Chat with Seth Wickersham
Wickersham joined ESPN The Magazine after graduating from the University of Missouri. Although he primarily covers the NFL, his assignments also have taken him to the Athens Olympics, the World Series, the NCAA tournament and the NHL and NBA playoffs.
Send your questions now and join Wickersham Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Seth Wickersham (3:01 PM)
Afternoon, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Don't worry, I will finish this chat in time for you to hit happy hour. Fire away.
How much more interesting do the Patriots '07 team become if they actually won the Super Bowl?
Seth Wickersham (3:05 PM)
I think they'd be judged as clearly the best team in NFL history, if not all of sports. That's what always fascinated me about them. They nearly went undefeated in the salary cap age, with the angry from Spygate on their backs, setting all kinds of records along the way. They were lucky (against the Ravens, for one) and unlucky (against the Giants in the Super Bowl). Someday, when Belichick writes a book about his coaching career, 2007 might be the most interesting year. He coached that team so hard that many of the players grew to resent him. And yet, it rivals 2001 as the best coaching performance of his career.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NFL Team do you think will be the Best in 2013?
Seth Wickersham (3:06 PM)
Ryan (Reynoldsburg, Ohio)
I just read the article on the 2010 Vikings. I think there's a case to be made that farve is the most compelling NFL player of the past 20 years. Not saying the best though. No player I have ever watched has had me on the edge of my seat like farve. Who do you think is the most compelling NFL player of the century?
Seth Wickersham (3:12 PM)
Of the century--the past 13 years? That's a great question. Hard to pick one, but the group would be: Brady, Peyton, Ray Lewis, Walter Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Faulk, Adrian Peterson. To me, at least, Favre was more compelling in the 90s, when he was at his peak as a player, winning MVPs and reaching Super Bowls. His 2009 season was amazing; watching Tim Duncan miss from point-blank range reminded me of Favre throwing the pick against the Saints. A legend, with not quite enough left.
Alex Nicodemus (Indianapolis, IN)
How could anyone dream of excluding the 2006 New Orleans Saints from this list? A team just barely decides not to move away from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and comes back to have the most successful season in franchise history up til that point, giving the entire down and out city a glimmer of hope. Not to mention they saw one of the most hyped rookies ever in Reggie Bush catch 88 passes as a running back, as well as the rebirth of Drew Brees as an star quarterback after shoulder surgery. I'm a hardcore Falcons fan, and even I can admit that the Saints' domination of the Falcons in the first game back at the Superdome on Monday Night Football might have been one of the most inspiring moments I've ever seen in sports.
Seth Wickersham (3:14 PM)
I hear you, and see your point. I didn't vote, but just my two cents: I think the Saints story from that year was compelling, and it was the closest I've ever seen to an entire country rooting for one team. The team itself was pretty low-key and business-like. So I think that the story of the Saints was very compelling, the team itself didn't have the personalities of other compelling teams.
Who are you? Never seen you in the chats before.
Seth Wickersham (3:16 PM)
Under a rock, scared of sunlight, writing.
I guess with including the Favre Vikings on the list, actually winning wasn't really a requirement for this list?
Seth Wickersham (3:17 PM)
No. I don't think you need to win to be compelling--though it sure helps. Most of the teams won.
I don't think that Rams team of 2001 gets enough credit...They were kind of a precursor to these high flying offenses we see now, weren't they? That was a good few years of that team.
Seth Wickersham (3:20 PM)
Totally agree. While it's clear that Martz got out-coached in the Super Bowl, his production puts him among the greatest offensive coaches of all time. He coached three-straight MVPs and the Rams' offense during that period scored more than 1,500 points, I believe. They were out-schemed and unlucky when it mattered most.
From your story, it seems that Belichick started in on his players right from mini camp in the spring. do you think he entered that season totally ticked off and maybe with an eye toward tearing the league apart that season?
Seth Wickersham (3:22 PM)
He's always hard on them. The players say that he was harder on them before Spygate because he realized their potential. He could be brutal after Spygate because he wanted to go undefeated, because it was personal and because as the season went on, it was in their reach. But vets say that he coached that 2007 harder than almost any other Pats team he's had.
Do you think the Pats will revert back to their old ways of around 03-04 and be more of a running team with play action and some throws to the TEs or do you think they will be somewhat of the same old passing attack they've had the past few years(i realize they had a much improved run game last year but were still a passing team).
Seth Wickersham (3:23 PM)
They have to pass to win, period. They don't have a choice. How are they going to outscore Denver or Baltimore running?
Big J (Indy )
Will Steven Jackson still be hungry this year... And will he win a Super Bowl?
Seth Wickersham (3:24 PM)
I always seem to get questions about Steven Jackson's HUNGER.
What would you look for in a team if you were trying to come up with a list of your own most compelling teams?
Seth Wickersham (3:25 PM)
I actually thought that last year's Niners were pretty compelling. You had all kinds of factors: Driven coach, a midseason quarterback switch, a new offense, and a young quarterback who couldn't be stopped when hot and who got them five yards from a championship.
Any thought of including the Michael Vick Falcons teams (pre-prison, of course)? he was a pretty compelling player.
Seth Wickersham (3:26 PM)
No doubt. They easily could have made the list.
How much does coaching play into making a team interesting? seems like most of these teams had a head coach there to help things along.
Seth Wickersham (3:27 PM)
I think a coach and quarterback, as the two faces of an NFL team, are the primary drivers of interest. So yeah, the most compelling teams tend to have the most interesting personalities.
How do you explain this chat you're hosting to your 24 year old self?
Seth Wickersham (3:27 PM)
"Who are you?"
I'm guessing every other NFL writer, analyst has been asked this question, so now it's your turn....does Tim Tebow play another down in the NFL? I know he's on a team, but that doesn't mean he'll play.
Seth Wickersham (3:30 PM)
No idea. But I do think he should be on an NFL team. It seems like he's played more than he has, because of his celebrity, but he actually hasn't played much. He did enough in his 3/4 of a season to merit a place on an NFL roster. In fact, he did more in his 3/4 of a season than many starters. If you had to win one game, all things being equal, would you take Blaine Gabbert or Tebow?
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Which of the young QBs do you find the most compelling - dudes like Cam, RG3, Luck, Kaep and Russell Wilson...
Seth Wickersham (3:31 PM)
1) Kaep 2) Luck 3) Wilson 4) Cam 5) RG3
David (San Diego)
have you seen a player that had reached as high as Tebow had fall so far, so fast? I mean, he was the starting QB for a playoff team...won a playoff game, then was without a job, traded and nearly run out of the league.
Seth Wickersham (3:34 PM)
Nope. While a lot of the reluctance to sign him had to do with his awkward throwing motion, I think he's largely been a victim of groupthink. Sometimes decisions in the NFL are made because a GM talks to a GM friend who has talked to a GM friend who doesn't like a player. Seriously. And with Tebow, you had the rare instance of many teams publicly declaring their disinterest. Tebow needed a coach willing to think for himself and uninfluenced by groupthink, and he found one. Now, it's on him.
Seth Wickersham (3:35 PM)
Thanks guys, I'm going to call it a chat. Have a great Friday, awesome weekend, and a safe Fourth of July next week.