Hi everyone. Greetings from the media center in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, where we are all gathered to cover Super Bowl hype week. Forgive me if I lapse into a little LOST chat. I was just talking about the premiere with a friend.... Seriously, we can talk NFC North issues, or the Super Bowl, or anything else...
Do you still think Mcnabb is coming to your town??
I never thought it, and still have no reason to believe it will happen. I've heard the Eagles are high on Kevin Kolb, but does anyone really think they're better off with him rather than McNabb? I think the Vikings would be interested if he's available, but I just don't know if the Eagles will go through with it.
And by my town, I'm assuming you mean Minnesota. Right now, my town is Miami. We call it the MIA. Or 305. Even though I'm currently in the 954.
I am a huge Lions fan that lives in the St. Louis area. What do you think are the chances that the Rams take a QB with the first overall pick and passing on Suh, giving the Lions the next chance to get Suh? I really would like to see him in a Lions uniform next season than a Rams one.
I think it's 50-50, which are good odds for the Lions because they'll only grow. There's near-unanimous consensus that Suh is the best player, but it's also clear beyond belief that the Rams need a quarterback. They'll be tempted.
Okay, the big question from Chicago: What do you think Mike Martz's impact will be on the Bears? Do they have the personnel to excel in his complicated offense? Can Cutler do the trust and timing with WR things? Do GB, Minn need to be scared?
I think they'll be more explosive, especially early in the season while the Vikings, Packers and Lions adjust to the scheme. It's got the most important ingredient -- an aggressive, strong-armed quarterback -- and everything after that is secondary. The part that will be interesting is to see if Martz can incorporate Greg Olsen as a primary receiver. He's usually under-used tight ends in the past.
Kevin, can you see with Martz and his timing offense that Cutler reaches the 30 INT plateau?
Ha. I suppose he's capable, as we saw this year. I think he'll have to learn to throw the ball away, but Martz will work with him on that.
Hey Kevin...what are the chances the Vikings don't franchise/transition tag Chester Taylor and that the Bears go after him with Martz now as the OC for the Bears?
The Vikings will have to think long and hard about that. Adrian Peterson has a serious fumbling issue he needs to address, and they were using Taylor more frequently to replace him during the second half of the season. I would feel a little nervous without some kind of significant backup.
What are your thoughts on the Lions keepin their head coach and offensive and defensive coordinators intact for the first time in a decade? Have they finally found the leadership needed to turn them around?
The first thing is that they hired credible people from the start. Jim Schwartz deserved to be a head coach in the NFL. Scott Linehan and Gunther Cunningham are established coordinators. The second thing is, obviously, you don't win when you're consistently swapping out the parts. So whether or not you think they're perfect in those jobs, you've got to give them a fair shot.
Building through the draft is an excellent idea, but what are the odds that Detroit will pursue any high-profile defensive free agents? How about any trades?
I'm saying pretty low. That's what GM Martin Mayhew said after the season, and I believe it. There won't be many players available at reasonable prices. Maybe 3-5 new players.
Kevin what are you doing in MIA? YOu should be in North country with the rest of us
A little ditty they call the Super Bowl. I hear the NFC North is getting snow this week. Too bad.
Kevin, as a Green Bay fan, I was interested to see you mention Peppers and GB... Granted it's a long shot doesn't it make sense? The Pack has a lot of money to use don't they??
Long shot is kind. I really, really don't think it would happen. It would go against everything Ted Thompson has demonstrated he believes in.
What's up with the StarCaps case?
We're waiting to hear the decision of a Hennepin County judge on whether the case can proceed in state court. Should happen by next month.
Do you miss me?
Yes, but I did see your angle and leg yesterday. That counts.
Packer fan here: What do the Packers need to get over the hump in the division and ultimately the NFC. (Brett Favre or not.) Their defense, while sound, was exposed against better QBs who like to release the ball quick. They had some injuries in the secondary but no excuses please. Thanks Kevin!
Well, the injuries hurt them. They would have been better if Al Harris was starting, Tramon Williams was at nickel and Will Blackmon was the dime. That's just a fact. If anything, they need to build their depth in the secondary. I think they also need to re-think their schematic approach in those games. Sitting back in coverage didn't work.
Kevin, what are the Vikings biggest draft needs?
Honestly, quarterback. Whether or not Favre comes back, they need to have a better long-term plan. Or at least, have a long-term plan. Right now they don't.
