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 (1:00 PM)
Hey everyone-MW here.
Dave (Pittsburgh, PA)
If Willie Parker does finally start against the Redskins, what type of impact do you think he will have if he's splitting carries with Mewelde Moore?
Matt Williamson (1:02 PM)
As you may or may not know, I am not a huge Parker supporter, but his big play ability cannot be denied and he is also a better pass blocker than Moore.
MW: How many years will it take the Leos to become a playoff team? The roster is crap and old. I'm thinking 3-5 years at best.
Matt Williamson (1:04 PM)
Depends who takes over. You easily could have said the exact same thing about the Falcons and Dolphins after last season, right? I think those two teams could contend next year if they have very strong off seasons like these past ones. I can't argue that Detroit has very little to work with, but they do have Calvin Johnson and plenty of valuable draft picks. I would also think that they could cut plenty of dead weight from their cap and use it on tough role players like Miami did to build a foundation. Will they? Surely I have my doubts.
Chris (Cambridge, MA)
Who are the Leos? Do they play the Virgos?
Matt Williamson (1:05 PM)
Beat the Geminis last week.
With the difficulty of the Giants remaining scheduled, do you think the Redksins have a chance to take the NFC East Title?
Matt Williamson (1:07 PM)
Wash's schedule isn't a walk in the park and they very well could lose this week. Still a lot of NFC East games against on another and all four teams have a shot. Those games will determine who gets into the post season.
Looks like Sanders and Addai will be back Sunday. Prediction on Colts/Pats?
Matt Williamson (1:08 PM)
I turned in a Pats blog for the AFC East page about 45 seconds ago defending my position in the Power Rankings that they are only the 18th best team in the league. So, I am not that impressed. Hard to be REAL impressed with Indy either, but I think they throw all over the Pats. Sanders surely will help, as will Addai, but they need better line play on both sides of the ball.
M-Dub, How about my schizo Fins? Beat the good teams but lose to the bad ones. So can they beat Denver?
Matt Williamson (1:10 PM)
They can. I wrote that game up and originally had them winning. Before it went to press, I switched to Denver because that is a tough place to play, the Broncos will have their fire power back and Shanny should have them very ready with two weeks to prepare. Still, you would think that Miami would run all over Denver and that Denver will throw all over Miami. Could go either way, but I will stick with Den.
Matt - Roddy White beat Asante Samuel on 2 TDs, and should of had a third one, but he dropped the bomb, had Samuel beat. Is he a top 5 WR yet?
Matt Williamson (1:11 PM)
In the ball park, as several of the top guys have fallen off. But, I can't take Moss or TO out of that elite class yet. Andre J is my number one right now. Larry Fitz is probably two. Jennings has been amazing and is probably about on par with White. Would still take S Smith over White and Wayne over him as well. In the ball park.
So should I play Stokely over TO? I see that game as being an offensive shootout like the Broncos first three games?
Matt Williamson (1:14 PM)
It could be, but don't bench TO. B Johnson is awful. Terrible. Atrocious. Can't get the ball downfield, But you might hate yourself in the morning for benching TO....especially for Brandon Frickin Stokely.
Steve Smith is sick, he killed my fantasy team. That play against AZ was insane. I actually like him the best...
Matt Williamson (1:15 PM)
There is a case for that. Remember what he has done over the past few years with zero other pass catchers around him to lighten his load? And...he didnt play the first game this year. Stud.
Ravens/Browns who wins?
Matt Williamson (1:16 PM)
This was one of the other games I did this week-along with Cincy/Jax, but you all know who wins that one. I was also very torn, but went with Baltimore. FAR more stable organization. They have an identity. I actually think they have the better QB right now-and I am not yet even sold on Flacco. Far better on D.
Where are those people who said it was a dumb move to trade Leigh Bodden and a 3rd rounder for Shaun Rogers? That guy is an animal.
Matt Williamson (1:17 PM)
Agreed. However, let's see how well he plays if the Browns are 4-10 for those last two games. See what I am saying? But yes, true stud NTs don't grow on trees and I like the Browns' young CBs.
