Chris Mortensen (2:01 PM)
Hello again. Let's talk for about 30 mins....
Hi Mort. We need your NFL coverage here in Canada. Is Vinny T going to get a chance to unseat Quincy Carter this year or is it just a fall back for Parcells. Also, will Henson get any playing time this year, or are they looking to keep him on the bench and not void his contract (due to the 15% of plays kicker in his contract)?
Chris Mortensen (2:03 PM)
Testaverde definitely will have the opportunity to win the job from Carter. And I'll venture to guess that if Carter loses the job to Vinny, then he may be on his way out of Dallas, period, because it would then be evident that Drew Henson is the QB of the future, fairly immediate until he's ready. I would think Henson will get some play time but a lot will be tied to the QB play and the Cowboys' playoff chances.
Mort, do you think that the Bengals can make the playoffs, because no one really improved in their division and i don't think you can count on Jamal Lewis getting 2,000 yeard again.
Chris Mortensen (2:05 PM)
The Bengals made a good run last year before losing the final two games. But I do believe the Ravens are the clear-cut team to beat - they'll be better reagrdless of whether Lewis gains 2,000 again - and I think Pittsburgh and Cleveland will be slightly better. The key for the Bengals is obviously Palmer's progression or Marvin Lewis' managerial skills, so to speak, to get Kitna back on the field at the right time.
John Great Barrington, MA
Everyone is really killing the Giants for there offseason moves. As a fan I'm excited to see Kurt and Eli duke it out at the QB Position.
Chris Mortensen (2:08 PM)
I believe the Giants will prove that they had one of the most fruitful offseason of any team in the NFL. They filled a lot of holes; I think the only mistake they made was letting Michael Barrow escape. That was a miscalculation, or bad timing with the market. If Warner proves he's OK, they will hold their own in the very tough, and very interesting, NFC East.
Any rumors out of Eagle land? How's Owens fitting in? Do you think that marraige will work out? How about his recent comments about not getting the ball enough in minicamp?
Chris Mortensen (2:10 PM)
T.O. is going to be T.O. He demands a lot of his coach, his quarterback, the system and he gives a lot. When you sign a veteran, there aren't any surprise. These guys don't change, but Andy Reid is very confident that Owens will be a a major factor in their '04 season. Positive or negative factor? That's why they pay Andy he big bucks.
Chad (Springfield, MO)
I keep reading that Oakland will cut Rich Gannon before the season starts. Is there any truth to this? It seems illogical to wait to cut him, because Collins could be getting more reps if the decision is made now.
Chris Mortensen (2:11 PM)
You're right as far as the reps part. But there may be a desire to see just how good Collins is before they make a decision on Gannon, who never should be counted out.
How do you think Michael Vick and the West Coast offense are going to get along? Do you see him having that super-star break-out year we're all waiting for?
Chris Mortensen (2:15 PM)
All Michael Vick needs for the "Superstar" breaout year - which, in a way, he had in 2002 - is to stay healthy for 16 games. Gregg Knapp, the offensive coordinator, is very happy with Vick's progress right now in the offense. But Vick's durability will be the key to the eventual legacy he leaves on this league.
Ryan (Orlando, FL)
Mort, why all the negative attention on the 49ers this offseason? All I see is people criticizing the moves they've made in order to get into a better cap situation. 6/7 guys that were lost via free agency/cuts were past their prime or just plain ineffective, and Terrell Owens was the teams problem child. Tim Rattay proved he could be as effective than Jeff Garcia and is a better fit for Ericksons system. Our offensive line is better than last year, and our defense has the potential to be ranked in the top 10 next year. What gives?
Chris Mortensen (2:18 PM)
Well, I think many people see the subtraction of Garcia and Owens as two major losses - both were Pro Bowl players. Rattay had a couple of nice starts, then he flopped in Green Bay. There's just not enough to go on yet, so he may be good and he may not. That's an unknown. I also think it's tough to lose both your coordinators as the 49ers did to the Falcons. The 49ers still may compete well...they'll just have to prove it week to week as opposed to getting the favorable preseason forecast, which in the end is meaningless, right?
Travis (Beckley WV)
Does Donte' Stallworth have the injury problems behind him? I keep reading that he is doing very well in mini camp, and just how well is he doing?
