Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
Send in your questions now and stop by Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET to join the chat!
Matt Williamson (12:59 PM)
Hey everyone-MW here. Lets get started.
tom, college park maryland
why are your rankings so awful? what football league were you watching this weekend? my 11-year-old brother could tell you the saints are not the 6th best team in the nfl
Matt Williamson (1:02 PM)
Very nice of you to say. Thank you for the loving support. Anyways, I did see that I am quite a bit higher on the Saints than anyone else, but I still feel like they are a real strong team. That game on MNF was nuts and of course if counts like any other, but I believe that NO wins that game 8 out of 10 times. Also, who else is better? TONS of questions about just about every team in the league. NO has a ton of injuries and will come back strong-not that that influenced my rankings. But, I don't have the stats in front of me, but all their losses have come in tight games and by very few points. Thanks again and tell your 11 year old brother that I said Hello.
PT (Franklin, NC)
Will Mcfadden be a factor for the Raiders this week?
Matt Williamson (1:03 PM)
Don't like commenting on injuries, but a toe injury like that can really be a problem for a RB-ask LT. This team-as usual-is hard to get a grip on, but even moreso this week as it will be Cable's first game as the Head Coach. Fargas is back and he is the best pass blocker of the group. Can't see McF blowing up all things considered, but he will have huge games, then stinkers all year long.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Do you think the Jaguars can neutralize the Denver defense and get the win this week?
Matt Williamson (1:05 PM)
That was one of the games I wrote up and I also wrote up PGH/JAX last week. Not a believer in Jax. Picked PGH last week and Den this week. That team is built on line play and running the football-they are doing neither. Den's run D stinks-so something has to give there, but Den is at home and that O is really something. Denver.
With Terrence Newman being an injury liability this season do you think the boys will regret giving a 30 year old corner a big money extension?
Matt Williamson (1:06 PM)
As a player, Newman is worth it. Will he continue to have injury problems going forward? Who knows. But, of course, that is a risk with any big signing. He is a top flight CB when healthy.
Paul (St Louis Park, MN)
Matt- I'm worried about my Packers D-line and it looks like the team is headed for a middle round pick in the upcoming draft. I know it's a little early but can you think of any DEs or DTs that we should be watching for that might fit inside the GB scheme?
Matt Williamson (1:09 PM)
Not sure off the top of my head, but there is no doubt in my mind that GB's DL is really affecting the rest of that D in a negative way. They used to go 8 deep and just keep rotating in fresh able bodies. Not anymore. They MUST regret dealing C Williams....could really use him. How about Tyson Jackson from LSU as a strongside DE who can move inside to DT at times too? Selvie at S Florida would help the pass rush, but I think DT is the bigger need.
Matt, what differences did you see that made the Broncos D much better last week? They did a great job with blitzing. Do you think that they will keep it up?
Matt Williamson (1:11 PM)
l blame TBay as much as I give credit to Den for last week. TBay ran the ball really well (6.3 yards per carry for the game I think), but got away from it. Why? I have no idea. The week before, LJ killed that D. Give it to Graham over and over. They didn't. I understand that Den was crowding the LOS to some degree, but so what? Anyways, the pass rush was much better and they incorporated more 3-4 looks than I have seen from them before. TBay may not have been real prepared for that. But the biggest factor was the OT play vs. Den's DEs. The crowd noise helped for the OTs to be consistently late off the ball and the DEs took advantage-esp Dumervil who is one heck of a pass rusher.
Jarvis Moss doesn't have the girth to play the 4-3 as he gets engulfed on a regular basis at the POA..... that being said could he excell in a 3-4 using his athleticism more in space as an OLB?
Matt Williamson (1:12 PM)
That is what I projected him as a prospect coming out of Florida. Not sure that he plays in reverse well enough though. His best fit would be in a Tampa 2 scheme like S Rice or Mathis/Freeney in Indy. Real wide split. Speed rusher. He needs to-and should still-get stronger as well as he matures.
Can the ravens turn it around this week and win a close game?
Matt Williamson (1:13 PM)
That was the other game I wrote up and picked (reluctantly) the Ravens to win a squeeker. I do think Manning and company are due to really break out, but I also have zero faith in their run D. Balt is more physical and should push them all over the field.
Is it time to make Hester a full-time receiver? He seems to be the playmaker on O the Bears have needed for years.
