Hi everyone. Thanks for taking some time out from your very busy schedules. Sorry about last week's cancellation. Let's get to it.
Hi Kevin. Given that there seems to be a fair chance that the Vikings and Cardinals will have a divisional round playoff matchup in Minneapolis...how would you see that game playing out? Any chance it'll be the reverse of what happened in Arizona? (let's suppose that both Favre and Warner are healthy then)
Guess it would depend on which Arizona team shows up. The Cardinals sure looked to be a bad matchup for the Vikings two weeks ago. But last night, they couldn't get out of their own way.
Will the Pack still win a wild card spot if they finsih tied at 10-6 with a NFC East Team?
Depends on each team's conference record, but most likely yes.
Kevin, now that we have to listen to all the Pack is back blather and how the Vikings are quivering with fear at facing (and beating them for a third time if two wasn't already enough), please run down the likely playoff scenarios where they'd face each other given the current standings.
If things stay the way they are, the Packers would play at Arizona in the first round. If they win that game, their next game would depend on what happened in the game between the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds. If the No. 3 seed wins, then the Packers would go to New Orleans. So in that scenario, they would have to defeat the Saints in order to have a chance to play Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game. If the No. 6 seed defeats the No. 3 seed in that scenario, the Packers and Vikings would play in the divisional round. Hope that makes sense.
Take your pick. Winfield or Woodson?
Thought Winfield was great Sunday, but Woodson has been phenomenal all season and makes more plays in the passing game.
I noticed Ben Leber with the radio helmet in E.J. Henderson's absence Sunday. I can't imagine why a team would want to do this, but can ANY defensive player wear the radio? If the Vikings decide for some reason to give Jared Allen the radio, are they allowed?
Yes. It can go to only one player. That's the key. So with Jasper Brinkley coming off the field in the nickel, it makes sense to give it to someone who will be on the field for all three downs like Leber.
Why don't the Bears just get rid of Ron Turner now because he isn't doing anything for the team. Their season is over and he still doesn't try anything new to try to the spark the offense and is just starting to get the younger players involved now. How did this guy ever have a job?
Assuming you are serious, I'm not sure if there is a candidate on staff to take over that job in a temporary basis. It's probably just a matter of time before Turner is axed. But I would say their issues go way beyond him. The Bears traded for a downfield passer and threw him into a power running offense.
Good afternoon Kevin, My question is have you heard if Stelers safety Troy Paulamilua is playing?
He is not ... and I have a hard time spelling his name as well.
Why did the Packers decide to make Chillar such an in-season priority? Is Hawk not in their long-term plans? And what will they do this off-season to shore up the aging secondary and inconsistent O-line?
Chillar would have been an unrestricted free agent even in an uncapped year, and he's proved to be a good fit for the 3-4 defense. In that scheme, you need a lot of good linebackers. I would say that Hawk will get one more year to prove he should be a long-term part of their plans. As for the secondary and offensive line, and every other position, the Packers have made clear they will utilize the draft for all of their roster needs.
so in YOUR opinion, who are the the three nfc pro bowl qb's at this point?
In MY OPINION? Brees, Favre, Rodgers.
Green Bay is 9-4. Although their schedule has been relatively soft all year, do you see them making any noise in the playoffs?
Yes. The most important factor is that the Packers are playing their best football of the season now.
Any chance that the StarCaps case can reemerge this season and cause problems for the Vikings (and Saints)?
There is a Jan. 14 hearing where conceivably something could shake loose. But I'm assuming this thing will extend for a long, long time.
Cutting a player to make a point... 60% of the time, it works EVERY time
Just like Panther cologne, right? Yeah, Jim Schwartz talked himself into a box there. In reality, there's nothing he can do about this mess until the offseason.
Only Kevin Seifert can answer the burning question that's on all our minds: What are the chances that GB and MN will meet in the playoffs? Taking into account the improvements we've seen from GB in the last few weeks, I give it a...31% chance that MN and GB meet in the playoffs. What's your take Mr. Fence-Sitter?
Seriously, how bad must Drew Stanton be?
They must be worried about his ability to take a snap. Otherwise, you might as well give it a shot.
kevin it seems that your original air @ space was heavily favored towards cutler winning the battle of the four, would you say that it aaron rodgers wins it now?, even with favre's numbers because of the talent differences surrounding them? Thanks
Not the case. In the very first post, I said there were more things I liked about Rodgers than Cutler. I admit I had no idea Cutler would be this bad, but I don't think it's been a contest between he and Rodgers this season. But of the three, Favre still gets the nod at this point. His team is 11-2.
