Hi everyone. Sorry I'm 1 minute late. Still calming down after this morning's Nike uniform reveal. Let's get to it.
How long until we find out if Leshoure is suspended 4 games or not?
The NFL does all of that in private, so we won't hear anything definitive until the process is complete. The question is whether these two incidents make him a Stage 2 member of the NFL's substance abuse program. A lot of unknowns at this point. But it's possible we won't know until shortly before the season.
If they legalize weed, would the NFL still ban it and test for it?
I doubt "they" will legalize it, so pretty much a moot point.
KS, I'm in FLA over spring break -- do I need to run over to Percy's hometown in panic now that our only other offensive superstar is going under the knife -- or can I just rest easy and go to the beach?
Sounds like it is really minor surgery. He'll be ready for OTAs, he says, let alone training camp.
If you were forte would you be upset? or is it just business?
What we don't know is the exact value of what the Bears have offered, and what he's turned down. Has there been no agreement because the Bears haven't made him a serious offer? Or is it because he is seeking to be one of the top 2-3 highest-paid running backs in the game? We don't know that. I don't think Forte should be mad that the Bears have spent money on his backup unless they aren't offering him a fair deal. A fair deal, to me, would be something north of what the Seahawks paid Marshawn Lynch.
Do you see a chance the lions go for a similar 3 safety approach like the giants do with their similarly dominant front-four pass rush?
They would need three quality safeties to do that. At this point, the have one -- Louis Delmas.
Is LeShoure done in Detroit, and pretty much everywhere else? That would be too bad, but I can see it.
I doubt it. In the end, marijuana citations don't tend to end NFL careers. That's not a commentary on what I think, or don't think, of marijuana use. It's just the reality of how it works in the NFL. Teams aren't going to give up on a second-round pick unless it becomes a huge problem over an extended period of time.
Between The Packers, the emergence of the Detroit Lions, and the Bears greatly improving their offense this season it looks like the Vikings might be left in the dust. Do they have any shot at competing with the other 3 teams this year?
Not this year, I don't think. They're like the Toronto Blue Jays in baseball, competing against the Yankees, Red Sox and Devil Rays in the AL East every year. Outmanned at this point.
Kevin sitting at his home computer playing solitaire watching the squirrels play out his window waiting for his phone to ring with the next big scoop. Is this an accurate discription of your typical day?
You forgot the bon bons for snack and the TV running Lost in a loop.
What needs will the bears address in the draft?
I don't know what they will address, but I do think their offensive line needs help and they also need to look at defensive end, like most teams.
Should I be comfortable with my current running backs or should I go after one via trade or the draft?
Right now it's pretty thin, especially considering how hard of a time James Starks has had staying on the field. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a running back or two come out of this draft.
Does the Mikel Leshoure incident have any precedence that you can think of? (Similar instances of players getting caught twice in a short amount of time and failing to show up to their court hearing)
Not that exact order of events, but you would be surprised at some of the things you see and report on as an NFL writer. I was covering the Vikings when the Whizzinator happened. Enough said.
Kevin, What did you see from Tramon Williams and Sam Shields last year that looked different from their superbowl season where they looked very promising? Was it just a less pass rush and poorer safety play?
They both seemed to have tackling issues. In Tramon's case, I think the shoulder he hurt in Week 1 really had a bigger impact than he let on. Not sure on Shields. The Packers really need him to turn it around this offseason.
Kevin, with the changes in the Vikings' front office structure, how do you feel that will impact their decision-making process (if at all) on draft day?
Spielman was in charge of the draft before he became GM, so I don't see any huge changes. The only thing is that he'll be free to address the roster as he sees fit. When Childress was the coach, he clearly vetoed some paths -- such as drafting a quarterback and heir to Brett Favre.
Do you think the Vikings are playing this offseason correctly? Possibly saving money for next year when they will have less areas to spend the money on?
It's almost impossible to predict who will be available a year from now, considering possible extensions, the use of the franchise tag and even a player's performance trailing off. I just think the Vikings will follow a path that focuses on getting their blue-chip players in the draft, not via free agency. They might have to take some early lumps because of it.
