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November 12, 12:16 PM ET
Chat with Chris Mortensen

Nick (Thorndale, PA)

Mort, Why is Chris Carter NOT in the Hall of Fame? He had the best hands of any player in the game.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:14 AM)

Cris Carter should have been elected this past year and I would be surprised and disappointed if he didn't make it this next time around.

Joshua Henry

What is the hold up with the Diuretic suspensions? I am a Vikings fan, and would hate to see Kevin and Pat suspended, but the wait is killing me.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:16 AM)

Really good question: There is a logjam of cases and I think this has enough holes for the league to really be prudent. If these were weight-loss issues, is that really worthy of a 4-game suspension? (I know the health risks involved, relating to Korey Stringer). Is the league working hard enough on the scientific end of it? But, you're right, there's a competitive balance angle on this and I think the commissioner is aware of that.

Greg - tampa

Mort, do you agree that if the Giants get home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, the Bucs are the only team that could realistically win there?? Warner and the Cards would not be able to withstand the cold, don't you think?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:18 AM)

Well, beating the Giants won't be easy, as you know. I'd say it's obvious that the teams that are physical and can run the ball with balance would have the best chance. You can see those teams include the Bucs, Panthers, Falcons, Redskins, maybe the Cowboys, Vikings, Bears...I think you're too limited in your vision (or hopeful!).

dave (nj)

mort, with portis having a sprained mcl will he be out any length of time?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:19 AM)

I just know that's a tough injury for a running back. Any leg injuries for RBs make them iffy, even if they try to play. MCL's can be a 4-to--6 week deal, sometimes, which would obviously be a big blow to Portis and the Skins but he is one tough player.

Xavier Omon (Buffalo)

Mort, are my Bills ever going to field a playoff team again in my lifetime? We started out so hot, what happened?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:22 AM)

Don't panic. That's the problem with organizations & teams - they panic. The good ones stay steady. There may have been a little false sense of security because teams like the Seahawks, Raiders & Rams were really bad and the Chargers & Jags are not as good as we believed but the Bills need to be more physical.

Bob (Atlanta)

I can't believe I'm asking this but do you think the worst to first streak in the NFC South will continue Mort?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:24 AM)

I am begining to wonder myself. I am so impressed by the Falcons that I now will not be surprised by anything they do the rest of the way. At the midway point, I believed the Panthers & Bucs were the teams to beat...and I still feel that way but not with great conviction. The Falcons' next two home games, vs. the Broncos & Panthers, should give us a good read.

Mike (Toledo)

Hey Mort!! I am interested to hear your opinion on Brady Quinn's first start? And whats next for the Browns? Are they going to fire Crennel, Savage, or both?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:25 AM)

I thought Quinn looked good and that's what I expected. Again, I do believe, he has to be able to throw the ball downfield like Anderson but I'm sure they have worked on it. As for as firings, let's see how they finish. I just made the comment about not panicking. There's a plan in place. You certainly don't remove Savage from the equation and Romeo deserves a chance to see if he can fix the defense down the stretch.

Terry (Charlotte)

If the worst to first streak holds up Mort, do you think Carolina should purposely tank it?? they have been 2nd in the division since 2003, the last time they won it.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:26 AM)

Are you hitting the bottle in the morning?

MJ (Boston)

I though Portis had a bruised femur? I'm a Cowboy fan and I hope he sits...but thought it was a bone bruise, didn't know it was his MCL

Chris Mortensen
  (11:26 AM)

On John Thompson's radio show Tuesday, Portis said 2nd degree sprain, MCL.

Chuck (San Jose)

My feeling is the only free agents the Raiders can attract are ones who are out for the money b/c no player is his right mind would go to the Raiders unless he got truckloads of cash. Those are exactly the players they don't need. They need hungry, but mor eimportantly, smart players that only care about winning. They obviously draft horribly. My questions is, is there any hope for us Raiders fans that they will just be average anytime soon?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:28 AM)

I really believe the only way for that to happen is for Al Davis to beef up his front office with football people and let them lead. Even as much fun as we make of the Raiders, I know it's hard on all their great fans and former players when you consider what they used to be and what they are now.

Jeremy A (Brigham City, UT)

Miami has a pretty soft schedule from here on out. Do you see them making the playoffs, or even winning the AFC EAST?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:29 AM)

Soft, as in they got a weak Seahawks team with Seneca Wallace at QB in Miami...which almost pushed them to the brink of defeat. The Dolphins' schedule looks favorable, they're much better, but it'll be a close call in the end. Which says a lot!

