Chat with Kevin Seifert
Seifert joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for eight years. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and daughter.
Send your questions now and join Seifert Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (3:00 PM)
Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us. I spent part of the morning slogging myself out of snowy Chicago but all is well now. There's plenty to chat about so let's get right to it.
Do you get the feeling that tavaris and childress are playing/coaching for there jobs on sunday? Thanks, Merry Christmas!
Kevin Seifert (3:01 PM)
Hi Mitchell, thanks and same to you. Stranger things have happened, but I don't sense the Vikings are going to fire Childress if they don't win Sunday. And as long as Childress is around, Jackson will have his chance.
Kevin First of all Merry Christmas and my question is who on the Packers that is going to be a free agent gets resigned by the front office?
Kevin Seifert (3:03 PM)
Thanks and same to you, Kimberly. I think the biggest offseason contract decisions for the Packers will be whether they can extend the contract of receiver Greg Jennings and if they keep Al Harris, who is under contract but believes he will be traded.
Jr (Gilbert, AZ)
Nothing against Tom Lewand or Martin Meyhew but how can the Lions sell one season ticket package if they bring back basically the same front office staff?
Kevin Seifert (3:04 PM)
That's an excellent question, Jr. I guess they still have to decide about the coach, and a good, dynamic coach could chance the reputation of everything. But unless he's a proven winner, I don't know if fans will trust that the person picked by this front office will be qualified.
After 15 games, who, in your opinion, wins the North?
Kevin Seifert (3:05 PM)
Amazing at this point that there still is no clear-cut answer. Based on the history of Minnesota choke jobs, I'm going to guess there is a very good possibility Chicago will win it.
Doug Pretty (Waterloo, IA)
Hey Kevin, did any of the NFC North teams play their first string this week? The mistakes by all the teams were far too many this late in the season, particularly the teams striving for the postseason. The Bears overcame their mistakes, however, so I'm a little concerned about the Vikings at this point.
Kevin Seifert (3:06 PM)
Hi Doug. It sure didn't seem the starters were in, huh? It just speaks to an overall down year in the division.
Ben (Madison, WI)
Hey Kevin, what are the Vikings going to do with Darren Sharper and Matt Birk in the offseason? It seems to me that Sharper has really lost a step this year, but I think Birk has played at a high level again this year. I'd like to see them re-sign Birk and let Sharper walk. Your thoughts?
Kevin Seifert (3:08 PM)
Ben, I'm guessing they're going to let both leave. Sharper has probably seen his better days, and I've never sensed a strong connection between Birk and the Vikings' n ew regime.
Lance Briggs (Boca Raton, Fl)
Kevin, after watching the Bears in the Lovie Smith era and the Vikings this year. Wouldnt you say that special teams is a bigger part of the game that everyone thinks it is?
Kevin Seifert (3:09 PM)
The Bears have always played great special teams under Dave Toub and it was a big reason for their Super Bowl season in 2006. Toub should start getting some recognition as a head coaching candidate, especially considering the sucess of John Harbaugh in Baltimore.
Happy Holidays, Kevin! As a Packers fan, do I have anything to be optimistic about other than Rodgers?
Kevin Seifert (3:10 PM)
Same to you, Euan. I think the Packers have a decent roster and have thought so all season. They've lost seven games by four points or less, which suggests they've been in a high number of their losses. They've got a decent future but have some big issues to work through, including their pass rush.
alex, lake minnetonka
last night was horrible. having to cheer for the packers was weird enough, but being legitimately upset when the packers lost was the strangest feeling i have ever had
Kevin Seifert (3:11 PM)
Alex, I think a lot of fans feel the exact same way today.
Don't the Lions have a better chance of winning on the road than utterly depressing Detroit? They certainly have been more competitive on the road. Or is 0-16 an inevitability?
Kevin Seifert (3:12 PM)
They haven't won in Green Bay since 1991. Amazing. I guess there is always a chance, but I don't think it's very high. 0-16 seems pretty likely.
Rob (Arlington Heights, IL)
Kevin, will the G-Men bring their A-game on sunday?
