Hi everyone. Can you believe it? Training camps start in all four NFC North cities this week. Let's jump right in and see what's on your minds...
Kevin, how close are B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews to signing with the Packers?
Nothing is imminent on either front, from what I understand. But that's not a big deal at this point. Much of that work can get done this week.
Kevin, you going to be at Packers training camp anytime soon?
Yep, as of now they're scheduled to be my second stop. Can't reveal exact dates because of the expected crush of celebrity photographers. (Sarcasm alert.)
With camp a week away, any updates on Nick Collins contract status? Also there are varying reports on Nick Barnett's health - I've read that he's ready to start right now, but I've also read he could start training camp on the PUP list?? What say you KS.
Nothing at all on Collins, but like the first-rounders, that kind of work can happen this week. I don't think he necessarily needs a deal done before camp. I think he was just looking for indications that they would eventually get to him. As for Barnett, I don't have any huge insight on that, but it would be pretty normal for him to open training camp on a limited basis. Sometimes the PUP is the best thing for everyone.
With a burtal opening schedule, how likely is it that Stafford gets the nod as starter after the week 7 bye. 93.758? The Rams would be a good first opponent...
Interesting. The only prediction I'm making now is that Stafford won't be the opening-day starter. Too early to see beyond that.
Barring injury and considering both have good years, will Ray Edwards or Chad Greenway be the first to sign an extension?
I would say Greenway in a heartbeat. Ray Edwards still has a lot to prove.
Favre did a commercial with Sears mocking his own waffling. Why would Favre do a commercial with Sears about indecisive guys and then not sign with the vikings? If he didn't sign wouldn't the message be "consider Sears before doing somehtring else.."? I beleive whole-heartedly that this deal is done. Favre will be the starting QB in Minnesota in 09. What do you think about my theory Kevin?
Very interesting take. My understanding is that Sears did several alternative endings for the commercial so that they line up with whatever Favre ultimately decides to do. They're not running until September, apparently.
How do you think Favre will announce his decision? Press conference, exclusive to Rachel Nichols, local paper, text message, twitter?
I was talking to someone about that today. I doubt we'll see him in Minnesota before Thursday at the earliest, so I don't think he'll do a separate press conference before then. I just hope the story comes sooner than later.
How much stock do you put into preseason games as a way to predict how a teams season will go? It seems like lots of teams that go 4-0 struggle in the regular season.
After the Lions last year, N-O-N-E.
Hey Kev, so, I have been wondering, I heard a while back that Marvin Harrison might be interested in joining the Vikings if (when) Brett Favre does. Is there any validity to these claims? If it does happen, how do you think this would change the dynamic of our offence, having him, along with Berrian, Rice, Harvin and Shianco catching passes from Favre?
I have not heard one credible source say Harrison is anywhere close to singing with the Vikings. I think they're pretty well stacked at this point.
Vikings go from #14 to #9? I'm a Bears fan and I'm excited for Favre to land in Minny. Know why? In the NYJ's last 5 games last year (vs. DEN, @SF, vsBUF, @SEA, vsMIA) they went 1-4 while BF threw 2 TD's and 9 INT's. Minny's stretch run this year with a BF that is one year older, is @ARZ, vsCIN, @CAR, @CHI, vsNYG to finish the season. The Vikes better be 10-1 going into those final weeks or they are in serious trouble, just sayin, this guy is old.
You're right. He's slipped at the end of the season in each of the past four years. But I'm not a voter for the power rankings so I don't have to defend them anymore!! Seriously, one way to look at it is to see what the Vikings did with Gus Frerotte last season. They were 8-3. That's how good the rest of their team is. So the question is, how much better could they be with 16 games of Favre?
How much of a dope am I going to look like when Brett doesn't show up to camp until late next week? You know and I know Favre thinks he knows the offense and doesn't want to sit through another TC.
I've wondered about that, and I'm not the only one. But luckily, your camp is one of the shortest in the NFL: Less than two weeks. I think he can make it.
the new power rankings list the Vikings, Bears and Packers at 9, 13 and 17 respectively. I think that undoubtedly the packers have the most solid team in the North, do you think these rankings are legit?
For the most part. I think everyone is just waiting to see how the Packers' defensive transition comes along. It's a big question mark that is going to take some time to sort out. That's why they're almost exactly in the middle of the NFL pack right now.
Do you think the waiving of Charles Gordon has any impact on the signing of Favre?
No. I just don't think he's ready to play after that terrible injury last year. That's Gordon, not Favre.
