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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (1:00 PM)
Ok, great to see so many people here and ready to talk NFC North. If you've already sent in your question, feel free to re-submit over the next hour. Let's get to it. May the 4th be with you.
Matt (Oconto Falls, WI)
Any word on if/when the Steelers are going to release Larry Foote? He's talked about being open to returning to his hometown Lions. Putting him in the middle would actually give the Lions a pretty nice LB core for once. They'd still probably have to overpay, but I think he'd be worth it. Thoughts?
Kevin Seifert (1:01 PM)
They're definitely not keeping him, that's for sure. The Steelers told him to stay home for mini-camp, so that's an obvious sign. I agree that the Lions should be aggressive in pursuing him, considering the fact they have no viable option at this point. I'm sure he's on the down side of his career, but I would think he could give them competent play for at least 2009.
Without a first or second round pick there is a lot of added pressure on Jarron Gilbert and Juaquin Iglesias to produce because they were the "first two picks" any sense on their chances to contribute?
Kevin Seifert (1:03 PM)
It would be unfair if there is, Sean. In reality, the pressure should be on Jay Cutler as the No. 1 pick and Jerry Angelo for trading out of the second-round spot. It's fair to assume production eventually from third-round picks, but I don't think they'll face realistic additional pressure just because they're at the top.
Chris - Wausau, Wis
Kevin - when is your 1 year anniversary w/ ESPN? Can I buy you a cake?
Kevin Seifert (1:03 PM)
It's in June. Devils food works for me with extra icing.
Kevin, do you possess the magical sword to kill Brett Favre's "unretire" Grendel? If so, please feel free to use it at any time.
Kevin Seifert (1:04 PM)
A+ for creativity. Alas, I possess no such tool. I'm just a bystander and chronicler.
Kevin--Am I crazy to think that Tarvaris Jackson is actually progressing just fine and has the tools to make this team a contender? If this isn't true, shouldn't they move on?
Kevin Seifert (1:05 PM)
Nick, you are applying far too much logic to this issue. He has definitely made progress. But the question has always been this: Do you wait for a guy to develop while the rest of the roster has already passed him in terms of development?
There is no way Brett plays for the Vikings. He cares way too much about what the people of Wisconsin think about him. Maybe he hates Thompson and wants to stick it to him but there is no way right???? Right?
Kevin Seifert (1:06 PM)
It's hard to know what is going on inside his head. I do think he cares about the fans in Wisconsin, but I wonder if he thinks those fans would take his side and turn on Thompson if he signs with the Vikings.
with barnett coming back from an injury do you beleive the packers are considering picking up larry foote?
Kevin Seifert (1:07 PM)
At this point, no. Although I do think it's fair to wonder if Barnett will be back to his old self when training camp begins. Everyone is assuming he will be, but as we know there are no guarantees when it comes to ACL reconstruction.
James ( St. Paul )
I'd love to see alittle more attention given to Phil Loadholt... With proper instruction this dude could dominate at this level. He already has the physical tools, he just needs to be properly refind. What are your thoughts on this giant?
Kevin Seifert (1:08 PM)
He's definitely big. I was over there on Friday and got in on his interview session. He's almost as tall as Bryant McKinnie and definitely thicker. As for his technique and whether he's ready to start on an NFL level, I couldn't tell you that yet. The drills were in shorts and it was very basic stuff.
Matt (Houston, TX)
Kevin, even if (at this point, looking like a smaller if) Favre comes back to the Vikings, at this stage, is he really better than Sage and TJ? It sounds ridiculous to say that Favre is done, but watching him last year in a Jets uniform, he looks done. Would the Vikings be stupid to pursue him?
Kevin Seifert (1:09 PM)
I don't think they'd be stupid to pursue him, no. But I do think they need to make darn sure about his shoulder/biceps situation. He got through last season with cortisone shots, and by the end he didn't look like he could throw the ball hard anymore. You can't enter a season with him knowing there is a decent chance of that occurrence happening again.
