Hi everyone. It might be mid-June, but as always we've got plenty to talk about. Let's get to it....
Kevin, is there anything you can do to bring this chat to life?Wake up buddy ok?This is a boring session.Pick it up or there won't be a paycheck!!!Final warning!!
Jeez. We just started!
Quote from Matt Williamson's article yesterday: "Don't expect the Packers' line to be a weakness in 2010." Agree/disagree?
Agree. I think they have better safety nets should something go wrong. And if everyone is healthy, it will be better on the whole than last year's group.
When is Kevin Seifert Day in your hometown? Will you try to work the parade around your minicamp schedule?
Every day is Kevin Seifert day, which makes scheduling things very difficult.
Is it just me or did the Packers draft strategy start to make a whole lot more sense this last week or two? Between Jolly and Bigby, the only thing I do not understand is why we did not take a corner, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt that the Bulaga pick was meant for a DB. Now with the possibility of Woodson eyeing Revis' eventual contract, Williams sitting out even a little and many of our DB's coming off injuries is this the most problematic position for the Packers?
Interesting take. I'm not sure where the Woodson situation stands, and at 33 it's going to be hard to argue he should get Revis money. But the Mike Neal pick makes more sense with Jolly's continuing troubles, and Morgan Burnett apparently has a real chance to unseat Atari Bigby. So yes, I'm on board with most of your points.
Coming back to the blog after a long off-season, I was wondering if we could have another "Have At It" to go back and forth on prior to training camp? The receiver ranking one from last year sparked quite a debate, and it'd be fun to get back into the swing of things with another lively, possibly controversial discussion.
Hi Doug, welcome back. We'll definitely have some more Have at Its between now and camp. I'm all about the controversy.
Kevin, Do you suspect Harvin's weight gain was in preparation for more action as a third-down back?
I wondered about that, but my guess is no. It sounds like he did this on his own and is going to get back down five or so pounds before camp. If anything, the extra upper body weight could help the shoulder that was bugging him for most of the season. I just don't see the wisdom in having him potentially taken out of the play by being a blocker on third down.
Olsen for Mankins. What say you?
Greg Olsen for Logan Mankins? Interesting, but no. Guard is a position you should be able to develop on your own. Pass-catching tight ends are a much more valuabel commodity.
HUGE pack fan here. My question: what would you say the odds are that either Jolly or Underwood are cut before the start of training camp or the season?
I think Underwood is on relatively safe ground at this point. Sounds like he's had a great offseason on the field. As for Jolly, they'll have a tough decision to make before the season but I don't think they'll cut him before camp. Otherwise, they would have done it already.
Can you give us an OJ Otogwe update? Is he coming to any of the NFC North teams or not?
No news on that topic over the past week. Sorry.
Moats addition is somewhat intriguing but I think that the bigger question becomes not if he takes carries away from Peterson, lets get real about this, come one, but if he will take carries away from Gerhart. Any reason to believe they werent fully satisfied with Gerhart's performance to this point or simply vet depth chart fodder?
I think they just wanted to have at least one other back with experience. Gerhart remains a big part of their plans. That might not be the case for Albert Young, however.
As a Bears fan, I've read a lot of "hyping up" of their roster over the off-season, especially writers from the Chicago area. With this being another new offense for Cutler to learn, and the possibility of a third one next year if they don't win this year, do you think the Bears' players will live up to the hype? Or will it be a fight for not being last in the division?
Well, Martz's offense is traditionally exciting and high-scoring. And from a personnel standpoint, this is the best offense he's had since he left St. Louis. So I understand why people are expressing excitement. But will excitement lead to victories? This is a pretty top-heavy division right now.
When will the Lions start whittling down their roster enough to start signing their picks? Is the chance to look at what they have part of the reason (along with the lack of interest from other teams) that there seems to be no urgency in pursuing guys like Bullocks or OJ? Please tell me the Jamarcus to Det third string QB rumor is false..!
