Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the NFL season and other news from around the league.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:05 PM)
Gary is here!
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I think the game tonight sells itself. There are so many storylines here but the bottom line is these are two good teams and this is an important division game. It's sure going to be fun to watch.
RAYGORDON REID ( MADISON WISCONSIN 53073)
QUESTIONTO GARY HORTON AT 4.20 HI GARY HORTON WHO DOYOUHAVE TONIGHT VIKINGS OR PACKERS
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I actually picked the Packers to upset Minnesota. I really like the mobility of Aaron Rodgers. I love their passing game and I think they can possibly stop or slow down Adrian Peterson and they play with 5 LBs. I think Minnesota is a real good team, but I think Green Bay is underrated. I also expect CBs Charles Woodson and Al Harris to play well to negate the Vikings WRs.
Who gets fired first, wade phillips or jim zorn?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
Well, I think in both cases, it's just really hard to fire a guy during the season. In Washington, if you fire Zorn, you have a lot of problems because he's the playcaller and the OC. I don't see another guy on the staff that you're excited to take over. In Dallas, I suppose you could make a case for Jason Garrett, but his star has dimmed in the last year. I thought the playcalling yesterday on offense was very curious. I don't think either guy will get fired before the end of the season, but I could be wrong. You also have two owners who are not happy campers.
Was Jeff Garcia Right About His Rant/Call Out Of Jamarcus Russell?
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
He might be right in terms of the truthfulness of what he said, but I'm not wild about doing it in a public forum. You're dealing with a guys career and I don't know what purpose it serves. Even if what he said about Russell is true, let the coaches deal with that and the organization. Calling him out publically is not going to motivate him and I personally think it violates a code - when you leave an organization, keep your mouth shut.
Walter (Boone, NC)
How long do you see John Fox being in Carolina and who do you feel his eventual successor could be ?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I think Carolina is a little bit of a different situation, because he has been an established winning coach for a long time and he has a longer leash. There are other problems within this organization at the top, in terms of ownership and roles that they have to fix before Fox. I would like to think his track record buys him some time. I also saw this thing coming. This was a bad team in preseason and it carried over to the regular season. I think they've lost their identity. They're a run first team, yet we're not seeing that dominating run game. We've pretty much seen that Jake Delhomme can't carry this offesne.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Are the Broncos a playoff team?
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
Oh, I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I love the way they're playing on defense. I never dreamed they could make the transition from the 4-3 to the 3-4 this quickly. On defense, I think they'll continue to play solid, but not as dominant as now. My fear is their offense when they play a tougher team. This is not an explosive unit and they have to play close in games. But they're well coached. They're in a division where they can post some wins. It's a nice story right now, but I wouldn't get too excited this early.
New coaches in 2008 did great (Baltimore, Atlanta etc), yet this year rams 0-4, chiefs 0-4, bucs 0-4, seahawks 1-3, cleveland 0-4, detroit 1-3, denver bucks the trend but why are they all doing so bad?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I think it's somewhat coincidental. A lot of these new coaches inherited teams without good personnel. In St. Louis, Steve Spagnullo has no good players. They're going to have to really tear that team apart. In Tampa, the former decision makers, Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen did a nice job of clearing cap room by getting rid of older players and make a splash in free agency, but the owner decided not to make a splash. In Cleveland, Eric Mangini has no offensive weapons. I think in the cases of Baltimore and Atlanta a year ago, coaches stepped in, they had good players and in the case of Baltimore, John Harbaugh had an established defense and he could focus on one side of the ball. Mike Smith in Atlanta got a QB that nobody thought would be that good and he already had the makings of a good running game. But these other guys have more than one problem to solve.
Gary, the browns looked competitive yesterday...take a moment and just think about that.How many wins is Derek Anderson going to put up this year?