Jeff (Wayne, NJ)
Now that the Bears have Cutler do they have any plans of getting someone he can throw the ball to? Everyone makes fun of them being without a decent QB for years but besides an aging Muhammad they haven't done anything at WR either...
Kevin Seifert (1:10 PM)
That's definitely an issue. They seem to have high hopes for Earl Bennett, but he's a totally unproven commodity. I don't get a sense that they're going to jump out an sign a veteran receiver at this point.
Ky ( Madison, Wisconsin)
Who will be in a Viking uniform 1st, Taucher of Favre? I'm bettin on Taucher.
Kevin Seifert (1:11 PM)
Interesting. I think if and when Tauscher gets healthy, he goes back to the Packers. The Vikings probably addressed that issue by drafting Phil Loadholt.
You want some meatloaf?
Kevin Seifert (1:12 PM)
Mom! The meatloaf! What is she doing? I never know what she's doing in there.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
So if Favre comes to Minnesota it's safe to say the John David Booty era is over before it begins, correct?
Kevin Seifert (1:13 PM)
Long live the JD Booty era.
Ron Burgundy: Brick, where did you get a hand grenade? Brick Tamland: I don't know. Should the Lions take a chance on Pacman? Shwartz knows how well he can play.
Kevin Seifert (1:14 PM)
No doubt Schwartz is aware of Pacman's ability on the field and his issues off it. I don't foresee a reunion. They need to keep a tight perimeter.
Am I missing something? How could the Bears be so aggressive to get Cutler and Pace, be satisfied with an aging defense, then NOT go get a veteran wide receiver? Aren't they built to win now (gulp)?
Kevin Seifert (1:16 PM)
Agreed, and I felt that way even before they traded for Cutler. Angelo made a half-hearted attempt to trade for Anquan Boldin, but for now it looks like Cutler's best weapons will be his tight end and running game.
Luke, Twin Cities
I think last season with jets and this season with the vikings would be completely different scenerios. The jets were counting on farve to make cotchery and those around him better, and win games. The vikes would be counting on Farve and his reputation keeping 9 guys out of the box and using AP, Chester and their D to win games. The QBs they have now dont do that, Farve even at 40 could. Thoughts?
Kevin Seifert (1:17 PM)
It's the same scenario in one respect: The condition of Favre's arm. He played well last year early in the season. Whether he's with the Jets or Vikings, defenses won't have to worry about him if he can't throw the ball with zip.
Your chats are very Viking heavy, with the only Bears questions being very obvious. I think the old "Cutler has no one to throw to has lost it's luster."
Kevin Seifert (1:18 PM)
I'm taking them as I get them...
Do you think Hester will be the most to benefit from Cutler outside of Olsen/Forte? I believe he's going to have a breakout year. Minimum 75 catches, and 900 yards, with 6 TDs.
Kevin Seifert (1:20 PM)
Ah, thanks. I do think Cutler throws a much more accurate deep pass than Orton did. That alone should help Hester.
nate (madison, wi)
im really excited about clay matthews and his ability to cover opposing tightends and backs, but im allitle worried he wont be able to get consistant pressure on the qb. thoughts?
Kevin Seifert (1:22 PM)
I'm not sure they'll ask him to put pressure on the quarterback on every play. I'm assuming that will be more of Aaron Kampman's role. Matthews will rush some as well, but I would imagine they want him out in space covering tight ends a fair amount as well.
Mike Brown is still a free agent. Do you see the Bears trying to resign him? He was a veteran leader on defense, he could surely be signed to the veteran minimum by now. Or do you see him as the fall guy for Chicago's horrific secondary numbers? Are there any free agents left that could make an immediate impact?
Kevin Seifert (1:25 PM)
I think the Bears have moved on. Of course, they made that decision at a time when they had a chance to find a suitable replacement. They've tried, but I don't know that I can count on Josh Bullocks to be that guy. I don't know if Brown is the fall guy, but I'm guessing the believe he's close to being done from a physical standpoint and isn't very good in coverage anymore. Long story short, they started on the path to improvement but haven't gotten there yet.
