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October 22, 9:15 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Lets start a bit early...

Greg (Denver, CO)

How unbelievably awful will an already awful Broncos defense be without Champ and Boss Bailey? Could they be worse than the Chiefs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Yes, they could be. In fact, they could be historically awful by season's end. I really have a hard time giving NE a lot of credit for that win. I felt like it was more of an indication of just how awful Den's D is. Now, their best player, Champ, is out-it is really going to get ugly.

TK (brooklyn)

Matt, who are you MVP candidates so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

It won't happen, but Albert Haynesworth might be the best candidate. How about Portis?

Bruce (St.Louis, Missouri)

Do the Rams have a legit shot at taking the division with the turnaround the last 2 weeks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

That might be overly optimistic! I still think it is Zona's to lose. They are a stronger team than STL and obviously have a lead in the division as well speak.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

The Bears' offense: most surprising development of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Very well could be. Still amazed. Not sure I can even buy in completely yet-which sounds crazy. The running game is starting to falter, but the passing game is picking up the slack. Olsen is a good one by the way.

George (Jacksonville, FL)

What is up with Glenn Dorsey? He is playing awful?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

He really has been non-existent. That shocks me a great deal. Loved him coming out of LSU. I still have hope and sometimes DTs take time at this level. But still....

Reggie (Miami, FL)

How do you rate the Dolphins progression this season so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

A. Before the season started I thought that Miami's progress should not be judged by wins and losses so much as by the attitude of the team and the steps the new players make. I think that Parcells and company deserve a ton of credit for making this team relavent again and they are clearly on the right path. They still need at least one more great off season though to get to competitor status.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

Jarvis Moss has looked simply awful with the Broncos. I hate to judge after a year and a half, but do you thin this guy can ever contribute?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

He really has been bad. Had some injuries last year, which stunted his growth to some degree. But he isn't strong enough-at all-to handle the POA. Does he change directions and move in reverse well enough for a 3-4 OLB? Maybe and Denver is using more 3-4, but still, he has really been rough.

Robb (Colorado)

Matt, Very disappointed with the Broncos. When are people going to realize that Shanahan rode Elway's coattails? He wins games, but it is remarkable that only 1 playoff win in 10 years.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Can't ignore the facts you present. I still think he is a good coach, but certainly question his personnel abilities. Why on Earth was Jay Cutler in that game for the last ten or so minutes with a bad finger to boot? Come on.

Thomas (Tampa, FL)

Have we seen the end of the Wildcat offense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

No, but it was more fad than substance. I think it is here to stay, but I don't think it will be a great asset. One thing about this formation that I do not understand-and I don't claim to be a defensive coordinator-but, as soon as I saw the QB split out wide and someone like a RB behind center, I would have an automatic adjustment in the playbook. Get someone right up in the grill of the QB who was split out wide (a LB would be ideal) and then jam the heck out of him. Beat him up. Smack him around. In the meantime, move quickly to a Cover 1 or Cover 0 on the backend with the remaining defenders crowding the LOS getting ready to attack forward. Make them throw and abuse their QB in the process-would you want to keep calling the Wildcat?

Justin (Ohio)

Matt, do think it is time for Art Shell errrrrrrrrr Romeo Crennel to make the switch from DA to Brady?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

I have bashed DA in a BIG WAY since he took over the starting QB spot. Not a fan at all. Is just horrible when the expectations are high. Horrible trait. In my eyes and I have said this for a while-we know that DA isn't good enough, we don't know that about Quinn yet. I was high on Quinn coming out of ND and think he could be good. Way overdue to give it a try.

Xander (Philly)

The Bills have 3 straight divisional games coming up (@Miami, NYJ, @NE). If they come out 3-0 is the AFC East locked up?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

I will give you that. Sure. They are already the best team in that division by a somewhat wide margin.

John (Fort Myers, FL)

Do you think anyone has a chance of catching the Steelers in the AFC North?

Matt Williamson
  (1:05 PM)

I really don't. Have already beaten each team in the division and although PGH has a tough schedule, they should roll over the rest of the AFC North.