I'm extremely concerned about the situation the Packers would be in if Aaron Rodgers goes down. So far, Brian Brohm is a complete bust and, though I admire Matt Flynn as a gamer and a competitor, I doubt he could lead the Packers to a victory if he had to. Your thoughts?
It's a huge risk, in my opinion, and one that they got lucky on last year as Rodgers played 16 games. They would be a much, much different team without Rodgers as it stands right now.
In your blog, you compared the Vikes and Bears "aging" defenses. You mentioned that Dvorcek would start, but everyone in Bearland is saying it's Harrison's job to lose. That would put the Bears average age even lower. What makes you think Dusty will start?
Yeah, that might have been an oversight on my part. I can't really make an argument for why Dvoracek should be the guy.
There is a strange dynamic between Bears fans and Packer fans, we've never agreed on anything, but when it comes to Favre it seems both sides don't think he will be the "key" for the Vikings. In fact, Bears fans are salivating at the idea of Favre going to the Vikings and I as a Packer fan am almost wanting this to happen now because I think the Vikings will take a step backward this year. If the Favre experiment doesn't work out it seems to me the Vikings may be irrelavent for years to come? How big of a gamble is this for the Vikings?
It's a gamble, but I still think he's better than the alternative. But if you happen to have, say, the Bears' pass defense in your fantasy league, you're probably excited about the possibility of a few INTs.
What are the most probable stadium scenarios for the Vikings going into the 2011 season? The Dome lease is up before or after the 2011 season?
After 2011. Beyond that, anything is in play. To this point, however, the NFL doesn't seem to be behind the LA efforts of Ed Roski. So I don't know if the Vikings will have much leverage unless the economy improves.
KS, what's your take on Vick, and do you see any NFC North teams going after him? The man did a disgusting deed, but he's still an NFL QB. I would LOVE if the Packers would sign Vick just to throw in an extra addition to their offense.
Interesting. I don't think anyone is really knocking Vick's door down at this point. Not sure that the Packers would have interest. But if, say, Jay Cutler went down in Chicago, would the Bears consider Vick? I'm guessing they wouldn't rule it out.
Hey Kev, Regarding the metrodome situation for the vikings, what will happen when the lease expires? Its not like the metrodome is going anywhere right? In theory could they just renew the lease there?
Sure, but I doubt they want to do that without an assurance that another building is on the way.
There is a lot of back and forth bickering in the NFCN blogs about the affect that the Favre waffeling is having in the Vikings locker room. Got any comments on that?
It won't be a big deal unless he shows up to camp late. And even then, the players will get over it. They know he is likely to make them better.
Who has a better chance of winning their division Cubs or Bears?
Haven't been following the Cubs much, but I'll go with the Bears. Too likely that Soriano will drop a fly ball with the division the line.
Kevin, glad to see you back from your vacation. There are a lot of us GB fans that are very nervous about how the 3-4 is coming along. Will that be a main focus for you as well as the O-line during your time at Pack camp?
It'll be No. 1 on the list, followed by the offensive line and the backup QB situation.
Something besides Stafford and the record...How does the Lion's secondary look to you. Buchanon was a good pickup and Delmas could be the real deal, but what about the rest?
I like Delmas as well. Anthony Henry could be the No. 2 corner, and then there are about five veterans who could win the other safety job. I think they've got a chance to be decent back there, but they'll need some pass rushing help from the linebackers.
Do you think that Brian Urlacher is still a dominant force at MLB? I think hes beginning to slip off a bit, and if not, is there any way you see him reclaiming his top LB status this year?
I don't see him as a dominant player anymore, no. And I doubt I'm alone on that. But I do think he can still be part of a very successful defense if the Bears can figure out a way to revitalize their defensive line.
You posted my question and never answered it =(You must be a Vikings fan.
Whoops. Sorry about that.
Any insight as to whether Jermichael Finley or Pat lee will be able to step up their games and make an impact with the Packers this this? I have heard Finley has worked hard this past offseason but have heard little on Lee.
I think the Packers are hoping Finley makes huge strides and is their starting tight end by the end of the year. Lee is going to be stuck behind a lot of veterans for another year.
Okay; theoretical situation: Lets say Favre gets picked up, Sage and Booty stay on the roster, T-Jack gets dropped. Do you see T-Jack getting picked up by another team and if so which one?
