Hi everyone. It's time to chat like we've never chatted before. Let's get to it.
I really liked the Derek Sherrod pick based on the players left at the time. The players that went right before the Packers picked Sherrod (Ingram, Carimi, Wilkerson, and Heyward) all looked like perfect fits for the Packers though didn't they?
Supposedly the Packers had Sherrod ranked pretty high. You could make arguments for all of the players you listed, but I think they had pretty close to the best-case scenario.
What do you think will be the Packers record this year will be and do you think they will shut out their division?
I've been hesitant to make any predictions considering that NFL rosters are still awaiting free agency. But I don't think the Packers will go undefeated in the NFC North. Sorry.
Is there any chance Randy Moss returns to the Vikings or Patriots? He would've helped the Patriots playoff run for sure, and he did wonders for Percy Harvin's game in MN. Imagine what he could do for Sidney Rice too. He's still a legitimate deep threat, and would be a much better option than Bernard Berrian.
I can't imagine a scenario where the Vikings take back Moss, even after the firing of Brad Childress. How many times do they have to learn their lesson about him?
People have been saying that the lockout is hurting the packers less than other teams, but I would disagree with that. The packers have more talented players than can fit on their roster and with the lock out are unable to deal said talent to other teams for compensation. Do you see the packers being able to move some of their super bowl contributors for draft picks as free agency starts or will they end up having to try to sneak them onto the practice squad, only to have other teams vulture them away?
There will be a trading period at some point before the 2011 season begins, even if it is shortened and has different rules. So if the Packers plan to trade some assets, and I'm not sure that they do, there will be a time for that unless the entire season is cancelled.
I am of the mind that the court rulings are helping prolong the lockout. I think both sides have won enough to suggest that they might be able to win this fight in court, and thus have little to no reason to negotiate with that carrot dangling out there. Am I off base? What do you think?
True to an extent. Neither side has had the door closed on them. But I've always thought there would be little to no incentive for either side to compromise until the threat of missing games -- the industry's big moneymaker -- becomes more imminent.
Taking into account his interception totals, recent allegations and one SB win in 20 years, could a case be made to not put Brett Favre on the first ballot?
The recent allegations shouldn't play a factor, first of all. The HOF is supposed to be based on performance on the field. Given how many NFL records Favre has, it's hard to conceive a non-emotional argument to keep him off the first ballot.
Do you believe that Mikel LeShoure is better than Kevin Smith was when he came out of college? Don't forget, when Smith was healthy (for the most part), he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards his rookie year. I don't expect Detroit to get that from LeShoure since they'll have a 2-back system now, but how do the 2 RB's compare?
The reports suggest that LeShoure is bigger and more of a pounder than Smith. The big selling point on Smith is that he had extensive experience in the zone-blocking scheme and knew how to follow the progression to the hole. LeShoure is more likely to try to run through you.
I was watching NFL Network and was shocked at the lack of respect people have for the NFC North. The fans voted the NFC East as the best division in the NFC and had an analyst agree with them while the other analyst went with the NFC South. Why don't you think the North doesn't get any more love considering they have the reigning Super Bowl Champs, the team that lost to them in the NFC Championship, everybody's pick for up-and-coming team, and a team one year removed from being many people's Super Bowl favorite?
Population. Look at how many people live in the four NFC East cities and compare it to any other division in football. Just numbers. Nothing more. I think we all know what we have here.
What do you think about the Packers safety situation. I feel like Bigby will be gone leaving Burnett as the primary and Peprah as the backup. With House being drafted and the progression of Williams and Shields, how long until Woodson gets pushed back into Safety, and will that ultimately have an effect on Burnetts potential comeback this year after his injury. As another option do you see them moving to more 3 safety sets?
I don't see why they would bring Bigby back, unless there is concern about Burnett's recovery. As for Woodson, I doubt the Packers are in a rush to move him to safety. In many ways, even the nickel cornerback is more important than a starting safety.
Do you think the Vikings are going to have an open tryout for starting QB next season or is it for sure going to be Ponder? Any word on if Joe Webb is preparing to start at QB or running routes as a receiver? I'd love to see Webb out there with Harvin and Rice (if they get Rice back) with that athleticism.
I think you're on to something. I'm sure there will be competition on some level, but the Vikings didn't draft Ponder to sit on the bench.
what's your thoughts on stafford staying healthy through the 2011 season if we have a season?
One encouraging sign is that he apparently put on some significant upper-body muscle this winter. After three shoulder injuries, maybe the increased bulk will help protect the area and prevent future injuries.
so I see the report that Fox is healthy for the first time. How much does this really effect the Lions O-line. are the coaches pleased with what they see from him? Do you think the Lions can finally start seeing some progress in the running game like we saw in the last 4 games?
