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 (10:57 AM)
Good morning.... lot of uncertainty out there so let's get into it and maybe you can give me some ideas for us to talk about on our NFL32 show on ESPN2 (6 ET) weekdays...
Bill (Westfield, Mass)
After watching the Chargers-Jags game Monday night, should the Jags be thinking of drafting another QB this upcoming draft?
Chris Mortensen (11:00 AM)
The idea was broached by Jon Gruden and if the Jaguars are picking really high then it will be discussed certainly by media and fans. If Gene Smith stays on as GM - and he was just given a 3-year extension - then he's going to want to develop Gabbert. Traded into the top 10 to get him. Young QB. They'll want to hire an offensive coach to develop him but there are some who believe he is creating serious doubts about his ability to develop as a franchise QB.
Adil (Sugar Land, TX)
Tebow wins 6 in a row, and John Fox suddenly jumps up in Coach of the year talks. Doesn't Kubiak deserve to be even talked about for Coach of the year nominee? The Texans have gone through more adversity than any team in NFL. I don't think Harbaugh has lost his main players to the IR. Atleast have him in the discussions.
Chris Mortensen (11:03 AM)
I think all three guys are in the coach of the year discussion. It's that simple. I have a vote. What Harbaugh has done is impressive when you think about it. Totally new staff. Lockout. New system. Embraced Alex Smith. Won four games in Eastern Time Zone. Kubiak has been great and losing the QBs is great adversity. The Rams have probably had more adversity and the Giants, too, but the Giants haven't lose their QB.
Adil (Sugar Land, TX)
With all this money talk about Peyton, and the statement from Archie. Where do you see Peyton heading? I see Dan Snyder bringing Peyton into Washington, or Steven Ross bringing him to Miami?
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
It is exactly what I have been saying for a month. The biggest question that must be answered is Peyton's health. But if he is healthy or projected as healthy, there is no way he would want to be part of this Manning/Luck circus. And I don't think Peyton would be bitter about it; he'd understand it. It would be just time to move on if the Colts wanted Luck. This is not a mentoring deal. Aaron Rodgers was the 25th pick, not the first pick. Jon Kitna "mentored" Carson Palmer for a year. Kitna is not Peyton Manning. Redskins and Dolphins make sense. Maybe even Broncos. Maybe the Jets, depending on how things finish. But first things first - Peyton's health to be determined.
Hey Mort, can you explain the new salary cap thing to me? I'm a Bills fan and I know they are around $25 mill under the cap. I thought they had to be at 99% of the cap by seasons end, so how is that even possible? I'm thinking I am misguided in how it works. Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
That formula doesn't kick in for a couple of years.
As a fan of a disappointing team (Bills), we as disgruntled fans often believe our team was "out-coached." How do you determine the quality of a coach apart from just looking at wins/losses?
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
You have a heck of a coach in Chan Gailey who has high respect from peers. The roster is just not deep enough to overcome the injuries they've sustained.
Brian (Abilene, TX)
Is Elway as committed to Tebow as Fox seems to be or is John just trying to hide his emotions because he thinks that is the way he should appear to the public?
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
Here's what Elway told me at the beginning of the year: "We are committed to developing Tebow." And that is how John feels. Tebow is developing. But once you're in season, you live in the moment. There has never been a greater competior than John Elway. He is enjoying winning and the moment. But long-term, he'd be derelict in his duty if he did not continue to search for a quarterback who could go compete with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, et al, because as Elway knows, only one thing matters - winning Super Bowls. Tebow is getting a little better each week and give credit to Elway for keeping his word about developing him and Fox for adjusting to his style. It's a team game, though, and the defense and running game does deserve equal or more credit. Remember, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil were hurt in the first month of the season.
The Rams situation appears terrible at the moment. Injuries are a huge part of it but my question is whether or not you think they could pull off the same type of turnaround under Spagnuolo that the Dolphins have done under Sparano. Why/why not?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
I think the injury devastation with the Rams is unparalleled and has been getting worse each week.
If the Texans clinch the division on Sunday should they rest Andre Johnson until the playoffs?
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
The Texans would love to get top seed or at least a first-round bye. I do think they need to be careful with Andre but you also want him to get some quality work with TJ Yates - if he is healthy. But it's a legitimate question you raise.
Adil (Sugar Land, TX)
How many coaching openings do you see in the NFL next year? Jeff Fisher, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Mike Martz, Steve Marucci? How many of these veteran coaches do you see on the sidelines next year?
Chris Mortensen (11:17 AM)
The only one I see definitely returning to the sidelines is Jeff Fisher.
Rob (San Antonio)
Do you think the Browns should be looking at quarterbacks in the draft? It just does not look like Colt is the answer.
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Browns president Mike Holmgren made it clear at mid-season that while he likes Colt McCoy, it doesn't mean the team won't look at other quarterbacks in 2012.
Has Eli elevated himself into the top-5?
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
For me, yes. Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger and Eli. That would be my top 5 based off this season.
Do you think Sparano's fate is already sealed or is he still coaching to save his job?
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
I thought his fate was sealed but I'd have to seriously consider retaining him. This thing can turn around, whether it's with Matt Moore or another QB. I'm not sure change is a good thing even though that winless start may have dug too deep a hole. I love that he was willing to change his "ways," so to speak and be flexible in how he prepared his team during the week. That's a good sign. And they do have some players; just need to add a few more.
You mentioned Manning possibly to the Broncos, if thats the case, what happens to Timmy?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
I just threw out teams that believe they have a playoff-type roster looking for an elite QB. I don't place the Broncos high on that list but I threw 'em in there. I believe Tebow will be on the roster next year.
His the criticism of Tim Tebow as a passer fair? He has far better PASSING and WIN/LOSS statistics than Elway did through his first ten games. If he progresses at the rate Elway did, he should have a better career than Elway, right?
Chris Mortensen (11:30 AM)
Nick, I'm not a statistics guy. I'm an "eyes" guy. John Elway was as gifted a physical talent, athlete, competitor, winner as we have ever seen come into the league. He took 3 below average teams to the Super Bowl (and lost). He won his last 2, yes, when they had a running game but he also was Super Bowl MVP in final game of his career. To put Tebow in the same sentence with Elway is almost blasphemous to football historians. That doesn't meant Tim isn't improving and he does have Willis McGahee playing great, plus a defense that is darned good. But let's be real.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
After his comments, do you think Matt Forte comes back this year? As soon as 2 weeks?
Chris Mortensen (11:31 AM)
I think Forte will come back as soon as he is ready. He's doing everything in his power to come back, including have platelet rich plasma injections.
Adil (Sugar Land, TX)
How many of the great Bucs Defensive players do you see in the HOF? Brooks, Sapp, Lynch. I doubt you can send all three in?
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
I'd put 'em all in... it will be over time but Derrick Brooks is most likely the first and I do believe Warren Sapp and John Lynch eventually get in. I could be wrong but that's how I feel.
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
I have to jump on our NFL32 conference call...check us out at 6 ET every day on ESPN2.... we're doing our own Pro Bowl voting each night for the next two weeks....plus plenty more. And there's a 10 a.m. start for Sunday NFL Countdown every week. God Bless!