Chat with Kevin Seifert
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert will drop in to chat about the NFL.
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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (1:01 PM)
Hi everyone. We're trying out some new SportsNation software for this chat, so bear with me. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get to it.
Well, what kind of story-twisting news will Brett have for us tonight with Joe Buck? Anytime we think we'll be getting some clarity, it only gets muddier.
Kevin Seifert (1:03 PM)
Who knows what Favre will come up with in a live setting. It's going to be interesting. I hope Joe pushes him on some things. ... But I don't know how much clarity we'll get. After all, if the generally reported timetable is accurate, Favre is only three weeks or so into his rehab. It's a 4-6 week rehabilitation, so he's not going to be able to say definitively whether he'll be able to play this year.
Hi Kevin, isn't the most disappointing thing about the Favre business that he had the thing in motion all the while he was promising he'd never play again? He doesn't just want to play again, he wants to play for the Vikings, and he doesn't care who he hurts by doing so.
Kevin Seifert (1:04 PM)
Yeah, I think that's something he'll need to address ... at some point. I mean, you could be a conspiracy theorist like me and wonder if this hasn't been in motion for an entire year. Could he really be that passionate about playing for the Vikings? Or is this more about playing against the Packers?
Is Donald Driver a lock for the #2 WR in GB or will J Jones and Nelson see more time across from Jennings?
Kevin Seifert (1:05 PM)
I think so, yes. They have high hopes for Nelson, and Jones if he's healthy, but for this year at least I see Driver on the field more than either one of those other guys.
Between the Favre drama with the Vikes and the heating-up speculation that the Bears would want Plax, you by far have the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) drama division to cover. Please stpe forward and accept the award, Kevin. Who would you like to thank?
Kevin Seifert (1:06 PM)
Absolutely the best, in my opinion. I'd much rather have too much to write about than not enough. I guess the football gods deserve the credit. I am but their servants.
So what does the lions line look like right now? As I see it, tt seems for now anyway, even with the signings of Salam and Jansen, that the Lions are going to play Backus at Left Tackle and not move him to Guard. It looks like Loper has all but nailed down Left Guard, and it is a given that Riaola will start at Center. I don't see Jansen unseating Cherilus at Right Tackle. That leaves, Right Guard which I think Peterman has for now. So where does that leave Salam and Jansen? Interchangeable parts? Are they both able to play Tackle as well as Guard? Now Schwartz has said this is an open competition, so do you think that either of them have a good shot at starting somewhere or at least get decent amount of playing time? How do you see this playing out?
Kevin Seifert (1:07 PM)
I think you got it about right, although I don't know if Loper is locked in at this point. I see Jansen as insurance against either Cherilus flopping or getting hurt in training camp. He could also play left tackle in a pinch and even guard if necessary.As far as Salaam, he's insurance for the insurance.
Hey Kevin. Do you know what the timetable for Plaxico Burress finding out if he can truly play this season or not is? Also, what do you feel the chances of him signing with the Bears are?
Kevin Seifert (1:09 PM)
You never know for sure, but the legal experts are now projecting he won't have a verdict before the end of the season. That means he should be eligible to play all 16 games. The hard part is evaluating the Bears' interest. I haven't seen them chasing too many other veteran receivers this offseason.
John (Appleton, WI)
Kevin- I am of the opinion that the Packers transition to the 3-4 will take 2-3 years to complete successfully between teaching the current players the new schemes, acquiring the personnel that fits the system, and gaining the experience to run the scheme effectively. Ted Thompson made a great start with this years draft class, but what are your thoughts on how Green Bay can speed up this process?
Kevin Seifert (1:11 PM)
Now, it's up to the coaching. From a personnel standpoint, there aren't many more additions out there to be had. It's up to the new coaching staff to teach the players the scheme -- and, just as important, create a scheme that fits them. It's OK to have a transition year in terms of scheme -- some 3-4 and some 4-3 -- before going full-bore next year.
Hey Kev, what do u think in Profootballtalk.com joining NBC? pretty cool? or do u think its a bad thing? its a pretty cool blog that covers EVERY networks viewpoint and not just there own.
Kevin Seifert (1:13 PM)
I think it's great. Nobody works harder than Florio, and it's nice to see blogs be accepted as mainstream information distributors.
Brandon (Philadelphia, PA)
BJ Raji in your top 10 to build around Kevin? Ever hear of rookie busts? Anyway, I was thinking it was a crime Devin Hester wasn't on your list. Even if he will always be a mediocre WR, he was/is the best return man EVER!
