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June 1, 11:57 AM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (12:59 PM)

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us during your, uh, lunch break. We'll hit whatever topics are on your mind ... and have an NFC North connection. Let's get to it.

bob..jersee [via mobile]

do u think kampman doesnt like the defensive switch and would like to be traded... he is highly under paid..thx

Kevin Seifert
  (1:00 PM)

I think the big thing is that no one jump to conclusions because he's not talking. Is it because he's angry? Or is it because he just doesn't know what he thinks of the new scheme yet? I think he deserves the beneft of the doubt.

mixmasterb

Does JD Booty look like he may be ready to step in next year(2010)? The few notes I have read said he has appeared sharp, but he has flown so far under the radar no one really has any idea about him.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:00 PM)

I'm not so sure about that. The guy was a fifth-round pick. I know the grass is always greener, but I wouldn't expect him to be a savior.

Redd(Michigan) [via mobile]

People in me think i am crazy,couse i picked the lions to go 9-7.Please tell me i am not crazy.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:01 PM)

It's very likely you're not crazy, but you might be a bit ambitious here. Six wins would be a really good season.

Bruce (Turlock, CA)

What changed between your blog and full article on the Harvin wildcat to make you feel like it was okay to share details with the public?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:04 PM)

Very fair question. The explanation: They weren't using the Wildcat that first day, only moving Harvin around a lot in a normal base formation. I thought a level of detail beyond "he's moving around" would be past the line of the agreement between the NFL and the Pro Football Writers of America. But on Saturday, they started running the Wildcat. So we reported the fact that they were using it. That's too big of a thing to avoid. But I don't think you read any details about how it was running, where the plays were going, etc. Hope that makes some sense.

Jeff, Mpls

I wonder if chat withdrawl is anything like trying to quit smoking. Anywho, do you think the Vikes will use Harvin mostly for gimmick plays, or do you see them having him stretching the field to also open things up for all day?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:05 PM)

I think a combination of everything. He's uniquely suited for some special stuff, but I think there will be plenty of traditional roles as well.

Ky( WI)

Kev, Great to have you back. Is Driver making the smart decision by wanting a new contract? Don't the Packers have bigger fish to fry seeing that they need to re-sighn Collins, Jennings and possible Kampman at the end of the season?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:06 PM)

Yes, Donald Driver can't possibly be at the top of their contract list. But let's remember, we won't be able to tell the level of Driver's frustration until mandatory minicamp comes later this month. If he doesn't show up for that, you know he's serious. Right now, this falls under the category of typical offseason business.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Do you think Jon Jansen has anything left in the tank? How do you see the o-line depth chart shaking out in Detroit?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:08 PM)

You might have seen the news that the Lions released George Foster today. That tells me they see Jansen fitting into Foster's role: Insurance and potential competition for Gosder Cherilus. At this point in his career, I don't think Jansen is a viable option at left tackle, but he could play there if necessary. I would say this is a guy who is near the end of his career who wants to see if he still has it.

Jared (Ann Arbor, MI)

I've heard a lot of the hype over Bears vs Vikings for this next season, but it seems to me that Green Bay may well have the most complete team in the division (compared to both the Bears and Vikings who both have some serious holes). What factors might hold Green Bay back this next season?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:09 PM)

Big thing is the defense. They're undergoing a pretty significant change here. How will the players adpat? Can they find a role for Aaron Kampman? Will their pass rush improve? All of these things are, at best, undetermined right now. That's why it's hard to get a good fix on the Packers at this point in the offseason.

Aaron (K.C.MO.)

What's up KS? Any idea why the NFL is planning to appeal a judgment that UPHELD the Williams' suspension?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:10 PM)

If I understand it right, the NFL is appealing the portion of the decision that remanded part of the case back to state court. In other words, the NFL is trying to get the whole case thrown out, not just the part the judge tossed last week.

Daunte (Detroit)

...is the object in my rear view mirror appear closer that it is?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:11 PM)

I presume you're talking about Matthew Stafford? Yeah, I saw Peter King's report on how the Lions might be closer than we thought to using Stafford right away. Historically, it's been better for quarterbacks to spend some time in development, especially if they are underclassmen like Stafford. But there are always exceptions, I guess.

