Chat with Dan Arkush
Dan Arkush (4:59 PM)
Hello, everybody. Let's chat some pro football.
Do you think the Saints have a decent chance of turning the season around i.e. make the playoffs? Do they have the personnel for a superbowl run?
Dan Arkush (5:03 PM)
Yes I do. If they can play with the same energy that they play with against the Bucs all the time, I definitely they can get into the thick of things. But I see too many holes still on defense for them to make it to Houston for the Super Bowl.
WELL, ALL I CAN SAY IS, AT LEAST MY BUCS ARE UP FOR A WIN THIS WEEK..... THEY SURE NEED IT OVER THE PANTHERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK? IF WE LOSE IS THE RUN OVER?
Dan Arkush (5:06 PM)
Absolutely not. Just look at all the other losing teams around the legue at the moment (more than half). I think Gruden will still get them to the playoffs, and I look for this win-one-lose-one stuff to stop this week.
Chris, Wash DC
Dan, what are people saying about the Patriots' personnel these days? If they keep winning, are we looking at a repeat of 2001, where nobody could believe such a rag-tag group was as good as their record?
Dan Arkush (5:10 PM)
I would have to say that people think very highly of their personnel these days. Just look at all the great contributions from their rookies this season. Asante Samuel, Eugene Wilson, Dan Koppen and Joe Klecko's kid have all been very good. Did you see that kickoff return by Bethel Johnson last night? And the No. 1 pick Ty Warren is coming on. As for their free-agent pickups, Ty Poole and especially Rodney harrison have been quality additions. Another excellent job by Scott Pioli, a GM in the making for some team not too far down the road.
The Bears have an excellent shot at being 4-5 after this weekends game against the Lions. Do they have any kind of shot at the playoffs? And if not, what areas should does the team need to improve to become a legitimate contendor?
Dan Arkush (5:13 PM)
They're playing better Dave, but look who they've beaten the last two weeks. They are going to need Chris Chandler to stay healthy, and I don't like the odds of that happening. What's happening is a lot of younger players are getting their feet wet and contributing, and that bodes well for the future but not necessarily the short term. I see 7-9 this year at best.
Nicole Stewartville, Mn
What's with the Vikings D. What can they do to solve the problem?
Dan Arkush (5:15 PM)
I think they were playing a little bit over their heads, and two pretty good quarterbacks -- Collins and Favre -- have brought them down to Earth the last few weeks.
Are the Vikings still the best team in the NFC???
Dan Arkush (5:17 PM)
That's a great question. My first inclination is to say no, but then who the hell is? The Eagles? Carolina? I think, in spite of their unbelievable consistency, the Bucs are still the best team. I still like Minnesota, though, a lot.
Who would you give rookie of the year so far?
Dan Arkush (5:20 PM)
I'll give you an offensive and a defensive guy. On offense, I love Arizona's Anquan Boldin, even though his numbers have come down from that amazing opener he had. He is already a very quality receiver. On defense, I LOVE Marcus Trufant on Seattle. He has played both left and right corner with equal aplomb, and Mike Holmgren, who isn't one to overdo it in the praise department, can't say enough good things about this kid. He is a flat-out stud.
Do you see the Jets or the Bills making a run in the East or have they fallen too far behind?
Dan Arkush (5:22 PM)
Well, it's going to be very, very difficult for the Jets to get back into the race after that tough OT loss last Sunday. The Bills, though, can very easily get back into the hunt. I look for them to come out smoking after the bye.
Who has a better defense Indianapolis or Kansas City?I think the team with the better defense will make it to Houston.
Dan Arkush (5:24 PM)
Both units are far from perfect. K.C. has improved dramatically, but I think I like Indy's better. They were having real problems against the run until last Sunday, when Dwight Freeney & Co. did a major number on Ricky Williams and the Fish. Yeah, I like the Colts' D better with the Tony Dungy touch at work.
What is your take on the C. Woodson and B. Callahan situation. I think that Woodson may have some points, especially since not that many of his teammates have come out to say that he is flat out wrong.
Dan Arkush (5:28 PM)
From what Î can tell, there is a real division at work on this team between pro-Callahan and anti-Callahan guys, It almost seems evenly split, which makes the whole problem that much bigger. I think Callahan took his time asserting himself. Last year he accepted more input from the vets on the team. This year he's been more his own man. Woodson? He's a good player when he's healthy, but I hear he's far from being the most popular guy on this team. No matter how you cut it, this is a team in disarray, and it just shows how quickly things can go south. I think Callahan will be gone at season's end.
Tony (San Francisco, CA)
Dan, Do you see Jim Mora Jr. getting any head coaching interviews this offseason? I think the Niners have to do what they can to keep him (promise him the head coaching job once Erickson goes).
Dan Arkush (5:30 PM)
I think a lot depends on how this unit does the rest of the year. Mora has done a good job this year generating more of a pass rush. I love the way he creatively uses the LBs Peterson and Winborn. I think he deserves to be on the head-coach radar screen, but let's see some more consistency from the defense the rest of the way.
Hooch New Orleans
Should the 1973 Dolphins be worried about the Chiefs duplicating thier success?
