Chat with 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)
We're getting Gary right now!
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
Another slow week in the NFL with just no news....That's supposed to be a joke. Obviously there are a million story lines around tonight's game that everyone already knows. But I was shocked at the inconsistent play that I saw on Sunday. It's getting to the point where you can not identify what a good NFL team does. You can not expect any consistency from week to week. I saw some games that absolutely shocked me on Sunday. I know there are some QBs hurt, but it just doesn't seem like right now there are any super teams, which make it fun to watch. We might see some divisions where 8-8 or 9-7 win it and they make the divisions.
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
I could see if this were Week 1 or 2 where teams are trying to figure out who they are, but we're deep enough into the season that we shouldn't see the mistakes that we're seeing at this point.
GH, if you had to bet on one team today to win the SB, it has to be Pittsburgh, right?
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I think there are three teams that I really think could be dominant and that's Pittsburgh, Baltimore and the Jets. What I think is very interesting is that all three are built the same way, great defense, power run games and they wear you down. That leads us to our old adage that defense and running games win championships. Passing teams win the regular season.
Nick (ct) [via mobile]
Gary, do you think this might be a nice wake up call for jason campbell to get back his starting job?
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I don't know that wakeup call is the right word, because I don't think he lost his job because he wasn't working hard enough or taking it for granted. He just got benched for inconsistent play. This gives him another chance to prove what he can do. However, you are right in the fact that sometimes when a guy sits for a few weeks, he gets a chance to really examine his game and evaluate things from a really honest perspective. That may be the case with Campbell.
Dominic (the office)
How bout them Lions!?!?!?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
Did they look that good or are the Rams that bad? I did not think that the Lions could score over 40 points on anybody. But I have felt that they were really going in the right directions in the last several weeks. They are a lot closer to being a good team than most people realize. One thing you notice when you see them on film is that these guys play hard. They believe in their coaches. They believe in what they're doing. They've getting better each week. Having said that, I thought the same thing about the Rams before Sunday. I hope this was just a one-week thing for them.
jeff (phx ) [via mobile]
Hey mr horton, do believe its time for the release of alex smith? Should the 9ers trade for a QB?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I don't think there is anything they can do right now, because even though David Carr is probably the most popular guy in the Bay Area because he's the backup, but he's not hte answer. And maybe I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, I see more good plays from Smith than we give him credit for. To me, what is holding back the 49ers is they just can't put everything together. They'll make a half dozen good plays and then a head scracthing mistake that brings them back to sqaure one. They do some good things on film, but they do 4-5 things a game that prevent them from winning. Yet you think any time now they'll learn from those mistakes and turn things around.
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
If Smith doesn't play better, the 49ers will have to look at the QB position a year from now. But fans don't realize how far that sets back an organization if you have to change QBs.
Given their string of injuries and inconsistencies, what will it take for the packers to continue to be a contender
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
Obviously, they've got to get healthy and I don't know how they do that. They ran the ball shockingly well on Sunday, but I'm not sure that wasn't just a one-day occurance. The running game is a huge concern. I'm worried about Rodgers trying to do too much and defenses knowing this might be a one-dimensional offense. But with all of their problems, this division is not nearly as good as we thought it would be. With Minnesota's issues and even though the Bears are 4-1, I don't think they're nearly as good as that record indicates. This is a division where whoever gets healthy gets a chance to win it, though it might not be any better than 8-8 or 9-7.
What did you think of the moss trade
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I think it was a necessity for the Vikings, who desperately need a guy who can stretch the field. When they get back Sidney Rice, they are going to have a lot of weapons and a very intriguing offense, if they're still in the race at that time. I think the Patriots have been planning for this. They'll go to a lot of double TE formations with five-step drops. And I think we'll see a stronger run game from the Patriots. Everything that New England does has a purpose and a plan. I think they're very comfortable with life without Moss. I think they have the players in place to adapt their style a little bit, but still be successful. And remember, they keep piling up draft picks. If you get the right players, this could be a young team with a lot of talent in future years.
