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 (11:06 AM)
Good morning from Super Bowl 45.... very excited about this game. Let's talk.
Big question in Buffalo... (no, not Gabbert vs. DL)Did Tom Modrak bungle the last ten years drafting here in Buffalo, or did his board get overruled by the 5 GM/coach combos we've had since 1996? (I vote C. The meddling owner has just kept getting older and weirder.)
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
All I can tell you is there are plenty of players from the Donahoe/Modrak reign as well as some near the end of John Butler's reign that are still playing in the NFL. The "commitment" to re-sign those guys and stabilize the organization to develop players was shaky, IMO.
Considering the horrible effects the weather has done to Super Bowl events in Dallas, is there a chance the Meadowlands Super Bowl gets relocated?
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
Quentin, there is no chance of that happening. Now, the logistics for travel and corporate events may be affected but, let's face it, the anticipation of inclement weather will determine a different set of events (hey, NYC has plenty to do!). But the game itself, honestly, I'd be concerned if the winds and wind-chill we have seen the past couple of days here were in play for the NY Super Bowl. It could very well neutralize great quarterbacks. But we play the playoffs and AFC-NFC title games in this kind of weather so I guess we'll have to brave it out if we get that kind of day when it's played in NY.
so what's the verdict: Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith?
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
Obviously, Aaron Rodgers but I have talked to numerous football peoplewho are almost unanimous - that if Aaron Rodgers had been drafted by the 49ers and throw immediately into a bad situation, bad team, no protection, instability, all the different coordinators, he may well have been talked about as a bust and or beat up. In fact, Ron Jaworski mentioned that last night when I had dinner with him. Aaron Rodgers had the gift of waiting, maturing, changing some mechanics and what a tremendous player he is.
Joe (Decatur, GA)
Do you think the Titans will be successful in trading Vince Young? What are some possible destinations for him?
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
So much depends on the labor agreement - as you know, nobody can be traded without a new CBA. I believe it will be difficult because of the bonus money due him. My guess is the Titans will have to release him but there's plenty of twists and turns that can still take place with this deal. I had ventured that the Vikings would be one destination but I believe we can rule that out now.
John(Bethlaham Park NY) [via mobile]
Do you feel the NFL and the NFLPA will finally get it together(for the FANS)and get a new CBA by March? I wanna see some free agency action.
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
I say it's less than 50-50 that a deal gets done on time. What is guardedly hopeful is I've always thought the 30 days between the Super Bowl and the CBA deadline (March 3rd) would create progress or give us more clarity. If there's progress, they can always extend the deadline. However, I will note that I have heard what Jerry Jones has just stated - that September is the real deadline. But that would mean no trades, no free agent signings (there's 495 of them), etc., during this period. Let's hope for progress. Stay tuned. I'll have some news/info later today or later in the week.
I am a huge Donovan McNabb fan. Will he be a starting quarterback next year? And for who?Despite his interview with Tirico today, I can't see him returning to Washington.
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
I spoke with Donovan quite a bit Tuesday and he knows that there's uncertainty. His agent and the Redskins will sit down soon to determine the course. However, he does believe there's a possibility he'll be in DC.
Why can we rule out the Vikings now for VY?
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
Just the word coming out of the Vikings front office. Nothing decided. I believe there's more background work they'll want to do and I'm not sure he's a fit for what new OC Bill Musgrave wants to install but I will reiterate that it's premature.
Hey Mort, we can't get a straight answer from the Dolphins regarding the QB situation. What is your take? Will they stick with Henne or do you see them pushing in all of their chips to grab a 1st round guy (Mallet, Gabbert, Locker, Newton)?
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
I believe the Dolphins will add a QB to the mix but I'm not sure that it will be simply drafting one. In fact, there's a lot of uncertainty by this entire QB class. Now, could they sniff around some of the QBs available for trade, like a Kevin Kolb? Sure.
redzonejones (New York)
Who do you think will win Coach of the Year?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I don't know. There are always 7 or 8 worthy candidates. It's based on regular season. Bill Belichick and Todd Haley will get a lot of support. Mike Tomlin, wow, 3-1 without Roethlisberger. Raheem Morris, 10 wins!!! Mike Smith of the Falcons. Mike McCarthy with al the injuries. Lovie Smith when everyone was counting the Bears out.
Mikey(Lackawanna NY) [via mobile]
Mort, who do you feel is the best QB in this years draft? Is their one worthy of a Top 10 pick?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
I'm still doing my work with various NFL evaluators. I have a feeling Blaine Gabbert will be first QB taken but lot of questions. Ryan Mallett is absolutely the most pro-ready but lot of questions. Jake Locker may be a stud in two years but there's risk. Cam Newton had one year in an offense that has nothing to do with what is run in the NFL. It's a good, solid group but no absloute franchise guy.
