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November 3, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (1:59 PM)

Hi everyone. I hope everyone appreciated the sarcasm of today's reminder post. OF COURSE the blog will soldier on while the Vikings take a bye week. (HINT)Ok, let's get to it.

Alex (New York)

What type of offense do the Bears run exactly? Lovie says they are a power running team, Ron turner is supposedly a short passing game west coast type of play caller, and cutler likes to stretch the field vertically. But honestly all i'm seeing is a jumble of all these showing that the bears have no offensive personality at all. What do you think?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:01 PM)

The short answer is they're still trying to figure it out. I'm a big believer in creating a scheme to fit your players. Much easier than trying to retrofit your roster to emphasize a certain approach. If Cutler is a downfield-minded passer, than that's the kind of offense they need to be.

Erik (Behind Enemy Lines Chicago)

Currently, Aaron Rodgers has the highest QB rating in the NFL with 110.4. The conventional wisdom is that Rodgers is a talented young quarterback but not a top three quarterback let alone number one. Is this a fluke, an arrangement that Rodgers is a top 3 quarterback or does this show the flows in the QB rating system?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:03 PM)

It's a really interesting issue. I wrote last week that when you take a look at Rodgers' numbers, you have to conclude he is one of the top 5-7 quarterbacks in the league. But sometimes those numbers are misleading. I was surprised when I saw his passer rating was 108 against Minnesota. That's an elite number, but I didn't think his performance was anywhere near that.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:03 PM)

It's a really interesting issue. I wrote last week that when you take a look at Rodgers' numbers, you have to conclude he is one of the top 5-7 quarterbacks in the league. But sometimes those numbers are misleading. I was surprised when I saw his passer rating was 108 against Minnesota. That's an elite number, but I didn't think his performance was anywhere near that.

Dj (Chicago)

Which is tougher to watch, the Bears oline or Starship Troopers 3?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:04 PM)

I liked Starship Troopers I. (Was there really a II and III?) ... Nothing like deep-space spiders to get your blood roiling.

Kimberly (Wi)

Good afternoon Kevin, my question is do you think that Mark Tauscher and Chad clifton will play this sunday against Tampa?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:04 PM)

Hi Kimberly. I'm betting there is a really good chance of Tauscher playing. Clifton will be more of a health issue.

patrick (sacramento)

why hasnt harvin been used more on punts? He does seem to catch the ball with his hands more on kickoffs then most players i see. They tend to catch the ball more into their body. But has he had drops in practice with punt reurns or is it just entirely different to recieve punts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:05 PM)

In training camp, he was a little shaky with punts and they figured he had enough on his plate. But I wouldn't be surprised if they mix him in there as the playoff push starts.

Travis (Minneapolis)

What are the chances that these Congressional hearings on the StarCaps cases could result in the suspensions going into effect this year?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:07 PM)

I guess it depends on how fast bureaucracy can work. The NFL wants Congress to pass a law that basically allows federal rules to trump state rules on drug testing. Could Congress hold hearings, write the law and get it passed before the end of the season? I don't know.

Scott (Hudson)

Kevin - Thanks for the chat-PACK ? here. There were rumers about Ted Thompson looking at Joe Thomas from the Browns and SJax from St Louis before the trade deadline. Any chance in your mind that in the offseason that it could be a reality? Pack need help in both situations and I Need a little encouragement from not driving off the bridge across the St Croix back to God's Country. Thanks for the chat- Peace

Kevin Seifert
  (2:08 PM)

I guess it's moot now that the trading deadline has passed. There were a couple of rumors regarding Thomas, but I have a hard time the Browns would trade a Pro Bowl left tackle. That could have been people in Wisconsin hoping that Thomas would come "home."

Jed (Grand Rapids, MI)

The bye week is usually used for taking a break, and getting away. Is there any suggestion that Farve and Berrian are going to stick close together, and work on timing? Berrian is starting to become over evident in the offense but it has been slow work getting there.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:09 PM)

Don't think so. Berrian left town yesterday, according to his Twitter feed. I think it's a bit of misnomer that they aren't clicking. Berrian is actually on pace to catch more passes than he did last season.

Mark Peterson (Minnesota)

Do you think the style of play in the NFC North will help the Vikings down the road in the playoffs? Watching the Saints last night, it looked like a touch football game compared to the Vikes-Packer game the day before! Hardnose football wins championships!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:10 PM)

Perhaps, but after watching the Vikings' pass defense against Baltimore and Green Bay, I think they could have some trouble with Drew Brees and company. Just saying.

