Good afternoon and welcome to our marathon chat session featuring some of the most recognized bloggers in the nation, with the exception of the first leg. I'm going to try to stick to the NFC East, but if you have a pressing question that needs to be answered. Oh, and I'm happy to answer a few fantasy questions, but you should know that we once again finished in dreadful fashion in the Art Vandelay League that dates back to 1993.
Hey Matt!! I was wondering which rookie this year drafted by the Cowboys will have the biggest impact this season. Thanks!!
What's this? A Cowboys question? I think Felix Jones will make an immediate impact. Running backs don't usually take as long to adjust to the NFL. Cornerback Mike Jenkins is probably ready to contribute, but he'll have to wait in line behind Pacman Jones.
QUESTION TO MATT MOSLEY at 12.10 pm HI MATt CAN GIANTS MAKE IT BACK TO SUPER TAMPA 2009
Let's get this moving. I only see nine of you guys waiting in line. Ray, the Giants face an uphill battle. Most teams wait until the following season begins to have a Super Bowl hangover. The Giants waited maybe a month. Tom Coughlin likes to use distractions to help create a bond, but the Giants will have to fight through several issues. Jeremy Shockey isn't the type of person who will put his ego aside. He feels like he was treated like an outsider after he was injured. Wha the needs to realize is that EVERY injured player feels like that. The team has to move on without you. And in doing so, a kid named Kevin Boss proved that Shockey might not be as valuable as some of us thought.
Where do you see the % fall for the backfield of GIANTS? Herd, Jacobs, Bradshaw, even isn't dayne there?
Jacobs will still be the workhorse, but Bradshaw is one of those backs that can completely take over once the defense is worn down in the fourth quarter. If you're looking for a percentage look for it to be 60 percent Jacobs and 40 percent Bradshaw. Yes, I know they have other backs, but these two are the ones who count.
Do you think the Texans have enough to make their first post season appearance...ever!
David, we have an excellent AFC South blogger named Paul Kuharsky who will help answer this question later. But since I ranked the Texans higher than any other "expert," let me have a quick word. I like the way the Texans have built their team around the defensive line. A lot of this will come down to whether Matt Schaub can bounce back from some injuries and have a solid season. And it's tough when you play against three teams who all have a great shot at returning to the playoffs.
Who do you like in the NFC East? Does jason Taylor bump this skins up a bit?
Ryan, I think the NFC East is beginning to rival the aforementioned AFC South for supremacy in the league. The Eages were only 8-8 last season, but they were playing good football down the stretch. Anyone who saw them manhandle the Cowboys in December knows what I'm talking about. If Donovan McNabb can stay healthy (and that's a big IF), the Eagles have a legitimate shot to win the division. Right now I have the Giants and Cowboys a little bit ahead of the Redskins and Eagles. And yes, the Taylor trade bumps the Redskins up a few notches in my estimation.
Matt, How do you see the Redskins' WR rotation setting up?
Glenn, the Chesapeake Bay feast on my ninth birthday is still the best meal I've ever had. In other news, the Redskins finally admitted that they can't sustain an offense with mighty mites. Santana Moss is a dangerous receiver, but I've never seen him as a No. 1. Steve Smith is a relatively small guy who's a No. 1, but he doesn't have a lot of company. Moss will continue to start, but I expect Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly to both make immediate impacts. They will help take the pressure off Chris Cooley, who was the team's only option at times last season. Any time you go a couple of months without getting a wide receiver in the end zone, it's a bad thing. I was just a bit surprised the Redskins didn't go after Jordy Nelson of Kansas State because they really liked him a lot.
Speaking of WR rotations, is Crayton going to suffice as #2 in Dallas?
Os: That arrangement worked pretty well in 2007. Of course, it didn't exactly work out in the playoff game against the Giants. I think Crayton has the best hands on the team, but he has to come through in clutch situations. He spit the bit in the playoffs, and the Cowobys can't afford to have that happen again. The only reason Cowboys fans became consumed by the No. 2 receiver is because Jerry Jones led the way. When he couldn't make it happen, he wanted everyone to go back to talking about how Crayton would be a solid option.
Is this McNabb's last chance in Philadelphia? What do you think he will have to accomplish to stay?
You can sort of write the McNabb "last chance" story every year, so no, I don't think it's his last chance. That said, the organization has to prepare to move forward without him if he suffers another injury. If he's healthy this season, the Eagles have a great shot at getting back in the playoffs.
Thanks Matt! With all of that being said, it normally takes a few years for most WR's not named Randy Moss to make an impact in the league. Who do you think has the best chance to start immediately?
Glenn: I talked to Vinny Cerrato about this very topic two weeks ago. From what I can tell, he thinks Thomas has the best chance of stepping in immediately. He has the big body, but he also has great speed.
How do you think Jason Campbell will do in yet another new system?
SprungOn: It's the question not enough of us are answering right now. It's easy to simply say that Taylor's a great player and move onto the next storyline. But I actually thought he would've been effective in the 3-4 defense that the Parcells Gang brought to South Florida. Contrary to some of the stuff you read, Taylor really enjoyed playing for Nick Saban. He would've gone back to some of that had he remained in Miami. I think he could be more effective as a pass-rushing specialist at this point in his career. Think Charles Haley in the early 90s. But the Redskins will ask him to play the run as well. They better have a plan for getting him off the field because I think we'll see him struggle if he's left on the field 90 percent of the time.
Quitely I think the Giants have one of the best o-line's in the league. That being said, can we really expect David Deihl to have another great season protecting the blindside?
The Giants might not have the most talented bunch, but they play well as a unit. I don't see any reason why Diehl will fade after an excellent season. And now they've locked up Chris Snee, who has quietly become one of the best guards in the league. And don't underestimate the leadership that center Shaun O'Hara brings. I've gotten to know him a little bit and he has a ton of influence in that locker room.
I think SprungOnSports was asking about Jason Campbell
Oops!! I have Jason Taylor on the brain because of yesterday's trade. How will Campbell do? I think he'll love playing in Zorn's system. It's the type of offense he played in his senior season at Auburn. And I don't believe that team lost a game. Zorn has worked with Campbell on taking longer strides and getting lower in the pocket. I really think it's a nice match. So yes, it's tough to learn a bunch of new systems, but you can't use that as an excuse. This is a good system for Campbell. Sorry I didn't answer your original question.
when will people show respect to the big 12, all u hear about is the SEC, or the PAC-10
Sir: Let me point you to our college blogging network. But while you're here, anyone that picks Baylor to finish sixth in the South is out of their mind. The Legend of Robert Griffin has arrived in Waco.
Yo Matt... ESPN and you guys need to stop with excessive coverage of Brett Favre, the Cowboys, 85, the Pats, and every other overhyped story I see. MORE BROWNS COVERAGE Oh, and feed the children.
Sally: Didn't know what happened to you when Gilmore Girls was canceled. When Brett Favre says that he wants to unretire during the dog days of the NFL offseason, you're going to hear a lot about it. And yes, there's the perception that the Cowboys, Pats, Red Sox, Yankees, etc. receive too much attention. Well, I have just the answer for you. We have a new AFC North blogger named James Walker who is one of the best in the business. If you're sick of the Cowboys and Pats, go visit James' new blog.
Desean Jackson; is he the surprise rookie of the year? I saw him in training camp and he was burning Asante Samuel on a few plays.
I'm making my annual pilgrimage to Bethlehem in a couple of weeks. Hoping I can find an Inn. I'll let you know what I find out about Jackson. I wouldn't get too excited until the lights come on. The guy is lightning-fast, but he'll have to get off the line of scrimmage against cornerbacks who will try to jam him all the time. The Eagles desperately need him to provide some help in the vertical game, but you should never count on rookie wide receivers, sayeth a wise old scout who works for the Titans.