What do you think is more accurate: Mike Mularkey didn't call plays down the field all year because he doesn't think Matt Ryan or his receivers can execute, OR Mike Smith/ Mike Mularkey run such a conservative offense that just didn't allow Matt Ryan to throw it down field? Coming from the stat that the Falcons were last in downfield passing this year.
Chris Mortensen (11:31 AM)
I believe if you really go back and chart lays you will see they weren't as conservative as you think. But there is a philosophy of being physical, running the ball and protecting the QB and part of that is because they have a young defense in transition so they certainly were trying to limit the amount of time the defense had to be on the field. They went 14-2 and ran into the hot team in the playoffs. Unfortunate but that's life in the NFL.
lburgueno (Mexico City)
How likely is that M Pouncey will play Sunday and how much of a factor you think he is (i.e., how much do the Steelers chances of winning improve with him in)?
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
Gosh, Maurkice was so upbeat in his interview with Chris Berman he started to make me think he just may play. Mike Tomlin wasn't quite as optimistic and I'm not expecting him to play. He also would be playing on one leg and I'm not sure that's a good idea vs. BJ Raki and Co. So I wouldn't be optimistic, it is a big loss but Steelers OC Bruce Arians has done a great job working around a variety of O-line injuries. And Big #7 isn't so easy to bring down. Can they run it with Mendenhall? That's a big question.
What do you think if Steelers have a complete healthy team does GB have a chasnce or does Arron Rodgers pull trhough can you give me your prediction
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
I believe the Packers would still have a chance if the Steelers were healthy, yes. I believe the Steelers were still have a chance if the Packers had some of their guys from injured reserve. But injuries are part of the deal. I still expect a heck of a game. I am picking the Packers but what does that mean? How can you count out the Steelers with Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Hines ward, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, etc. I love this game.
Ryan (San Diego)
If you switched Philip Rivers and Big Ben on draft day, do you think the Steelers have the same success?
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
I'd say yes but then Ben is so uniqiue because he makes game-changing plays that I'm not sure any other QB can make. The flip-side argument in Rivers' favor would be maybe they wouldn't be in those game-saving moments because he would have built a more comfortable margin on the scoreboard.
Who in your eyes would be a good fit for the Titans Head Coach.Whose the Darkhorse?
Chris Mortensen (11:39 AM)
All I know is there are a lot of people around the NFL who like Mike Munchak as a head coach candidate and someone who was projected to emerge in the very near future as one.
Chris, do you see garrett making the playoffs in his first year if ryan can fix that defense like the 09 form.
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
Yes, i can see the Cowboys making the playoffs in 2011. We know there will be, what, five new teams in the playoffs so the Cowboys didn't make it this year and I would certainly see them as a candidate.
Jared Kent (West Union IA)
Good morning Mort love your work. Lets just say there is no cba come draft time does that mean that teams can't trade players for picks? Thanks
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
Jared, thak you, and that would mean you could not trade players for draft picks without a new CBA.
Mike W (Chicago)
You broke the new of Brat being fired, so who do you think will be named the next Bengals OC? Is Brian Billick even a possibility?
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
I haven't heard that name but we know there is a relationship between Lewis and Billick. Marvin wants to have a run-oriented offense? Is that Billick? Does Brian want an OC job? Wish I had the answers at this moment but I don't.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who has been the funniest/best interview at the Super Bowl?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
Best interviews were probably James Harrison and Hines Ward for their no-holds-barred feelings about the NFL. Funniest? B.J. Raji's pretty good.
Chris, is it possible that the lions could make the playoffs next year with a healthy stafford and stable running backs, if they get a shut down corner with their first pick and and in F.A. and draft lb's 2nd rd and lineman in FA also.
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
Yes, I think the Lions will be in the playoff hunt and I'm inclined to pick 'em as at least a wild-card team but it's a little early.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
I kind of feel bad for Jim Zorn. He got a raw deal in DC, and Flacco seems to think he got one in Baltimore too. Your thoughts?
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
I need to spend more time on that one. Flacco is a mild-mannered guy so for his words to be that strong, backed up by McClain, tells me there's a problem. Maybe the Ravens thought there were too many chefs in the kitchen.
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
I hate to run but I have to hustle across town in this ice for an interview. Thanks. Follow me on Twitter/MortReport. We're doing shows round-the-clock. We have a tremendous Sunday NFL Countdown Show planned for 10 a.m. Stay tuned and God Bless! What did Bart Scott say? CAN'T WAIT!