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 (10:34 AM)
FYI: My chat session probably won't begin until 11:30-11:45 am ET today...but come on back or leave your questions! Thanks.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Does Mike Mularkey get another shot at being a head coach? He deserves one.
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
Mularkey is interviewing with at least two teams - Broncos and Browns. He will be selective if he is ever presented with offer - stable ownership with be a priority.
cory (north carolina)
what are the chances harbaugh takes a pro job and the chances luck turns pro?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
I've had people tell me it's very likely Harbaugh goes to the NFL and that is expected to tilt the scales for Luck to turn pro - though Luck understands he may not be able to play for Harbaugh in the NFL.
Did the Vikings interview any other coaches before removing the Interim title with Leslie Frazier? If so how does that not violate Rooney rule?
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
Does this question really need an answer?
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
sorry, phone is ringing off the hook. will get back to you very soon.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
What areas do you think the Giants need to address most this offseason?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
Finding out why they have so many turnovers via fumbles and interceptions and see if there's an identifiable cause.. One problem they know is that WR Steve Smith was Eli's check-down receiver and that's one part of the problem because neither RB has those skills. Also, beefing up linebacking corps and make sure O-line is addressed.
Jeff (Cape Coral, FL)
How many of Perry Fewell's job interviews are legit? What do you think his chances of staying with the Giants are? If he does leave, is John Fox too much of a reach to replace him?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
Fewell was considered a head coach candidate going back to last year. I haven't heard he's a leading candidate on any of these jobs but you never know. That being said, Fox would be a very attractive defensive coordinator candidate.
Is the Rooney Rule really necessary? I mean, did Ray Sherman REALLY have a shot in Dallas? It seems that it causes more negative press than not having to interview a minority candidate.
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
Lot of debate on this. John Wooten heads the Fritz Pollard Alliance to assist teams and coaches in this process. Wooten believes it's important that these guys have real interviews, regardless of whether there's a clear intent by an owner to hire someone else. That's so the minority coach's name gets exposure and that those coach's get as much experience as possible with the interview processs.
Is Wade Phillips a lock for the Texans DC or is there a chance that they will look to get a DC that favors the 4-3 instead of trying to make this move to the 3-4. If so who should they be looking at speaking to? Thanks
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
Wade Phillips is in the Texans facility as we speak. That's a fair question about the 4-3 vs. 3-4 but since the 4-3 hasn't been working, that shouldn't be an obstacle. My biggest curiousity is how Phillips utilizes Mario Williams.
charles (jasper texas)
why not paul chryst as oc from wisconsin
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
I think Chryst would be an excellent offensive coordinator candidate.
I am a bit concerned about the Mike Singletary firing in SF. Will the team's philosophy of hitting people in the mouff change with Harbaugh in charge?
Chris Mortensen (12:05 PM)
I don't know that Harbaugh is absolutely the guy for 49ers. They want to sit down and make sure he's a good fit. But let me assure you of this - Harbaugh will run an even more physical camp and style of football than Singletary.
I think Elway coming back to the Broncos helps a bit from a PR/face-of-the-franchise perspective, but am concerned about retaing Xanders as GM. He does not have a demonstrated track record of evaluating talent, and the Duke isn't really going to be making personnel decisions on the scouting/draft level is he?
Chris Mortensen (12:07 PM)
The main thing is if they have a strong personnel department under the GM. Remember the value of good scouts. The GM and the football ops guy oversee it but the scouts do a bulk of work.
Hasn't Devin McCourty had just as good a year, if not better, than Suh?
Chris Mortensen (12:08 PM)
McCourty had a great rookie year... he did not have a better year than Suh and I haven't spoken with any coach/personnel man or player who disagrees with that. That's not a knock on McCourty, though. Heck of a year.
Why is that black reporters have no problem calling out the NFL when black candidates arent interviewed, but when no white candidates are interviewed for a job "Chris Mortensen" sits all quiet?
Chris Mortensen (12:13 PM)
I'm not big into identifying the color of skin on candidates. We are all of the same race. But the Rooney Rule was necessary. I have criticized teams when they haven't interviewed a variety of candidates, be it black, white or brown.
Granted, I know Vick has looked a little more mortal of late. However, the Giants and Bears are said to have "solved him." How is that? Bears still gave up 26, Eagles could have (and should have) smoked the Giants in the first game, and for the second, the game is 60 minutes, not 52. I don't see how it "solves" anything, just a step in the right direction.
Chris Mortensen (12:16 PM)
I don't think you quite solve Vick. Every QB is subject to the same flaws when they are pressured and hit frequently. Vick's primary enemy is his strength, too: Such a competitor and great athlete that he is subject to getting physically beat up.
