Hi everyone. Let's get to this....
Hi Kevin. How is Jasper Brinkley looking at MLB for the Vikings so far? Is he able to practice 'full steam ahead?' If not, who is most likely to step in there?
He was full-steam ahead. Strong vs. the run. But as we've discussed on the blog today, he is in essence a part-time player assuming the Vikings take him off the field in nickel situations.
Can Marshall Newhouse handle the responsibility of protecting Aaron Rodgers' blind side?
He was up and down during the time I was at Packers training camp, but it's worth noting that most LTs would struggle at some point in practice against Clay Matthews. I think Newhouse will be adequate, but I'm not sure it's time to consider him in the class of Chad Clifton as a 10-year starter.
Hey Kevin what have you seen from Jerel Worthy, Nick Perry, and Casey Hayword thus far in training camp? Any chance of any starting the season 1st on the depth chart? I know the Pack have depth at cornerback but not a standout second string corner. Judgeing from last years productivity from the DE spot it wouldn't suprise me to see Worthy starting, your thoughts?
Worthy and Hayward had flashes when I was there, and Perry looked like he was still trying to figure out the OLB spot. But I would expect Perry to start in Week 1, and for Worthy to at least be a defensive tackle in the nickel, which the Packers use upwards of 70 percent of the time. Hayward will get his chance, but it might not be right away.
What player or players impressed u the most at viking training camp?
Kyle Rudolph looks like he's going to take off this year and be a big-time player.
Jahvid Best. Shocked, but not surprised. If he wasn't cleared a week ago, which was nine months after the concussion, why should we expect a different result one, two, or three weeks later? I'm beginning to think he's done.
It's definitely a reasonable line of thought, especially without knowing any of the medical specifics. My guess is that he has to hit a certain medical marker and has been getting closer to it, but isn't there yet. Guessing that's why the Lions thought he was on track for training camp when it turned out he was not.
Don't blow us off again, jerk. Do your job.
And by taking the time to send that, I'm guessing you were not doing yours?
Rest assured that when I can't do this chat, it's almost always because I'm doing something else for my job.
I feel like Kellen Davis could have a serious break-out year at TE for the Bears if he's actually used correctly. Do you think a 40 catch / 500 yard / 8 TD type season a possibility for him?
It's hard to predict big numbers for any pass-catcher on the Bears not named Marshall or Bennett, whom Cutler has clear rapports with. Davis could easily have a career year, but his past numbers aren't that impressive.
Bill Bentley is impressing for the Lions, what are they chances he starts opposite of Chris Houston game 1?
They'll want to see how he does in the preseason, but certainly there is no one who has grabbed hold of that spot yet.
Let's say my nightmare becomes reality and Urlacher isn't ready to go for Week 1. Who would the Bears starter LB's be (other than Briggs) and how big a drop-off in production do you expect?
I would guess they would use Nick Roach at MLB and Geno Hayes on the outside. And the drop-of would be significant. The Bears were pretty bad in 2009 when Urlacher dislocated his wrist and missed 15 games, and not much has changed from a depth perspective since then.
If MN primarily runs 2 TE set-With the quickly emerging Rudolph and healthy John Carlson, Harvin and post suspension Simpson, do Vikes worry much about lack of WR depth as much?
Not if everyone stays healthy, which is not what's happened so far with the Carlson sprained knee and the Childs double-knee injury. That's why depth is an issue.
Over-under: 2.5 teams average 30 points from the North?
I'll take the under. That's a high margin.
How much do you think Cutler, Tice, and Phil Emery hate Mike Martz and Jerry Angelo for running me out of town right now? Cutler, Forte, Marshall, and Olsen = elite at every skill position on offense.
I think you answered your own question there. An example of something that should never, ever, happen in the NFL. You have to find a way to use your good players.
Kevin, do you think there's any real chance that the Bears release/trade Chris Williams? He hasn't panned out, he's not a starter on the Tice's depth chart, and most importantly, it wasn't Phil Emery that invested a first round pick in him. Time to cut bait and move on?
He has a value as a backup at both tackle (and guard) positions assuming there is no hard feelings on either side. I'm not sure if that's the case or not, though. I would trade him if there was a sense that he didn't want to be there.
