Chat with Chris Mortensen
Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the NFL, joined ESPN in 1991 and appears on Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter.
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:01 AM)
Ho-hum, just another crazy week in the NFL, which gives us plenty to chat about. Thanks for joining me. We'll go the full 60 minutes today.
scott (palm city fl)
will michael vick, if healthy, remain the starter for the rest of the year or will we see a flip flop situation throughout the season?
Chris Mortensen (11:03 AM)
I think Vick will have to stay healthy and perform at a consistently winning level. Right now, there's no denying he is doing that. Even in the Green Bay game, it was evident he gives the Eagles the best chance to win. Right now, the NFC East is wide open - three 1-1 teams and the 0-2 Cowboys, who are headed to Houston to play the 2-0 Texans this week.
Greg (ashburn va)
Any chance Shanahan and Bruce Allen get involved with the san diego trade talks to get mcnabb some WR help?
Chris Mortensen (11:05 AM)
Yes, there's a chance but still iffy. Redskins may not have the draft picks available that Chargers want. And even though there is one deadline today @ 4 pm ET, the official NFL trade deadline comes on the Tuesday after week 6, so this may stay alive if nothing happens today.
How do you stop the offense of the Texans?
Chris Mortensen (11:06 AM)
Get their best offensive lineman suspended. Oh, that happened with Duane Brown yesterday. Obviously, it is a great offense but losing Brown hurts and even though Andre Johnson is a "monster" receiver, he's a bit banged up. They are a heck of a team and they get Brian Cushing back in a couple of weeks on the defensive side.
Greg (Green Bay)
Mort- What are your thoughts on the Packers RB situation? Should Ted Thompson make a trade? I think so, what say you?
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
I think he should make a move for Marshawn Lynch or Fred Jackson with Buffalo but Ted has a philosophy where he's proven to be much more right than wrong. The Bills want a starting player and a draft pick. I know for a fact the Bills new hierarchy have researched other team's rosters and are stunned to see many players that they had in the early 90s who are making big contributions on other teams. They're not giving away Lynch. He's a good player who is in much better playing shape than he was a year ago.
Do the Jets start to fall apart with a national televised loss in Miami?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
I don't think so. The win over the Patriots was huge. Santonio Holmes - who was their best offensive player in training camp and preseason - comes back after the fourth game. Revis will probably be fully healthy by that time, too.
Jared (Ann Arbor, MI)
The Lions' D-Line seems to be playing pretty well - what will it take for the rest of the D to catch up?
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
You build a defense starting with that front four (with depth), so this is a process. I have remained firm that the Lions will be a playoff contender in 2011. They are doing a lot of things right (finally) in player evaluation, acquisition and development.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Do you have any thoughts on what the recent resignation of the NFL's CFO (who is returning to Goldman Sachs) will mean for the collective bargaining negotiations?
Chris Mortensen (11:12 AM)
No big deal. My understanding is the money Goldman Sachs offered was impossible to turn down. He wasn't driving negotiations.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Can you please explain the significance of the players on each team voting to de-certify the players union and what that would mean to the owners/team/league
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
It is an option that theoretically removes the lockout - or a strike - option from 2011. It is an option that will only be exercised if negotiations reach an impasse and then allows players as a class sue the league with no protection from labor law. I now believe if there is an impasse that owners will simply implement their last best proposal to the union (when that comes) and we will have football. That's a good thing if it happens. It is what happened after the union decertified in 1989. There was no work stoppage while the legal process eventually led to the leverage that was necessary to reach a new CBA for 1993.
Eric (Churchville, WA)
Why won't Seattle run the ball more? They seem to have some talent in the backfield.
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
I don't think the Seahawks believe they have a main horse who can be complemented by either Leon Washington or Justin Forsett. Pete Carroll was concerned about how poorly they were running it in preseason. They are a team that could be looking for an RB via trade, too.
Marc (City of Brotherly Love)
Do you think Donovan McNabbb is laughing it up in Washington right now?
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
I don't know. Both teams are 1-1 and Vick is playing better football than Donovan.
Brian (Charleston, SC)
Hey Chris, do you think Brett Favre is done, or will he show us once again why he is an icon?
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
I thought Brett Favre was done last year. Wrong. I think he is done now, especially without Sidney Rice. I could be proven wrong again.
Mort, on the Vick situation. I have mentioned this in a post I wrote at www.bumpandrun.com, but isn't it quite possible that the Eagles could play Vick and trade him before the deadline. He is a FA after the season and many teams need a QB now. If he plays well the next two weeks, they could sell high and get a great draft pick rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the season. Your thoughts?
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I guess I can't dismiss anything. But the Eagles are in the business of winning football games. It's evident the Cowboys are not who we thought they were. You don't trade Vick if he gives you the best chance to win. Even if they went back to Kolb, what happens if Kevin gets hurt in week 10. You play with Mike Kafka? I don't think so.
Scott (Palm City)
why dont the chiefs give the ball to jamaal charles more? he so fast!!!
