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 (3:01 PM)
Hi everyone ... we're moving a little slowly here in the Upper Midwest. It was -21 here earlier (that's 21 degrees below 0), but we're warming up as we speak. Let's get to it.
Why does Babich still have a job when there are clearly better options out there? With that said why does Ron Turner have a job? Are the Bears owners so cheap that they choose to go after fringe coaches to keep prices down? I mean they are the team that gave out two different NFC Championship rings, righ. Pathetic!
Kevin Seifert (3:03 PM)
Interesting you brought this up. In a teleconference today, Lovie Smith essentially demoted Babich. He remains the defensive coordinator, but Smith is going to call the schemes during the game. That's a primary role of the DC. Babich will also coach linebackers. I'm guessing this is a clear case of a friend looking out for a friend.
TRD, Bloomington, MN
Kevin, realistically what are the vikes options next year at QB other than what they have. Cassel will cost too much in draft picks, Anderson's weaknesses have been exposed, and McNabb isn't going anywhere. Are the Seahawks really going to give up on Hasselbeck due to upcoming roster bonuses, and are the Bucs honestly going to let Garcia go (over Griese)? Those two seem like the only realistic options, and I question their availablility.
Kevin Seifert (3:04 PM)
Well, Garcia is a free agent so he can sign elsewhere unless the Bucs put a franchise tag on him, which would seem unlikely. Garcia might be their best chance for a short-term solution.
Mike McCarthy (Green Bay)
Who should I hire as defensive coordinator? Williams' Jaguar defense was not that great, why am I even interveiwing him?
Kevin Seifert (3:05 PM)
He's been successful before in Tennessee and Washington. I'm not sure if you can pin everything in Jacksonville on him. But the word is he is most likely to go to New Orleans or Tennessee, if the Titans lose DC Jim Schwartz. So it's probably a moot point.
If you had to draft for the Packers a DE or DT, which would you choose? Which player would you choose?
Kevin Seifert (3:06 PM)
Depends what kind of defense they're going to run. If they move to a 3-4, I'd go for a DE. If they stay with a 4-3, they need more help inside.
Lance Briggs (Boca Raton, Fl)
I think Mark Anderson's problems the past couple years have been mostly technique. Do you think Marinelli can bring him back to his 06 form?
Kevin Seifert (3:07 PM)
If anyone can, it's Marinelli. I don't think you can blame everything on coaching in Anderson's case. Good players, even if they're poorly coached, make plays at some time or another. Anderson hasn't done that in a while. But I think Marinelli will get the best out of him.
Love your blog, Kevin. Right up there with Dave Birkett's. Keep up the GREAT work. I'll ask my question again this week - what's the absolute latest coming out of Lions Land? Is Schwartz the leading candidate and are there other teams looking to snatch him up before we do? I'm fine with either Schwartzanator or Spagz, but I'd prefer the latter cuz he's got a cool last name. Thanks, Kev. :]
Kevin Seifert (3:09 PM)
Thanks Derek. As of yet, Schwartz hasn't interviewed anywhere else. Some people think he'd be the favorite in Kansas City if Pioli eventually takes the GM job there. My guess is the Lions have a much better chance at Schwartz than they do Spagnuolo, who is getting much more interest. Don't rule out Leslie Frazier though.
Revisionist History, Viking Nation, USA
Kevin, please take a shot at this one. Back in 2005, Childress was the consensus #1 head coaching candidate making the rounds. You've done an excellent job throughout the year highlighting the similarities/differences between Brad and Andy Reid, but as extremely disappointed and disgruntled Vikings fans will tell you, we feel like we were sold the proverbial money pit. Without risking your journalistic career, just give us some inclination that there is hope for our team under Brad's direction, because most of feel that for the second time in the past three years, the best coach on the sideline is the guy running the defense. Thank you.
Kevin Seifert (3:11 PM)
OK, RV. Here's the big picture of why you should be optimistic. The Vikings have improved by two games in each of the past two seasons. They were 6-10, then 8-8 and 10-6. I know those are just numbers, and can be attributed to a lot of different things, but I do think from a big-picture sense that Childress has the team going in the right direction. Of course, now it's like a pyramid. The higher you go, the less room there is for you at the top. We'll find out if Childress can get the team to the next step of making a deep playoff run.
Tony (Atlanta GA)
Considering the issue that Derek Anderson had with his WR's dropping passes, is it a reasonable move for the Vikings to go after him while still using the draft to select a RT and a WR?
