Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 5, 7:43 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

MW here a little bit early. Let's get started. Ready to roll!

OwenATC Springfield, Mo

who is going to go first in the Draft this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Too early to say and obviously it depends on who gets the pick, but Crabtree is awfully impressive. Stafford has a shot for sure, as do the OTs like Oher and Smith. Not my specialty yet though-too busy with the NFL right now.

Tristan (LA)

Will the chargers win the division?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I think they win it with ease and I expect the Chargers to become dominant going forward. Coming off a bye. Gates and LT should be back to top form. I think replacing Cottrell with Rivera will pay off in a huge way. Very easy schedule. Very easy division. They have that division wrapped up by Week 14.

Chad (Cascade,MD)

Ravens make the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:03 PM)

Starting to really get behind the Ravens right now. I still like PGH to win the AFC North, but Balt should be in the thick of the playoff hunt. A Wild Card won't come out of the West-that is for sure. Balt also has some real tough games coming up, but I give them equal odds as Indy, or whoever comes in 2nd in the East.

Mark (Boston)

Hey Matt, how much did the loss to the Colts hurt the Pats?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

Not a ton. I suppose that it could hurt come tie breaker time if NE doesn't win the East-which I doubt that they will. I have a TON of respect for the Pats' organization, but I do think they are #4 in the East right now. Such a tight division though.

Shawn (Jamestown, NY)

Even starting 0-2 in the division do you see the Buffalo Bills winning the AFC East

Matt Williamson
  (1:06 PM)

Look at Miami's schedule-it is incredibly easy. So don't count them out. Buff's isn't brutal either and the Jets have several very winable games left as well. I think Buff and NYJ are better teams than Miami though. REAL tough call, but I guess I will stick with Buff. They need to start running the ball better, esp as the weather gets cold. Gets chilly in Buffalo ya know.

Les (Baltimore)

Where is the respect for the Ravens? Except for the lousy game in Indy we have won or gone down to the wire in every game this year. How are the Bills, Jets, Falcons ahead of the Ravens in the power rankings?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

Not in my rankings...might want to double check that! I have them at #8.

Jake (Oshkosh, WI)

Who's your favorite to in NFC North?

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

GBay, especially with Orton's injury. I just see them as the most complete team in all facets. Big believer in Rodgers and I expect Grant's production to really step up.

Chris (Cali)

I love DeMarcus Ware, but I think he is a bit overrated. He has made only one impact sack all year and that was only because Kurt Warner was smart and didn't want to throw the ball away. And he seems to lack a second move. If he doesn't get the edge or bull rush it's over. What is your expert opinion? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:10 PM)

I consider Ware one of the Top 5 or so defensive players int the game right now. Would probably put him behind Asomugha, Haynesworth and Tuck for sure, but he is on par with Willis, Palamalu, Jenkins, Rogers, K Williams, M Williams. Dynamic pass rusher and those guys don't grow on trees. Great in pursuit in the run game. Just wait until Dallas gets Spencer completely healthy on the other side of Ware. I know Spencer played last week, but I expect this D to be greatly improved after their much needed bye.

Mona (MA)

How did the AFC East go from a one team division to a division full of playoff contenders?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

Well, the biggest dog in all the land lost the best player in the league on opening week-don't ever forget what a massive impact that had on NE. Then, Miami (Parcells and Co.) have simply done a tremendous job of making a one win team into a real headache to play against every week.

Calypso (Hyannis, MA)

Any chance the Patriot's will go after DeAngelo Hall given all their injuries at cornerback?

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

I suppose that makes some sense. Depends what kind of money he wants. However, Hall doesn't play within the parameters of a system real well and that will not endear him to Belichick.

GG (NYC)

Is the colts offense going to snap out of it? Is Addai ever going to look like he used to?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

I don't have a ton of faith in Indy's run attack, but I do still have a lot of hope for the O in general. Peyton is still awfully good, but I really think his knee bothers him. Doesn't move around the pocket as effectively. That OL is still a wreck and that stretch play-and entire O system-take a LOT of reps and experience to be done right.

PT (Franklin, NC)

Is the release of Deangelo Hall a sign of a horrible pickup by the Raiders or a glimmer of hope that Al Davis is realizing it was a mistake?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Obvioulsy it was a horrible pickup. Could have told you that-and maybe I did-when it happened. Wasn't there only terrible pickup either. Worst organization in the league and it isn't even close.

Sammie (Philly)

Now that the Eagles have Curtis and Brown back does D. Jackson fade away into the depth charts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:15 PM)

I doubt it. Jackson is a better player than Brown. Curtis will keep making an impact, but I don't see Brown demanding the football with this crew all healthy. Nice problem to have though for Philly.

