Hi everyone. Thanks for finding us here a few days later than normal. We can break down the NFC North topic of your choice. I don't know if we can make any sense of the tragedy in Iowa this morning, but if any of you have a connection you'd like to share, I'd be all ears. Thanks, and let's get on with it.
I blame having no NFL chat on Monday on you, KS. It was brutal!
I'm a big boy. I can take it.
Kevin, after seeing GBs 3-4 D in person, what do you think? I get the feeling that this is going to be a top team in the NFC. I felt this way in 2007 (13-3, NFC Championship Game) when everyone wrote them off and expected nothing. That is assuming no major holdouts (Collins this year) and no major distractions (Favre last year).
First off, I really don't think Collins would hold out. I don't have first-hand knowledge thereof, but it really wouldn't make any sense. And it might be moot, now that the Greg Jennings deal is done.As for the 3-4, I like how "multiple" it is, to use a word Mike McCarthy uses a lot. The base formation is 3-4, but I saw all different kinds of formations -- from a 4-3 to a 2-4-5 to everything in between. A lot of blitzing, a lot of varied coverage. It's hard to tell whether guys like Kampman or Jeremy Thompson will make the adjustment once the hitting begins, but it looked like they have some interesting concepts going on.
Do you think with the help of Rod Marinelli that the defensive line will be much improved for the Bears?
I do, yes. He's as good as there is in terms of the defensive line. The players will love playing for him, and he'll make them better with simple technique that he'll drill over and over.
Hey kevin, so what are you going to be doing July 3rd?
NOT covering a Brett Favre signing, in my opinion. I understand why people think that might be a quiet day. But come on: Brett Favre signing with the Vikings is never going to go quietly into the night. The Vikings would be fooling themselves if they think they can sneak it past people so not to create a "circus." It's too big for anything but. And it would be a silly missed opportunity for a galvanizing event among potential season ticket buyers.
pft.com and nbc sports say the Favre deal is done, signed and the #4 jerseys ordered. say it ain't so!!
Everyone has been in agreement for a while that the only obstacle to Favre signing with the Vikings is his arm. The contract has never been too much of an issue, from my understanding. And it's also a potential moot point. If Favre decides not to play, the deal is null and void. And if he decides he wants more money, it won't matter if he's agreed to previous terms.
What kind of year do you think Ray Edwards will have? He hyped up his game last year, but really didn't deliver in terms of sacks.
I think he's a pretty average player surrounded by some great ones. To me, he's not much more than a 5-7 sack/season guy.
As for your other submitted question, Jeff, nothing to report.
You kind of avoided the question--do you think it is true that Favre has signed and his jerseys have been ordered?
The jersey thing doesn't make sense to me. It would take an equipment manager minutes to sew a "Favre" patch on the back of his practice jersey. As for jerseys to sell to fans, I have no knowledge of that. But I do know that "potential orders" are made often in pro sports. (Check out those Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl champion t-shirts.)As for signing, the contract absolutely hasn't been submitted to the league for approval. I think it's very possible he has agreed to basic terms. As we've said before, the contract is not the issue here. It's his arm.
What are the chances of the bears signing either Marshall or Burress?
Marshall seems way unlikely. Burress has a decent chance.
How much do you think Udeze can play this year? Could he return to form and take over for Edwards?
What a story that would be. When we last checked in with him at minicamp, he had a long way to go to get into "football shape." It's going to be tough for him to make this team, but knowing him, I wouldn't count him out by any stretch.
I was curious whether or not Matt Forte was going to continue to be such a large part of Chicago's offense this season. There a chance now that they'll be able to lay off him a bit before he gets hurt?
I do think they'll try to pull back with him a bit, either with Kevin Jones or Garrett Wolfe. Pretty unlikely he'll be the lone guy again.