Kye (West Des Moines)
I read a report (I think it might have even been on your blog) about the Lions seriously checking on Beanie Wells. Is Kevin Smith really not a good fit for the new scheme?
Kevin Seifert (1:27 PM)
Yeah, that's been discussed a fair bit. Jim Schwartz was talking about how the Lions got interested in DeAndre Levy on the second day of the draft. He said it started when they were watching film of Beanie Wells and they noticed that Levy laid him out a few times. The Lions obviously had some interest in Wells, but I think Schwartz brought it up more to illustrate his point on Levy.
Jayme (Wausau, WI)
Why is everyone so set on Raji starting? Even if he doesn't start, he'll get significant playing time in the line rotation. What should matter the most is keeping the rotation going well enough that everyone is healthy at the end of the season.
Kevin Seifert (1:28 PM)
Agreed. If he's as good a player as everyone thinks he is, the Packers won't have a choice but to put him on the field. Most coaches don't name a rookie starter in May. They want him to earn the spot. I think he'll get plenty of playing time, whether he starts or not, and will make an immediate impact.
Chris (Long Island, NY)
Any chance the NFL goes aquatic next season? Would be great news for the Bears D Line
Kevin Seifert (1:29 PM)
Yes, they lead the league in jumping out of pools.
...didStafford really look that impressive in the rookie camp?
Kevin Seifert (1:30 PM)
I wasn't there, and I'm always very cautious about judging anyone -- rookies of veterans -- based on minicamp. About the only thing you can say is that it beats the alternative.
Happy Star Wars Day! Any chance that Zygi (the Emperor) ditches Childress (Vadar) for Frazier (Luke) if the relatively easy first part of the Vikings schedule goes terribly awry?
Kevin Seifert (1:31 PM)
Nice. Happy SWD to you, too. ... You forgot about the possibility of Favre (Han Solo) zooming in saving the day at the last second.
Steve (Mankato, MN)
Seifert excellent blogs by the way. Quick question, where do you think Sidney Rice fits into the Vikings offense this year?
Kevin Seifert (1:32 PM)
I get a lot of questions about him. I think he has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver if he can be healthy. Then Wade becomes the slot guy with Percy Harvin mixing in on certain packages.
What are the chances of the Bears getting back in the first round next year? According to an article from Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune) the Bears had the oppurtunity during the draft to trade their 2nd round for a 1st round next year straight up by didn't materialize because the player came off the board before no.49 I think the 2010 Draft will be huge in comparison to this past years draft, and would love to see Taylor Mays in a Bears uniform.
Kevin Seifert (1:34 PM)
It will all depend on how well they do in 2009. If they have a bad year, it won't take as much ammo to move up from the second round into the first. But eventually they'll have to face another year without a first-round pick. That's pretty standard when you move up into the first round ... you give up your first-rounder the following year. So then you're pushing the implications of the Cutler trade into the 2011 season. Some might suggest just getting it out of the way.
Chris - Wausau, Wis
the Dow is up 2.16% today.
Kevin Seifert (1:34 PM)
My cash stays under the mattress.
Any real insight on why Harvin had serious dehydration over the weekend? Too much drinking/smoking?
Kevin Seifert (1:35 PM)
I know that"s a logical assumption, and Harvin brought part of that on himself given his escapades in high school, college and in the combine. But I have no knowledge that it was the case in this instance.
Kevin - How many words per minute do you type? You are by far the fastest chatter on ESPN. Seriously - Peterson fast. I like it. Keep up the good work.
Kevin Seifert (1:36 PM)
Yeah, but I keep dropping the mouse. Bu-dum-bump.
