NY)
Please no questions about the Vikings QB situation!!
Kevin Seifert (3:17 PM)
Matt : Segog
Is Chester Taylor a Viking next year?
Kevin Seifert (3:18 PM)
If I had to guess, I'd say yes. Whether Chester would be happy with that, I don't know. But the Vikings run their whole offense around Peterson and Taylor.
Any news on the possible candidates for the Lions coordinators on either side of the ball? And will it even matter?
Kevin Seifert (3:18 PM)
Yes, I think it matters. It's a bit early to write them off. Adding to what I said earlier about Fisch, I should also point out that Gunther Cunningham remains the favorite to get the defensive coordinator job.
Brent (Plymouth, MN)
Frazier isn't a head coach, yet; is there something bad about him? If you're not good enough for the Lions, it's gotta hurt.
Kevin Seifert (3:19 PM)
Nothing bad that I know of. He's not the type of personality to consume you in an interview. Very Tony Dungy-like. As far as the Lions, I'm hearing he wasn't a big fan of them, either.
Will the Steelers be able to run on the Cardinals?
Kevin Seifert (3:20 PM)
I think so, yes. I don't know if the Cardinals realize how physical the Steelers play -- on both sides of the ball.
Tom (IA City)
Aaron Kampman is a great LDE, but is he agile and athletic enough to play LOLB in the Packers' new 34?
Kevin Seifert (3:21 PM)
I think that would be a tough transition at this time in his career. They're going to have to find a way to make use of his best skill -- rushing the passer -- without putting him in unfamiliar situations.
J (St. Paul)
I am happy that Frazier is temporarily remaining with the Vikings. BUT, I am still concerned about an opening with the Chiefs opening up. Will he be a likely finalist for that job, if it opens?
Kevin Seifert (3:22 PM)
It's possible. The Chiefs are really hurting themselves right now by delaying their decision. Herm Edwards is going to have to hire a whole new staff if he is retained.
Andrea from Padova (Italy)
Hello Mr. Seifert! I'm a Cheesehead and a great fan of you. Do you think Al Harris is done with Packers? And if so, do you think Capers will search anyone trough free agency? Thank you and... forgive my poor english. Best regards, Andrea
Kevin Seifert (3:24 PM)
Your English is fine, thanks. I think there's a good chance he moves on, but not because of the scheme change. I just think the Packers are ready to put Tramon Williams in that spot.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
From what you've seen, what is the main reason A.P. puts the ball on the turf? Does he have weak or small hands, is it a technique thing, etc.? I like him a lot but without a QB who can throw, protecting the ball becomes even more important.
Kevin Seifert (3:25 PM)
He's careless with the ball sometimes, bottom line. He has the strongest handshake I've ever felt, so that's not the problem. Sometimes he just doesn't focus on ball security.
why isn't Angelo focusing on receiver? Does the admin honestly think that the offense can rest on a good recieving TE and RB, and a very fast WR?
Kevin Seifert (3:26 PM)
I can't figure that out, to be honest. I'm OK with a philosophy that doesn't put a big emphasis on a superstar receiver. But you still need to have a group of productive, competent guys. Last year's group didn't fit that description.
Vince St. Paul, MN
Is Daunte Culpepper availabe?
Kevin Seifert (3:27 PM)
He's still under contract with the Lions, but he's owed a $2.5 million roster bonus, so the front office has a decision to make on him.
BKU Fan, Edina, MN
Any updates on the return of Kenechi Udeze next season? Also, I know Lance Armstrong did it, but is this the first time that an NFL player has attempted to return after a battle vs. cancer?
Kevin Seifert (3:29 PM)
The last time I talked to him, Kenechi said he would without a doubt be in training camp next summer. A lot has to happen between now and then, but I wouldn't rule him out. As far as NFL players with cancer, I'd have to check into that. I vaguely remember an offensive lineman from the Giants, Karl Nelson, trying to come back from Hodgkin's disease.
How about a Bears question? Do you see the Bears switching Peanut to FS and then drafting or signing a FA at CB? Or do you believe they'll draft a ballhawk FS?
Kevin Seifert (3:30 PM)
It might depend on who is available at safety. But in general, I think it's a lot easier to find a safety elsewhere than it is a cornerback. If you have a guy that can play the position, and I think Tillman still can, you keep him there and find another guy to play safety.
David (Topeka, KS)
Have you heard any truth to the rumor that Spagnuolo might take Vikings ST coach Ferraro with him to the Rams? And if it does occur, who are some options to replace him? Could the Vikings bring back Chris Walsh in some capacity?
Kevin Seifert (3:31 PM)
I think there's some validity to that and we'll find out pretty soon. It might come down to whether Childress lets him out of his contract. I think the first candidate to replace Ferraro would be the Vikings' assistant special teams coach, Brian Murphy.