Kevin (NYC)

SSSSHHHHH don't tell anyone but the Jets defense has gotten very good. Revis is a top 5 cb, and Jenkins is a BEAST!

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

VERY good-against the run. Pretty good against the pass. I feel ya though.

Jay (Middletown, CT)

Matt, are there no better options at RB out there considering Denver's injuries? also, do you see them picking up DeAngelo Hall even after Royal smoked him in week one?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

I expect Hall to get a ton of attention. Should have plenty of teams to pick from. Denver seems logical as one. As for free agent RBs, no one really comes to mind. They are rumored to be very high on Torain. I guess we shall see on Thurs.

JIM, Birmingham

As a Falcons fan who can finally take the paper sack off of my head....There is an article in the ATLANTA paper that says maybe the Falcons should bring back DeAngelo Hall when the Raiders cut him. This is stupid, and just "hear-say media talk" I hope. There's no way the Falcons would re-sign that locker room lunatic, right?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

Agreed. Don't need to bring back players from that awful era.

Rob (NJ)

Thoughts on greg camarillo? Is he for real and is he a wideout that can be counted on the rest of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

I think so. Sure handed. I heard Pennington compare him to Chrebet. Sounds about right. Will catch a lot of passes. Every D in the league stacks the LOS and forces Pennington to throw. Someone is going to catch it.

Zack, Cincinnati

What do you suggest is wrong with the Bengals, with the exception of no Palmer.

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Poor ownership. Poor scouting. Poor character players. Poor running game. Poor D-that could improve. Poor pass rush. No Palmer.

Jon (Mad-town)

Time to end the Devin Hester at WR experiment? The NFL is far more exciting with him being the biggest X-factor ever known, and perhaps the most dangerous player in the NFL.

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

Not time to end the WR experiment-has been making strides. It just won't happen overnight. Still, his returns have not been nearly as dangerous-that is partially due to no one kicking to him, but I don't think his time at WR has hurt his return ability.

Jay Cutler

Am I in a sophomore slump? Can me and Marshall get back on the same page?

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

The hype may have been a bit overblown for both Cutler and Marshall, but I have faith in both. Den needs to take some pressure off Cutler though. They hardly ran the ball against Miami. The D is terrible. And the other pass catchers have been banged up. That put everything on Cutler. He might be one day and is still an elite prospect, but he isn't ready for that right now. Lighten his load.

Chris (Cali)

What do you think of Bill Cowher being the Cowboys coach next year? He's the happy medium to Parcells and Phillips, he's a tough player's coach. Garrett hasn't impressed at all, he is not the answer! He hasn't been a good coordinator this year, so how can he make a great head coach next year. He along with the O-line miss Tony Sparano!

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

It makes some sense and J Jones certainly likes to make that kind of splash. My question is "Who will have final say on personnel?" Jones or Cowher. Don't overlook that being a speed bump.

Ryan (San Diego)

If the Chargers get back to the defensive style they had under Wade Phillips are they the team to beat in the AFC again?

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

They could be and see my earlier post-I expect them to come back in a big way. However, they are still a LONG ways away from being the team to beat. Tenn hasn't lost!

Frustrated

I know this is not a fantasy chat... but I need to know is T. Holt worth anything this year (either fantasy or reality)?

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

Yes, but obviously he had declined. I do think Avery's emergence will help Holt from a FF perspective. He got far too much attention before that. In the past, Holt could still abuse that kind of coverage. Not anymore. Still, he is going to the Hall. GREAT one.

Eddie Royal

Do I have a legit shot at ROY?

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Nope. Sorry. I would vote for Matt Ryan, then Chris Johnson, then Matt Forte third.

Matt (Baltimore)

Matt what do you think is the best division in football right now? I know that most experts would say the NFC east, but while they have 6 tough division games, they also get 5 easy ones in the 3 teams from the NFC West and two teams from the AFC North.

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

That is true concerning the schedule, but I still think it is the NFC East. No weak team and I think NYG is the number one team in the league. My power rankings have NYG at 1, Philly at 3, Wash at 6 and Dallas at 20 with a great chance to move up. That is pretty strong.

Mike(Utica,NY)

At the halfway point, who right now out of the rookie class will be the best pro?

Matt Williamson
  (1:28 PM)

Certainly tough to argue with Ryan or C Johnson. Still a big believer in Stewart. Like Clady and Long a lot. GREAT rookie class on O.

NFC North Fans

Matt, the NFC North that we all play in would be the best darn division in football if it weren't for the Lions. They are pathetic. Bears/Packers rivalry is great. Packers/Vikings rivalry is on the way up and Bears/Vikings are always hard fought. Get the Lions out of there!