Eric (Jersey)

Isn't it interesting ... after 8 weeks the Bears WR are the one unit on the team I dont worry about ..

Kevin Seifert
  (2:11 PM)

Funny. It's true, they've been better than expected. But I do think the decision to go young/inexperienced has hurt Greg Olsen. He's getting No. 1-receiver attention from defenses.

Mike (Minnesota)

The coverage I've been reading over the last two days seems to pretty much agree that the Packers are a below-average team at best. Given that, how much credit should the Vikings really be given for thrashing the Pack on Sunday? It seems to me you can't have it both ways. It's not much of an accomplishment beating a rotten team, even on the road. It appears the NFC North is back to business as usual - one good team and three chumps. Not sure that will be a benefit at playoff time.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

Little early to suggest that, but I understand what you're saying. I think the Vikings deserve some credit for overcoming what was definitely an emotional/home field advantage for the Packers.

al_harris (il)

hey kevin, be nice to arod, he's my boy, whats your thought on TT is he on the hotseat yet?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:15 PM)

We're getting there. Thompson took some personnel risks that haven't paid off. To think that Clifton and Barbre could be productive tackles for 16 games was clearly not wise. Hoping that DeShawn Wynn or Brandon Jackson could be a legitimate No. 2 running back also hasn't worked out. And the jury is still out as to whether the Packers have the right personnel for this defense.

Matt (Portland)

Kevin, Congress can't pass a law that retroactively makes something illegal, so nothing they do should change the situation for the Williams, just the future.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

Not sure about that, Matt. It wouldn't make anything illegal retroactively. It would just say that federal law trumps state law. The Williams Wall case hasn't actually been to court yet. It's scheduled for after the season. So I'm guessing that a new law from Congress would keep the Williams Wall from being able to take their case to state court, as currently scheduled.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

It's easy to have a high passer rating when sacks aren't part of the calculation, Kevin. That said, Rodgers is pretty darn good and just needs to learn how to throw the ball away.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:17 PM)

Right, sacks aren't included. Fair point.

Terry (Iowa)

Are we ever going to get to some Vikings questions?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:17 PM)

Nice.

Peter (Seattle, WA)

No chance the Congressional hearings result in a law that allows the Williams Wall to be suspended. That would be an ex post facto law (it's changing the legality of what they did after they did it), and is unconstitutional.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

Again, what they did wasn't illegal in the first place. ... At issue is whether their labor falls under state laws or federal laws as NFL players. ... Why couldn't that change?

Jonny (NYC)

Am I the only one who finds Jared Allen to be a little overrated at this point? He might lead the league in sacks but 75% of them came against the worst oline in football and some of their other opponents were the Browns, Lions and Rams. The guy shares the line with 2 pro bowlers as well. Do you attribute everyones love of this guys overrated performance to the high profile nature of the team and Allens own unfailing love of self-endorsement and WWE poses?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

One word: Yes. .... He's had a pretty good half-season, and has been all over the field.

Derek Martin (Crookston, MN)

Are you Carl Gerbschmidt?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

Carl is Carl.

Nate (Milwaukee)

Kevin, Tommie Harris didn't play quite like Mr. Rogers across the field, but it seemed like he did disrupt plays and get into the backfield. Assuming he wraps up the quarterback down next time instead of hugging him, he could wind up on the stat sheet as well. Do you think he is back closer to his 2006 season form?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:21 PM)

No. This was the Browns offensive line, remember. I need to see some game-changing plays before I believe he is on his way back.

Doug Pretty (Waterloo, IA)

Hey Kevin, earlier in the preseason you took some heat for suggesting the Vikings had more receiver depth than the Packers. Looking at the stats so far, I'd say you're at least somewhat vindicated. The Vikes do have an extra game under their belt, but the receiving stats don't lend themselves to the wide disparity many believed there would be earlier in the season.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:22 PM)

Bless you, Doug. ... Seriously, I think that whole debate got out of control in the first place. Most of that is my fault. The Vikings have proved to have a pretty good group. So do the Packers.

al_harris (il)

kevin, do you know anything about mark murphy , and do you think he has the cojunas to fire TT?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:24 PM)

Murphy has never been in a position to make this kind of call, at least not in the NFL. No one knows how he'll react. But I wonder if, because he's so early in his tenure, he'll lean more on the Board of Directors for that kind of decision than previous Packers CEOs have done.