Do you think it was wrong for Donte Stallworth to get off the way he did when compared to Vick's sentence (sorry this isn't Black and Blue related, but life is sometimes more important)
There is no right answer to this. But here's what I think: Intent has to be taken into account at some point. Vick's intent was murder/torture. Stallworth's intent was to be an idiot, but not to kill someone (or something). That, to me, raises the level of what Vick did.
So when do you think we will hear the official-final-definitive word on Favre (if such a thing is possible)?
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it came down to the end of July.
Where would you rank the Lions linebacker corps in relation to other NFL teams?
Having three established veterans is a plus. The fact that two of them, Foote and Peterson, are on the second half of their careers, is a negative. Overall, I'd put their linebacking group in the top half of the league, right around the No. 15 point.
Kevin, hope you're beating the heat.I've heard some complaints that Greg Jennings doesn't deserve Larry Fitz type money but I think this is a bargain. Sure, the extension is $27/3 but he's only going to get about $535k for this year....so assuming he hits his incentives, 4 years from now, he'll have made $30.5M in 4, for a very friendly $7.6/year...plus regardless, in a few years, $9M/year will be underpaid. Your thoughts?Go US...2-0 lead!
Yep, it's as brutal in Mpls as it was in the Bay this week. I wouldn't call this deal a bargain. First, he got top dollar in the receiver market. Only two guys make more than him in the whole league right now: Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. Plus, he'll be eligible for a new deal when he's at the prime of his career at age 29. Usually players have to give up five or six years of free agency to get the kind of money he got. Really good deal from Jennings' perspective.
"Kevin SeifertAs for your other submitted question, Jeff, nothing to report."Was that directed towards my Q about MH? If so, I'm a different Jeff. ;)
Yes it was. Sorry about that. All is well.
Hey Kevin, been a little while. If the Bears are going to add a veteran WR before camp who do you think it'll be? After dragging my feet on this for a while I am finally on board with needs ONE established veteran.
Hey Sean. I think it's going to be Burress if they get someone. Makes too much sense.
I am NOT a hairpuller!!!
Well, based on circumstances, I can't really accuse Graham of it were he grappling with you.
Hey Kevin, I enjoy your columns. Which NFC North team will receive the greatest impact from their picks in this past draft?
Thanks. I think the Packers might have three near-instant starters in Raji, Matthews and T.J. Land (right tackle). If so, that's a pretty good draft.
What do you think of the Bears safety situation? I read that Steltz and Payne were playing with the first team during OTAs.
I'd be worried about Steltz. He looked awfully slow to me last year. You would think Corey Graham will get a chance there.
You couldn't see Matt Jones or Drew Bennett? I don't think they need someone to come in and take a starting spot, just someone established to cushion the potential failings of Bennett/Iglesias/Konx. I think any chance the Burress might have unresolved issues during the season would take him off Angelo's list.
Drew Bennett does nothing for me. Old and slow. Jones is kind of a stiff, in my opinion. And he's one more mistake from a major suspension. If you're going to take a character risk, make it worth your while.
Let me expand on Mark Tauscher - Vikings a bit... He made it sound as though he were interested on the radio. If he were to sign, what would be the likeliness he moves in to RG replacing Anthony Herrera? Or what would you see his role as.
I think they want Phil Loadholt to win that job, so it wouldn't make sense to sign an injured veteran.
30 days for getting drunk and killing someone, but if you steal Lance Armstrong's bike you get 3 years? Excuse that.
Not familiar with the Lance Armstrong thing ...
Kevin, are you going to the Bears/Broncos preseason game? How long do you think they'll keep Cutler in for that game?
I'm expecting my colleague Bill Williamson to be there, and I might make a pitch to be there. It's the third game, right? You would think he'd play into the second half.
If you were evaluating the Lions, would it be at all accurate to say their non-line positions are not necessarily that bad? You admitted their linebackers aren't that bad, their secondary is somewhat improved, and their offense has some solid pieces. Am I dreaming, or might the Lions actually win some non preseason games?
