Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
Happy Thanksgiving a day early...here at The Andrews Institute in Pensacola where Dr. James Andrews has a medical facility that is state-of-art. Bumped into a few athletes here. But let's talk some NFL.
Hey Mort. Is the Steelers special teams issues a by-product of their veteran depth on Defense? I would think young backup defensive players is who you would tend to put on kick coverage?
Chris Mortensen (11:13 AM)
The Steelers' problems on special teams is something I need to explore. I've heard a variety of reasons when other teams have these problems - the 45-man active game-day roster decisions being a crucial part as well as the attention to detail during the week.
James (Omaha, Nebraska)
What kind of impact do you think Jon Runyan will have in the Chargers' running game?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
Jon hasn't had a training camp so I would expect you would ease him into things. But I did talk to him last week and he was baffled as to why nobody had been more aggressive. He had his knee surgery 10 months ago and felt strong and healthy. He's had a strong career. Leader. Toughness. Heady. I like the signing and it could help quite a bit especially in December and January.
Bill (Laplace, LA)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Chris. How do you see the N.O.-N.E. game playing out, and do you think Gregg Williams will be with the Saints next year?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Fascinating game Monday Night. I favor the Saints because that's a very tough place in a MNF setting but I'm sure having a primetime game at Indy has prepared the Patriots for this moment. These teams are Super Bowl-caliber. Interesting sidebar is that Greg Williams did something to tick off Belichick when he was head coach in Buffalo; lot of people around NFL suspected that was the root of the Patriots "running up" the score on Redskins and Joe Gibbs in 2007. Williams was the defensive coordinator for Gibbs then. I believe he will get a couple of HC interviews; just having a feeling he'll remain in New Orleans.
hey how are you? Is the Trent Edwards Era done in Buffalo? Also if the BILLS somehow get Shannahan do you see him making Donte Whitner his starting Strong safety?
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
It might be a little early to declare the Edwards "era" (can we call it that?) over. The issues that some NFL evaluators worried about have proven somewhat true - Edwards' durablity and deep passing is in question. Of course, both those elements are in jeopardy when your O-line is poor. As for Whitner, a lot depends on the next coach wants to utilize Jairus Byrd in a new scheme.
Mort, forget records and power rankings who do teams fear more the Saints or the Vikings?
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
Gosh, choose your poison. I think there might be more fear of the Vikings because their defensive front four is as good as any; Favre is on top of his game; Sidney Rice
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Mort, sup buddy? Is Gruden going to coach again?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
I'll be surprised if Gruden doesn't coach again but I expect that's two or three years away.
Hey Mort...I've been wishfully thinking for weeks now that Buffalo would at least interview Marty Schottenheimer and I understand that could be a reality now. Would he make more sense for that franchise over Shanahan or even Cowher?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I think Marty Schottenheimer would be a very smart hire. The Bills are in about the same shape as the Chargers when he was hired in SD. People will say, well, he's never won a Super Bowl but he's won, what 207 games with plenty of playoff appearances? He's 66, but Marv Levy was still winning at 70. Even though Marty's position is that he's retired, I think he could be talked into it if he had assurances the owner would let him alone and provide the resources.
Will John Fox last the season?? If the owner really values consistency as he claims, shouldn't they keep Fox and Hurney on instead of making the rash decision of firing a successful coach??
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
I've always believed in restraint/patience when you've had enough success as a franchise - which the Panthers have - and it isn't falling apart. I do not know what the owner, Jerry Richardson, is thinking.
David (Lima NY)
What is your take on Brady being ovverated. I think he is. No moss and welker no more brady. Matt Cassel hero to Zero Bradys players around him make him good. Thanks David
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
Tom Brady overrated...that's very funny to me. He won three Super Bowls with no Moss, no Welker.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
What would make the Buffalo job appealing? They are thin at QB, can't find consistency in the running game, and play in a miserable climate. How do you sell them to a potential head coach?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
Well, the Bills have had success. They have a passionate fan base. You can play to the weather issue (why I like Schottenheimer). QB is something that is a need. The key, for most coaches, is they will want to know that there will be no more meddling, time-consuming phone calls, no interference from the treasurer when it's time to re-sign a Pat Williams and a secure plan if there is any change in ownership.
