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 (11:03 AM)
Good morning! Prayers and thoughts continue to go all out to all those who have suffered and continue to suffer in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This is some serious stuff. Let's hope a little football talk can be kept in that perspective but still have fun with it.
Kris G (Indy)
Mort - Thanks for taking time to visit us fans again this week. I am wondering about Brees performance last week. Is this a sign of deterioration in the team or a blip that came due to playing against an ever improving Denver squad?
Chris Mortensen (11:06 AM)
I'll say it's a blip. The Broncos' defensive strengths - from the defensive rush ends and the secondary - played right into Peyton Manning having a hot-hand night. The Saints defense is just to short of championship personnel. I heard that from some pretty sharp football folks in the offseason. Nevertheless, the Saints' offense with Drew Brees still have have many more bright days than dark. It remains a team sport and never underestimate the blow the NFL delivered when it suspended Sean Payton for the season; in my opinion, an uncalled for heavy-handed suspension.
andrew(raleigh north carolina) [via mobile]
hey mort do you think that ryan fitzpatrick of bills will be benched if he doesnt get it done this week versus houston
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
I don't think so. Why pick the Houston game as the breaking point - best team in the AFC, maybe the NFL and the probably the best defense. Is Thigpen the answer? What I don't get about Fitz is how such a smart guy doesn't know how to protect a lead at critical point when a he threw an interception that set up the Titans' TD. Otherwise, he had some good moments. Bills need to pick it up - and they can - but the Texans game is not a good matchup.
Ron (Bochum (Germany))
Chris as a person who never played football himself it's hard for me to understand the importance of a HC. What makes the good HC good and the bad one bad? Why is it so hard for the Saints to keep winning without Sean Payton?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
Ron, that's a lengthy discussion but there are reasons head coaches are "head" coaches and they get paid tremendous salaries. They are CEOs. The best of them, like a Sean Payton, have brilliant minds. They're motivators and they're disciplinarians. They're attention to detail guys. They are leaders of not only the players but of their own staffs. And in Payton's case, he and Drew Brees are a brilliant partnership.
Mort, any chance Jets trade Tebow before tomorrow and if not any chance they don't play him more after the bye week.
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
I don't know. I doubt it. Certainly, he cannot play quarterback in this league. Maybe he should be utilized more effectively. But three critical special teams breakdowns put the Jets in too signficant a hole, unless you have one of the elite QBs to dig you out. As for the trade, I don't see anything. There's nobody around the NFL who wants him, except Jaguars owner Shad Khan did express to his football people in the off-season he would like to have him on the team - not necessarily as the QB. If Khan tells his people to make a play for Tebow for PR reasons today, it doesn't mean the Jets would trade him.
NFC is loaded... barring a major injury we already know 5 of the playoff teams (ATL, NYG, CHI, GB, SF). Who emerges as the #6 seed and do they have any chance to upend the elite 5?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
I've had Seattle in the last wild card spot since I turned in my predictions in summer.
The fans base here in Buffalo is clamoring loudly for the team to draft a QB in next year's draft. Despite the recent history in the league, it strikes me that drafting an immediate starter can be an iffy proposition. My question is whether you feel that there is somebody out there, buried on roster, that might be a viable option for the Bills. I am thinking somebody like a Flynn or Clausen? Or is there a reason these guys aren't starting and the Bills should concentrate ont he draft. Thanks.
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
Back to your Bills, I think it's time to draft one. The other guys you mention are not better than what you've got.
Mort, having a half season to evaluate, do you feel the Browns made the right choice with Brandon Weeden. Do you think he will be the QB for the long term and was he the better choice over Colt McCoy?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
It's a really good question. To me, the issue is whether or not they should have stayed at 4 and selected Ryan Tannehill who, as we see, looks like the real deal, instead of Trent Richardson. But when you play in Cleveland I think the game is different because of weather. The conditions of wind and rain were made it as difficult as possible to pass the ball effectively so Richardson looked pretty good. That's why I think Weeden is better than McCoy and has a fair chance to be a winning QB as they get more experience and continue to build the roster.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey Mort. Great work, as always. What's wrong with Philly? I can't believe McCoy only had 45 yards rushing last week. Do you think Reid is back next year? Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
The Eagles, wow, that's a loaded question. I want to see the next few weeks because there will be a wild-card tossup. On offense, it's the offensive line. Three blockers out. I can't see Nick Foles surviving behind that line. Big picture? If there are no playoffs then I believe Andy Reid will more likely be coaching in another city next year.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you know which 'contender' was interested in DeAngeo Williams? If so, can you say?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
Arizona is one team that still could be considered a "contender" with running back needs but Williams has a big contract. We'll find out by 4 pm ET Thursday if anybody wants to take that chance and we are monitoring.
What in the world is wrong with the Chargers? Is it time to cut Turner loose?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I think the offensive talent is so mediocre, at best, that it's really impacted the quarterback, Phillip Rivers. There is no question that Norv Turner (and GM AJ Smith) have their jobs on the line. Do I think a coaching change before the season is over will make the Chargers better? No.
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
Have to run and some of you are clogging up the board with repeat questions that would not be answered here. Take care and God Bless!