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September 24, 11:31 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Hey everyone. Let's get started.

Ben (Sac, CA)

Now that Millen is out... Will there be a change in philosphy? Will CJ and Roy become better FF options now?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I wouldn't say so. The bye week could help the entire staff step back and realize that those two are the strength of the team, but a new/interim GM will have nothing to do with it.

Broad Street Brian (philly)

I was at the Steelers Game, and it was loud, loud, LOUD! I know the Steelers had some scheme trouble but sometimes guys barely got out of their stances at the snap. Is either team as good or bad as it played on Sunday? Kudos to the very respectful Steelers fans, unlike those Cowboy fans, you can come back any time.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

That has certainly been an aspect of that awful protection that hasn't been addressed enough. Obviously noise was a factor, but if so-the PGH coaching staff needs to adjst. Hand signals, using a leg kick, etc.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Can Green Bay's defense still be strong without Al Harris likely for the rest of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:03 PM)

Harris hasn't played well for a while. Takes a ton of penalties. Went to the Pro Bowl last year after maybe his worst season in recent memory. Won't be missed as many think.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How do you see the Washington-Dallas game going on Sunday?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

Dallas is very strong. Can beat a defense in any way they chose. I do think Barber will have a big game behind that massive OL. Pound them. Draw defenders up near the LOS and then, uh oh.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Do you think Plax's suspension is a big deal? or just a result of Plaxico being Plaxico he serves the suspension and everyone moves on.

Matt Williamson
  (1:05 PM)

It is a big deal in that he will certainly be missed on the field. This guy is a force and demands a lot of attention. Opens up a lot of room for the other pass catchers and allows NYG to run the ball easier. As for the locker room, I would guess that they get over it quickly and move on.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

I am curious to know what you think of Mathias Kiwanuka's play to date this season. Studly, or survivor?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

He's played well-tormented Levi Jones last week. I would still worry about his ability to hold up at the POA against the run for 13 more games without a strong DE to rotate in.

Steven (Providence, R.I.)

I know it was just one game but how many wins do you see the Dolphins having this year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

5 or 6. Huge win, don't get me wrong. Very impressive win. But, this team is going to struggle to throw the ball, still has a lot of holes and will have plenty of growing pains this year.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Aren't you curious to see how Smith and Hixon operate without Plax as Eli's primary WRs? I know I am......

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

I suppose. Esp in such a brutal division, I would be more excited to see Plex line up the next two weeks and catch a lot of passes.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Remember though this is the nfc east, and regardless of the standings its always seems that each team playing has a 50 percent chance of winning every game. Wash will play dallas hard and has a better chance to win than most people think.

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

There is some truth to that, but I also think that Wash is clearly the #4 team in that division.

Chad ( Cascade, MD)

Can joe led the ravens to the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

No. They have won in spite of him. Too important of a position to mask/hide. Love the D, the special teams will be better than they have so far and the running game should be brutal and capable of wearing Ds down. Yet, the QB and passing game are problems. Big problems right now.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Benjamin is a pretty prolific chatter. You go Ben!

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

He sure is. Good questions to. He is setting the tone for y'all.

Bruce (Battle Creek, MI)

Is the sun a litlle brighter? Do the flowers smell better? Or is Matt Millen really out in Detroit? Question, Can Marinelli keep his job?

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

I suppose he can keep his job-if he shows marked improvement. Serious improvement. Otherwise-out.

Kevin (Manassas)

Maybe after the Redskins go to Dallas and beat the Cowboys, everyone will start giving them a little respect. I am tired of hearing everyone talk about the NFC East, and only mentioning three teams.

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

Perhaps. Check back here next week. Give me the Boys.

anthony allentown,pa

does plax's suspension mean that we'll have a Sinorice Moss sighting? O happy times!!!

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

It could happen. Still, he would be their #4 WR. Won't see a ton of him for sure.

Tom Heckert (Philly)

I wish that Detroit would go ahead and name the interim GM already. I want to offer the higher of our two first round picks for Roy Williams.

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Now you are talking. Maybe the Cowboys try to bring Williams back to Texas? Just speculating here. Eagles would be quite strong with Roy W.

Brad(NM)

Was the Dolphins/Pats game more of a fluke and a down week for NE, or more of a glaring sign that without Brady, the Pats are actually worse than the Phins?