Aaron st. paul mn [via mobile]
hey kev can u answer this will the lions have the will power to not start stafford when they struggle and the fans voice their opinions considering how much money they are investing in him i would think they wouldn't want to make a carr remake
Kevin Seifert (1:37 PM)
I really think they're going to need to, and I think that's why they're considering signing a veteran quarterback to go along with Culpepper and Stafford. That way, if Culpepper is injured of fails, they'll have another option other than throwing Stafford to the wolves. I don't think they want to do that if they can avoid it. And based on the reaction of Lions fans during the draft, I don't know that Stafford would necessarily sell tickets if they made him the starter for that reason.
does Favre have enough left to make a difference? some of the other espn chatters think that he might be done
Kevin Seifert (1:39 PM)
The only thing that matters is if he thinks he's done. I doubt he does. The question is whether he'll summon the energy to try to prove that he can still play.
how do you believe cutler will make the adjustment to a new system and new recievers?
Kevin Seifert (1:40 PM)
It'll take time. But the big thing, to me, will be how well Ron Turner adjusts to Cutler. The Bears need to emphasize the downfield throws, as well as his mobility, in order maximize his skills and smooth the transition.
Bruce (Duluth, MN)
Big picture question. With Stafford getting more money next year than Tom Brady do you think in the next CBA there will be a rookie pay scale? Everyone thinks there should be but do you think it will get in there?
Kevin Seifert (1:41 PM)
Goodell said last year that he didn't think any changes would be made before 2011. But that was before Stafford raised the bar so high. I think it's possible, but a lot would have to happen between now and then for it to happen in time for the 2010 draft.
Drew (Green Bay, WI)
What do you think of this front 7 for the packers in a pass rushing situation: Matthews/Jenkins/Raji/Kampman Chillar/Barnett/Hawk
Kevin Seifert (1:42 PM)
Interesting ... I wonder if Matthews will be the first choice as a 4-3 defensive end, or if they would go to Mike Montgomery or Jeremy Thompson in that situation. Otherwise, nice lineup.
Kevin, you made a great point about waiting for a QB to develop while the rest of the roster is already there. The Bears choose to wait on Rex while their roster was already there and it cost them dearly.
Kevin Seifert (1:43 PM)
Good analogy for the Vikings to consider. And now some would argue the core of the Bears defense is past its prime, with the exception of Lance Briggs.
If the Vikes sign Favre at some point, isn't that an indication that Chili doesn't have faith in Tjack or Sage to get the job done?
Kevin Seifert (1:44 PM)
Well, it will at least be a sign that he found someone he thinks is better.
Matt (Oconto Falls, WI)
The name John David Booty was intoned earlier in the chat. Which reminds me: I heard some draft pundits saying that the Lions should have drafted Sanchez instead of Stafford. I don't understand that given how few starts Sanchez had and the fact that he couldn't even beat out the aforementioned Mr. Booty. Granted we won't know for sure for at least three years, but it seems that Sanchez enjoyed a lot of the post-combine hype that makes one leery of a potential workout warrior.
Kevin Seifert (1:46 PM)
Yeah, the one thing I heard about Sanchez was that people liked his accuracy better than Stafford. He has a very magnetic personality, and I'm sure that drew people to him as well. But the best thing was that Sanchez was available for less than No. 1 money. I personally have very little ideal at this point which guy will make a better pro. That's my stand.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KS: Why do you think the rookie salary cap is even an issue? You would think that if this money was re-allocated to the veterans in the CBA, there would be no protest from the player's union. As it stands now, the impression I get as a fan is that there is some sort of sticking point to get this done.
Kevin Seifert (1:47 PM)
It only affects the rookies at the very top of the draft. Things get relatively reasonable as you move down the first round. I think the only sticking point from the players' side is to make sure that every penny lost to rookies is gained by veterans. How does that happen? Do you raise the cap for veterans? We all know there are ways to artificially increase cap numbers for individual contracts. So I think the NFLPA will need assurance that they're not giving up money in the overall pot.
