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)
Happy New Year! Is it crazy? Yes.
keith kulpinski (crystal lake, il)
Hey Mort,Are the Bills interested in any other coaching candidates like Cowher or Gruden? Who do you see as being the Bills coach in 2013?
Chris Mortensen (11:05 AM)
One thing we know on Bills is that they're interviewing Ken Whisenhunt and Ray Horton of the Cardinals (well, Ken is formerly of the Cardinals). I would remove the Cowher/Gruden temptation from your head.
Armin (St Louis MO)
What are the rams needs this offseason? how likely is it that steven jackson comes back?
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
Rams will focus heavily on fixing offensive line. Yes, I think Steven Jackson has a better chance to return to Rams than not. Jackson would like to stay. Jeff Fisher loves him and wants him to stay. If the contract can be worked out, I like his chances of remaining in St. Louis.
Mort -- Why doesn't Leslie Frazier get any love in discussions for Coach of the Year? Seems to never get mentioned. One year ago today, who had a bigger mess on their hands heading into 2012 than Frazier?
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
I emailed some of our studio folks not to forget Frazier as coach of the year. The Vikings went from 3-13 to 10-6 in one of toughest divisions in football. I know owner Zygi Wilf predicted playoffs but I didn't find anyone - including myself - who believed that would happen.
Mort, Do you know if the Bills have any interest in interviewing Lovie Smith? Imagine Lovie guiding the Bills defense?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
I would expect the Bills to have interest in Lovie.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Were you surprised the Chargers tried to bring Matt Russell in to interview for their GM position? I didn't think he was that highly regarded, not because he's not talnted, but because he's so young.
Chris Mortensen (11:12 AM)
Russell is highly regarded but he is young. Lot would depend on how one defines the GM job but he has decided to stay in Denver, no matter what, and that made sense. I'm not sure he would have been the leading candidate in SD, anyway.
Mort, given that Peyton played in the worst division in the NFL, shouldn't Peterson be the easy vote as MVP? Teams had 8 in the box every game because of the total lack of a passing game, and he still went for 2k. Just incredible.
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
It's not an easy vote because Broncos also had to play the AFC North and swept that division. Manning led Broncos to an 11 game win streak to end season. He made people around him better. He made the defense better. Quarterbacks are always the value position by far. But what Peterson did merits more than Offensive Player of the Year consideration - which is one reason that is also an award. Peterson's performance Sunday in beating the Packers and leading the Vikes to 4 straight wins and a playoff spot has made him a very legitimate MVP favorite.
Josiah Beaumont (Franklin, TN)
No disrespect to AD but Colts went 2-14 without him and Denver went 13-3 with him at age 36 and 4 neck surgeries. My vote Co-MVPs.
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
That's one recommendation that also was given to me by a top football executive - is it really a cop-out to name Manning and Peterson Co-MVPs? I'm getting ready to cast my vote and I'm considering that suggestion but would rather vote for one player.
Mark (Youngstown, Oh)
Mort do you see any big changes coming for the Steelers coaching staff? Do you see Haley staying on as OC?
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
I'd be shocked if Haley did remain as OC unless he gets a HC job.
Nick H (Cleveland)
How serious of a chance does Doug Marrone have of getting the job in Cleveland?
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
Marrone is one of my top sleeper candidates. I believe he is going to interview very well and he has NFL experience as both a line coach and OC. So while I don't put Marrone as the favorite with the Browns, I do believe he is a serious candidate.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you also vote for DPOY? Your top 3 in order are...
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
JJ Watt is getting my vote and in the Associated Press balloting, that's all we are allowed.
Greg Root (Yuma, AZ)
Mort, seems like some of the fired HCs may just swap teams. Why would they be successful with another losing team?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
There's a fair history of experienced coaches having success with other teams. Coaches like Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan have had success in second jobs.
jim trevethan (solon ohio)
Hi Chris, with all the coaching changes both in the NFL abd NCAA, any rumors about Jim Tressel landing one. Way too good of a coach to be in Akron wilting away.
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I've had one team executive mention Tressel's name but I haven't heard any momentum there.
John.C (Bethlaham Park)
Do you think Ray Horton(if he doesnt land a Head Coaching job) will most likely follow Ken Whisenhunt to his next destination as D-cdr?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
Not necessarily. I think Horton is a candidate in Arizona if Andy Reid doesn't take the job. Horton is also under contract and there's reason to believe the Cardinals would like the new coach to keep Horton and staff. Horton also is a HC candidate for other jobs.
Could you explain the NFL's minority coach interview system. Do you have to only interview an African-American candidate? Do you have to interview a Hispanic candidate as well or are they not included as a minority? If Hispanic candidates are included as minorities and you interview one, do you have to also interview an African-American candidate as well? Does this apply to GM searches as well as coaching? Please shed some light on it. Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:30 AM)
Minority candidates cover Hispanics, too. A team would not be required to interview another minority in that case even though they are encouraged to make their process thorough.
