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've got Gary!
Gary Horton (4:03 PM)
Nobody will agree with me, but it's kind of a sad day to see Brad Childress get fired, even though a lot of people saw it coming. He's a personal friend of mine, a good man and a good football coach. I'm sorry it didn't work out in Minnesota. I understand these things happen in this game.
MEL31602 (Waltham MA)
Hey Gary as great as the Jets win yesterday was, there were some troubling aspects about it. It seems in recent weeks the Jets o-line has not looked as strong. What do you attribute this to?
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
I don't think they're dominating as much as they have been. It's hard to play your best game every week. I actually think that I am seeing more lackadaisical play on the defensive side of the ball. On one hand you like the fact they're winning the close games. Keep in mind these are all NFL players they're playing against. These aren't all Washington Generals that they're playing against. But they also tend to play down to their competition. If they get too comfortable, it could be a problem.
jeff (phx) [via mobile]
Long time 9er fan here, they are an enigma cuz 3-2 in last 5 but 0-5 to start when will it change?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
Well, I have liked this team all year. Each week I kept expecting them to turn it around but they didn't. What really bothers me about the gameon Sunday, an offense that I thought was really starting to open up with a new coordinator reverted back to form and played a very conservative game. An OL that I thought was getting better and healthier was horrible against a mediocre Tampa Bay pass rush. I'm starting to think that the 49ers are the ultimate teaser. They can look good one week and horrible the next. If I'm a 49er fan I am disgusted with what I saw.
Gary, the Chicago Bears have the #__ defense in the NFL.
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I continue to be somebody that is not buying into the Bears totally yet. Forget their problems on offense. They have a good run defense, but I think you can attack them in the passing game. As good as Peppers can be, I thought I would see a better pass rush out of this group. However, they play hard most of the time and when motivated, they can attack you on defense. They are good with a chance of spurts of really being good, but I don't know if they are elite.
Is there an elite defense residing at 1265 Lombardi Ave in Green Bay? They've looked awfully good recently.
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
Well, I think they're being elitely coached. I think there are some elite players on this unit. I think they're still a work in progress because of their health issues. What I love about this defense is that Dom Capers has done a tremendous job of recognizing who he has ready to play on a weekly basis and structures his scheme accordingly. On one down, they can put three guys at the line with one down lineman and put 8 into pass coverage and the next down they can put 9 on the line and come at you with the blitz. Because of their injury problems, they have to be creative and out think offenses.
Mr. Horton: Brad Childress may have been in over his head. He may be best as a coordinator. Is there a team out there you can see offering him a job?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I don't think there's any question he can stay in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. He has an excellent offensive mind. He knows the West Coast offense. It would not surprise me if he ends up back in Philadelphia if Marty got a head coaching job.
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
This is a pretty good coaching fraternity and he will resurface when he decides he wants to.
Gary, much has been made of the increase in passing games in contenders (IND, GB, ATL, NE) to control the ball/clock. Do you think they can thrive in the playoffs with such poor yard-per-attempt numbers?
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
I think it's a little risky because you could always get into a weather situation that time of year. I think all the teams you're talking about would really like to run the football but can't because of personnel or injuries, so they use the short passing game as an extension of the passing game. But when we get into December and January and these teams with run games like Baltimore and Pittsburgh will be very happy that they have that quality. But I do have to say that these elite passing teams do an amazing job of controlling the clock and time of possession is not as big a negative as you would think from a one-dimensional offense. That goes to the fact that they really know who they are.
Gates is getting healthy and Vincent Jackson is due back soon. I sense another 2nd half of the Chargers massacring opponents. Do you see them blowing up? Also, is Malcolm Floyd relevant once V-Jack is back?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
I think they make a run as they have talent at some key positions. I think they have the hottest QB in Phillip Rivers. What I don't see from the Chargers this year is the depth they've had in the past. I don't think their margin for error is as good. It seems like in the past they've always had plenty of players at each position that they could count on, but I don't see that now. Where is the running game? Can they be healthy at WR? It's a good statistical defense, but where are the game-changing plays. Obviously, special teams are always an issue. I don't see the same kind of big run that we've seen in the past.
David (Washington D.C.)
Does Vince Young play as a Tennessee Titan ever again?
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I think that's a tough one to project. Ownership likes Young and they see him as their franchise QB. Jeff Fisher realy seems to be fed up with him. But those things have a habit of healing, especially if Young tries to get on everyone's good graces. If he changes and makes a move will go toward determining if he plays again.
Despite the fact that the Falcons are 8-2, we are not getting any credit by majority of the NFL. Why is that? Thanks for your answer
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
I think the reason people aren't talking about them is because they're kind of a boring 8-2. When I watch them on film, they're very efficient, but they're just not overly flashy, with the exception of Matt Ryan to White on certain plays. They're well coached. They have great offensive balance. They play underrated defense and they just don't beat themselves. When you study this team, you realize they're going to play for an entire 60 minutes. That keeps them in a lot of games. I don't know how dynamic they are. They are a playoff team. If you're looking at the positive side, you like the fact that they don't wilt to the pressure.
Do you think Seymour's actions warrant additional suspension and an excessive fine? After all, they fine James Harrison for tackling a guy, right?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
I think that there will be a fine coming. It will be substantial. I don't think a suspension is in order, because they kicked him out of the game and that hurt them already on Sunday. You also have to take into account that Seymour is a respected veteran player. This is an act we don't usually see from him, so maybe you give him some extra slack. But I do think he'll have to play a big fine.
How good was that Pats/Colts game? Fun game to watch and lived up to the hype. What were your thoughts on the game? Brady really looked sharp
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
Tom Brady is a great player, but he's also running an offense that is now very QB friendly. There is a lot of short to intermediate, low risk passes and he throws them to perfection. This is as smart an offense as you will see. They have good matchups and Brady knows how to find them. Manning does the same thing. In my mind, we should really enjoy for however long it lasts, a chance to watch these two guys play against each other, because it just doesn't get any better.
How good can Sanchez to Holmes be?
Gary Horton (4:26 PM)
I think that is fast becoming one of the most dangerous tandems in the NFL. I think the Jets already have a nickname for it in "Tone Time." It appears to me that when Sanchez wants a big play, that's who he goes to. And not only can Holmes run, but he's great after the catch. This is a different offense when he's in the game.
JJ (Dallas, TX)
You think I should hire Garrett after 2 games or wait til after the next 2 before making the call?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
Oh I don't think there's any chance they hire him until the season's over. It's a combination of if they play hard for him until the end and what will the record be. And Jerry Jones will be enamored with at least fishing for some of the big names that will be out there. I don't think there's any way that Jones won't take this coaching search to the open market. That's not to say that Garrett won't ge the job. You just can't have a knee jerk reaction after two weeks. Let's keep in mind, they beat a not very good team at home and they had to scramble to do it.
What are your thoughts on the coaching staff of the Texans? Should we replace Bush alone, or Bush and Kubiak?
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
I really liked the Texans team going into the season. While they're not a team of high character, I'm just baffled how they keep losing games. I know their pass defense isn't very good, but you can't just keep giving up big plays on a weekly basis. They're starting to become the team that's most likely to collapse. They're too good for that. They have a good coaching staff, but something's missing. This team should have a totally different record right now and they don't.
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
I think if you like offensive football, tonight's your night. We may not see much of a run game, but Denver and San Diego will be very entertaining with creative offenses and even if they aren't necessarily elite teams, they will be fun to watch. This is a huge game in the division for both teams with a lot on the line.
Buzzmaster (4:32 PM)