Mort are the Browns going to land an experienced HC i.e. Gruden, Fox, Childress or are we going to have to settle for unproven coordinator guy?
Chris Mortensen (12:20 PM)
I don't know. But Mike Holmgren was unproven coordinator guy. Bill Belichick was unproven coordinator - and became the scourge of Cleveland. Andy Reid wasn't even a coordinator. Mike Smith of the Falcons? Unproven coordinator. Sean Payton of Saints. Unproven coordinator. Lovie Smith of Bears? Unproven coordinator. Rex Ryan? Unproven coordinator. John Harbaugh? Unproven? Mike Tomlin? Unproven and just one year as coordinator. Mike McMcCarthy? Unproven coordinator. Todd Haley? Unproven coordinator. Jim Caldwell? I'm sure I left someone out. Get my gist? They're all in the playoffs.
What do scouts say about some of the young Pats defenders? The Pats' defensive stats aren't great, but they're getting the job done and seem to be improving every week...
Chris Mortensen (12:22 PM)
Here's what you hear from other coaches/execs on the Patriots: Bill Belichick, Bill Belichick, Bill Belichick.
BJ Grace (Irvine)
Why wont someone hire Fassel, once NFL Coach of the Year a QB Guru-vs taking a risk with a man that has never been a head coach
Chris Mortensen (12:23 PM)
I think Fassel should be interviewed more frequently than he has been. He may be a candidate in a couple of places. I know it's just the UFL but he has won the only two championships in that league.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
Mort, I'm going to openly admit that this is coming from a bitter giants fan... Will there be any discussion with the rules committee this off season about dropping the divisional playoff format? Having a 7-9 seahawks team get to host a game while a 10-6 new York or Tampa bay team sits at home is ludicrous
Chris Mortensen (12:25 PM)
There will never be a discussion in which a division champion does not go to the playoffs.
Please explain WHY the Bengals re-sign Lewis...he should be gone and I've been saying for years Palmer is overrated and he should be benched.
Chris Mortensen (12:28 PM)
Did you see the Bengals' record the previous 10 years or so before Lewis came on board? Did you notice that Palmer looked much better once T. Owens and OchoCinco were out. Anybody who coaches Bengals wants owner Mike Brown to establish a true football operation, personnel dept., and team facilities that can compete with two model organizations that happen to be in the same AFC North - the Steelers and Ravens.
Thoughts on what should be done with Clausen should Luck declare and the Panthers draft him?
Chris Mortensen (12:31 PM)
You don't pass on Andrew Luck. You could receive a bounty for him but you better be sure Clausen is a guy you can win with. If Luck comes out and the Panthers take him, they could try trading Clausen but don't know how much value there is for him. Also, you could always continue to develop Clausen - you need more than one. We had 60 different QBs starting games this year, I think.
Mort, two part ques regarding 18 game schedule...If it happens, will it go into affect for 2011? And if it does, will the current list of opponents for a 16 game schedule completely change or will two additional opponents be added?
Chris Mortensen (12:32 PM)
Everyone agrees that if there is an 18-game schedule, it will go into effect in 2012. I don't know all of the details on scheduling yet.
Jody (Hastings, Pa)
Mort, The Patriots embarassed the Steelers at home this year. However the Steelers were coming off a 3 game road trip, the last of which was Monday Night football were minus 2/3rds of their defensive line and 2 starters on their offensive line not to mention Ward was knocked out early. Will the return of Aaron smith and a bye week help them if both teams survive the playoff round?
Chris Mortensen (12:33 PM)
Oh, yes, I'd say beware the Steelers in the playoffs. The bye week was huge for them.
Do the Vikings need a personnel GM in your opinion?
Chris Mortensen (12:36 PM)
No, I think they've done a pretty good job in personnel there with Rick Spielman and staff. Obviously, they need to find a QB. You also will hear of some coaching staff changes very shortly. And they have contract decisions to make on some players.
With a new GM and and new coaching staff soon to be in place, are the 49ers in a rebuilding phase?
Chris Mortensen (12:37 PM)
No, they're in same place most teams are - always building. That's what the Patriots have been doing. They've had some good drafts lately. Now it's time to find the quarterback.
What about Brian Billick, why isn't he ever interviewed?
Chris Mortensen (12:38 PM)
I've heard Billick is on the 49ers candidate list, as well as Josh McDaniels as they look to hire a coach with a strong offensive background.
Chris Mortensen (12:40 PM)
Sorry, but more calls coming in and have to return some. Obviously, a lot is going on. Playoff time this weekend. Catch on NFL Countdown on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. God Bless!