Hi everyone. Plenty to chat about today, judging by the number of questions already in the line. I'll do my best to get to as many as I can. Let's get to it.
Wierd set-up in the NFC North. Given the 3 contenders' respective schedule's, injuries, and play so far, how do you see the division ending up? Even as a Vikes fan, the Bears seem to have a slight edge.
It's wide-open, in my opinion. The Vikings are the only team with a slight disadvantage because they already have a division loss (to Green Bay). But having seen all four teams now, the Bears certainly have the best combination of a strong defense and potent offense.
What are the chances that the Bears have Tillman, Vasher and Manning available against the Vikings this Sunday?
Sounds like Vasher is pretty likely. Tillman could be a struggle and no one's really sure about Manning at this point.
When the Vikings drafted Johnson there was some talk of going to a 3 Safty formation--a hybrid nickel. With the Vikings possibly down to thier forth string MLB (Henderson, Farwell, Herron all hurt), and Williams comming back from injury soon, do you think this would be a better option than using career special teamer at MLB?
Interesting question. I guess it's possible, especially considering how often teams come out in a three-receiver sets against the Vikings.
I know that Gus Frerotte is doing an O.K. job this year, but what about next year? Shouldn't the Vikings look to trade or are they again hoping on Tavaris Jackson or John David Booty?
I can honestly say that no one knows who the Vikings' starter will be next year. Regardless of what happens with Gus this year, I think they know they have to upgrade somehow this offseason.
Should the Vikings be going after Tony Gonzalez? It would definitely be worth a second or third round pick. He would be a huge target for Gus and not drop any passes like Shiancoe.
I haven't heard their names mentioned as a possibility. I think it makes a lot of sense, given how often the Vikings seem to throw to the tight end -- and the fact that their team is very much in a win-now mode.
What are the odds that the Lions make a move before the 4 o'clock deadline today?
As of this morning, there wasn't anything cooking.
3 questions for you Kevin... 1. You're familiar with the Vikings, What do they pay the refs in Minnesota? 2. I really like the attitude of the team with out Kitna on Sunday and I think the coaching staff agrees... Can One man (kitna) make that much difference in how a team plays on Sunday? Oh and 3rd... Trade or IR? (for Kitna as you see it)
Refs in Minnesota get all the walleye they can eat. I don't see the QB change as the reason for the Lions playing better Sunday. Just an all-around better effort. Kitna's going on IR, according to reports.
Lifelong Bears fan here, wondering...in your experience, as a rule, do players like D. Hester, B. Urlacher, T. Harris et al lose their fire after more money?
Not as a rule, no. For every guy that loses their fire, you see another one who is more motivated. I think Bernard Berrian, for one, is playing at a pretty high level right now.
As a Vikings fan, I was embarrassed to hear the fans in the Metrodome Sunday. Yes, many of us aren't happy with Childress, but I watch football to see my team win, which they did. Maybe they were disappointed it wasn't a blow-out, but the bottom line is the Vikings are in a position to play for the division lead, and fans would do well to remember that.
Yes. I'm surprised it's gotten to the point where fans actually want the team to lose to expedite Childress' departure. I imagine those people are in the minority. On the other hand, the "Fire Childress" chant was tame compared to some NFL cities.
I'm hearing a lot of rumors regarding Lions players, most notably Jon Kitna and Roy Williams. Anything going to get done regarding them, or anyone else on the Lions?
Kitna is going to be IR'ed. As for Williams, if I had to guess, I'd say nothing is going to happen. The Lions could get the same compensation for him in the offseason as they would now, barring injury.
Seifert, while some accuse you of showing Vikings favoritism, I on the other hand thought that you were quite harsh on the Purple since joining ESPN. It's now become quite evident that you may have been right in not buying all the hype about this years Vikes. My question is this: How is it that when Tice was here, and albeit he had Culpepper and Moss but not many other stars, did he manage to produce much more effective seasons than Childress has. I mean, for a few years Tice was sort of mocked at times but looking back, at least the guy won some games, and AT LEAST he knew how to beat the Packers every once in a while. I just don't understand why Childress is given SO much more time to prove that his system works when 3 years in he still seems to be at square one, which is WORSE than where Tice was when he left. Please explain why he still has a job and why no one in the media ever directly confronts his coaching woes at press conferences. Does the grovely voice scare the Zulgads of the world away?
Hey, leave Judd alone. Every media market is different. The Twin Cities isn't a confrontational one, but I think the appropriate questions generally get asked. Tice had four years. Childress is on year three. I would imagine Childress will have to get to the playoffs this season in order to get to year four.
Do you have any insight into the Vikings lockerroom right now? Do the players support Childress or have they tuned him out?
Many players disliked him in 2006. Last season, the players learned to deal with him. I think that's where things stand now, with the exception of some players who were upset with the way Childress called out Chris Kluwe after the New Orleans game.
I think as a rule every team, every year will win 2 games by pure luck alone. That said, how legitimate is Detroit's chances at going 0-16? While I don't think it will happen, I look at the schedule and I see how it could.