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

Right. However, what division wants them? I think Chi, GB and Minny are happy to play them twice every year!

Mark (Boston)

Is Matt Ryan everything and more Atlanta ever wanted to rid themselves of the dark days or Michael Vick?

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

He is.

JC (TN)

How can you put the Giants ahead of the Titans? I can understand giving them the benefit of the doubt as SB champs if they were both undefeated. But with a loss?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Just one loss. No weaknesses on that team. Tenn can't say that. Plus, they are the Champs-but that really didn't influence me. I just think that if they played a seven game series that NYG wins-against any team in the league.

Javon Walker

Looks like Im next on the Raiders cut list per EPSN, who will take a chance on me next? Or should I just head to Vegas with the money I robbed from Da Raiders?

Matt Williamson
  (1:31 PM)

Probably could have some fun in Vegas-be careful though. Surely someone will pick you up, but wow, it would have to be at a major discount rate. If I were a GM, I would not be calling you.

Mike (VA)

Who is better Matt Ryan or Brady Quinn?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Ask me next week! No, I like Ryan better. Llked him better coming out of college and he has obviously had much more opportunity as a starter, but there is no reason to put Quinn over him right now.

The Girl in the Room

Can we talk about the Jets run game? Who is more effective going forward T. Jones or L. Washington?

Matt Williamson
  (1:33 PM)

Huge Leon Washington believer here and it shocks me that NYJ doesn't use him more. Still, they both need one another to be their best. Jones doesn't blow me away at all, but he runs hard and gets what is there.

Mike (Boca Raton)

is bill cowher really that good of a coaching candidate or is the pool of talent just that shallow?

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

He is an awfully good coaching candidate. Check out his lifetime recrod, number of AFC North division winners he coached, etc. Potential HOF coach if he never got on the sidelines again.

Chad (Cascade,MD)

How many wins in afc gets wild card?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

What do you guys think? 9? 10? Guess I would still be shocked if a nine win team when to the post season as an AFC Wild Card.

Jay (Middletown, CT)

Will a short week benefit Denver or Cleveland more in this game? I see Denver having a chance in this one because Quinn will take time to adjust to the NFL speed. Your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

Home team always has an advantage with a short week, but yeah, I agree. Getting a new QB ready in such a short time is tough.

John, NY

Would Spagnola cross lines and become the Dallas head coach?

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

No idea...but I promise that the job pays quite well!

Will Cornwall CT

Eli Manning or Philip Rivers to build your franchise around?

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Eli-by a pretty large margin. Don't love Rivers here.

Ed (Michigan)

So Crabtree is the best player in the country and the lions might have the first pick, this is like a bad nightmare.

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Nice...there are other good players in this draft though!

Curious

What's happening with the Saints run game these days? Reggie is out, DM is on the juice? Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

This will always be a passing-first O and the running game should get favorable numbers in the box. I guess Pierre and Stecker split the load once McAlister is suspended. Can live with that-for the short term. Bush should be back reasonably soon.

Mona (MA)

How hard of a decision will it be for Arizona this off-season when it comes to re-signing Kurt Warner who is clearly better than Matt Leinart?

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

Interesting, but I can't believe that they let Warner walk. Guy is terrific. He has mentioned this year that retirement is something that he continues to think about, so maybe he only signs a one year deal. Plus, why on Earth would he want to leave Zona and throwing to those two?

Ryan (San Diego)

How in any universe is Eli better than Rivers? He had a good 3 games in the playoffs, flopped in the super bowl and relied on a fluke catch and good defense. Rivers is a better leader, has better stats, and has a better winning percentage. In what way is Eli better?

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

Rivers was horrible for much of last year as well. Don't forget that. He has always had LT and rediculous talent around him-although Eli's isn't too shabby either. Better leader? You sure about that? Eli is as cool as you get. Throws a better ball. More upside in my opinion. More consistent. Steady climber in all regards.

Charles (Atlanta)

With the unexpected start to the Falcons season and the love affair with Matt Ryan. How is it that John Abraham gets overlooked?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

In what way does Abraham get overlooked? Having a tremendous season. Heading to the Pro Bowl.

Will Cornwall CT

What is the most important task for the Giants defense this sunday...stop Westbrook or contain McNabb?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

Tough call. McNabb was awesome last week, but Westbrook makes it all go round. Westbrook.

Jon (Mad-town)

Ryan, just chill out and relax, the Giants just happenned to get the best of the Rivers-Manning deal...you lost, and your underachieving team has to live with it.

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

Yeah Ryan-what do you have to say about that?

Jack (VA)

I am having the hardest time trying to think of who is this years MVP, can you give me any help?