Can the league and football fans finally take the Titans seriously after yesterday?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
Winning yesterday surprised me, but I have always thought they were a well coached football team. They are a talented offensive team with Young and CJ. And they finally look like they've gotten some weapons in the passing game. They are aggressive. They will punk you in the mouth and this team plays hard for 60 minutes. If their passing game ever develops a consistent vertical threat to take those 8 men out of the box, they will be that much better. But teams that play the Titans know they have to go 60 minutes. They had the mental toughness to survive and Dallas diddn't.
What are your thoughts about the Atlanta Falcons??
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
I think they're a team that flies under the radar. They have good offensive balance. Their good run game gives QB Matt Ryan good playaction opportunities. I think he has two guys that he really trusts in White and Gonzalez. They're a team without a lot of glitz, but they're very solid.
Are the Panthers the worst team in the league?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
Well, they're certainly not very good. Buffalo is not very good. San Francisco, I believe is better than their 0-5 record. I would say Carolina is probably not even competitive right now because of inconsistent QB play and I don't know how they'll turn that around. They're are a lot of teams that are playing poorly, but all of them have a chance to get better, though I wouldn't put Buffalo and Carolina in that category. It's a shame, because I think John Fox is a good coach.
what is your take on the Giants?
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
The Giants are totally an enigma for me. I thought that early in the season they were a team that didn't have a lot of toughness or character, and now the last two weeks, they're blowing out their opponents and have a lot of toughness and character. Though their win over Houston made me think that Houston is softer than we think. But I am to the point right now in the season where I am almost afraid to get on a team's bandwagon for fear that I get kicked off the next week.
Do you think Kubiak will stick with Foster as the feature back? His track record scares me a bit. I want to trust Foster to be the stud he was the first 4 weeks but I will always have hesitations now
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
Well, I don't think you can judge him after a so-so game against the Giants. They did a pretty nice job of gap integrity and discipline. What I think a fair question is if this guy is sort of a one-month wonder. As we all know, the key in this league is having success on a weekly basis. I do know that former starter and backup Steve Slaton has played well in practice and I've been told he's stayed ready to play so it wouldn't shock me if he gets a few more touches. I don't think Foster is in danger yet of being benched. But it's not like the coaches have six years of production with him where they're afraid to bench him.
hi, gary , do you think the chief's, have any chance to win the afc, west?.......thx
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
I would have said no. I thought their loss to Indy had some positive signs. I think they may be the most improved team in the NFL. I think they're headed for big things. The way the Chargers looked yesterday, you would think it opens up the door, but I still think San Diego will eventually get it together, go on a run and break our hearts in the playoffs. I think the Chiefs will be competitive in a lot of games, but in less San Diego totally underachieves, which they are capable of doing, they should win the division. But we are close to a passing of the guard in the AFC West with the Chiefs taking over.
Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey! How in the world can we handle another Todd Collins start?? 4 Interceptions - 32 yards through the air?? A dead corpse could have performed better! Real classy, JK, real classy! Please tell me WE get Cutler back soon! Smile.
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
I thought the Bears tried to lose the game and they couldn't. To me, the best thing I saw from Chicago was the fact that the coaches said they were too aggressive in their game plan two weeks ago and Mike Martz dialed it back and they became a running team with Forte and Taylor. To me, the only chance this team has to win is running and defense, with picking their spots. That's a good formula for success. My question is can Mike Martz do that once he has Cutler in the lineup or will they go back to the pass heavy attack?
Gary Horton (4:32 PM)
I think we're looking at a real interesting game tonight. Obviously we have Favre and Moss storylines. But remember, Holmes, Pace and Revis are all back. There are a lot of weapons on each one of these teams. Minnesota is in a more critical position and this is almost a must win that, in my opinion, this may be one of the most anticipated Monday Night matchups we've seen in a while. And isn't it ironic it takes place in the Big Apple?