Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us today. Things have gotten closer to normal this week in the NFC North. Everyone's back from their bye and we have a full slate of games scheduled this weekend. Let's get to the chatting pronto.
Isn't covering the Packers after covering the 8 years of covering the Vikings a conflict of interest? That's like asking the Marlboro Man to rate a Havana Cigar.
More like a walleye being asked to rate a block of cheese, but I get your drift.
Kevin, I'm extremely disappointed with the level of play in the North this year. Phi Sig's intramural team could mop the floor with the pathetic Lions. Do you think any of these teams could go toe-to-toe with the Patriots if they were lucky enough to make it to the Superbowl?
Probably could ask the same about the Patriots. But no, Pete, I don't see anyone from the North making it that far. As far as the IM team, yikes.
Hey Kevin Are the Williams brothers gonna be suspended or what? And if so, when? thanks
That's the $64 million question. Appeal cases are notoriously difficult to schedule for whatever reason. All we know is they're playing Sunday against Houston. Beyond that, it really would be a guessing game.
Krvin, with Johnny jolly beinging indicated on his drug charges what will happen to him then?
He'll go through the court system but there's no immediate threat to his playing time.
Whats the latest on Daunte and the Lions ?
He left the Lions facility without a contract, but John Clayton reports the sides are still talking. It's possible something could happen today.
How do you see Chris Johnson faring against the GB D?
He's pretty quick. We'll find out how healthy the Packers defense has gotten during the bye. I don't think he'll go bonkers, but he'll have some lanes.
I have been a huge fan of Calvin Johnson since his Georgia Tech days and have followed his career until now. With Kitna on the sidelines it seems that his opportunity...do you think that this will hurt his chances of becoming an elite NFL wide reciever?
Without a doubt, CJ is not in the ideal situation right now. No established quarterback, a run-based offense and now, no established receiver on the other side of the field. He's got an uphill battle.
Who are some legitimate candidates for the Detroit Head Coaching job next year (Not if but when Marinelli is fired)?
I have no information that he will be fired. But two people I expect to generate a lot of interest around the league are N.Y. Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Tennessee defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Hi Kevin - what do the Packers need to do this Sunday to upset the Titans and hand them their first loss of the season? That Titans defense looks awfully good.
Normally I think the Packers should focus on the running the ball and eating up clock. But this time, I think they should look at jump ahead early with their passing game. The one thing I'm not sure about with Tennessee is whether they can come back from a deficit using their passing game. They don't have a 200-yard passing game all year.
Given that Aaron Rogers has performed beyond expectations, is it safe to say that the cheesesticks, I mean cheeseheads, in Green Bay are now behind him 100%?
Yes, I'd say he is the King.
Is Brandon Llyod playing this week and if so does he go back to being Orton's number one target?
Not sure that he will play this week. Sometimes players need a full week of practice to get re-acclimated before getting back into a game. The good thing for the Bears is they don't need to rush him back. Their other receivers have filled in nicely.
Any chance Daunte comes back to Minny?
What does it say about the NFL drug policy if all the players who took the water pills are suspended 4 games, but Johnny Jolly gets a free pass?
He hasn't gotten a free pass yet. I would imagine there will eventually be a punishment for Jolly unless he is completely exonerated on all charges.
Kevin, any idea why Drew Stanton is not getting the ball in Detroit? Another horrible Millen pick ??
More than anything, lack of practice time. He was hurt all last year and for the latter part of this summer. Not sure how a Culpepper signing would affect his status, but eventually I would think Stanton will get his chance.
Who can you see fading in the 2nd half...the bears or the packers?
I don't know that I see either team fading. But all things equal, I do think the Packers have the more balanced roster.
Answer some Bears questions. Is Forte the long term answer at running back? His YPC have been very pedestrian the last month or so.
Yes, sir. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to that yet. I trust him to get three difficult yards, which is important. Can he be a game-breaker? Maybe not.
Kevin, if the Lions fire their coach, could you put in the good word for me? Thanks.
I'm sure there will be some people in Charlottesville happy with that move.