Matt, who are your sleeper teams for 2008?
I think the Panthers could make a quick turnaround if Jake Delhomme can come back strong. I think the Eagles are my definite sleeper team from the NFC East, although it's weird to call a traditional powerhouse a sleeper. And look out for my scrappy Texans. An easy team to like. Also watch out for a rebound year from the Broncos. I'll let Billy Williamson tell you why.
Are you still there, Matt?
Why do you see the Giants ahead of the Redskins at this point. Yes the Giants won the Super Bowl last year, but these teams were extremely even, similar records and they split during the season. The 'Skins added Jason Taylor and a few big WRs while the Giants lost Michael Strahan. It seems to me the 'Skins might have the edge and it is just too easy to say the Giants will be better.
When did we stop giving teams the benefit of the doubt after they won a Super Bowl. Yes, Michael Strahan retired, but I think is replacement, Justin Tuck, is on the verge of stardom. At least it looked like it in the Super Bowl. Don't discount the whole "been there" factor for the Giants. It's easy for us to focus on the distractions, but they also had a lot of distractions heading into their Super Bowl season. I think the Redskins got better on Sunday. But Jason Taylor doesn't put them ahead of the Giants.
How is Isiah Stanback coming along?? All I've heard about him since he was drafted is that he has "tons of upside" and "lots of potential" but how long is it going to take him to transition to WR and overtake the #3 spot from Hurd/Austin?
I've seen Isiah Stanbacks come through Dallas for the past 20 years. The last quarterback-turned-receiver story (Crayton) worked out pretty well for the Cowboys. But just because Stanback has great athleticism, it doesn't mean he'll be a productive player. I'll take a look at him when I arrive in Oxnard next weekend, though.
With news that Adrian Peterson will be getting more 3rd down carries, what do you expect out of Chester Taylor? He can't be too happy about that, will they try and trade him?
Wait! Did someone tell Brad Childress he can use All Day on every down? I think Chester Taylor's in a good situation. When teams build an entire game plan around stopping one player, it frees up other players to make big plays. So far, Taylor's embraced the concept. He's playing next to the second-best back in football. What's he expect?
What's the best time to visit a team's training camp? Beginning, middle, end? Thanks!
Bald Bird: It's a good question. I think it's fun to go early when everyone's still in a good mood. By the third week, players are sick of sticking around in the hot sun signing autographs. If you have the opportunity, go in Week 1 or Week 2.
Greetings. I'm here to take the torch from Matt, whenever he's ready to pass it off. We can focus on the NFC South - I'm getting ready to make my training camp rounds of the division starting Wednesday - or talk about anything else in the NFL. Fire away and please understand the questions come in very rapidly. If your question doesn't get answered, you might want to submit it again a few minutes later. I'll get to as many as I possibly can.
I am a huge New Orleans Saints fan, ever since I was 3 years old.....how do you think they look for this year and why?
what do you think will be the end conclusion with the terry glenn saga
I'll be in Jackson, Miss., on Wednesday at at the Saints first practice Thursday morning. I have them as the favorite in the division right now. Great offense. If Vilma and Ellis can make the defense better, this will be a very good team.
Pat, what do you expect from Carolina's run game this season? Who's the go-to back?
I think Glenn will come to his senses and realize this is his best option for taking a run at another Super Bowl. This whole thing has made Jerry Jones look bad because he pumped up Glenn the entire offseason and then basically treated him like he was expendable. OK, Pat Yaskinskas is taking over to talk NFC South. You guys have been great!
It'll be better than last year, simply because o-line is better and they'll have their QB. I think Stewart will get the bulk of the carries, but DeAngelo will play a pretty big role as well.
Pat, I'm always interested in the Panthers. What are their biggest needs heading into training camp, and do they have the personnel to fill their voids?
I'd say pass rush is the biggest question mark. If Peppers bounces back, that will help a real lot. The other guys are Tyler Brayton, Charles Johnson and Stanley McClover. None of them have done a lot in the past. But Fox can coach DEs and he might be able to get one of them to step up.
Will I be used in the slot this year, and do you see more screen passes to me to get me in open space now that the Big Duece will be healthy this year?
Yes, Reggie, I think they'll try to get you out into space more this year. You're definitely going to get more touches.
Will Ryan Kalil and Toniu Fonoti be significant upgrades and center and RG?
Everyone I've talked to in Carolina has said Fonotoi has looked great in offseason workouts. If he's in shape, he's a big upgrade. Kalil's going to be fine. Sitting most of last year might have been the best thing for him.
Over/Under 50/50 chance Brett Favre ends uip in Tampa Bay?
Over. If he plays anywhere outside Green Bay, it will be Tampa Bay.
I'm in a keeper league and I can keep two players from last years roster, Marshawn Lynch, Chris Cooley and Greg Jennings are my 3 narrowed down choices. Who should I keep and why?
Lynch and Cooley.
Do you see the Saints working out anything with the Giants and getting Shockey before the season starts?
Yes, I still think Shockey to the Saints is possible. He doesn't want to be in NY and the Saints could use him.
Riddle me this Patman, if the Bucs ship sinks in 2008 will Gruden be forced to walk the plank?
Hey Pat. Do you see the Saints D being a top 5 unit (in the NFC) with the addition of Vilma, Ellis, McCray, and Gay? And do you think that could be enough to finally get them to the superbowl?
Several of you posed a similar question, so I'll answer you all at once. Saints will be better on defense, but not in the top 5. They'll be about middle of the pack. Ellis and Vilma will help the run defense a lot. As long as the defense is average, this team will be good because the offense is loaded.
Thanks for ignoring my previous question. So ill ask again, Do you think San Diego is pressured to win a SB in SD or if they lose, will they relocate, like a move "back" to Los Angeles?
Going as fast as I can. Yeah, there's pressure to get a new stadium in SD. But LA doesn't exactly have its act completely together, so I don't think anything's going to happen right away.
Pat Y - what's with the Cowboys #6? They're stacked everywhere....Ware, Newman, Whitten, and TO are as good as anyone else at their positions....#6???? Were you not a fan as a kid?
They are loaded. But so is that whole division. They're going to beat up on each other.
Will Aaron Rogers under center prevent Greg Jennings from having another solid fantasy Season?
I'd be careful with Jennings. Anytime there's a new QB, it's risky.
Pat I know you wrote a blog entry on the Panthers #2 receiver spot. Do you think that DJ will beat Moose in traning camp or will Foxy go for the familiar face at the #2.
I say Moose to open the season. Maybe Hackett emerges as season goes on.
Do you think that Larry Johnson will ever have as produtive year in Kansas City as he did in 2006 and will he stay there his hole career.
I think he'll get out of KC at some point. And I think, yes, he can be as good as he was in the best. But I'm always partial toward Penn State guys.
How does Delhomme look coming off of Tommy John surgery, and will he be healthy enough to throw the deep ball to Smith to keep defenses honest?
Everyone I talk to with the Panthers said Delhomme looks great. That's why they're not going after Favre and why they didn't bring in another QB.
Pat, will the Giants finally get the respect they deserve
They've got my respect.
Will Dan Connor be given a chance to be Carolina's starting WLB? I think he, Beason, and T.Davis will form the best set of LB by 2010.
Connor might have to spend a year as a backup and special teams guy because Panthers are very deep at LB. But I think he'll be a player. Again, I grew up a Penn State fan.
What team in the NFC that is getting the biggest preseason hype is due for the biggest letdown? My vote is the Vikings.