He doesn't project as a 2011 starter, so not too much. But I do think there will be a heavier emphasis on the run with LeShoure and Best both ont he roster.
More pressing need to fill in free agency for the Lions: Linebacker or Corner?
Corner to the nth degree.
Kevin, if you look at the NFL today versus 10 years ago, there seems to be much less talk about the salary cap, and in particular, salary cap implications for particular contracts. It almost seems as if the cap had become a non-issue in recent years. True? Why?
That is true and a good observation. Mostly, the CBA pushed the cap number so high that teams could afford to do pretty much all the things they wanted to do within the cap. It rose at a high enough rate to wipe out any cap debt that teams had. Also, teams became smarter about structuring contracts in a way that would prevent them from cutting players for cap purposes.
Nate Enderle hasn't even taken a practice snap with the Bears, and yet, fans are already discarding him. Is that fair to him, or is there something else at play?
I think it's mostly due to two facts: The Bears didn't have a real need for a quarterback in this draft, and not many people knew who the Idaho quarterback was before his name was called. But both issues are non-factors. He was a fifth-round pick. He was worth a flyer.
Garrett Wolfe done in Chicago, and/or the league?
He might have been done in Chicago even before this arrest. This doesn't help matters. As for the league, when a marginal player has a public incident like this, it's difficult to overcome.
Is there a plan in place for how the draft would work if there was no season this year? would it be the same order, draw straws, rock paper scissors?
Many people are asking that, and the NFL has not issued any kind of clarification. I'm sure they are hoping it won't come to that.
No love for Chuck Woodson on the power rankings huh? Although I don't know who would come off that list...
Right. And my thought, generally speaking, was that I would value pass rushers over pass defenders. So I only had one CB and one S on my list.
Kevin, a year ago it was conventional wisdom that I was on the hot seat, especially after taking responsibility for the defense. Did getting to the NFC Championship game take me off the hot seat? Or if I fail to make the playoffs, is my job in jeopardy?
Your contract extension suggests you're off the hot seat for now.
Do you know if the Packers were able to get playbooks to all of their draft picks before the lockout came back into effect? I have heard of some teams getting them out, just hadnt heard about the SB Champs
I don't think so. But there is no reason that an incumbent player couldn't reach out and teach the Randall Cobbs and Alex Greens the basics based on memory.
I see Ndomakong Suh just missed the top ten defenders list. Where do you feel he will end up after year 2? Top 5, or lower just based on position. Can a dominate DT be a top 5 player in the league?
It's a fair question. I voted him No. 8 but understand why some would be cautious to do that after only one season. If he plays the way he did last year over a longer period, yes, I do think he could be considered a top-5 guy, for what it's worth.
I'm so glad you're on time, Kevin. Crime would have risen if you weren't.
Ha! Ray Lewis sure has a way with words, huh?
If you had to guess right now, who do you see as the Bears starting offensive line for opening day?
First, I think it's pretty clear that they are still in the midst of their personnel acquisition. You would think free agency will come into play at some point. But if they had to go with what they had now, I would guess -- and I emphasize GUESS -- it would go Carimi at LT, Webb at RT, Kreutz at C, with Williams and Garza at Gs.
Sorry for the delay. I looked out my window and saw a pack of eight squirrels running down the street. Oddest sight in recent chat history.
Strange that Urlacher got zero votes for DP power rankings. The consensus was this was one of his best years, close to his DPOY year. Was he close on your ballot?
I did not have him in my top 10. I can't say I even had him on my preliminary list. He had a good year, but I wouldn't say it was close to his DPOY year. If I needed to put a Bears LB on the list, it probably would have been Lance Briggs.
Brandon Jackson apparently slept through this past season, as he recently said he wants to compete for a starting job next year, whether in GB or elsewhere. Can Alex Green take over as the 3rd down back if he leaves?
I think that's the plan, yes. A high draft pick, plus Ryan Grant and James Starks, doesn't leave much room for Brandon Jackson.
More sacks in 2011: Peppers or Suh?
Interesting. I'll go with Suh. Peppers had a great year last year but still only had eight. A lot depends on the guys around you.
Re Woodson versus pass rushers: he's been known to get a sack or two besides his forcing turnovers.
Yes, but there is a big difference between a cornerback blitz and the everydown presence of a premium pass rusher like Clay Matthews.
I don't know much about Justin Smith, but I do know Allen has had double digit sacks since he came to the Vikings and Smith has not had double digit sacks since he went to the 49ers in the same year. I am curious why Allen did not get a nod, but Smith did.