On Chicago talk radio yesterday, the question of "who is the Bears best wide receiver" was asked and no one could give a legitimate answer. Marty Booker was deemed the winner based on experience, but I will let you, the master of the NFC North, decide....
Thanks for the title. That's part of the beauty of what's going on. There really are no game-breaking receivers on the roster, but they're all contributing. My opinion has always been that Greg Olsen is the best receiver on the team.
Who are some possible replacement QB's for the Vikings next year, any chance they get someone decent
There aren't many blue-chip quarterback prospects in the draft, at least in terms of seniors. And the free agency situation is always bleak. No one lets a good quarterback become available. So, I think it's going to be difficult to improve the situation in the very short term.
Why would Detroit have any interest in Culpepper? They aren't going anywhere this season and need to see what they have in the young QB's on the roster. It makes no sense to me which makes perfect sense as to why the Lions are doing it.
Yeah, I don't get it that much, either. Maybe they've looked at the free agent situation for 2009 and don't think they can do any better. And at this point, the have no idea if Drew Stanton would be ready to play next year.
Kevin, sometimes I think this would work better if you'd hit the showers then come back and watch rather than guide the chat yourself.
Ha. Glad you brought up the Singletary rant. I don't care how much respect he has built up over the years. I can't imagine many NFL players are going to do anything other than roll their eyes at that kind of antics.
Any word on a new stadium for the Vikes?
None. They're still hoping to bring their plan to the legislature in 2009, but I don't know of too many politicians who are going to fork over millions of dollars during this economic crisis.
Who will in first...Detroit or Cincinnati? I need a win for one of them like I could use some cheesesticks right now.
They're both in a pretty bad slump. I'm going to guess Detroit. They've been closer in some of their losses than Cincy.
Can the Packers offset Ryan Grant's lack of production (unless he gets 53 carries a game) by leaning heavy on the pass as they did early last season? I want to see some 5-man WR packages!!
This could be your week. Finally, all five Packers receivers are healthy. That is, assuming James Jones' knee holds up this week in practice.
Why don't the Vikes bring back T-Jack and run the wildcat with AP and Chester in the backfield? T-Jack can't throw very well but the guy can run. It'll work!!!
Hmmm. I like the second part of your suggestion. Peterson and Taylor in the backfield for most plays would put a lot of strain on opposing defenses.
How many more bad games does Babich have before he is out as Defensive Coordinator for the Bears? Could you see Lovie Smith doing what Wade Phillips has done and start calling the plays?
I would imagine Babich is the most criticized person in Chicago sports these days. The dynamic between Babich and Smith is different than the one between Wade Phillips and Brian Stewart. Smith and Babich have been close friends for a long time. That could make it harder for Smith to cut his legs out from under him.
Kevin, are you going to buy the new Guns N' Roses album on November 23rd?
They're still together?
With Orton solidifying his starting role thus far, will Grossman leave for greener pastures this offseason, or settle into a back-up role in Chicago?
I would imagine he'll leave. Greener pastures? Not sure about that.
What kind of game can we expect from Orton against DET? 2+ TDs?
Orton has had more success against Detroit than any other team in the NFL. His passer rating is well over 100. He's a good bet for fantasy this week. Not that I know anything.
What happened to the Bears pass rush? I feel like it's disappeared this year.
Definitely from the front four. Tommie Harris was pretty much a non-factor until the Vikings game. And I can't remember hearing Adewale Ogunleye's name too often.
Although I think Orlovsky is extremely good looking, do you agree that Culpepper would be the better start short term, to at least snag a few wins before Marinelli's departure?
I don't know about that. He didn't go to training camp with anyone and would be starting cold in the Lions' offense. You would have to imagine it'll take him a while to get comfortable. There are only nine games left.
Watching the Lions play is like walking the nature trail to hell, wouldn't you agree? Are they ever going to turn things around?
Well, it is in 3-D.
Do you think Brad Childress will be fired if the Vikings lose their next 2 games?
At this point, I'm pretty convinced Childress will get the full season. I'm not sure Zygi Wilf will see enough upside in making an in-season change.