Mad Mike (Houston)
Matt: How do you like the Texans chances to beat the Vikes. I think they go in and beat them. Your thoughts, thanks.....MM
Matt Williamson (1:20 PM)
Any news today if K and P Williams will be suspended? Obviously that would be huge. Could pull the upset either way, but I certainly like their chances without those beasts in the middle. I do think Schaub to Andre J will be an unstoppable force all year long though. Would worry that Peterson will go off though. I will take the Vikes.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
If the Browns are 4-10, will it really matter how Shaun Rogers plays in those last two games?
Matt Williamson (1:21 PM)
Very true...but it could matter in the locker room and in their attempts to build a winner. Dogging it becomes contagious.
Roger (Costa Mesa)
Hi Matt - was Ted Ginn's breakout game a fluke or sign of things to come?
Matt Williamson (1:22 PM)
Somewhere in between. As I would do as well, every D Coordinator in the league is keying Miami's run game. Pennington is capitalizing. Ginn, to me, is going to be a very good #2 WR in this league. Deep threat. After the catch ability. Never a true number one though and should be inconsistent until Miami gets a stud on the other side of him. Up and down from here on out this year.
Jay (Middletown, CT)
Where does Brandon Marshall fit into your Top WR's? he cant be stopped after catching the ball and leads the league in receptions. Simply a beast!!!
Matt Williamson (1:22 PM)
Should have named him. Top few. 3rd at worst.
Dave (Pittsburgh, PA)
Are you sold on the idea that the Steelers are an elite team? I love what the defense is doing, but to me, the Offense leaves a lot to be desired. Am I right to blame Bruce Arians?
Matt Williamson (1:24 PM)
Not sold at all and I agree. Fantastic and actually underrated on D. Not an Arians fan here either. Poor OL. Getting S Holmes back will help this week-helps keep Ds honest. But how long can Ben stay healthy? He has magic up his sleeve-no doubt about that, but his pension for holding the ball that long just isnt wise sometimes. Too inconsistent on O for my tastes.
Paul (Albany, OR)
Matt, I read every week of your distaste for Derek Anderson. And though I do not believe he is a pro bowl quarterback he is in the middle of the pack regarding NFL qb's. You stated a few weeks back that you reserve judgement until a qb has about 20 NFL starts. Well DA now has 22 starts and his record as a starter is 13-9, for a franchise that has not truly learned how to win yet. Isn't it winning that this is all about anyhow? Just some thoughts. Thanks.
Matt Williamson (1:27 PM)
Winning is very important, but he became who I think he is when it mattered most last year when Clev was in the thick of a playoff hunt. I really believe that he just doesn't handle expectations and pressure well. I would take 20 starting QBs over DA in a heartbeat. One of my years at Pitt, we played against DA in our bowl game. Our D coaches-and myself to a degree-watched a lot of Oregon State film and thought that he was someone who panicked when times got tough. He did have S Jackson with him in the backfield at Oregon State by the way. Anyways, we attacked him. He folded. I haven't seen anythign at the NFL level to change my mind. I still contend that MANY NFL QBs could have succeeded as he did last year in his situation. Hope me proves me wrong because I don't like to talk down about guys, but I want to play against DA and not with him.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
While the Titans WR corp is far from spectacular, they seem to be doing enough to get the job done. Is their lack of top-flight talent there enough to keep them from winning the super bowl?
Matt Williamson (1:29 PM)
I think that will keep them from winning the Super Bowl. The Titans are very impressive, but can they beat Buff, PGH and then NYG (hypothetical) in three straight playoff games? At least one of those is going to force them to lean on their passing game. Then, I worry. GREAT D, but not the 85 Bears or 70s Steelers.
Jay (Middletown, CT)
Matt, as a Denver fan, can I really believe we might actually have another Terrell Davis in the likes of Ryan Torain?
Matt Williamson (1:31 PM)
TD should go to the Hall of Fame. Ryan Torrain has never played an NFL snap and was approximatly the 140th player (off the top of my head) taken in last year's draft. Split time as a college senior with a RB who isn't considered an elite prospect. Lets hold off on the comparisons. He does look like a good fit in the O though and should get an opportunity, but I really wonder how he will handle the speed of the game at this level-first time seeing it.
Matt - stats aside (i think they're over-rated to an extent), if you had to win a football game, who'd you feel more comfortable to win that game for you, Brett Favre or Troy Aikman.