Kevin Seifert (3:13 PM)
He would elevate their depth and the competition at the position, no doubt. But he seems ideally suited for a downfield passing offense. The west coast offense might not be his calling.
Best defensive coordinator?
Dick LeBeau or Jim Johnson?
Kevin Seifert (3:14 PM)
Wow. I go with LeBeau but not by much. They're both hugely creative, but every now and then I think Johnson takes it too far.
Black and Blue Rookies
Kev, who are some of the other promising rookies in the NFC North besides Forte?
Kevin Seifert (3:15 PM)
Kevin Smith in Detroit, Jordy Nelson in Green Bay and Tyrell Johnson in Minnesota, to name three.
What happened to KGB? One minute, he's the prime pass rusher for an up and coming defense, and the next he's on waivers with no interested takers...what gives?
Kevin Seifert (3:16 PM)
I believe it was pretty clear in training camp that the various leg injuries had robbed him of some of his speed and a lot of his quickness. That's what he used to get around offensive tackles. The Packers took a risk and tried to give him a chance to find new ways to get to the passer, but he couldn't. The rest of the league saw the same thing on tape.
Question for the GURU
What is your favorite stadium in the NFC North?
Kevin Seifert (3:17 PM)
Not sure about the Guru status, but thanks for the question. Overall, I like the atmosphere of Lambeau Field the best. Soldier Field is cool, also, but the atmosphere is a little, uh, edgier.
Kevin: any truth to the reports that the Vikings sidelines were in total disarray during their loss to Philly?
Kevin Seifert (3:19 PM)
I don't know that it was in disarray during the entire game. But I think there was a little confusion in a couple of situations, especially at the end of the first half, when it wasn't entirely clear what the strategy was.
If Leslie Frazier leaves do internal candidates exist?
Kevin Seifert (3:20 PM)
Probably the only in-house candidate would be Fred Pagac, the linebackers coach. I wonder if Childress would be interested in Philadelphia defensive backs coach Sean McDermott.
Kevin, Jim Schwartz told the Detroit media during his press conference that it's time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne.. If he is being named the head coach, is that mean the lions will draft Matthew Stafford with their first pick?
Kevin Seifert (3:21 PM)
Interesting, Chris. I thought the same thing when I read that quote. I'm planning a post on it this week. I doubt he would come out and say it, but my guess is that most new coaches would like a young stud of their own to develop ... and buy themselves a few years of patience from the owner/front office.
When will fans start to blame the players for not performing. Players like Urlacher and Vasher are prime examples.
Kevin Seifert (3:23 PM)
I've heard a decent amount of contempt for Urlacher. I think most people believe Vasher was hurt and thus attribute his down year to the hand injury.
ravens or steelers?
Kevin Seifert (3:24 PM)
I'll definitely be picking the Steelers. They look like a quintessential Super Bowl team. Powerful and physical.
Adam (Columbia, TN)
Hey Kevin...enjoy reading your work everyday!! So is Jim Schwartz going to be the man in Detroit? How did Rivera's interview go today. I am pulling for Schwartz. I have been somewhat a fan of the Lions since the Barry Sanders day and the drafting of Calvin Johnson. But if Schwartz is hired, they will become my 2nd favorite team behind the Titans. We would be losing a great coach. I think he has what it takes to be a head coach in this league. If he does get hired, any word on who he might look for his staff???
Kevin Seifert (3:25 PM)
Thanks Adam. I think Schwartz is the top candidate but that could change after the Fords meet each of the finalist. As for his staff, no official word on whom he might hire.
Kevin Seifert (3:27 PM)
By the way, Pioli to the Chiefs changes everything for the Lions. Some people think Schwartz would be his top choice. They go back to Cleveland together.
Leslie Frazier (St Loius)
How bad to you think the Vikings defense will be if I stay here and take the Head Coach job?
Kevin Seifert (3:28 PM)
You're a good coach but I also think you inherited a pretty good roster of players.
Wht are your thoughts on the Babich move? Is it a good one?
Kevin Seifert (3:29 PM)
Hmm, I don't know about that. I think it's a good thing to have him focused on linebackers. But having a head coach as the de facto defensive coordinator is pretty unusual. There are going to be a lot of opportunities for gaps in communication and continuity.
Paul (St Louis Park, MN)
Kevin- Could is be that Nolan is still up for the DC job in Green Bay? Has he officially been locked up with the Broncos?