Ugh. I hadn't heard that Russell rumor, although he could do a lot worse than have Scott Linehan as his offensive coordinator. In the case of Bullocks, I think they're waiting to see if he his healthy. As for Atogwe, they don't want to pay big money.
How improved are we talking for matt stafford? Peyton Manning year 1-2 improved or joe flacco year 1-2?
I would lean toward Flacco.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Sure, the assumption made around Minnesota is "of course Brett will come back." But what if he doesn't? How well do you think they will fair, in terms of a regular season record and playoffs, if he doesn't? And for good measure, how about if he does? I know it's a bit early for predictions, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
Your head is in the cloud (city), Lando. He's coming back. And I'm on record saying the Packers will win the division even if he does.
Empire Strikes Back Reference for those of you uneducated types.
Why is Peterson carrying a heavy football instead of useing a silk sock on it like they did with Samkon Gotto? Heavier football doesnt make much sence. It would probably be easier to hang onto with it being heavier
That's actually a good question. I'm not sure I understand how carrying a heavy ball will keep him from fumbling. It's not a strength issue. It's a carelessness issue.
With Atri Bigby not signing his tender does he have any levrage to hold out?
None. Unless he's trying to get the Packers to cut him so he can sign somewhere else.
Kevin, Rob Sims is the 16th guard to start in between Riola and Backus. Do you think that he will really make a difference? Or do you think that the lions need to get rid of Backus and Riola to be truly competitive?
Wow. I didn't know the number was that high. I'll say this: More than one NFC North team was really interested in Sims. He's a legitimate starting guy who got squeezed out by a zone-blocking scheme in Seattle. I think Backus and Raiola are who they've always been, but left guard won't be a weak link for the Lions this year.
Kevin, awhile ago Pedro was considered too boring. But I practiced up on my dance moves and showed my sweet skills. Need some help?
Serious Question:You're standing on the 50 yard line. Which would you prefer:AP hitting you at full speed or Pat Williams with only a 10 yard head start?
Interesting. I'll do whatever I can to avoid a 317-pound guy falling on me.
Will I be starting at outside lineback this year? or is my team going to sign a veteran linebacker to start over me?
You've got a good shot, from what I can tell. I don't see the wisdom in signing Keith Bulluck, but stranger things have happened.
Do you think that Burnett can step up and start sometime this year?
It could happen immediately.
lion will be a top 10 defense with atogwe and keith bulluck.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say two of the three events in that sentence won't happen.
Kevin,With Percy's additionanl weight do you see him breaking EVEN MORE tackles or slowing down? He did mention he played at 200+ at Flordia. This may be scary for the NFC north...
I think it will help with durability more than anything.
Should we be worried about the Vikings safeties and how much it seemed they either missed a tackle or were out of place?
It's a fair question. That's why they've been giving Jamarca Sanford a chance to work with the first team at both positions this spring.
Good afternoon Kevin, My question is when do you think Russ Ball and Ted Thompson will start sinin the draft choices?
There's really no rush to do it before July. In fact, it makes some sense to hold off so that you can have extra players in OTAs and minicamp. Draft picks that haven't signed contracts don't count against the 80-man limit.
Oh, dear god.
So what can you tell me about the Lions secondary. Other than Delmas who has the inside to track to start and play nickel and will it even matter?
That's the big question of their defense right now. I'm guessing C.C. Brown at the other safety position and possibly Spievey and Chris Houston as the CBs. But it's really wide open right now.
carrying a heavier football requires a better, more complete grip of the bal, as well as simulating the ball being pulled from you by a defenseman. The silk sock would work too as far as the grip goes.
But is grip the problem Peterson has? Or is it that he swings the ball away from his body when he's running?
To your knowledge, has the FBO done any work around stregth of scedules before and after the season? And correlations bewteen percevied stregth (prior to season) and eventual record?