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I agree with you. I think they played hard against a division rival, but I still don't think they're a good football team. I just don't think they have enough playmakers. I am really concerned about this team starting to mail it in if they continue to lose. I just get the feeling that they're right on the edge of not fighting through this adversity. We're looking at a 3-13 type season.
Craig (Braintree MA)
What questions do you hope to get answered in Minneapolis during the game tonight?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
I think the Packers have to show patience in running the football and not depend on the pass offense to carry them every game. I'm really concerned about their OL's ability to hold up against the edge rush. That's their biggest weakness right now, in pass protection.
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
For Minnesota, as good as AP is, I would like to see Brett Favre stretch the field a little bit to open up the run a little more. We might see the Okie defense with 3 DL, 5 LBs and 3 DBs. I would love to see Brett throw some deep balls to start keeping defenses honest. Don't get crazy, but let him gunsling every now and then.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Kyle Orton could be the last NFL starter to throw a pick? Who saw that one coming?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
I wouldn't say that he's playing great, but he's playing smart. This is not an explosive offense right now. They're at their best when they run first and pass second. I think McDaniels is doing an excellent job of gameplanning to Orton's strentghs. Their philosophy is don't turn the ball over and let their defense dominate. I hate to use the term managing the game, but that's what Orton is doing now. He's limiting mistakes. That's good, teams have won the Super Bowl with this philosophy before.
Hi Gary,Based on your skills to evaluate talent, do you see Brandon Meriweather developing into a dominant safety in the league? He was everywhere yesterday.
Gary Horton (4:24 PM)
It seems like his instincts are much improved and his recognition of offenses is really getting him to a lot of players, much like a Troy Polamalu, he sees it and reacts to it and really flies to the ball. He already has great athleticism, but the ability to anticipate and get that first jump on the play is really impressive. And now you might have a younger, faster version of Rodney Harrison.
trey (Oakland Ca)
So Tom Cable might get arrested and removed from the team- have you ever seen anything like this with a head coach in the NFL?
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
No, I haven't. Usually these things stay in-house. Many times there are disagreements or verbal spats among coaches, because it's a very volatile environment, but usually it's handled in house. But I think the Raiders are so secretive that they go overboard trying to cover it up. Obviously, there's more here that meets the eye. This commissioner is a guy that reacts probably more swift when he's being lied to than any other situation. I think he's a fair guy, but I think he wants people to level with him. You get the feeling that maybe that's not the case in this situation with Oakland and he could react harder. But that's just one guy's opinion, I don't have any inside information. It's not like the Raiders are 4-0 and look like a very good team. But in fairness to Cable, they look like they are playing hard, though I haven't looked at yesterday's game.
Juan Christopher (GA)
Gary, What has been your impression of Knowshon Moreno so far? Does he have the ability to be a big time back in this league in the future?
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
I do. I think he's really good for this offense. It's a one-cut and go running game. He seems to be very comfortable in the system. The Broncos have always done a great job blocking up front. Because this is a run first offense, he'll get a lot of chances to be a ball control guy. I think he'll be a solid back in this league.
Cameron (houston, TX) [via mobile]
If the seahawks get healthy can they make the playoffs?
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
Health is obviously a big part of it. Right now, they have a lot of injuries holding them back. They're in a division that it looks like nobody wants to win. That gives them a fighting chance. Although San Francisco is playing better than we thought. But something seems missing in Seattle for me. I don't see consistency, explosiveness. They impress me as a type of team that will tease you one week and lay an egg the next. I dont' think they beat the good teams on the road. Given their division, they've got a shot. They just don't look like an ascending team.
Gary Horton (4:33 PM)
I think after four weeks now, we're getting a true idea about the separation about the elite teams and not. I am equally surprised by the elite teams as those that aren't even competitive with lousy personnel. I suppose it's like this every year and I can look at 6-7 teams and wonder how they got this bad. But I think we're also in the midst of a great season with more storylines than I've seen in some time. I think it will be fun. Can you get a bigger stage than tonight?