Ryan (Toledo, OH)
So the Lions brass (Lewand and Mayhew) are holding a town hall-style meeting with season ticket holders. Since they won't answer any "tough" questions, I'm not sure how much this meeting will accomplish. Obviously they are trying to connect with the fans, but they are missing the mark there by only having season ticket holders. Thoughts?
Kevin Seifert (3:33 PM)
I hadn't heard about that, so I don't know all the details. Starting with season ticket holders would be fair, in my opinion. They're the direct paying customers. Doesn't mean you don't eventually open it up. But I very much like the idea of being directly accountable to the people who sponsor the business.
Kev, for those of us non-Vikings fans, can you explain just how serious their stadium issue is? Is it really a serious possibility that they could move?
Kevin Seifert (3:34 PM)
I think there is a strong chance a stadium won't be built in time to coincide with the expiration of the lease in 2011. But that doesn't mean they move. It means they become eligible to move. Ultimately it will come down to whether another locality can support a new stadium given the nation's economic woes.
Too many Packers questions!! Hey Kev, do you believe Hanie could be a number 2 or should the bears go after a David Carr, who could compete with better line play?
Kevin Seifert (3:35 PM)
I doubt they will count on Hanie to be No. 2, not with the way Angelo has muted his praise of Orton. They're going to have someone there who has at least some experience and can take over next season ... at least in the short term ... if needed.
Kevin, not to harp on Capers, but I find this kind of coaching to be awful. Isn't the primary goal of a coach to maximize the production of his players? Shouldn't the coach have the ability and knowledge to modify the defense that he runs--which is indubitably fluid--to meet the strenghts of his players, which are set? This reminds me of country bumpkin Wade Phillips taking the Falcons personnel and jamming them into a 3-4. Pat Kearny was a great 4-3 end, but he was useless in a 3-4. The best front 7 players on the Packers defense are Kampman and Harris--why take them out of their element? Kampman has no role in the 3-4 (until the team goes to nickel) and 3-4 ILBs get far less protection from their DL than a 4-3 MLB. This is an awful idea, unless the determination has been made that the defense is so bad it needs to be blown up. If that's the case, though, the team should say so now.
Kevin Seifert (3:36 PM)
Andrew, good points and I think that's ultimately where Capers will land. He said many of the same things at his press conference and I don't think he'll try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Roy, Waunakee, WI
Hmmm...so in minicamps, training camp and the pre-season, Aaron Rodgers is going to be practicing against a 3-4 defense, even though no one in the division plays that defense? Problem?
Kevin Seifert (3:38 PM)
Wasn't a problem for Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger, who also face 3-4s in practice. That's a minor thing, anyway.The offense practices against a scout team, not its own defense.
What do you think of Jermichael Finley? He's immature, but he could be a very good receiving TE.
Kevin Seifert (3:39 PM)
Pretty intrigued by his athletic ability and size. Definitely needs to grow up, though.
Barack Obama, D.C.
Kevin, do you swear to execute this blog faithfully?
Kevin Seifert (3:40 PM)
So help me God.
"Kevin Seifert: (3:20 PM ET ) I think so, yes. I don't know if the Cardinals realize how physical the Steelers play -- on both sides of the ball." You do know that the Cardinals coaching staff came from Pitssburgh just 2 years ago and the Cardinals play Pitt last year and won right? Im not saying this means that they will win the SB, But I think its pretty safe to say they will know what to expect from Pitt.
Kevin Seifert (3:40 PM)
The coaches do. But do the players?
Kevin Seifert (3:40 PM)
There's no way to duplicate that in practice. Just my thought.
Is Lovie and his crew on the hotseat this year? What do you believe they should do on offense besides add a RT?
Kevin Seifert (3:42 PM)
I think Lovie definitely put himself in the crosshairs by taking over the defense the way he did. There won't be anybody left to blame if it doesn't work out. I think their top priority should be receiver, but I don't think they do.
what do you know about Chad Hartman's release from KFAN?
Kevin Seifert (3:43 PM)
Yes, that's a tough deal. My understanding is Clear Channel is cutting across the board, and Chad's show got the axe. Purely economics.
Sparty-Fi: (Columbia, MD):
Kevin, any speculation on the Lions QB mess and whether or not they'll actually go with the young guy, Drew Stanton? I mean, why waste a 2nd Rd pick on someone if you're not going to at least try it out? Never mind on the 2nd part to the question...the answer is Millen, that's why you'd waste a pick.
Kevin Seifert (3:44 PM)
I highly doubt a new coach is going to go with an unproven player from a previous administration. My guess is they'll have a couple veterans in camp and will pick the best of that lot. It's hard to know for sure without knowing who their offensive coordinator is going to be.
David (Topeka, KS)
Have you heard about what the market might look like for Birk? Is it possible that, at his age, he might not find the money he's looking for and that he'll end up re-signing with the Vikings for a lower price?