Brett (Peoria, AZ)

Kevin, What are the chances we will see chilly with his fake visor on again? I hate to say it but, chilly is growing on me

Kevin Seifert
  (1:12 PM)

Might be a one-shot deal. I don't know. But it was pretty amusing. Maybe someone can send him a Helga Hat.

Mike R from Ramsey, MN

Any word on EJ Henderson?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:13 PM)

Looked good and was doing everything. Seems to be completely healed.

Fran (Georgia)

... is it true that the Vikings are in talks with Ray nitschke?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:13 PM)

Only if you head to the 920.

Craig (Boston)

I heard Cook practiced at guard. Did the Vikes use him at center also?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:14 PM)

A little bit. And he also worked at right tackle. Seems like a guy they're grooming to be a multi-positional backup.

Joey Harrington, Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, etc.

We think Stafford should start early, it worked well for us!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:14 PM)

Excellent point. I think Akili Smith agrees as well.

Brad Chilli Dog Chilli

I have gained 1 million followers on twitter since my wig experiment. MN now loves me. Beat that Kevin!!!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:15 PM)

I have over 1,000 fans on my new, white-hot facebook page. How's that? (Shameless plug.)

Tone (Seattle)

Why does lovie keep bringing in old rams? I think one of the worst things about him is that he is to loyal to his guys.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:16 PM)

Yeah, I can see it both ways. He and Babich have some familiarity with Pisa and should have some ideas of what he can and can't do. And he definitely played well in their system. On the other hand, that was, what, six years ago? A lot can change. But in this case, I don't think there was much risk in signing him to a one-year deal. If he isn't better than Roach/Hillenmeyer, they can cut him with little downside.

Ryan (Chicago)

Do you think the cover 2 will still work in the NFL or has the 3-4 become the next best thing?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:17 PM)

The cover 2 as a coverage option is always going to be around in some form, even if it's a change-of-pace. I do think the "Tampa-2" is showing some age. You have to have a tip-top defensive line to make it work.

Sean (Chicago)

I've been trying to get every Bears fan around to acknowledge something lost in the Cutler hangover: Lovie Smith's job is on the line this year. Don't you think it's likely if he can't revive the defense as the play-caller and take them to the playoffs with a franchise QB that Jerry Angelo isn't waiting around with him as he retools the team?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:18 PM)

Absolutely, Sean, and it's something a lot of us talked about immediately after Smith announced that change. Basically, he's saying the defense will get better with better coaching. If it doesn't, who else is there to blame?

Akili Smith (McDonalds)

Hey Kevin, I am on my break and wanted to agree with Joey and the gang!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:18 PM)

OK. Hopefully you're in the management program.

Jeff, Mpls

Does the fact the Reynaud was working in some of the wildcat formations mean that he has a good shot at making the roster over some of the of the other WR's on the bubble?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:19 PM)

Probably just means that they want to see what he can do in that formation. If he's good at it, he can add some value.

Jack(MPLS)

How's Keneche Udeze lookin'? It's great to see him back at it again, I hope everything works out for him.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:20 PM)

He's back out there and doing everything with no restrictions. Unbelievable story. I'll have more on it Tuesday.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Does Jordan Dizon have a future in Detroit or is he just not a good fit at MLB or OLB. Could he slim down and play safety?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:20 PM)

I don't think he's a good fit for this defense, but maybe he can distinguish himself on special teams.

James (Charlotte)

The ultimate test comes when the games are played, but it's hard not to be impressed with what Mayhew as done as GM of the Lions right? Good trades, talented draft picks, nice FA signings with no long term commitments.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:22 PM)

I like that fact that he used his cap space to address as many positions as he could. Some of it is Band-Aid treatment, but they need it just to be competitive in 2009. It's important that as they build long-term, they at least have some short-term success as well.

Matt Jones ( Chicago, IL)

Why won't Chicago seriously consider me? The last time I got in trouble it was only for 2 beers with my homeboys on a golf course. I am 6'6", fast, and can catch the ball. Thats more than a lot of their current WRs can claim. Don't you think I would make Jay Cutler jump up and down with excitment like a Muppet baby?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:22 PM)

Well, you're one mistake away from getting suspended. Not a good risk, and I'm guessing there no one is banging your door down.

Kip (D.C.)

