Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me on a snowy day here in the Upper Midwest. Let's get to it...
Is it just me that find Vikings more likable after Childress is gone?. Anyway, does Leslie Frazier have a decent chance to stay as the Head Coach? Can Frazier get a heading coaching job elsewhere after the season?
Probably a natural reaction to a new coach. I would guess that Frazier's best chance to be a head coach in 2011 is with the Vikings. But I really don't know what Zygi Wilf is thinking, and I'm not sure he does yet, either.
Kevin, S Rice and V Jax.. are these guys going to have any impact this year at all?
Sounds like Sidney Rice has a better chance because he's healthy, or at least healthier than Jackson.
Are we ever going to see that many 5-Wide sets out of the Packers again this year or was that just the strategy against the Falcons?
I think that's the Packers' "we've given up on the run" formation. So, no, I would imagine it will be sprinkled in but not used nearly as liberally. During that final drive for the tying touchdown, they were in a more traditional 3 WR set. More important is finding a way to run the ball better now that we're in December.
Watching Earl Bennett get down field and block, break tackles, make tough catches and his history of working well with Cutler... is it possible that he can be the Bears true #1 WR for the next few years? Or is he a solid #2/3 on a team of 2/3s?
I'd say the latter, which is fine. As long as he is productive. I think most offenses are better off with an elite No. 1 guy, but there aren't 32 of them to go around. The Bears are doing a good job making it work with the guys they have.
over under 75% that I play the week.
Don't know yet, but as of today I'll take the under on 75 percent. He has a lot of recovery to do between now and Sunday. It's hard to play RB on a bum ankle.
Kevin, put your heart and soul into this chat.
I study all week for this. I don't want to embarrass myself in front of everyone.
Good afternoon Kevin, In yesterday 's press conference that Mike McCarthy had said that James Starks might play if he does how much playing do you see him getting?
Based on what we've seen with the Packers' RB rotation, I would imagine if would be a few series at most, if he does play. That's what John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance have gotten behind Brandon Jackson this year so far.
Is Cutler just too lazy to work on his mechanics to he doesn't throw off his back foot 80% of the time, or is that really just how he was meant to throw. His arm is usually strong enough to get it there, but I would imagine his accuracy would improve immensely with even decen footwork.
I don't think it's laziness as much as being stubborn. He obviously didn't take the coaching he assuredly received at some point in his life and developed his own way for throwing the ball. You can't argue with it. His mistakes are usually a matter of decision-making as opposed to technique.
Whats the long-term plan for DJ Moore? He's been great as a nickel back but played CB extremely well at Vandy. Does Lovie see him as a future replacement for Jennings or Tillman, or is his height (or lack thereof) too much of an issue?
He's in a perfect spot right now at nickel back. Is he much shorter than Jennings? I don't know about that. I would say if he continues to make plays on the ball, the Bears will always find ways to get him on the field.
Tommie Harris finally seems to be getting some consistent pressure on the QB with hits and hurries, even if they sacks aren't coming. Is this because he's not getting double-teamed anymore or is he really getting better?
I'm wondering if it's the limited playing time. Sometimes less is more when it comes to guys who having sore knees, etc.
If we lose another game, do the Vikings use me the rest of the year to see what they have in me??? They already know what TJ brings to the table.
Not seeing it. I'm not sure you would ever have been moved to quarterback were it not for the previous coach's desire to rid himself of Sage Rosenfels. I don't see Leslie Frazier putting his future in the hands of anyone but Brett Favre.
So ummmm... yeah... sorry about that. We cool?
The Lions acquired you almost for free, so there isn't much invested there. Hopefully you've learned your lesson, though.
Thanks Kevin for getting on me about keeping that balanced offensive approach. It has really changed our chances of winning each week.
I knew you were a silent reader of the NFCN blog! Seriously, three touchdowns on play-action passes last week!
Kevin, are your decorations already up this year?
Naw, I had to take down the "Vikings on their way to Dallas" banners.
Does Matt Stafford come back and play this year?
It sounds like he's on track. I suppose there is not much to lose. If he gets hurt again, he'll have the entire offseason (plus the lockout) to recover.
6 catches... 2 games. Am I going to do anything this season? Contract year no? Would it not benefit me greatly to produce like crazy over the next few games? A lot of fantasy owners have picked me up hoping for just that... should they play me?
