Hi everyone ... Thanks for coming back to SportsNation for our regular time slot. I hope enough of you found your way last week to the make-up chats. It might end up being a quiet week in the NFC North, but there are plenty of things to discuss. Let's get to it.
What will Northcutt's Role be with the Lions?
He'll challenge for the No. 2 job, but I bet Bryant Johnson will end up taking that role. That makes Northcutt the likely No. 3 receiver, unless Ronald Curry beats him out.
Why have the Vikings so publicly offered Favre the keys to the franchise? They have basically allowed him to highjack their entire offseason. Do you think they have assurances that he will eventually join them? If not, they will look pretty foolish.
Excellent questions and point. They obviously feel very strongly that he's going to sign, or else they wouldn't have been so open about it. (Of course, Favre took care of that for them on the Joe Buck show). But I've talked to some people who believe the Vikings have underestimated the issues at play here and don't realize just how wishy-washy Favre could be. This might be a done deal in the Vikings' mind, but I would caution them against believing they can predict what Favre will ultimately do.
Hi, Kevin, great job with all the camp coverage. OK, first, what's this training thing Rodgers is heading off to all about? Second, any progress on the Williams suspensions? When can we expect to know if those guy are gonna be out the 1st 4 games?
Thanks Matt. Aaron Rodgers is training in San Diego with Drew Brees, Tomlinson, Charles Tillman and a few other people. It's not uncommon for players to do this after their formal offseason programs conclude. Often it's organized through agents. As for the Williams situation, we're waiting to hear whether the injunction still applies to their suspensions or whether the punishment goes back on the book. No timetable on that.
Hey Kevin. What is your take on this article? http://newsok.com/brett-favre-wont-get-adrian-peterson-to-super-bowl/article/3381387
Yeah, I saw that this morning. For those who haven't, it basically said that Peterson runs the risk of becoming the next Barry Sanders: A great player on a team that never gets its act together. I understand where the writer is coming from, and especially how signing Favre wouldn't necessarily bode well for long-term stability at the position for Peterson. But in general I don't see a ton of comparisons between these Vikings and those Lions.
Do you think the NFC North will be one of the most competitive and fun to watch this season? Favre, Cutler, Rodgers, Stafford (assuming he gets the nod) all in the same division seems pretty intriguing.
Yes, everyone gets excited about the quarterback. One thing: I wouldn't put a lot of money on Stafford getting the Week 1 nod. At least not yet.
Hey Kevin, I've read up on the Packers transition to the 3-4. Suprisingly, there seems to be growing speculation that Jeremy Thompson will start ahead of Clay Matthews. Kevin Greene in particular seems high on Thompson. Considering the picks the Packers gave up to get Matthews, isn't this his job to lose by a longshot? What was your impression?
I think they intended on Matthews being the starter, and it could eventually happen. But he's been hurt, and Thompson has taken advantage of the situation. At the same time, don't always take public praise at face value -- especially from an old-school guy like Kevin Greene. It can be a way of letting a young player like Matthews know that nothing is guaranteed.
what up kevin, great blog. Everyday reader haha I am so impressed with the lions new coaching staff. No wonder they didnt win once last yr, they were so disorganized and in a system that they didnt have players for. I was just wondering what you thought of the new staff? They seem to have these guys hungry and ready.
There is still a lot to be learned about these guys, but Schwartz is definitely a very organized guy. And he's got two trusted coordinators in Scott Linehan and Gunther Cunningham, so he can worry mostly about being the head coach instead of trying to be a coordinator as well.
Hi Kevin as always thanks for your time. I am sure you have answered enough questions concerning Brett Favre, but I was wondering if there was any news about him going to the Vikes? I have not been able to check since Thursday. Thanks
We're still in that holding pattern, Sean.
yeah i've never had ANYONE on ESPN answer my question, so maybe we could make that happen today? i want to know if you think the Vikes could utilize some 4 and 5 wide sets this year, given their depth at WR and Favre's ability to read defenses. go 4 wide, put AD or Chester in the backfield, and watch defenses get picked apart... pick your poison, Chicago and Green Bay. we're comin' for ya.
First time for everything, huh? I doubt you'll see too many four- or five-receiver sets as long as Visanthe Shiancoe continues his improvement as a receiver. He's too good of an option to put on the bench in passing situations.
You did an entry a while ago about the possible wildcat formations that the Vikings could be running this year, or at least keeping an open mind about. Do you think that the chance of running plays like those goes down if Brett is the QB?
