Hi everyone. Pretty big news day in the NFL, and we in the NFC North were a part of it. Let's get right to this chat.
Any updates on Stafford's finger? How long should we expect the gloves to stay on?
Apparently the glove era is over. He isn't wearing them today in practice, according to local reports.
As a Lions fan, I can't defend Suh anymore. The two-game suspension is well deserved. How do you think his absence will change their next two games (@NO and vs. MIN)?
I honestly don't think it will impact it much. They were going to have a tough time beating the Saints even with Suh. And they should beat the Vikings without him.
After week 2 loss to Tampa I said Leslie Frazier was way over his head partly due to saving time outs for the following week if you remember. You harsly said I did not know what I was talking about. What about now- A great guy-a great neighbor I would guess but a BAD game day football coach
I don't recall putting it that way, but I still think it would be harsh to make that kind of judgment on any coach two games into his career. With 11 games down, I would say Frazier has proved he had more growing to do in this job than we thought. I appreciate his accountability but think some of his mistakes should have been avoided.
Haine had a rough outing in his first game with some poor decision making (delayed spike, ints etc), but do you see potential in him to be a starting QB for an oth er team when his contract is up?
It was the first start of his career, so we should give him a little leeway. I think the Bears can make it to the playoffs with him, but I'm not sure if he'll be able to convince a team to take a chance on him as a starter next year.
I think it is pretty clear that I am a better player than Aromashodu...Vikes miss me now?
Not sure I agree with ya there, B-Twice.
Can you defend Martz's playcall of a blind TE screen that resulted in a INT for Oakland? Personally it may have been the dumbest call I've seen him make (considering the score, field position, QB inexperience, etc...) and that's saying something. To me its just another example of Martz not adjusting to his personel and game situation.
It wouldn't have been my first choice, no. But I thought Martz's biggest mistake was throwing so much in the first half in general. I think it was 20 pass plays and 13 running plays. Why wouldn't you at least reverse that with a first-time starter?
Jared Allen's disappearing act: trend or blip?
Sacks can occur in bunches. But he was awfully quiet against the Falcons.
After that loss to the Falcons, do you still believe Frazier's position is secure? How about the assistants?
Yes. I would be really surprised if the Vikings do anything with him this offseason. They still have Brad Childress on the books for one more year.
Its amazing to me how a QB will have his favorite WR. Earl Bennett looks amazing with Cutler, but dissapears with Hanie. Knox is hit or miss with Cutler but put up elite numbers with Hanie. It seems to me a QB should just throw to who is open, but the results on the Bears seem to show otherwise.
Hanie and Knox worked together a lot in training camp because Knox was demoted to the second-team. Makes sense.
Kevin, why are the mental mistakes and personal foul penalties committed by the Lions always explained away as them being a "young" team? According to information compiled at the cutdown date by your colleagues at ESPN, the Lions were the fourth OLDEST team in the NFL. You don't see the Packers making those same mistakes (fewest penalties in NFC North) yet they are the second YOUNGEST team in the NFL. It seems like a convenient excuse for an undiciplined football team led by an undisciplined coach.
I've never explained it that way. They are inexperienced in a playoff context, but not young.
How much playing time can Packer fans expect for Brandon Saine the rest of the season? I liked what little we saw of him on Thanksgiving.
Probably depends on Starks' health. I'm guessing that's why Saine played in the first place. In games that count, the Packers are going to want Starks and/or Ryan Grant in the game as often as possible.
Green Bay Fan Here, I almost wonder if Green Bay drops one of the upcoming games, if they don't rest there starters at the end....I don't think the Packers would mind going to San Fran or SuperDome in January over playing in windy, snowy conditions in Lambeau, thoughts?
I see where you're going with that, at least in part. It's true the Packers love playing in domes. But I'm not sure they would trade a home game for it. And definitely not a game at San Francisco. At this point, I guess I would be surprised if McCarthy rests his starters.
Kevin, I've heard that Suh has 3 days to file an appeal of his suspension and I'm just curious of the timing. Is it more like 72 hours? Whereas he was notified at 12:00 ET, so he has until 12:00 ET on Friday to file the appeal?Thanks!
I'm not totally sure about that, but generally speaking things are timed by the end of the NFL business day (4 p.m. ET). The main point is that Suh could appeal and have it heard and decided this week so as not to change the weeks he might be suspended for.
