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 11:30 a.m. ET!
Kenneth VanVorst (Vernon Ctr. New York)
Why is there no discussion on Brady Quinn being leapfrogged by Tim Tebow,when he was the #2 QB.Nobody has asked him how he feels about the situation in Denver.
Chris Mortensen (11:03 AM)
Kenneth, good morning to you and everyone.... I think that's a question that has gone unanswered so let's deal with the truth. Quinn and Orton are free agents after this year. Tebow is not. The Broncos internally do not know whether Tebow is a true "franchise" QB - I think they know the answer is probably not - so they have to find out on Tebow by playing him for a good stretch. I happen to believe Quinn will one day earn another chance somewhere to be a starter and could be a nice redemption story - it has has happened more than we care to remember. Quinn also has the high character and work ethic that Tebow has and he's not going to say anything to hurt the team. Indeed, it is Tebow time.
Ryan James (Detroit MI)
Is there something wrong with Lions QB Matt Stafford? He's been throwing side arm a lot lately, and missed several receivers who were open down field. His production has really dropped off the last two weeks, is there any injury concern to his surgically repaired shoulder?
Chris Mortensen (11:06 AM)
Ryan, I saw the stories on Stafford's sidearm delivery. I can't say this for certain but one of the qualities of outstanding passers is the ability to change arm angles, as necessary. Most of the times I've seen him drop his arm has been necessary to throw to a specific window. If there is a problem, we'll probably detect it. On his ankle injury, I don't believe he will play this week, which would mean Shaun Hill would play against the Broncos and Tebow.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Worst NFL Football Game in Week 7 that you seen?
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
Chris, there were a few. The Broncos-Dolphins was one. The Steelers-Jaguars was another but I think we didn't appreciate the strong play by the Jaguars' defensive front. Anytime you have a 62-7 game like the Saints' win over the Colts is embarrassing, except we got to see Drew Brees at work. So I may vote for the Browns' 6-3 win over the Seahawks.
Though none are likely to happen, which would be more impressive, J. Allen breaking the sack record, or C. Johnson breaking the TD record?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
Matt, if Calvin Johnson broke the touchdown record and the Lions make the playoffs, that would be more impressive to me. But I'm glad you brought up Jared Allen because he has been really impressive and it's great to a true pro who plays all out despite the struggles of a team. And he is on a roll.
If the 49'ers make the playoffs, and for all intensive purposes it looks like they will, do you see Alex Smith coming back next season or is it time to move on to CK, or draft a QB in 2012.
Chris Mortensen (11:12 AM)
I think it depends on how Alex Smith plays. Personally, I have my doubts that Kaepernick will be ready even in year 2 but it is a ground-oriented offense. The sense I get is the 49ers will continue to build a talented roster until they find "the guy" at quarterrback, whether it's through the draft, trade or free agency.
Brian (Hartford, CT)
Hi Mort, Just an observation. The past few years there seems to be a lot of chatter and controversy from critics about the Patriots 'running up the score' on lesser teams. Why no outrage at the Saints putting a 62 up on the Colts last week?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
Brian, fair question. I think there was a moment where somebody wondered about that in the Saints-Colts game. However, I am of the mindset that it's on the opposing (losing) team to do something about it. There was one game that bothered me when the Patriots were accused of running up the score and that came against the Redskins. A part of me said, hey, that's Joe Gibbs on the other sideline so show him some dignity. But I also knew there was no love lost for Greg Williams, who was the Redskins' defensive coordinator then so I have to be consistent and say that it's on the team being beat up to stand up and fight back.
Any chance Robison gets suspended for deliberately kicking Lang in the groin? IMO a 1 game suspension should be the minimum punishment for such a cowardly act.
Chris Mortensen (11:17 AM)
That's a fine, not a suspension. Now if Lang had suffered injury to the point where he had to be removed from the game and his status this week was in question, I would say a suspension would be worthy of consideration. Robison immediately but his apology will cost him some money.
Andy (Kansas City)
What does Todd Haley need to do to secure his job?
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
Andy, the Todd Haley discussion is weird. He won the AFC West last year when nobody expected the Chiefs to do anything. He has lost his best player on offense (Jamaal Charles) and arguably the best player on defense (Eric Berry). The dynamics in play are the strong personalities of leadership - Haley and GM Scott Pioli. Sometimes, the grinding on each other can wear people down. Haley is a good coach and Pioli is a good GM. It doesn't always have to be nirvana between the two but philosophically being on the same page is important.
Mort, whatever happened to that scout who absolutely crushed Cam Newton's character before the draft?? Never met Cam, but said he had a fake smile and was egotistical??? Has he had his plate of crow yet?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
That was a strange deal because it was someone in media passing along a scout's impression. Now I will say this - I heard stuff along those lines from scouts/personnel people but some of them are thinking outloud without having done the full evaluation. I would hope Cam Newton has an ego. I don't know a great player who doesn't have one. The phony smile thing was silly. When I first started TV, I had trouble getting comfortable and I had some friends say how unhappy I looked. The advice I got from a TV friend - practice a phony smile until you get relaxed. Cam Newton is going to be a great player in this league for a long time and there will be nothing phony about that.
Mort are the packers going to resign finley?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
I think they'd like to do that. They'll be fair, set a value and not overpay, though. They have a lot of weapons at WR and TE but he creates matchup problems. They can always franchise him if they want.
Andy (Kansas City)
Who do you like to win the AFC West now?
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
Andy, I don't know! I picked the Chargers. We know the Raiders have had recent success against SD but I think it's paramount to Oakland that Darren McFadden stay healthy for the Raiders to win it. I think the Chiefs have a resilient bunch. I doubt the Broncos can get in it but you never know. So, for now, I'm sticking with the Chargers but not with great confidence.
Reports on Twitter from several Lions beat writers is that QB Matthew Stafford is on the practice field today "throwing to receivers" and also even jogged a little bit. The same guys are reporting Hill is taking first team reps at QB, but it's got to be a good sign that Stafford is out on the field, right?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
Daniel, it's a good sign Stafford is on the field and throwing some but that's not the same as taking a snap under center and moving around against a pass rush. It's "day-to-day" and I said earlier I believe this may be Hill's start but let's see what happens Thursday and Friday. The Lions have a bye week after the Broncos game and not pushing Stafford when you have a capable backup like Hill would make sense. Also, expect Best to sit out this week as there is finally a little buzz on Tiki Barber as RBs go down around the league.
Why isn't Jason Pierre Paul getting more pub from ESPN? He didn't start playing football until his senior year of high school! He's like the Antonio Gates (sort of) of the defensive line
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
Yes, Benjamin, Jason Pierre Paul has been an unsung hero of the Giants defense. Some people questioned why the Giants didn't take a LB that year but you can never have enough good defensive linemen, especially someone with as much upside as JPP. GM Jerry Reese and HC Tom Coughlin deserve a lot of credit by sticking to their draft board that season, especially when you look at the health status of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
Time to get on a conference call for NFL32 (ESPN2, 6 ET). We'd love to get your thoughts, comments, questions via Twitter, Facebook or You Tube (send a good question and you'll get on TV). I'll pop on our Facebook NFL32 page and answer a couple of questions, too. We'll update injuries on the show every night - by the time we hit air at 6, we're starting to get a good flow of updates that we pass along....God Bless!