Hi everyone. Let's get moving here. Remember, Adrian Peterson is also chatting over on a different page for a few minutes.
assuming morgan burnett resumes his role as starting strong safety this year, and continues to progress at about the same pace he was last year.... what should we realistically expect from him this year? it was kind of hard to get a good feel bout him from the little bit we saw i just know living in atlanta i always like his abilities and play making potential while he was at GT. is that the same kind of stuff we can hope for so early in his career and coming off knee injury?
I wouldn't assume he will be the starter. The Packers liked the job Charlie Peprah did after Burnett's injury. It's true Burnett was a relatively high draft choice and is younger than Peprah, but he is also coming off an ACL injury. You never know how long that will take. Ideally, Burnett will eventually re-gain the starting job and be a fixture for a while, but I don't think we can speculate on that quite yet.
Hey Kevin - which potential free agent OL best suits the Bears needs/scheme? I have read that Ryan Harris might be a good addition. What do you think?
I'd be curious to see what Mike Tice could do with Robert Gallery. That's a high-profile name, but one to at least consider.
Have you been watching the NFL Network's Top 100 of 2011? What do you think about Tramon Williams missing the cut while guys like TO and McNabb made the list?
I haven't seen it religiously. My guess is that if the vote were held next year, Tramon would get in. His success is still new to many people, including players in the league.
Does anyone know if Nick Fairley has been working out at all during the lockout? He's not attending the player workouts, the last thing the lions need is a lazy DT.
I don't think it's smart to read much into whether players are attending players-only workouts. Who knows what advice rookie players are getting on that issue considering the lack of insurance and liability. I haven't heard directly if Fairley is working out on his own, but we'll know soon enough.
Clayton believes that July 15th sounds about right in terms of opening up free agency/training camps. If a deal is made around then, how do you believe this late start will affect free agency in the North? (ie more aggressive or less considering the deep talent pool of FA but the limited amount of time for them to assimilate to their new team)
I think there will be a frenzy for a few players but teams are definitely going to take into account the short time between free agency and the start of training camp. Players at some positions, like running backs, can make a transition quicker than those at others.
Everyone seems to be assuming (myself included) are rookie hold outs going to be a thing of the past? Will they simply receive a contract based on what pick they were or will the position that they play take a role in contract determination?
That depends on the extent to which the sides agree on a rookie pay scale. It's not yet clear if it will be completely defined, like the NBA, or a little looser than that while still keeping the overall ceiling down.
Just got word that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will meet with a bunch of state leaders, along with the Wilfs, to discuss the stadium situation. We'll see what develops out of that meeting.
What is the most interesting thing to look forward to going into Packers camp? Granted a deal gets done.
We're still a long way from that, but one thing to watch is how the running back situation plays out between Ryan Grant and James Starks. Is Grant definitely the starter? Will they split time? And how will Alex Green work into that mix?
Are you getting the impression that owners and players are starting to feel a sense of urgency that games might be cancelled? And do you get the impression that these talks are more focused on finding a resolution than they have in the past?
Just guessing that both sides don't feel great about the appeal currently under consideration in St. Louis and want to see if they can get an agreement before the court forces them to do something else.
Is Backus really better than Clifton in your opinion? Last I heard, Stafford was injured most of 2010 season, with Peppers lighting him up early in the year (rushing against Backus). Yes Rodgers had two concussions, but one was from a hit 20 yards down field and another was from a right-side rush. I'd say that's indication enough who was and is the better left tackle of the two, wouldn't you?
There's clearly a subjective portion to that analysis, but I wouldn't necessarily rip on Backus because he gave up a sack to Julius Peppers, who last I checked was pretty good. People who tracked sacks last year said Clifton gave up more than Backus.
Can you please tell the Detroit beat writers that literally no one cares that Suh "dissed" them by talking to NFL Network and not them? Suh had a monster rookie season and has given no one any reason to doubt his work ethic, get off the man's back!
Fair point, and I know many people agree with you. My only concern is the implication that Suh didn't talk to them because they might have been critical of him. That's part of the gig in the NFL. Real pros accept and address criticism. Ultimately, Suh did talk to the Associated Press, which provides content to all of the local Detroit papers.