Matt Williamson
  (1:15 PM)

I was a part of the power rankings and put the Pats ahead of Miami. I really can't imagine seeing their front seven-or Belichick for that matter-performing as poorly going forward.

Adam (Syracuse,ny)

What's your take on Trent Edwards so far? Do you think he's just the "manager" on offense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

Yeah, I do. That isn't a terrible thing though-like being a possession WR isn't always so terrible either. He's smart and has progressed very quickly. That O revolves around Lynch though-rightly so. Exceptional D and ST as well. Good formula, but Edwards is exceeding expectations.

sandra - nj

M-Dubb...do you think that this will be the last season in philly for mcnabb regardless of how he and/or the team play this season? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

I don't understand why this topic comes up. The guy is a VERY good QB. Philly is winning! They are a contender!

Adam (Syracuse,ny)

The Browns have to be kicking themselves for not trading away Anderson in the offseason...When do we see Brady take over?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

After the bye. Check anything I have written about DA-have said this all along.

Paul (Albany, OR)

The Rams appear without hope at this point. The season is now for growth and improvement. Everyone involved would be foolish to consider this minimally talented team a playoff contender. So, do you play as much of your youth as possible to see what you have before free agency and the draft? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

For sure, but that is part of the problem in that Linehan needs to win some games to keep his job. For himself and his familiy, that has to be priority #1-is that the best thing for the Rams? Probably not. If they could assure him that he will be back, then fine...but why do that either? Losing breeds problems

Mike(Utica,NY)

Does the Denver offense get 50 this weekend against KC?

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Wow. I suppose it is possible. That O is very impressive and KC's D is simply dreadful. But I will take the UNDER.

ALL OF DETROIT

WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

How could I not post this?

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

But really how much can the Browns expect out of Brady? The last decent QB out of Notre Dame was Joe Montana.

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

Not real sure that is relavent. What they should know at this point is that DA is not the answer. They don't know if Quinn is, but there is only one way to find out. Personnally, I think he will be a success in this league.

Ryan (San Diego)

How impressed were you with the Chargers on MNF and their ability to overcome the two tough losses and pick 6 to start the game? I love the way this team continues to be cool under pressure no matter what comes their way. Sign of a future champion?

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

Very impressive. This team just has SO many great players. Still missing Merriman is big with their ability to create pressure. Certainly a contender and I am still banking on them to win the AFC West.

Sean (Philly)

Doesn't matter who the QB in Cleveland is. Braylon can't catch a pass, and the team is all dinged up.

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

The injuries surely have been a problem and it would sure be helpful to get something out of their D Stallworth investment, but Braylon can be on my squad any day of the week and yes, it matters who the QB is.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Was flacco at pitt during your stay there? if so, please help us break down his game to understand some nuances of his strengths/weaknesses

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

He was. I was the recruiting assistant at Pitt for three years. I watched Joe in high school. Smaller school in NJ that didn't get a ton of attention from recruiters. Loved him. Actually played a little safety in HS which shows a little to his athletic ability. I was there with Joe for just one year though before I moved on-then he moved on. I like him going forward, but I do think he is in over his head right now. As I have said before, deciphering the defenses he faced at Delaware is FAR different than going to Heinz Field and figuring out what Dick LeBeau is brewing in his lab as we speak. 2nd and 3rd and long situations could end up in disaster for Balt this week. I do like his upside a lot though. Smart. Amazing arm. It will just take time.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Matt, why do you feel DA is not the answer for Cleveland? Shouldn't Crennel get more heat for not utilizing the running game more, and they have significant injuries as well.

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Here is why I have always bashed DA. It was very easy for him early last year. They didn't even know who the starting QB was going to be-Frye or DA. Flipped a coin in preseason. Frye was awful in that first game. DA takes over with NO EXPECTATIONS. Played behind a terrific OL and got to throw two big time targets with massive catching radius that masked some of his accuracy problems. Also, he got a VERY motivated J Lewis running the ball behind him as Lewis was working on getting a new contract. Then Clev actually started to win, expectations rose, pressure built up, the weather got worse. Times were tougher. This league isn't easy. He folded. Doesn't handle pressure well. Isn't accurate enough. Poor athlete. Not a playmaker. Now the injuries and more expectations. Remember who he was about 400 days ago or so-just some guy that Balt cut and was battling Frye for a starting spot.