Matt Williamson (1:33 PM)
Both in their prime I am assuming. Aikman if I had a strong team. Favre if I had a lousy team. Of course it is a team game and circumstances are hard to put on paper for such a comparison. 1:30 left on the clock down by 4, give me Favre. To come out and throw strikes all over the field without turning the ball over-Aikman. When comparing their two careers, I might just take Aikman as the superior overall QB though.
None of the above MJ, How about John Elway.
Matt Williamson (1:34 PM)
Take Elway over all of them. No question in my mind. I do think Brady and Peyton Manning will compare when it is all said and done, but Elway is the best I have ever seen. Granted, I am only 35 years old and Elway was drafted in 1983-I was 10 at the time and not at my peak yet as a scout.
Dave (Middletown, CT)
I disagree about TD. How does 3 good seasons make one a hall of famer. How is Phil Simms not in the Hall?
Matt Williamson (1:36 PM)
I may have over emphasized on TD as a HOFer. Actually, I probably would not vote him in, but it is close. Instrumental on Super Bowl winners and an elite player for a while. Simms should be. I sound like a homer-and can live with that in this case-but one guy who really burns me that isn't in is Dermonti Dawson. Special player. Bad position to get votes from though. Doing what I can for you Dirt!
Griffin (College Park, MD)
Whoa, how can you take Elway over Joe Montana?
Matt Williamson (1:37 PM)
I think the best thing I can say about Elway is "How many players/stars can you name for me right now off the top of your head from the Super Bowl teams that he took to the big game and lost?" Mecklenburg. TJ. A bunch of nobodies really....except for #7.
Where does James Thrash fit into your WR Rankings? That guy is AMAZING!!!!! Seriously though, how is he still in the NFL?
Matt Williamson (1:38 PM)
Good special teams player. Many fans don't realize just how important that is on game day. Core special teamers last.
I agree with Jason absolutely...I'd take Elway over anyone. He had no D? No real TE or good WR in the 80's (the 3 amigos don't count) and he took the team to 3 SB's...he had a cannon arm, great mobility...He's always been my favorite. Even over Montana....I was just comparing Aikman and Favre...
Matt Williamson (1:39 PM)
Exactly. In my latest response regarding Elway, I was trying to remember what the cute little name for his WRs was. Couldn't come up with it, so I just hit "Submit Answer" and didn't bother bringing up the 3 Amigos. Couldn't remember-exactly.
Bobby Humphrey, Sammy Winder, Mark Jackson, Vance Johnson, Steve Atwater, Braxton (I liked them in Tecmo Super Bowl)
Matt Williamson (1:40 PM)
Atwater and then a bunch of guys...and #7
Jonathan (Atlanta, GA)
Your power rankings are a joke. How can you justify a #3 ranking for the Bucs?
Matt Williamson (1:42 PM)
Been taking some SERIOUS heat for my power rankings and that pick in particular. Okay, besides NYG and TEN, who are you convinced is a better team? Did they look great this past weekend in Dallas? No, but they played a desperate-and extremely talented-football team on the road to the end. No shame in that loss. I think people are quick to forget what the Bucs did to Carolina a few weeks ago. Owned them. Didn't edge them out. Abused them. Am I convinced they are #3? No, but they are as good as anyone else you can name.
Chuck (Meriden, CT)
Do you think the Giants are a better team without Shockey? I think that the casual fan does not realize how valuable he is a vocal leader and a blocker. I was sad to see him go.
Matt Williamson (1:44 PM)
He is a better football player than Boss-no doubt. But he is a distraction and that is already creeping up in NO. Good blocker, but not as good as Boss. ALWAYS fighting some kind of injury. Does some stupid things. I can certainly see how you could be a fan of his-has a lot of very good traits-but I also think he is physically declining after all his injuries and is nothing like the speciman he was coming out of the U.
PT (Franklin, NC)
Is Jamarcus Russell making progress, I don't think you can tell much from his numbers considering his team?
Matt Williamson (1:46 PM)
He is a rookie. Must look at it that way. He doesn't make many bad decisions game in and game out-I respect that. But he also doesn't take many chances at all...which worries me and also could be derived from his coaching. OAK needs to find a true QB guru as their next head coach and then we will see. Russell has a very poor group of WRs and a very poor pass blocking OL as well-can't ignore that.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Speaking of the Bucs, I've always thought that Jeff Garcia is one of the least physically talented QBs in the league, but is just so much smarter than everyone else. Agree?
