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 (11:02 AM)
Good morning, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Obviously, it continues to be a painful time for all those impacted by the tragedy in nearby Newtown, CT. at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please keep those families and our nation in your thoughts and prayers. But as awkward as it may turn, we discuss the NFL now, grateful to spend this time with you.
Claudia (Western NY)
Once again, the Buffalo Bills are a laughingstock. Would they really bring back Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey, Ryan Fitzpatrick? Please tell me you've heard otherwise.
Chris Mortensen (11:04 AM)
I absolutely expect Buddy Nix to return. The personnel on board in Buffalo is pretty well respected. I don't know about Chan Gailey or Ryan Fitzpatrick, though Nix has made it clear it's time to draft that quarterback.
will RG3 play this week against the Eagles?
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
When you hear Mike Shanahan say Robert Griffin III will play when he's 100 percent healthy, it raises suspicion that it could be one more week, hoping to beat the Eagles this week with Kirk Cousins and then finish the year with Griffin vs. the Cowboys for the NFC East title. However, I hear Griffin is healing quickly. Maybe he will meet that "100%" standard even though there is an old saying that nobody is 100% this time of season.
Leo Mazzone (Rocking back n forth)
OK....Falcons deliver a beat down to the Giants, yet remain the same on ESPN's power rankings....Why? Who would be your top 5?
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
You do know that power rankings mean nothing and are for entertainment purposes only, right? I guess if I had power rankings, the Falcons would be in my top 3.
Can you talk about what you are hearing about the QB's coming out in the 2013 draft? Do NFL people like the QB's coming out? What are they saying about Geno Smith?
Chris Mortensen (11:13 AM)
NFL scouts and evaluators agree that this draft lacks the star power of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III but there are QBs out there like Geno Smith who have an opportunity to improve their stock with their pre-draft workups. Matt Barkley may improve his stock a little because he's started four years - uses his eyes to his favor - but has physical limitations. Mike Glennon of NC St could be a fast riser, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib are some of the names.
Mort, how safe is Lovie Smith?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
Word I hear is that Lovie Smith is safe. I also heard Pat Kirwan on the NFL Sirius/XM channel saying he spoke to a very knowledgeable source with the Bears who said Smith is safe. Kirwan has strong contacts there.
Do you expect a let down from the niners this week against a fired up Seahawks team?
Chris Mortensen (11:17 AM)
I know the 49ers had a big game against the Patriots and had to travel cross country twice. However, it's an NFC West game. Divisional games are generally always tight and competitive. The Seahawks are capable of beating the 49ers without any factor of a "letdown."
Bulk Buy Price List - Grains 06042012.xlsx (Marris Otter)
Biggest surprise of 2012?Biggest disappointment of 2012?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Biggest surprise: The Colts and Vikings. Biggest letdown: The Eagles and Chiefs.
How do you think the off-season Free Agent market for OL will shape up? Someone needs to keep Andrew Luck alive here in Indy.
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
There's no doubt the offensive line will get plenty of attention in the off-season. You have a good GM in Ryan Grigson to address the deficiencies.
Mort, how can the NFL speed up replays? They seem to be taking longer and rarely indisputable.
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
What's ridiculous about the delays is that the referee only gets fed 60 seconds of video review once he sticks his head in there. There's an automatic shutoff after 60 seconds. Therefore, there's a lot of discussion before the video review commences and some afterwards. It definitely needs improvement and will be addressed.
Yesterday, it was revealed that Garret Reid had steroids in his possession at the time of his death. Do you see any chance that Andy Reid stays with the team after this season, or is a change inevitable?
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
Putting Garrett Reid's tragedy aside, I do not see any chance that Andy Reid remains with the Eagles.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who's the frontrunner for the MVP to you - Peyton or AP?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
For me going into the final two games it probably runs: 1. Adrian Peterson; 2. Tom Brady; 3. Peyton Manning; 4. Matt Ryan/Aaron Rodgers; 5. JJ Watt.I think the top 3 garner the attention. Peterson went from being an offensive player of the year leader to an MVP candidate because the Vikings already have achieved a record at 8-6 that few people envisioned and has done that with a struggling QB and an absent Percy Harvin for the second half of the season.
Panthers' fans put an ad in the paper calling for Rivera's firing. Fair enough. But with recent flashes of what they could be, and weighing the risk of starting Newton over with another coach, should fans WANT Rivera to come back?
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
I'm not big on firing coaches after two seasons. I think it breeds franchise instability. But they are hiring a new GM and coaching change often comes with that. I think Rivera deserves another season.
