Chat with Len Pasquarelli
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli will be here to give you his thoughts on the NFL season.
Pasquarelli, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, will stop by SportsNation every two weeks to chat.
Send your questions now and join Pasquarelli Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
len (10:53 AM)
starting a little early today, but what's a few minutes between friends, right?
Ray A. (San Diego, CA)
Whats your opinion on 49ers TE Vernon Davis. He currently leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns (7), and is probably the best blocker the 49ers have. Anyway Vernon wins the MVP if he keeps this up?
len (10:54 AM)
got to see VD in person at indy on sunday, and very impressed by him . . . his maturity level and, obviously, work ethic, have improved dramatically . . . . as far as MVP, that's difficult for any TE
Would it help if the Redskins sign Chambers off waivers or is just too late for them?
len (10:56 AM)
well, the young receivers in whom they invested so heavily in '08 haven't paid off, buti don't see a chambers-redskins marriage . . . certainly haven't heard of any interest
Matt M (Madison, WI)
Why is it that Phil Savage has not found a new job within the NFL? For what he had in Cleveland when he started, I thought he did a pretty good job of starting to rebuild that roster, but got a raw deal from Lerner when he was fired.
len (10:58 AM)
phil is a terrific guy and, you may know this, he is currently doing radio color for the alabama broadcasts . . . was always known as a very astute scout but, when you lose your job as a GM, sometimes it takes a while to land back in the nfl . . . i'll be very suprised if no one take advantage of phil's expertise in the future
Dave (San Diego)
What's your take on the Giants-Chargers game? I know the Giants defense has been exposed recently, but the Chargers are so one-dimensional this year and have zero running game. Do you see the Giants getting back on track, or does Rivers continue the aerial assault on the Giants secondary?
len (11:02 AM)
i said on new york radio thursday night that the giants' (then) two-game losing streak was just a pothole and that they are still a quality team . . . after the blowout at philly, i'm starting to wonder . . . eli seems to be favoring his leg and the ball is really sailing on him .. . . webster played great at CB early on, but secondary has been a shambles lately . . . especially the safeties
Chris (New York)
Len, With all of the allegations about Tom Cable along with another poor season, does it look like there will be a new coach in Oakland next season? Maybe even a reunion with Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen coming in to save us???
len (11:04 AM)
i thin withor without the allegations, cable would be hard-pressed to keep his job next year . . . nothing against cable, but i still don't know how he got the job in the first place . . . very limited nfl experience . .. might be tough for al to go back to the gruden-allen regime, but he could do worse
Brady Keys (Pittsburgh)
Besides me, who's your All-Time favorite Steeler? Thanks
len (11:06 AM)
john henry johnson . . . for some reason, ed brown . .. bobby layne .. . andy russell . . . john stallworth . . . yah, i'm an old guy
What's up with Matt Ryan?
len (11:08 AM)
i wouldn't worry too much, just a blip in the road . .. falcs' brass seems to think he needs the running game, which until last night had been subpar . . . but i'd like to see them turn him loose once in a while, like pittsburgh has done with roethilisberger, and see what happens
Do you think Ryan Clark should play in Denver next week? Whether he does or not, who do you see winning that game?
len (11:10 AM)
i think clark's decision (and i've been trying hard to get it) is entirely personal, and he can't be criticized no matter what he does . .. guy was VERY ill a couple years ago . .. as for who wins, well, i can't win that one . . . if i say pittsburgh, i'm branded a homer, and picking denver makes me a traitor in the eyes of some . . . i do think the steelers will have a tough time, though, winning in denver
Is it really too early to talk undefetaed season for the saints? I think most people don't want to jinx it and see what happened to the Patriots all over (including myself). What's your take on it?
len (11:12 AM)
it's a long, long season . . . interestingly, both the saints and the colts have NE on the schedule
How will the loss of Owen Daniels affect the Texans?