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

His defenicies have not gone away.

Jon (Mad-Town)

I can't believe I'm writing this, but the Bears problem is on Defense, not Offense. What gives?

Matt Williamson
  (1:31 PM)

That is rather amazing, but I do think the D will come around...and the O will fall off. That TB game was rather amazing. They took the run away and forced TB to throw...and boy did they ever throw. What shocked me was the lack of pressure they got on Griese though.

Daniel (Kansas City)

Do the Chiefs win a game this year? And please tell me Carl Peterson will be gone after this year, 19 years of heartbreak and bad teams is enough.

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

2-14....hard to argue with that or the possible dismissal of Herm Edwards.

John (Del Mar)

Do you think Rivers has been the best qb in the NFL so far this season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:33 PM)

Right up there. I have been quite critical of Rivers in the past, but I am impressed. I would still probably give that honor to Cutler though. Romo is in the conversation.

jeff - md

do you think the falcons are headed in the right direction? seems like blank finally got it right with the gm and hc hirings. Ryan and Turner don't hurt either.

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

You are dead on. Remember this around Week 10 or so though. They will beat some bad teams going forward and might shock a team in their division, but there will also be plenty of weeks that they are simply beaten badly by a better team. That D still needs a lot of help from a peronnel standpoint.

Chris (Madison, WI)

Braylon Edwards...how is his stock affected if they flip over to Quinn?

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

It would help, but I expect to see more of Edwards going forward no matter what. That injury hurt his conditioning and timing with the passing game. He is a great player-I believe that.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

given the development of Desean Jackson wouldn't the eagles be better off keeping those picks and rebuilding their oline?

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Makes sense as well, but they should be in a win-now scenerio. I like their WRs, but none are in Roy W's class. Plus, Philly would still have the usual amount of draft picks. Make a run now.

Jon (Mad-Town)

Useless stats question here. With the exception of Griese's game last Sunday, what's the most amount of pass attempts a QB has had in a game without getting sacked?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

No idea-anyone?

Kelvin (Dayton)

Lets say we were to place Washington in the NFC North with the rest of their schedule being the same.... how do you think they'd do?

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

Better for sure. Contend for a wild card. I would still take GB to win that division, but would probably give the edge to Wash over Minny and certainly over the other two. Chi has exceeded my expectations though.

Mike (Boca Raton)

can you please explain this notion of not having a 'true' fullback that teams are engendering? i don't get this concept when teams need to grind out first downs to win games in the fourth quarter and you see TEs, h-backs, and pass catching RBs lining up at FB. How does this make sense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

Its a good point and different teams surely have different thoughts on this. Usually, your typical hammer-headed FB is also a contributor on special teams, so it isnt like he would not contribute except fo a handful of plays. Still, some O's want that extra weapon out there instead of a one dimensional blocker. You don't always need "Big" Personnel on the field to run the ball and take the air out of the ball. Plenty of ways to skin that cat.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Corey Webster continues to look shutdown, he locked down ocho moutho this weekend and he gets no love.

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

He did and he does deserve credit. However, NYG sacked Palmer six times this weekend and that O has had zero ability to threaten the field vertically because of their poor pass pro. 85 needs to get deep to be effective. Made Webster's job much easier. Also, I am not sold that 85 is healthy. Like him or not, he was a force.

Adam (Chicago)

How overated is Lovie Smith as a coach? These last two weeks have been brutal to watch as a Bears fan. Are they morally opposed to making adjustments?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

I do think letting Ron Rivera go was a huge mistake. That D does very little to change up what they are doing. Yeah, I do agree that he is somewhat overrated.

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

When you say "overrated", I guess that depends where "they" rate him to begin with. Don't think anyone is really put him in the upper tier of NFL HCs right now...but I hear ya.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

What is the Saints problem? Is it injuries or are they just mediocre?

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

I blame injuries here and I also think the D will take some time to gel. A LOT of personnel changes in that group from a year ago. Losing Colston is gigantic. I can't check right now-but how many catches has this guy hauled in for Brees in his first 2 seasons in the league? A very big number. Not easy to replace at all.

Mike (D)

Does Drew Stanton now start after the Lions bye? Please say yes...