Kevin Seifert (3:31 PM)
Nothing official has been announced to my knowledge. I guess it's possible there is a tug of war going on, but it's also possible that the Broncos just haven't gotten around to announcing it yet.
Kevin Seifert (3:32 PM)
Again, just to let you guys know, ESPN (and possibly other media outlets) are reporting that Scott Pioli is going to the Chiefs.
Kevin, Do you think because there was some in fighting among the d coaches do you think that the only option mike McCarthy had was to let go most of the d- staff?
Kevin Seifert (3:33 PM)
If I had to guess, McCarthy decided it was time to move on not only from Bob Sanders but also the scheme he's been running. So he figured to do so, you need a (mostly) fresh slate of assistants.
Tony (Atlanta GA)
Ok, I'm cool with the Derek Anderson only being suited to downfield passing. With that in mind, wouldn't that open up the offense? And couldn't that be just the thing this offense needs? Derek Anderson making the safeties play deep and giving All Day Adrian Peterson some running lanes?
Kevin Seifert (3:34 PM)
Hah, that would require a schematic adjustment, which the Vikings aren't known for.
any news on whether or not the bears are interested in tj housh? They need a wide rec in FA and a fs in the draft!
Kevin Seifert (3:35 PM)
The only indication has come from Jerry Angelo's post-season press conference. He said quarterback was a priority but not receiver.
Keep up the great Blog. Who is your pick for the Lion's job since nobody really want's it?
Kevin Seifert (3:36 PM)
Thanks Tim. Are you asking who I think they should hire? Or who do I think they will hire? If it's the former, I think they should hire Schwartz or Frazier. If it's the latter, I would guess it will be Frazier or Bowles.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
We need outdoor football back in Minneapolis. I miss the days of Chuck Foreman, Frank Tarkenton, Sammy White, Bobby Bryant, the Purple People Eaters, et. al., doing their thing in the snow.
Kevin Seifert (3:37 PM)
Yeah, especially if there is a gameday like today, when it's -21 outside.
Ryan (Berrien Springs)
How in the **** does Calvin Johnson get snubbed from the pro bowl with putting up those kinds of numbers on the worst team in the league with 5 different QB's and being doubled or tripled all the time?? Please at least ease my pain.
Kevin Seifert (3:37 PM)
Hard to argue with the guys in front of him. A good year for top receivers.
Art (Palo Alto, CA)
Kevin, I know you're not a big Tarvaris Jackson fan, but do you admit now that you (and much of the media) were too harsh in judging his performance against the Eagles, in light of what they have done to Tony Romo and Eli Manning, both of whom performed WORSE than TJack?
Kevin Seifert (3:39 PM)
Thanks for the question, Art. In general, I don't buy that line of thinking. It's a negative confirmation. Yes, the Eagles defense has played well against everyone and made some two good quarterbacks look bad. But what does that tell us about Jackson? Nothing. He also looked bad. Bad is bad. Would he have been better against another defense? We don't know that. All we know is that he wasn't good when he needed to be.
Boomfla: Clearwater, FL
Do think Farve would show back up in the NFC North with another team?
Kevin Seifert (3:41 PM)
Yes, it is officially time to start that topic again. The Bears and Vikings could conceivably be interested. But it would require the Jets releasing Favre, because otherwise he's under contract and couldn't switch teams on his own. And there is a poison pill in the trade that requires the Jets to send, I believe, three first-round picks to the Packers if they trade Favre to an NFC North team.
Kevin, Not sure what to think on the McDaniels hiring. What are you hearing within the ranks of writers, execs, players, etc?
Kevin Seifert (3:42 PM)
He's pretty well-regarded in the NFL. Smart and creative. The biggest challenge will be convincing players that he is an authority figure.
Matt (Yankton SD
what do you feel is more safe for the vikings picking up Jeff Garcia, trading for Matt Hasselbeck, drafting a QB, or sticking with Tarvaris?
Kevin Seifert (3:43 PM)
Garcia. Hasselbeck will cost a fortune and might not be available. Hoping that Tarvaris develops is a mistake they can't afford to make twice.
DO THE CHICAGO BEARS NEED A QUARTERBACK OR A BETTER HEAD COACH?.
Kevin Seifert (3:44 PM)
Lovie Smith had the Bears in the Super Bowl two years ago. I can't say it's time to run him out of town. But I will say that taking over the defense the way he did today definitely puts him on the spot in 2009.