No, I don't. It doesn't change the fact that they still have a guy in Percy Harvin who would seem really well adapated for it.
What do you think of Kampman opening up to the media about his new position? Is he getting more comfortable, or was the early talk just a little overblown?
I don't think it was overblown, and I don't think he's entirely comfortable. But he's moving in the right direction. He looked a lot better than I thought he would in minicamp.
Has there been any buzz from the Packers camp regarding Jermichael Finley and his progression? I feel like he's such a good athlete, if he could put it all together that he'd be a huge weapon for Rodgers.
A lot. He's one of those players who looks like a world-beater in shorts and helmets. He's fast and athletic. I'll hold off judgment until we see him in him in some contact drills, though.
Kevin dont know what I would do without these Monday chats in the offseaeason. Do the Bears have the roster to compete for a Superbowl ?
Glad to help you through your Monday. I don't know that I would put the Bears on that plane yet. I do think they have an excellent chance to win the division, though.
What's your take on Aaron Rodger's new girl friend? Possibly another Tony Romo distraction? Go Bears!
To each his own. ... I haven't seen the model thing cause any problems for Tom Brady.
Matt, love the column, I noticed on the website Jersey101 they are already selling Favre Vikings Jerseys does that mean they could no something the public doesn't or just a preliminary thing considering it looks like a deal could happen?
I've seen those too. They're not authorized. They might be authentic, but my understanding is that Reebok has been shutting them down as quickly as they can.
Hey, Kevin, one last question... does a player (like Favre) who's played for more than one team, decide which of those teams he will retire as? And, in his case, go into the HOF as?
Yes, Matt, he can. No matter what happens, I would be stunned if Favre didn't go into the HOF as a Packer.
Have you heard anything on the Bears backup QB situation? I don't see how they could be comfortable with Hanie.
Lovie Smith loves Hanie and is going to give him every chance to win that job. I can see his point. Who would you rather have? An up-and-comer who has 2 years in the system? Or a veteran who has already proved he has limitations?
Of the Lions top 3 picks, who do you think makes the biggest impact on the field this year?
Delmas. He starts on Day 1 and will be a significant force, in my opinion.
What happens if Favre goes to MIN and wins 2 SBs with them? Now how's that for an interesting scenerio?
We'll cross that apocalypse when we get there.
When was Brett Favre on the Joe Buck Show?
Yeah, you kind of took care of that one, didn't you?
How has Rodgers' offseason compared this season to last? Is he more sure of himself both because of the starting experience and not have the Favre distraction?
I thought he was very, very sharp. Total command of the offense.
Hi Kev, theoretical question, If the bears sign plax or somehow end up with marshall do they become the scariest offense in the NFL? Can you double the no. 1 knowing that hester could burn you deep any play, or that trying not get beat by hester leaves olsen with a favorable matchup, and somehow you have to worry about matt forte the whole time... It seems like if they land one of those two guys there just wont be enough defenders on the field to cover everyone effectively.
VERY theoretical question. John Clayton reports the Bears have no interest in signing him.
Raji at DE seems silly to me if they wanted/needed a DE they should have drafted one. Thoughts?
Long-term, I think he plays nose tackle. In the short-term, they have two huge, relatively nimble guys on the field at the same time.
I'll be here all week.
I am looking forward to Optimus Pettigrew and Megatron lining up on the same side of the field. I do not believe that a safety can contain either one of them and whichever hits the post route hard will cause big problems.
I wish I knew my Transformers better. Someone else sent me a potential nickname for Pettigrew and it wasn't Optimus. Oh well. I think Pettigrew is definitely a wild-card. Most teams will take their chances with him and double Johnson/Megatron. So it'll be incumbent on Pettigrew to demonstrate he can catch the ball on a consistent basis.
Do you think Percy Harvin has an ego that could get in the way of the Taylor/Peterson duo they've got going on in Minnesota, or do you think Childress is strong enough to keep him in line?
I don't know Harvin well enough, but the Vikings would sure be missing an opportunity if they don't use Harvin early and often. If there is an odd man out, it could be Taylor.
With so many teams at least talking about using the wildcat formation any chance the NFL will get rid of the 3rd QB or "emergency"QB rules so that a team could use an option type QB without being in danger of having to bench the starter for the rest of the game if he gets nicked during a game?
Definitely an option. But it will vary from team to team. If someone has a quarterback they want to protect and develop, it makes more sense to keep him at No. 3 than a wildcat-type player.