With Hester, Olsen, and Forte on the field, I don't see WR being that big an issue for the Bears.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:23 PM)

You're in the minority, but you might end up being right. Let's see whether Bennett can develop into a legitimate threat.

marc chicago

have you seen anything from justin harell this off season? even he said it was make or break season for him.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:24 PM)

I haven't been to Green Bay yet, but the reports have been that he's healthy. That's a rare step in itself. He's also probably going to have to make the shift to defensive end. We'll see how that works out.

Bernie Bloomington ,Mn

I believe that the packers are in worse shape than any other team in the north even for the long run. Next year way to many fa to lose ,no stellar back ,dd getting way old and the deline getting way old with d backs where are they going to get help.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:26 PM)

I wouldn't go that far. Having "too many" free agents to re-sign is a better problem than not having enough, which is a situation Detroit faced this offseason. They definitely need to address the offensive tackle positions. Those are critical. But they have at least one up-and-coming young starter at cornerback in Tramon Williams. I don't see their cornerback situation being critical right now.

Jeff, Mpls

If Chili likes what he sees from Tjack and Sage along the way, do you see him closing the Favre door at any point?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:27 PM)

I don't think it would be because of what he sees from Jackson/Rosenfels. You don't make too many personnel decisions based on offseason workouts. But he might decide he doesn't want the Favre thing hanging over any longer. I'm not sure.

Robb (Chicago,IL.)

Ok you just shot down Matt Jones there, and I couldnt agree more! Now how about my previous Marvin Harrison question?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:28 PM)

Missed that. I assume you asked if the Bears might sign Harrison? I guess it's possible, but if the Bears were intersted in an aging receiver who spent most of his career playing in a dome, why didn't they pursue Torry Holt?

Peter (St. Paul)

Since St. Louis up for sale to basically any billionaire with an itch to own an NFL team, and the likelyhood of them moving to California again, do you think that eases the pressure on the state of Minnesota to pass public funding for a new Vikings stadium? Without the threat of the Vikes leaving town, there isn't really any other leverage for them to use against the state, right? It looks like we might be stuck watching Vikes games in the big inflatable toilet indefinitely...

Kevin Seifert
  (1:30 PM)

Hey, the press box at the Metrodome is top notch. I'm all for keeping it around. Seriously, it will be interesting to see if LA really becomes an option for the Rams. At the owners' meeting in March, the NFL seemed pretty neutral on the latest plans for a new stadium. It might not be a viable for the Rams, let alone the Vikings.

Sean (Chicago)

Why didn't they pursue Holt... did you see the contract he got? Harrison comes for a lot less cash, but also likely a lot less production.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:31 PM)

Right on both counts.

Ryan (Chicago)

Do you have a lot of grey hair? I know it has nothing to do with the NFC North.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:31 PM)

I'm going for the Steve Martin look by the time I'm 40.

Reggie (Chicago)

Who do you think has the early advantage in the Craig Steltz Corey Graham free safety competition?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:32 PM)

I'm assuming if the Bears took Graham away from cornerback, which is a far more important position, that they believe he will eventually win the starting safety job.

Lizzy (Minn)

I really want to see the Vikes move to a outside stadium again. Wouldn't it give them an advantage?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:33 PM)

Maybe, although the Bears and Packers would already be used to the elements. I wonder how many young Viking fans know what it's like to sit outside and watch a game in December. Not healthy.

Jeff, Mpls

In one of the stories it was said that Chili asked Bevell for the new plays for Harvin after he was drafted. Is that all on Bevell, or does Chili give his input on developing the new plays as well?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:34 PM)

Bevell does the ground work and the organizing, and I think Childress then leads the evaluation of how good the plays work in practice.

Peter (St. Paul)

About the gray hair...it's much more noticable on your Facebook picture than on your ESPN NFC North blog picture...

Kevin Seifert
  (1:34 PM)

I didn't get my photoshopping staff on the scene until it was too late. Drat.

Mike (Racine, Wisconsin)

Kevin, gimme a prediction for the packers this season, im thinking 8-8.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:35 PM)

Try not to go out on a limb there, Mike. :) .... I'd say you're about right, but to me the Packers are really hard to judge right now until we see how their defense is going to felsh out.

Nick (Portland)

NBA finals pick? Go Lakers!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:35 PM)

I'd like to see coach Van Gundy win it...

Jeff George/Brad's doorstep

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today; Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield, er Quaterback

Kevin Seifert
  (1:37 PM)

Ah yes, Jeff George. ... On another note, that song was in Bull Durham. But can anyone name the other baseball movie it was in?