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

Not easy at all. Some candidates-Haynesworth, Portis, Brees, Warner.

tim,h(burlington,iowa)

hi matt,do you see the chicago bears gettin past tenn?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Nope. High pressure environment=bad news for Grossman. Plus, Tenn is just a clearly better team.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Matt, should college football institute a playoff system, instead of continually using the dreadful BCS system?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Of course they should

Jon (Mad-town)

With the Cardinals playing well and the Rams on the upswing, does the AFC West become the leagues worst division, does it stay with the NFC West or go to the dark-horse NFC North?

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

AFC West is the worst. If I had to rank all 8 teams in the west, I would go 1. Zona 2. SD 3. Den 4. STL 5. KC 6. Se 7. SF 8. Oak. Well, maybe the NFC West is worse! Awfully tough call.

Will Cornwall CT

Do you think that it is likely that the Giants by season's end if both Jacobs and Ward stay healthy end up having two 1000 yard backs? And if this happens do the Giant's pay up for Jacobs in the off season of go forward with Ward and Bradshaw?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

With what Jacobs will want, I bet he walks. Injury prone and you could pick a RB in the 3rd/4th round to add to Ward and Bradshaw. Yeah, two 1000 yard RBs does sound realistic. Improbable, but possible.

Adam (Jersey)

How about a composite ranking of the NFC East, NFC South and AFC East?

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

Wow-okay and just going off my power rankings here: 1. NYG 2. Ten 3. Phil 4. Car 5. Wash 6. TBay 7. Jets 8. Buff 9 NO 10. Miami 11. NE 12. Dallas

Majeed

M-Dub, Miami's non AFC East opponents are 9-31. Will they take advantage of the soft schedule and win 10 games?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

I hadn't thought about it, but JG mentioned it on our Monday podcast. Gotta like their chances to get a W against Sea, Oak, STL, SF and KC. Certainly could win the others too against NE, Buf and NYJ. 9 wins seems very easy.

Pete (NC)

FYI Matt, Tennessee isn't in the AFC East.

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

Excellent point. Screwed that up. Live with it.

Mike (Boca Raton)

is chris mccallister done in baltimore? do you think they look at me-angelo hall?

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

Might make sense. They sure need CB help. Is McAlister done? Maybe. Really has fallen off. Rolle has as well. Sure looks like Balt's 1st rounder will be a CB.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, is it fair to say that the Dolphins are winning with smoke and mirrors, and that their soft schedule certainly doesn't hurt them? I think the Fish come back to reality next year.

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

Being tough, nasty and fundamentally sound at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball isn't "smoke and mirrors". Does their schedule help though? No question.

Jon (Mad-town)

What's Matt Forte's ceiling? He's an incredible route runner/pass catcher, do they need to find a complimentary back for him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

Surprised that they don't use Kev Jones a least a little more. I would worry about running Forte into the ground for sure-esp as a rookie. I like him. Does it all well. Is he Pro Bowl caliber RB? Maybe a trip to Hawaii or two over his career, but I don't see him as special.

Eric (Sioux City)

Considering their youth, potential, and current play, is their a better trio, LT to C, than Gaither-Grubbs-Brown?

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

That is very solid, especially looking long term. Let me think: Clev is very good as well, but Fraley isn't in Brown's class. Tenn is great-but Mawae is old. I like TBay, but light at LT in this comparison. Gaither isn't great yet either though. Who else? Miami! Give me the Phins.

Luka (NYC)

With the Denver D so banged up is this the week Jamal Lewis finally goes off?

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

Yeah, I expect that. Will make Quinn's job much easier and this O can be dangerous off play action. I like Clev to beat the Broncos easily on Thurs.

Jon (Mad-town)

Which player(s) (non-QB/RB) has the ability to take over a game almost single-handedly?

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

Quite a few and I will surely miss some. WRs-Andre J, Moss, TO, Fitz-on D-Haynesworth, Tuck, Mario W, Asomugha, Bailey, Ray Lewis still to some degree, Jenkins, Rogers, Abraham. Tons of them. However it is tough to really define what you mean by single handily. For example, Asomugha is amazing, but at most, he can only eliminate one person. Moss might be terrific, but if his QB is junk, it doesn't matter. Team game.

Mark (Boston)

How happy is Braylon Edwards that Brady Quinn is his QB now?

Matt Williamson
  (2:03 PM)

Should be happier, but his drops are just awful. Unacceptable. He dropped a lot of passes at Michigan. Will this problem ever go away? I have my doubts.

Matt Williamson
  (2:03 PM)

Okay everyone, adios. This was great as always. Take care. Find me next week at this time.