OK kids, let's do this....
Jaws' ranking of Matthew Stafford is ridiculous.
I was a little surprised also, but I guess Jaws looked at Stafford as having two disappointing seasons and one great one. Needs another to even it out? Not sure, but that's my guess. I think most teams would fall over themselves to install Matthew Stafford as their long-term starter and I really don't care whether he is a top-10, top-8, top-15 or whatever.
Why does everyone think the Lions' defense will be so bad when they have the best defensive line in the league?
Not sure if people think it will be "bad," but it had the same DL last year and you saw the results. I guess a healthy Nick Fairley could change that, though.
You've been slacking recently.
Any rookie or 2nd year player stand out to u at vikings mini camp?
Greg Childs definitely looks the part of a big receiver, but Jarius Wright got a little more talk during minicamp, from what I heard.
I want to thank the Bears for becoming the media favorite this year. I was worried how the Lions would deal with expectations after the success of last year. Although we won't be stealth bombers, we can at least fly under the radar. Under promise, over deliver.
Good point. But it's legit and not just hype. The Bears have a chance to be really, really good.
Can we not spend the whole chat talking about Adrian's arrest, for the simple fact that we know nothing about it at this point and it's not that interesting? Let's talk about the home run derby instead, it's much more interesting...oh wait...it's brutal.
You're the one who brought it up. :)
With the state of re-building in Minnesota, what's your suggestion about how to bring back AP. He'll start the year on the PUP list, but with everyone wanting to evaluate Ponder, wouldn't a more accurate assesment come if AP wasn't there? See if the kid has what it takes to win in the division which has 3 Pro-Bowl caliber QB's?
Play him when he's ready. It's the only credible way to run a team.
What are the chances of Peterson missing some play time due to his ?playtime" in Houston?
Almost none, from what I understand.
With this being Mike Tice first job as OC for the Bears, what should we expect from a Mike Tice offense?
What became clear this offseason is that Tice isn't bringing any sort of hard-core scheme as much as he his pulling together a playbook of plays that will work best for his personnel. A lot of the passing game will look like what the Broncos did with Jay Cutler in 2007 and 2008. But stylistically, Tice will not forget about the running game. He has a lot of philosophical agreements with what the Redskins used to do with Joe Gibbs.
Bears won't be Packer good this year. No way.
If by "Packer good" you mean 15-1, then yes, I agree.
why does everyone think the bears are that much better than the lions? they only added a few pieces and their defense is getting old
They added some significant pieces and, frankly, they were better than the Lions last year until the Cutler injury.
Kevin, love the blog. I was wondering, what does the time frame look like for Anthony Hargrove's case? Is there any chance, if he does win, that he would be available for week 1? If so, how do you see him fitting in along that line with so many new (on the field, that is) faces?
Thanks. I guess the unknown is whether he will seek a temporary injunction to continue playing while the rest of his case plays out. That's what happened with the Williams Wall during the StarCaps lawsuit. It's hard to imagine the full court case getting done, including all appeals, etc., by the time the season starts. I would think he would have a prominent role as a defensive end in base and also get to play tackle in the nickel. They signed him for a reason.
Is avril really that good to get the kind of money he's asking for?
Not sure anyone has ever found out exactly what he's asking for. But pass rushers are one of the most highly-paid sub-positions in the NFL. There aren't many guys who can consistently do it well.
With driver getting older will randall Cobb have a bigger role in green bays pass heavy offense
That is the expectation, although it could come at the expense of Driver or James Jones.
Kev, chances the Bears & Forte reach a long term deal by next Monday? Or does he sign his tender, play out the season and we go through this all over again or trade him or release him?
Avril expressed some optimism earlier today of a long-term deal, but we'll have to see about that. There aren't many people who think Forte will get a deal done, but stranger things have happened.
So if Childs looks the part, how much playing time do you think he sees this year?
Well, first he will have to prove he actually can do it once the pads come on. But if he is a legitimate downfield threat, he'll get to a play a lot. If this is a fantasy-related question, I wouldn't lock him in quite yet, though.
do u think blanton n smith will b the starting safeties this yr for the vikes?