Is there any team in the NFC North that could go from good to great with 1 more FA signing?
You have to wonder how Burress would impact the Bears, but I don't think we're going to find out.
Do you think Ron Turner's innovative enough to take advantage of the unique skill sets that Cutler, Hester, Wolfe, Olsen and Forte possess. I don't dislike Turner so much as I just don't see him being that creative. I'd hate to see all that talent go to waste.
That's one of the keys to the Bears' seasons. I think he's creative in more subtle ways than you might hope, but I'll still give him the benefit of the doubt.
Do you see Graham winning the job at FS during training camp? Like you, I don't trust Steltz one bit. Thanks for posting my question on your blog!
Sure, no problem, Paul. I guess I would be surprised if they took Graham away from the cornerback position .. especially with Nate Vasher coming off a very down couple of years ... and not making him the starter. But stranger things have happened.
kevin i have been waiting for monday for 2 days! whats the chances that jeremy thompson starts over matthews and if he does where does that put matthews in this D? would he play some mlb?
What a rare statement that is! How many people wait for Mondays? Anyway, if Thompson wins the job -- which is possible -- Matthews will be a special teams guy this year.
Anyway Childress will make AP carry a football everywhere he goes during the offseason to cure his fumbleitis like Parcells did with Marion Barber? Such a great Remember the Titans moment
Not sure about that. Peterson has a lot of pride and I think he'll address it himself.
Daunte Culpepper with start____ games for the Lions this season.
Somewhere between 0-16.
Ha. No, I think he'll start more than 8, and we'll call it "the majority" of their games.
Is Tommy Harris at a point in his career that he can still be a top flight DT,or should we expect more nagging injuries to pile up because of his age.
A lot of people are asking about him today. I'd say it's a big warning sign when a 26-year-old guy is sitting out most of the offseason and some of the regular season practice schedule to keep his knee from flaring up. That's what 36-year-old players do, not 26-year-olds.
With all the talk about the wildcat formation now that we have percy, i haven't heard how good is percys arm? Did florda run any wildcat?
Very good question. I haven't seen him throw, but the wildcat is definitely predicated on the possibility of a throw at any time. That will be a big question to answer going forward.
how is Collins' situation looking now that Jennings is done?
Nothing to report on that right now. It'll be interesting to see if it impacts whether he comes to training camp or not. I can't imagine that it will, but you never know.
Why is a 40 year old who didn't really play all that well last year automatically considered a gigantic upgrade and the missing piece for the Vikes?
Consider the alternative. That's the main thing. Favre isn't the Favre of old. But he is better than what either Jackson or Rosenfels has shown us to this point in their careers.
I heard the Packers have something like 9 contracts ending next year. Do they have the cap space/revenue to address all those pieces, or might they have a big roster overhaul coming?
I believe the number is something like 16, with nine of them being starters. They have the space to address most of it, but in the meantime they'll definitely be in this uncomfortable gray area that makes it look like they're prioritizing.
kevin what do you thinks the odds are that TT giving kampman a in season ext if he plays well at olb? the guy is a class act and deserves it
It'll all depend on how he plays -- and that will help determine whether Kampman wants to stay, I would suspect.
I've heard that Collins was playing some CB...was that just to beef up his 1 on 1 skills?
I didn't see that. He might have been playing nickel, however.
If (and this is a big IF) the Bears were to ever implement the Wildcat, who do you think would be on the field for them? Would it be an opportunity for Garrett Wolfe to see more playing time?
I think you have to look at Hester first.
so you think that kampman might not want to stay if he doesnt feel comfortable?
It wouldn't make sense as long as they keep the 3-4.
A few questions, if Cutler doesn't significantly change the Bear offense, will Lovie Smith be employed in Chicago next year? Also, which current NFC North player has the makings to be a great head coach in the future?
I actually think Smith's future will rest more on whether he can revive the defense after taking over the play-calling.Interesting question on the makings of a great head coach. The first name that comes to my head is Mike Brown, but of course he's not in the NFC North anymore. Smart guy, articulate, knows the game. Another guy is Minnesota linebacker Ben Leber. Very quiet but smart and commands respect.
Do you think Ernie Simms will rebound and have a monster year in Detroit this year?
I'm not sure yet. He's kind of an undersized guy for this defense, but he's got two established linebackers playing next to him for the first time in his career.