First off, you don't want to minimize the importance of line play. That's like saying it's a good car except the chasis is falling out on the highway. I do think their LBs are improved, and I like Delmas in the secondary. Their offense has good skill position players. But the lines were the major problem last year. When both of your lines are bad, you don't got 5-11. You go 0-16.
hey kevin great work the last few days. so you think AK74 is gonna hit the ground running huh. he is a beast.
Thanks al ... I hope you saw my last comment on the "Train" headline... Anyway, I was impressed with Kampman during minicamp. Maybe my expectations were low, but he really seemed to move pretty well. This might work.
I heard a great interview with Jared Allen yesterday. Player or coach, who is your favorite interview in the division?
Jared is up there. Pat Williams can really be funny. Greg Jennings is a very honest, intelligent quote. Mike Brown was a very smart interview when he wanted to talk.
Any news on any potential Vikings' draft picks signing? I know they signed their last pick, but what about No Mercy Percy? Or any of the top draft picks aside from Stafford?
No, just the seventh-rounder. They typically don't get rolling on that until the last couple weeks before training camp. There's really no advantage to signing kids before then.Chicago has signed all nine picks, although none were higher than the third round. Green Bay has signed two six-rounders and a seventh.
I wasn't implying the lines were unimportant, but it would be hard to say even they haven't improved. Avril is somewhat of a revelation at right end, Devries is at least capable, as is Smith. Their tackles are old, but at least legitimate NFL players. On Offense they added Salaam and Jansen, who have both been starters, as well as Daniel Loper. It seems like they have enough to at least compete
Yeah, but can Avril stand up against the run? I don't know if he's big enough. If Salaam or Jansen is starting on the offensive line, that's bad news for the Lions. Trust me.
Is my play going to back up my talk this year or am I going to keep sounding like a whiny kid when I call out my quarterback?
You sure looked smooth during minicamp, and a lot of people in Green Bay are talking about you. You've got a shot.
Great to see Olin named to the ESPN all-decade team. The guy has been the anchor to our offense for years, even when he was knocking out teammates. Any chance of conflict between he and Culter over who's huddle it it?
Cutler would be wise to defer to Kreutz.
Are you getting more webpage hits and blog questions than any other season? If yes, then you should thank brett favre and jay cutler.
Absolutely, and I think Detroit having the No. 1 pick helped with that as well.
Have the Vikings talked AP out of putting on extra weight? I think that move will hurt him more than it will help him.
I think he realized himself it wasn't feasible. But the Vikings definitely weren't on board with it.
how much do you think I can help? I understand I'm coming into a rocky situation.
There are some people who think you could be the starter by midseason at right tackle. You're Mike McCarthy's kind of offensive lineman: Big and mean.
A few folks think the NFC North will provide one of the NFC's wild cards this year. With one of the easiest division schedules in the NFL this year coupled with some good/great player acquisitions, it might be possible, but I still think the NFC East
I think the Black and Blue has a pretty good shot at it. It should be a great division race, and the loser could easily squeeze in.
Are the Vikings as enamoured with the Packers as it appears with their tendency to pick over our scraps more than any other team?
It is a little odd, isn't it? Although most of the players have been big-time contributors: Sharper, Longwell and, maybe, Favre.
How did Moss not make all decade?
That's a position where someone deserving was going to get left off. I think Moss has been as good as anyone this decade, but I think Holt and Harrison won out for their consistency over time.
Hi Kevin, any word or feeling about Nick Barnetts status, and was Woodson's position shifted?
Barnett is coming along. He was with the first team during the "jog-through" portion of practice. He should be ready for the season. Woodson was strictly working at cornerback.
I saw an interesting question on ESPN.com this week and wanted your take on it, How different would the NFL landscape look if the Raiders had traded Moss to the Packers instead of the Patriots?
I'm guessing Brett Favre would still be in a Packers uniform, among other implications.
I have talked many vikings fans, and some of them love the brett favre joining the vikes, and some just hate it. What is the majority?