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
I've heard that, too. But he remains fast because he doesn't get beat up. I think they'd like to get Jamaal 15-18 touches. If he breaks off 3 to 5 of those, and let Thomas Jones get those battering yards between the tackles, then that's the ideal.
Do you think if the Cowboy lose this weekend, Wade Phillips gets fired?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
I don't but it will be interesting if they are 0-3 and lose the state of Texas in the process against the Texans.
Eric (Coudersport, PA(Middle of No Where).)
Think VJax goes to the Viks in the next few hours. Chargers would be crazy not to deal him today.
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
They won't trade him unless they get their price. And, again, the real trade deadline comes on the Tuesday after week 6.
Eric (Coudersport, PA(Middle of No Where).)
Worse QB picture: Carolina or Buffalo?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
You'd have to say Buffalo if you believe Clausen is a true franchise quarterback. Now, obviously, a lot of teams do not believe Clausen is because he lasted until the second round. Now if the Bills get an Andrew Luck, a Ryan Mallett or a Jake Locker in the draft next year in the draft, I'd say that's pretty nice.
Chris, are the Bears for real? Or will they get embarrassed by Green Bay Monday night?
Chris Mortensen (11:30 AM)
Interesting game. I went back and checked the two games last year - as bad as that first game was when Cutler threw all those picks, the Packers only beat the Bears by 21-15 and 21-14 scores. The Bears are at home and Brian Urlacher is healthy. I think this is a dangerous game for the Packers. I do not expect the Bears to get embarrassed.
Jon (Charlottesville, VA)
You mentioned Willis McGahee being shopped for a trade on Sunday. Any details?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
The Ravens are willing to trade McGahee. I've been told there was at least one phone call placed by the Ravens to the Packers, who did not show interest at this time.
Forsett averages 5.5 yards a carry during his career if Reggie Bush is a starter in the NFL, Justin Forsett is clearly better check the stats from last season Forsett had like 700 yards more than Bush and Forsett barely got to play
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
I'm just telling you what the Seahawks see and what they have seen this summer. Then again, the O-line is still coming together.
Jets should be ashamed of themselves if Edwards plays sunday!! what kind of msg is that sending? he could've killed someone!
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
I agree. The problem is - and I mentioned this on TV and on Twitter yesterday - the labor agreement closed a loophole in which teams can deactivate a player as a disciplinary measure because this is a substance abuse policy that must be handled by the league's medical administrators who have specific guidelines. Now if Edwards is convicted of a DWI or cops a no contest, then he can be punished under the personal conduct policy but that will take time. One thing Rex Ryan can do is make Edwards active, in uniform, but he doesn't have to play him if he doesn't want. I know the union is not happy at all when one of their players drinks and gets in a vehicle when there are so many free programs available to get a safe ride under those conditions.
Chris Mortensen (11:39 AM)
I would add on Edwards that under the substance abuse policy, he can be fined half a game check up to a maximum of $50,000 for this violation, plus he will be ordered to undergo an evaluation and face random testing if he isn't already. What we don't know is if he's already in the "program," - second violation means loss of four game checks and third violation is a four-game suspension under the substance abuse policy. If he's convicted, it's personal conduct and he'll get suspended at the appropriate time.
I know it is hard for ESPN to accept, but sport and in particular athletes are not that important in terms of how we view them.In particular black athletes such as LeBron James, Mike Vick! As athletes we cheer them, but as for their personal decisions, well that is their business!You, ESPN, both the black commentators and the white are the ones hung up on the racial aspects!You are just as bad as the mainstream news media. For the sake of controversy, and the advertising you can sell based upon the ignorant people who watch and buy into your continual sensationlization of rascism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
I don't necessarily disagree with your overall premise. I refuse to refer to a person's color. Now we do have some persons of color who work in the media business of who have raised the issue but, in Vick's case, I haven't heard that whatsoever at ESPN on our NFL shows. But if a media person of color believes it's a worthwhile issue to discuss, I don't get overly distressed because I don't walk in their shoes, nor do I live in their skin.
Steve Philadelphia PA [via mobile]
What do u think the main reason the steelers lack a offense is it because bens out or is it the departure of santonio holmes?
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
I believe when Roethlisberger comes back, you will see a pretty darn good offense and the true coming-out party of WR Mike Wallace. That being said, Holmes is a big-time player. And the Steelers do have some O-line problems with the latest injuries.
Mister Mortimer: At what point should coaches be thrown under the bus instead of players? Didn't it become patently obvoius that Barron couldn't block Orakpo and that Diehl couldn't block Freeney? Or a few years ago that Justice couldn't block Osi? Once that becomes clear, given the coach's mandate is to put his players in position to do well, shouldn't one call plays that provide help? Failing to keep a TE or RB to help out is inane.
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
Pretty good question. First of all, a lot of people can't block Freeney and, remember, the Giants were down one or two tight ends this past week. Winston Justice, that was a couple of years ago. He's improved. On Alex Barron, he is a backup tackle but it was an insult to every player in this league that he made no attempt to use technqiue. He probably was exhausted because they had no O-line rotation with the injuries and players are not in true four-quarter football shape because they get too much rest in preseason games.