Kevin Seifert (3:13 PM)
I highly doubt it. I'd be surprised if all of their starters play all four quarters. This is a different situation than the Giants faced last year against New England. And plus, I don't think they want to mess with the Metrodome turf anymore than they have to.
Do the Vikings know that they don't have to dribble the football down field? They can just run with it, they won't get a traveling penalty...
Kevin Seifert (3:14 PM)
I'll pass it along.
James Wisconsin Dells WI
Do you feel (like other writers) that Gus would have really giving us a better chance to beat Atl?
Kevin Seifert (3:15 PM)
I'll put it this way: I don't think Tarvaris is the reason they lost. He made some mistakes, but he made some plays on his own that sort of balanced that out. To me, the bigger plays were Berrian's fumble -- because it set the tone -- and the defense's inability to fall on Matt Ryan's fumble in the end zone.
Adam of Indy
The Bears have looked pretty sloppy in their last two wins, but they have found a way. If their offense starts to pick up going into next week how far do you see them going? (given the vikings collapse)
Kevin Seifert (3:16 PM)
The Bears could certainly win a home playoff game. What an advantage Soldier Field can be. To me, they can beat everybody but the Giants in the NFC. The Giants are a better version of them.
Kevin - My question for you is about the Bears...What do you think is a bigger concern this week...thier lack of front four rush which makes them rely on the blitz or Orton's inability to throw the deep ball once Hester gets open?
Kevin Seifert (3:18 PM)
I think their defensive line has shown some signs here in the second half of the season. So I guess I would go with Orton's general lack of sharpness since his ankle injury. It's not just the long passes. He's making quick, and incorrect, reads that are leading to bad interceptions.
Adam (Detroit, MI)
You seem to have an in with the NFC North, can you please urge Mr. Ford in Detroit to do whatever it takes to bring Mr. Pioli to Detroit and rebuild the Lions? Do you think there is anyway the current front office can do that? They were the people in charge of building what we have now......
Kevin Seifert (3:19 PM)
Thanks, Adam. I would say there is a ZERO percent chance Pioli comes to Detroit after las week's news, in which Ford said he would keep Lewand and Mayhew. No one would take a job like that without being allowed to hire their own people.
Brett (Houston, Texas)
Despite the mediocrity of the division, who do you think has the best actual talent? Offensively, defensively, special teams, and overal?
Kevin Seifert (3:21 PM)
When the season started, Brett, I thought the Packers had the best overall roster in the division. I stand by that, although I think Minnesota has more big-time game-changers than anyone else. But as it stands Tuesday, the Bears are the team that is utilizing its talent the best.
Rich ( sf,ca)
any news on mike browns injury?
Kevin Seifert (3:23 PM)
Nothing yet that I've heard. We'll keep checking on it.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
While Jackson's passing numbers looked OK at first glance, most of the yardage came on throws to his TE. Do you think he can ever get the WRs involved in the passing game or is what we saw Sunday about the best he can do?
Kevin Seifert (3:25 PM)
Yeah, I think that's a big question he's still facing. There seems to be no connection with Bernard Berrian, first and foremost. ... That's a step he still has to take .
I was wondering about this one play wherethe ball hit Jarrett Bush did Jarrett not hear Will Blackmon say get away orwhat ever they say
Kevin Seifert (3:26 PM)
To me, it looks like Bush was so locked in to blocking Rashied Davis that he didn't realize where the ball was on the field. And I'm not certain Blackmon called him off, either.
Jeff (Des Moines, IA)
Any chance the Lions can win next year without an overhaul in the front office?
Kevin Seifert (3:27 PM)
Not in my mind, no.
I believe the bears should have started Anthony Adams instead Dusty in the beginning of the year. The bears truly need a go to WR Dropps just seem to hurt this team.
Kevin Seifert (3:28 PM)
Yes, I've been one of many impressed with the way Adams has played. I always wondered what the allure of Dvoracek was. As for receivers, you're absolutely right. Unless Orton is going to throw every pass to the tight ends, the Bears need -- and have needed -- a big upgrade here.