Fair question. Justin Smith is just a really, really good all-around football player. I talked to two people who watch that division a lot more than me -- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. and Mike Sando of the NFC West blog -- and both were raving about him. And while I realize sacks are dependent on a lot of things, I think we can all accept that Allen took a bit of a step back last year.
Squirrels are back. This is crazy. Did a circus train de-rail?
Thoughts on John Clayton picking the Bears as the team to fall furthest next year?
My sense, again, is that it's hard to make any definitive judgments about teams before free agency.
Kevin, I'm scared to death I'm going to be the next David Carr. Any chance that facing the likes of Suh, Matthews, and Peppers 6 times next year that I get sacked less than 50 times?
My sense is that you're much more mobile than David Carr. So buckle up that chin strap and get ready to run!
No training camp? We're going to miss you Kevin!
I haven't given up yet!
Give me a break. Peppers will easily have double-digit sacks with the addition of Paea helping him relieve some pressure.
So you're saying people will double-team Paea and leave Peppers in 1-on-1 situations? I highly doubt that, especially in the beginning of the year. If anything, Paea will get the benefit of double teams on Peppers.
In addition to the $9B that the owners/players are trying to figure out how to split, is it fair to say that there are tens of BILLIONS of additional dollars at stake with regards to stadium jobs, concessions, booms to local economies, TV revenues, etc.? How many other lives/jobs will be impacted? With all of that on the table, it makes it even MORE absurd that the two sides can't agree.
There's no doubt this impacts people far and wide. And in the end, the owners and players will probably recoup whatever money they lose in this. The businesses and local governments that count on the NFL might not.
Did you hear about the CNN report in KY about their love for eating squirrel? It was called "chicken of the trees"...
I didn't see that but they are welcome to come harvest as many as they want up here. Ridiculous.
I didn't see the interview so was crime going rise becuase the players would have nothing to occupy their time? DUI's in NFL town would increase 10 fold.... lol..
Pretty much. Ray Lewis said people wouldn't have anything to do if the games were canceled, and so naturally they would start committing crimes. But without football, we would probably have a lot less boozing and a lot less gambling on Sundays. That's for sure.
Why can't the owners and Players just sit down evry day until a CBA is reached regardless of what is going on in the courts. It seems like they are just wasting times with their ego's instead of actually trying to get a deal done.
They tried that. It didn't work. The Players decertified and started filing lawsuits. No turning back now.
To touch a bit back on the subject of Matthew Stafford and injuries: To my knowledge, Matt had an injury free high school and collegiate career. Three shoulder injuries later, he gets surgery. Sam Bradford had his only big injury late in his collegiate career, had surgery, and had a healthy first year. Peyton Manning had surgery between seasons in 2008 and continued to be healthy. What are your thoughts on the health of quarterbacks who recieve surgeries of any type? I am sure it depends on what type of surgery, but, I am not sure. Also, SQUIRRELS! Thank you.
Most people, NFL players included, want to avoid surgery if they can. Natural inclination. But it's true. Bradford got himself fixed and had no issues last year. Stafford has no previous injury history in high school and college, and the Lions are hoping this string is behind him. But I can't know for sure, and neither can anyone, whether this surgery means he'll start 16 games a year for the next decade.
I will admit the thought of a train of squirrels is funny.
I'm envisioning one of them wearing a conductor's hat for some reason.
My 3-year old also gets distracted by squirrels and birds, so don't feel bad.
Pics or it didnt happen
And leave the chat unattended? Never.
Better offensive package for the lions: Johnson, Burelson, Sheffler, and Pettigrew or Johnson, Burleson, Young, and Pettigrew?
To maximize downfield explosion, how about: Johnson, Burleson, Young and Sheffler?
I love the media always hating on the Bears. That's exactly how they like it. They did, in fact play the Packers to a standstill in the NFC title game with their 3rd-string QB.
No doubt. And I am the first to admit I didn't see 11-5 coming last year. You would assume that at some point the defense will get old, but last year's performance affords them a little more benefit of the doubt.
Does the drafting of Ponder and Rudolph make it a virtual certainty that the Vikes will have a conservative gameplan? Run left AD, run right AD, then pass on 3rd & 2 to Rudolph/Shiancoe..does this sound about right?
I do think it's pretty clear that Leslie Frazier wants to have a power-running team, one that isn't much different than what the Vikings had under Brad Childress before Favre arrived. When you look at the Atlanta offense that Bill Musgrave was a part of, you realize it was centered around Michael Turner as much as it was Matt Ryan.
Where do you see Ray Edwards ending up.... on the Bears?
It all depends on whether he is restricted or unrestricted. He might not like it, but if he's restricted, he'll probably have to play for the Vikings if he wants to play in 2011. If he's a UFA, two teams that have been thrown around are the Falcons and Browns.