Bob (Mi)

Will calvin play any games the rest of the year?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

I believe he'll get back on the field. But the less information that gets out about his condition, the more suspicious I become. The Lions have every right to minimize injury information, but the longer this takes, and the more vague they are about his progress, suspicion is only going to rise.

Dave (MN)

Is it true you are just going to stay home this weekend since the Vikings are on their bye week?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

Not true. I provided a hint in my opening statement of this chat.

al_harris (il)

ok do the board of directors have the cojunas to fire TT since murphy basically wont.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:27 PM)

They might be antsy.

matt (ks)

is antoine back after the bye?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:27 PM)

If I had to guess, yes.

Lefty (The Road)

Kevin, I keep stating that if the Pack could fix half of their O-line problems, things would be ok. Which half do you thing they can fix first, the left half or the right half?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:28 PM)

The right. If Mark Tauscher is healthy, he's a credible starter. Left tackle is harder to fill. Lang is a rookie and Clifton is injured.

Clay (Charlotte)

Solider Field for those of you who are slow.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:28 PM)

Thanks Clay!

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Hey Kevin, do you think any NFC North coaches are in danger of being fired ?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:29 PM)

No. As of today, three of the teams have winning records. Jim Schwartz is 1-6 but he's in his first year. ... But a lot could change over the second half of the season.

David (New York)

Who do you think the Lions draft first next year: Suh or Berry? Their defense is awful. They need a ton of help

Kevin Seifert
  (2:31 PM)

Isn't there a tight end that might be available?Sorry, couldn't resist. I can't say I'm totally up on my 2010 draft information yet. But I'll say what I've said since last year at this time: The Lions have to start drafting linemen, on both sides of the ball, with more regularity.

Eric (MN)

Who is the Black and Blue MVP up to this point in the season?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:31 PM)

Er, uh, I, well, ... don't think I have a choice but to say Favre. He's been the missing piece that we have all talked about for years.

Matt (St. Paul)

You had to drive to Green Bay this weekend? What, the Sports Leader wouldn't foot the bill for a 45 minute flight?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

My choice. Wanted to go trick-or-treating Saturday night. By the way, does anyone know what the "Geographical marker" is on 29? It's about 15 minutes east of Wausau. I almost pulled off to take a look at it, but I wanted to get back home.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

My choice. Wanted to go trick-or-treating Saturday night. By the way, does anyone know what the "Geographical marker" is on 29? It's about 15 minutes east of Wausau. I almost pulled off to take a look at it, but I wanted to get back home.

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Right now, the Bears and the Packers are out of the playoffs. Do you that changing by seasons end?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:35 PM)

I think they both have a chance still. And I'm not ruling the Bears out of the division race by any means. Not with both games remaining against Minnesota.

Nate (Milwaukee)

What positives do you take from the Bears win? I know the offense couldn't punch it in once they got to the red zone, but they were moving the ball to get in that position. Also, the defense was forcing turnovers and gang-tackling. Your thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:36 PM)

Thought the turnovers were very important. That's what you want to see from Tillman and Manning, especially.

Tom (Hammond)

KS is the only reason writers are pushing for the Bears to pick up a wideout because they dont want to be proven wrong? Hester is on pace for 100, with Knox and Bennett at the 800 yrd mark respectfully?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:37 PM)

You're a bit optimistic about those projections, based on 7-game totals. But I can only speak for myself. I've acknowledged multiple times that the receivers have produced better than I thought they would.

John (Green Bay)

TT get's fired this year, Rodgers goes down because his line can't protect him, Brett comes back next year and leads us to one last Superbowl Win....... Sunset

Kevin Seifert
  (2:38 PM)

Somebody needs to wake you up.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

Some people are saying that I had my "breakout" game of the season Sunday, but it still didn't really seem like I was able to make any defenders miss me, and I had a pretty low YPC. Am I back, or was I just playing the Browns?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:39 PM)

Well, the great equalizer is touchdowns. If you can score a couple in most games, that will make people overlook your otherwise average rushing totals.

JP (Alberta)

Kevin, you are missing the point. What the Williams did was legal in the state they were in and resulted in what was a no punishable offense. They are changing how the LAW is interpreted which is making how they were treated for something they did before the law was made different. That is not legal under our constitution.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:39 PM)

Ok. Definitely something for me to look further into. Thank you.

David (New York)

Yo, I am Lions fan, you have to kick me when I am down. Let me tell if I was the GM I wouldn't have drafted TE with the 20th pick. I can't help who runs my teams and picks these terrible players.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:40 PM)

Yeah, and I mean no disrespect to Brandon Pettigrew (or you, for that matter). I just don't think a team that has so many needs can prioritize a tight end in the first round, even if he has a chance to be an elite player.