I'll go with you on the Vikings. Not sold on their QB and not sure Jared Allen will come in and instantly duplicate what he did for KC.
Will Peyton Manning be back for the start of the season? Fantasy wise, is it worth it to take a risk on Marvin Harrison, or will he never put those numbers up again?
Looks like Peyton will be back. I'd stay clear of Harrison, though.
Which one of these over-rated CB's is the most over-rated, DeAngelo Hall, Al Harris, or Asante Samuel
Hall - Steve Smith tore him up last year.
Who do you think wins the starting RB role in Tampa? Dunn and Graham are making similar salaries.
Dunn. Gruden never wanted to lose him in the first place.
Do you think the Falcons believe in Matt Ryan? I mean they resigned Redman and Harrington, and Shockley is still under contract. Does this mean that the Falcons don't expect Ryan to start this season?
They believe in him. But I don't think they should start him right off the bat. Let Redman take the lumps for a while. You don't want Ryan to end up likely David Carr.
Pat, where do the Niners sit in their division, in your opinion? Can they at least make it to .500, or are they headed back to the top of next year's draft?
Potentially, yeah, they could have a winning season. But that division is tough to call because they're all pretty similar.
Do you see the Saints making a run at Jets TE Chris Baker?
No, I see them going after Shockey.
ARGHHHH!! Are the Lions ever, ever, ever going to the playoffs again?
What do you think of Carolina's Charles JOhnson? Ricks had to keep him out of practices when he was at Georgia because he was so dominant.
Saw him in practice all last year. Like his potential. He's quick. Needed to bulk up and I think he has. He could be the sleeper in their DE situation.
I've been a huge Deangelo Williams fan for the last two years, and I think that he has a ton of potential. Why isn't there any talk about him finally getting his chance? Is Stewart really going to be that much better?
I like DeAngelo a lot. But the coaches never have fully bought into him. I think they're going to use him as a situational guy. The went out and got Stewart because he's bigger and more of a power runner - like Stephen Davis.
Pat, is it just me, or does Adrian Arrington remind you of a quicker Marques Colston. I think he could easily become the number 2 WR on that team ahead of David Patten and Robert "Street Clothes" Meachem. Whaddya think?
Yes, he certainly looks like another Colston. But it's a lot to expect lightning to strike twice in the 7th round. Patten will open as the starter.
Do you see Peppers bouncing back? Would you still consider the Panthers a dangerous team to reach the playoffs? I sure think so with Stewart and the return of Moose and Delhomme. The transaction people are missing is how much losing Kris Jenkins could hurt.
I think the return of Jake alone should at least make them close to a playoff team. If Peppers bounces back, they'll be fine.
Will Julius Peppers get a new contract before the start of the regular season while the Panthers can still afford him?
No, why give him a contract now? Let him bounce back and show he's still got it and then give him a contract.
Pat do you think Aaron Rodgers will be able to take the Packers to the playoffs this year?
It's possible. That was a good team last year and it wasn't all Favre. Rodgers has had plenty of time to learn the offense. No reason they can't go to the playoffs.
Who has the better season Big Ben or Brees?
Brees. No knock on Ben. But I just think the Saints are loaded at the skill positions and Brees will have a big year.
Paul, As what seems like the lone Jaguar fan in Orlando, I have them seriously contending for a title. If not for a couple of dropped passes in the endzone against New England,we might be celebrating instead of New York. Is this the season they win the division and get the bye or am I just dreaming?
You're not dreaming. But they have to get instant production out of those two rookie DEs if they're going to overtake the Colts.
With Manningham, Shockey, a healthy O line and Eli coming into his prime, I think the Giants will repeat. Why all the cowboy love?
As I said before, I think the four teams in that division are going to beat each other up and the NFC Super Bowl team will come from somewhere else.
Pat, I am going to cry if Sedrick Ellis doesnt get into camp on time!! Should I go grab a box of cleanex and a pint of Haagen Daaz?
I think he'll get there. Saints know how important it is to have him from the start.
Pat do you see a similar season for the Pats this year, do you think they can go undefeated again in the regular season?
Won't go undefeated. Still very good. I'll say 12-4.
So what do you think of Ricky Williams coming back? Reports say he's looking good...any precedent of a player coming back from such a long lay-off and doing well?
I've heard he's more motivated than ever and is looking great. Would be a great story if he can make a strong comeback. Also would help the Dolphins a lot.
Who is your Super Bowl contender out of the NFC South?
Saints are top choice. Carolina could do it if Delhomme's healthy and Peppers bounces back. Tampa and Atlanta don't have the goods to get there.
Didn't the Saints already try for Shockey and couldn't get him before the Draft?
Yep, but sometimes things shake loose right before training camp.
Do you think the Bengals have an outside chance of making the playoffs via wildcard?
Yes, absolutely. They've got a ton of offensive talent. Just need a little defense.
I think the world will get to know Pierre Thomas this year. He looked very impressive against the Bears at the end of last year. Does he get the chance with or without Duece/Reggie being healthy?
Think the Saints will use Thomas a fair amount in a combo backfield. They don't want to overuse Deuce and Bush isn't an every-down back.
I think the Saints will win the Super Bowl this year, am I crazy?
No, you're not crazy. As I said NFC East has four good teams and they're going to beat up each other. Not sure the West has anything special and the Packers or Vikings would need their young QBs to step up to get that far.
Will 2nd year Tampa defensive players Gaines Adams and Tanard Jackson have good seasons?
Yes, Adams will have a breakout year. Jackson already was pretty good and he'll be better.
Pat-what do you think about Maroney for this season? Will he have a bigger impact?
Yes, I think so. Think he's earned the confidence of the staff.
Who will be Tampa's starting QB if Garcia holds out?
Will Reggie Bush be the dominant offensive player everyone thought he would be coming out of college?
Nope, situational player.
Over or Under: Skins with 9 wins
Under - 8.
With all that young talent in Oakland, do you think the Raiders could be a 5 or win team this year?
Yeah, I don't think five wins is asking for too much. There is some talent on that team and Lane Kiffin can coach.
Do you think the Chargers will get a better shot to knock off the Pats and Colts than this year?
Yes, Colts already have some injury issues and Pats could slip. But I'd throw Jacksonville right in there with the Chargers.
How is it that the Pats have the easiest schedule in the NFL?
They must have film of somebody.
what do you think Taylor's trade to washington is going to do that team? Does that make them a favorite in the east now? or even a favorite to win the NFC?
It definitely will help them, but I don't think it's enough to make them the favorite in the division.
So are you saying that Brett Favre is going to the Bucs?
If he doesn't play in Green Bay or retire again, yes. That's what I think will happen.
QUESTION T0 PAT YASINSKAS AT 1.45 PM HI PAT YASINSKAS GIVE MY GIANTS SOME LOVE
They're still the Super Bowl champs for now. Glad Chris Snee, who grew up just up the road from where I did, got a big, new contract. Is that enough?
Where will Garcia go if Favre comes to TB? Would be a waste of a legit starter to have Garcia sit on the bench, no?
Can Derrick Harvey & Quentin Groves make an immediate impact for the Jags?
Yes, Del Rio can get them ready. Think back to what he did with a rookie Julius Peppers when he was Carolina's d-coordinator in 2002.
Will Jake Delhoumme really make good decisions on the field this year? When will Caroilna start looking for a new, healthier, and better passer?
Wait a second - your ripping Delhomme. I thought after last season Carolina fans finally realized his value. The guy's a very solid QB.
Drew Brees returns to the Pro Bowl. True or False?
Pat, with fantasy in mind...would you say Colston is a top 5 WR in the league for this coming season?