The scariest thing for you is Leslie Frazier's plan to focus on the running game -- even with Adrian Peterson out of the lineup. I'm guessing he doesn't trust Favre enough to put the ball up 30 times a game.
I am... and have been the Lions best RB since Week 3 of the season. True/False?
Perhaps, but let's just say that list is neither long nor illustrious. Best hasn't done much since the Eagles game.
If we don't make the Playoffs this year... I'm getting fired right? We are a full game up... and host the Packers, who we own the tie-breaker against.
That's always been the understanding, but you might have done enough to give yourself the lockout year as well regardless.
Which scenario do you think is more frustrating? Having a potential star at QB... but he never plays? Or... listening to your fiancee go over floral arrangement options for the wedding?
Your mistake for listening. Just let her choose.
Kevin, how likely is Berrian to play on next Sunday, and if Peterson and Hutchinson are out, can the Vikings still be effective running the ball vs. the poor run stopping Bills?
Toby Gerhart should get 100 yards against that crew.And I'm betting Hutchinson plays.
So, if either GB or CHI win out, they win the division. Who ya got?
Yes. (Vagueness intended.)
Alright Kevin I never get any questions answered on any of the blogs on ESPN. I mean praise you 24/7 and this is how your going to do me?? I will never get over this! Seriously though, what's your thoughts on the NFL issuing the statement that they will refund tickets for 2011 if there is a lockout? If there is one, do you think it's possible there could be replacement players or is that totally off the table?
Ha, funny. First of all, I don't think there will be replacement players. It will be a lockout, not a strike. Second, I think it's a hollow offer from the NFL. Of course they're going to refund tickets for games that are canceled. If they want to make a real gesture, they should push back deadlines on ticket payments. Otherwise, the NFL gets the interest-free use of fans' money until after the games they paid for are canceled. Why should fans help fund the league as they prepare for a lockout?
Is there a reason Kuhn didn't get a chance on the goal line against the Falcons? I don't see using the quarterback in those situations as the best idea.
Yeah, I'm a little surprised Nance has replaced Kuhn as the short-yardage guy. I like Nance as a change-of-pace, but if you're just going to try to bull yourself for a yard, isn't Kuhn the best option?
Hi Kevin my first time on your chat! What did you really think about Childress as a person? Did you like him? Was he really that bad of a coach! Will he work again in the NFL?? Maybe OC somewhere? Head Coach? Your thoughts please!
I liked him on a personal level. He had a dry sense of humor, often asked about my family and did it in a way that seemed genuine and sincere. But professionally, I thought he didn't get as much out of the teams he had as he could have, and that some of his approaches were responsible for that. I don't see him getting a head coaching job anytime soon but will be interested to see if Andy Reid brings him back to Philadelphia.
There's no chance the Lions take me #2 overall because they've sent Stafford to AZ or Buffalo or something right? Detroit sucks.
Who is going No. 1 if you're going No. 2?
Kevin, what are the odds Favre will come back in 2012? If there is a lockout for the 2011 season, Favre may feel well-rested enough to return for a 21st season.
Ha. Things have changed a bit, I guess. I didn't think Brad Childress would want Favre next year (or in 2012). But will the Vikings' next coach? We can't rule it out.
Bigger miracle: Jay Cutler with more TDs than INTs or Brett Favre actually running for a first down?
Ha. I'll say Favre. Cutler has had only one really bad INT game this year. (Washington.) Favre hadn't had a double-digit run in three years.
Are you going to stick with the Packers to win the division, or have the Bears now swayed your vote with a full game lead and 5 to play?
I'm going to be stubborn. Chances are it will come down to the Week 17 game at Lambeau, where you have to lean toward the Packers, right?
What are the chances the Lions upset the Bears this week?
The Lions need to get their house in order first. Corey Williams and Chris Houston were pretty vocal after the Thanksgiving Day fiasco.
If the Packers go 11-5 and still miss the playoffs, but we get an NFC West team that makes the playoffs at 7-9, is it time for things to change?
I don't think so. There has to be incentive to win a division. What would your idea be?
Any update on Greg Jennings' injury?
Last I heard was that he might miss some practice time, but nothing worse than that.