Any news about what the plans for the Panthers are? One of the biggest dissapointments this year. Do you thing Jerry R. has something behind the scenes planned for a high profile coach/gm tandem?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
I don't think there's any high profile part of this. There have been "rumors" that Oregon's Chip Kelly is on Richardson's radar but I don't know why Ron Rivera would would be fired. That still remains to be seen.
Geno (Youngstown, Oh)
Mort what are the chances of Childress and Juran also getting the boot in Cleveland
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
I believe Childress is moving on. I haven't heard on Jauron but that certainly will be up to the new coach.
Hey Mort...What do you think the chances of the Ravens reaching out to Norv Turner for possible OC replacement? Do you really expect them to stick with Caldwell?
Chris Mortensen (11:35 AM)
Norv Turner will be a huge hire for any team as an OC and it makes sense with the Ravens because Cam Cameron's concepts and some terminology come straight from Norv Turner's playbook. Caldwell certainly will be a candidate and I'd say his credentials would be strengthened if the Ravens make a deep run in the playoffs.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Have you heard of any rumors of teams wanting to bring in Mike McCoy or Jack Del Rio?
Chris Mortensen (11:37 AM)
McCoy and Del Rio are on these coaching lists. What works against them is some of these teams looking for coaches get antsy. McCoy or Del Rio cannot even be offered a job while the Broncos are in the playoffs. They can interview but no negotiations or offers, even though teams obviously find a way to communicate with agents.
Scott (Ann Arbor, MI)
Are the Lions really going to stick with the same GM, HC, OC and DC after a poor season and all of the discipline issues?
Chris Mortensen (11:39 AM)
The Lions have reviewed and discussed the job status of Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew and some of that pertained to the issues you mention. In the end, a good confab with strict orders from ownership should make the mission clear going forward.
Brent (Wichita, Kan.)
Do you see the chiefs bringing in someone like Jon Grudon or Bill Cower? Additionally, what is Clark Hunt doing with Pioli?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I have not heard legit info on Gruden or Cowher with Chiefs but some have speculated on them. Cowher has his history in KC but he is 6 years removed from coaching. I don't think Gruden is coaching but having an established QB in place would seemingly be very important to Gruden. Chiefs don't meet that criteria. As for Pioli, I believe Pioli stays as personnel director with the coach having more power; or Pioli goes if someone like Andy Reid wants to bring in his own guy.
Any chance Jay Gruden or Mike Zimmer are in the running for any HC openings?
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
No question. I think Jay Gruden is as hot as any offensive coordinator and many in the industry believe Zimmer is overdue for his shot
You buying into some of these big named evaluators opinion about Cowboys moving on from Romo don't you believe if they drafted better especially along the Offensive/Defensive Lines the games wouldn't always come down to being on his shoulders?
Chris Mortensen (11:46 AM)
99 percent of football people I speak with are Tony Romo supporters. That's all I can tell you.
curtis (sandusky ohio)
come on mort no love for browns fans who do you see as our coach?i like kelly but college is a whole different ballgame.
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
I think the Browns have been thorough for couple of months on their candidate list. So, yes, I think Chip Kelly is high or at top on the list. I believe Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Penn State's Jim O'Brien are up there. I don't know on Gruden; it's been a "no" on Nick Saban. I think Kyle Shanahan is a sleeper there but his age (34) causes some hesitation for teams. Don't rule out Doug Marrone and I guess I'm not ruling out Kirk Ferentz. Jay Gruden of the Bengals has to be on their list, too. See, that's just for starters.
Imagine Lovie Smith and Rod Mirenelli running the Bills D with Super Mario, M.Dareus, K.Williams, Barnett, Gilmore, Byrd? WOW Top 5 defense for sure? Nice Fit Mort?
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
I like it. Just get 'em a good O-coordinator but I do like it.
OleSagginSeahawk (30 miles west of Seattle)
Hi Mort- First time chatting with you. I have concerns about Brandon Browner coming off a 4 week absents. Do you think he'll be game ready after all that time?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
Good question. I think he's going to be OK but if he he isn't, the Seahawks are very deep at corner.
Larry (New York)
Hey Mort, please keep picking against the Skins
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
I picked the Redskins vs. Cowboys. I picked 'Boys early in week when we had a deadline but changed it on Friday. Now this week, I may satisfy your request but it's not because I root against the Redskins. I like a lot of people there.
Mort any news on If any coaching changes will be made with the Tennessee Titans like a new OC or DC and what names may they go after if they do?
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
They have an OC in Dowell Loggains who I'm sure will continue but change the scheme. They played with only one starting O-lineman the last month or so. I haven't heard anything on DC Jerry Gray.
Any more rumors about Bill O'Brien leaving PSU for the NFL?
Chris Mortensen (11:58 AM)
I think O'Brien will clarify his interest in the near future. I think he will have to know where he stands with the very few jobs that would interest him.
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Time to roll and make more calls. We have NFL32 on at 5 pm ET weekdays. I'm on Twitter @mortreport. Saturday and Sunday shows for Sunday NFL Countdown. Take care and God Bless!