Matt Williamson (1:14 PM)
Wrote about him in our post game takes this week. He is improving. No question. Routes are better. Recognition is better. However, he has one huge flaw-his hands. The guy doesn't catch the ball well-including as a returner. That is obviously a bit of a problem for playing WR!
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How good of a job has Tony Sparano done in Miami so far?
Matt Williamson (1:16 PM)
A...maybe A+. The whole crew really. Loved their offseason. A bunch of tough role players to fill out the foundation of the organization. OL and DL. That 3 man DL is much better than many realize. The OL will be one of the best in the league last year.
I think the Browns may give the Giants a little scare this week. I saw a little glimmer of offense in the 2nd half vs Cincy, and they've had a bye week to get healthy. What say you?
Matt Williamson (1:17 PM)
Yeah, I keep getting that feeling as well. Back a dog into a corner. In Clev. Prime time game. Desperate times. Like you said, bye week to prepare and get healthier. Stallworth will be back. Could happen. Still, NYG is very strong, but I feel ya for sure.
Hear the rumors about T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Roy Williams drawing interest from the 49ers? Any of this true?
Matt Williamson (1:18 PM)
I don't kow that for sure one way or another, but both make a lot of sense. Martz obviously knows RW. Both players (unless Franchised) probably will be playing elsewhere next year and believe it or not, I don't think Cincy or Det is giong to be heading to Tampa for the SB this year.
Who was the best defensive player of week five? You gotta go with Winfield right?
Matt Williamson (1:19 PM)
I am not going to go through every team right now to figure it out, but yeah, off the top of my head, I have to give that to Winfield. HUGE day. Fun player to watch. Ideal Cover 2 CB. Killer.
Which division is worse, NFC West where the Cardinals look like the best team (I never though I'd write that) or the NFC North where the Bears look like the best team?
Matt Williamson (1:20 PM)
Wow, that is a tough call. Right now, I think I would rank the 8 teams like this: Zona, GB, Minn, Chi, SF, Sea, STL, Det---those three "Top" teams in the North could go in any order really. Tough call.
Dave (San Diego)
Someone asked Mort to chose Eli or Ben to start a franchise with. He chose Cutler. I don't see the fascination with him (or Rivers, for that matter). What do Eli and Ben have to do to distance themselves from the others?
Matt Williamson (1:22 PM)
He could have Eli or Ben and he took Cutler? Why not just take Marino or Montana? I hear where he is coming from and we were asked to rank five up and coming QBs-I voted as such: 1. Ben 2. Romo 3. Eli 4. Cutler 5. Rivers-distant fifth. That was a few weeks ago and now, I think I would put Eli at #2. He sold me.
Bob, Atl Ga
how does Sam Baker grade out compared to Jake Long?
Matt Williamson (1:23 PM)
They are comparable-just turned in an ATL blog today-look for it. Mention Baker and the OL a bit in there. Still, give me Long. Far more upside due to better tools and isn't exactly looking shabby in Mia right now either.
Kenny Phillips started and led the giants in tackles.... it begins
Matt Williamson (1:24 PM)
NYG fans love this kid-excited to see more of him in live action. So it begins...
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
How long before the crazy Philly fans start calling for Kevin Kolb?
Matt Williamson (1:25 PM)
I bet some of them are already-I really don't understand that right now. Who-right now, today-is a better QB than McNabb? Maybe half a dozen guys? Peyton, Eli, Brady, Ben, Brees, Romo, Cutler? At most.
Bob, Atl Ga
Does Miami regret drafting Ryan now? -
Matt Williamson (1:27 PM)
I assume this is to read "Does Miami regreat NOT drafting Ryan now?"-honestly, I bet they don't. That staff has a good understanding and comfort level with Pennington and he fits their situation very well right now. Also, I like what I have seen from Henne and they lucked into getting him so late. Henne is in a perfect situation to learn from Pennington and Pennington eventually can be an excellent #2. Meanwhile, they have a stud LT in Long. Miami may have benefited from Favre coming out of retirement as much as any team in the league.
Joe (Plainsboro, NJ)
Are the Steelers regretting not drafting an OL in the second round and instead picking Limas Sweed?
Matt Williamson (1:30 PM)
Not sure on that-haven't seen a lot of Sweed, but I lilked him a lot coming out of Texas and have heard good things about his practice of late. Still, WRs take time and that O he came out of isn't real complex. I still like his chances.