I'm I the most underrated DE in the NFL that no one talks about? I'm always all over the place.
You sure had a nice start Sunday: Tackle, tackle, sack to open the Eagles' first possession.
Kevin, a co-worker friend of mine suggested that, if Adrian Peterson's ankle is severely sprained, it might be best for the Vikings to put him on IR, given that the Vikings are all but out of the playoff picture. I doubt the Vikings would do that. Agree?
An ankle sprain shouldn't keep you out five weeks. I don't see that happening.
Kevin, I know hindsight is tough, but do you think the Packers made a mistake by not trying to get an upgrade at RB when Grant went down? I know that giving up draft picks is a hard pill to swallow, but they have/had a legit chance to make it to the super bowl. The window for success closes quickly in the NFL, and it's going to be tough in the playoffs with ZERO running game.
Well, everyone (me included) wanted them to get Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks got him instead, and he's averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Would that have happened in Green Bay? Who knows. But it's kind of a moot point. Ted Thompson doesn't make those kinds of moves. He wants to develop his own depth. But the bottom line is he didn't do a good enough job doing that. The fall-off from Grant has been steep.
Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but with the conditions of the turf playing a role in Sunday?s game at Soldier Field have you ever heard of (or do you think it possible that) a grounds crew would intentionally keep conditions poor/subpar? I know the adage says, ?It affects both teams equally.? But with a QB like Vick, and how limited he was, I doubt that?s 100% accurate.
Oh, that would never, ever, never, ever happen. Perish the thought! In reality, I think it's pretty clear that the Bears consider the grass a big advantage or they would have changed it by now. It doesn't affect each team equally because the Bears have much more experience with it and can scout out its condition in the week leading up to the game. It's a huge advantage. Why change it?
Last week I asked if Cutler was ever gonna light it up this season, and you said he still needs to be controlled. So, did he have the best game of his life playing loose (in which case you would be WRONG) or cuz Martz is still reigning him in?
Well, he only threw 21 times. That's controlling him as far as I'm concerned.
Hey Kevin. It seemed to be the Pack's run troubles against Atlanta were caused by a good run defense, a subsequent pass-oriented game plan, and further subsequently, predictable run calls in short yardage situations that were easily stuffed. All told, they'd been getting better in the run. I guess my question is: Should we be concerned about GB's inability to run, or was this just a one time issue caused by the reasons mentioned above? Thanks.
Well, the Falcons have an excellent run defense. But the big long-term concern is the Packers don't seem to trust the running game in short-yardage situations. It's almost as if it has to be a pass or a Rodgers run. If nothing else, that reduces the pressure on opposing defenses.
How likely is it that the Lions upset the Bears Sunday? And how could the Lions accomplish this?
They almost won in Week 1 at Soldier Field, so there should be a blueprint right there. As I recall, the Lions' defensive line really took it to the Bears for most of the game.
I knew if Seifert you hate the Bears, so thats why we have to wait almost half the chat for a Bears question. Da Bears!!
Darn. I was hoping to go 40 minutes before I took one.
hey KS, I applaud you for posting an entry about that epic 90 yard drive by the packers to tie sunday's game up. I think that shows how good Aaron Rodgers really is as a QB in a clutch situation. Sure he fumbled on the goaline, but he certainly redeemed himself. Then special teams decided to give the game away. rats.
Thanks. And for what it's worth, the fumble was at least partially attributable to penetration from the Falcons defense. He played an elite game.
DJ Moore is 5'9", an inch (actually slightly more) taller than Tim Jennings. But Jennings has been a pretty good baller, and Moore has taken advantage of matchups against slot receivers. Don't you think he should just stay as the nickel?
There is always the danger in pushing a player one level beyond where he should be. But the original question was more about the long-term. Based on what we've seen, you would think Moore could one day get a chance to be a full-time starter.
Why not just have 2 divisions in each conference formed of 8 teams? That way the odds are extremely higher that a team below or even right at .500 will never represent a division in the playoffs.
Interesting, although some of the local rivalries would then lose significance. But maybe it would be a good Have at It this week?!
Is Suh one of the top 5 interior linemen in the NFL?
He is leading all DTs in sacks the last time I checked. That's not the only measure, but it's a big one.