Pat, Aside from Marques Colston, The Saints don't have that clear cut #2 WR. Patten doesn't have too many years left on him. So out of Henderson, Meachem, and the under-the-radar rookie Arrington, who has the best chance of eventually becoming Drew Brees's #2 target?
Probably Patten. Meachem sure didn't show much last year and Henderson's hands always are an issue. Maybe Arrington steps up, but that's a lot to expect.
Do you see me running for 2K yards and 20 TD's in Zorn's system? Hey, it worked for that Alexander dude..... Oh, and will I catch a lot of passes?
No, sorry Clinton. Maybe about 1,400 yards.
Bill Williamson actually makes a post this week. True or False?
Give Bill a break. He's taken a little time off. He'll be back in a day or two and will give you plenty on the AFC West.
Nobody agrees with me BUT Reggie Bush = Modern Day Dave Meggett, we miss you down here
I'll agree with you. And I am back living in Tampa.
Grossman or Orton in Chicago?
Grossman because he's Jerry Angelo's guy.
what sort of impact will Ellis have on the Saints D-line?
Huge, he gives them a presence in the middle and will keep blockers off Vilma.
Don't sleep on Arizona. Considering half their defense was on the shelf, they were a field goal away from being in the playoffs last year.
I'd like to agree with you, but it seems we said that about the Cardinals every year and, then, it's the same old story. I do think they've finally got a good coaching staff, though.
Over/Under -- 9 wins for the Saints.
Over. I'll go with 11.
Did Eli peak in the playoffs or can we expect a breakout year this year?
I think he builds on last year and is even better.
Rashard Mendenhall: Offensive Rookie of the Year?
Could be, but I'll play devil's advocate and say Jonathan Stewart from Carolina. Think he'll get a bunch of carries.
do you think the jaguars are going to the playoffs this year?
With Rodgers or Favre starting, who is going to compete with the Packers, they have to still be the favorite in the NFC North
I still think they're the favorite. I'm not sold on Minnesota, as I said earlier.
Do you see the Saints having a legit running game?
Yes, I think Deuce will be solid. Maybe won't carry as much as in the past. But they'll work Bush and Thomas in there.
Over/Under -- 6 wins for the Niners?
Please comment about Vince Young: how hampered is he--really-- by the lack of receiving core? If he transfered to the Patriots tomorrow could he lead the team deep into the playoffs?
Excellent question. Yes, I think he could take a team like the Pats deep. I thought the Titans should have done a lot more to help him out in the offseason.
Is Tom Brady going to have yet another outstanding year?
Yes. How can I say no to that one?
If we moved the Falcons to college football, what conference would give them the most trouble? How many losses?
Oh, come on, they're not that terrible. They've got a quality RB and Smith can coach. They're going to win more games than they did last year.
How can people think Indy is better than San Diego? The Chargers swept indy last year beating them IN Indy in the playoffs and in SD. Have won 3 of the last 4 meetings with the colts needing a miracle comeback from peyton manning to win the one game. The Chargers would run Dallas out the stadium and are arguably the best team in the NFL.
Good points. But they've got to get to a Super Bowl to make people believe.
Over/Under 4 wins for Dolphins?
Packer fan here. But what are you not sold on Minnesota about? Besides being weak at QB they seem pretty solid to me...
QB's enough for me.
Will Tampa win the NFC south again? If not will they even make the playoffs?
I put them third behind New Olreans and Carolina.
Do you think they will expand the NFL anytime soon?
No, not in this economy. There will be relocation before expansion. Couple more questions and then I've got to run and turn it over to Kevin Seifert.
Hello everyone. NFC North guy here. Been a busy week in this division, huh? Maybe you're Favred and tampered-out, I don't know. But let's get to your NFC North questions...
What NFC South rookie will have the biggest impact for their team?
Jonathan Stewart for Carolina. He's going to get carries right from the start. Fox views him as another Stephen Davis.
Will Devin hester emerge as a top reciever in the NFL this year??
Pat, just wondering, did you pick Tampa third behind New Orleans and Carolina last year too?
Probably. Don't remember. But predictions don't mean a thing.
I don't think the Bears want to use him that much. But he might turn out to be their best offensive playmaker. Bears coach Lovie Smith really values special teams and I think he wants to balance Hester's role on offense to make sure it doesn't take away from his effectiveness as a returner.
Kevin - Anything going to come of these tampering allegations? Thanks!
Thanks everybody. Sorry to those whose questions I didn't have time to answer. Maybe Kevin will. Enjoyed it.
It's not out of the question, Phil. The Packers feel as if they have a pretty strong case, and the NFL is looking to come down hard on all forms of tampering.
I'm having trouble deciding: Burger or Turkey Club on rye. Can you help me out here? I've been here a while trying to decide, so the line is getting pretty big behind me here.
Burger. No, turkey club. Wait, burger. Well, on the other hand ... this is too emotional of a decision.
Kevin, what NFC North rookie will have the biggest impact for their team?
In the short-term, you'd have to go with Matt Forte in Chicago. All indications are that the starting job is his to lose. But don't overlook safety Tyrell Johnson in Minnesota or receiver Jordy Nelson in Green Bay.
Point on Minnesotas QB Situation, I am a Bears fan and they went to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at qb, Cant Minny do it too? They have a solid defense and great RB. Man I hate admitting that, GO BEARS.
Jason, based on how the Vikings' season went last year, they'll need Tarvaris Jackson to be more effective or else defenses can load up on the running game and stop the Vikings offense. Grossman made a lot of plays for the Bears in their Super Bowl year, even though he also made a lot of mistakes.
So lets get it out of the way... Where or does Favre play this year??
If I had to guess, I'd say Favre stays retired. The Packers bridge seems burned, and Favre has seemed hesitant about playing for another team.
A lot of talk about how bad the Bears QB situation is. However, Orton has been a winner for this team, what are the chances he wins the starting job, and if he does, can he contribute?
There are a lot of people who think Orton will win the job. You're right, he has been a winner and eventually you can't totally ignore that. Also, there is a feeling he can be more consistent than Rex Grossman. But it's all relative, of course. Neither is a budding Hall of Famer.
What do the Vikes have to give the Packers in exchange for Brett Farve?
A club over the head. The only way the Vikings get Favre from Green Bay is if the Packers are out of their minds.
hi Kevin, is the 2008 season kitna's last season? and should the lions think in a college qb promise such as Matt Stafford, Tim Tebow? and how do you see the 08 senior QB cLASS?
It could very well be, especially if Drew Stanton emerges as a guy the Lions want to take a look at. If they end up going back to the drawing board in the 2009 draft, they might need Kitna for another year or two.
I think the stability on offense and another year in the system on defense, the Lions can at least surpase the Bears and give the Pack and the Vikes some trouble. Does that sound about right?
I think it's a very strong possibility.
Kevin, do you agree the Vikings should stop these Favre rumblings give Tarvaris another year to pan out?
Only from the sense that they've already suffered through two years of Jackson's development. Why put him on the field last season, setting back what might have otherwise been a playoff team, if you're not going to use him this year when he has conceivably matured and developed?
Who ends the year with more rushing yards: Tatum Bell or Kevin Smith?
All things equal, Bell. He'll get the first shot.
Please rank the 4 NFC East teams!
Packers Vikings Lions Bears Just one person's opinion
STOP WITH THE FAVRE QUESTIONS - THERE ARE OTHER PLAYERS AND TEAMS THAT ARE NOT RETIRED
NFC EAST! Not North??
Sorry ... got NFC North on the brain. Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Very original, I know.