Brett (Houston, TX)
Really? You think the Bears are that good? Didn't you just say, a little bit ago, that this was a down year for the division? If so, how do you see them doing so well?
Kevin Seifert (3:29 PM)
Fair point. But I look at the Bears and see that they were ahead on Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta earlier this season and proved they could play with each of them. They've beaten Minnesota already. So the only team I don't see the Bears being able to beat is the Giants.
Kyle Orton (Chicago)
No one picked us to win many games and now we are in the hunt for the Title. Gb was picked to win this division now I believe they are sitting with the record we was predicted to have.
Kevin Seifert (3:30 PM)
That's why they play the game, KO.
If the Vikings make the playoffs how far can they go? assuming the don't cough the ball up 7 times!?
Kevin Seifert (3:31 PM)
They would be a dangerous team but not a threat to go too deep, in my opinio. The loss of nose tackle Pat Williams and the remaining questions around Tarvaris Jackson are pretty big.
Kevin, what's your opinion of Ron Turner? I can't handle watching any more of his predictable play-calling
Kevin Seifert (3:33 PM)
At times I think he's really creative, and at times I think he doesn't realize his best receivers are tight ends.
Is Jordy Nelson going to be a future NFL Star?
Kevin Seifert (3:33 PM)
I don't think a star, because I think his speed is a notch below that. But everything else -- routes, hands, competitiveness -- are big-time.
better back for the next 5 years Ryan Grant or Matt Forte?
Kevin Seifert (3:35 PM)
I'd say Forte, but the way they're using him this season, he's going to wear out sometime within that timeframe.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Being that you live in the area, do you have any insight as to how Berrian likes playing for his new team? I am hoping he can find a QB that he can connect with in Minnesota because I really think he's been underutilized thus far.
Kevin Seifert (3:39 PM)
Well, the big thing is he seems to have connection with Frerotte. I'm sure he liked playing with him.
Bad WR's made decent QB's (Orton) look worse than they are, and good WR's make bad QB's look better than they are. Orton doesn't throw an accurate deep ball, but Hester has to make that catch last night. Orton should be fine as the Bears QB for the near future, but they seriously need some who can catch the ball besides Forte and the TE's.
Kevin Seifert (3:40 PM)
Agreed. It's a bad combination. Orton is a serviceable quarterback and his receivers are below average.
At this point, do you think Orton is assured the starting spot next year? I don't expect Hanie to challenge him but if a veteran became available, would the Bears bite? Of course unless their WR play improves, I don't think it matters who the qb is.
Nate - Nashville
Bears played Carolina without Steve Smith...
Kevin Seifert (3:41 PM)
Good point. But then the Panthers lost to Minnesota the following week with Smith.
How much value do you place on a team's ability to "grind out" wins? The Bears certainly seem to have it, while the Vikings always seem to find a way to mess things up.
Kevin Seifert (3:42 PM)
It can make the difference between being the playoffs and missing them.
David (Atlanta, GA)
Do you believe Leslie Frazier is going to get one of the vacant head coaching jobs in the NFL next year? He has done a great job for the Vikings (so kind of hope he doesn't), but I wish him the best.
Kevin Seifert (3:43 PM)
I agree he has done a really good job, but it all depends on how many teams have vacancies. Leslie isn't a salesman, so he probably isn't going to be the type of personality that teams looking for a P.R. boost will seek out.
Brett (Houston, TX)
Not to sound hostile, but you think the Bears can go deep, the Vikings could not - is Orton playing that much better than Tarvaris? And the Vikings held Michael Turner to a pretty average day. What gives? No disrespect intended, just honestly curious.
Kevin Seifert (3:45 PM)
No offense taken. I've just seen the Bears display more of an ability to, as we said recently, "grind out" victories than the Vikings have. Many playoff games end up being decided in the fourth quarter. I'm also totally sleep deprived and it's possible I'm making even less sense than usual.
Kyle (Ann Arbor, MI)
Do you think the NFL would step in and force Ford Sr. to make changes to help ensure that the lions are able to put a competitive team on the field next year, since Mr. Ford has proven he is unable to do so on his own?