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

That is the direction I would go

Andy (albany, ny)

Is JT O'Sullivan another Derek Anderson by your definition? Delivers misleadingly good stats for an average player? Or do you think he has talent than can be relied upon as a long term answer at QB for the 49ers. thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

I surely want to see much more before calling him the long term answer and I do question how he handles his emotions and keeps his poise. But I like what I have seen and he fits the system well. Good signs.

Will J (Portland, OR)

So Lovie taking the Bears to the SB 2 seasons ago was a fluke? They have looked pretty decent so far this season also.

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

Not a fluke and yes, they have played well this year. I think he is a better motivator than he is CEO or adjustement guy. I think his players play hard for him. I love his emphasis on special teams. Not an elite guy. Not calling for his head here or anything.

Brian (Chicago)

Any chance Reggie Brown actually gets involved in the Iggles offense this week?

Matt Williamson
  (1:49 PM)

Maybe a little, but why change what is working? I know this O didn't light it up against PGH, but I have no worries with this passing game. Brown is just a guy.

Brian Levittown,Pa

Hey Matt, What is it going to take for the Eagles to get over the hump and bring home a championship?

Matt Williamson
  (1:49 PM)

I don't think they are far off at all. I mentioned the power rankings and I have ranked them #2 now for two weeks straight.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

without Merriman, isn't it safe to say that with Cottrells safe schemes better qbs will just pick that secondary apart? therefore isn't it safe to say they have no shot to win a superbowl without merriman?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Yes, but Cottrell did open it up as last season went along. Just don't understand why he got away from that early this year. I really like that secondary, but pressure is key.

Dan - San Jose

JT OSullivan is an accurate passer. Derek isn't.

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

Oh there are many differences between the two. JTO is a better athlete as well.

Al Davis (in a crypt somewhere)

Why do I let my ego ruin my team? Kiffin is the best coach I've had since Gruden. If you're me, what do you do? Is there anyway to resolve the situation or do I have to fire him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

What a mess and Al, you only have one guy to blame. Let the people you hire to do their jobs! It doesn't matter who takes this job-and who would-it is going to be a huge problem.

Adam (Chicago)

Lovie is a horrible game manager. Remember him calling timeout in the playoff game vs. Seattle on 4th down, so SETTLE could throw a hail mary before OT!

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

Could site things like this for just about every coach and I don't think he is a particularly good game manager either.

Joe (WT, NJ)

Any truth A.J. Feeley to the Pat?

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

First I heard that one, but it isn't unreasonable from where I am sitting. Still, it will take a fair amount of time to get a new QB ready in that system.

Tim (El Cajon, CA)

I dont see where everyone is so worried about Merriman being out. Didn't any see Jyles Tucker get those 2 sacks on Favre and all the pressure HE put on? I don't think it will be a big deal with or without Merriman.

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

I like Tucker too and he will only get better. Merriman is a great one though. He will be missed-don't kid yourself.

Jon Kitna

Why do you advocate benching me in favor of that Stanton fellow? I'm not playing that badly and *I* am not the one who hired Millen!!!!

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

True-but your team is not winning this year with or without you. You are who you are-a very low end starter or an excellent backup who could ignite a team off the bench. Need to get the kid reps to figure out if Det has to draft a QB high or not.

Will J (Portland, OR)

So if Al Davis didn't hire Kiffen, then who did? Doesn't the owner sign off on such deals, or is this the first signs of dimensia?

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

No idea what you are talking about-of course he hired his head coach.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Brick Fergusan is a nice player but inconsistant..... beating him isn't a huge deal. Get back to me about Tucker when he does something against a Jason Peters Joe Thomas type LT.

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

Also a very good point. Brick can be overwhelmed with power, which Tucker has for sure.

Bob(Lowell, Ma)

What do you think of the Jets getting Favre. I think ity was a bad move because he is likly to only spend 1 year there, half of that learning a new offense, and be gone and the Jets will have noone to QB them next year.

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

Partially true, but he will also be a good influence on Clemens for the future. Obviously this team took a very "win now" approach to their off season with the big money signings. I didn't/don't agree and would have rebuilt from the core.

Kelvin (Dayton)

Bengals or Browns this weekend?

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

Tough one and I wrote that game up. Took the Bengals. Just look who they have lost to-Tenn, NYG and Balt-no shame in that. They might just be better than we thought.

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

Everyone, I am out. This was great as usual. Check back next week.