Kevin Seifert (1:14 PM)
I think Raji is going to be a big-time player. More important, the list was a chance to have some fun by thinking about an imaginary scenario that is of course not going to happen ... drafting 10 players from the NFC North to build a Super Bowl. You've got to do some projecting when you're looking three years down the road. As far as Hester, I couldn't justify more than 1 receiver in the 10 picks, and I went with Calvin Johnson.
Kevin whats up? Would it really cost Minn. very much to give Winfield a contract that would let him retire in purple? or is there some other reason the dont want to do that?
Kevin Seifert (1:15 PM)
I'm guessing they're not looking to pay a 31-year-old cornerback big-time money. Whether that's the right or wrong approach, time will tell. But it's clear they're taking a cautious approach to paying him a large salary.
Brian (Ann Arbor)
Kevin - I'm hoping you can clear this up for me. The Williams Wall recently had many of their claims dismissed by a judge in MN, but two of their claims still remained to be settled. What are the two claims still remaining and what is the latest on them, including their new claim that the NFL has been targeting them for drug tests in response to their lawsuit?
Kevin Seifert (1:16 PM)
The two claims left to be settled relate to Minnesota labor law. From what I understand, the Williams Wall is claiming that the NFL's steroid policy is illegal under Minnesota laws. That's what's left to be decided. As far as the drug test targeting, that has not been ruled on yet.
TERRANCE SMITH (CHICAGO IL)
IF DENVER LET BRANDON MARSHALL GO.WHATS THE CHANCES OF THE BEARS GETTING HIM IF THEY DONT GET PLAXICO BURRESS
Kevin Seifert (1:17 PM)
I really think they'll have a hard time coming up with the ammunition. They didn't have a first-round pick this year and won't have one in 2010, either. Would they be willing to give up more picks in order to get Marshall, who is by far a bigger character risk than Cutler? I'm not sure about that.
The Bears say its an open competion, but is there any chance that Pisa Tinoisamoa won't be the starter on 9/13?
Kevin Seifert (1:18 PM)
I guess I would be really surprised if he isn't.
Steve S (Burlington Ontario)
May the Schwartz be with you
Kevin Seifert (1:19 PM)
First and only time we'll allow that comment. From now on, 15 yards for piling on.
Is there any chance Tauscher will re-sign with GB?
Kevin Seifert (1:21 PM)
Maybe at some point in the future, but right now it doesn't look like he'll be healthy enough. Originally the projection was that his knee will be ready in October.
Kye Baxter (West Des Moines, IA)
Not so much a question as a comment. Not liking the way this chat is set up. For whatever reason, I cannot get the chat program to show the most recent post on the bottom. I don't like reading bottom up, and this is frustrating :)
Kevin Seifert (1:22 PM)
Not sure what page you're on, but try going to the chat main page. Click on SportsNation, then chat page and see if it works that way.
Are you surprised that everyone seems to forget how terrible Brett Favre plays in the Metrodome? Shouldn't this factor into the equation somehow?
Kevin Seifert (1:23 PM)
Actually, he turned that around late in his tenure with the Packers. That was more of an issue early on. Now, I bet he prefers to play indoors than in the elements.
Hey Kevin, I saw your coach rankings. Were you suprised that the Sporting News ranked Childress no. 11 in the entire league. Hasn't he made a slew of extremely questionable in-game decisions to be rated so high? I have plenty of friends who are Vikes fans, every single one of them wants him fired.
Kevin Seifert (1:24 PM)
Yeah, that's a pretty popular sentiment. I would have put Childress right in the middle of the pack. He has a .500 record and therefore should be judged as average, in my opinion.
Tim (San Diego)
Do you think the Bears would be shooting themselves in the foot to pick up Plaxico Burress?
Kevin Seifert (1:24 PM)
Ha. Maybe in the thigh.
Frank (Green Bay)
Kevin, I think it would be a mistake for the Packers to overwork Ryan Grant as he appears to be a little injury prone. I think they have a very good compliment in Brandon Jackson. Do you think the Packers will use Jackson a little more this season and maybe do a 70-30 split between Grant
Kevin Seifert (1:26 PM)
They say they will, but I'll believe it when I see it. I wonder if the issue is more not trusting Jackson than it is wanting Grant to carry on every play.
Tim (San Diego)
As a Bears fan I'm excited to have Favre back in the division. We've seen a steady decline of pick sixes since he exited.
Kevin Seifert (1:26 PM)
Ha. Sounds like you've been talking to Lance Briggs.
mixmasterb (my desk)
Hey Kevin,Solid work as always. Why wouldn't Plaxico be suspended for at least part of the season? It seems the NFL generally suspends players long before court cases get settled and I don't know why this would be any different.