Kevin Seifert (3:47 PM)
A lot of Raiders fans would like the NFL to do the same with Al Davis, and it hasn't been done. If a franchise is having business problems, the league will get involved. But from a competitive standpoint, it keeps its distance for fear of appearing to favor one franchise or another.
Any work on Pat Williams injury. Last I heard it was a 2-6 weeks before he can return to play. Is it closer to 2 weeks or 6 weeks before he can return to play?
Kevin Seifert (3:47 PM)
Pat has said he wants to come back in time for the playoffs, but that injury is generally close to six weeks than two.
What are the Bears' chances of picking up an established receiver? Someone like Houshmanzadeh or Anquan Boldin? Maybe even Torry Holt?
Kevin Seifert (3:49 PM)
Great question. I think there's little doubt they need to do that. Will they? I'm not sure. It seems they're gun shy after the Muhammad signing.
Nubbs ( Big Rock Road)
With Tarvaris' recent improvement do you think the VIkes would still go after McNabb in the offseason or settle for more of a Garcai type of backup?
Kevin Seifert (3:49 PM)
They would be smart to look into it, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's 50-50 at best that they would.
I've heard that at halftime yesterday Lovie gave the most inspirational and emotional speech he's given in his 5 years here. All i can say is FINALLY some emotion from him!
Kevin Seifert (3:50 PM)
Yes, a few players referred to some "yelling" at halftime, and Smith said after the game that he told the team it shouldn't go out the way it played in the first half. If Smith really did give a fiery speech, it was perfect timing.
Danieal Manning, Chicago
Hi Kevin, Just wanted to stop in and say two things: 1) I'm a beast. 2) Minnesota will lose to the Giants and we will beat the Texans.
Kevin Seifert (3:51 PM)
Actually, you called yourself the "Incredible Hulk" last night. So we'll stick with that one.
What are your thoughts on Babich? His fake blitzing drives me nuts....Pittsburgh and Baltimore do a much better job disguising there blitzes than the Bears do...I still think the talent is pretty good on D and I thought when Babich dialed up the aggressiveness in the 2nd half they proved it....what's his rep throughout the league?
Kevin Seifert (3:52 PM)
His rep through the league is that he is a facilitator for Lovie Smith. They're close friends, and the real architect/designer of the defense is Smith.
Are people really overblowing the effect of one game for the Vikings. They lost to a play-off team by 7 points. They are still 9-4 since week three and they have played several division leaders. Now Chicago's suddenly better than them because they beat a 5 win team in OT by a field goal?
Kevin Seifert (3:53 PM)
Well, it's the way they did it. So much self-inflicted damage. It's just not a good sign for a potential playoff team to make so many mistakes in such a crucial game.
Any thought on who the Lions may select with the #1 draft pick?
Kevin Seifert (3:54 PM)
My opinion for a while has been that they should trade down and accumulate picks and bodies. Unless there is a once-in-a-lifetime player out there, they need to infuse a maximum volume of talent.
It seems to me that Mike Brown and Kevin Payne are both strong-safety types, guys who are best close to the line. How can they improve in coverage?
Kevin Seifert (3:56 PM)
You're right. But until they're ready to choose one or the other and put a better cover guy at free safety, there's not much you can do in terms of coverage.
Kevin Seifert (3:56 PM)
Ok, let's do one or two more questions.
Jason sick packer fan.......
Why is it that evertime the Packers have a chance to win a game the coaching staff. Seems to pull the raines in on Rodgers and always want to settle for a field goal. I say just plain poor coaching.
Kevin Seifert (3:57 PM)
I agree that they've gotten noticeably more conservative in those situations. It's almost like McCarthy thinks he has an All-Pro kicker. Crosby is good, but you can't assume you're going to convert from 52 (the Minnesota game) or even 38 (Monday night in terrible conditions).
Kevin I hope you are doing well. You keep saying the Lions should trade down, but who would want to trade into the top spot. For the past few years it has been a posion pill.
Kevin Seifert (3:58 PM)
Thanks Bob. A trade might not work out, but I think that should be their goal. You can always find at least one team that is interested.
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
Thanks so much, everyone, for bearing with me and we'll chat soon!