Jake (Chicago)

May I please have a link to your facebook page?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:37 PM)

Don't have the link on me, but just search "Kevin Seifert Espn."

CJ (Duluth Minnesota)

How has Heath farwell looked in the minicamps so far?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:37 PM)

He was still wearing a knee brace during minicamp. I think he's still working his way back.

John (Milwaukee)

Huge Bears fan here....two part question, do you think Jay Cutler's presence consistently takes the 8th man out the box and can you see the Bears winning 12 gms this year?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:38 PM)

I don't think teams will overplay the run as much, but I also don't think they're going to overreact to Cutler until they see whether he has enough weapons. As for 12 wins, sure, it's possible. Everything is possible in June.

rahul chicago

did you see dwight howards impression of Van Gundy!? priceless. :D

Kevin Seifert
  (1:39 PM)

No, I will have to check that out. Youtube?

Peter (St. Paul)

Has there ever been any discussion about having a new Vikings stadium in St. Paul instead of Minneapolis? Who would decide something like that? The Vikings organization? The state? The MSFC? There is a perfect spot in Lowertown, where the old Gillete building is (or the parking lot right next to it). The infrastructure is there, with major highways from every direction, and the land is probably dirt cheap. I know its a pipe dream, but there true potential down there...

Kevin Seifert
  (1:39 PM)

Closest thing I've heard is the State Fairgrounds, but that's mostly a Sid campaign.

Dave (MN)

What's with those clowns Judd & Chip doing a chat at the same time as you?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:40 PM)

War!

Joseph (Baltimore)

Everyone keeps talking about Harrison and Jones for the Bears, but Amani Toomer would probably be the better fit. Solid possesion guy who knows how to play in the cold weather.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:41 PM)

If those are the criteria, then Burress is the best of all of them. But obviously the risk there is severe. I'm not sure I'd go with Toomer over Harrison. Does Toomer have anything left?

rahul chicago

nope.. espn! its at the end of the clip http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4219266

Kevin Seifert
  (1:41 PM)

thanks...

Aaron (K.C.MO.)

It was in MAJOR LEAGUE, 2 I belive.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:42 PM)

Maybe it was. But I was thinking The Slugger's Wife. Maybe I'm wrong.

Judy

Kevin, Did I see you last week at the metrodome rooting for the Brewers when they played the Twins? I knew you were a Wisconsinite at heart...!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:42 PM)

Er, uh, NO.

Pat and Kevin Williams

Are we going to be suspended?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:43 PM)

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how they will avoid it considering the collectively-bargained agreement that players are responsible for whatever they put in their bodies. It might not be fair, but that's what the NFLPA agreed to.

Jeff, Mpls

The Twilight Zone movie amongst many other smaler films as well.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:44 PM)

Really?

dan waterloo,iowa

is percy harvin the real deal?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:44 PM)

I thought he looked really fast in minicamp, that's for sure. The other notable thing is that he's a very north-south runner. I don't see him trying to run around guys. He's going to make the catch, turn upfield and go.

Sean (Fairfax)

How about early predictions for all of the NFC North?!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:45 PM)

For last week's power rankings, I went: Chicago Minnesota Green Bay Detroit Subject to change, of course.

Matt (Grand Rapids)

Any thoughts on Johnathon Scott's comments that Lions o-lineman didn't know what their assignments were and that coaches gave them conflicting information.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:46 PM)

I'll say this: They looked pretty disorganized last year. I would believe it.

LeBron James

I want to play WR for the Bears. They really need me, don't you think? Will I make the team?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:47 PM)

Not if you pout every time you lose.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

And by subject to change you mean depending upon a decision out of Mississippi, right?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:47 PM)

Yes. Favre would make a difference. Wow. We made it 47 minutes this time before getting to him.

Umm, Bob.

Have you ever personally meet with Lovie Smith?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:48 PM)

Yep. Sat with him at the NFL owners meetings in March for about 15-20 minutes.

Travon Chicago

Any chance Devin Hester has a breakout year with Cutler? He runs pretty good routes but I think a QB with Cutlers ability can bring some things out in him that maybe we havent seen.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:48 PM)

Hester is going to benefit from Cutler's accuracy on the deep ball. How many times did Orton miss him? I think Cutler will get it there a few more times.

