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 12:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:19 AM)
Hang on folks, Mort must be tied up with some TV work.
Buzzmaster (11:45 AM)
Mort said he got tied up working the phones, but he'll be here at 12:30 p.m. ET to chat!
Chris Mortensen (12:32 PM)
Here we go...
Dave (St Simons Island, GA)
Do you forsee any of the Cleveland Browns hierarchy retaining their jobs after Joe Banner becomes top exec? Does Andy Reid's power play in Philly carry any influence since Holmgren, Heckert, and Shurmur have the same agent as Reid (laMonte)? Will Shurmur even survive to 10th week?
Chris Mortensen (12:35 PM)
It's been fairly reported and speculated that the changes are coming. I think Shurmur has the best opportunity to survive. The owner-in-waiting, Jimmy Haslam, knows that instability has rocked this franchise but obviously Banner as a lead administrator; a new GM seems likely. Maybe an entire housecleaning but I do believe Shurmur is highly regarded. Let's face it, this is a young team that has had some key injuries or suspensions. I think Haslam will want to see the team improving the second half of the season.
Ryan (Saratoga Springs)
Not going to bang on you like a lot of people did on the twitter about AP - no way Minny would/could have let on their intentions....with that said, is AP really back? He really looked too good to be true...
Chris Mortensen (12:38 PM)
Don't know what quite you're referring to on AP - I consistently reported for a few months that doctors felt he would ready week 1. Yes, I said Gerhart was slated for more carries in first month - what happened Sunday even surprised Leslie Frazier and, I think, the OC, Bill Musgrave. Adrian Peterson is just a freak in the best possible term, a beast, whatever, but they don't want to overload him. Great to have him back and hope he stays healthy.
I understand that the owner and the fans have high expectations for the eagles, but Coach Reid deserves a break. He just lost a son. Where is the compassion?
Chris Mortensen (12:40 PM)
Andy doesn't expect it. Compassion has been there from owner, fans and media but Andy knows he catches no breaks on the football end of it. I will note that Reid's teams have somewhat of a history for jagged starts. They are 1-0.
Brett rosenblum (merrick, ny)
With Revis dealing with mild concussions and the Steelers having to be loaded at WR.. Do the Steelers attack Jets through air and win the game or will the Jets D be able to fend of Big Ben in a big AFC matchup week 2?!
Chris Mortensen (12:42 PM)
I think Steelers will do what they do - Roethlisberger is one of the game's elite QBs and they have strength at WR. It is true that the Steelers want to get Jonathan Dwyer more carries - he ran with power. This is a tough Jets defense. It's hard to imagine the Steelers starting 0-2, especially with this home game.
How weird will it be when the Packers are 0-2 and the rest of the NFCN is 2-0?
Chris Mortensen (12:43 PM)
It will be very weird if that happens but entirely possible. To lose two home games right off the bat will put the team under duress and that makes the Thursday night game with the Bears that much more intriguing. I don't see the Lions winning at SF and the Vikings game at the Colts is not a gimme.
Kyle (Syracuse, NY)
Do you think people are reading too much into the Jets' win over Buffalo? I've read multiple articles about them and people seem to be jumping on the bandwagon but its only one game
Chris Mortensen (12:45 PM)
I did pick the Jets in week 1. I do think their defense is for real. I actually thought Sanchez threw the ball well in preseason but was absent a lot of weapons. But the Bills knew their young corners might be exposed - one pleasant surprise for the Jets was Stephen Hill, the rookie wideout who caught two TDs. He's talented but raw. Let's see how this unfolds.
Julio Jones for S.Ridley and J.Maclin, is this a good trade??
Chris Mortensen (12:46 PM)
Why would the Falcons make that trade? Lol! I don't know everybody's fantasy team rules. I like Jones a lot as a real player and a fantasy player. I think Ridley will be a 1,000 yard back. Maclin banged up but good player. Do what I do - do what you want!
With how efficient the Falcons offense looked in week 1, do you think the defense can do enough to take this team deep into the playoffs this year?
Chris Mortensen (12:48 PM)
Brad, we saw last year that other than the 49ers and possibly the Raiders team can win with marginal defenses. The key is creating sacks (getting off the field on 3rd down) and turnovers. It's a big hot for the Falcons losing CB Brent Grimes, which underscores the importance of the off-season trade they made for Asante Samuel. The Falcons are very capable of going deep in playoffs - so are a few other NFC teams. I do like them to win the division.
Bryen Conyers (Pa)
Do you think Cedric Benson will eventually get going with the Packers?
Chris Mortensen (12:49 PM)
Yes, I do. I think Mike McCarthy understands the importance of Benson being featured but, remember, they just played the toughest rushing defense in football.
Zach Brady (Utah)
How much of an impact will Kenny Britt have for the Titans in San Diego this week??
Chris Mortensen (12:52 PM)
Originally, the Titans were saying he should get 20-25 snaps. I'm hearing they may lower that mark a little. He is one of the special wide receivers in the game when he's healthy and out of trouble. Matthew Hasselbeck says Britt is the best athletic WR he's ever played with.
many casually list Eli as better than Big Ben. I dont see it.
Chris Mortensen (12:53 PM)
I don't get too hung up on those arguments but Roethlisberger is starting to emerge as the most underrated QB in football.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What do you think of the Replacement Officials after week 1?
Chris Mortensen (12:54 PM)
Terrible. Worse than the PR brainwashing we're hearing.
Eric from kansas city [via mobile]
Do you think Matt Casel will take the Chiefs to the post season in 2012?
Chris Mortensen (12:56 PM)
The answer is yes since I have picked the Chiefs to make the playoffs. Clearly, he needs to play well but it's a team game and I'm anxious to see the Chiefs with Tamba Hali back from suspension, whenever Brandon Flowers comes back from injury (soon, I think) and Dwayne Bowe catches up with a new offense.