Kellen Winslow (suspended)

This chat isn't infected, is it? I hope not. Anyway, did I deserve to be suspended?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

Who knows what went on behind the scenes. As for this chat being infected-I did spend one year in the Browns' organization, so I can't promise that I am not carrying a staph infection, but it appears as though I was one of the lucky few who were able to escape that plague.

Steve (Blacksburg, VA)

What's wrong with the Colts? Is it just injuries?

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

I do think that is a problem for sure. OL was very banged up early. Some D injuries. Is Peyton fully healthy? Maybe/Maybe Not. However, their DTs are just horrible. This team is way too easy to run on and if you haven't realized, it is going back to being a running league. ALL the good teams can run the ball and stop the run.

Chad Henne (Miami)

When am I going to get my shot? I can throw it long to Ginn unlike noodle-arm.

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

Good point and your time will come. No reason to rush though. We know that Miami is high on you and you will get every opportunity to be the franchise QB. No rush.

Shawn (Jamestown, NY)

Are the Bills an elite team now since they beat the Chargers?

Matt Williamson
  (1:10 PM)

I am not sure what happened, but if you look at my votes for the Power Ratings, they are honestly not right at all. Maybe I screwed up the input or the program that is used didn't work properly. However, I have Buff ranked 4th overall in the NFL. So yes, I guess that qualifies as "Elite" in a league that really doesn't have a truly elite team right now.

Donald Williamsville,Mo

Steelers giants who you got?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

Torn. Real torn. I didn't write this one up, but certainly have studied it quite a bit. I think I have the Giants in a tight one. PGH is pretty banged up on D. Like I said, torn, but NYG can play any style of game and be succesful.

Myron Cope (Heaven)

Greetings from up above. My Steelers are looking pretty good early, and a lot of it has to do with the play of Ben Roethlisberger. If they get the first or second seed in the AFC and Ben keeps performing at a high level, does he get any MVP consideration? YOI!!

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

Yoi and Double Yoi Mr. Cope-yeah, I almost mentioned Ben earlier and there really isn't another option right now who is jumping out. I just doubt that his overall numbers will blow you away, but his value is so much greater than his numbers.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

With Linehan, the Rams looked awful. With Haslett, the have looked below average, which is a huge emprovement. Any chance Haslett gets an extension?

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

Too early for that, but STL ownership has to be kicking it around.

James (Milwaukke, WI)

Do you beleive the Bills are a Superbowl caliber team

Matt Williamson
  (1:15 PM)

As good of a shot as anyone as we stand today. GREAT Special Teams. I really like the D. Would like to see the O be a bit more dynamic and I think they are one more top pass catcher away. Would have gone after Tony Gonzo hard at the deadline, but KC also didn't seem as excited about trading him as they should have.

Xander (Philly)

Don't you think that trading for Favre is a step backwards for the Jets? They are definitely not going to win the Superbowl, and they are no shoe-in for the playoffs. Wouldn't developing a young, future QB have been a better idea?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

Maybe, but young future QBs do not grow on trees. However, Clemens still has a chance and haning next to Favre could help him for the long term. However, analyzing all the Jets' moves-they were moves of desperation. BIG money for quick fix free agents. Traded up into Round one to get another high profile rookie. Was/Is Mangini worried about his job or did he really think that this team was just a few vets away from completing with the Pats (w Brady and coming off a fantastic season)? I think they misjudged a bit!

Skunkbait (Nashville, TN)

Chargers or Broncos win AFC West?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

SD-they have been frustrating as well, but I think they pull away. Denver is going down down down.

Chris, NC

Also, who do you have in Panthers-Cardinals this weekend? I'm leaning Panthers because of the great press coverage they smacked New Orleans with.

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Give me Carolina as well. Would never pick Zona on the road against a good East Coast team until they prove they can change that disturbing trend. Also, I do think Carolina is the better all around football team right now as well.

Chet (LA)

Everyone is talking about Matt Forte and Chris Johnson, but how can Matt Ryan not win ROY? He's playing fantastic for a rookie, and he's leading this team in the right direction. Who do you think is the leading candidate for offensive ROY?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Oh I think so-by a large margin actually. Ryan for ROY.