I've found things to be pretty split. There are a lot of people who think it's too much of a short-term fix. Of course, if the short-term leads to a Super Bowl, then I imagine they'll be OK with it. But it's far from a unanimous thing.
Kevin, I appreciate your honest reporting and not jumping the gun on stories until they are indeed true. Is it just a pride factor for someone to "break" a story before anyone else, or is there more to it than that?
Thanks Jeff. The honest answer is that as bloggers, we're asked to analyze and react to the news more than we are expected to break it. We have plenty of excellent reporters who can do that, starting with John Clayton. So my cop-out answer is that I'm not really pushing news out there because that's not what I'm being asked to do.
What is the biggest question in the NFC north going into training camp.
I guess the easiest way to put it is to ask which team's quarterback situation will pay off? Chicago's trade for Cutler? Culpepper/Stafford? Favre? Or will the Packers' stability with Aaron Rodgers allow them to carry the day?
Who do you think has the most talented roster in the division? I think it is hard to argue with MN from top to bottom even without Favre. Is it coaching and special teams that makes you think the Bears will win the division because I don't think they have the talent that the Vikings do on either side of the ball.
Talent alone doesn't dictate the division winner. I would probably agree on Minnesota's talent, but the bottom line is they were only a couple games better than Chicago last year. Had that goal-line turnaround gone a different way at the Metrodome, the Bears would have won the division last year.
U.S.A. beat Spain 2-0!!!! Do you think soccer is an interesting sport or are you like a lot of Americans and think it's pointless?
Sweet! Love soccer and played it as a kid but can't claim to be an expert on the international rosters.
Hey Kevin, What does the Viking WR situation look like? Who's the likely starter opposite Berrian?
Regardless of who starts, I think you'll see Harvin out there a great deal of the time.
Wich Quarterback situation do you see paying off.
I think Favre would make the Vikings the favorites.
Kevin, dont you think the recent comments by culter about marshall would have irked the fellow bears? He lobbying for him shows that he is not confident on the current WR's. Plus how are the bears supposed the get him? Only way is to trade some on the defense, like urlacher or briggs?
I didn't take them that way. He was pretty netural. Said Marshall was a great player, that it'll be interesting to see how it plays out but that it's not his call. I doubt anyone would take offense. Especially considering that Hester himself is openly lobbying for Burress.
Thanks Kevin. I guess my question was in regards to the reporters not only at ESPN, but everywhere. Is "breaking" a story first the most important thing for reporters, even if sometimes things may not always be correct?
I'm sure it is for some. Let's be honest here. But being right should always be the top priority. If you're wrong enough, people will stop trusting your reporting.
My NFC North related question is, why do you think they signed Greg to just a 3 year contract? (and by the way, Spain was the top-ranked team, beat us 35 times STRAIGHT, and we beat them 2-0!, that's why it's exciting)
I don't think the would have if they had a choice. This gives Jennings another chance at free agency in a few years. The only motivation the Packers might have is to have avoided a larger cash outlay. A six-year deal, rather than a three-year one, would have required more guaranteed money.
Am I the only Vikings fan who can't wait to see Favre in purple at Lambeau field? It may sound crazy, but I would take a loss in that game just to see the Packer faithful have to take it all in.
I bet Packers fans would take that trade, too.
Kevin, if Favre signs with the Vikes, how much preseason action do you think he would get? He's only signing if he's healthy, so would they do the usual amount for a QB? Or give him more time to get acclimated?
I'd say the usual amount -- a quarter in game 1, 1.5 quarters in game 2, a half in game 3 -- but it'll be an interesting issue because there will be a premium on him developing chemistry with receivers.
when the favre drama dies out in miin and the vikes dont make the playoffs does it cost childres his job?
That will definitely be a hot topic of conversation. I think his neck is definitely on the line in this deal.
OK folks, thanks a lot for coming to our rescheduled chat. Have a great evening!