Curious if you think the Bears are going to improve as much as all of the pundits think. As a fan of a young Lions team that made the playoffs last year, I don't see why the Bears will supposedly pass them. The Lions are basically adding two draft classes to their good team from last year.
The argument mostly has been that the Lions passed the Bears last season in large part because of Cutler's injury. With Cutler's return, we revert back to where it was before that point. But as we say, that's why they play the games....
Which NFCN rookie player you've seen so far has impressed you the most?
Haven't been to the Lions yet, so have to exclude them at the moment. I would say Matt Kalil. Doesn't look like a rookie and holding his own against Jared Allen in practice.
Kevin, great job keeping us informed during the off-season. Should Bears fans be worried about Urlacher? He's getting up in years, and while still playing at a high level, I think it's fair to think that he may miss start or two this year, with no replacement in sight. Should we worry about the lack of depth at LB, combined with Urlacher not being 100% right now?
It's hard to know exactly what's happening here. Is his knee really giving him problems? Or did the Bears work him hard early with the idea of giving him extended down time thereafter? But regardless, you're right, the Bears sure didn't plan to be without Urlacher this season for any amount of time. They have no short- or long-term plan in place there.
With both Jared Allen and Percy Harvin in the last 2 years of their deals, and the Vikes in "Re-Build" mode, any chance either of those players seeking a trade if the team doesn't have a winning season this year?
Well, Harvin has already asked once but apparently rescinded. Allen has said nothing but the right things, but I wouldn't blame him at all if he were privately frustrated with the team's short-term direction.
So with Berry only playing .5 game in 2010 before being solid last year and having the same OTAs/TC as Bentley, Bentley could be a solid CB for the Lions this year.
Especially playing behind that defensive line.
Do you see KVB getting less snaps this year since the Lions plan on using Suh and Fairley at DE more often?
Well, in that scenario whoever is playing defensive end moves inside. I don't see KVB's playing time changing much one way or the other. He was around 68 percent last year and that sounds like a good number for 2012.
This is a simplification, but bear with me. The Packers appear to have one corner that can hit/tackle (Bush), one that can run (Shields), one with ball skills (Hayward), and one guy that does it all, just not consistently (House). If nothing changes, which do you go with if you're McCarthy?
That is oversimplified, but I think it will be House with Hayward on his heels. I think Bush opened with the first team just to reinforce that young players don't get handed anything.
Does Chicago have enough receiving corps and balanced O-line to put up some of the points the Packers are putting up? They are set at RB
I think they can definitely be explosive, yes. Will they match the Packers point for point? Not sure.
Kevin, it seems you haven't mentioned my concussion. What's the latest?
You are right. Sounds like you're out for the San Diego game. The frequency of concussions in the Packers' training camp means one of two things: They're having an exceptionally physical camp or their standards for "concussion" have gotten much more sensitive in light of recent trends in the NFL.
Kevin, you know I respect your opinion. I'm concerned that Javhid Best could be forced into retirement because of his concussions or maybe not able to play this season. Should I go out NOW and get one of the free agent RBs available or give the other young RBs a chance first? THoughts?
Hahaha. I don't think there is any rush at this point. If you miss out on Cedric Benson, oh well. You know?
How does a player (Finley) suffer a concussion in a non contact practice?
Sort of my point on the sensitivity of the concussion issue these days.
Are the Bears making a mistake naming Webb as the starting left tackle yet again this year?
He's probably the best alternative they have. If they made a mistake, it wasn't seeking a better alternative during the draft or free agency.
Kevin, how important or unimportant are "official" depth charts at this point in training camp?
I wouldn't take much if anything from them. No one is looking to tell their opponents which backups they value and which ones they plan to cut just yet.
Any thoughts on how the Bears plan on using the tight end in Tice's offense? The rookie from Temple sounds like he's been impressive in camp.
Rodriguez has been impressive. I think he'll use them in a traditional way and they'll certainly be options in the passing game. Tight ends won't be excluded, but they will have to compete with a lot of other people in the passing game for opportunities.