Think Aaron's got the arm to throw me those 94 yard overtime lobs?
Don't worry about it, Greg. Rodgers doesn't have a Favre arm but it's more than adequate. I was at Packers mini-camp with John Clayton, who has a seen a lot more football than me, and John was very impressed with Rodgers' arm strength.
The Packers seem very committed to Aaron. Why? He has bareely played a snap in the NFL...
Mostly because they invested a first-round pick in him and have been grooming him for three years. I think they like Rodgers, but they're also very cognizant of the fact that they have to transition from Brett Favre sometime. They've chosen to do it now and are using the best guy they have in their organization to do it.
Kevin, I want your opinion, should I come back or stay retired?
Just make a decision already and stick with it.
Why do most people think the Lions will take a step back in 08?? They had a solid draft and the secondary has been bolstered in the offseason.
I'm on your side, Roger. I do think it will take some time to transition to their new offense but a lot of people in the NFL think Rod Marinelli is on the right track.
Will Jared Allen live up to they hype and get 10 or more sack for the Vikings or will we go another ten plus years without a significant pass rusher?
Nick, I think it's fair to say that someone on the Vikings defensive line will have 10 sacks this season. You can't double team Kevin Williams and Jared Allen at the same time. Assuming they both stay healthy, at least one and maybe both should put up huge numbers.
Another website (Jay Glazer) just reported that the Shockey to New Orleans is a done deal. Gmen get a 2nd & 5th, same deal as the draft day deal. Who is the winner in this?
Haven't seen that report but it's seemed clear for a while that Shockey could use a clean start. I'd say Shockey would be the winner. He would go to a creative offense with a Pro Bowl quarterback and a frachose that wants him.
If Tarvaris doesn't pan out over the first half of the season, does Chilly pull the plug and put in Gus Ferotte? If that's the case, does JDB become the long term answer at QB?
By JDB you mean John David Booty. I think Childress will be very hesitant to pull Jackson during the season but at least he has a good option in Frerotte. Booty is a good fit for the west coast offense but I don't know if the Vikings view him as a potential full-time starter.
Do you think Justin Harrell can fill the void left by Corey Williams on the Packers Defense Front?
It would be nice if he could stay healthy. Harrell is especially critical because of the Johnny Jolly situation.
With the addition of Berrian(and much deserved loss of Troy "I just try to knock it down" Williamson), will the Vikings be able to complete a pass of more than 10 yards in the air? Or will they be vertically challenged again
Everything will be set up for a better passing year. Defenses will be daring Tarvaris Jackson to throw it.
The NFC North is probably the most boring division in the league.
Don't tell that to all the media outlets (including this one) that have gone wall-to-wall on their Favre/Vikings/Packers coverage the past few weeks.
Seriously, if you are going to "commit" to the running game. Why make Tatum Bell your starter? Its just not fair for us Lions fans...
Fair question. Tatum Bell had a lot of success in Denver while running in the same kind of zone-blocking scheme the Lions are installing. So he is ready to hit the ground running, so to speak, in a scheme that takes some getting used to. Kevin Smith might eventually take over the position, but for now it makes sense to start off with Bell.
Do you think the Vikings will win the division even if Farve comes back
At this point I think the Packers are the team to beat, even without Favre. With Favre, nothing changes.
Do you think Jordy Nelson will surpass James Jones on the Packer's depth chart?
No, but I think Nelson can be an ideal No. 3/slot receiver in the west-coast offense. Saw him in mini-camp and he's pretty solid. These days, the No. 3 receiver plays so much that it doesn't matter if he is a "starter."
How do you feel about the Giants trading Jeremy Shockey to an already talented NFC Team like the Saints?
Seems like everyone is fired up by this breaking news. I think it makes the Saints a stronger team, obviously, and doesn't hurt the Giants much because they won the Super Bowl without Shockey. It's a rare win-win. The Saints' defense still needs to prove itself, but this could now be a 12- or 13-win team.
Who has more receiving yards this year: Sydney Rice or Bernard Berrian?
Berrian, because I see him getting downfield more often than Rice. But I think Rice will be a huge factor in the red zone.
Do you think Calvin Johnson will have a 1,000 yard season?
I think he's got a good chance to be the best receiver in the division this year. Great receivers make a big jump between their first and second seasons.
Do you ever see Brain Brohm starting for the Pack?
Only in the case of an injury to Aaron Rodgers, at least this season. There's too much that we still don't know about Rodgers to say anything else. If he doesn't pan out, based on the way GM Ted Thompson operates, it's probably safe to say that Brohm would be the next man up.
Pat Williams on his last legs? How much he have left in the tank being 400 pounds and 35 years old?
Dude, Pat Williams is closer to 320 pounds. He's in good shape for his age and I expect he'll play at least through 2009.
Do you think that Troy Williamson will be an impact for the Jaguars WR group? I have heard of all the work he did last year to improve and it didnt happen. I have seen his freakish speed and his bad hands. I knwo time will tell but do you think having a stable quarterback with a contending team will help him get over the hump?
I guess I saw too many drops over the past three years to express much faith in Troy. Good guy, and he has worked really hard to get better. But nothing has worked, so far.
Is there anything that would prevent a team trading for Farve, and then shipping him to the Vikings for more than what they gave up to get him?
Essentially a three-way trade? Not that I'm aware of from a rules standpoint. The only hurdle would be the middle team's relationship with the Packers. Hard to imagine the Packers would trade Favre to a team knowing he would then be shipped to the Vikings. There would have to be outright deception, which doesn't happen too much in the NFL because eventually there will be retaliation.
Do you think the Lions duo of WR will combine to have the most Rec yards?
In the division? Very possible. In the NFL? We have to see just how much the Lions are going to balance their run-pass ratio.
Is this the Vikings chat? Do you think the Bears can surprise some people in the north even without a clear-cut starting QB? Their defense should be dominant again.
Paul, I think the quarterback thing is too big of a deal to gloss over. They've got to get that straightened out before anyone talks about the Bears surprising anyone.
The bears are screwed.....they don't have an offense not just a qb
There is definitely inexperience at receiver and running back. But the tight ends, Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen, are Pro Bowl caliber and the line should be improved once Chris Williams gets into the flow of things.
Kevin you obviously have no clue what you're talking about
Which coach is on the biggest hot seat this season?
In the NFC North? Some could say Brad Childress. It's not from the standpoint that he could be fired if he doesn't have a good season. Rather, his owners -- the Wilf family -- have given him everything he's asked for and gone into a deficit situation to pay for the free agents that he and personnel director Rick Spielman has asked for. The pressure is now on Childress to win with this talented roster.
Hey Kevin, I was looking at Aaron Rodgers contract, and realize he's gone after next year unless he's re-signed. If Favre does come back, do you think Rodgers can bolt in his last year and look to start for a team, perhaps the Bears even?
I don't know if the Packers would allow that. If Favre comes back, he's still a year-to-year guy and the Packers will eventually need a replacement. Rodgers' only leverage would be to hold out until he is traded or released. You don't see many guys who haven't started an NFL games hold out before they start an NFL game (with the exception of rookie contract situations.
i think its absurd donovan mcnabb is not in a bears uniform this season. angleo has been sitting around too long, not really sure why he thinks a subpar qb can get anywhere, especially twice
The other side of that question is: Were the Eagles looking to trade McNabb? I'm not sure that was the case this offseason.
Do you see the Lions making a run at the division title or wild card spot this year?
No, but there are some encouraging signs. OK, we'll turn things over to Paul Kuharsky. Thanks everyone.
Hello everyone. Hope you're having a good afternoon...
Now that they landed Jeremy Shockey, will the Saints finally have the pieces to make it to the Super Bowl?