Dan Arkush (5:33 PM)
I'm going to go out on a limb, Hooch, and tell you there's no way the Chiefs will go undefeated. I wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland, a very tough team on the road, pulls an upset this Sunday. On paper, their remaining schedule does look pretty soft, but I just think they are going to lose a game or two before the playoffs.
Nick (Chapel Hill)
Does it look like the Giants finally have some luck? One game at a time, this team will make it to the playoffs, and the NFC East crown. Dallas will falter, and Philly is no good.
Dan Arkush (5:36 PM)
At the start of the year, I liked the Giants in the NFC East over the Eagles, and I think they are in the midst of getting their act together under Fassel the same way they did last year. Philly is playing better, but injuries have really hurt them. Dallas is much improved, but I think the Giants are a much better team.
Hernan ( PA )
You gotta give me some insight on the Steelers problems and do you think Coach Coward will have his job next year?
Dan Arkush (5:39 PM)
Cowher isn't going anywhere. That said, the Steelers are perhaps the biggest disappointment in the league. Tommy Maddox has really struggled, and the lack of a consistent ground game has really hindered the offense. But the bigger problem is the defense, which has tons of talent but still manages to implode at the worst possible times. They have been giving up too many points for the last two years now. I couldn't believe the way Bulger of the Rams found holes a few weeks back.
mike (st. louis)
Dan, What do you think the chances are that the Rams will win the division and host a playoff game? Faulk is back this week and their schedule is soft in the 2nd half of the season.
Dan Arkush (5:42 PM)
I think they probably will win the division and possibly be a force in the playoffs. I love Bulger. But here's another team that's pretty banged-up right now. On defense, Archuleta and Polley have been out, and now Little and Lewis are hurting. As for Faulk, it will be interesting to see if he will be the same old Marshall down the stretch. He sure looked a step slow before his injuries this season.
Tony (Boise, ID)
Is Seattle going to improve on their first half performance (i.e., more consistent offense) or is their luck going to run out with all of these close games?
Dan Arkush (5:45 PM)
To be totally honest, Tony, I don't know what to make of this team. On offense, they haven't been nearly as explosive as they were at the end of last season. The receivers have dropped a ton of passes, and Koren Robinson has been a big disappointment. The defense is a lot better, but it has shown some cracks as of late. They do appear to have a soft sked the rest of the way, but I think the Rams will catch up to them.
Can Miami rebound against the Titans this sunday? The O line is not creating the holes for Ricky like last year and that plays right into the Titans defensive strengths. Can Mcnair air it out against the Dolphins top notch cornerbacks?
Dan Arkush (5:47 PM)
This just a hunch, but I think Ricky Williams is ready to explode, and I think he will be the story in an upset win against the Titans. I look for Miami's defense to also outplay Tennessee's.
Jack (Arlington, VA)
What do you think of Marcel Shipp? Is he for real?
Dan Arkush (5:49 PM)
Yes, yes, yes. Did I say yes? Dave McGinnis can't be serious when he says Emmitt will be the starter when he's healthy again. All Shipp has done when given an opportunity to start is produce. And it looks like the Cards' huge line is playing a lot better, which certainly doesn't hurt.
Bubba in NY
The Texans seems to be building quite a RB stable. Who do you think the future will be built on?
Dan Arkush (5:51 PM)
They've got two really good-looking young guys in Davis and Hollings. Right now, Davis looks like the centerpiece-in-making. Hopefully, he didn't get hurt too bad last week.
Who is the 1st half MVP in your opinion?
Dan Arkush (5:52 PM)
with the packers playing philly and tampa in the next two weeks, if they loose either of those two games are there chnaces of winning the nfc north out of reach?
Dan Arkush (5:55 PM)
I think they could lose one of those games and still have an outside shot at catching Minnesota, which would have to lose three more games. the Vikes have to play the Rams, Seattle and KC, and Arizona at home will hardly be a walk in the park.
who do you think will ultimately take Henson off of the Texan's hands and what will they give up for it?
Dan Arkush (5:58 PM)
I have heard through the grapevine that the Steelers could have a real interest in Henson. I don't think they feel Maddox has much left in the tank.
how many more years do you see Favre playing?
Dan Arkush (6:00 PM)
I would have to say one more year at the most. And I wouldn't be surprised if he hangs em up after this year, especially if the Pack finishes on a high note. But I got to tell you, Alex, I hope he keeps playing forever. What a performance the other night! He still looks like he's got the fire and having lots of fun. Did you see that block he threw? Brett's the best!!!!! OK folks, one more question before I go home and watch Snoop Dog on "Playmakers."
Jon (Sacramento, CA)
What do you think of the 49ers with this up and down season. Can they pull it together and have some consistency and maybee make the playoffs?
Dan Arkush (6:04 PM)
Aside from the Bucs, they have been the most up-and-down team in the league. They've got lots of talent, and when they play well, like against Tampa and Rams, they really look good. They're saying Garcia's the guy if he's healthy, but Rattay sure had a nice debut. I don't know. I think they might have too big a hill to climb in the West with the Rams and Hawks also in the division. Good night, friends. It's been fun as always.