With regard to the franchise tag, why hasn't it just been extended to a two year contract? Owners get to keep their best players, and players get more job security. Obviously it would need to be bargained for, but that seems like a win/win to me.
Giving two years of guarantees instead of one is a lot more expensive proposition. Guessing owners would prefer the option of making the decision each year.
Kevin: Is it a concern that Carlson is dealing with another injury? With the loss of Childs the Vikes really need both TE's healthy to keep the pressure off Percy, agree?
Agreed. This injury doesn't sound serious, but when a player who missed the previous season reports to camp and immediately suffers another injury, you start to wonder...
Are you going to tell Lions management they are in cap hell when you visit Training Camp?
Naw. They'll figure it out.
Why did Devin Thomas retire?
Sounds like he wasn't into it. Simple as that.
Wheres the auto update!
Oh no, again?
What deadline do the Bears have before shutting down Knox for the entire season? When will we expect him to go on IR or are the Bears still rolling the dice and deciding not to make a decision until that fateful day? How will that impact their 53 man roster?
They can leave him on the PUP for the first six weeks of the season and then they'll need to make a decision. I would be surprised if he plays in 2012.
You had a little blurp in your Bears Camp Confidential, but do you think the Bears defense will hold up it's end of the bargain this year? They are getting quite old and by all accounts McClellin has looked down right bad so far.
I think they have another year left with this core but need to start planning for the next generation a little more aggressively.
Did camp provide any impressions of what kind of role and how much playing time 2nd year back Brandon Saine will see? I feel he was highly underutilized in college, especially as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, and I would hate to see the same happen in the NFL.
He was sharing the No. 2 role with Alex Green, but I think the Packers are pretty excited about Green and will play him as much as they can.
Do you see the Bears being a pass first team this season?
Tice runs what he calls the "DUH" offense. He wants to be balanced enough to do whatever the defense gives him. If its lined up to play the pass, they'll run and vice versa.
Marshall or Jennings?
Did you see anything in camp that made you reassess your NFCN power ranks heading into preseason games?
Not yet, no, but I'll be in Detroit later this week.
I've heard D.J. Smith has been step for step on coverage of Jermichael Finley in camp. Could he be a secret weapon for the pack at stopping teams that have big TEs?
He's a pretty small dude but tough and very instinctive. To this point it appears the Packers are committed to Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk as their top two inside linebackers, but things could change.
Reiff or Cherilus at RT? And will this impact the running game depending on who's job it is?
At this point, it sounds like Cherilus has maintained his hold on the position.
Hey Kevin, the first time a Viking coach named, Les, lost 13 games in a season he was fired. Frazier survived but assuming the worst for the 2012 Vikings who on the current coaching staff would get the HC job if Frazier was fired mid-season?
I'm not sure if there is a good candidate for that, even though Mike Singletary is on the staff. I wouldn't think Frazier will be fired during the season, partly for that reason, and partly for the fact that he'll be judged mostly on progress, and it's hard to judge that before the full 16 games are done.
How nervous are you about GB's o-line depth/left tackle position? Any idea when Sherrod will be healthy enough to push Newhouse?
I mean, most teams would struggle if their starting left tackle wasn't available. The Packers would be in a luxury position if Sherrod was ready to practice. It sounds like it's going to be at least another week on him and probably longer.
Kevin, thanks for updating us on Matt Kalil. How's Harrison Smith doing in training camp? Might he be an opening day starter for the Vikings?
He's showing he belongs and it's just a matter of time before he's locked in with the first team, in my opinion.
How big of a blow is the injury of Greg Childs to the Vikings? The guy is ultra talented, but can't seem to catch a break.
Mostly that they saw him as a guy who would develop into an everydown player at some point, and possibly immediately with the Simpson suspension looming. But in the end, he was a fourth-round draft choice. If your program is hanging on instant success of fourth-round draft choices, then you're awfully thin.
To Pat (Chicago). Tice isn't going to put Webb in bad positions time and time again like Martz did. Big difference in scheme. Webb is not that bad.
Yes, I would think Tice will do a better job of protecting Webb. But at some point he'll have to block a good pass rusher 1-on-1. It's part of the job.