Anything's possible. They're probably the worst team in the league, talent-wise. But over 16 games something positive should happen.
As long as the season is already in the tank why aren't the Lions seeing what Drew Stanton can do? He was drafted in round 2 for a reason.
He's just not ready. Stanton was hurt all last year and thus didn't practice. He got through only about half of training camp before hurting his thumb. So he's basically a rookie and the type of player you throw out there in December, not September or October.
Does Woodson make the Pro Bowl this year?
Jeez, you would think so. What he's done this year withe a broken toe has been absolutely amazing.
Just chill out people. We're through the toughest part of our schedule and 3-3.
Yeah, but opposing quarterbacks aren't going to run out of the back of the end zone every week for you.
Are the Patriots going to do anything?
Trading deadline-wise? Doubtful. Playoffs? Doubtful.
I understand the argument that the Lions would be giving up if they traded away a couple of their more talented players today, but they are not going to turn this thing around this season. Shouldn't they get everything they can for Roy Williams before they lose him as a free agent?
They don't have to lose him for nothing. They can franchise him and require teams to compensate them with a first-round draft pick or more if he is signed away.
Why do you think the Bears keep blowing the lead in the 4th quarter? Coaching or Players?
In the first two, against Carolina and Tampa Bay, some people thought their defense was slowing down after game-long blitzing packages. In Atlanta, it was injuries and the resulting soft coverage on the final offensive play.
Should I have to give back my weekly salary and take a squib kicking 101 class as a result of Sunday's debacle?
Yeah, next time, make like Wee Willie Keeler and kick it where they ain't.
Seifert, just came across that ed werner is reporting that the cowboys are trying to get williams. Have you heard any news?
Yeah, I just saw that myself. My guess is the Lions aren't too interested because ownership doesn't want to appear to have given up on the season.
Any chance the Colts sign Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, or Walter Payton by the deadline?
No, but Franco Harris might be interested.
So how many questions are you getting saying Atlanta cooked the clock this weekend against the Bears? Any truth to it, and does it really matter?
A lot. The clock operator is usually local but he/she is hired and paid by the NFL. So technically, that person is an unaffiliated observer. To me, this is a non-story.
What are the odds I'll be playing Arena ball next year? I can't run out the back of the endzone when there's a big wall in the way!
Why didn't Babich put Hester and/or Davis in a nickel or dime package on the last play against the Falcons?
Fair question. I think that would have been up to Lovie Smith. You have to judge whether an unprepared receiver is better than a linebacker on a third receiver. The Bears chose the latter. I don't know if there's anything Hester or Davis could have done despite their background as cornerbacks.
Should the Lions keep Mayhew as the GM after this season or shell out some big bucks and attempt to lure a proven GM from another team?
I hear a lot of good things about Mayhew. But the Lions' situation dictates that they turn over every stone in an attempt to get things straight. To me, that starts with interviewing Scott Pioli from New England and offering him the moon.
how scary would the Vikings be with Tebow at QB in the backfield with AP? I think he'll leave UF after this season
Interesting. But at this level, no quarterback can try to bull-run down the field the way Tebow does. He'd have to pick his spots or get ripped apart.
I say kick it deep unless there will only be time for one more play. If your special teams can't keep the return man from getting the ball into scoring position, your coordinator should be fired. That squib kick is costing teams more and more games nowadays.
True, but the injuries on the Bears' defense had also made the special teams pretty thin. Lovie Smith chose his defense over his special teams, basically.
should i be encouraged that the passing attack is opening up or worried that we cant seem to really get AP going on anyone?
Both. ... The Peterson thing is kind of baffling. There really doesn't seem to be much room for him to run, and he's starting to press. If this continues, the Vikings are going to have to continue relying on their passing game. Who would have thought.
Someone asked about Tony Gonzalez going to Minn. but wouldn't he be even a better fit in Green Bay. At least they have a real QB to get the ball to him, right?
Green Bay has been mentioned but it's not clear if Gonzalez wants to play there.
I'm worried for my Packers. They could go 1-5 in their next 6 games, please tell me the O-Line and D-Line are going to get "it" together very soon!
The defensive line's injuries have been tough to deal with. At this point, the Packers are counting on a player who hasn't practiced all year -- Justin Harrell -- to step in pretty quickly, possibly as early as this Sunday. Offensively, there just has been so much rotation that no one has gotten a rhythm.
is it safe to say Orton is the long term guy in Chicago?
He's well on his way. Still a long way to go this season, but I think everyone has liked what they've seen.
Has there been any talk around Winter Park about moving Artis Hicks to right tackle and deservedly benching Ryan Cook for the remainder of the season?
None that I've heard. Next guy up at right tackle would be Marcus Johnson, who hasn't been very good when he's been on the field.
The Atlanta Falcons will win the super bowl this year.
I don't know about that, but I liked what I saw. So much so that I made them No. 5 in the power rankings this week.
Maybe the Vikes should run a few two back sets to help AP.
I've been wondering for years why they can't get him and Taylor in the game at the same time.