I had the Saints ninth in my Power Rankings and think they are going to bounce back well. This move will help plenty...
This is clearly the toughest division in the AFC this year, right?
In the AFC yes. I think NFC East will be as tough.
Can you see the Titans doing anything without any solid receiver help for Vince Young?
Check out my mailbag post in the AFC South blog from last night. I think the WRs take too much heat. No they don't have a Randy Moss or Terrell Owens. A lot of other teams don't either. Vince won 10 games with this group last year.
All I wanna know is who wins the Super Bowl and who do they beat?
I got ripped in my last chat for my early prediction: Chargers over Saints. There is always someone unexpected in it, so New Orleans is my unexpected team. And now with today's trade...
Maybe you can answer my question...since Pat never bothered to. With Mike Nolan declaring the 49ers QB position up for grabs during training camp, why wouldn't the Niners make a push for Brett Favre? I don't hear them even mentioned in the mix.
My sense is they are a young team looking to build through the draft. I can see why you'd ask the question, however. But no one is mentioning them as interested...
Then if that's true, do you believe in Matt Mosley's "beat each other up" theory, or is this division good enough to send 3 teams to the playoffs again?
Three will be tough to do a second year in a row, I think...
How big of a threat will Jerry Porter be in Jacksonville?
Hard to say. First they need to get him healthy. Seems he'd like to restore his name, always a good motivation...
The colts can't win without me, right?
No. But you'll be fine in a few weeks.
can I get my question answered please? Do you think the Texans are a playoff team in a division as tough as this?
Not unless someone in front of them has major injury issues. Texans could be better with a worse record.
I think the Browns will be very good -- in 2009. Teams emerge one year, fade the next, then show if they are real the third. That's the same scenario that has be liking New Orleans...
Hello from South America. Concerning the Colts, do you see Marvin Harrison contributing as a No. 1 WR for the next 2 or 3 years, given his injury? And if all are healthy (Sanders, Harrison, Freeney and Peyton), how can they not be SB faves given the Pats offseason attrition?
You're forgetting the Chargers, who beat them last year and are as good. Impossible to predict on Harrison sight unseen.
Why?! Why do the Titans do nothing to help VY? They had so many options. Jerry Porter, Javon Walker, the draft, Bernard Berrian, Donte Stallworth. Anyone would've been a good fit.
Who's the can't miss guy they missed in the draft? Because it turned out no one liked WR in the first round, right? You think Porter/ Walker/ Berrian/Stallworth can transform an offense? I'm not so sure...
If VY thrives when the Titans run the shotgun spread offense with Chris Johnson catching balls out of the backfield, will Fisher be able to go against his instincts(ball control offense) and just let VY be VY.
If Dinger pushes for it, they'll do it. But not all the time...
Do you think the patriots can have another undefeated season?
No. It was a once in a generation kind of regular season. I think...
Paul, I'm good w/the WRs, I don't think there was an impact guy in the draft or FA besides moss and NE quickly re-signed him. Other Titans question: what about MLB? I liked Tulloch over Fowler before all this steroids stuff. Is that job open for competition?
It's Fowler. Fisher won't change a starter without some sort of major issue -- like with Roydell Williams...
when will the afc east be competitive
It's going to be a while. But the Pats may have to wait to clinch until early December...
Why would the Giants make the trade after the draft? A potentially better Saints squad will make the Giants end up with lower picks in the rounds.
whats your odds on a ne dallas superbowl
Low. Only because the two favorites rarely both make it...
Why are we talking about the darn Patsies and Cry Baby Chargers during the AFC South portion?
I will try to be AFC South heavy from here forward...
Offensive and Defensive rookie of the year for the AFC?
How about Keith Rivers and Rashard Mendenhall?
Over/Under 7 sacks for Jevon Kearse?
If he plays in 14 games, over...
Why doesn't LenDale White get any respect? He put up 1100 and 7 TDs last year without much help from the passing game and a torn ligament in his knee. What do you see from him this year?
He doesn't look the part is why. If he's healthy, I think about the same. Maybe a bit fewer carries if CJ pans out. Then need LW healthy for sure.
Will DeMeco Ryans help my Texans to a winning record, and maybe even a wild card spot?
My Houston pick is more about the other three teams in the South than Houston, I think. They have to beat the Titans and get to third. Hard to pick them to do so considering they've beaten them only twice, both times in 04 I believe...
I am assuming you got to see a few practices of the Titans. Is Chris Johnson looking as good as reports are saying?
I didn't feel like they used him a whole lot. He's incredibly fast, yes. I haven't seen the reports that say he's stood out so much in OTAs. Titans move slowly with rookies...
Chances of New Orleans Saints to the Superbowl?
They are my current NFC pick if you can believe it. So that probably means .001 percent!
David Garrard wins MVP this year, true or false?
False. The Jags can be really good if he validates last season with a nother good effort. But they aren't asking him to be Manning or Brady...
I would love to see Mike Williams revive his almost-certainly doomed career. What are the odds he makes the Titans roster and makes a meaningful contribution?
I don't think he makes the roster and have trouble understanding everyone's facination with him. He's very limited. If he busted with two teams that needed WRs, why will he all of a sudden be good?
Did jacksonville do enough on defense to see an immediate result in the pass rushing scheme.
Spending two first rounders on DEs is sure trying. I am not sure how much more they could have done. I'm sure Gregg Williams will scheme everything he can. But immediate results? Hard to say...
Any advice for a Steelers fan in Colt land?
Do you see the Broncos making a push for the AFC West title? And do you think that their running game will return to full strength after being down the last two years?
Maybe they get in the playoff mix. I think SD will win that division by a good margin...
Whos the better Ground threat David Garrard or Vince Young.
Since the Colts are in the AFC SOUTH, I have an AFC SOUTH question. What do you think of Indianapolis' draft class?
I think I can't pretend to know how good anyone's draft class is before I've seen even one of the guys in a padded practice. Polian is fantastic at what he does. I'd expect Pollak to win the open job and the TEs to chip in. They'll miss Peyton in camp...
Among the 4 AFC South teams, who's got the scariest defense?
Tough call. If I'm a QB, Tennessee is scariest with Vanden Bosch and Haynesworth coming at me from the same side...
do you think mendenhall will be a good back in the nfl
Picked him earlier in a question about AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year...
Stand back, there's a hurricane comin' through! What effect do you expect Alge Crumpler to have on Vince's progression as a QB this season?
You knew that one would get noticed.. Crumpler should help him a lot, especially in the red zone where the Titans were horrific and Crumpler is very good...
Everyone knows AJ, Demeco, and Mario; but what do you think of some of their hidden gems like Bennett and Winston?
Like their big names, that second tier of Texans has yet to approach its peak. A good reason to be excited about them despite the tough division...
Eagles got a chance to shock the world this season?
Playoff potential, sure. SB seems a little too much, but this is a guy who's picked the Saints. NFC seems wide open to me. Reid and his staff are excellent...
I put too much effort in this not to be answered! The Jets weakness last year was pass rush, and redzone offense. We added Gholston, Pace and Jenkins for the D-Line, and we added the player with most number of touchdown catches of 9 yards or fewer from 2001-07: Bubba Franks, along with Alan Faneca to a potentially dominating line. Our new toughness and run first system is the type that Chad Pennington has shown he can be succesful in (Jets - 41, Colts - 0). The Jets are a true sleeper this year.
The national perspective is all about the QB situation. Uncertainty there masks a lot of the stuff you mention. I think Jets, Bills, loser between Browns and Steelers, Denver and Tennessee fight for final Wild Card spot. Tough group to win...