'Rest assured'? You taking writing lessons from Sid?? How many wins does Frazier need to keep his job? Or is he safe this year??
IS kevin Smith going to hold on to the RB 1 Spot all year in Detroit?
"Listen, sir ...." ... Frazier is not safe if the Vikings go backwards or don't show any improvement. Otherwise, I'm guessing he'll get the third year of his deal.
Sorry about the double-question posting. On the Lions' RB situation, I think there's every reason to believe Leshoure, at least, will be ready to play some point soon.
How much improvement can be expected from Ponder this season?
I think he'll be better this season but still the fourth-best QB in this division. Tough division.
I'm thinking Andrew Quarles spends the entire year on the PUP list and Derrick Sherrod spends the first 6 weeks on the PUP list. Agree or disagree?
Quarless doesn't look like he's anywhere close, but putting a guy on IR for a season can be a strategic move relating to roster management as much as it is a reflection health. If Sherrod doesn't get on the field soon to practice, then PUP for six weeks isn't out of the question at all.
As with all training camp propaganda, Riley Reiff sounds like he's been very impressive. I've asked you this before, but I'm wondering if you have a different take at this point as to whether or not Reiff starts at RG or RT week 1.
Doesn't sound like he's worked enough guard for that to be a possibility. And unless Cherilus is hurt, I don't think it will happen there, either.
Kevin, are you hearing any talk around camps regarding the NFL planning on using replacement officials? It looks like it could be a disaster if they don't reach a deal.
Everyone is trying to say and think the right things. They don't want to insult the people that might be officiating their games in Week 1. But I think everyone knows what's up. You can't pull people up five levels from where they've been and expect their performance to improve by five times.
How has Alshon Jeffrey looked so far in camp? I keep hearing the Bears hype up Hester, but if Jeffrey is legit opposite Marshall, with Forte getting touches as well, when will Hester get the ball?
Jeffery is an interesting player. He doesn't flash because he's kind of a long loper/strider. If that makes sense. In the end, I think he'll be a productive receiver even if he isn't make huge plays on a weekly basis.
There have been alot of reports out of Green Bay that Cobb looks like the biggest play maker on the field. Did you get the same impression? Is he in for a breakout year?
He looked really good and confident. It's just a matter of how (and how often) they get him on the field.
Ok, a couple more here.
you think they would ever use McClellin to replace Urlacher?
No. If he is ever moved to linebacker, hell play on the outside.
How much coverage of Thursday's preseason game are you gonna provide?
We'll have a preview post Thursday afternoon and then a wrap-up Friday morning. I'm flying back to blog HQ from Detroit on Thursday night so I'll have to watch the DVR at some point in between.
Regarding Reiff, is it possible he sits all year if Backus and Cherilus stay healthy? The O-Line is all about continuity, you can't just rotate guys between plays like the lions do on the D-Line (or can you?)
Yes, it's very possible and quite likely the best-case scenario.
Speaking of the PUP list, Kevin, do you think there's any chance Adrian Peterson starts the regular season there? Sounds like he's making great progress recovering from his injury...
PUP means sitting out the first six weeks. Even if he is not going to be ready for Week 1, it's possible he'll be ready before Week 7.
ESPN should do a contest where you followers can win a chance to spend a day with you blogging... or are you really boring in person?
Zzzzzzz ... Wait, what?
Better 1st round pick so far. Nick Fairley, Derrick Sherrod or Gabe Carimi or Christian Ponder?
Interesting. There isn't a long list of accomplishment in that group. Best first-round pick when it's all said and done? I'll say Carimi. If he's healthy, he's already the Bears' best lineman for 2012.
Ive heard reports that some of Walsh's Kicks could easily be good from 60 yards. What did you see from him? whats his impact, especially on special teams?
Very, very strong leg. He hit a 55-yarder that had at least 10 more yards on it.
Is Dezmon Moses for real or was it just spring hype? Did you notice him at all during your stay in GB?
A little bit. What you notice is the coaches giving him the respect of some turns with the 1s. With that said, weren't we in the same spot with Vic So'oto last year?
Ok everyone. Thanks so much!