Does the Chillar deal mean anything for Nick Collins?
Not as much as people think. Collins will be a restricted free agent if there is an uncapped year. So the urgency just isn't there.
Hi Kevin, I'm just wondering how you feel the Packers should handle Aaron Kampman this offseason? He didn't make the transition Dom Capers had hoped for moving him to OLB in the 3-4 and now has had trade value decreased by the ACL injury. My biggest fear, as a Packers fan, is Kampman lining up at LE for the Vikings, as he would complete an already lethal defensive line. Thoughts on whether or not the Vikings would consider this and how Ted Thompson should handle the situation?
Interesting points. I don't think there is much Thompson can do in this situation. We haven't heard from Kampman, but it's hard to imagine he would return to a 3-4 if it were up to him. And Thompson isn't going to offer much of a contract to a player with an ACL injury. (See Mark Tauscher.) So we'll all have to just sit tight and wait to see how Kampman's rehab goes.
Schwartz cutting someone would probably be a useless gesture to his players, but it would make us lions fans feel a lot better.
I'm curious as to why... I agree with John Niyo of the Detroit News. It would have been better theater than football management.
Are you buying anything McCarthy is selling as far as having AJ Hawk in their future plans? Or does Chillar's resigning mean the beginning of the end of Hawk's career in GB?
I think they don't know yet. In public, McCarthy obviously can't say anything but what he said. But I doubt they've made a final determination on Hawk. Chillar is better as a roving linebacker than a starter, anyway.
At least as a starter inside...
Let's spread some Bears love Kevin. I'm such a presence that assuming I can stay healthy for the 2010 season (BEAR with me (GET IT?)), Chicago will win at least 8 games. Please assess the validity of my postulate.
While I think the Bears defense would have been more organized with you on the field, that's not in my top 5 reasons for their collapse this season. The Bears' fortunes will depend on factors other than whether you play 16 games next season.
Kevin, I know he's not the main problem, but Louis Delmas has not impressed me at all this season. He was completely out of position for every one of Rice's big plays. The guy shows no discipline. Am I being too hard on him?
Yes. I think he's one of the bright(er) spots of the Lions defense. He's a playmaker, which they sorely lack. He'll learn the nuances of coverages as he gets older. But he has the raw skills and attitude to be an exceptional safety.
Coaching question: Prior to the season I'd bet there was no chance of Leslie Frazier being back in 2010; with the trend moving away from "hot" coordinators and toward known entities (i.e. Cowher, Shanahan, Holmgrem), do yo see Frazier back? Vikes would REALLY miss him IMO....prolly more than Chilly lol
I'll be interested to see how that trend goes. I wonder how many owners are really going to spend the big bucks it will take to get Cowher and Shanahan. Some are going to be looking for the bargains that coordinators offer.
Suppose GB wanted to pick up a kicker that could make a 40-yarder when it matters... Are there any options out there right now? Or do we have to wait for Teddy to pick up a seventh round pick?
That would really scare me. There are options. I think Mike Nugent is still out there, right? But bringing in a guy off the street has just as much risk, if not more, than keeping Crosby at this point.
Haven't made it over to the blog yet today...are we going to be discussing Greg Jennings stolen TD this week? What were your thoughts on it? Mine is: if this is how they're going to be enforcing the new "maintain possession while falling" rule, it's gotta go!
Tomorrow in Dirty Laundry. I haven't had a chance to look at it closely yet.
Hey, Kevin, thanks for the chat! What's your take on the Kevin Smith injury? I'm assuming he'll miss training camp, and possibly start 2010 on the PUP . . . would the Lions blow a top-few-rounds draft pick on a fill-in, or look to bridge the gap with a recycled veteran?PeaceTy
Hey Ty. They'll definitely need to make other plans. Smith will have to wipe out normal recovery timetables to be ready for training camp. And then you never know how the knee will react when he does get back on the field. Given all the other needs the Lions have, I would hate to see them be forced to use a top pick on a tailback. Maybe they should go after Detroit native Chester Taylor, who will be a free agent.
I enjoy your blogs...how can I get inactives before kickoff easily?
We post a link to the inactives about an hour before the early games. It's updated about an hour before the late games. You can find it either on the NFL page or on any of our division blogs.
Is clay mathews playing better right now than either Brian cushings or Rey mauluga and if you had to how would you rank them so far
I can honestly say I haven't seen Cushing at all or Mauluga much this season. I've heard great things about Cushing.
