Hi everyone. Sorry I'm late. Just finished up a post on the Vikings working out WR Javon Walker. Let's get to it.
Just to start it off, I think the workout of Javon Walker suggests the Vikings are at least somewhat concerned about their WR depth. Sidney Rice is still on the PUP and Percy Harvin was in the hospital last night. They're pretty thin right now.
I'm feelin' a pro bowl breakout season for Mr. Matthew Stafford.
I think he'll make a big jump from year one to two. But a Pro Bowl? That's so hard to do in the NFC. You're talking about a conference with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Jay Cutler, Donovan McNabb. Tough task.
Kevin, will I get any playing time this season?
It's Shaun, but I'm sure you know that. Stafford had a hard time staying on the field last year, so that's why the Lions traded for you. The Lions will be in good hands if you get out there...
Will the Vikings keep Lloyd?
You know, I thought it was a no-brainer when they signed him. But I'm hearing it's not a done deal and they might not want to use a roster spot on a kickoff specialist.
Hey KS - lot of up and down reports on the GB defense. Got torched by Cleveland, Raji is not playing up yet, outside LB still a question mark, etc. What's your take after seeing them in person and from week one of the preseason - cause for concern or is Capers holding back for Philly?
He's definitely holding back. That said, I would want to see a few things before I feel totally comfortable. First, regardless of the scheme, Raji needs to be dominating. If he's not doing that, it's a problem for the Packers. Second, I'd like to see Matthews back on the field so that he's not starting the regular season with little to no preseason time. I know that's what happened last year, but he also needed a month or so before he broke out. They need him on his game at once.
Saw Ryan Grant and Clay Matthews working out MMA style with Jay Glazer. What workout are you planning with the NFC North players this season?
Unfortunately, the only thing I run is my mouth.
Has there been any legitimate trade talk involving the Lions trading for Safety or Linebacker help? We are short 1 starting LB and have some concerns a Safety.
Jarrad Page's name keeps coming up from Kansas City, but so far nothing has materialized.
How much control does Childress have on play calling??? I thought Bevell called the majority of the plays
Bevell calls the plays, but it's Childress' offense. If you're referring to Favre having issues with Childress and the offense, it's more about the structure than about the play-to-play calls. I think he and Bevell are mostly on the same page.
Okay Kev, I can't shake the feeling that everyone who leaves Chicago becomes a stud somewhere else (Cedric Benson, Thomas Jones). I really like Matt Forte as a runningback, but he struggled last season. What are the chances Matt Forte will become a productive back AND remain in Chicago?
Well, he's a model citizen from what I can tell. He should be a really good fit for the Mike Martz offense, so at this point there's every reason to believe he has a long-term future with the Bears.
Kevin, what have you seen or not seen in the Lions Camp different from the other NFC North teams that demonstrate their ability to compete on the same level this season?
Well, I saw as many offensive skill players as any NFC North teams has. The Lions should be able to put up some points this year if everyone is healthy. But they're going to need to ... I'm not buying into this defense quite yet.
What are the chances Lawrence Jackson could excel in Detroit, and beat out Cliff Avril for a starting job?
Unlikely, at least in the short term. They like Avril's progress. If Jackson can develop into a situational pass rusher off the bench, that would be a huge plus.
Do you still predict the Pack will win the NFC North
Yep. Not moving off that. All teams are flawed, including the Packers, but I think they have a lot going for them.
What in the world is goin on with Louis Delmas. I can't sleep at nights
Either the injury is much, much worse than they've let on or they're taking it very, very slow. I lean toward to latter.
Kevin, any other interesting stories coming out of Minnesota this week? Seems like other than camp it's been a slow week with preseason game #2 coming up. (Sense sarcasm at all?)
It's a big week for their backup center.
How would you rank the #2 receivers in the division? (Driver, Harvin, Burleson, whoever the Bears use)
Interesting, although I would consider Berrian the Vikings' No. 2 receiver at this point. (Rice No. 1, Harvin No. 3.) I would go this way: Driver, Burleson, Berrian, Hester.
Did you get any read on who will return punts/kicks in Green Bay after visiting camp? Blackmon's coming off injury, Shields can't catch, and Jordy isn't explosive enough. Also heard Brandon Jackson is getting chances. Any chance Jackson, Woodson or Tramon Williams gets the spot? Or better yet, will Blackmon be back in time?