What about the Vikes running the Wildcat? They have the backs to do it! In fact, pull Gus on those plays and put T Jack in, he is athletic enough to be involved in the plays as a passer, blocker, receiver or runner! It would also get the rock to AP other ways then the current style (handing him the ball as 9 defenders run straight at him in the backfield).
Interesting. But I don't see it being in their playbook.
is it common practice for the nfl to fine for facemasking (chad greenway) or was it an "oops we messed up so something has to be done"
No, it happens often that a player gets fined for something he doesn't get penalized for.
You list teams that aren't likely trade destinations for Tony Gonzalez b/c he may not way to play there...Reports indicate he mentioned the Giants as the place he wants to go..What's stop this deal?
I'm sure Carl Peterson of the Chiefs is pushing hard for a big deal. I'm also not sure how interested the Giants are.
Should the Bears run the Wildcat offense with Hester in at QB?
I like it. You see Cribbs running the option last night in Cleveland?
I know Ogunleye played on Sunday but only because I saw him on the ground. Was it me or did he get absolutely dominated by a rookie LT?
He's been very quiet since that big game in Indy to open the season.
Is there a chance Dontarrious could start at MLB this week for the Vikings?
It's not anybody's first choice but I wouldn't rule it out.
ESPN Radio just reported that Gonzales isn't going to be traded so all of the dreamers can put that to rest.
Yeah, time is running out. But I hadn't heard that report.
Kevin- Don't you think Chilly is worried that if AP and Taylor are on the field at the same time that he is going to wear them out and lose his depth at the position (the real strength of the offense)?
That's a fair point. You don't have to use them both the entire game. But even half of the time is a big improvement. You should get your best players on the field the most, and Taylor certainly qualifies as one of the top 11 offensive players on the team.
The Holding penalty hasn't been called that much at all this season because the NFL wants to shorten the length of the games. THis is a bad idea because every Colts game I watch, Freeney is getting held every play and he has a chance to make these plays. What does the NFL need to do with this situation?
Yeah, I'm not aware of any directive to call less holding penalties. But I have heard a lot of people anecdotally talking about this. It's kind of the old cliche: You could call holding on every play of every game if you wanted to.
So was Sunday's game an apparation or reality? Meaning is this the way the Lions will look the rest of the year or did we just catch the Vikings on a real bad day?
Combination of both. The Lions are certainly capable of winning a few games, and they were up against a team that clearly looked past them.
Odds that Taylor could become a really effective "carry the ball and block" FB? H-back?
I don't think he'd be a good fullback but I do think there are ways to draw things up to have two tailbacks in the game.
if childress and reid use almost the same system, why can't childress utilize Peterson the same way reid uses westbrook, and even buckhalter?
They don't use the same system, in my opinion. Childress' offense is closer to what he ran at the University of Wisconsin with Ron Dayne.
Could the Vikes offensive benefit from getting a good slot receiver? It seems to have worked for several other good squads.
That's the position Bobby Wade plays. He does a decent job.
Since the Bears and Packers & vikings all have the same record which team is really in first place in the divsion then?
Technically, the Packers because they have a 2-0 division record. But the Bears are also undefeated at 1-0 so in reality it's irrelevant.
With the Singlewing/wildcat being popular will we see more things like pro-sets and other old styles come back?
Not sure about that, but I do think it opens the door for a lot more creativity in the NFL. If you can unearth something that gives you even one or two extra wins a season, it's worth it.
to eric in indy, you do know Sweetness is no longer with us, right? I appreciate the attempted humor, but jeez, at least use living players in your sarcasm.
My bad. I probably shouldn't have chosen that question.
how much longer will Sharper and Winfield keep producing? Winfield seems better than ever, but Sharper sure doesnt, and both are certainly getting to their twilight years.
I would guess this is Sharper's last year with the Vikings. That's why they drafted Tyrell Johnson.
Do you think the packers have a shot at making it to the Playoffs this year?
Oh yeah. But they'll need their defense to get healthy.
With more quarterbacks like Matt Cassel and Chad Pennington getting play time are we seeing a rise in efficient quarterbacks over gun slingers like Brett Favre and recently retired Daunte Culpepper?
Arm strength is still one of the most important criteria in the NFL. Pennington and Cassel are playing, but I don't know if you can say they're excelling.
Do you think 1 team or another is actually going to break away in the NFC North eventually or are we going to have 3 8-8 teams (with a 1-15 team) at the end.
I'm guessing you'll have at least a two-team race and that 10-6 wins the division.
Who does Goodell think he is? I didn't do nothin man. Can't be suspendin Pac like that.
Then let your bodyguards guard you.
Who do you think is a better running back, Reggie Bush or Adrian Petterson?
At this point, hard to argue against Peterson. Bush isn't nearly as tough of a runner.
Can you name five current Lions players you would want to keep to build a team around? I'm stuck at 3.
Williams, Johnson, Sims ... Hanson. That's four.
Your boss (ESPN) is reporting Cowboys close to a deal for Roy Williams.
Hmmm ... I've been on this chat for a while. I'll have to check it out. Hey, thanks everyone. Chat with you next week!