Pick one player for your team for the next 5 years...Hester, Rodgers, Calvin, AP?
Rodgers. Always go with the quarterback.
Kevin, I heard that you are copying Roy Williams and going to the ESPN Halloween party dressed as a bell hop with Rudi Johnson's boxers. True?
Still waiting for my invitation.
why wont you answer my Vikings question? if you just tell me the Vikings are really bad, that will be suffice and I will cheer for the Packers from now on. I'm tired of being let down by my team....
I think they have pretty good talent. Too much to miss the playoffs.
Hang in there Lions fans. Eventually things go right.
Are teams putting 8 in the box to stop & making Rodgers beat them or is Grant & the O-line not very good?
I don't think teams have gone overboard to stop the Packers' running game. The passing game has too many weapons. It's just been a combination of ordinary blocking and a running back who held out for most of the offseason.
Kevin- You are the Packers new GM (leaving ESPN, tough, I know). What is the missing piece? Do you pull a TT and invest in the draft again or do you pull a Zygi and invest in free agency?
I like the Packers' direction, roster-wise. The one thing I would have done is find a veteran backup quarterback.
What would you say the chances are that the Williams Wall stays on the rest of the year??
None. If they get suspended, I think the most it would be is four games.
If you could pin point the biggest problem in the talented Vikings, what would it be? Why is this team under 500?
Do these teams blow everything up at the end of the season and start over?
Not the Vikings. Too many veterans in the midst of long-term contracts.
Giants had four interceptions and James Harrison gave them 2 points... Pittsburgh had 0 sacks 0 takeaways and were beat physically. Steelers did not have their most explosive offensive weapons and lost by ONE score. Can the Steelers take something from this game?
I think it's been clear for a while the Steelers are one of the top 3-5 teams in the league.
more sacks at the end of the year jared allen or mario
Mario Williams, because Allen would get triple-teamed if Kevin Williams is suspended. Not sure if he'll get suspended, but we'll take that chance.
Kevin- Up to this point in the season, who do you see in the NFC North that has earned a nice new contract for next year? Thanks!
Probably Kyle Orton. He's got another year on his deal, if I remember correctly. But if he's pretty close to establishing himself as a long-term answer in Chicago. The Bears would be wise to lock him up soon.
Kevin, who can i inexplicably fine this week? You perhaps?
Nope. I didn't cover a game last weekend.
Would Brian Brohm have any trade value after the season? He couldn't beat out Matt Flynn for the backup job, but was highly rated coming out of Louisville. I can't see him being happy in Green Bay behind Rodgers and Flynn. (and hopefully a veteran next year).
I think the Packers owe it to themselves to give Brohm another chance next summer. He was pretty highly thought-of entering the draft.
Can I get a quick opinion on the undefeated Titans next week against the Packers. Will Rodgers be on his heals most of the game or do the Packers figure out how to beat us Titans?
I think it's a pretty good matchup. The Packers have two weeks to get healthy and they have the potential to jump out to an early lead. If they do, the Titans might not be a great come-from-behind offense.
Who to blame, Kevin, who to blame??
Always have to start at the top.
Why didn't the Bears go with Orton before this season? It was pretty obvious Rex was not the answer.
Well, he was a first-round pick. And based on Orton's performance as a rookie in 2005, I understand why they weren't in a rush to put him back on the field.
Everything will be all right in Detroit? It's been 50 years! The Bucs have been around for almost half that time and have a title.
Yes, but the curse of Bobby Layne has finally expired.
Kevin! My goal is to ask every blogger by week's end and you would make it 2/2...Midway point: Who plays in the Super Bowl?
I'll say Pittsburgh and the Giants.
Best lockeroom chemistry in the NFC North? Does this make a difference?
It does, and I'll say the Bears. They've been through a lot together.
Any chance of a long term deal getting done this season for Jennings or Rodgers?
Interesting. The Packers are definitely going to have to dip into their salary cap surplus pretty soon. Both would qualify in the "urgent" category.
Ok everyone, thanks for joining us. Glad this week wasn't as Harsh.