Paul (Denver): Fairley + Suh > Peppers Paea
So if this lockout continues into the preseason, are we going to get "expert" ratings on top 10 cheerleading squads, mascots, and tailgaters too?
And we've got plenty more ideas where that came from.
The Big Ten is considering playing their championship game at Soldier Field...how much will an additional game on the surface there annoy Bears' opponents who visit in December and January?
It will make the Bears happier, though. They love the fact that opponents get so worried about the grass.
I wouldn't consider 11 sacks "taking a bit of a step back."
You had 14.5 in each of the previous two seasons, right?
I am starting to get an absolute sense of apathy as it pertains to the NFL. I never thought I would be like that, but its started even before the lockout. The game was a little boring to watch. CFB is way more entertaining. Do you think more fans will start think like me if this thing goes into the season??
Yes, and then I think many if not all of you will come flying back when the games finally resume.
Do Packers fans annoy you since their team won the Superbowl by always trying to remind somebody in every comment that they're the champs?
They deserve it. They're the champs.
Yesterday you posted an impassioned diatribe (not wholly off base) against ownership greed. Can't a similar sentiment be brought against the players? While players place their permanent health on the line, it does not seem like the hang up in CBA negotiations was about improved health benefits for former players. It seemed to revolve around players getting richer. Let's face it, even the league minimum puts every player well within the top 2% of wage earners in any given year (possibly top 1%). Their cause seems to be just as much about the rich getting richer as it is about ownership increasing the value of franchises.
There is no doubt the players are fighting to keep raking in huge amounts of dough. It takes two to tango in every dispute. But I would have less sympathy for the players if they owners had agreed to open their books and prove they are in fact generating lower revenues on an annual basis. If that's the case, players might need to also take lower revenues in the form of pay cuts. But the owners haven't demonstrated to my satisfaction that they are in fact in that situation. I'm always suspicious when anyone makes a financial claim without adequate support.
Would you keep Derrick Williams or Bryant Johnson as fourth receiver if you were the Lions or get rid of both since you can't do any worse?
Neither guy has done enough to suggest he should have a roster spot in 2011.
Kevin, if the Vikings do decide to trade for a qb or pick up a free agent once everything with the collective bargaining agreement is figured out, who do you think would be the most likely candidate (in your opinion)?
One name to keep an eye on in Tyler Thigpen. The Vikings drafted him a few years ago and he could wind up as a free agent.
I will out produce Fairley this season...book it!
I look forward to seeing that.
Is it me or does it seem like DeMaurice Smith is getting a free pass. In reality this is a newish NFLPA head trying to make a name for himself at the expense of those he represents and the game. True??
I think we're close to being able to answer that question. His strategy was clearly to try to beat the owners in court. If the lockout remains in place after this latest appeal, he will have to decide whether to dig in or find a way to get a deal done in July. We'll know at that time.
Vikings stadium deal getting done this summer - better or worse than 25% chance?
I really don't know. They are as close as they've ever been, but there is so much politics involved. I'm saying better than 25 percent but not much better.
I've heard of a pride of lions. How about an annoyance of squirrels? Yeah, let's go with that.
I was starting to panic for a second. It was like a scene from a bad horror movie. Squirrels were coming from everywhere.
Kevin, do you think the Vikings are content with Brian Robison being the other starting defensive end or would they look at a Charles Johnson from the Panthers?
I'm guessing they will look to continue adding players at that position. Leslie Frazier has talked about wanting to re-make the defensive line. They haven't really done that yet.
i sent in nice questions about football, and i see like 4-5 things about squirrels, what is espn, resorting to now, some type of circus, well why dont we go to the zoo instead of talking real football
Right now they are one and the same, right?
How about a worst top ten top ten list
I like it. The 10 worst top 10's I've seen....
Is it me or does the media seem to be giving the lions a playoff ticket(handed out by the squirell conductor) Do they think they will win the NFC North or a wild card spot? What say you?
They are definitely media darlings right now. I think they have a chance at the playoffs, but so do a lot of teams. I'll be examining that further later this week on the blog.
OK, a few more here.
Who will have better rookie numbers - Titus Young or Randall Cobb?
Really like that one. ... I might throw that out as a Have at It later this week. First thought would be Young when comparing the depth on both sides, but a lot will depend on how quickly each guy can assimilate the offense given a shorter-than-expected offseason.
KS - Owners wont open their books because they do not want other owners seeing the financial operations of their business. Much as one private business would not willingly show another its books. Many believe they have a competitive advantage.
Maybe so. But it makes it hard to justify some of their requests regardless.
OK everyone. Thanks so much! Have a great week.