Kevin, seriously, all the talk about Minnesota finding a trade partner who wants Tannehill is just predraft fodder, right? It would be great for Minnesota, but I don't see Cleveland reaching for him in the #4 spot. Their head office is smarter than that. Miami knows this and will be plenty happy to take him at #8. Thoughts?
It requires the assumption that teams will panic over the quarterback position, which has happened before and will happen again. This time? I don't know.
What kind of punishment is Mikel Leshoure looking at after being caught twice in 2 months with an illegal substance and now not showing up to his court date? Does anything like this have a precedence that you can think of?
Anywhere from noting to a fine to a four or even six game suspension. We don't know his placement in the NFL's confidential substance abuse program, which provides the structure for any discipline.
Kev: With the giant monetary change at the front end of the draft, why haven't we seen any changes in the trade value chart?
That's a fair question. I'm not sure how many teams use that chart anymore. But if you have a pick at the top of the draft, I think you're more likely to use it than trade because it's not nearly as cost prohibitive.
I have it the NFL schedule will be released 3 weeks from today. Is that what you're hearing??
I have not, but generally it occurs 10-14 days before the draft.
Would Tollefson play OLB or DE in Green Bay?
I would guess OLB. He is visiting the Raiders now after completing his Packers trip last week.
How much would the new nike jerseys take off my 40 time?
Depends if you were wet or not. They're 50 percent lighter when wet than the old ones, but only 30 percent lighter than the old ones when dry. Wait a minute...
My opinion is that it would be a real mistake for the Vikings not to draft Kalil. Whats yours
I just think it comes down to the fact that he'll be the best player remaining in the draft when they select. If their scouts think otherwise, than I would accept that. But if they choose a lesser player because of the position he plays, then it will be a real mistake for sure.
The new Vikings stadium conceptual picture, I think, shows quite well what the stadium would look like surrounded by fireworks. Do they do other versions - say, during a blizzard, or in a post-apocalyptic zombi-scape?
Ha! They did have one from a sunny day that featured fans lazily sitting on a greenscape under big trees. Clearly that would never happen in Minnesota.
Why would ESPN publicize Morris Claiborne's wonderlic score? All it does is embarrass the guy for no good reason.
That isn't for me to decide. But I will say that generally speaking, news isn't passed through a "comfort" filter. If it's important, it should be published. In the case of the Wonderlic, it's important to publish it with the right context, which I think it was.
Kev you sort of already commented on this as best as you could but can you give us specific names as to the guys you would have grabbed in the bloggers mock had you been there?
I made the picks on Kalil for the Vikings and Martin for the Bears. I was fine with Gilmore for the Lions but probably wouldn't have taken Konz for the Packers. Off the top of my head, maybe Brockers for the Packers.
Gut feeling: Nick Collins is ________ next season
not with the Packers. ... I don't have any insight other than hearing McCarthy appear very conflicted about it. A lot of circumstantial warning signs, but no facts as of yet.
How many questions do you typically field during one of these chats, on average?
Not sure. But I'm actually trying to slow down and take more than 2 seconds to think about it.
In the long term, does the NFC North figure to be a dominant division for years to come or should fans expect a return to the days when two or three teams a season would serve as a doormat for the rest of the conference?
The quarterback situation in this division is as good as any in the NFL when you consider that Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford are all still below 30. That alone should keep this thing moving forward for some time.
if you could make one rule change. what would it be?
Actually asked some people at the owmers meetings the same question. One that I got from a lot of people: Allow defensive backs to use their hands after five yards. Gives them a fighting chance.
was there any evil plan to move the vikings to LA that was discussed at the owners meeting?
No. The LA market is not ready for an NFL team, according to the league. It sounds like most people in the NFL think the Vikings are going to get it done in Minnesota.
Do I draft competition for Phil Loadholt??
Probably not your highest priority, no.
whats your wonderlic score?
I've never applied for a job that required me to take it. And to be clear, as I put on Twitter today, I don't think test scores correspond to how someone plays football, even at quarterback. They're not to be ignored, necessarily, but they're not indicative of much either.
Kevin, considering the question from Norman (NY), do you think it's possible that Claiborne's low Wonderlic score could cause him to slip in the first round of the draft?
