Chris Mortensen (7:59 PM)
Good evening! Down to one game.... what else is on your mind? Let's go.... but those of who who are asking specific draft questions, understand that it's all speculation because it's so early....but let's talk.
Jer (Bear Country)
What can we expect from Shea in Chi-town? I hope it not another Crowton experience. Will his O be too much for Grossman and receievers to pick-up quickly?
Chris Mortensen (8:01 PM)
Shea comes highly reocmmended by Bill Walsh and he has a solid reputation. I can't see it being so complex that it will be impossible to pick up, but it is a new system and Grossman is young, so don't expect miracles. Let yourself be surprised.
Mort....is there any real truth to the Bucs letting Brad Johnson go in favor of Brunell or Gannon?
Chris Mortensen (8:03 PM)
I would not say necessarily that they will let Brad Johnson go, but I know that there is discussion behind the scenes about adding Brunell or Gannon. There is also the realistic view by the Bucs that it will not be easy to acquire either QB (Brunell & Gannon), and they are excited about Chris Simms.
Mort. Who do you think is the frontrunner for the DC position with the Packers?
Chris Mortensen (8:04 PM)
I guess I'll be surprised if it's not Bob Slowik or Mark Duffner hired from within.
Do you think the Pats end up keeping Ty Law next season? Can it be done?
Chris Mortensen (8:05 PM)
Interesting question because you are aware of the salary cap implications, but I have to believe Law stays. I say that knowing that the Patriots did, in fact, shop Law around a little (to the Saints, for one) this past off-season. It can be done if both sides are willing for it to be done. That's why Lawyer Milloy was let go - not because of his ability, but because of the salary issues.
Josh (Miami, FL)
Hey Mort, Love the chats, but I never get my question answered. Which two players do you think the Dolphins will go after in the first and second round of the draft? Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (8:07 PM)
Are you serious? Do they have a second round pick (I'm not that far ahead).... but I think the Dolphins will have to address their O-line again... also, it will be interesting to see how they feel about a QB like Phillip Rivers after the Senior Bowl and pre-draft evaluations are finished.
Britt in VA (Herndon)
Mort, what is the future of Kerry Collins w/ the Giants? I think he's a great QB, but will he fit in Tom Coughlin's style of offense? Thanks in advance.
Chris Mortensen (8:11 PM)
Well, Coughlin likes to throw the ball downfield and that is Collins' strength, so I don't see why not. Now maybe Coughlin will want to change, and I know the Giants spent some time watching Ben Rothliesberger near the end of the season. They pick 4th...so there is some maneuverability there.
Tim, IThaca NY
MOrt, DO you think the Oakland coaching fiasco is related to the two Patriot coordinators unavailable to negotiate untol after the super bowl?
Chris Mortensen (8:12 PM)
No, not al all. I believe once Payton started thinking this thing through, and talked it over with his wife and the Cowboys, he just didn't feel the timing was right for him.
James (Boston, Ma)
What are the chances of the Pats acquiring a top RB or WR via the draft or trade next year? and who would be some potential candidates?
Chris Mortensen (8:14 PM)
Haven't we asked this for about five or six years and they do just fine with what they've got. They are loaded with draft picks, but i'm not sure Belichick is going to ever going to bring in a "star" at those positions. I really don't know.
Suresh (Edison NJ)
Shouldn't the Packers take a QB to develope behind Farve for a year or two?
Chris Mortensen (8:16 PM)
We keep talking about it, and that time may be near. But Brett appears to be hooked on staying a copuple of more years with a fairly young, talented team. I guess the problem is when you have Favre nearing the end of his prime, do you want to use a 1st rounder on a QB or on at a need spot that can help you get to the Super Bowl in the next couple of years. There has been some discussion about Drew Henson in Green Bay.
Mort, why are people in Dallas so down on Quincy Carter? His TD/INT ratio isn't significantly different from Bulger's in StL, and nobody mistakes Hambrick, Galloway and Glenn for Faulk, Bruce and Holt. Have people down there forgotten that it took GREAT QBs like Farve and Manning 4+ years to reach their potential?
Chris Mortensen (8:18 PM)
I think if Parcells believes QC has Favre/Manning-like potential, then he'll ride with QC. I don't think Parcells believes that, though. As one Cowboy insider told me, you can talk about improving your QB position all you want, but pulling it off is another deal.