Chris Mortensen (2:20 PM)
Stallworth is having a really good offseason, and the Saints just want to see if he'll stay healthy. If he doesm then there is speculation that Joe Horn could be on his way out, but I think that is an iffy proposition with Stallworth's track record.
Mort, Why is everyone discounting the Browns? They have made numerous free agent acquistions and seem to have a lot of skill players on offense where they struggled last year. The o-line is automaically improved with a mobile quarterback like Jeff Garcia. How do you honestly see their season going?
Chris Mortensen (2:22 PM)
Honestly, I don't know. I guess we have a tendency to be negative about the Browns because of all the front office turnover and the failure of Couch/Holcomb. They did make the playoffs in '02 and I guess they're another wait-and-see club that won't get the benefit of the doubt until they prove it during the regular season. I'm prepared to be surprised.
Disgruntled Niner fan...
I don't mind letting garcia and owens go, but they aren't even trying to win this year... Warner? Collins? heck even Couch! why not?
Chris Mortensen (2:23 PM)
You are right! Why not? It's money. That's another reason why it's tough to jump on their bandwagon until they show differently.
Jeff (Da Region, Indiana)
I think the Manning bro's are over-rated. All Peyton had to do to insure a tie in the pro-bowl was not get sacked for a loss, and what does he do? He just doesn't handle pressure like a say, Tom Brady.
Chris Mortensen (2:25 PM)
If I held a confidential draft right now of all NFL QBs, I would guarantee that Manning would be the first pick by two-third of the NFL teams, and I may be conservative. Thanks for your inquiry, but you have no clue about the pressure part. Now that is not dissing Tom Brady. He is a wonderful QB.
MORT, WHAT HAPPENED W/PARCELLS & BRYANT? SOUNDS PRETTY HEATED.
Chris Mortensen (2:28 PM)
Bryant's reputation of being difficult and "noisy" cost him in the draft, which is why he was considered a good bargain for the Cowboys. Parcells actually has been pleased with his progress, but this is the way Parcells willl either make you or break you. If you're a player, you play, practice, prepare, work out by his rules. Parcells will make Bryant into a pretty good player is my guess.
Mort how do you think the titans and eddie george situation will work out?
Chris Mortensen (2:29 PM)
Obviously, they're close on a contract, which is good. Eddie George's identity is with the Titans, and I think he needed to be reassured that he is still relevant in their offense.
Nick Seccco (chicago)
Mort, you begged the question... Drafting TODAY... top 5 QB's on your board?
Chris Mortensen (2:32 PM)
I'll play this game X 2...off the top of my head: 1. Manning; 2. McNair; 3. Favre; 4. Culpepper; 5. Brady; 6. Vick (if healthy); 7. McNabb; 8. Pennington; 9. . Carr; 10. Hasselbeck, I know I left out somebody.
Mort does Maurice Clarrett still have a possible future in the nfl even by misssing what will be 2 football seasons?
Chris Mortensen (2:34 PM)
I think it's very important for Clarett to play somewhere this year....next level down in college, or Canada...his future is bleak, in my estimation, if he doesn't play this year.
jason(eliabeth city, nc)
you have mcnabb at 7? and farve that high?
Chris Mortensen (2:36 PM)
Who led the NFL in TD passes last year? (Favre) His team won the division again. I want to see more consistency from McNabb. But there's not a lot of margin between a lot of these guys.
Between Parcells, Seau, and the whole Colorado fiasco, why does it feel as though football is a hotbed of prejudice, misogyny and just plain idiocy. The NFL dropped the ball when they let Seau and Parcells both slide for their remarks.
Chris Mortensen (2:38 PM)
I won't get too deep into this but the NFL lets the teams deal with this at a club level. These are football people. They're not in government. They're not by training socially or poltically astute. Do we really expect them to be? It was unfortunate. They apologized.
Way to discount the future Mort... you can't draft old people! Who did you miss? other than C. Palmer, Eli, Byron L. and the other young guns.
Chris Mortensen (2:39 PM)
The way I ready today's NFL, fans and media seem to care very little about the "future."
Carr over Leftwich? Look what Leftwich did behind a very young and rebuilding team last season. To say Carr is the better QB is absurd. Watch this season.
