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)
Today is always a bitter sweet day in the NFL because the excitement of the playoffs are here but a lot of your friends are fired too. And that has a trickledown effect of other people as well. But is all part of the NFL.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Happy New Year, Gary! In your opinion, are you surprised that Lovie Smith was fired by the Bears, despite nearly making the playoffs? Do you think he will land another coach/coordinator job in time for the 2013 season?
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
Happy New Year to you! I was surprised but although as the day went on I think a couple of things triggered it. First off, he only had one year left on this contract and if the Bears didn't extend him, he was going to be a lame duck coach. They also had to do something with the offensive coordinator. Plus the lack of relationship with the GM didn't help. But his players love him so he'll have a job somewhere fairly quickly.
Jalyn Banks (Lawrence, KS)
Do you think that the cowboys let go of romo this off-season?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
No I don't think there is any chance of that happening. I think he is still a quality NFL QB even though he makes mistakes at the worst times. They won't find anybody better in free agency or in the draft. I think the Cowboys still they are a viable playoff contender and the last thing they want to do is start over at the QB position.
are the vikings a contender for the super bowl
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
No I don't think so because they are so one dimensional. I don't think Ponder is capable of going on the kind of run they need to carry them to the Super Bowl. Although AP seems to carry them every week, that won't be good enough in the postseason. I think they will be one and done but I also think they are a great story in 2012.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will play in Super Bowl XLVII since the Playoff Schedule is set?
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
Wow! First of all, I think the most intriguing matchup could be the potential AFC Championship matchup between Manning and Brady. If they meet and whoever wins will go on to win the Super Bowl. I really like the 49ers right now and the all-time dark horse is the Seahawks. Their confidence is sky high right now. I'll go out on a limb and say the Broncos over the 49ers.
Anthony Powell (Boynton Beach, FL)
Gary I'm a big Patriots Fan and I am torn on who to root for in the Indianapolis-Baltimore Game this Sunday I would have to say root for the Colts because I think they are Easier to beat then the Ravens
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
I would say you might be correct. First of all, that's asking a lot of a rookie QB, even if it's Luck, to go to New England and play well. The Ravens are built to play well in adverse playing conditions. If they have to, they can run the ball effectively and the Colts can't. I think the Patriots are superior to either one of those teams so I'd be surprised with they struggled in the divisional round.
Will the Seahawks put up 50 points virsus the Redskins?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I think Seattle can move the ball on any team right now. They can play a physical run game with Lynch and they have an underrated pass game with a QB that can scramble out of trouble. Their biggest attribute is their swagger and confidence. I don't think they fear anybody and that can be a huge help going into Washington. I can be totally wrong but I get the feeling that the Redskins are ecstatic to get to the playoffs and that the Seahawks are beyond that. Seattle doesn't think that getting to the playoffs is good enough. Just seems like these two teams have a different mindset.
AP has got to be the MVP right? The whole world just watched him carry the Vikings to the playoffs.
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
Well I think it's hard to deny him because nobody has carried their team's offensive the way he has. But I don't know how you don't make a strong case for Peyton Manning. Nobody expected him to have a season like he's having. Plus the Broncos are the No. 1 seed in the AFC. I think they should give the MVP to one and the Comeback POY to the other and it could go either way. I will say this, on the Vikings final drive yesterday, when AP carried that ball pretty much every play to get them within field goal range was a thing of beauty.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Gary, Rex Ryan still head coach, Mike Tannenbaum out as gm, is Rex still around a bit of a surprise and will there be much change with the coaching staff and the players who'll be on the Jets in 2013?
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
No, I think his owner loves him and still thinks he is a quality coach. I think the blame, fair or not, goes to the Jets not having good enough players to be competitive and that takes Ryan off the hook. Although I don't think the honeymoon period will last long. The Jets have to win next year, but I don't know how they will turn things around with their QB situation being as bad as it is.
Who do you think San Diego will target for the HC position? Any names floating around?
Gary Horton (4:24 PM)
I think it is too early to speculate but I've hear Bruce Arians' name come up. Keep in mind they have to hire a GM so it could be a guy that the GM has in mind. San Diego is a good coaching destination but they do have some personal challenges ahead of them.
R Lank [via mobile]
Do think jason garret the rite coach 4 d cowboyz and what do u think bout his playcall
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
That's a tough question. I think he is good for one more season because he has a good offensive mind. I don't think he's done enough wrong to warrant losing his job. I think Jerry Jones is comfortable with him because Garrett is a good company man, but things need to change because they can't keep under achieving like this.
Kris G (The Purple Tundra)
Of the coaches fired, which one(s) has the best chance of getting another HC job either in the NFL or College ranks next season?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
I think its Andy Reid. I think he's already put a potential coaching staff together. He's a high character guy that owners love. He's made it clear that he wants to coach next season even though many thought he'd take a year off.
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
Happy New Year to everybody. It was a good day for some teams in the NFL and a bad day for others. I don't think I've ever seen an NFL season with as much drama or captivating events, both good and bad, and we were able to have a great season.