Bob (Chicago)

Forget the Bears' offense as a whole. Is Kyle Orton for real? I can't argue with the results, but can we expect him to continue playing well? Should the Bears be looked for a quarterback or line and WR help next year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Grossman will leave and they have to add a QB to the mix in some regard, but Orton is and should be the starter going forward. Add some OL help and keep building the D. Orton's team for now. Maybe add a third round QB or so to develop into a #2.

Wes (Atlanta)

Can the Falcons run the ball well enough against Philly to neutralize Philly's blitz d?

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

No. That will be their undoing. That and the fact that ATL's secondary is really bad-bad combination against this Philly team. I think Philly handles them.

Larry Johnson & Tony Gonzalez

Where are we going to end up next season and what will it take for Carl Peterson to let us go? Because you know, we don't see any improvements for the Chiefs so far this year.

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

With the reported offers that were out there for Gonzo, Peterson should have made a deal. Crazy not to and should have rewarded a class act and great player by letting him go to a contender. LJ will be tough to move. Not only is he simply not as good of a football player as he once was, but he gets in trouble off the field, has a big contract and RB is the easiest position to find help at.

Paul (St Louis Park, MN)

Matt- Who do you think is the front runner for OFF and DEF Rookie O' Year? Tell me Chris Johnson is in the running...

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

Sure-he's in the running, but Matt Ryan would be OROY if the season ended now. DROY? Why isn't anyone leaping to mind? Mayo? Rivers looked promising. Others?

Larry Johnson

Thanks Matt. That is a grim picture for my outlook.......

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

Indeed-some of that is self imposed and deserved though...

Ryan (San Diego)

No mention of Rivers as a possible MVP candidate? He does have the best numbers in the NFL

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

His team doesn't have such a great record though and this team is underachieving-how do you give the MVP to a QB on an underachieving team?

Ryan (San Diego)

As bad as the Chargers have been, realistically they should have a 1 game lead on Denver. After seeing how pitiful the Broncos have been, I think the Chargers need to just get healthy and consistent before playoffs like last year

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Agreed-they will win that division without much problem. But, I am not sure that LT and Gates will ever be completly healthy and obviously Merriman is not coming back this year.

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

I also can't believe in Norv in SD

Matt NYC

Chris Horton for DROY

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

Good player for sure and a real find late in the draft....but, that is a bit much for now!

Guy Enfield NH

Being a Pat's fan it seems the league is really watered down with Brady being out...Him in the league made it much more entertaining to watch....

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

Not sure that I would say more entertaining, but there isn't a true powerhouse right now that is proven. PGH could be I suppose, as could the Giants. But without Brady (& the Colts)....times might be changing. Not all bad though!

Eric (Jacksonville FL)

Matt with the Jags getting healthy and a easy schedule, can they push their way into the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

I wrote them off a few weeks ago, but it is a long season and Meester's return will be huge. Don't get too excited about their rushing performance against Denver though-did I mention that Denver's run D is simply embarrassing?

Tom (Chicago)

Is Alex Brown the most underrated DE in the league. While not an elite passrusher, he is one of the most complete ends.

Matt Williamson
  (1:31 PM)

Certainly a good player. Sturdy vs. the run. Good pass rusher. A bit of a jack of all trades, but master of none though.

jojo (doesnt matter)

Is the Titans defense a product of their easy schedule thus far? Am I the only one who thinks Manning lights them up?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Can't say I am on board with Manning lighting them up and I do think Tenn has the best D in the league. Has the schedule helped? No doubt, but they have playmakers at all three levels, are extremely physical and well coached.

Scott (San Diego)

No one notices his bad play because he plays a non-glamour position, but Jamal Williams has lost it.

Matt Williamson
  (1:33 PM)

Excellent point and they have not addressed his successor over the past few drafts. He is okay in spurts, but bad knees, age and stamina problems are quite prominant now. NEED that 3-4 NT to make it all work!

PT (Franklin, NC)

Do you think Javon Walker will continue to show signs of life, or was the Jets game a fluke?

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

He is obviously someone very tough to put much faith in, but surely the talent is there. I would expect improvement, but moreso, I would expect wild inconsistency.

Ryan (San Diego)

Scott, clearly you did not watch the past two games because Jamal has dominated everyone. He blew back the NE center about 5 yards into the running back

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

He does do that still-just not as often or for as long.

