Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's NFL "Caveman" himself, Gary Horton, stops in to talk some football and other news from around the league.
Horton, from Scouts Inc., works year-round on ESPN's NFL-related shows, including NFL32, where he breaks down film, earning him his Caveman nickname.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Gary Horton (4:03 PM)
I just saw the trade of Percy Harvin to Seattle today. To be honest, I was surprised. I did not think the Vikings would accomodate him and play hard ball. But at first look, it looks like a deal that could benefit both teams, even though it's a heavy price. It gives the Seahawks the biggest missing ingredient: a dynamic WR.
thomas houston texas [via mobile]
I think joe flacco is well overpaid for having one great season what your opinion
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
I think the organization is looking ahead and realizes it because he is still a fairly young guy. He can be the face of this franchise for a number of years. Granted he was great in the playoffs, but I think the Ravens view that really good string of positive play as something they will continue to see on a regular basis. He is surrounded by a good supporting cast.
Tim (El Cajon, CA)
Well, so much for people thinking Speilman wont be able to get more than a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Harvin. He was just getting to be too much of a pain in the locker room I think. Good luck to Seattle handling him.
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I think you're right, Minnesota probably got more than a lot of people thought they would. It's clear that as time went on, Harvin did not want to be there. Now, I think it's imperative that the Vikings get one of the big WRs in free agency to fill Harvin's spot and then they can look at other positions in the draft. But they have got to come away with a veteran WR now. Other wins this really impacts their offense negatively.
Hey Caveman! I was wondering if the chances of the Browns signing Mike Wallace(if not signed as of midnight of the 9th) or another free agent.
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I think they are definitely trying to come away with some of those biggest receivers. If he signs with Cleveland, that's a real bonus for them, because they're also hurting a division rival. Cleveland has some money to spend and I think they'll sign one or two of the big name guys. I'm a little surprised at the rumors that Wallace may likely land in Miami, because I would have thought that was a good spot for Greg Jennings, because of his relationship with Philbon. Although Wallace's speed seems to have everyone enamored.
While it seems apparent Revis will get traded, is there anyway the Jets can get fair value due to the contractual demands? A healthy Revis is still the best backfield defender in the league, and no one is close to him.
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
I think that's certainly a good question. They're not going to be able to trade him, unless the new team he goes to can give him a deal he can live with. I think the biggest problem is that he's coming off a significant injury. It's hard at this stage to give him the money and the years that he wants without totally knowing that he'll be healthy and ready to go. I think that not only effects the other teams, but it also effects the Jets. Do they want to commit a huge contract to somebody that they're not sure of his health. I don't think there is any question that they will be open to offers. I look at this team as almost starting over, they have so many holes. They have a lot of players.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Hi Gary - as a Jets fan looking at the rest of the league are the 49er's and potentially the Seahawks becoming the trendsetting blueprint organizations for what it will take to build a perennial playoff team?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I think that's an excellent observation. When you look at both of those teams on film, they are very similar. Both with dynamic and creative offenses and physical, creative defenses. They are a reflection of their head coaches, who are not afraid to take chances and make gutsy calls in terms of personnel. The thing that impresses you about both of these teams is about how deep they are. These are not just front line players. The scouting department has done a great job of evaluating even the backup players. That makes them both more immune to injuries.
What makes Wallace so special? There are many receivers who have speed?
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
He's so explosive. I don't think he's the perfect guy. He's had some drops. But he has a second gear. He's a tough guy to single cover in man to man coverage. He's a guy that defensive coordinators will have to actually game plan for. When Pittsburgh loses him, that will really hurt the WR corps in terms of big plays.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is the movement of Percy Harvin a bigger addition for the Seahawks, or subtraction for the Vikings?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
If the Vikings can go and get one of these veteran free agent WR, then I think they can save themselves a little bit. It will still be a loss, but it's one they can deal with. If they come up empty in free agency, then I think it's a huge loss, in terms of big plays on offense. For Seattle, who is really a deep team without a lot of glaring needs, this is the one spot I always thought they were vulnerable, a go to WR that can make explosive plays. They get good production out of their corps, but most of them are complementary guys and now they have a home run hitter.
Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]
Do you think Kruger is worth the price he'll ultimately command tomorrow?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I do. At the beginning, I wondered if he was just a one year wonder, a try hard blue collar guy, but I think a lot of teams have really warmed up to him and those 3-4 edge rusher are really hard to find. This guy has a motor that goes all day. This guy could easily end up in Indianapolis with Chuck Pagano who knows him well. But I'm sure he'll have a number of places to go.
JEFFERYTYSON PICAYUNE. MISSISSIPPI [via mobile]
WHO WOULD THE NEWORLEANS SAINT BE WITH SEAN PAYTON BACK THIS SEASON
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
Oh, I think it will be significant, because it gives stability to the organization. It re-connects Payton and Drew Brees and their special relationship, especially in terms of playcalling. Missing last year was really a negative for the Saints. It looks to me that they're really ready to move on.
Boldin to SF....what's that about?
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
I just saw it too, on NFL Live. Boldin took a hard stance with the organization, in terms of not getting a home town discount. I can understand that, because he's a WR with age and he's probably getting one last big contract. We know the 49ers have the luxury of having a lot of picks and can make the right trade. This makes the 49ers really dangerous and gives Kaepernick a weapon. We talk about Flacco having a great postseason, but Boldin was very helpful, being a guy that can go up and get it. That's a luxury. I thought he was an amazing chain mover. He'll do the same for the 49ers in the intermediate part of the field. He is an absolute playmaker. Isn't it funny that the 49ers make a move to acquire a gamebreaker right behind their division rival Seattle. This one hurts the Ravens, but I think now they'll concentrate on keeping Ellerbe and Ed Reed, and maybe having to let Kruger go.
Who is the most underrated active head coach?
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
Even though he was a fill-in head coach last year, I thought the job Bruce Arians did was terrific in keeping that team together. I don't think Tom Coughlin gets enough credit for how strongly he runs the Giants and how clear they are in how they do things. I really like the coaching style of Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. They're both creative. They have a combo college/NFL coaching background. I love the fact that neither one of them are afraid of making tough decisions. You get the feeling that neither one of them care about what anyone thinks, if they're committed.
With the inevitable departure of Wallace, what will Pittsburgh do to fill the gap? Haley had no clue how to use Wallace but Brown doesn't have the skills to be a threat downfield, either. Is this offense going to struggle going forward with Roethlisberger's underutilized ability?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
Oh, I think it's going to be a significant hit, because they have salary cap problems. I don't think they will have the ability to replace Wallace with an elite guy, unless they can do something in the draft. One of the great things about Wallace is he forces the defense to sit back and play more honest schemes, which can open up the run game. Without him, this is not going to be as tough of a Steeler offense to gameplan against. I just don't know where the big plays are going to come from. The Steelers next year are not going to look the same as they have in the past, in my opinion. They're taking a lot of tough hits.
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
If the reports are true, that the 49ers only had to give up a sixth round pick for Boldin, then it probably leads you to believe that Baltimore felt they just couldn't afford him. They may have shopped him more than the 49ers actually went after him. For a low pick like this, you would get the feeling that this was a salary dump off, especially since he refused to take a salary discount.
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
I thought today would be fairly quiet as teams and players were putting parameters together and tomorrow would be fast and furious, but these trades have made it interesting. I think we will see in the next 24 hours a lot of teams trying to retain their own guys. I don't think we'll see as many of the big moves as we thought in the next few days, but it will be fun to watch.