I think they want Blackmon to win it, but his knee just isn't there yet. You're right. Shields can't catch at all. Too bad. I see it being Jackson or Nelson, probably in that order, until Blackmon is ready.
Kevin, Should Vikings fans be more concerned about Sully's injury?
You know I think that's an undertold story this summer. He definitely needed work this summer, and he's missed all of training camp. That's something that could come back to bite them.
Kev, who starts week 1 at the Lions, Tinoisomoa or Roach?
Well, I was of the opinion that they wouldn't have re-signed Tinoisamoa if they were happy with Roach. So that told me they wanted Tinoisamoa to win the job, but to this point Roach has been holding him off. If it stays that way, Roach will be the guy.
If lovie is out at the end of the year is Bill Cowher next in line
An interesting line of thought has developed about that. Lovie Smith is signed through the 2011 season. So if they fire him after this year, they'll still owe him one more year's worth of salary. With a lockout looming, many people think no teams will be looking to pay two coaches (the fired one and the new one). So, the lockout could earn Smith one more year.
How many early season victories will it take for the Vikings to shake off the stink of this trainwreck of a preseason? I think it's doable, but I think this could be another post-Stringer full team implosion as well.
Interesting analogy. I remember that summer well. Obviously there has been no tragedy this summer, but the Vikings have a lot of progress to make in a short period of time. Put it that way.
Who has a bigger role in Detroit this year? Pettigrew or Scheffler?
You might hear more about Scheffler's downfield plays, but Pettigrew is going to be on the field a lot doing a lot of dirty work.
Kevin, Who's the Bears best receiver? I say either D.Aromushadu or Knox.
Knox, Knox, Knox. He's by far the Bears receiver best suited for the Martz offense.
Seriously? Hester ahead of Knox or D.A.? I would have guessed that those two moved ahead of Hester. Wasn't Aromashodu (sp) Cutler's favorite target last year at this time?
I'm saying Knox is No. 1, Hester No. 2 and Aromashodu No. 3. In real terms, if not football terms.
hey Kevin,you waffled back and forth on the viking players that went down to see favre,did they beg or not and why don't you media guys ask someone like allen if he begged favre
I didn't waffle. I said they begged. They said what they said. To me, begging isn't an objective act of literally getting on your knees and looking up at the altar. The act of ditching practice and heading to a player's hometown is an act of desperation in and of itself.
Can Derrick Williams make a solid contibution this year?
He wasn't doing much of anything when I was at Lions camp.
Are the Packers really going to have to start Morgan Burnett? What can they do in their scheme to make up for his lack of experience, if anything?
It looks that way. The best thing they can do is load up Nick Collins with everything they can. I think that's been done and/or will be done.
Seems to me that Martz got lucky with the perfect personnel while at the Rams in terms of Warner with quick release, smarts and talent with all of its position players, especially Faulk. He hasn't exactly worked out anywhere else. Do you see him succeeding in Chicago? I don't see the right players
I think he's got enough skill players that fit. He's just got to hope that Mike Tice can get the offensive line straight.
Okay, Is Best going to retun kicks/punts then or is it Williams?
How about Aaron Brown?
I'm worried about Burnett's tackling abilities. It seems they have two ball-hawking safeties now (Collins and Burnett), but they might be suspect on tackling. What have they done to address this?
Not much they can do. The Packers are the only NFC North team I saw doing full-scale tackling drills in camp because they were disappointed with the way they tackled last year. But you really can't change a guy's tackling skills at this level. You can only hope that Burnett gets the mental part of the game straight so he can give a full physical effort during games with no hesitation.
Ok, a few more here. Remember, we're on a rough 30 minute timetable during the preseason. (It's my warm-up, too.)
How many more years do you think Urlacher will be a starter in the NFL?
Oh, I think he could play 3-5 more years. The question will be if he is Brian Urlacher or Just A. Guy.
How come you never report on Jordy Nelson?
Whom do you see starting LG for Packers on day 1? Will it Colledge or Bulaga? If it Bulaga, do you see GB trading Colledge for mid round pick?
Oh, I wrote about him during Packers camp. I actually thought he would challenge Donald Driver for the No. 2 job, but Driver came off his knee surgery in excellent shape. Nelson had a great catch on the first play of Family Night but left with an injury after that.
That last answer was on Nelson.
Now, about the Packers' left guard: I think they want Bulaga to win the job. They wouldn't have added a second position to his plate unless they really thought he had a good chance to play there.
On that note, thanks everyone! Chat with you next week.