Brad (Minneapolis)

Why did you put Chicago over Minnesota in your most recent power rankings?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:49 PM)

Basically because there wasn't much separating them last year, and the Cutler deal was by far the biggest improvement any division team made this season. I think Cutler could be worth two more victories.

Mike R from Ramsey, MN

Hey I already asked if Favre was ready for the Wildkitty haha LOL

Kevin Seifert
  (1:49 PM)

But I didn't post it ...

Brett (Houston, TX)

Not quite. You answered this earlier: Jeff, Mpls: If Chili likes what he sees from Tjack and Sage along the way, do you see him closing the Favre door at any point?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:49 PM)

Ah, my short-term memory is getting more short-term. Thanks.

Robb (Chicago,IL.)

Im going over to Jeff Dickersons blog to ask him my questions, at least he takes the time to actually read them and then answers them too! what a Novel idea!?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:51 PM)

Jeff's my corporate cousin so as long as it's all in the same family. :)

Brad (Minneapolis)

How likely do you think Chilly is to use gimmicky stuff like the Wildcat?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:51 PM)

Hard for me to imagine he won't use it some. Harvin/Peterson/Chester Taylor is pretty alluring.

James (Detroit)

Do you think Peter King is reading a little too much into those quotes? Based on what I've heard previously from Mayhew and Schwartz, it would seem Stafford would have to clearly outplay Daunte to start on day 1.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:52 PM)

It's possible. It's also possible that Schwartz said more than what was quoted. I feel relatively certain they'll start the quarterback that has the best training camp. All things equal, I have a hard time thinking that won't be Culpepper. But who knows?

Andy (Whitefish Bay, WI)

IF the Packer 3-4 is stout with the new additions, and A-Rod doesnt suffer a sophomore slump, how far can the Packers go?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:53 PM)

Then you start talking about them being a division contender, no question.

Eric (Eden Prairie, MN)

There's a law in Minnesota that protects the Williams Wall from punishment for a first time offense. I'm not real sure what it is though. (someone posted it once apon a time in an espn blog) It basically says that they can't be punished for a first time offense. That's probably why all of the saints claims got tossed but not the Williams Wall. Will someone post this for KS so we know exactly what it is?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:54 PM)

Right, but does that law cancel out the acceptance of responsibility in the CBA? I'm not a legal expert, but that's the central question in my opinion.

Robb (Chicago,IL.)

PFFFFFFTTTTTT! In the last 20 years ,I forgot more football knowledge than you'll ever learn in your lifetime ! later closet ViQueen loser!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:54 PM)

We'll miss you.

Jim (DC)

Centerfield was also in Little Big League for sure.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:55 PM)

Appreciate it. Good stuff.

John (Wisconsin)

If I recall correctly, Childress has used trick plays in the past. I can recall a couple Taylor TDs passes to Shancoe and a fake kick in his first year.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:56 PM)

Yep. Mewelde Moore had one to Jermaine Wiggins in 2006. And Sidney Rice threw a long pass to Shiancoe in 2007.

Tone (Seattle)

What happened to Stanton. A 2nd Round pick who has become an also ran. Do you think he has NFL starter ability?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:56 PM)

Not everyone had him as a second-round pick. He's still on the roster and right now is the No. 3 quarterback. I doubt he has a chance to start with the Lions.

Eric (Eden Prairie, MN)

Whats the statis on.... I forget his name but the Packers #9 selection? Is he handling his position or does he look like a bust.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:57 PM)

Raji? Little early for bust designation. He'll be fine.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:58 PM)

Ok, one or two more questions.

Mike R from Ramsey, MN

When will the Vikes accuse Green Bay of tampering with Tarvaris Jackson?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:58 PM)

Any minute now.

Chaz

Kevin, want some meatloaf for lunch before you go???

Kevin Seifert
  (1:59 PM)

Mom!!!!!!

CAL (St. Paul, MN)

Kevin, true or false, Adrian Peterson will lead the league in rushing this season?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:59 PM)

He's the defending champion, so I give him first dibs. He actually has reduced his body fat to 6 percent and looks as tough as ever.

Tone (Seattle)

Is Tommie Harris the next shaun rodgers?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:00 PM)

Meaning, a guy with great talent who doesn't always work hard and gets hurt a lot? Not sure. I think there is a knee thing that has definitely slowed Harris down the past year or so. I don't know that I'd put him in the Shaun Rogers work ethic category, though.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:01 PM)

OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.