Aaron, Aurora

not to start this game....but is Andre Johnson the most underrated player in all of the NFL.

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

Very well could be. Huge fan of his here. Is there a WR you would rather have on your team right now?

PT (Franklin, NC)

Why isn't Micheal Bush getting more playing time in Oakland?

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Obviously a crowded backfield, but I didn't understand why Fargas got such a heavy load last week either.

Steve in NYC

Cowher to Dallas as Jerry craves the limelight in 09 with his new zillion dollar stadium. You read it here first!

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Well, actually, Kidder, JG and I mentioned it on our Monday podcast, but I hear ya. Still seems like Garrett will be that guy though.

Brian (Sanibel Island, FL)

In the spirit of this weekend's NYG-PIT game, who finishes with the better season, Plaxico Burress or Hines Ward?

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

I would say Plex. More of the featured guy.

Mike (Boca Raton)

do you think that the severity of the injury to n.e. rb sammy morris could be devastating? without a running back i think casel will struggle mightily. u think?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

Oh, I think Cassel will struggle mightily with or without Sammy Morris, who is a nice player that you like to have on your team, but certainly not a difference maker.

Jon (Mad-town)

I would rather have Calvin, instead of Andre Johnson. 2 catches over 150 yards and a TD while playing for the worst team in the NFL.

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

Calvin is fantastic as well and will be one of the very best WRs in this game very soon. Andre is far more consistent (when healthy) right now though. Further along in his development.

Philippe (Bristol, CT)

Hines Ward - Tough football player that plays within the rules or dirty player that deserves to be fined?

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

The former

Adam (Jersey)

One was a pointless Hail Mary that didn't even get to the endzone, Jon... But I agree, I love Calvin Johnson

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

Right-those Calvin stats are quite misleading considering how they worked within the framework of the game at the time. Still, he is VERY high on my list as well.

Philippe, Bristol CT

Alex Brown is not the most underrated DE in the league. Aaron Smith is.

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

Watch for an article that comes out tomorrow. I rank the top 20 players with a blurb about each in the NYG-PGH game. Ranked Smith VERY high. Stud.

NM(Motown)

Who should the Lions go after for a coach and GM in the offseason? There's alot of buzz around here saying Cowher but do you think we really have a shot at him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

I live in Pittsburgh and the Lions have to be dangerously close to being Pirate-like. Who wants to go there?

Chris (Bozeman, MT)

who is QB for the Vikes next year and does Childress get the ax?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

I don't think that player is on the roster right now and Yes-he deserves the ax.

Greg Jennings (GB, WI)

Andre and Calvin? Please...

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

Greg, you are in that coversation as well and I am not sure that most fans realize just how good you really are. Have to admit, partial to bigger guys though.

David Fairborn, OH

Should that hit Benson laid on Polamalu give us fans in and around Cincinnati any hope, if even a little, for our RB position for the next couple seasons?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Good hit-no question. One hit doesn't make a RB (or running game) though. But, remember, Benson was a Top 5 pick in the draft and now HAS to be motivated if he has any hopes of doing this for a living much longer. Still, the running game is the #1 problem in Cincy.

Eric (Sioux City)

Love Jennings, but Andre Johnson doesn't have GJ's supporting cast. Also, how many scouts or GMs would choose him over AJ.

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Exactly

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: How goes it? I have two things for you. In the past I would say the Colts will be better when Sanders gets back....not so sure this time, they are aging. Second, how about Dre' for MVP has had a great month and seems to be back from his knee procedure. Thanks.......MM

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

Been talking up Dre' heavily here for the last few minutes and you have to know that I am a huge believer in him. But MVP? No way. He's a WR on a below average team. Doesn't compute. I agree with Sanders and while Sanders is a great player, no one in the league gets all the credit for a run D when he is in the game and the opposite when he is injured-which is pretty much all the time. Sure, he will help, but he isnt' the answer. They need DTs.

rod marinelli, Detroit

If we continue to "pound the rock" - will I get to keep my job next year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

What other options do you have? As you know by now, I love Calvin J, but this O isn't equipped to pass it all over the field. Their OL is terrible. They have one legit pass catcher and the QB position is a nightmare. Bad formula!