Timmy S. (Brillion, WI)

Hey Kevin, what was your take on how Ahman Green did in his first game back in GB? I thought he performed decently seeing as how he's been out for a while. He even returned kicks seeing as how both Will Blackman and Jordy Nelson are out.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:41 PM)

He was reliable on kickoff returns, but I don't think anyone believes he is a gamebreaker anymore. He's basically what you would expect from someone who is available in October.

Mike (Raleigh)

What do you think of Stafford so far this year? I know he didn't have a good game vs the woeful Rams, but his INT shouldn't be put on him.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:42 PM)

That last question was about Ahman Green by the way. Darn this software.

Ray Edwards (Winter Park)

Where's the love? 3 other Pro Bowlers on my line so I get overshadowed, but I think that I've turned into a pretty decent player in my own right? Would I be any good without those guys around me?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:44 PM)

Not sure I'm on board with that. I'll definitely give you props for what you did Sunday. But as the fourth priority for opposing offenses, I think you should make more plays than you do.

CJ (SD)

Do the Vikes have the best starting field position in the league, with PH?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:44 PM)

That is true. He's averaging 30 yards per kickoff return, and overall the Vikings' average drive starts at the 34 or so.

al_harris (il)

elite TE's make #1 pick qbs job a lot easier

Kevin Seifert
  (2:45 PM)

So do elite left tackles.

Lefty547 (Nashville)

KEVIN!! Please please PLEASE give a shout out to Doug Pretty's game cards... he's got one for a lot of us... even YOU!!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:45 PM)

So I hear. I'll have to take a look.

Ben (Extended Chicago (Tallahassee, FL))

What's your take on why the BEars seem to throw downfield less this year with Jay Cutler, than last year with Orton? I thought thats why we wanted him, so we would stop underthrowing Devin Hester on go routes. Now, we have Hester, Knox, and Olsen, and no deep throws...

Kevin Seifert
  (2:47 PM)

Really? I don't know if I agree with that. Cutler is averaging 7.0 yards per attempt. Last year, Orton averaged 6.4.

Tom (Chicago)

You would think a big company like ESPN would be able to invest in some decent chat software, or at least when it doesnt work have it fixed promptly or replace it. This has been going on for 2 months now.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:48 PM)

Agreed.

Tom (Hammond)

Fair enough, only time will tell. Whats your take on keys for success this wknd vs Arizona, a true test for the Bears secondary featuring a triple headed monster.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:49 PM)

Part of it is going to be which Arizona team shows up: The one that beat the Giants in New York or the one that lost Sunday to Carolina.

Chris (Chicago)

Kevin, do you know how to get to Soldier Field? Let me know if you need directions...

Kevin Seifert
  (2:49 PM)

Ha! I'm pretty sure you drive east until you see a bunch of tall buildings. Keep going until you're almost in the water, then take a right.

Justin (Minneapolis)

but Michael Oher would have made staffords job MUCH easier

Kevin Seifert
  (2:50 PM)

That's who I was thinking of, yes.

Brett Favre (Mississippi)

16 touchdowns this year compared to only 3 interceptions. That puts me on pace for 32 TD's and 6 INT's. That puts my td/int ratio to 5.3 the best i've ever had in my career. Not to mention those numbers would suggest that it was the best efficient season of my career. Geez my career best so far is 13 ints.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:52 PM)

Yes, the biggest thing I've been surprised at this year is how rarely you're throwing it up for grabs, as you often did during your career up to this point. Are you feeling you don't need to force the ball because of Adrian Peterson? Or are you still too unfamiliar with your surroundings to play out of control?

Steve ((MA))

Do you think the NFC North will have a wildcard team or will both wildcards come out of the NFC East?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

Haven't given up hope on that, no.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

Haven't given up hope on that, no.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

Ok, one or two more questions here.

Scott (Hudson)

Kevin- Any free agent RBs you know of that are going to be available for 2010?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

Looking locally, Chester Taylor is one.

Chris (Bainbridge Island)

How much better would the Lions be with 2 first round linemen and Phil Loadholt?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:54 PM)

Well, they wouldn't need to go overboard. I would have settled for one elite offensive or defensive lineman among their first three picks (which were all in the first 33 of the draft).

Kevin Seifert
  (2:55 PM)

OK everyone. Thanks so much.