Kevin can I just take this opportunity to ask my fellow Bears fans to PLEASE STOP talking about Garrett Wolfe as if he's something other than a career 3rd RB / Special Teamer??? As long as he is on the Bears, that is what his role will be. Ron Turner has had ample opportunity to throw him in a real game situation, and every time he has declined. STOP THE WOLFE MADNESS!!
Consider it done. I guess I will count myself in that madness. I'd like to see what he could do in a bigger offensive role.
This is a bit of a subjective question, but how will we know when the Lions have "turned the corner?"
For me, it's when they make the playoffs. They're an NFL team. We're not going to give them points for winning 5-6 games after going 0-16. They'll have turned the corner when they make the playoffs.
Who would you say is the best Linebacker right now in the NFC North?
Lance Briggs. He's in the prime of his career.
Kevin,Consider the following about Daunte Culpepper this year:-He's lost 30lbs this offseason-He has stated that he feels his best since 2004 (his best year)-He's reunited with Scott Linehan-He will feel pressure from number 1 overall Matthew Stafford-he'll be behind a much improved O LineDo you thin this results in a Comeback Player of the Year nod?thanks!
Not necessarily, but they're all good signs. To me, the biggest thing is the Linehan connection. They really understood one another in Minnesota.
"Consider the alternative. That's the main thing. Favre isn't the Favre of old. But he is better than what either Jackson or Rosenfels has shown us to this point in their careers." Didn't TJ have better numbers than Favre last year? Favre last year and TJ seem to me to be a wash...
Oh, I disagree. Their final numbers might have been similar, but there are a lot of differences in their games. I think most football people would take Favre over Jackson, especially for 2009.
Is there any discussion in MN of Favre's role as a mentor for Jackson or is it just about making a Super Bowl run with the old man?
Yeah, I don't see that happening. See Rodgers, Aaron.
I don't understand all the talk of bears winning the nfc north. They have an aging defense who can't rush the passer. No legit number one receiver. The vikings, who have all the pieces in place except for quarterback should easily win the division. Any thoughts?
I guess I look at them as a 9-7 team that made a significant upgrade at the most important position and has taken some significant steps to clean up its schematic problems on defense. No doubt the defense has aged, but I absolutely think they've improved.
can Brett Favre expect a "hostile" atmosphere if he shows up in GB wearing purple
Er, uh, yeah. Talk to some people who were at the WWE event in Green Bay last week. They showed a picture of Favre on the jumboscreen.
Having been around the actual players - is Stafford a humble person who will support his team 100% until he gets a shot?
I've only been around him for two sets of interviews, but he definitely doesn't carry himself like a prima donna. I think he wants to play and hopes to play, but I don't think he'll pout this year if he doesn't.
Rodgers is a very good qb, but I think the one thing that is holding him back from being great is being effective when it counts like the 2-minute drill. Do you think there will be more emphasis on this as he is preparing for the 09 season?
Yeah, a lot of people have stressed about that. I see it as the final piece for a developing quarterback. It's the hardest part of the game. He'll be better at it this year.
With all the Farve talk , if he doesn't sign. what do you think the psych of tj and sage will be
I think it will a big, big problem trying to pick up the pieces.
If Favre completely turned his back on the Vikings and took the $20million deal that the Packers offered him last off season, would there be any man more loved in Wisconsin or hated in Minnesota?
I'm pretty sure that deal is off the table.
How do you see Nick Collins contract situation effecting the Packers 3-4 transition this year? Have not heard too much about smith yet. Does he have a chance at being a starter with his previous experience in pitsburgh?
No, I think Collins ends up the starter. But Smith is a good fill-in if needed. Ultimately, the only thing that changes for the safeties is the terminology -- the names given for the various coverages. Everything else is the same for Collins. Not as big of an adjustment as it is for some others.
Kevin, your statement: "Consider the alternative. That's the main thing. Favre isn't the Favre of old. But he is better than what either Jackson or Rosenfels has shown us to this point in their careers."My question is, how does this not reflect poorly on Chilly? How does he still have a job when bringing in a guy thats beyond washed up is by far their best option? I just don't get it.
That's a fair question. I think the short answer is that he won the division last year. The Vikings feel they are going in the right direction. He's handled the quarterback position poorly, but overall they have still improved every year.
"It wouldn't make sense as long as they keep the 3-4."Say in 3-5 years, the 3-4 scheme does not seem to be effective, what are the chances they go back to a 4-3?
The NFL is cyclical. It's only a matter of time -- five years, 10 years, whatever -- that the Packers go back to a 4-3.
OK everyone. Thanks so much! Chat with you next week. That's a wrap.