Chad (Cascade,MD)

Is joe our qb of the future?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

The jury is still out, but for now, I will say Yes. Progressing.

Norv Turner & Ted Cottrell (LONDON)

Are we the real problem for the Chargers?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

I do think that just about any HC and DC could accomplish what you two have done so far this year. But, LT's toe is a HUGE problem, as is the lack of Merriman.

Phil (Monroeville, PA)

Matt, you're a 'Burgh guy, why are you so down on the Steelers?

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

Didn't know that I was. Picked the Giants over them this week in a very close one and have them at #3 overall in my power rankings. I am a believer. How on Earth do you live on that side of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels?

Eric (Chicago)

It'd be Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, both of whom I would take in a heart beat!

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

I can't argue with Fitz, who I have a ton of respect for in our time together at Pitt. Superstar. Consistent!

Liam (Houston)

Who is the head coach of the 49ers next year? Where does Nolan land?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Gotta think Nolan can go back to being a DC somewhere if he wants. How about Singletary? More so than the other changes, this one seems like an audition for Singletary.

Philippe (Bristol, CT)

Let's stop the excuses about SD. They are an underachieving team. Period. LT and SM are only 2 players... If 2 players (non QB) define how good your team is, then you're team is just not that good.

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

I agree to a point. Underachieving for sure. However, those two (& Gates to a lesser degree) are TRUE superstars in this league and having them out there makes a ton of problems go away-including some coaching defencies.

John (Chicago IL)

Does Orton have a chance to be a top 5 QB of all-time if he continues this pace?

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

Yeah, right now I would put him ahead of Starr, Staubach, Bradshaw and Aikmen, but just behind Elway, Marino, Montana and Unitas.

Jon (Birmingham, MI)

Matt - Who's a better QB, Rivers or Brees? Who's wins in London?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

Brees is FAR superior to Rivers in my book. Not even close. As for the game-who knows! These two teams are somewhat disfunctional this year. Give me SD, as Bush's injury will hurt this O more than many realize.

Matt (Richmond, VA)

When Brady comes back next year, do the Pats go back to being the juggernaut that they were last year, or is their window of opportunity just about closed?

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

Too tough to say that. I would bet that their roster will go through a bit of a revamping from top to bottom by then. However, I promise that the pass pro will look MUCH better, as will the deep passing game-which could open up everything else. Will they go 18-1 in 2009? Not going out on that limb.

Mark (Chicago)

So what you're saying is there's way too much hype over Kyle Orton? Hmm, never would have guessed that going into this season...

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

No, I talked up Orton earlier. I really like what he has done this year...but that post was rediculous and needed to be posted.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub most of the talk so far has been about the NFC East race & how tight it'll be. Yet there's a very interesting race goin on in the NFC South, what do you think the outcome will be?

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

I was VERY high on NO just one week ago, but one week makes a huge difference in this league sometimes. I now see it as a two horse race and I will take TBay. Very solid on both sides of the ball. Not a knock on Car and I do think both get into the playoffs.

Curt IL

Where does Fitz teamate fit in the conversation? To me, Bouldin is a beast.

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

Boldin is a great player, but a step behind those guys in my opinion. Can he be a true #1? I am not completely sold on that. A rediculously good #2 WR, as is his role now, but isn't as dynamic as those others. A top 15 WR though without much question-that aint bad!

Adam (Jersey)

Why, then, did you rank Atlanta over TB and Carolina in your power rankings?

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

As I said earlier in this chat, something went wrong with my power rankings post. Actually, I have ATL at #19. I will try to cut and paste my rankings now-see it if works.

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

RANKTEAM 1New York Giants 2Tennessee 3Pittsburgh 4Buffalo 5Tampa Bay 6Carolina 7Washington 8Philadelphia 9Arizona 10Green Bay 11Dallas 12San Diego 13Chicago 14Indianapolis 15Jacksonville 16New Orleans 17New York Jets 18Minnesota 19Atlanta 20Baltimore 21New England 22Denver 23Houston 24Cleveland 25Miami 26St. Louis 27Oakland 28San Francisco 29Cincinnati 30Seattle 31Detroit 32Kansas City

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

I should have done that earlier to get some more reactions, but now I have to run. Such is life. Enjoy the games and stop back here next week.