Chris Mortensen (2:41 PM)
Next to Vick & possibly Culpepper, David Carr may be the most physically (arm and athletically) gifted QB in the NFL. Letfwich should be a great one. I just need to see him make that leap forward this season, which I believe he will.
Matt, Paducah, Ky
Will Chris Simms be the starter for the bucs this year?
Chris Mortensen (2:42 PM)
I would bet that he will be the starter at some point, either at the beginning or middle of the season.
Andrew (Madison, WI)
Are David Terrell and Freddie Mitchell busts or do they have a chance to turn it around?
Chris Mortensen (2:43 PM)
Mitchell started to make som progress last year and I like the fact that he made th big catch on 4th-and-26. Maybe with Owens, he'll be even more productive. Terrell smells like a bust.
big Daddy NYC
alot of people arent thinking of carolina making it back to the playoffs that they were a one hit wonder do you think Delhome has got it in him to step up his game
Chris Mortensen (2:47 PM)
I think the Panthers will be tough again, but their division (NFC South) could emerge as the best in the NFL. Delhomme played extremely well last year, especially when it counted. The key is rebuilding their O-line. If that comes around, they'll be in the mix again.
Can the Cardinals really rely on Josh McCown to lead them to glory
Chris Mortensen (2:49 PM)
It's funny, I have never heard a coach such as Denny Green as high on an "unknown" QB. But I assure you Green really believes in McCown. It says something about the kid because McCown would have been very easy to discard for a new coach. Green has had some pretty good experiences with QBs, so it should make us pay attention to McCown this season.
Jeff (Hermosa Beach)
Hey Mort! Portis is gone, Sharpe and Easy Ed retired, Rod Smith is slowing down, and Lelie is still a question mark. Though Shanahan will likely find someone to step into the running game, do the passing game uncertainties prove worrisome for the Broncos??
Chris Mortensen (2:52 PM)
Yes! I think Shanahan, though, is counting on Plummer taking a giant leap forward in his second season there and Lelie stepping up. Rod Smith slowing down? Not so fast. The key to me is whether they do in fact miss Portis AND O-line guru Alex Gibbs (now in Atlanta). My greetings to Hermosa Beach, a former stomping ground.
Bob G, Buzzard's Bay, Ma
Mort, Cory Dillon: Whiny, selfish crybaby? or good guy who's frustrated with losing? Bottom line is he good or bad for the Patriots?
Chris Mortensen (2:53 PM)
He is whiny but I believe he will be good for the Patriots this year. No promises after this year.
If Warren Sapp and Big Ted Washington got into a fight at practice, who would you bet on?
Chris Mortensen (2:54 PM)
I have to go with Sapp based on quickness and ability to dance & jab. He'd outlast him.
Speaking of Leftwich and the Jags.. a lot of media prognosticators have high hopes for them. What do you see as the deficiencies on this team that could stop them from being a playoff contender?
Chris Mortensen (2:57 PM)
Not much. Really, it's just Leftwich taking it up a notch, having Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith staying healthy, and rookie Reggie Williams making a contributiion. Their defense should be very good. I know I spoke about the NFC South being tough, but if Jaguars and Texans take big laps up this year, then how about the AFC South coming on, knowing that the Colts and Titans will be strong again.
Besides having rediculously old players and whiny fans do you see any bright spots for the raiders this season?
Chris Mortensen (2:58 PM)
I believe the Raiders will be one of the "turnaround" teams this year and be in contention.
i find it funny that Antonio Bryant threw his jersey back onto Parcells face. Parcells to me is another Bobby Knight who uses physical and emotional abuse towards his players. what do you think ?
Chris Mortensen (2:59 PM)
I have never seen or heard of Parcells physically abusing his players. He is physically demanding, yes, but not abusive.
I'm a little ticked, no one gives joey harrington any chance to have a break out year, but i'm here to tell you he will this year!
Chris Mortensen (3:01 PM)
OK, you've had your say. He should be better and if he is, the Lions will be a playoff contender. ..... that is all the time I have for now. I was going to do just 30 minutes but you always keep me engaged and on my toes...and for that, I am always grateful. Good day and God bless!