I have no idea why I answered that question. Sorry.
How do you rate BJ Raji coming out last year to this years top DT's? (Suh, McCoy, Price)
Everyone is ga-ga over Suh and McCoy right now. So I'll join the crowd and put them over Raji.
Kevin, please tell me Lovie Smith will be gone after this season. He coaches one of the most disorganized teams in the league, makes no adjustments at halftime, and is horrible at talent evaluation. And I can only hope Angelo is gone soon after.
I used to think there was no way the McCaskeys would pay him $11 million to go. Now I wonder if they'll have a choice. How many season ticket holders would cancel if there is another season of Lovie?
What did you think of when Ryan Grant slipped when he scored the touchdown? that was funny
I thought he made a nice recovery. I'm the master at making a clumsy fall look artful. Or something like that.
Coincidence or is there a logical reason the top three teams in the league play in a dome?
Right now it's coincidence, I think. The Saints and Colts haven't lost on the road, either.
Is Kennedy the first in DL sub now and do you think he will replace big Pat soon.
He is and has had a surprising career renaissance. He's more of a three-technique player, though, and I don't see him as a long-term replacement at nose tackle.
It's obvious that you were high on Ryan Grants performance on the ground last week. Do you think the Pack will continue to commit to the run even in good weather conditions.
That's what Mike McCarthy is saying they will do. Let's see if he's true to his word.
You posted an unanswered (and possibly rhetorical) question on the blog about whether or not the Bengals game was truly a bounce back for AD. What's your take? Mine is that it was the start of a turnaround, but not the whole thing.
Well, 97 yards is better than 19 or whatever it was against Arizona. But I didn't think it was a breakout game or anything. He was better in the passing game, actually.
Scroggins and Zulgad want to know why you hate the Vikings so much now that you are with ESPN? Too much Packer influence?
Everyone's a critic.
Kevin, with all this talk about Tauscher getting fatigued, should the Packers move Lang into the starting lineup?
No. The talk was that he was fatigued after a full game. So if anything, that means they should go back to giving him a series or two off in each game. But they're clearly better with Tauscher on the field.
Coincidence or is there a logical reason two of the worst teams in the league play in a dome?
I read Brookdale Mall is in foreclosure. What's the possibility of a good deal for a Vikings stadium development?
Would you want to drive out to Brookdale for a game?
Why is Donald Lee still starting over Jermicheal Finley?
Semantics. I don't have playing time charts in front of me, but I'm sure Finley is getting more snaps.
I know the EJ Henderson injury was a big blow for the Vikings however the remaining playoff teams are pass happy bunch and EJ really struggled in the pass this year where Leber seemed to be around the ball when he was in. Could this actually be a blessing in disguise for the Vikings????
I wouldn't go that far, because that's assuming no one else gets hurt. I thought they would have been better with Leber in the nickel even when E.J. was healthy. But I would still take E.J. over Jasper Brinkley in base sets.
Kevin: You're as close to this as anyone. What's up with Shiancoe's ribs? Is one of the best red zone TEs in the game going to be OK come playoff time and do you see Jeff Dugan getting more action once the Vikes clinch the division and number two seed?
He's definitely sore but I would imagine he's one of many players that would benefit from a first-round bye.
Another week, another penalty or dumb play to get my name out there. Am I an attention hound or what?
I can't call you out for that one. Did you see the replay? The Bengals' punter deserves an Academy Award for that one.
Regarding Kampman, could you clarify what restrictions, if any, there are regarding the franchise tag. Obviously the player must be a unrestricted free agent, but is there any "years of service" restriction that would prevent the Packers from tagging & trading Kampman?
No. The biggest restriction is that a defensive end/linebacker with a torn ACL doesn't have much trade value.
After Al Harris went down, I was sure the Packer's pass defense would suffer. But it seems as if Tramon has played well enough and Jarrett Bush hasn't messed everything up yet. Should we be waiting for a good team to exploit this or has Dom Capers adjusted the defense well enough?
Baltimore tried and got three pass interference calls on Tramon Williams. But I think Williams is better than he gets credit for. He's a true playmaker and has the footwork, if not the hand discipline, to be good in coverage.
What odds do you give Stafford of playing, and if he doesn't, will another week of practice between Culpepper and Megatron prove any better than last week?
It sounds like he'll have to make significant improvement this week in order for it to happen. But I'm not sure that will help the Culpepper-Calvin Johnson connection.