True or False: Even if the Vikes make the playoffs and he breaks Dickerson's mark, AP will not get the MVP because there is too much bias in favor of QBs?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
I don't think it's bias. It's a fact. No position is more valuable than quarterback when you consider all responsibilities. However, Peterson is an exception. He has made the Vikings a much better team than anticipated with one of the great seasons in NFL history.
Brady's numbers are as good or better than Manning's across the board, are people getting Comeback Player of the Year confused with MVP?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
In Manning's case, it's about making the people around you even better. Which Tom Brady does, too. The Broncos backed into the playoffs last year at 8-8 with a soft schedule. Manning's value is unquestioned for a team that has the second best record in the AFC. Head to head early in a season get some factoring. I do believe I have Brady slightly ahead of Manning but Tom is also operating in the same system with the same players and coaching staff he's had for some duration so I won't apologize if Peyton leapfrogs Brady.
This is as bad as it can get for the Chiefs but there has been little talk that Clark Hunt is going to get rid of Pioli and Romeo. Whether that decision is merited from a purely football perspective (and 98 % of Chiefs fans would say it is), this town will disown the franchise if either of those two are brought back for another season. What do your sources say?
Chris Mortensen (11:35 AM)
Sources are quiet because that's the way Clark Hunt operates. This has been a rough season on Romeo, the coach and the man. He may want to step away. Don't know on Pioli.
Given Roger Goodell's history of unfairly penalizing the Redskins, this Jordan Black thing strikes me as more than just a guy trying to defend his drug use. If Black was actually suspended for a prescription drug that the NFL already approved, then this is a disgrace.
Chris Mortensen (11:39 AM)
Roger Goodell has nothing or little to do with the PED and substance abuse program.Those are handled by the policy, the doctors and the administrator of the program. A player with a legal prescription may contain a banned substance but the policy clearly states the player must go through proper channels to get an exemption for that prescription. I don't know the deails of Jordan Black's case but it sounds like it falls along these lines. I do think common sense must prevail more often.
John, Austin [via mobile]
Am I wrong in thinking that the Texans need home field throughout in order to make the Super Bowl? I don't see them winning in Denver or New England.
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
I can see the Texans winning in Denver but not New England. Home field is nice for the Texans, though. But even in watching some of their home games, you can see that the injuries they have suffered have affected the team on a negative basis.
Tim (San Diego)
If Norv Turner is let go by the Chargers, does he still have value as an offensive coordinator in the NFL?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
No question. It will be a major topic of conversation soon.
Mort - your personal feelings aside for him, are we going to look back one-day, and say "wow, coach Belichek" was / is under-appreciated, for all that he has done?
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
I guess I'd say Belichick would be under-appreciated, if anything. I truly believe someone has to make room for Belichick on that Mt. Ruchmore-like greatest coaches of all time mythical monument. Considering what he has accomplished in the era of free agency and salary cap - adjusting to constant change - I'm not sure there has been a better coach. Ever.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Why do the Jets refuse to give Tebow a shot? For all his flaws, which he has several, he has a history of winning..do they not care about that?
Chris Mortensen (11:50 AM)
You think the Jets want to lose games? Tebow is a good football player but not an NFL championship QB. Did everyone call Mark Sanchez a "winner" when he went to two AFC title games? Tebow brought a little magic to Denver but I think you if you went back and revisited each game last year, you'll understand that it was a nice year in which the team and coaching staff did an admirable job without getting credit. The Broncos did finish 1-3 in their last 4 games. Nobody wanted to give players like DJ Williams any credit for a strip-sack fumble in Miami. When Tebow was available for trade, only one team really stepped up - the Jets, but not as their starter. The Jaguars' interest was only owner induced. Oh, in the 2010 SEC Title game, Greg McElroy and Alabama beat Tim Tebow and Florida 32-13. But even that doesn't matter.
Devin Brooks (Detroit)
hey Chris, if you are in Detroit and you are a GM for the Lions, Do you trade Suh since he is going to want a lot of money when his contract is up, trade him now and get like a first round and a player back for him.. I can see St.Loius wanting him and moving a first round pick for him.. what you think?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
I imagine Suh would draw plenty of interest but you generally don't trade really good players but try to acquire other good players. Also, the salary cap hit generated by Suh's contract might be prohibitive. The Rams would be among a lot of teams who would like Suh. That should tell you why the Lions should keep him.
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
Time to go. Again, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all even as we remember those victims in Connecticut and also pray for our troops around the world and wisdom for our civic leaders. As for your football teams, good luck! Catch us on NFL32 weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2, Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. and, remember, we have a Saturday night game - Falcons at Lions this week. God Bless!