In a parallel universe (with Desmond as their constant), had the Vikes hung on (pun intended) and beaten the Saints, would they be the fave to win on Sunday?
Any LOST reference goes to the top of the list. Given what would have been their injury list -- Cedric Griffin wouldn't have played and we all know Antoine Winfield was limited -- I think the Colts would have been favored. But not by a prohibitive margin.
While I have enjoyed watching McNabb during his time in Philly, and will miss him when he is gone, I think it is time to hand the reigns of the young offense over to Kolb. He has thrown for over 300 yards in his first two starts, and I think it is time to see what the kid has. Plus the team could use the possible picks from trading McNabb and Vick. Then get a guy like Thigpen to back up Kolb.
You would plan to win the division with Thigpen and Kolb?
So that fake Locke is the Man in Black from the Season 5 finale, right?
That's the way I saw it, too...
I don't think the Bears should promote Marinelli as their defensive coordinator. I hope they wait and hire Alan Williams from the Colts. I also believe the Bears should do everything they can to land Peppers. What do you think?
Agreed on Marinelli and Peppers, although I don't know if the Bears have enough firepower to trade for Peppers if it comes to that. As for Alan Williams, he probably fits the profile of the kind of defensive coordinator Lovie Smith would want ... a knowledgeable but non-confrontational personality.
What is the best & the worst Super Bowl that you have seen out of the 43 Super Bowls that have been played?
That I have covered? The second half of the Patriots-Panthers game was incredible. Great finish. The worst was probably the Ravens-Giants game. A blowout.
Dude, you really need to work on your jumper.
I'm just lulling you to sleep.
In response to your anmswer to John's question from Des Moines....the Packers need an extra pass rushing threat. Coming from the edge. They had to use their linebackers far too often to create pressure...although in the 3-4 Peppers would be coming from OLB position. However, they need a true bona fide star. Ron Wolf did this same sort of thing long ago, pulling the trigger on a big name free agent that went by Reggie White, remember him? Also trading to get Favre helped. :-) Thompson's best free agent move has been Charles Woodson to date. I agree with Thompson's draft first philosophy...definitely. But I think he needs to make his statement in free agency too....something big to shake the makeup of a very young team. Peppers could be that mark!
All 32 teams need another pass rusher from the edge. It's a tough commodity to find.
Is the 4-toed statue on Lost actually The Others' tribute to Favre's bruised ankle?
Yes. I think Bobby McCray still has one of Favre's toes in his hand.
After all of Cutler's interceptions, any chance the Bears would deal him? Reunite Cutler with Shanahan, McNabb goes home to Philly, and Campbell goes to backup Kolb. With some draft picks moving around to make everything equal.
Sayid came back from the dead, but he waited until after training camp. Will Favre do the same?
The precedent is absolutely set for Favre to show up in August. Now all they have to do is figure out the semantics.
Many bear fans are breaking their offseason bubble already calling for the Bears to sign J Peppers. Can you give us some names that won't cost us currency we can talk up? What about this Aaron Kampman guy?
I don't know if anyone will be that interested in Kampman until they can see how his knee recovers from surgery. It would be tough to count on him as a full-time player until you know where he is from a health perspective.
Kevin, do you believe Pat Williams will retire this offseason? If so, does it make it imperative for the Vikings to draft a DT, preferably with their first draft pick?
At first I thought those rumors were just based on a disappointed player talking, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens now. He's 38 and has only one year left on his contract. The Vikings seemed to nurse him through the season based on playing time, and he was having a hard time with his elbow at the end of the year.
Will Frank Omiyale have a starting position next year? If so LG or RT?
If I were the Bears, I'd try him at right tackle. He was a tackle for Carolina and it didn't look like he could play left guard last year.
What are your thoughts on the Greg Olsen trade rumors? Does he actually have any value he can bring back?
I hadn't heard any of those rumors. He would have a lot of value, but moreso to the Bears than anyone else. Martz will be making a big mistake if he doesn't find a way to incorporate him into the offense more than he normally does with tight ends.
Will Kevin Jones have any sort of impact this year?
He played for Martz in Detroit, so he has a leg up there. The injury he had last year should be healed by the summer.
OK everyone, I'm going to have to cut it short here. There are some interview sessions popping up unexpectedly here in the media center. Thanks for joining me!