Kevin Seifert (1:28 PM)
Thanks. That's the wild-card here. Rosenhaus' point is that Burress has already been suspended for five games, by the Giants last year. Goodell would be within his rights to issue a discipline of some sort before the trial in this instance, but according to Rosenhaus it's Burress' first offense in the personal conduct policy. That makes a pre-trial discipline less likely.
Who do you think will win the Packers starting RT spot with Tauscher probably being out this year?
Kevin Seifert (1:29 PM)
Right now, it's Allen Barbre. They might also take a look at Giacomini, but some people think the rookie T.J. Lang is the long-term answer.
Brian (Ann Arbor)
Clay Matthews gets a 77 in Madden rantings while Ben Leber gets a 66...somehow explain the logic behind this.
Kevin Seifert (1:30 PM)
If I knew the first thing about Madden games I would. I was just passing it along to the people who were interested.
Kevin, I meant to ask you earlier, but what is the CURRENT status of the Williams suspensions? At this time, are they out the first 4 games or not?
Kevin Seifert (1:30 PM)
Actually, that's being deliberated right now, too. The judge who issued the original injunction allowing them to play has been asked to decide whether that injunction still stands. He hasn't announced anything as of yet.
Who'd win in a fight between Tim Graham and Paul Kuharsky?
Kevin Seifert (1:31 PM)
I'm sure I would have to call a halt to the proceedings for excessive biting, hair-pulling and scratching.
Do you see a possible DROY award for Clay Matthews this season? How has he looked in camp so far?
Kevin Seifert (1:32 PM)
He's barely participated because of a hamstring injury. So it would be hard to predict any postseason awards at this point.
James (Slidell, La) [via mobile]
Does this division have the ability to do what the NFC South did last year and have the best record for a division:
Kevin Seifert (1:34 PM)
I don't think so, no. I think the NFC North will be really competitive this year, but there are too many questions yet to be answered in all four cities to project that kind of year. Plus, the NFC North is playing the AFC North. I don't expect Pittsburgh or Baltimore to take a step back this year.
Tim (San Diego)
How do you think the Bears safety situation will pan out?
Kevin Seifert (1:35 PM)
I guess I'd be surprised if Graham doesn't wind up starting next to Payne.
Why do people refer to the Bears defense as old? When the majority of their players are in their 20's and a lot of them in their early/mid 20's: M. Anderson (26), Bowman (24), Briggs (28), Dvoracek (26), Gilbert (22), Harris (26), M. Harrison (24), Idonije (28), Manning (26), Moore (22), Steltz (23), Tillman (28), Vasher (27), J. Williams (25). The only guys in their 30's are Urlacher (31), Ogunleye (31), and A. Brown (30).
Kevin Seifert (1:36 PM)
Well, the three guys in their 30's are pretty key players. Second, Harris might be 26 but he's got the knee of someone much older. The Bears already are having to nurse him through practices and the offseason just to keep the knee in good enough shape to play in.
Who has the best WR/TE combo in the division?
Kevin Seifert (1:37 PM)
First combo that came to mind was Jennings-Driver-Lee in Green Bay. But Minnesota could challenge if Harvin steps up to go with Berrian and Shiancoe.
Isn't Chili playing with fire? If the Vikes decide to sign Favre, they won't carry four QB's will they? The only acceptable outcome is winning the Super Bowl if he signs Favre. If they win, they were supposed to and still don't have a QB of the future. If they don't win the SB, it was an epic failure. Chili isn't on the most solid ground to begin with.
Kevin Seifert (1:38 PM)
Agreed on every point. But ultimately I don't think he gets a pass if he sticks with Jackson/Rosenfels and they don't win. So he might as well shoot for the stars with Favre. What he needs to realize is that this will happen on Favre's timetable, not his own.
Is Marcus McCauley the favorite to win the Vikings nickel spot?
Kevin Seifert (1:39 PM)
He did look good during OTAs ... but I bet Paymah will get a long look there.
Have we heard how the 3-4 is going now that OTA's have been completed with GB. I mean do the players seem to be picking up the scheme well?
Kevin Seifert (1:40 PM)
It's really not a good idea to draw any conclusions about a team or individual players based on OTAs. It's not real football. At this point in a scheme transition, I would expect many players to be confused and hesitant. That doesn't mean they'll be that way when the season starts.
Hey KS, are you ever going to post a blog where you pick who wins on a game to game basis for each of the teams in our division? ... maybe not yet, but when it gets closer to september...
Kevin Seifert (1:41 PM)
Weekly picks? It's under consideration, although picking games is hardly a science. Would you guys want to see that feature?