Smith, for sure. Blanton? That could take a while for him to make the transition from cornerback.
Do you see the Packers declining this year? Aaron rodgers is one of the best in the league but they haven't always done a good job protecting him.
Chances are their record will be worst in 2012 than it was in 2011. Such is life after going 15-1. But I don't foresee a noticeable dip in their outlook unless injuries set in.
Doesn't Ted Thompson deserve even more credit for building the Packers to where they are with high character guys that have no sort of legal issues ?
I'm pretty sure he's recognized as one of the best GMs in football. It's hard to give him more credit than that. As for legal issues, the Packers have had some over the years but nothing like what we have seen elsewhere this offseason.
With AP not starting the year healthy, do you think this will give Percy more touches to compensate for what they didn't allow him to do last year?
Harvin got plenty of touches last year. The problem was not using him on plays when he wasn't the primary guy, so as to serve as a diversion. If Peterson isn't ready, I expected those running plays to go to Toby Gerhart.
What do you think about the chances of any of our teams picking up someone in the supplemental draft?
If you're asking about Josh Gordon, I'm not sure that anyone will be interested. All four teams have already added depth at receiver this offseason. Perhaps the Vikings could look at him, but otherwise I guess I would be surprised.
Kevin, what are your thoughts on the Vikings playing Everson Griffen at LB? Might he start opposite Chad Greenway? Do you think he may be successful at LB, given his size?
I have to believe they are thinking of using him in non-base situations. It's hard to imagine a guy that big playing 4-3 OLB, especially when he's never been in a situation to drop into coverage. They must have some specific situations in mind for him to rush the passer as sort of a stand-up defensive end.
If Jaws was looking at more then 1 year for Stafford, what stats granted the 8th spot for Culter? Cutler's's never been in the top 10 in passer rating as a Bear.
Again, I don't know for sure if that's why Jaworski ranked Stafford where he did. I will say this: It's not exactly an upset to rank Cutler ahead of Stafford for 2012.
We haven't had any squirrel updates lately!!! Where are they???
Staying out of the heat, for sure.
Willy isn't taking into account that Cutler also QB'd in Denver.
I have not heard much of casey heyward for the packers. have you heard any relevant information about hes doing, and/or the progress packers secondary in general?
You're right. There hasn't been a lot written about him, but he has been in the mix of players who could make it easier for the Packers to use Charles Woodson in more of a safety role. There are a lot of young guys in that situation, including Davon House.
I know a lot of attention has been paid to the lions' run-ins with the law, and now AP has had one too. But lets look outside the NFCN: do you think that arrests and offseason legal trouble is up league-wide from where it was 5 years ago? 10?
I honestly don't have those numbers in front of me. Generally speaking, I would say that a lot less goes unnoticed or unreported than in previous eras.
Cutler is much more versatile that Stafford.... Stafford is slow and doesnt throw nearly as well on the run or out of the pocket than Cutler does
I wouldn't call Stafford "slow," and I would note the offense calls for him to remain in the pocket. But Cutler is special when he's on the run, for sure.
Given 'Bears fever' - do you find it problematic that the Bears haven't addressed their O-line (their own qb doesn't have confidence in them) or that they have a new offensive coordinator?
Well, the OC is now in his third year with the team, so he's not an entirely new face. The offensive line is the one question mark, and you're right, Cutler doesn't yet appear convinced. But you could probably go to every team in the NFL and point to one area that could prove to be its downfall. The Bears are no different.
Do you think the Bears missed a huge opportunity to upgrade the offensive line when they passed on DiCastro in the draft? They actually had a shot at an elite talent at an extreme position of need and drafted a tweener def end instead. If there is an achilles heel, it is the offensive line.
Maybe. But pass rush is awfully important, and frankly the Bears were pretty light there with the exception of Julius Peppers. Obviously if Shea McClellin is a bust this discussion changes, but I'm OK with them choosing pass rush at that point.