No, and that's why I think it's kind of sad that he might see a trade if the Vikings sign Favre. The one guy in the league that believes in him -- Childress -- is trying to replace him. If J.P. Losman had to go to the UFL, then I don't see where an NFL job would be for Jackson if not with Minnesota.
Hi Kevin, glad you're back. Is Jolly a goner?
I don't think so. The trial is going back to square one.
I know this is not an NFC East chat, but I am still in shock that Jim Johnson will not be the defensive coordinator for the Eagles. Have you heard anything about his replacement from your NFL co-writers?
A lot of teams were interested in McDermott but the Eagles blocked him from interviewing. Now you know why. He's pretty well respected.
do you agrea what the reporter that calvin in randy moss jr
Yes. I think he's a very badd man. (And I mean that in a good way.)
Do you honestly believe that jones wouldnt sign m.vick if given an opportunity..he says no..but we all know j.jones will do things to "shock the world"
Yeah, you would think he learned his lesson from Pacman Jones and Terrell Owens, but maybe not.
With the drafting of Harvin and the progress of Jaymar Johnson do you see the team letting Bobby Wade go to Gain some salary cap space? Ibelieve he is overpaid anyway.
Not necessarily for cap purposes, but I wonder where he'll get his playing time if Harvin is as good as everyone thinks he is.
Kevin, it's been way to long brother!! I'm closing down a funeral and I'm starving...know what it's time for??
If you made the call for the limited 1st reps in practice would you develop Percy Harvin with a 1. Reggie Bush Jack of all trades Plan or 2. Steve Smith Starting WR for base sets plan?
I would go with the Bush scenario, especially in the rookie year.
You seem to be the only one who believes that Favre's indecision is based on not wanting to attend training camp rather than a change of heart. Is there any basis to your thought (sources) or is it just a gut feeling?
That's a fair question. It's mostly based on gut. Favre has made some comments about the rigors of training camp in recent years, and he also has talked about how well he knows the Vikings offense. I'm not even saying that's what's going on. But to me it's something to consider.
How much does Chicago miss me?
Well, the Bears haven't been the same since.
Hey... can I play catch with Jay Cutler?
Doesn't seem like it's in the cards at this point.
As a Bears fan, I may be a little biased, but do you think some people are over exaggerating the Bears receiving corps? It's not like they don't know how to catch a football and run, and plus, who knew who Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal were before they caught some passes from Cutler?
I guess that's fair in some respects. Certainly players can come out of nowhere. But is that an exception or a rule. Earl Bennett had no catches last year. Is it fair to expect him to come through with 50 this year? I don't know. Iglesias or Knox could conceivably do what Royal did as a rookie last year, but historically Royal was the exception for rookie receivers. I think everyone would feel better if there was at least one more proven commodity to compete with Bennett for a starting job. And don't say Rashied Davis.
A lot of rookie receivers don't fare very well, do you think Percy Harvin could have a DeSean Jackson-like impact or a dud like the Redskins wr's last year?
That jibes with the previous question. Harvin has a better chance to do what Jackson did because he could contribute on special teams right away.
Is there a legit NFC north team that can honestly compete for the title even when there's quarterback problems with every team?
I wouldn't agree with that. I don't see a problem in Chicago or Green Bay at that position. In fact, we have a potential QB renaissance on our hands in this division. I'll be hitting that in more detail tomorrow.
Am I being completely silly to think that Jeff George would be a better backup in Green Bay and Chicago than the current backups?
Jeff George hasn't thrown an NFL pass in eight years. I enjoyed covering him when he was with Minnesota, but I think his career is over.
I didn't make my decision early just to give y'all something to talk about during the offseason.
Well, I've talked so much my throat is raw and typed so much my fingers are calloused. Thanks.
What are you most looking forward to this year in the NFC North?
Three of the four teams are trying to upgrade at quarterback. I'm really interested to see who succeeds and who doesn't. And don't forget, the Vikings opted not to pursue Jay Cutler. I wonder how that decision will look in a year and beyond.
Hey, any chance i'm getting a call to head down to bourbonnais il
I'm guessing the Bears will want to at least see what they have in the young guys before pursuing any veteran solutions.
which player has the most to prove this year in Vikings training camp? I think that with the departure of Sharper it's Tyrell Johnson. maybe not, since there's no one else on the roster to take the spot if he falters... maybe Sidney Rice, he was underwhelming last year.
I'd say John Sullivan, the replacement for Matt Birk. Center is obviously a key position, and Sullivan wasn't exactly a household name entering the 2008 draft. (He was a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame.)