Brees and the artists-formerly-known-as the 'Aints looked really good last night!! But I have my doubts about the efficiency of that offense in -5 degree weather, especially if it is windy. Who ya got: Packers or Saints?
At Lambeau, it would be hard to pick agains the Packers. I don't have it in front of me, but the Saints have a miserable all-time road record in the playoffs.
I find this debate on your employer's programming about "Tebow or Rodgers" to be absolutely ridiculous. You?
Oh no. I haven't even seen it yet...
How do I get this team to stop playing like they have in the past few games and get them back on track?
You've lost to some good teams, first of all. Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago and Green Bay could all end up in the playoffs. Turnovers have been a big, big problem.
Kevin, with Jack del Rio now out as the Jaguars' head coach, might the Vikings consider the following: Firing defensive coordinator Fred Pagac, promoting Mike Singletary to assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, and hiring del Rio as linebackers' coach? Your thoughts on this idea?
Some of that scenario seems likely. Pagac has reportedly had some of his duties already taken away. You would assume he will be fired this offseason. Singletary is a reasonable possibility as a replacement, considering his friendship with Frazier. And as far as Del Rio goes, that's up to him and whether he wants to keep coaching.
Can you explain how Suh's weekly check is merely $82,000? That equates to roughly. $1.4 million salary. I thought he signed roughly a $50 million deal for 6 or 7 years. Is that much really tied up into the signing bonus?
Yes. Game checks are 1/17th of the base salary. Suh's base salary in 2011 is about $1.4 million. I believe he received a $17 million roster bonus this year, which doesn't count toward game checks or fines.
Any chance the Bears replace Conte with Corey Graham, he's a great tackler, a ball hawk, and seems disciplined.
I don't know if they'll do that, but it's been worth nothing Graham has had an interception in the past three games. He is trying to show he should be on the field on defense as well as special teams.
Dude you look like a big nerd. Are you really a sportswriter?
Usually those two things go hand-in-hand, don't they?
Do the Packers not exist this week?
Any updates on the Packers' slew of injuries from Thanksgiving
Sounds like Josh Sitton could be a few weeks. The Packers are hoping that Hawk and Bishop can play against the Giants.
How do I change my style of play without losing the edge that I have that sets me apart from guys in the NFL? I don't try to play dirty, I just play hard and yes, I admit, I was stupid for stomping...
It will be a constant battle. There are lots of ways to succeed, however. Just keep beating your man and you'll make enough plays to set yourself apart.
By the way, Adam Schefter is reporting that Suh will appeal the suspension.
What is the status of Bishop and Hawk? Is Walden playing?
They're hoping to get Bishop and Hawk on the field this week. Walden's status hasn't been addressed but there is nothing preventing him from playing this week.
No Delmas, Houston, or McDonald at Lions Practice......Alfonso Smith and who else will be our corners?
Berry and Wright, I'm guessing.
Kevin , what have you heard from the vikings brass in regards to peterson being shut down the rest of the year? i know peterson wants to play yet this year , but will the vikings risk it?
I'd be stunned and highly critical if they shut him down when he's healthy. Whether this is a lost season or not, he's being paid to play.
Have you heard anything on Kevin Smith? I can't believe a guy who wasn't on the team a few weeks ago now seems like such a vital part of a playoff run.
He's not at practice. The arrival of Aaron Brown suggests Smith isn't going to play this week.
You can move around all the coaches you want in MN but without anyone worth while in the secondary, you are still going to get torched by opposing QBs. The Vikes need to upgrade the secondary either via draft or free agency.
Yeah, I now believe that secondary might be an even bigger need for them than offensive line. Very difficult to project many long-term starters out of the group they have.
We haven't really talked about how Green Bay was able to keep their coaching staff almost completely intact after last season. Something tells me if this team wins another super bowl that this staff is going to get picked apart by other teams. Your thoughts?
They are some candidates there, some of whom will miss out on jobs if the Packers advance deep into the playoffs. You wonder if teams will pursue Tom Clements to be an offensive coordinator, or Darren Perry as a defensive coordinator or Winston Moss as a head coach.