Do you expect Percy Harvin to have another successful season despite the earlier grumblings?
Yes. He's a little volatile and unpredictable, but in the end he's always been productive on the field. I expect nothing less this season.
Has Kalil signed...and if not, is there any scare that he'll hold out? I thought the new CBA was supposed to make it easier to sign your first rounders...
He has not. There is a hold-up among the top 8 picks. Early to think there will be a holdout. Agents and teams will always find something to quibble about when the money starts getting bigger.
Will Cutlers diabetes come into play with his next contract, since it may shorten his career?
I would hope not. There's no reason to think his career will be shortened by diabetes, not as long as he takes care of himself. That's true of all athletes, whether they have diabetes or not.
Will Kevin Williams receive a contract extension? He was quite dominant in the second half of last season.
Recent history shows the Vikings haven't been too interested in keeping older players, whether it's Steve Hutchinson or Anthony Herrera or Visanthe Shiancoe. Kevin will be 32 in August.
kevin, give me your current odds for winning the division? i'm gonna say GB-50%, Chi-30%, Det-20%, Min-0%.
That's about right. I might increase GB to 60 and go 25 for Chicago and 15 for Lions, but that's not much different.
The Bears went defense with Shea (I agree about DiCastro btw) because that's Lovie's specialty...he also seemed to think that getting Carimi back is a way to improve the OL.
Well, you can't totally discount that. Carimi was a first-round pick last year who barely played. It's reasonable to expect him to help them get better this year.
Anyone worth paying attentoin to in the supplemental draft?
The what? Oh, it's Thursday. Long way away.
Can Antoine Winfield perform well enough to start at CB this year?
I think he'll be mostly an inside/slot guy. They'll be in the nickel a ton, but if he stays healthy, I do think he can be a good player still for 16 games.
Gut feeling: Is Christian Ponder the Vikings QB two years from now?
Two years from now. So that's for the 2014 season? I'm going to say yes.
Do you have Bears Fever?
A mild case at the moment. But they're my first stop in the 2012 training camp tour, so we'll be able to ratchet up the hype if and when necessary.
Do you agree that the main problem with the Lions maligned secondary was one of depth (heck, they had WR Rashied Davis taking snaps at CB at one point) not one of star power - and that the problem of depth HAS been addressed by the Lions with the drafting of 3 third rnd and later CB's? (If the Bears were clearly better than the Lions last year they didn't show it in that first game)
On the parenthetical first: You're right, the Lions were the better team in that first game. But when Cutler was hurt, the Bears had just trounced the Lions at Soldier Field and were a game ahead of them in the standings. We'll never know for sure, but they sure looked to be on the way to the playoffs.
As for the Lions' secondary: There are still doubts about Spievey as a long-term starter. Depth is an issue, but it wouldn't be as big of an issue if the starters the Lions had were able to stay on the field. Delmas, Houston and Berry are three players who struggled with injuries but all are being counted on as starters in 2012. Most teams will struggle if 75 percent of their defensive backfield can't stay on the field.
Any update on how Ryan Broyles knee is, or Alex Greene?
Two of the biggest injury questions of the summer will be whether those guys will open camp on the PUP. It's a safe way of easing guys back into the training camp mentality, so it wouldn't be surprising if it happens to both of them.
Do the Bears need Forte to make the playoffs this year?
Hmm. Interesting question. It's hard to discount how good he has been for them int he passing game, especially in recent years. Maybe they could make the playoffs without him, but their chances for making a deep run would be limited.
One of the biggest problems with the Bears Olin last year was Mike Martz! He didnt have the talent to run his system... not having a ton of 7 step drops and allowing Cutler to audible at the line will make a huge difference in how the line performs.
That is definitely a commonly-held thought around the Bears. We'll see if it really was a matter of scheme.
Wow!!!! Just read the report on receivers which included three Packers as having some of the highest drop rates in the league last year. Makes it even more amazing that Rodgers had such a statistically dominant year!