Other than the praise given to Jaymar Johnson by the world's best receiver....can you add anything as to his all of a sudden evolution?
He's definitely getting talked up by a lot of people, in part because he put on about 15 pounds of muscle this offseason and had been working pretty hard. But I have a hard time figuring out where he fits in as far as playing time goes.
You don't think T Jack would be interested in the Packers and vice versa after getting thrown under the bus in Minny?
I don't know that the Packers would have interest. They've seen him as often as anyone else over the years.
It seems like Aaron Kampman has been terse with reports this year. Have you spoken with him this year, and if so, how's he seemed to you? Is he really bothered by the transition to linebacker or is he bothered by people asking him about it?
By the time I got there in minicamp, he had lightened up a bit. I'm sure he would prefer playing defensive end, but I don't think he's livid, either. He's just trying to figure things out and didn't want to comment until he had something definitive to say about it.
There has been some talk around ESPN that Vikings at this point should go after Vick over Farve what do you think?
Not on this end of ESPN... I don't see the Wilfs ever signing Vick.
Is McCarthy on the hot seat if the switch to the 3-4 flops this year?
There's two ways to look at that. One is to say yes, and that this change has to make them better. The other is to say that he might have bought himself an extra year or two because in reality it takes time to make this transition.
will greg jennings or calvin johnson have a better year?
That's what started our Have at It series last year. If you mean better in terms of pure stats, I'll go with Johnson. But Jennings will help the Packers win more games.
You're hanging over a pit of sharks, slowly descending towards the water. The evil villain says "Mr. Seifert, all I want to know is, who will win the NFC North?" What do you answer?
I think I would wait for the Mystery Machine to show up so Scooby-Doo could save me. Then the evil villain would say, "You're lucky, Seifert. If it weren't for these meddling kids you would have had to pick an NFC North winner!"
Two items of concern regarding Brett Favre if I'm a Viking fan. 1) The west coast offense is as much about reading receivers as it is knowing the plays. How is Favre's decision to miss OTA's and possibly part of camp going to affect his chemistry with the receiving corps and 2) Brett Favre's rebirth in 2007 came after a rigorous offseason conditioning program where he reportedly was in the best shape of his life. The previous 2 years he came in a little heavy and the results on the field weren't great. What kind of shape will he be in after an offseason of waffles and surgery?
I think the conditioning thing would be a legitimate concern. Working out in cargo shorts and sunglasses isn't exactly the same as OTAs.
I personally think that Marcus Mccauley has better coverage skills than Ced Griffin, do you think that the Vikings are making a mistake letting Ced start bc he is the better tackler?
No. Other than the early part of his rookie year, I've never seen Marcus McCauley do anything to suggest he should be an NFL starter.
do you think that peterson will rush for 2000 yards this season?
No, but that hardly means he won't have a good season.
Is anyone at ESPN checking out the flight status in Hattisburg lately? I think we can figure out when Favre is heading to MIN based on the traffic out of the airport..http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KPIB
Maybe, but regardless of when he signs I think he won't be up in Minnesota until camp starts.
Don't you mean "Jennings has better teammates, which means Jennings' team will win more games"?
Partly, but I also think Jennings is a pretty good gamer in his own right. Nothing against Johnson. Just some savvy that Johnson is still learning.
I know we went ovre this a lot several months ago, but what will the Vikings do about the FB position now that they've drafted harvin? Will Tahi still get the 1yd checkdown and lead blocking role?
I'll be interesting to see. As you probably know, I'm at a loss to explain the importance of Tahi/the fullback in this Vikings offense.
How come some questions get posted but not answered? Are you just getting as caught up in the excitement as we are? =)
That shouldn't be happening. I'll have to check with the tech people.
Ok, one more question here.
Jared Allen comes off as an interesting and insightful guy. He's certainly my favorite personality in the NFL right now. Who's the most interesting person you have talked to in the NFC North?
Allen is up there. So is Mike Brown, the former Bears safety.
And one bonus question.
If you say the Lions secondary is MUCH improved, but they need help from their linebackers, don't you think the new linebacking core is the biggest upgrade on the team? That said, with the revamping of the secondary and the linebackers, don't you think the Lions have a shot (not guaranteed, but a shot) at being in the upper half of defenses in the league????
Yes, the linebacking corps is much improved. But unless the defensive line does a better job of stopping the run, I think the Lions defense will still struggle.
OK everyone, thanks for participating. Next week's chat will probably be at a different time. I'll make sure to update you in plenty of time.