If "Dem'Cowboys" miss the playoffs again, or go one and done in the playoffs is the extremely over rated Romo looking for a new home?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
No and I have yet to talk to any coach, including defensive coordinators, who think he's overrated. I warned everyone that the NFC East quarterbacks are likely to struggle until their offensive lines get settled. That's the way it's always been in the NFL.
Mark (Panama City Beach)
Why do the so called "experts" refuse to give the buccaneers any respect? Going back to last season they have now won four of their last five including a victory over the saints. The defense is playing lights out.
Chris Mortensen (11:50 AM)
I think the Bucs now have me paying attention; this Steelers game doesn't threaten their defense, either. The Browns and Panthers offenses were terrible but, regardless, I didn't think the Bucs would win either one of those games and they are 2-0.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Do you think a team would get to the point that they would tank the rest of their season in expectation of a lockout in hopes of getting 2 overall number one draft picks?
Chris Mortensen (11:50 AM)
Hey Mort! Re: NYJ getting stronger with a returning Holmes and healthy Revis, they also get their top pass rusher-Calvin Pace- back imminently.
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
Yeah, that, too.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Given what Atlanta did against Arizona and what Tennessee did against Oakland, how impressive is the Steelers defense?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
The best. And I'll say this - Troy Polamalu may be the best football player in the NFL, quarterbacks included. And even if I allow for the great quarterbacks and their greater responsibility, he's in the top 5-to-7. But they also have an unbelievable def. front 7, plus DC Dick LeBeau is also the best.
Falcons/Saints important early game. Bush injury helps Atlanta's cause. Early thoughts on the matchup?
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
Bush injury hurts Saints, though their record is pretty strong when they've missed him in the past. Falcons have lost Jerious Norwood for season, WR Michael Jenkins has had the shoulder injury and Michael Turner has the groin problem. Nevertheless, I think the Falcons have a real shot to win this game - and that would be the case even if Bush were playing.
J Treehorn (Malibu)
Mort, we all know you're secretly a Falcons homer.
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
It's only slightly true....I did pick the Saints to win the division last year and I did end up picking the Saints to win the division this year. I might be wrong about this year.
Who's better: Patrick Willis or Polamalu?
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
Both great players. I'll give Polamalu the slight edge based on the longevity of his excellence but Willis is in that top 10, too.
Mort, how about a pick for the Hog game this weekend in Fayetteville?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Can't do it. I'm really a homer for the Hogs. I do think by week 7 or 8, Alabama's defense will be so improved that they are headed to another national title.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Is it hard for you to support the hogs given that their coach is Petrino?
Chris Mortensen (12:01 PM)
So the next question is, is Rex a hypocrite if he allows Braylon to play?
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
Ask Jets fans. Which one of us is not guilty of being a hypocrite at some point? Let's see what happens.
George (Juarez Mx)
what is wrong with the Cardinals besides the QB? should they go after Vick after season? will it be a good fit? Love the chat, keep up the good work.
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
No Anquan Boldin. No Early Doucet. Larry Fitzgerald has hardly practiced for 7 weeks.No Beanie Wells. Offensive line is sproadic. Karlos Dansby is dearly missed on defense.
Matt D. (Philadelphia, PA)
If Santonio Holmes was eligible to play, would the Jets have suspended Braylon Edwards?
Chris Mortensen (12:04 PM)
They can't. I've already explained that.
Mort - why do you think other black athletes from any sport are so supportive of Vick? I agree everyone deserves a second chance but it just seems to me they're more standing up for their race and not the individual. Thoughts?
Chris Mortensen (12:08 PM)
Disagaree. In Atlanta, Michael Vick jerseys were worn by all - black, white, brown, yellow... and my son was doing backflips when Falcons traded up to draft him. Obviously, what he did with the dogs was horrific - I'm a dog lover, too. He did more time in prison than almost anybody else up to that point had done. he lost a $100 million, not to mention signficant endorsements and the shame that came with it. Plus, he lost "his team" in Atlanta. If you don't believe in second chances, then I praise you for your perfect life. And I apologize if I sound so rude when I say that. I do appreciate your participation in this chat, though.
Thoughts on Clay Matthews start? How many sacks do you see him ending up with this year?
Chris Mortensen (12:10 PM)
Matthews has six sacks. I think Dom Capers creates sme great match-ups for him. I think he gets in the 20s this year if he stays healthy.
Chris Mortensen (12:12 PM)
All right, very good - even edgy - discussion today. And that's OK. Sometimes it's healthy to put these things on the table. I did get some complaints about not answering questions. It's fairly random and I just try to get as many as I can. Again you can follow me on Twitter @mortreport and Facebook.com/MortReport. We have a great Sunday NFL Countdown show planned at 11 am ET. And Friday night radio from 8-to-10 p.m. via ESPNRadio.com, too. Have a great rest of the week. God Bless!