What do you mean drive "out" to Brookdale? It is only like 10 minutes away from where the Vikings play right now and it would also offer much better parking options. I would personally much rather have it at the Brookdale site than downtown. We would actually be able to tailgate.
Depends where you live. If you're south of the metro, that's a hike. Same thing would have been the case if the stadium were in Blaine. Downtown, by definition, is a central location.
Kevin - let's say Arizona and Green Bay each win their next two games and meet in Week 17 with GB @ 11-4 and Zona at 10-5. What are the implications of the Week 17 game if this is the case? Does it become a game for homefield advantage? Or is this just a preseason game with the wild card game already determined to be GB at Arizona?
Right. The Cardinals would be guaranteed the home game because they won their division, even if they had a worse record than the wild-card team they would be playing.
hey Seifert, have you talked to any of your colleagues and other experts around the league about my DPOY candidacy? How am I lookin?
Good idea. I'll report back at some point.
Just read you entry about the Bears and Lions. I disagree with you 3rd or 4th WR comment concerning D.A. I think he has all the physical tools to not only start but be a true #1 and an obvious rapport with Cutler. If he were a 2nd round pick he'd have started a long time ago.
Well, let's see him have a couple more games like that before we crown him. :)
It seems the national media is more positive than the average Packer fan is about this current team. Why? Is it the Favre controversy? The ambivolence over Ted Thompson?
That's usually the case for every team. But I also think the Packers have had an unusually up and down season. They've gone from losing at Tampa Bay to being one of league's hottest teams in December. The fans remember Tampa Bay. The national media remembers yesterday.
I think D Manning should play corner and Tilman play FS. Does this make sense with Mannings athleticism could maybe keep up with a reveiver and Tillman can serve like Mike Brown did when he was 23 and healthy by lining everyone up and leadership in the secondary?
No. No. NO. Tillman is their best cornerback. You don't move your best cornerback out of that position until he can't play it anymore. And I've seen nothing to suggest that Manning could be a full-time cornerback.
So if the Cards and the Pack end knowing they'll see each other in the first round of the playoffs do they rest their starters and use a vanilla gameplan?
Could work either way. You could also throw the kitchen sink at them in hopes of making them spend time preparing for stuff you have no plans of using in the playoffs.
Admit it, Kevin,Your going to name your next child "Farve", aren't you?
"Lorenzo" has a nice ring to it.
How many questions do you get during your chat session?
Today is on the lighter side. You are No. 226.
I am a true shutdown corner Woodson is not. I should be in the running for DPOY no one plays the postion better, but the media is obsessed with splashy plays so I won't get any consideration.
Wrong. Woodson is still an elite cover corner.
Given the uncertainty about Favre's playing status for next year, will the Vikings approach next season's QB situation as if he won't be playing?
They probably will have to. But we all will know better than to rule out the Favre possibility until August passes and he's still retired.
You would rather have Woodson than Revis?
This season, yep.
If you were a qb which oline would you rather have, Chicago or Detroit?
Honest opinion- who wins if GB and MIN play in NFC Championship?
Me. As the NFC North blogger, I couldn't lose. As for which team wins, I'd still give Minnesota the nod based on being at home and the way the matchups looked during the season.
Considering the # of QBs nowdays that get +4000 yards and 25-35 TD passes a year, do you feel the QBs get too much attention for the MVP race considering the things Sharper, Woodson, and Dummerville have done this year?
Quarterbacks touch the ball on every play. That has a big impact on voting.
I disagree on Woodson being an elite cover corner. You should have one of your ESPN numbers guys put something together comparing him to other guys like Revis and Asomugha. If you would rather have Woodson you have obviously not watched a Jets game. Guys can still make plays against Woodson and he was practically invisible in the two MN games.
Not sure you could measure cover corners with numbers in a fair way. Among the many issues would be how many times a team plays man-to-man and how many times it's in a zone. I'll say this: To whatever extent Revis is a better pure cover man than Woodson, I'd still rather have Woodson's all-around game.
Have you ever held a conversation with Jerry Angelo or is he that sealed off? How can Waddle and Silvy bood Dom Capers on the show but no Bear staff member?
No, he's not that sealed off. I don't know all the politics involved, but I believe Angelo appears pretty often on the team's flagship radio, which isn't the station Waddle and Silvy work for. That's pretty common in the NFL.
Ok everyone. Thanks so much for joining in. Chat with you next week!