Hey Matt, I agree that the Saints are very underated right now. Once healthy, very dangerous. Who is the best defensive player in the league right now? I think Pat Willis!
Matt Williamson (1:32 PM)
Haynesworth. No doubt in my mind. I certainly put more weight on DLinemen, especially DTs and less weight on LBs in general, but Haynesworth could be the league MVP right now and I wouldn't say a bad word about it. Asomugha in Oakland is in the conversation as well...but no one would ever know it. Nothing against Willis, but I want those two ahead of him for sure.
Hey Matt! Can Santana Moss keep up it up? Do you see him having a better season than Plax?
Matt Williamson (1:33 PM)
I do worry about Moss from a long term perspective. Has been injury prone through his career and isn't the biggest guy around. I don't blame him for last week's lack of production, as Philly chose to take him away and as a result, Portis, Cooley and company ran wild. Better year than Plex? Certainly possible considering what both have done so far. I still think Plex is the better player though.
When was the last time a Super Bowl Champ has had such an easy schedule? The Ginats have only played one good team that was the redskins, and they handt come together yet.
Matt Williamson (1:34 PM)
True-so far. They still have 5 brutal division games remaining. The Steelers are on the schedule. Clev this week won't be easy. It has nothing to do with who won the SB, it is a formula based on where they finished last season.
whose got the best oline in the league right?
Matt Williamson (1:35 PM)
Two weeks ago I would have said Dallas hands down. Probably still will go with them, but NYG's has been terrific. Yet, as stated before, NYG hasn't played the same level of competitiion.
Jason (Syracuse, NY)
Any chance Javon Walker earns some of his money this year?
Matt Williamson (1:36 PM)
Ryon (Kenosha, WI)
Any player on defense in today's era that reminds you of Reggie White?
Matt Williamson (1:37 PM)
No. Not that combination of agility, brute strength, technique and great size for a DE. Really didn't have a weakness and could excel at any position on the DL. Mario Williams could possibly approach that in time. Richard Seymour has some of those qualities as well and is going to the HOF.
When was the last time a rookie QB looked as good as Matt Ryan does now?
Matt Williamson (1:39 PM)
I like him a lot. No doubt. Cool as the other side of the pillow. Still, it isn't unheard of.
Any thoughts on the TMQ article where he states that Eli is better than Peyton?
Matt Williamson (1:40 PM)
Haven't read it, but Peyton is the better QB. Eli is playing better RIGHT NOW, but Peyton is the better football player. All time great. HOFer.
Will Dustin Keller become a great TE? Will he be the jets top TE this year?
Matt Williamson (1:41 PM)
I do think he will be their top TE this year, but far too early to call him a great TE. He is limited in that he will never be a pile moving inline blocker. Being Dallas Clark might be his ceiling-still NYJ would love that. He has that look about him but TEs usually take a while to mature in the NFL. Stay tuned
Joe Gibbs, Lowes Motor Speedway
Hey Matt, How much credit do I deserve for putting this Redskins team together?
Matt Williamson (1:42 PM)
Certainly has contributed-no question. Imagine if the Sean Taylor tragedy hadn't occured. Hate to say it, but I am STILL not completely on board with Wash for the long haul. Give them all the credit in the world, but still have doubts.
What would it take and who would have to leave for the Raiders to be able to sign Asomugha next year?
Matt Williamson (1:43 PM)
They can't afford NOT to sign Asomugha. Not sure of their cap situation right now though and won't pretend that I am on top of that in early October.
How come more teams aren't trying to implement the Miami Wildcat plays? Seems like a Hester/Forte combo in Chicago would destroy the competition.
Matt Williamson (1:44 PM)
McFadden obviously came to mind as well. NE ran it last week. Someone else will run it this week.
Mario Williams is more of a freak hybrid of Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White.... a mix of the two's skill sets ....not as fast as LT or as strong as Reggie but versatility that is unmatched
Matt Williamson (1:46 PM)
I really like Williams and he is well worth that first overall pick, but what I worry about with him (compared to those 2 all time greats) is his first and second step quickness. LT was by people before they got out of their stance, granted LT was much smaller than Williams. But he isn't instantaneous off the ball. His long strides help make up for it and it is a minor critisism, but compared to those two....also, does he want it as badly as them? LT has to be the most competitive of that group. Bunch of crazed dogs.