Matt Williamson (1:46 PM)
Pretty much. Extremely competitive. Fighter. Gets everything out of his abilities. Strictly a system (West Coast) guy though.
Is McFadden a bust? Seriously..the guy is one of the most hyped RB's out of college in a while and he seems soft. Is he gonna breakout in the second half? What are your thoughts?
Matt Williamson (1:49 PM)
I abused the Raiders on DDay and just about every day after for quite a while about this pick. Too many weaknesses to take a RB at that spot when you have Fargas and Bush-and had SO many other needs. That toe is obviously a huge problem for him right now and has been for quite a while now as well, so we still have to reserve judgement, but I see him as a role player who makes some big plays, but not a top notch guy, which is exactly a RB taken that high HAS to be.
Cbag (New Britain, CT)
I think the Pats not picking up a veteran QB when Brady got injured is a sign of how stubborn Belichek is that he thinks his system will work regardless who the QB is. I would be more confident with Chris Simms or Joey Harrington under center. Your thoughts?
Matt Williamson (1:50 PM)
I don't disagree with that, but I do kow that the Pats' system takes a long time to learn for what that is worth. They were built to win now even after Brady went down and didn't have time to teach someone the system. But yeah, I hear ya.
PT (Franklin, NC)
Would you consider Jim Fassell to be a QB guru and thus a good fit in Oakland as the head coach?
Matt Williamson (1:50 PM)
Not a bad selection. I also can't say that anyone is set up for success there though. Black hole for head coaches.
Pennington is another of those guys who is continually berated, but I'll take him over Favre anyday.
Matt Williamson (1:51 PM)
He is playing better than Favre this year.
So now that we know about your thoughts on McFadden, of all the rookie RB's in this years' class who is the next "top notch" guy in your opinion?
Matt Williamson (1:53 PM)
I still think Stewart will end up as the best of the bunch. Have become a believer in Felix Jones as a fantastic complementary player to Barber. Liked Mendenhall, but obviously that grade is Incomplete as we stand today. Forte is tough. Does it all. Legit #1 RB. Slaton is in a very RB friendly environment, but I like him as well-but I don't think he will ever be a bell cow at this level. Will all those rookie RBs this year (Great crop overall) I am probably missing someone.
Mike (Boca Raton)
what are you dressing up as for halloween?
Matt Williamson (1:54 PM)
A football scout chasing my kids with one hand and drinking a cold Heineken with the other. Wife is a BIG Halloween freak. Two year old is a bear. Three month old is a chicken.
Matt Williamson (1:55 PM)
Oh yeah-Chris Johnson. Fantastic. Speed, but even better-burst. Explodes. I do think he needs a LenDale type though so he doesn't wear down and I do have some worries that he won't look like he does today come playoff time this year.
If you had a million dollars and had to choose between the NY Giants and any other team to win the NFC Conference championship, who would you choose?
Matt Williamson (1:57 PM)
The field. SO many very good teams in the NFC. Might even take the field (at 50/50) against the Giants to win their division. Not a knock on them-they are my top ranked team again this week-but it is a tough road. What is Eli goes down? Or Tuck? Then...uh-oh!
Besides my bungled out of the end zone play action pass try, Im doing pretty well arent I? You think I have a chance to be the long term answer?
Matt Williamson (1:59 PM)
Yes, you are doing okay all things considered and especially considering the fact that there are zero expectations around you. But "The Answer"? Like Iverson? No no no. Maybe a lifetime #2 who can lead the team for a few games at a time, but not like AI.
David Fairborn, OH
Any Centers out there for the Bengals to draft in lets say, the 2nd round? I'm sick of them starting a 3rd stringer. Thanks!
Matt Williamson (2:01 PM)
GREAT call and this upcoming draft will be the best OC draft that I can remember over the last 20 years. Several of them and Cincy could get a great prospect with one of the first picks in the 2nd round. Needed-especially in a division with Hampton, Rogers and Ngata up the middle. Might be the Bengals' #1 need....and that is saying a LOT.
Matt Williamson (2:01 PM)
Okay everyone, I gotta run. Great chatting with you. Was a lot of grins. Take care. Stop back next week.