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 (4:01 PM)
Gary is here!
Gary Horton (4:02 PM)
No matter what you think of the Brett Favre situation, it is absolutely amazing that he continues to play at this level. This could be headed to one of the biggest stories we've ever seen in the NFL if the Vikings continue to win.
Do you think that the Minnesota Vikings are legitimate Super Bowl contenders with Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, a strong offensive line, and a formidable defense and special teams?
Gary Horton (4:03 PM)
Yes, I think they are. I think the best two teams in the NFC are Minnesota and New Orleans. I don't see a glaring weakness in this team. All the things you mention are strengths. The team I saw on Sunday in Green Bay played with confidence and a belief that with No. 4 at QB that they are never out of a game. I think that confidence can carry them a long way.
where do you fall on the 96 Pack v. 09 Vikings?
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
I think it's so unfair to compare one team to another team in different eras. Honestly, I think Brett was just throwing a compliment to his new team and his new city. I don't think he meant it to be disrespectful. Having said that, I think the 96 team was a great team on both sides of the ball. And they did it for a long time. I think it's unfair to give Minnesota too much credit yet because we're only halfway through the season.
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
We have a full body of work for the '96 Packers. We don't yet for Minnesota.
Scott (Bakersfield,CA) [via mobile]
Who is to blame for the Broncos lost?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
I don't think their margin for error has ever been as big as other people thought. They've just been playing extremely well and not making mistakes. They ran into a desperate Baltimore team. The Ravens blitzed more in the past and Denver wasn't ready for it and was confused. Baltimore's offense has versatility. That's a tough place to play. If I'm a Broncos fan, the one good thing I take away from the game is that Kyle Orton did not implode. He played a mistake free game, he managed the game. But I would be a lot more worried if I thought the QB position was falling apart.
James Robinson (orlando)
How dangerous do you think the eagles can be when they are clicking on all cylinders? Lets go phillies
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
I think they're a very dangerous team because they have explosive big play weapons. This can be a really good quick strike team, where they can beat you at any time with Maclin and Jackson. They have now a potentially one-two punch in Westbrook and McCoy. Celek may be one of the most underrated players in the league. The issue may be pass protection and giving McNabb time to run their pass routes. This team can beat you in a hurry. If I am an Eagles fan, I love the style of play I'm watching.
Gary - Do you think the Dallas Cowboys could have playoff aspirations if Tony Romo doesn't turn the ball over and makes good decisions? Do you see the Cowboys in the playoffs?
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
Absolutely I do. I think the last three weeks, they've really cleaned up a lot of issues. Romo hasn't made mistakes. They've simplified his reads. They're realized they need to run the ball to be successful. They've really upped their pressure packages on defense. That creates turnovers on big plays. It seems odd, halfway into the season, that they now know who they are. When they were struggling early in the season, I don't think it was Tony Romo's fault. They're playing good football now. This goes down to the wire with Philadelphia and Dallas in the NFC East.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Gary, do you think Vernon Davis is playing so well because he's the 49ers best receiving option?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I think that the QB's in San Francisco have tremendous confidence in Davis. He's the new breed of TE that is a nightmare because of his size. The addition of Michael Crabtree really adds to his success because it's really hard to double them both. When you draw attention to the outside in Crabtree, it opens up the inside for Davis. Alex Smith really trusts him.
zach(Indiana) [via mobile]
What do you think about the colts barely beating the 49ers?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
It's a combination of two things. 1) We know every week that the 49ers will play their hearts out. They may not always have the best talent, but under Mike Singletary, they play hard and with pride. This is the perfect example of Peyton Manning not having a great day. He didn't have great passes and his timing wasn't there. But their defense played well. I don't know if I would be encouraged, but I would feel good about the fact that they can win a game with the team not playing very well. Not every game will be a blowout.
Ben (Miami, FL)
What are your thoughts on Chad Henne? Aside from the Jets game he hasn't wowed anyone, but he hasn't really had a bad game either (statistically the NO game was bad, but neither INT was really his fault). Are you encouraged by what you've seen from him thus far, and how good do you think he can be?
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
I think he's going to be fine. He's a young guy. He has all the tools. He has a big arm. I'm not sure he has a good enough set of receivers. Like most young guys, he'll have some good games and not so good games. You'll just have to grow with him. It's tough with a QB like Henne to get in a groove when they run so much of the wildcat. You're in and out of the lineup. While we love the wildcat and it's effectiveness, it can alter the play of the QB.
Gary, is there any hope for a Raiders fan?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
Let me be the first to tell you, then, that I don't think there's anyway you can loose this weekend. I've seen BYE and they're very beatable. In all honesty, this is a team that's a mess on both sides of the ball. I don't know if there's any hope at QB. I just don't see anything that will lead me to believe that it will get better.
RAY GORDON REID ( JACKSON MISSISSIPPI 39201)
QUESTIONTO GARY HORTON AT 4.20 PM HI GARY WHO DO YOU HAVE TONIGHT SAINTS OR FALCONS
Gary Horton (4:18 PM)
Oh, I think the Saints. I like Atlanta. I love Matt Ryan. The Saints have proven to me that they can win in a lot of areas. Not just passing. They can run the ball, play great defense. The playcalling is great. They have such confidence in the Super Dome. I don't think Atlanta can get into a high scoring game and survive and I don't think that Atlanta can slow things down and keep Brees off the field.
Gary Horton (4:18 PM)
If I were a Falcons fan, my biggest fear is my secondary, where I'm really uncomfortable with my corners and matchups, especially when I'm trying to go 4-5 deep to cover the Saints receivers.
Randy PA [via mobile]
Do you see miami making a playoff run. even with a slow start i think they look better than there record indicates. but they may have to win the east?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
I would totally agree with you. They've lost a couple of heartbreakers. I get the feeling each week that they're close to clicking on all cylinders. While others think the wildcat is a gimmick, it's their base offense and they run it better than anyone. This is a well coached team and I think they climb back into it. Plus I don't know if we know what the Patriots are, even though they've played better the last few weeks.
what is wrong with the giants
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
On Sunday, their tackling and fundamentals were horrible. They just did not look like a sound football team. Their biggest problems are on the back of their defense. They've had a lot of injuries in the secondary, especially at safety. The problem is that their front four is not dominating like they have in the past. You might think that they could bring a lot more blitzes, but they can't do that because they have to sit back in coverage and help out the secondary. So they become a vanilla defense. Eli is struggling with his accuracy. His young receivers are getting frustrated with the press schemes. And I don't see the physicality with the run game and Jacobs as I have in the past. To me, this is a physical team that sets up to run and builds off of that.
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
It seems like every week we have new storylines in this league. There always seems to be 4 or 5 really compelling games. This is a great year if you're an NFL fan, because you just don't know what to expect from week to week. I do think the cream is starting to rise to the top and we're starting to look down the line and we will see some great playoff games if this holds up.