len (11:13 AM)
huge loss .. . as splendid at andre johnson is, daniels was a great mid-rangle complement . . .someone will have to pick up the slack
If you were handicapping teams today, who would your Super Bowl contestants be?
len (11:15 AM)
as my wife will attest, i'm a terrible handicapper . . . but for now, i'll take the saints in the nfc and the patriots in the afc
Len, What's up with the Browns? Is Marty on the radar?, Or is Cowher back in picture after this season, or what else?
len (11:17 AM)
a real shame, given the loyal fan base in cleveland, that they've got to start over again in a lot of ways . . . i think the coaching decision is a long way off . . . mangini could conceivably survive .. . too early yet to have heard any good buzz, but i'll be stunned if cowher is a big-time candidate . . . don't be surprised if bernie kosar ultimately has greater input on how things are run
Liam (Pleasanton, California)
What's your take on Alex Smith? Should the niners switch to a spreadh offense? Do you think he will do enough this year so the 49ers use their 2 1st rounders on o-line and a pass rusher next year? Or do they go QB?
len (11:20 AM)
i'm a big smith supporter, especially since his right shoulder has been repaired . . . thought he did some good things when i got to see him last week . . . might be starting to become more than just a spread qb . . . looked surprisingly comfortable in the pocket sunday and in a more conventional offense . . . i'd stick with him
Brian (Richmond, VA)
Who is your MVP thus far?
len (11:21 AM)
brees or peyton, with jared allen third
Follow-up to the Texans question: Does the door now open up for Walter to produce like he did last year when Andre was hurt?
len (11:24 AM)
walter proved to be a very nice player last year, the kind of perfect no. 2 wr the texans needed . .. he needs to do it again, and this certainly is his chance
Len, sorry another question concerning our beloved Browns. Please, what is Lerner's plan? Kosar has NO EXPERIENCE running a team, we have been through this before. Arcoursi shot down rumors but may he join team?
len (11:27 AM)
mr. lerener is a big-time fan, legitimately, and i think he means well . . . but a lot of owners are fans and don't make the mistakes randy has . .. the best owners get out of the way and allow their football people to run the show . . . i'm not suggesting randy is meddlesome, because i don't think he is, but he needs to make the right call at some point soon . . . the city desreves as much
Omar (Detroit, MI)
Last year DeAngelo Williams exploded the 2nd half of the season, who do you see breaking out this year?
len (11:29 AM)
one of the best pure runners in the league, and has really benefitted from the zone-blocking, one-cut scheme intsalled last year . . . it's very much like his college offense, and he's really done well in it
Jordan (Columbus, OH)
Len, records aside, who do you think is the worst team in the NFL?
len (11:29 AM)
It seemed like during the Colts-49ers game that the 49ers Defensive players faked a couple of injuries when the Colts ran the no-huddle! Didn't the NFL crack down on this issue? Should the NFL change the rules that injured players should stay out a whole series instead of 1 play?
len (11:33 AM)
yeah, i was at that game, and clearly the 49ers were coached to fake injuries to slow down indy's no-huddle offense . . . tough call as to what to do because, while it seemedobvious the 49ers were feigning injury, it's a judgement call . . . what if someomne really was hurt and, by rule, had to stay in the game? . . . somehow, like protecting the referees, the nfl needs a solution
what is slower, LJ trying to get through a hole or your chatting speed
len (11:36 AM)
probably my chatting speed, and i apologize for the slowness of it . . . the guillain-barre syndrome i contracted a year ago, unfortunately, has taken away some of my fine motor skills, and i can't type nearly as fast as i used to . .. perpheral nerves are coming back, bit it's taking a while longer than i'd like . . . many apologies for the inconvenience
So you're of the belief the Patriots are a better team than the Colts and might be the only AFC team that could beat them?