John Clayton has actually done some work on strength of schedule. He is a big believer in it. I'll have to do a post on that next time he writes about it.
Kevin- have you heard anything about Urlacher, Tinoisamoa, Kreutz concerning their injuries and how they are recovering? Will any of these players be sitting out a large portion of training camp?
Urlacher is 100 percent. Tinoisamoa should be there by training camp but he isn't now. Kreutz hasn't practiced this offseason but he should be ready for camp, from what is being said now.
With the additions of Jahvid Best, Nate Burleson and Tony Scheffler on top of Calvin Johnson and Pettigrew, will the Lions score a touchdown on every drive this year?
I am the most overrated, inconsistent player in the NFL-- discuss
In the entire NFL? Don't think so. Actually, you've gotten hammered pretty good over the past couple of years. The Bears are one of your few remaining supporters.
The Lions are bringing back the same Head Coach/O and D coordinator/Scheme combination for the first time in several years. How big of a benifit do you see this continuity in the growth and improvement of these young Lions?
It's important, but more important is the fact that they're improving their talent level. It's amazing how better coaches are when they have good players.
KS-I know you are looking for ways to incorporate some fantasy football into our blog this year. How about this: A FF league featuring our 8 ESPN bloggers. The catch: No draft or salary cap. Each blogger may use only players from his own division.It would give us fans some bragging rights when we win, one more thing to complain about when you lose, and most importantly, it would expose you to the wonderful world that is fantasy football.What do you think?
That's been discussed. Frankly, I'm worried it would reveal me to be even less informed than I already appear.
Think I can step it up if A-Rod goes down?
The Packers seem to think so. Every team would have a dropoff if their starter couldn't play, but the Packers' might be steeper than most. You would go from a top-5 starter to a backup who probably isn't in the top 20 of backups in the league.
Although I just threw that number out there. Maybe that will make for a good blog post sometime soon.
I'll prove you wrong by having a great preseason and then disappearing by October.
Looking forward to it.
Kevin- any news on Brandon Pettigrew?
The Lions are off this week. I'll be interested to see how much, or how little, he can do next week in minicamp.
Does Martz's offense work in bad weather? It's been great in pleasant weather conditions (domes) where throwing angles and timing aren't affected, but Chicago ain't the Pleasant City.
I've always felt that bad weather, or at least bad footing, favors good passing teams. Defensive backs have a tougher time chasing receivers, and pass rush can get mitigated.
I'll take your prediction on the Packers winning the division, as long as you predict us to win the SB. Lets wager O/U on my interceptions say 10.
I'll take the over. That would be much closer to your historical average.
How do you foresee the Bears secondary shaking out in training camp?
With Tillman, Bowman and Houston, you have three starters locked in. Either Danieal Manning or Major Wright will start at the other safety, and I think Wright will eventually get that job. As for nickel and dime, I'm guessing it will come down to Corey Graham and Tim Jennings.
Think the Packers are going to be sorry for cutting me?
No. I'm guessing they're more sorry for drafting you.
Using the heavy ball makes AP aware of his grip which is what he needs to do to while hes running in game
Interesting. I think that's a really fascinating topic for further discussion. Childress said it's modeled after baseball players who put weights on their bats when they're on deck. It makes the bat "feel" faster and lighter when you're swinging for real.
Do you think Pat Lee and Tramon Williams are going to be the next Harris/Woodson duo of corners? Do you think they will be as good?
I've always thought Williams was a really good playmaker. I don't think anyone has any idea if Pat Lee will be any good because he just hasn't played.
Bears fan here, but I was wondering if you were running the Bears (which might be an improvement), who would you put as the starting receivers, and why?
Ha. I'm not so sure about that. But based on existing personnel, I'd make sure Johnny Knox and Devin Hester were on the field as much as possible.
Why? They're the two best playmakers in my opinion. Excellent open-field runners, which plays into Martz's offense.
Whos Houston on the Bears? You mean Harris?