Do you think the Jags can repeat an 11-win season with a tougher 2009 schedule and a seemingly improved divison with the Titans and Texans making forward progressions?
Possibly, yes. Is Garrard as good as he looked? Do the kids contribute to the pass rush? If so, they could get back to 11...
Who has looked more impressive in OTA's Jason Jones or William Hayes for the Titans?
Jones. But OTA ratings of linemen are pretty meaningless...
How do you think the chiefs will do this year
Why do the Pats always seem to have the easiest schedule in the NFL?
Miami twice gets them started. They ARE playing Chargers and Colts and Steelers...
Whatsup boss, listen i always find myself stuck around the 20-25 picks, jacobs, maroney, parker, MJD, Grant, which of these do you think will be most productive? what about Andre johnson and Fitzgerald??
If you're getting Fitzgerald at 20-25, I say jump. But I never win...
What does the future hold for Matt Jones?
Porter injury certainly buys Jones a better chance to change opinions in preseason...
Predict how the division finishes up this season? Do we finally have a new winner in the division?
Hard to pick against the five-time defending champs... 1) Colts 2) Jags 3) Titans 4) Texans I reserve the right to change my mind up to the start of the regular season...
I have Favre in a 5 player keeper league, my team is real good, should i keep him (TO, LT, McGahee, Romo are keepers now, i could keep NE D/ST, and/or Marvin Harrison, or Derek Anderson, or Favre.....?)
If no news on Favre by the time you have to decide, I'd keep Anderson or NE. But I never win...
We've covered my thoughts on Jags, you should be able to scroll down to find. And these chats will all be available to review for free after they are all over...
Any word on how Roydell Williams' ankle is coming along, and if he misses time, how will that effect the Titan offense?
He doesn't do well with pain and he'll be in pain all year. They've already moved on expecting little from him and McCareins is in his spot...
How do you feel about Indy's chances of overcoming the Chargers and 'Pats to make it back to the Super Bowl?
I feel like it's going to be the Chargers' turn this time...
You said earlier that teams often explode onto the scene one year, fade for a year, and then establish themselves (In regards to the Browns). Is this the Titans year to fade?
They could fit the model, yes. Got a big break in Indy last year. May be due to not get a break this year...
Who do you like more (or hate less) Grossman or Orton?
I'd like a third option, please...
I have sent so many questions in so far about the Bills, and you havent answered one! they had a really good draft (McKelvin,Hardy) and picked up Stroud in free agency, and will have Pozluzny returning this year, they were 7-9 with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, why cant we be considered a sleeper?
Sorry. We're focusing on AFC South this hour. I think the Bills will be significantly better. Now can the second place team in the East be in the mix for the second Wild Card spot is the question?
What happens to the Titan Chris Henry?
He's on the team this year no matter what, I think. Limited role unless people are hurt...
What are you preditions of the Carolina Panthers this year after coming off a disapointing season last season?
I'm not especially excited about them. My colleague Pat wrote a good piece about their Dline issues and that's usually a strength for Fox...
Only Paul Kuharsky here now. James Walker in about 10 minutes...
RPS. Pump up Argonauts. They have to give Clemens a good look, I would think.
Everyone has forgotten about the addition of Chris Carr to the Titan's return team. He had success in Oakland. Think he can help the Titans win a game or two this season?
Who's forgotten? I'd be more excited if he was also good on punts. But he should be a consistent kickoff guy.
Chris Henry of the Titans? Do you think he's still feeling that hit from Darrell Reid?
Wouldn't be a surprise...
Colts biggest threat to Pats? in the AFC?
Paul, its me, your common sense. Saints in the Super Bowl? They would finish last in the NFC East!!
But Paul, they are not in the NFC East and under the rules they would only have to qualify out of the NFC South... Weird talking to myself...
Ill try one more time... Better stats this year... Brady or Manning?
How much of an impact do you see Jerry Porter having down in Jacksonville, especially in light of his injury? And when do you think he will first see the field this season?
Maybe opening day. Hard to say without having seen him at all for myself. Wants to redeem his name. Has an opportunity to do so...
With Chris Henry (formerly of Cincinnati) hoping for reinstatement into the NFL in September, what are the chances that the Titans roll the dice on another controversial player and look to sign him?
Zero. They are finally out of the controversial player business...
Since there has not been one NFC West reference in this whole "marathon chat" - you mind at least ranking the teams?
Seattle Arizona St. Loo SF
Biggest rookie impact in the AFC this year?
Earlier I piecked Mendenhall and Rivers as offensive and defensive rookies of the year in the AFC...
Here comes a very predictable play-call... A hand off to James Walker who can do a lot better on your AFC North questions. Thanks to all, hit my mailbag on the AFC South blog...
Hey everyone, just landed in Baltimore a couple hours ago so I can start my 2008 training camp tour Tuesday. Let's get right into some AFC North questions.
How do you think Browns look
Training camp starts Wednesday, but the Browns looked great in "shorts" during minicamp. The media jokes all the time about what it means when football is played without contact. But what you could see is that there is more talent and speed on the field than in years past. It's pretty dramatic, even from just two years ago. The players are fast and they have a lot of size on the o- and d-line.
Sorry guys, forgot to change the name.
With Chad in the fold, can the Bengals regain their '05 playoff form and make it back this year? Who Dey!
It's going to be tough for the Bengals, Justin. A lot has changed since 2005. First, the Browns have gotten better and are a significant threat in the division. The Steelers are always consistently good, and the Ravens could surprise with their defense. Plus, two key members of that 2005 team--Chris Henry and Odell Thurman--are no longer on the team. They made big impacts as rookies.
Roethlisberger, huge year?
Big year Matt. I saw Ben throw in minicamp and the ball rarely touched the ground. That's how I mark elite-level quarterbacks. It's the same in Cinci when Carson is practicing. It's practice, and if you're at the top of the NFL, you're not suppose to miss throws without contact, and those two don't. I'm sure Brady and Peyton Manning are the same.
The Browns might be looking for wr and cb
The Browns are looking for a cornerback as we speak. They know that is a troubled area for them, and playing against T.O. in week one has certainly upped the nervousness in Cleveland. A receiver is not a huge need right now because they have some options in Kevin Kasper, Travis Wilson and Josh Cribbs. They only need one to step up for them.
How will Rudi Johnson do this year? Is he worthy of a first round fantasy pick?
Don't pick Rudi in the first round of your fantasy team. That would be a mistake. He is the 3rd or 4th option in the offense. But Rudi Johnson should have a bounce back year. He gained 15 pounds of muscle and should be a candidate again for 1,000 yards.
How can the Ravens not be the favorites?
Well, for starters they only won five games last year. Second, Baltimore doesn't know who its quarterback is. The Ravens also have a young o-line and not many explosive weapons on offense. Those are a few reason. But they are strong in certain areas, such as defense and special teams.
Any Browns QB controversy on the horizon if Anderson has a bad pre-season and Quinn has en excellent one? It seemed once teams got tape on Anderson, he did not play well down the stretch.
There will be no Browns QB controversy in the preseason. The only way Brady Quinn will come into play if through injury or if Derek Anderson is the reason the team is losing too many games.
It seems like you're down on the Bengals from reading your blog. If their DST can be middle of the road, shouldn't their potent offense make them a playoff team again in 2008-09?
That's a big if Leslie. The Bengals defense hasn't been solid for a long time, so expecting them to be top 12-top 15 is hoping for a lot. The offense was good last year, and it only got the Bengals 7 wins.
How do you like Mike Tomlin as a coach?...and how do you see him doing in his second season as head coach?