Kevin Seifert (3:46 PM)
It's possible. But at this point the bigger question is whether the Vikings want him back. I think if they had made him anywhere close to a reasonable offer by now, he would have taken it. But they haven't shown any interest.
Boisen (Madison, WI)
Who is the leading candidate for the Pack at nose tackle (Ryan Pickett or Colin Cole) or will they go in another direction such as FA or the draft?
Kevin Seifert (3:47 PM)
McCarthy said he thinks Pickett is a "pure" nose tackle, so I would guess they'll start with him.
Along the Bears QB question, if Warner signs with Zona next year do you think its possible the Bears could get Leinart from them
Kevin Seifert (3:48 PM)
Unlikely. Warner will be 38 this year and at some point they'll need Leinart to take over.
Aaron K (Green Bay)
I get a chuckle out of people who doubt that Kampman can play OLB in a 3-4, similar to Demarcus ware. I hear he's a high motor guy, very intelligent, with a great work ethic. It's not like they'll be asking him to cover Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson all day.
Kevin Seifert (3:49 PM)
Maybe a better description would be "standup defensive end." I think he could handle that, but not a traditional outside linebacker who has responsibility in space.
I believe former Packers (and current Bucs) punter Josh Bidwell had a battle with testicular cancer early in his career. Might want to check on the details, but just FYI.
Kevin Seifert (3:49 PM)
You're right. Thanks for adding that.
I'm no Kevin Seifert, but why would the Vikings want to retain their special teams coach? The Vikings special teams coverages are terrible! Is this a personnel problem or a coaching problem?
Kevin Seifert (3:50 PM)
I'm guessing Childress doesn't see it as a purely coaching problem, or he would have fired Ferraro by now.
Todd (South Dakota)
I just read a blog somewhere and people were debating on if the vikings should go after Vick when he gets out and if they do if he will be a good fit in our system, what are your thoughts on the situation?
Kevin Seifert (3:51 PM)
Complete moot point. Almost no chance the Wilfs would allow it.
I say "Give Orlovsky a chance."
Kevin Seifert (3:52 PM)
He might not be a bad guy to have at the beginning of a coaching term. A veteran who has some leadership abilities but could also be a short-term bridge to a younger quarterback you are developing.
Mitch (Shelby, Michigan)
With the dire situation at QB in Detroit, how would you feel about John Kitna heading up the Lions in 2009? I feel he performed at a decent level in a previously pass-happy offense, and that the reason he was put on IR last year was because of his dissagreements with the former coaching staff. Also, he has one year left on his contract and seemingly no better answer...
Kevin Seifert (3:53 PM)
I doubt Kitna would want to return there, even if no one else showed interest. He basically left the team after being put on injured reserve and hasn't been heard from since.
Tyler Thigpen, K.C.
Any chance I get back to Minneapolis or am I really going to get a chance with Pioli running the show??
Kevin Seifert (3:54 PM)
I don't know if he is the Chiefs' long-term answer, but they'd be silly to let him go anytime soon.
Bubbles (The Fun Hut)
When is the Williams Wall situation going to get figured out? Is this thing gonna carry on like a brett Favre retirement announcement?
Kevin Seifert (3:55 PM)
It could. There really is no rush at this point. But unlike Favre, I'd say we'll have a resolution long before training camp.
My bad. I kept asking questions about the Buccaneers haha. NFC North. Right. How does Nick Barnett transition to the 3-4? I love that guy.
Kevin Seifert (3:56 PM)
It will depend on whether he's healthy. He's coming back from a torn ACL. But concievably he fits well as an ILB in the 3-4.
Rod Marinelli, Chicago, IL
How could I not be considered for any of the openings in Tampa? Did I leave on bad terms three years ago?
Kevin Seifert (3:57 PM)
No, you didn't. But it's probably a good thing you didn't end up there and have the head coach get fired before you even set up your office.
Hey Kevin, just wondering what you think of Brian Billick being a head coach, and if so, do you think Minnesota could be a good place to go? Thanks
Kevin Seifert (3:58 PM)
Won a Super Bowl, something a lot of coaches can't say. It was interesting that he didn't get a sniff in the offseason. It seems the trend is against experience and for youthful potential.
Craig (Norwich, CT)
What is the "Williams Wall situation"?
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
Sorry. Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are still waiting to find out the result of their legal proceedings against the NFL. They could end up being suspended for four games next season, or they could have the suspensions lifted.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Are the Vikes bring the Gus Bus back for next season?
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
Packer QB situation
What's the word on the battle behind Rodgers - is Flynn still ahead of Brohm? Either of them figure into the picture as an NFL quality starter?
Kevin Seifert (4:00 PM)
My guess is Brohm will have a chance to beat out Flynn. There's no indication that either can be a long-term starter in the NFL, but it's early for both.
Kevin Seifert (4:00 PM)
OK everyone, thanks for chatting today. We'll meet up again soon.
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