Andrew,Boiling Springs N.C.
What do you think the panthers will have to do to beat New England in the Super Bowl?
Chris Mortensen (8:20 PM)
I believe that the Panthers' D-line will have to dominate the Patriots' O-line...they will have to run for 120 yards...and Jake Delhomme will have to make several big plays. It's all possible, but I like th Pats at this point in a fairly close game.
Jim Oakley (West Lafayette, IN)
Hey Mort - Colts fan, so disappointing week for me. Question on the current state of defense in the NFL. I saw a lot of pushing and grabbing on pass defense in both championship games on Sunday - more so than I perceived in the regular season. I noticed this same trend the last few years as well. Is this a trend you've noticed as well? If so, are the NFL playoffs potentially creating a bias toward defensive-oriented teams? Looking at the last 3 SB champs, that would seem to be the case...
Chris Mortensen (8:24 PM)
That's an interesting question. It may have some validity to it. The NFL - and I think wisely so - does encourage its officials to let the players decide the outcome of the playoff games. In other words, don't over officiate. I think that maybe officials should aggressively call obvious penalties early in the game and hope the players get the message. But I prefer that the officials remain invisible. But you've given me a little more to ponder on that topic, so thanks.
Is it true that McKay and his "group" are spreading different rumors about the Bucs?
Chris Mortensen (8:25 PM)
I can only tell you that none of my sources came from that group.
I believe that Sean Taylor will become a top three safety within 3 years. I hear Mr. Joe Gibbs is interested in Kellen Winslow II. What is your felling about the draft? I appreciate your time sir! Thank you!
Chris Mortensen (8:27 PM)
Did Michael Irvin put you up to this ? These two guys are terrific players and maybe even both will be top 10 picks. It wouldn't surprise me if Gibbs was interested in Winslow, but I think the defense is a bigger priority. We'll certainly know more as we get closer to the draft.
James (Geneseo, NY)
Do you see the Giants switching to a 3-4 with Lewis taking over as D-Coordinator?
Chris Mortensen (8:29 PM)
I doubt it. Tom Coughlin had Dom Capers for a couple of years in Jacksonville and they still ran a 4-3, even though Capers was a 3-4 guy. Plus, few teams run a pure 3-4 from start to finish of a game.
Jay Cee (Dallas)
Hi Mort. Enjoy your work and insights on ESPN. Is Belichick the real genius behind Parcells.
Chris Mortensen (8:31 PM)
Parcells did a pretty good job teaching Belichick some things, and I think Parcells' work in Dallas this year speaks well enough of his credentials. But give Parcells credit for being able to hire and teach his assistant coaches. That's like people trying to ask if Mike Holmgren was the genius behind Bill Walsh (after Holmgren went to back-to-backl Super Bowls in Green Bay). Belichick, I will say, is about to establish himself as a Hall of Famer...just like Tuna.
Mr Mortensen, What would you say at this time on New Orleans never giving Jake Delhomme a chance at starting quarterback
Chris Mortensen (8:33 PM)
I would say they blew it, especially when Brooks had the shoulder injury in 2002 and they stubbornly refused to play Delhomme. I wonder whether the fact they had given Brooks a big contract influenced them....I mean, if Delhomme had won big in December and they went to the playoffs, how do you let him go?
HELP ANSWER THIS MORT! my friend and I have been arguing.... 4th and long your team needs this... I say you give it to Favre my friend says Mcnabb.. (just because he made that once in a life time 4th and 26)... HELP SOLVE THIS
Chris Mortensen (8:35 PM)
I give it to Manning....then Vick...then Favre...then McNabb.... wait, I guess if we're playing this game, can I pick the defense? How about the Packers' D?
What is the deal with Warren Sapp critizing the Pats offensive line? Is Brady the least sack QB in the league this year?
Chris Mortensen (8:37 PM)
I think the Lions and Packers had the fewest sacks...but maybe the Patriots were in there (I don't have the stats in front of me). However, the Patriots' quick, short passing game is the primary reason Brady is not sacked much. I do think the Patriots have done a nice job up front, but the lack of sacks is more a product of the system.