len (11:39 AM)
i don't know tht the patriots are better than the colts . . .a lot of times, the best team, or what's perceived as the best team. doesn't make it to the super bowl . . . given the many friendships in the indy front office and locker room, i hope the colts make it .. . but i was asked who i think will make it, and i said the pats . .. it's just an opinion, that's all
Will the Colts try and promote in-house to replace Howard Mudd after this year or go find a 30 year vet from somewhere else?
len (11:40 AM)
seems they've been grooming pete metzelaars for several years npw . . . players know him and respect him, so i'm guessing he's the guy
Rob (New Orleans)
Len, everyone keeps saying how good the Saints defense is this year, but them certainly still give up a lot of yards. History tells us defense wins Super Bowls (most of the time), so is this defense good enough to win the Super Bowl? Thanks Len!
len (11:43 AM)
while i always look at yards, most coaches believe the most important stats are points surendedered and takeaways . .. the saints probably give up more points than GW would like, but they're excellent as disguising fronts and taking the ball away. williams doesn't get enough credit for his run-blitzes (especially SS roman harper)
Matt (St. Paul)
In a league where parity is the goal, how is it that the gap between the haves and the have nots has gotten so wide?
len (11:46 AM)
great question . .. many reasons, but i wrote a few weeks ago that the common denominator for the worst teams was that they had made a mistake when it came to a franchise-type QB . . . for instance, it's hard to knock the rams for paying bulger a couple years ago, but they then passed on matt ryan in 2008 and mark sanchez in 2009 when they could have had their QB of the future
Mike (Boca Raton)
Any conclusions that you drew from the Ravens-Denver game? Perhaps Denver coming back to earth or just that Baltimore is still pretty good?
len (11:48 AM)
ravens are still pretty good . . . i picked them preseason to win the division, and i'll stick with them
The Browns really screwed up by firing Savage last year. Firing Crennel was a must but Savage was foolish. Rumors are that Kosar is being groomed to be GM, which I love. With 11 draft picks next year, Browns could get out of the cellar.
len (11:51 AM)
this is going to take a while, no matter who's running the front office . . .i was thinking a little while ago about how bad the browns have been in the draft . . . . remember when they first came into the league, and they had double draft picks for a couple years, and seemed to squander them/ . . . the turnaround begins with player evaluation, and they've clearly got to get better at it
Len,What should we expect in Houston? Is Slaton getting benched for Motes or was it just a wake up call?
len (11:53 AM)
slaton's preey much been a disappointment most of the year . .. moats provided a nice lift for a week ... . just a guess, bit i think slaton will start, but moats will get his share of touches, too
Schlabach McGee (Djibouti)
Len, you look like a walrus. I don't have a question
len (11:54 AM)
thanks much, i like walruses
Clyde (South Padre Island, Tx)
Cowboys-Eagles next Sunday night, Who do you got and why?
len (11:56 AM)
philly is tough at home, and cowboys better have amnesia when it comes to remembering (or, maybe more accurately, no remembering) last year's finale
Michael Murphy (Nashville, TN)
If the Titans keep up the defensive pressure (and tackle better), and Vince continues to play decent. What's they best they can finish?
len (11:57 AM)
that's a lot of ifs . . . let's say 6-10, because i feel there are still quality players there
Justin L (NC)
Why do you think the Raiders havent gone out and gotten a free agent or tried to trade for a new QB? Its obvious the current situation isnt going to work out.
len (11:58 AM)
they had a FA quarterback in jeff garcia, and should have kept him around
Any chance Carolina can pull the upset at New Orleans this Sunday???
len (11:59 AM)
there's always a chance if the good jake shows up for the game, but i still like the saints
DPO is either Allen or Sharper? Or is there someone I am missing?
len (12:00 PM)
dumervil and james harrison
Are the falsons a playoff bound team?
len (12:01 PM)
last night notwithstanding, i think so
len (12:03 PM)
thanks very much for the time and the great questions, sorry i wasn't fast enough to get to more of them . . . enjoy the games and i'll see you in a couple weeks