I'm going to miss Dungy. He has always been a class act win or lose. Do you think he is coming back? And if not what coach do you think best relates to him?
Kevin Seifert (3:46 PM)
I honestly don't think he will. It really sounds like Dungy has some new, non-football goals in his life. He's got the platform he needs. If you're asking what NFL coach is most similar to him, I'd say Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Very laid-back. Very thoughtful. Not likely to loose his composure.
Matt (South Dakota)
do you think the vikings trading a second round pick for hasselbeck is too much or too little if so what do you see them trading him for?
Kevin Seifert (3:47 PM)
I don't think there's any chance he'll be available for a second-round pick. It would have to be at least one first-rounder.
Keith (South Dakota)
I don't like your assessment of TJACK. If you follow that logic then Eli shouldn't be the starter for NY next year since he played worse against the eagles with a much better running attack than the Vikes have.
Kevin Seifert (3:50 PM)
I understand what you're saying, Keith. But it's not the same. I should have made this more clear. Eli has proved that while he's not perfect, he can play well in important games and ultimately play well enough to win the Super Bowl. Those accomplishments allow him to keep his job after a game like the one he had against the Eagles. Jackson, for one, has never demonstrated that capacity. All we have are suggestions that we should give him some kind of relative break in judgment because of his opponent. I'm pretty sure the Patriots' defense in the Super Bowl was pretty good, too. And Eli defeated them.
JT (Detroit, MI)
Bowles said if hired by Detroit, he would switch the Lions to a 3-4 Defense... good move in the division?
Kevin Seifert (3:51 PM)
Yes, Bowles is a Bill Parcells disciple. They could end up being one of two 3-4 teams if the Packers switch. I think it only helps if the Lions determine their personnel is better suited for it.
Jake: (Minneapolis, MN)
Any chance Dave McGinnis ends up in GB as the DC?
Kevin Seifert (3:51 PM)
Not a bad name to suggest. I wondered that myself. But I haven't heard anything along those lines.
Jim Johnson, why is he not a head coach? Is it his age or does he just like Philly?
Kevin Seifert (3:52 PM)
At some point, like Monte Kiffin, I think he reached a point where he was very successful at what he was doing and no longer had the career ambition to be a head coach.
Brett (Houston, TX)
You really think Hasselbeck will cost a fortune? I was thinking second rounder, tops; definitely not a first rounder. With his back problems and age, I would think he would go at a reduced price, albeit slightly reduced. Or do you think a second round pick is, in fact, a fortune? Personally, for Hasselbeck, I think it's fair.
Kevin Seifert (3:54 PM)
I guess that was my immediate reaction. But you're right, he'll turn 34 during the 2009 season. But with the state of quarterbacking the way it is, and with him facing no obvious long-term impairments, I have to believe the Seahawks could get a first-rounder for him if they decide to deal him. But I could be wrong.
Donovan McNabb, Phoenix, AZ
Has anyone asked me about Chilly's role in 'developing' me as a QB? It seems like the only person spouting that line is Mr. Brad himself.
Kevin Seifert (3:55 PM)
Yes, you've been asked. And you've credited Chilly accordingly.
With none of the remaining four teams running this once popular scheme, is it time for the NFC North to move on?
Kevin Seifert (3:56 PM)
Very interesting thematic point. I think the Lions will be moving on, at least from the Tampa-2 version. The Bears, I doubt it.
Adam (burnsville, MN)
Kevin, I know Mayhew doesnt want to reveal much of his intentions, but have you heard any news on the front office position that was said to be open? What position exactly is it?
Kevin Seifert (3:58 PM)
There are a couple of thoughts on that around the NFL. Some people have been told there is an front office job open to help guide Mayhew. That person would have a talent evaluator's background but also have more experience as an administrator. Others have been told the Lions will be hiriing an assistant general manager who will work in a more traditional way for Mayhew. I doubt they know yet and it won't become clear until after this coaching search.
Kevin Seifert (3:58 PM)
Ok, one or two more questions here.
Kevin, do you see any possible way that Donovan McNabb can become a viking after this year or should i just stop dreaming about that one?
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
Only way, in my mind, is if there is come kind of contract dispute in the offseason. McNabb has made some noise about wanting a new deal.
Ben (Potomac, MD)
Will Lovie Smith me on the hot seat if 2009 is another losing season?
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
I think so, yes. Especially after today's defensive changes.
Kevin Seifert (3:59 PM)
OK everyone, thanks so much! Chat with you next time.