Steve, I'm high on Mike Tomlin. He has a great hard-nosed mentality to coach the Steelers and the players get along with him well. Barring injury, the Steelers will be better this year, even if their record doesn't indicate it.
Hey Mike Brown...whaddaya say? Eh? One more chance?
It could happen.
What would it take for the Browns to get Lito Sheppard from the eagles? Both Shockey and Jason Taylor have been traded in the last day, is Lito next?
Don't hold your breath. Lito wants a new contract, too, so the Browns would have to give up something and shell out a lot of dough in the process. The Browns already did that with Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers. They are finished going down that road for now.
Breylon Edwards 3rd best wr in the NFL?
He's a great player, but not in my top three. He makes a lot of big plays but he also botches a lot of routine plays. He's been among the league leader in dropped balls the past two years.
How good can Santonio Holmes be?
I'm expecting a breakout year for Santonio Holmes. He has yet to have 1,000 yards and I feel this will be the year.
Who makes a bigger impact in their rookie year - Ray Rice or Rashard Mendenhall?
Rashard Mendenhall. He has the complete package.
Do you see the Browns Defense taking a big step forward under Mel Tucker?
I do. Tucker is in a great position because the defense can't go anywhere but up. Even if he gets in the teens, he would have been significantly better than past Browns teams.
Why no answers about Brady Quinn? What's his future in the NFL?
Here you go Angela. Brady Quinn will be fine. The coaches like him a lot. He just has to wait his turn. Unless Derek Anderson really lights it up again this year, there is a good chance Browns fans will get their wish in 2009.
Is it over for Troy smith?
Troy has just as good a shot as the other two. There is a clean slate in Baltimore starting this week.
Who is going to be this years Dark Horse?
It's early with training camp just beginning. But in the NFL, the Raiders could surprise and in the AFC North, the Ravens.
Jamal Lewis or Willis McGahee?
You have to specify if I'm playing GM here or fantasy football. I'd probably take Jamal Lewis in both cases, better supporting cast
Who's your Super Bowl pick?
Great name! I like Dallas and New England. But I'm not going to make it official until the preseason is over.
Any sleeper fantasy studs lurking around the AFC North?
Todd Heap and Donte Stallworth could be late-round steals. Heap has to stay healthy but Cam Cameron is doing some interesting things to get him the football. Stallworth will be the No. 3 option in an offense that will score tons of points.
How does Limas Sweed look? Any lingering effects from the wrist injury which ended his senior year at Texas? Do you think he will be a significant contributor on offense this season?
I liked what I saw from Sweed this spring. He has the big body the Steelers are looking for and he looks smooth, even as a rookie. He has to first beat of Nate Washington for the No. 3 spot in camp to get on the field.
If reinstated by the NFL, will any team (including the Bengals) take a chance on Chris Henry? Where would he fit best?
I interviewed Henry and his agent several times this summer and they are confident Henry will find a team if he's reinstated. I agree. He's too talented not to. And technically, in the eyes of the judicial system, Henry didn't do anything wrong. So a team will pick him up. He's a tremendous talent for a bargain basement price.
hey James, true or false question, Kamerion Wimbley will have 10 or more sacks this year
Fast Willie only got 2 TDs last year. TWO! Fluke?
Willie Parker will get more than two touchdowns this year. But he is not a touchdown machine. Most of his yards come in between the 20s.
How big of an impact will LaMarr Woodley & Lawrence Timmons have on the Steelers' 3-4 defense?
Woodley more of an impact that Timmons. Woodley should win a starting job this year. He's proven he can get to the QB, which is a great asset in that defense.
J Walk - listen to you on 1460 the fan, great job. How do you see the Browns finishing up in the division this year, is it time to party in the flats?
Hey Jason. Browns should do well, but I want to see them beat the Steelers with my own eyes before I give them the division. By the way, I wouldn't party in flats. That's old hat. The Arena District is much better.
Is Hines Ward on the decline? Pittsburgh has a lot of good young WRs (Holmes, Washington, Sweed) that could start eating into his numbers.
Hines Ward always brings a lot more than numbers to the Steelers. He is still the best downfield blocker in the NFL, one of the most physical and probably the smartest. He will be solid as usual this year.
Is Carson Palmer still the 3rd best QB in the league? Is he even top 5?
Yes Carson Palmer is the third best quarterback in the NFL. Don't be fooled by last year. The Bengals played from behind a lot and he was forced to do too much.
Arena District? Are you referring to East 4th (this is the street near the arena) or West 6th (the real place to party)...
The poster was from Columbus, not Cleveland. I know West 6th in Cleveland too.
James, your opinion: Who wins the ravens qb spot?
I get drilled everytime I say this, but I think Joe Flacco will win the job this summer. He throws the best ball of the three quarterbacks.
Would you consider Andre Caldwell to be an adequate replacement for Chris Henry as a deep threat in the Bengals offense?
It's too early to tell. Caldwell did look more polished than Jerome Simpson in minicamp but that's probably because he faced higher-level competition. Simpson could catch up to speed in training camp.
James, thoughts on the Ravens' record this year and the demise of Camp Billick? Are the vets like Ray and Ed Reed buying in?
The Ravens are candidates to win between 6-9 games, depending on some lucky or unlucky bounces. I'm getting a lot of predicition questions but I'm trying to hold off until camps and the preseason are over. I want to see the teams practice and play with my own eyes first and people also get injured.
Can you tell me how Marvin Lewis still has a job and Billick doesn't. Billick won a SB and 12 games just two seasons ago. What has Marv done? One playoff appearance?
A lot of it depends on ownership and expectations. Billick's style ran out of favor with ownership and with all the talent on the Ravens, the team felt a change was needed. Marvin Lewis is in good standing with Mike Brown and doesn't get as much talent, minus a few stud offensive players.
If the Browns aren't going after Sheppard, who do they target? Round 2 of Anthony Henry? That has to be the biggest area of need for an otherwise emerging team, right?
I'm not sure where this Anthony Henry talk is resonating from? He wanted out of Cleveland in the worst way a few years ago. That seems unlikely. The Browns don't have many peices to make a major move, so expect a much smaller move if any.
Do you think that the signing of ODOM will be enough generate that edge pressure Justin Smith could not seem to accomplish? Do you agree ht e pass rush needs to be improved for this Bengal team to make any noise?
This was a good signing, but I worry that Bengals fans expect too much of Odom. He was a great role player on a Titans defense that included Albert Hanyesworth and Keith Bulluck. That allowed Odom to go one-on-one and make plays. He doesn't have that type of cast in Cincinnati so offense can focus on him more this year.
Any chance the Browns go after former Bengal Chris Henry?
I doubt it. Phil Savage is very aware of taking in too many players that are character risks.
A co-worker (bears fan) and I (Browns fan) get into many arguments about who is the best special teams player in the NFL. Settle it for us, Hester or Cribbs?
Hester is the better pure returner. Cribbs is the better special teams ace because of his versatility. It depends on your argument.
I want to know who the best backup QB out there is?
Tough question. I would go Kurt Warner in Arizona, then Brady Quinn. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.
James Im concerned about Shaun Rogers being a let down. Should I be?
With his past there is reason to be concerned. But so far Rogers has looked like one of the better pickups this offseason. The Browns are a good fit for him with an exciting team that will be in contention. Detroit wasn't.
Do you see Zimmer making a difference this year with the Bengals D? Any chance of them moving to a 3-4
Mike Zimmer will make a difference, but it will take time. The Bengals' best players (Rivers, Peko, Hall, Joseph) are all young. And they will need to develop individually before coming together to be a great unit.
Thanks everyone for your time. Let's get together again soon.
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