Chaz ((Mom's Couch))
Kevin, mom is stirring around in the kitchen. It's time for lunch and that can only mean one thing!
Kevin Seifert (1:41 PM)
Ok, say the Vikings sign Favre. Does that make them your pick to win the division, or are they already your pick to win the North?
Kevin Seifert (1:43 PM)
Right now I've got Chicago. I think I would swap them out for Minnesota if Favre ends up signing.
Steve (Dallas, TX)
Hey Kevin for all the people who can't look upo stats and still think that Favre struggled in the metrodome post these stats. In Favres last 5 games in the dome, 12 TDs 2 Int's, passer rating over 100 in all 5 games and averaged over 300 yards. Wow that is really struggling
Kevin Seifert (1:44 PM)
Thanks Steve ... As I said, his struggles in the Dome were more towards the beginning and middle portions of his career.
Who do you think is the most underrated player in the division?
Kevin Seifert (1:46 PM)
Last year, I would have said Antoine Winfield, but then he made the Pro Bowl. So I'll go with Ryan Longwell. ... I'm doing some work on a project and started looking at his career numbers, and they compare favorably with just about every placekicker in the past decade.
Mike R (Ramsey, MN)
I heard Joe Buck's new show in HBO is more of a comedy. Should we be careful not to expect too much REAL information to be asked of Favre?
Kevin Seifert (1:47 PM)
I think it's going to be real interesting. Favre was originally booked for a discussion on pro athletes becoming modern-day celebrities. I can only assume Joe Buck will ask the necessary questions and strike the proper tone.
Nick B (Madison,Wi)
I have been hearing good things about Johnny Knox from the bears. Any chance he beats out Bennet for the second reciever?
Kevin Seifert (1:47 PM)
I doubt it. Iglesias would have a better chance, I think. The one thing Knox has going for him is amazing speed. I believe he ran a 4.30 flat at the combine.
Kevin,Does the switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 for the Packers keep you from picking the Pack as the Division winners or is there more to it than that?
Kevin Seifert (1:49 PM)
That's mostly it. And it's not that I think it's a bad idea or that it won't work. It's just impossible to judge the Packers until you get a sense for how players fit into the scheme. So there's no sense trying to guess one way or the other. Right now, I'm putting them behind Chicago and Minnesota. But remember it's June.
I read something about an incentive based contract for Favre if he signs. What if he is good to go, but wants guaranteed money vs. incentives? Could that put him signing in danger if that was the case?
Kevin Seifert (1:50 PM)
I can't imagine that this thing peters out because of contract numbers. I saw Sid's story about the incentives. I'm not sure what to make of that. I doubt the Vikings are going to want to pay him the $13 million he would have made with the Jets, and they would have no reason to guarantee the deal. I think the contract is the least of the problems here.
Do you play fantasy football?
Kevin Seifert (1:51 PM)
Sorry, no. I spend enough time with football during my day job.
Do you think the Bears defense was just bad last year or are they old and finished?
Kevin Seifert (1:52 PM)
I wouldn't say old and finished. I'll be interested to see whether Marinelli can get the defensive line into better shape and whether Lovie Smith can make a difference in the play-calling.
What do you expect from Matt Forte this year?
Kevin Seifert (1:54 PM)
Similar production but likely with fewer touches. I would say it's pretty likely the Bears will figure out a way to have Kevin Jones and/or Garrett Wolfe on the field more.
With everyone gushing over the addition of Cutler (me included), the Bears have once again left themselves under-prepered if he goes down. I liked what Hanie did in the pre-season, but what have you heard about how him and Basenez are coming along?
Kevin Seifert (1:55 PM)
I think Lovie Smith really likes Hanie and is going to give him every chance to win that job. If he flops, there will be some veterans available toward the end of camp that could come in and take over that job.
What changes have you seen Brian Murphy make to the Vikings special teams?
Kevin Seifert (1:57 PM)
Nothing notable at this point, but it's hard to get much from special teams practice. My guess is they'll change some blocking schemes that wouldn't be noticeable to the novice eye.
Kevin Seifert (1:57 PM)
Ok folks, one more.
Terry Jeacock (London) [via mobile]
Hey Kevin. Have to say you are the only guy I trust at ESPN when it comes to any Vikings reports. How has J. D. Booty looked this off season and do you think that the Vikings will keep him or Jackson if Favre signs (or do they break the mold and go with four QBs)?
Kevin Seifert (1:58 PM)
Hey, I appreciate that. Booth looked better than he did as a rookie and I would be surprised if they cut him if and when Favre arrives.
Kevin Seifert (1:59 PM)
Ok, thanks everyone. We'll chat again next week!