Why do Cutler's comments to the media always get misinterpreted? He jokingly said "good luck" when someone asked him about his WRs going against the Packer's CBs.
Chris Mortensen (12:59 PM)
Paul, I absolutely agree with you. If you read the full context of his quotes from yesterday (Tuesday), he was very respectful of the Packers defense and the Packers as a whole. His reaction was just honest - guys like Brandon Marhsall and Alshon Jeffery are very strong. Jeffery will have a bigger adjustment because he's a rookie. Oh, by the way, Cutler was absolutely correct in appealing to Bears fans about lowering the noise level at home, especially in the red zone. All the QBs feel they should have that advantage at home because of the checks and audibles.
How long do the Browns stick with Weeden? I know he's a 1st round pick but this guy looked way in over his head.
Chris Mortensen (1:01 PM)
It hasn't been pretty and it's magnified when you have young receivers combined with a rookie QB. I know what they've said about sticking with him but he will have to put together some decent games.
Curry (Lake Charles, La)
Do you think that the Patriots should be ranked #1 in the power rankings over the 49ers and the Ravens?
Chris Mortensen (1:04 PM)
Power rankings are for fun - it's not like any of these teams are going to get a better bowl game because of their ranking at the end of the year. I do think the Patriots are going to be better this year (and I'm not counting their relatively easy schedule). Bill Belichick is getting back to some of the football he played when winning Super Bowls in NE and as a DC with the Giants. Plus, his front defensive 7 has the type of size, strength and speed off the edge (Chandler Jones) that he has been seeking. And, yes, Ridley gives them a running game. I have picked 49ers and Texans for SB and I debated 49ers vs. Ravens.
Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb are 2 high priced backups. What happens if the starters play well?
Chris Mortensen (1:05 PM)
Kolb is much higher priced than Flynn, who signed a 3 year, $19.5 million deal. I can see Kolb gone if Skelton wrestles back the job. I see Flynn sticking around.
With the replacement refs being so terrible, do you see the players, specifically the defensive players trying to get away with more on the field, such as holding, pass interference, etc?
Chris Mortensen (1:06 PM)
No question we're seeing a lot of that. The replacement officials did call a lot of interference and defensive holding week 1 but I saw a bunch that weren't called, suggesting the players are clearly going to test them. It is by consensus the toughest judgment call in football.
Any insight on what will come out of bounty-linked players and Goodell's meeting/hearing? Will it be more fair this time around and what do you think is ultimate punishment?
Chris Mortensen (1:09 PM)
Adam, it's a mystery right now. I think both sides are set in their positions. The players, especially Vilma, have wanted total vindication or some admission that the findings were flawed. Do I see Goodell doing that? No. And I think the league wants some acknowledgement from the players that they participated in such a program. Hanging over the process is Judge Berrigan in Louisiana. I think that's part of the strategy for the players going to NYC to set the next stage of court battles. But maybe we'll all be surprised by compromise.
Jayson S (Iowa)
Is Carolina in trouble after their lack of offense vs the Bucs? Or is their defense the real deal this year?
Chris Mortensen (1:11 PM)
Too early to tell on Panthers. I've always thought the Bucs would be closer to the 10-win team of two years ago. I like Schiano as a head coach. The Panthers won't use this excuse - and they shouldn't - but getting moved out of Charlotte all week with the Democratic Convention in town wasn't helpful.
Ryan (Medford, OR)
Thoughts on the Lions chances against SF.
Chris Mortensen (1:12 PM)
I don't like them in this game. The Lions have too many holes. Now if they can protect Stafford against the 49ers front 7, maybe they have a chance.
Why is it people complain about the replacement refs yet when the players went on strike it was O.K. I think the replacement refs are doing fine. THoughts
Chris Mortensen (1:13 PM)
It's been a long time since players went on strike in the 80s. Last year was a lockout, remember? This thing with the officials is a lockout, as well.
Devin Brooks (Detroit)
hey Chris, Do you think Trent Richarson have a top 10 stats this season running behind all pro Joe thomas..?
Chris Mortensen (1:14 PM)
That's going to be tough if opposing teams don't respect the passing game.
The Bills laid an egg in New York. Are they that bad?
Chris Mortensen (1:15 PM)
I'm beginning to wonder. I expected Ryan Fitzpatrick to bounce back from his second half slump of 2011. I haven't seen any sign of that; now to lose WR David Nelson for the season and Fred Jackson for a stretch, you wonder if the Bills will dig too deep a hole for themselves. They need Mario Williams and that defensive front 4 to become dominant and help their young corners.
Am I the only one that thinks that this Ravens offense with their defense is SCARY GOOD? One dropped td pass away from the Super Bowl last year and they've gotten better. Your thoughts Mort?
Chris Mortensen (1:17 PM)
The offense probably is going to be scary good. I think the defense will struggle more than usual without Suggs but if the offense is going to create a cushion for them it's clear the Ravens will be in the Super Bowl hunt.
What has been your biggest surprise from week 1 good or bad?
Chris Mortensen (1:19 PM)
Biggest surprise good and bad was all wrapped up in New Orleans. The Redskins with RG III even better than expected for a rookie playinf a road game of this magnitude. The Saints getting beat at home - and it was no fluke. I also thought the Cowboys surprised me. Can't say the Falcons surprised - I expected that win, especially with the Chiefs missing some of their dynamic defensive players.
Chris Mortensen (1:20 PM)
Time to run. We're back on NFL32 at 6ET on ESPN2 tonight. Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. every week. Twitter @MortReport. Have a great week 2 and God Bless!