Norm Caudell (Winston-Salem, NC)
Hey Mort, will John Fox finally get the respect he deserves as one of the best coaches in the NFL?
Chris Mortensen (8:39 PM)
Nope. Nobody respects him. Never have, never will. ... I am kidding. It's just a far-fetched question because Foxie is very respected. I will say that by getting to the Super Bowl this year, he will have a little more shine on him.
Why did Ryan Leaf never make it? He had the talent no? (Ben Roethelisberger clone)
Chris Mortensen (8:41 PM)
Ryan Leaf forgot that it is "professional" football, and profressional means in every way possible, especially if you are a quarterback. Leaf had a better arm than Rothliesberger, and Rothliesberger has better mobility. Also, Leaf did suffer a debilitating wrist injury, but it was the head and heart that ended his career.
Andy (San Francisco)
N.O. blew it by going with Brooks?? Brooks was the #3 rated passer in the NFC this year, right?
Chris Mortensen (8:43 PM)
I said they blew it by not going with Delhomme in December of 2002 when Brooks' shoulder was hurt. They dropped the final three games and missed on the playoffs. Other than that, passer ratings don't necessarily win me over, either.
Please why can't any of my questions get posted?? Do you like Todd Heap or Shockey more?
Chris Mortensen (8:44 PM)
I like Heap for consistency and durability right now. I think Shockey has slightly more talent and I think he will thrive (and be more durable) under Coughlin, if he doesn't fight it (strength and conditioning).
Mort, Scott O'Brien (special teams coach of the panthers) is a good friend of mine. How do you rate him as a coach in the nfl and what lies ahead for him?
Chris Mortensen (8:45 PM)
He's terrific, maybe even the best ST coach in football. He also has an Assistant Head Coach title, but I don't necessarily see him becoming a head coach.
How close is Ron Wolf to going the Cleveland Browns?
Chris Mortensen (8:48 PM)
I expect it to happen, perhaps shortly after the Super Bowl...or right around that time...in an advisory role, not authority.
lloyd ( tampa)
wait one minuite.... why is it everyone leaves gonzo out of the te debate??? your building your team from scratch and you have a choice of heap, shockey , or gonzalez who do you want on your team????
Chris Mortensen (8:49 PM)
Now you're talkin'. Can I have all three? Gonzo did reclaim the title this year, huh? From scratch? I probably would go Gonzalez, Shockey & Heap. If I knew Shocker was going to line up healthy every week, I might take him first.
Hey Mort, I've always loved the guy, but is Bledsoe done for his career?
Chris Mortensen (8:50 PM)
I don't think so, but we're about to find out in 2004.
What do you think of rehiring Gunther Cunningham for KC?
Chris Mortensen (8:52 PM)
I love it. Gunther is one of the most passionate, capable coaches I have encountered while covering the NFL. I like that people can put things behind them. Good move by the Chiefs and Gunther. He's a good man.
Johnny (Washington DC)
Is Joe Gibbs better than Parcells? You can't go against those Super Bowl Rings!
Chris Mortensen (8:53 PM)
Until Parcells gets a third ring, Gibbs is the man. It's funny because Gibbs had trouble beating Parcells in the NFC East and Parcells had trouble beating Buddy Ryan...while Gibbs kicked Ryan's behind. What a great time that was...and Jimmy Johnson came in at the end of that run.
Hey Mort, nobody knows what's going on with San Diego! Eli Manning would be great! Great RB, Great QB..... a couple years down the road, I see the Colts.........
Chris Mortensen (8:55 PM)
I hope it happens for you. But please remember that Eli and Peyton are different in many respects.
Britt in VA (Herndon)
Mort... Do you think the NFC East has the calibur of coaches to bring back the glory from those days you were refering to?
Chris Mortensen (8:57 PM)
I think so. I just wish there was a character like Buddy Ryan in the mix. Plus, Gibbs and Parcells was in their prime, so to speak. But Parcells, Gibbs, Reid and Coughlin is going to be pretty good. I'm looking forward to it.
bo (spider hole)
who's the raiders next coach?
Chris Mortensen (9:00 PM)
I don't know, but email me if you find out.... that's it for tonight. Thanks and I look forward to talking to you from Houston TX next week! Good night and God Bless!