What are the realistic chances Minnesota keeps Ben Leber? With Mike S. coaching up the linebackers that unit has the potential to be deadly!! I dont believe that group gets the credit they deserve!!
I'm thinking the Vikings would have re-signed Leber if they really wanted him, like they did with Brian Robison. Leber wants to be here, so it wouldn't have been a tough negotiation necessarily. I'm guessing the Vikings are planning to move on.
Who do you think starts opposite Clay: Zombo, Jones, Walden, or Elmore?
Capers was talking up Zombo at the draft.
Whats going on with Hillenmyer?? Is he coming back or is he gonna be smart and retire!
He hasn't said for sure, but in this environment you wonder if anyone would want to take on the liability of a player with a history of concussions.
Do you see Erik Coleman as a legit option opposite of Delmas? Would the Lions be willing to toss in an older vet rather than let Spivey continue to develop?
He is an option, but I really think they want Spievey to win that job.
Kevin do you think Olin Kruetz is an average center in the league. I appears that he has knowledge but is unable to dominate like he did in the past because he is not able to physically do so?
He's definitely in the latter stages of his career, and obviously the Bears didn't think they would lose him if they didn't sign him before the lockout. All that said, at this point the Bears don't have another option for the position.
Who do you think gets the second string tight end job behind Finley? I have heard great things about Williams, and without off-season coaching I have a hard time thinking Andrew(Querless) or Tom Crabtree can hold down the second spot?
McCarthy has been known to rotate depth based on game plan, so the No. 2 tight end might change on a weekly basis. If they need a seam receiver, they might use Quarless. If they need blocking, perhaps it will be Crabtree.
Does the prolonged lockout make lesser-known free agents more likely to stay with the teams that they know/are comfortable with? Like Kuhn, Brandon Jackson, James Jones...or will teams go crazy and overpay once free agency opens up? Please predict the future, thanks.
Ha. I'm guessing you'll see a little more re-signing after the lockout than you normally do once free agency begins. But as has been the case from the start, much of this will depend on whether UFAs need four or six years to qualify.
Chances Matt Flynn gets traded now that Grahm Harrell hasn't had another installment of McCarthy's QB camp
Same as it ever was -- low, unless some team blows the Packers out of the water with an offer. But more important than the QB school thing is that it's unlikely for a team to trade for Matt Flynn to be their starter with so little experience and then throw him to the wolves a few weeks later in training camp. Flynn would need an offseason to grow more familiar with the offense in order to start right away.
I am not sure its true the Bears don't have other options at center. They may not have someone that has Olin's experience but that's good because he is used up. Time for new blood and see if they can play becuase Olin cannot..
I guess I should say there are no obvious options. Moving a player from guard to center isn't exactly a slam dunk. They don't have another player whose primary position is center. But with that said, we should note that Mike Tice has a lot of experience in shifting players from other positions to center, starting with Matt Birk in Minnesota.
Kevin...Is Stephen Pea as strong as N.Suh? Pea Benched 225lbs 49 times at the combine. How good of a player do you see him being next to Peppers?
I'm going to be interested to see how Paea's strength translates to the field. I'm not sure Paea will get the kind of movement off the ball that Suh does. Playing next to Peppers won't hurt, though.
Frank Zombo: Great football name, or greatest football name? (My 2 cents - pretty awesome, but Bronko Nagurski is still #1 all-time fb name)
It's up there. Chuck Bednarik is pretty good, too.
Maybe showing my age there. Google him.
What is your gut feeling on what the Vikes do at QB? There REALLY aren't a whole lot of options out there; all the QBs in FA/Trade have question marks about them. Also, are the Vikes in rebuilding mode now with the other 3 teams in the division trending up?
I think they're hoping to go with Ponder. The days of first-round quarterbacks getting a year to develop are pretty much over. And bringing in a veteran a few weeks before camp, with the shortest of short-term commitments, might not be the most prudent move.
Do think Cutler has worked on his foot work during the summer Im sure there has to be drills he can do on his own?