Luis (SB, CA)
DeMarcus Ware is in the conversation
Matt Williamson (1:47 PM)
For best defensive player in the league? Yeah, I agree. Might put him 3rd. Champ isn't a Chump either. It is a little early, but I really like Tuck as well.
Kevin (San Diego)
Is LaMarr Woodley a better pure pass rusher than James Harrison? I thought it looked like Woodley was getting double-teamed alot more lately....and still putting up sacks!
Matt Williamson (1:48 PM)
They are both exceptional and Pro Bowl worthy. Whoever gets less attention will flourish. Reminds me of Lloyd/K Greene days. Wouldn't say that he is better than Harrison as a pass rusher though yet...but Woodley is still a puppy.
What do you make of the Dallas defense? I feel they have the players to attack teams, but they play a very soft zone defense. They have two great edge rushers and have the most depth in the secondary in the entire league!
Matt Williamson (1:49 PM)
Agreed. Makes no sense to me. From strictly a personnel standpoint, I think I would take Dallas' players before any other team's. I mean that. They have a ton of ultra talented CBs, Great OLBs. Unleash them!
Ryon (Kenosha, WI)
I am a defense kind of guy. I love the low scoring games, and the hard hits along with the many sacks. Is there any defense right now that catches your eye?
Matt Williamson (1:50 PM)
Tenn with a healthy Haynesworth is really tough. They are very good at all three levels, but the big guy up front is such a monster. Balt is always good. Real impressed with PGH. Can't figure out Dallas-should be better as I just noted. Probably missing someone.
and LT was a strait psychopath..... god bless him but he had all of his screws loose
Matt Williamson (1:50 PM)
...but in a good way
Barry Coefield..... plugger with talent around him or talented player destined for pro bowls?
Matt Williamson (1:51 PM)
Somewhere in between: Underappreciated key cog
Do the Giants just have the best depth at D-line in the league, or is there something to their scheme that allows them to hit the passer with great frequency?
Matt Williamson (1:52 PM)
I thought NYG had the best DL depth last year, but without Strahan and Osi, I think their DL depth is real worrisome. Their starting DLinemen are still excellent though as is the D play caller.
Matt Williamson (1:53 PM)
Also, much easier for that D to play with a huge lead and with NYG's running game, how many minutes does the D really have to play so far? I like this NYG D, but also think they will not be as good on that side of the ball as they were last year when it is all said and done. Their O will be/is better though.
Russ (New York)
Lance Briggs has been playing unbelievable this year....but no love for him?
Matt Williamson (1:54 PM)
Good player-no doubt. Playing as well as he ever has and that says something. However, his WLB position is supposed to do that in their scheme-think D Brooks. Run and hit guy. Remember, he was a free agent for quite a while and Chi was the only team who offered him $$$.
I would think you have to through Pitt DLine into the debate. They have had injuries at 2/3 of the line had people come in for full games, not just a few plays. Plus they have still let Woodley and Harrison run wild in the back field.
Matt Williamson (1:56 PM)
I really like PGH's DL. A Smith is a far better player than most realize. PGH's D completly fell apart when he was injured last year. Not sure that we were comparing all the DLs in the league, but PGH's is good and the depth players are surpassing my expectations this year as well. Really well coached group that knows the scheme and makes everyone around them better. A Smith is the stud of the group though.
Lance Briggs (Chicago)
Yeah, I'm a hit and run guy in more ways than one!
Matt Williamson (1:56 PM)
How could I not post this???
If you had to guess, who does Haynesworth play for next year?
Matt Williamson (1:57 PM)
They can Franchise him again, right? Why wouldn't they? Give him whatever he wants. Played at U of T. Before last year and coming out of Tennessee, some worried about his desire to be great and work ethic. That could still be a concern, as he has been possibly just playing this hard for a huge contract last year and this year-however, they can't let him walk. They are 7-9 without him.
Hey M-Dub at the start of the season there were questions about Portis. Some experts(I'm not saying you) wondered if he was on the decline, some said he's finished. As of right now he's in the running for MVP. Your thoughts?
Matt Williamson (1:59 PM)
I have always liked him, but did worry that myself and surely wrote it in some chats. I worried because he really isn't that big and he has a ton of wear and tear-esp last year. Didn't expect that passing game to be able to take the pressure off him right away either. The guy is amazing. Runs so hard. Competes.
Matt Williamson (1:59 PM)
Folks, I have to run. This was great as always. Stop back next week at this time.