Phil (Fairfax, VA)
Hey Mort, wondering what you are hearing about the Redskins GM/coach situations right now. If they can't get any "big names," any indications of whom else they might need to start considering? Around here, most seem to want Vinny out as much or more than anyone else. What are the chances Portis is back next year too? Thanks and love your work.
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
A lot of people in the league will be surprised if Mike Shanahan isn't the coach of the Redskins. He would set up his own football operation.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
Do you think that the Bears will finish last in the NFC North this year? What will it take for Lovie to save his job either this year or next year? Any truth the Mike Martz rumors?
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
I would say you cannot ignore the Mike Martz speculation because of his connection with Lovie Smith.
Mike (Boca Raton)
If Charlie Weiss gets fired, do you think Mike Shanahan would be interested in the Notre Dame job before any NFL jobs?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I don't believe Shanahan would engage Notre Dame.
Mike W (Chicago)
Have you heard anything about Cedric Benson's status for Sunday? Will he play and if he does in what capacity?
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
I guess I'll be surprised if Cedric Benson isn't playing; maybe a few less carries but would expect similar production.
Chris Mortensen (11:53 AM)
sorry, had to answer an important call. That's why I'm slow.
Mort if Vince Young finishes the season strong will he be the starter going into next season or does he go back into camp battling Collins for the position?
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
If Vince finishes the season strong, he's the guy. Actually, he may be the guy anyway. He's matured. He's working at it. It also forced the offense to get back to what they should have been doing with Chris Johnson. the key on VY will be known if and when he experiences serious adversity or if he has an injury and his mobility is restricted.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
What QB in college right now is going to make the best pro?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Ha! That was the call I was on - a GM who likely will be looking for a QB. There's a growing consensus there isn't THE guy - a franchise guy. Sam Bradford will have to show his shoulder is truly stable. Washington's Jake Locker has most "upside," - big, srong, athletic with terrific intangibles.... Jimmy Clausen has some supporters and then there's a thought that Colt McCoy could be a late first round or ealy second round guy with a chance. LeFevour (C. Michigan)...shoot, leaving somebody out. But, the best pro? Bradford maybe safest pick; Locker could be the best eventually, but no decision yet on if he's coming out.
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Ha! That was the call I was on - a GM who likely will be looking for a QB. There's a growing consensus there isn't THE guy - a franchise guy. Sam Bradford will have to show his shoulder is truly stable. Washington's Jake Locker has most "upside," - big, srong, athletic with terrific intangibles.... Jimmy Clausen has some supporrters and then there's a thought that Colt McCoy could be a late first round or ealy second round guy with a chance. LeFevour (C. Michigan)...shoot, leaving somebody out. But, the best pro? Bradford maybe safest pick; Locker could be the best evetually, but no decision yet on if he's coming out.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
More important for the Bears,find Cutler a quality vet WR,change the passing game plans to better fit Cutlers strengths,revamp O-line so they can have some sort of running game or just scrap the whole offense sart over?
Chris Mortensen (12:07 PM)
I believe they have to fix the O-line in a big-time way and get at least physical presence at wide receiver so the red zone options would be so limited to Olsen. The O-line is a big deal and the scheme is going to get an adjustment, I can almost assure you of that.
Chris Mortensen (12:09 PM)
Forget the phone call interruptions. I'm having real issues with my lap-top. I am getting a new one by next week so my apologies. I will be on Twitter some today and a lot tomorrow while we watch the games. That's Twitter.com/mortreport, so come join me. In the meantime, have a Happy Thanksgiving. Pray for our troops. Pray for the Spielman family. See you on Sunday NFL Countdown. And God Bless!