Have you seen Pat Yasinskas' recent article on Brees' chances for MVP...notwithstanding my bias, no one but Rodgers is in the conversation for MVP
I did. I think I will address it this week. Stay tuned.
I don't get this garbage about how someone playing Suh's position "has to be mean." Reggie White was one of the greatest d-linemen of all time, and he NEVER crossed the line between playing hard and playing dirty.
Well said. There are a lot of ways to succeed and it doesn't have to include playing dirty.
Why wasn't the packer player that punched a Lions player suspended? That was every bit as dirty as Suh's retaliation.
Pat Lee is who you're referring to. I'm not aware of any prior discipline against Lee, first of all. Suh had four previous incidents. Second, I wouldn't agree that Lee's retaliation equated with what Suh did.
The latest news I hear is that Chad Clifton is nowhere close to returning. How much time do you think the team gives him before he goes on IR?
We'll see if Clifton is back in practice this week. If he isn't, it might be time for him to go on IR.
Kevin, in response to J.B.'s worthwhile comments on the Vikings, I feel that WR is also an area of critical need, in addition to DB and OL. I think that WR should be targeted with their first draft pick, DB with their second draft pick, and OL with their third draft pick. Your thoughts on this idea?
I'm not sure they would take a WR in the top five, which is where they seem destined to draft. To me, their top needs are DB, OL and then WR. They should draft their highest-ranked player at each spot, however. Drafting for need is how you get in trouble.
Skip Bayless says he would take Tebow over Rodgers. He also said he would take Tebow over any QB other than Brady. I think he just has it out for Rodgers, or he just picks an outrageous statement and rides it for as long as he can...one or the other.
I didn't see that and obviously don't know what the motivation is here. But I'll just say I disagree.
Can we talk about how bad stafford has been?
Lots of interceptions, that's for sure. But a great performance vs. Carolina nonetheless. And one of the picks vs. GB was off a tipped pass.
Speaking of Pat Lee, I was incredibly surprised he got ejected, and especially because he was the only player flagged on the play. I'll just never understand the beating the league allows gunners to take. His ejection: fair or foul?
Technically, fair. He took a swing. But it's a judgment call each and every time.
What are these four previous incidents? The Cutler thing was nothing and shouldn't have been fined and the Dalton hit was nothing. Suh is being made out to be something he's not. Has anyone even gotten hurt from anything Suh has done?
I was thinking of agreeing with you until that last line. So it's only fair game if someone gets hurt?
Vikings homer says what
Since Suh is going to appeal the suspension, it does seem like the NFL almost automatically drops these suspensions by a game. Tell me, what is the appeal process actually like? To whom does Suh appeal?
EDITED ANSWER: Suh's appeal will be heard by Art Shell, the appeals office assigned to this case.
Are you allowed to say you're tired of Skip's trolling just like every single other person on the planet, or are you bound by ESPN bro-code to stay quiet?
Ha. I just worry about the stuff I say and write. That gets me in enough trouble.
OK everyone. We're going to end a few minutes early so I can get back to the blog on a busy day here. A few more questions....
There is only one team that can beat the Packers right now and that is the Packers
I thought the Giants might have a shot, but after last night, who knows. The Bears with Cutler were starting to look formidable. But yes, the one team that we can say is absolutely capable of beating the Packers is the Packers.
It may be that I'm a packers fan, but I find it crazy that people can say that anyone other than Rodgers should be MVP. He leads Brees and Brady in everything but yards and has his team at 11-0.
Oh, there are always the "where would this team be without this guy" arguments. I think people are searching for reasons, and there are still five weeks left in the season. But to this point, it's Rodgers.
I have been reading "America's Quarterback: Bart Starr". Just wanted to give a plug for a really great book.
I bet it's interesting.
Thanks for wasting our time with a book plug, are u joining oprahs book club next
Yes, books are bad. Let's burn them all.
Besides that final drive in garbage time, Calvin was shut down by T Will.
With some safety help, but yes, I thought Tramon did a great job on Calvin. That play in the end zone was spectacular even if it didn't generate a lot of notice.
Hey Kevin,Is it time to start tracking the Packers' climb up the all-time consecutive victories list? I think the Patriots hold the record of around 24, which would mean the Packers would break it with an undefeatred seaon and a Super Bowl win.
I believe it's 21, so yes, they are getting close.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.