The fall-off from Grant has been steep???? Has Grant ever been given the ball 10 times in an entire game? You make it so hard to take you seriously.
I prefer to be considered a joke. Takes the pressure off. But seriously, don't you think part of the reason they're not giving it more than 10 times a game is that they don't trust anyone to do it?
Im curious about your thoughts on why more teams that are out of it early dont trade a guy with an expiring contract, with the understanding that they will re-sign them in the offseason, and long term the team is better off because they acquired a draft pick for a 3 month rental. Is this viewed as collusion between the player and Team A, or is it the human side of it where the player's life would be disrupted and maybe he likes Team B better afterall?
Yeah, that happens in baseball a bunch. But the bottom line is you can't ensure that a player will re-sign in the offseason. Movement is much more restricted, whether it's because of franchise or transition tags, or ever-changing eligibility for free agency.
Kevin, while I'm hesitant to call this weeks Lions/Bears game a sure win for Chicago is it not true that the Bears offense line has come a long way from week 1? Assuming thats true and taking into account the fact that the Bears had 400 yards on the Lions....isn't it safe to assume the Bears will finish off drives this time and not fumble (as they did in week 1?).
Yes. The Bears are playing better than they were at that point, for sure. And the Lions are much more beat-down right now than they were then. Just pointing out that it's all on film and wasn't that long ago that the Lions nearly won.
There any friendly competitions between you & the other divisional blogger? Any awards go to the divisional blogger who has the highest # of comments/blog entry? If so, when can we expect a cut of the prize?
I'd love to give you a cut. Unfortunately, 50 percent of 0 is still 0, I think.
Do you think the vikings should draft a qb in the next draft?
I've been thinking that for about three years.
Kevin, you write about the Packers 90 yard TD drive that in the end, ended in a Packers loss (boo hoo from a Bears fan), yet do you have any plans to write up about the INT Vick threw and 6 plays later (and less writing space) it took the Bears to go down the field and score?
And so goes the never-ending demands for 25 percent equality. I am positive there will be a time when I address a Bears drive or huge play. I was in Atlanta and able to do some additional reporting on the drive. The next time I cover a Bears game, which is coming sooner than you might think, I'll be able to direct similar attention to them.
To expand on Nick's idea, then you keep the schedule format based on the traditional rivalries for 2 games against those teams so that you keep those rivalries in place, 4 games against the other 4 teams in your division, and then the last 6 games are split up between the other division or conference. As Herm Edwards would say WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!!!
OK! I'm feeling like we have to open this up to the entire blog community tomorrow.
Some fans still do not think Aaron Rodgers is clutch. Do you think that 90 yard drive to tie the game starts the conversation that he is clutch?
I think they wanted him to make the special teams tackle as well.
The National Football League is a Quarterback driven league, so if you have an elite QB and a bad running game, why would you pound your head against the wall trying to run? The Packers are a successful team because they have an elite QB. Back to you Kevin.
That's why they call you the Professor!
How many hamburgers can a person eat?
My personal record is 1.
Should Packers fans be nervous? I mean we haven't played a bad game in a month but we're sitting firmly in 2nd place.
Not necessarily. Just win out and you win the NFC North title no matter what the Bears do.
I dont see much national recognition for what Peppers has done for this defense, the cover 2 is working because they dont blitz compared to last year and all of a sudden a no name front four is providing pressure, y no DPOY talk?
I totally agree. Unfortunately, statistics are part of it and the sack total hasn't gotten up there yet.
Can I opt for a Championship belt rather than a ring when I win the Super Bowl?
Ha. That would definitely help your celebration branding efforts.
Ok y'all, a few more here.
with the Bears facing a potential trap game this weekend, do you think Lovie is the kind of coach that can keep his team focused on the game ahead of them and not looking ahead to NE? It seems to me he is a better coach when things are going good than when they are going bad.
Well, again, all he has to do is put in the tape of the Week 1 game and that should be enough to wake his guys up -- if they're sleeping on the Lions.
"All you have to do is win out" You make it sound so easy!!
Alright Kevin, it's figuring out time...IF the Packers win out and the Bears go 4-1...who wins the division and what are the tie breakers regarding that? Remember the Bears beat Miami and GB didn't. Oh that hurts.
The Packers will win the division in that scenario.
OK everyone, thanks so much!