I believe that was for the past three years, if it's the same one I saw. (And wrote.) But yes, Driver, James Jones and Finley have all had their issues in that regard over an extended period of time.
So Cutler gets an injury excuse but Stafford was hurt for game 2 in Soldier Field and that doesn't matter? That factors into that game big time. Two pick 6s and a 3 and out that led to a Hester punt return don't happen if Stafford is hurt. Wake up Kevin. Lions are clearly the better team last year and this year
Clearly? Unfortunately, we'll never know for sure. But the Bears were playing as well as anyone in the NFL at the time of Cutler's injury. They were playing better than the Lions ended up playing at the end of the year after Stafford's finger healed, too.
I have to take issue with your contention that the Bears are number two in the division. Their line is suspect and you gotta look at Brandon Marshall. He has been with three teams so far. As far as the rest of the receivers, color me unimpressed. Throw in the aging defense and lack of Forte', where does the hype come from?
The idea that Cutler is in a better scheme for his skills, mostly. But I understand. There are two sides to every debate. We'll know soon enough.
If Carimi can't make it through this season, is it safe to say he's a bust? He did have knee issues coming out of college.
One year could be a fluke. But two years of injuries, especially if they also relate to the knee, would be something to worry about.
Do the Vikings add a Middle linebacker before training camp?
I don't think so, but they'll have a short list ready to go if Jasper Brinkely stumbles.
Kevin, are all the Vikings' draft picks signed except for Kalil?
I believe Josh Robinson is unsigned.
The Bears were playing better then the lions were at the end of the season? Really?? did you not see the absolute beat down of the Chargers in Detroit? Let me guess, they didnt have a winning record so it doesnt matter? The Bears did not play one complete game even close to that performance the Lions had that day!
How about the Lions losing to the Packers' B team in Week 17? We could go round and round all day.
the NFC is stacked this year. any chance all 3 contenders from the North make the playoffs? i say no.
Definitely going to be tough.
expectations for nick perry?
It might take him some time to adjust, but he's got a chance to clean up when he's lined up opposite of Clay Matthews.
Ok, a few more here folks.
isn't it time for the vikings to end the sharade and trade ap for somefuture draft piks so they can open the new stadium with legit contender i mean really isn't that the reason they kept him in the first place was to get anew stadium deal.
As crazy as it sounds, I'm not sure how much value he would have on the open market. A running back already has a lot of wear and tear by this point in his career, and now Peterson has two torn knee ligaments to recover from as well. He's more valuable to the Vikings than anyone else at this point.
I'll try again.... :) Any update on Jolly's reinstatement, the Packers possible interest in him or where Ryan Grant will end up?
No updates on Jolly and uncertain where Ryan Grant ends up. Probably on a team that has a running back suffer a training camp injury.
I love all this argument about "who's number 2". Glad to see people are at least sensible enough to give Green Bay their due.
Yeah, when I'm done with Bears Fever, maybe I'll have them challenging the Packers for the division title.
Last year the talk about Calvin was that he was not top 5....yet. Seems to be the same conversation about Stafford...?
That worked out pretty well for the Lions.
Is Nick Perry too big to play OLB, you listed him at 272. That's one big OLB.
It's not too big in a 3-4.
With the NFL opening up the Super Bowl to cold weather teams, what are the chances that Lambeau Field hosts another Ice Bowl?
Zilch. Not enough hotel rooms in the area, and frankly, the Super Bowl wasn't opened up to cold weather teams. It was opened to the New York market, which spent $1B on Met Life Stadium.
Which position would you envision me best suited to play? Also, I"M BATMAN.
I was going to say WR, but your utility belt might wear you down. So we'll say TE.
What other 3-4 OLB are 272? I can't think of one
I think Lamar Woodley is around there. He's technically listed at 265.
Let's talk about that Detroit secondary - Are they really any better this season?
They will be if they have better luck with injuries.
have you ever seen batman throw the batwing?
I think that bad boy is motorized, isn't it?
no motor- just an arm
OK, then it's time to re-evaluate ... which we'll do the next time we chat. Thanks so much everyone!