Justin (ft lauderdale, fl) [via mobile]
with consistant QB play and Linehan coordinating is it feasible that Calvin Johnson leads the league in one or more recieving categories?
Kevin Seifert (1:49 PM)
The quarterback part is the big issue, but then again, look at what Johnson did with last year's group of quarterbacks.
Brett (Houston, TX)
With the acquisition of Percy Harvin, do you see the Vikings running any Wildcat? Personally, I hope not; it's just a fad that defenses will have figured out. Waste of practice reps.
Kevin Seifert (1:51 PM)
Never in a million years. But that's just me. I see them using him as a slot receiver, a kick returner and a punt returner.
You made mention of Jerry Angelo's "half-hearted attempt to acquire Boldin" earlier and I wanted to take issue with it. I think that says a lot more about AZ's lack of interest in trading him (because they are convinced he won't hold out and will still play hard) than it does about Angelo's effort. I think odds are he offered the 49th pick got the sense the Cards didn't really want to deal and moved on because he didn't have a lot more to offer.
Kevin Seifert (1:52 PM)
Fair point. But if I'm Arizona, I'm not taking much less than what Detroit got for Roy Williams (who also needed a contract extension at the time). The Cowboys gave up a first- and third-round pick. The Cardinals shouldn't have been willing to accept just a second.
Top three linebackers in the north?
Kevin Seifert (1:53 PM)
I'll say Lance Briggs, E.J. Henderson and Julian Peterson.
Steve S Burlington Ontario
If the Lions lose every game this year can you see Ford selling the team?
Kevin Seifert (1:54 PM)
I only see him selling if it becomes an economic issue. Given the state of the auto industry, you never know.
Any backdoor news on the Vikings stadium effort?
Kevin Seifert (1:55 PM)
None. Last I heard, Tim Pawlenty was totally ripping the idea. I think he said the Vikings' chances were the same as the Wild winning the Stanley Cup.
Kevin, you hit exactly on my thoughts all along. Why would Minny waste a pick on Harvin, who is best utilized in various roles, considering they have a coach who is about as vanilla as it gets in the NFL in terms of play-calling creativity. You said yourself, he couldn't even figure out how to get Tayler and AD on the field at the same time.
Kevin Seifert (1:56 PM)
Yeah, moving forward I think this is going to be a primary issue. Will they just use Harvin as a fast receiver in their regular offense? Or will they add new elements to take advantage of his skills? To this point, we haven't seen evidence of the latter.
No Urlacher? I know his numbers were down last year, but I blame that more on Babich stacking him in the A gap than on Urlacher. With Lovie calling the defense, he'll be back to Defensive PofY level.
Kevin Seifert (1:57 PM)
That will be interesting to see. There are definitely some people around the league who think he has slowed down some. He's still worthy of being a starting middle linebacker, but I'm not sure he's one of the best anymore.
One of the rumors about Favre's release was that it was just intended to have him "retire as a Packer" as many players have done with 1 day contracts. Have you heard any movement on this? I'd think if that was the case they'd be able to get it done real quick, but more than likely it was just spin from his agent.
Kevin Seifert (1:58 PM)
No, I haven't, and that's the point. It seems a little premature for Favre to be making the administrative changes necessary to retire with the Packers when there are still a lot of very emotional issues left to be dealt with. I don't buy that excuse.
Do you see Lovie stripping punt returns from Hester with DJ Moore? I'd like to see him break the all-time record first before considering it.
Kevin Seifert (1:59 PM)
He would have to be one heck of a game breaker to do that. They've already relieved him of kickoff return duties. I think they'd like him to remain as the punt returner if he can.
Kevin Seifert (1:59 PM)
Ok, one more question here and then it's time to go...
seriously, get on a plane, go get the exclusive. you'll have the most popular blog on espn, no, the most popular blog on the internet
Kevin Seifert (2:00 PM)
Is that the case already? I'll take it under advisement.
Kevin Seifert (2:00 PM)
OK, thanks everyone. Have a great week.