Yes, I meant Chris Harris. Sorry.
The Packers play 5 games vs elite QB's (if favre comes back). Do you see the d stepping up and stopping them after all the struggles they had last year.
That's a huge question for them, and one that's not been totally answered. Their answer is to get all of their guys back healthy -- Pat Lee, Will Blackon, Al Harris -- and hope that Brandon Underwood continues to improve. They also think a better pass rush, with Raji at the nose tackle, will help as well. Time will tell.
All things considered...which NFC North team do you think made the best roster moves this offseason and draft. Taking into consideration both the Vikings and Packers already have very complete teams, and sometimes keeping the same players is better than adding new faces; whereas Chicago and Detroit needed a certain degree of roster overhaul.
That's a tough one to answer because, as you said, every team had a different set of needs. Detroit filled the most holes, but it had the most holes to fill. All in all, Green Bay emerged with what I think is the favorite to win the NFC North. I guess that means the Packers had the best offseason.
Kevin - Any chance the Bears make a play for Mankins? Maybe offering a 2nd?
They would have to sign him to an extension, and I think their budget is tapped. Also, do they want to continue gutting their drafts? You should be able to develop your own left guard.
Right now do you think A-rodgers is better than I am?
Excuse me while I run for cover...
Why do the BEars continue to believe that Garrett Wolfe has what it takes to be a NFL back?
I think they look at him and see speed and some elusiveness figure there must be a way to get him on the field. But to this point, they haven't found the right balance.
In your opinion would you cut Jolly considering his off the field issues. He was such a force last year in the Packers D line but considering a likely 4 game suspension is he world a roster spot when the season starts?
There's no harm in taking him to camp. I would really think hard before keeping him on the roster when the regular season begins, though.
I just find it funny that analysts were singing the bears praise last offseason then a bad year by Cutler and all of a sudden he is no good and we went from potential division winner to basement dwellars. The addition of Peppers and hopefully, very hopeful, the return of Urlacher and Pisa will return the defense to top 10 to 15. Why no optimism for the Bears?
Because we media people make no sense sometimes, honestly. I look back at last year and think I probably overreacted to the Cutler trade and didn't spend enough time evaluating the team and schemes that surrounded him.
I know that Brandon Pettigrew is taking part in individual drills but not team drills. With the no contact thing in place for the OTA's, except in Balt, what is the big difference between the team and individual drills?
Individual drills are much less intense than team drills. There's some warm-up exercises and some version of running and catching. Linemen hit the sled. There's a lot of standing around to learn scheme and what each player's responsibility is for each play. Team drills are pretty close to what you would call a scrimmage: 11 on 11. ... Players recovering from injuries can pace themselves in individual drills, but you don't want a guy who can only jog working in team drills.
Kevin did you mean Harris in that earlier answer about the Bears Secondary or did I miss something this offseason???
Yes, Harris. Sorry about that everyone.
Where was Chad Greenway this weekend missing the ota's. Keep talking bout AP and his fumbles. Its mostly in his head.
Greenway had some kind of injury during OTAs but the Vikings wouldn't say what it was.
Do you think the situation in Minnesota betweeen AP and the vikings is because of Brett Favre more in terms of touches rather than time off? AP's numbers dropped significantly due to Favre and the passing game. Peterson might be worried that even though his team is winning more games he is potentially losing more money.
I guess that's possible. Or because the offensive line didn't open enough holes. But ultimately, he's playing for a coach that wants to run the ball on every play. So rationally speaking, that can't be much of an issue.
Ok, one or two more here.
Who gets the most sacks in the division this year? Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, or someone else?
Interesting. I'm going to say Peppers. He'll be motivated in year one with the Bears.
I am favoring the Packers because of scrutiny for being a "homer" as a true Vikings fan....
Yes, that's it. And it's clearly working.
Think the Lions can actually beat a division rival this year? And if so, who?
I think the opener at Soldier Field is going to be really, really interesting.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week!