He's actually been working with Bears receivers in the Chicago area on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the offseason. As far as footwork, I'm not sure he's going to change that. It's the way he plays.
Is it safe to say the Viking are not going to LA
I wouldn't say that yet. There is a legitimate proposal for a stadium in Minnesota but it hasn't gotten legitimate consideration from politicians yet. We'll see.
More likely to happen: Cutler makes the probowl or the Lions make the playoffs.
In 2011? I'll go with the latter.
Mostly because I don't see Cutler as a Pro Bowl guy in 2011.
That answer allows me to maximize my negativity.
Let's give the special teams some love. There's been rumblings that Dave Raynor finally pushes the ageless wonder Jason Hanson out the door in Detroit. Will the new rule changes help Lions brass make this decision?
Meaning they might keep Hanson because kickoffs won't be as difficult? To me, in the end, they have to keep the most reliable field goal kicker and then figure out kickoffs after that. Rayner was pretty good last year, but Hanson is one of the best.
What areas of Lambeau field were damaged during the concert?
Apparently none of it is serious. The reason it's even been an issue is that it will help determine whether there can be regular concerts at Lambeau or only occasional. If they have to do extensive work to get the field back in playing shape, that will limit the options.
Backus and Raiola are the only remain starters from the Millen era. Does that speak more to their talent or to a combination of otehr factors (other available draftees, FA market) that prevented the Lions from replacing them.
I think it mostly speaks to the Lions' priorities when they began rebuilding under Martin Mayhew. They clearly saw the offensive line as a place that could sit tight while they focused on other areas.
Kevin is it possible to splice Olin Kreutz and Dominic Raiola together and get one decent center?
I'll check with ESPN's department of genetic engineering.
Extra points for sneaking in a Talking Heads line in your Flynn response, Seifert. Well played.
I wish I could claim credit for that. At least conscious credit.
Do you know anything about the Bears new receiver Andy Fantuz? Is he any good?
He's big, which makes him different from the rest of the Bears' receivers. Otherwise, a guy who maybe fits in as the Bears' No. 4 receiver, at most.
Hey kevin in a two back system is it possible for Best or Leshoure to be a 1000 yard rusher?
Sure, especially if it allows Best to rip off more longer runs. Remember, 1,000 yards in a season is an an average of 63 per game. That can be done.
I just read a chat done by a Green Bay beat writer where he named Aaron Rodgers biggest weakness as leadership. That seems like one of his strong suits to me. What are your thoughts on Aaron's biggers weakness?
I didn't see that. The guys in Green Bay are around Aaron more often, but I have never seen any deficiencies in that area. I just published a post on Rodgers' chances for making the Hall of Fame, so I can't really name many weaknesses. I don't know if this would count as a weakness, but he hasn't always been smart when he's been running the ball outside of the pocket. Over time, I think you'll see him pull back on that part of his game.
Will Chicago give a second thought to changing field surfaces now that the NFL is scheduling fewer Soldier Field games late in the year?
Nope. The Bears think of the field condition as a home-field advantage. Some opponents merely get psyched out by it, but others definitely have a hard time adjusting.
What do the bears have against getting a number one receiver, honestly they see what Calvin Johnson and Greg Jennings do to open up an offense, why wont they see that they need a go-to guy?
There aren't that many of them, and I'm guessing they don't trust their ability to identify and develop one. Given the Bears' roster, would you have drafted a receiver in the first round this year? Probably not.
keith Bulluck recently mentioned detroit as a team he is interested in based on his history with Jimmy. Can he contribute or will that band aid let a little too much blood flow through? Is he worth it?
I don't see him being a full-time answer, no.
HA HA trick question, there will be no pro bowl in 2011 anyways.
Momentum continues to build toward a new CBA. I would be really surprised if much of the season gets canceled.
Any chance you we see Rodger's running a streak route with Cobb throwing him the bomb?
I'm sure Aaron would lobby for that.
Who is the Vikings starting TE? Rudolph or Shank?
I think they'll run a lot of two tight-ends, but for now Shiancoe is the guy.