No. I agree with those who think it was leaked by someone who has a pick below, say, 5, in hopes that someone with a top-5 pick will feel public pressure to pass over him. Not going to happen to the best cornerback available in a league where pass defense is so important.
"It requires the assumption that teams will panic over the quarterback position, which has happened before". Just like when the Vikings panicked last year and saddled themselves with Ponder? Btw, the rest of the division thanks them for that.
Frankly, yes. That doesn't mean it was the wrong decision. It just means that QB is the one position where the usual rules can't apply. No one thought Ponder was the 12th-best player in the draft. But you draft for need when your need is a quarterback.
This is becoming a pass happy league and teams are drafting and placing higher importance in defenses that can defense the pass. Do you think in 5 -10 years there will be a team to slowly start taking advantage of the lack of a quality run defense. Thus completing the cycle.
It's a good question and actually the topic of a story I'll be pursuing this summer. But the bottom line is that you can score a lot quicker with the pass than with even a really good running game. And the rules will remain in favor of that for some time. This may be one trend that doesn't cycle.
Sorry, I haven't been paying enough attention. The most current proposal under discussion, does it involve the Vikes playing at the HHH Surgical Theatre or TCF while a new stadium is built?
Both. They're hoping to limit the time at TCF to one or two seasons.
Nick Collins is a perfect example of how the Wonderlic doesn't mean all that much for DBs. His score was in the 9-12 range and we all know what happened when he wasn't there to organize/lead the secondary last year.
I don't know what his Wonderlic test score was, but there is no doubt about the role he played back there.
Lamichael James to the Lions is making a whole lot more sense now after leshoure's incident
The question is if the Lions just heard about this on Monday or if they were aware a while back.
But 60% of the time the new jerseys work every time!
Illegal in 9 countries!
And quite pungent.
What do you think of the moves the new Gm has made in Chicago and what do you think of the organization seeming content to stay with their fairly crummy o-line?
I think the moves have been appropriate and that the Bears have got decent value for the skill they've brought in. They clearly think that Mike Tice's scheme will help the offensive line block better. But if they don't address the line in the draft somehow, it will be surprising.
How come everyone is down on Alex Green? He was injured too early last season to be considered a bust. I thought he looked decent.
I don't think anyone is down on him. He just hasn't played. How much faith can you put in someone with no experience and is coming off a torn ACL?
I've always heard that NFL guys were laughing at that trade chart pretty much since it was introduced. It never made sense that there would be static values between drafts of different players. Do you really think any team was actually using it?
They would deny it. But you would be surprised at how many trades have roughly lined up with those values.
Everything I've heard about Tollefson is he's Aaron Kampman 2.0. That didn't exactly work out well at OLB. You see the Packers going a different route?
I would take Aaron Kampman 1.0 or 2.0 over what the Packers used at OLB opposite Matthews last year.
Does your opinion on Thompson selecting Konz in the first round change if the Packers are able to sign Tollefson? By most accounts, Konz is actually considered head and shoulders above the rest of the centers and I think it wouldn't be outside of TT's norm to pick him there. It would solidify the O-line for a while given the youth already on the roster.
I guess I thought that the Saturday signing would free Ted up from the near-requirement that he draft Konz. It allows him to find a center at a lower round that might need some development before he's ready to play. But it all depends on Ted's evaluation of Konz and the rest of the class. I don't think he's the only guy in this draft who can become a starting center.
True or False: Death of the Packers going forward=receivers and TEs dropping passes
False. That can be fixed much more easily than a weak pass rush.
Now for the important question, and frankly I'm surprised you haven't received a million questions on this.. why aren't the packers players holding offseason workouts? I'm getting nervous Kevin.
Yes, imagine how much better they could have been....
should the lions draft a rb this year
I think it's a real possibility even without the Leshoure drug issue.
OK folks, a few more here on this busy day.
Is not the low score of Claiborne on the Wonderlic more of an indictment of LSU and college football in general than it is of him?
I don't think the Wonderlic is designed to measure education. It supposedly measures intelligence. But again, there have been reputable studies done that suggest the results don't correspond to NFL success.
Will Quarless play this year? How about Sherrod?
Both players are on track to be ready for training camp, which is admittedly a long way off.
Ok everyone, we've about wrapped up here. Have a great week!