On Friday, Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe took center stage on the NFL's official website to field questions on a live chat session. As expected, the questions jumped from one topic to another, but Shank answered them all with candor and honesty.
One of the first questions asked was who Shiancoe's favorite tight end of all time was. His answer was two-fold – Mark Bavaro and Shannon Sharpe. Bavaro was "old-school, smash-mouth." Sharpe brought finesse to the position.
It didn't take long for the questioning to get to the same question on the minds of football fans everywhere – what is the status of Brett Favre coming to the Vikings – and, barring that, is Sage Rosenfels the answer.
What did Big Shank say?
"Favre as a player, he's a Hall of Famer and brings great ability," Shiancoe said. "Of course, he would be an asset to have a Hall of Fame player passing to me. Who knows with the Favre-a-palooza, but of course it would be an asset on our team. But we do have Sage and T.J. here now working hard and building camaraderie with the team and fitting in with the offense. They've put in a lot of extra work. They're here all day and night, even in the offseason, so we have confidence in them. As far as Sage, he's picking up the offense very well. He's learning the offense and reads defenses very well – man vs, zone, cover threes. Every defense thrown at him he's picking up very well. Both him and T.J. are building a great competition."
When asked to predict where the Vikings will finish in 2009, Shiancoe refused to pick a win total, but said, "I know we're going to be over .500, but I'm not going to predict any specifics."
His reaction to first-round rookie Percy Harvin echoes the sentiment of those who have witnessed what he can do. Although he will likely come off the field when Harvin comes in, Shiancoe said he is living up to his pre-draft hype.
"He's looking explosive," Shiancoe said. "He's going up and making plays, but he's making plays out of nothing. He's playing bigger than his size. He's really involved in the offense, so what he's doing right now – what I've seen so far – it's very promising."
Shiancoe had the chance to drop dime on head coach Brad Childress, who wore a visor at minicamp that had players wondering if he had spent his own offseason making changes. Shiancoe said that he thought Childress might have gone hard-core on Propecia, but said that Chilly knows how to ease the tension of the moment.
"He knows how to get the guys to relax," Shiancoe said. "It's a relaxed atmosphere, but it's intense when it comes to working. He keeps everybody loose and having fun out there. When you're not having fun out there, you're not going to be at your best."
The questions ran the gamut from his favorite movie ("Life") to his take on his teammates. But perhaps the best question came from E.J. in California, who asked, right now, who is the best tight end in the NFL.
"Right now? Visanthe Shiancoe."
Shiancoe chats it up
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