Is Sherrod a bench warmer this year or do you think he will get a look at left guard?
That's always the question with the Packers. Bulaga got some work there last summer, too. Based on their history, you would have to think they would at least consider Sherrod there if Colledge falters.
Tilman has locked down RCB position for the Bears. So, who plays LCB for the Bears in 2011? Jennings was servicable last year, but not spectacular, Bowman has the instincts but cant stay healthy, and Moore has no experiecne. Take your pick.
That's a good question. Moore was a good playmaker last year but I'm not sure if that means he's ready to be a full-time player. I wonder if they won't give Bowman another chance.
Really Kevin? Discussing Aaron Rodgers and Canton at this point? I know, I'm bored with the NFL right now, too, but doesn't this go a bit too far?
I just thought it was interesting to see where he compared in relation to Hall of Fame QBs. He's right there. I made clear he'll have to stay at this level for a long time to be in consideration, but whether that's interesting to readers is for others to decide.
What is the chance Sidney Rice re-signs with the Vikes?
Sounds like he will want to explore his options, which he should. I don't think he has a great taste in his mouth about Minnesota after last year, and I'm sure the Vikings have some concerns about his injury history. I'd say it's 50-50 right now.
Have you witnessed any of the lion's workouts. I'm curious just how much more solid stafford looks. They say it's noticable in the upper body.
I have not. But the reaction has been universal: He's put in some good work this offseason.
Can you and your friends at ESPN do a couple of Brett Favre stories? I think its funny how it makes eveybody POed
Funny you should mention that. Stay tuned. That's all I can say.
With the packers picking up Alex Green from Hawaii, is there any chance for there to be a 1,000 yard rusher in their crowded backfield? Grant, even before the injury, was not a big play maker. Starks hasn't proved himself enough, even with his "outburst" in the playoffs, steelers held him only to 52 yards rushing. And Alex Green, from what i've seen from highlights, is predominately used in draw plays. But those are just my opinions, what is your's?
Oh, I think it could still happen. Starks had one great performance in the playoffs and then just got the ball a lot in his other games. And yes, Green got his work mostly in the spread and had some wide-open holes. The Packers should have a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011 as long as one guy gets enough carries. But if they split the carries, maybe not.
You reference the "last 8" quarterbacks inducted a few times in your article but only have 7 listed (besides Rodgers)...who's the 8th?
Yeah, I had Dan Fouts in there but took him out because he was from too long ago. I'll make the change.
Im in Carolina working on a Contract to be Back Up to Cam Newton my new best friend!!
I'm just worried about cursing ARod or blowing up his head too much with the Canton comparisons too soon...I do like being able to compare otherwise. The--tangentially related--question, though, Tedy Bruschi said the Pack needs to stop celebrating and start focusing on the future. Agreed? Maybe especially after Thursday's ceremony?
The problem with the Bruschi sentiment is that is presumes these players-only workouts are the equivalent of OTAs and minicamps. They're not. They're loosley organized and in some cases done for show. I don't think they would help a team like the Packers that much. Now, if Packers players are not working out on their own, either, that's a problem. But every indication is that guys are doing their normal work, albeit in a different environment.
Couple more here.
How much of Starks's effectiveness during the final run was a result of him having fresher legs than anyone else on the field?
Part of it. The biggest part is that he had the one long run early in the Eagles game, which gave McCarthy the confidence to keep handing it to him.
Keith Bulluck expressed interest in the Lions. All last season he said he only wanted to go to a team that was going to compete for the playoffs and a title. Do you think the perception of Detriot is changing in the players eyes and do you think it will be a positive for them in free agency?
In this case, I think Bulluck is realizing he might not have as many options as he did last year.
kevin, honestly, how many wins in your eyes will the lions have this year?
I'll say they'll be in the range of 8-10. How's that for fence-sitting?
I think you guys should stop calling him "A-Rod" if you are worried about his head. Do you really want him associating himself with that guy?
As long as we don't catch him staring in the mirror at himself while he's working out, then we're fine. I believe the other A-Rod was caught doing that....
OK everyone. Thanks so much. Chat with you next week.