Jason (West Orange)

Is Eli Manning an elite QB or is he riding on his running game and defense?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:31 AM)

The guy I'm watching is an elite QB. He makes big throws. he helps 'em get a lead and the worst cliche in football is to say a QB "is just managing the game." That's always been part of a QB's description. Eli manages the game and he makes plays - for the defending Super Bowl champ and a team that has just one loss. Kerry Collins is doing the same for the Titans. And you're darn right it helps a QB to have a defense and running game.

Jay (Middletown, CT)

Mort, do you see Brandon Marshall AND Eddie Royal both possibly getting over 100 catches this season? Even with the signing of Tatum Bell, I believe Denvers new identity is the Pass instead of the run as in prior years. Your thoughts?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:33 AM)

I said this on my radio show Friday night - I think the Broncos should take the Patriots/Tom Brady approach of last year...just spread it out and throw it. They have the QB, the weapons and a much-improved O-line.

Dave (Denver)

Nobody will answer this, hopefully you will. Twice on sunday AP removed his helmet on the field and the vikings were not penalized. First after the missed fourth and 1 and then after his touchdown. Neither time was a helmet adjustment needed. Did the NFL change the rule or is this more special treatment for a star?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:35 AM)

Yeah, it crossed my mind and I'd like to know more if was a helmet thing. I would think the NFL will at least have a discussion with their officials. It wouldn't erase the TD but it would affect the kickoff on that TD.

Jeff (Atlanta):

Hey Chris, is Matt Ryan is the most impressive rookie quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger? Would it be crazy to think that he could not only lead the Falcons to the playoffs, but advance a round or two?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:36 AM)

I think he's more impressive than Ben was as a rookie because Ben had a dominant defense (& running game). The Falcons have those elements but Ryan appears to be very special and you have to like what Mike Mularkey is doing as offensive coordinator. As far as playoffs, i addressed that ealier.

Jason (West Orange)

Isn't Tom Coughlin the best coach in football right now by far? That challange was the best I've ever seen?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:39 AM)

The credit on that challenge should go to Eli Manning - he's the one who knew the rule & pointed it out to Coughlin. As far as Coughlin overall as a coach, I have been consistent in my support of him through the years. Anybody who took an expansion team (Jaguars) to two AFC title games is a great coach. But Bill Belichick still holds the honor as "the best" and what he's doing now is a pretty good testament even if the Pats' schedule is much easier than the Giants'.


Big fan - love your analysis on the NFL. Why are the Bucs seemingly being slighted by the national media? They've beat good teams - trounced the media darling Panthers 27-3, and their (3) losses have been by a total of (11) points. They have a solid defense (#6), a top ten offense (#9), and a very favorable schedule. What gives?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:41 AM)

I won't disagree with you but I'd say don't worry about the media. About the time, I was ready to get on their bandwagon, they lost to the Cowboys and should have been beaten by the Chiefs. That Panthers' win was impressive. But let's see how the Bucs finish. That's all that matters, right?

Jon (The Art Gallery)

Mort, are the Colts finally coming back to form after a win over Pittsburgh?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:42 AM)

Pretty close. Peyton Manning finally looks healthy. Their protection was really good vs. Steelers. It's apparent Marvin Harrison is not ever going to be the same but they are resilient and Manning is Manning.

Joey (Rochester, New York)

During the Titans-Bears game the camera showed the Offensive Coordinator huddled with Kerry Collins & Chris Simms. Vince Young was nowhere to be seen. I find that very disturbing.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:43 AM)

Interesting observation. i missed it. I'll have to check it out.

Zack (Syracuse)

The bucs are slighted because they couldn't beat a team missing Romo,Felix Jones,Newman, and others. The Nfc East owns the Nfc South and that is evident by the Cowboys beating the Bucs, Redskins beating the Saints,Eagles beating the Falcons.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:43 AM)

Good debate points.

Jason (Iowa)

Mort, personal question do you ever share information with others such as Jay Glazier or adam Shefter or do you guys hold to yourself?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:45 AM)

No, each to his own. Jay and Adam do a great job. We all release our info in various forms at different times. I think we have a healthy repect for each other's work.

Tim (Boise)

Would you take Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler if you were starting your team and had to choose? why?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:47 AM)

Love the question. I'd probably say Cutler because his skills & toughness are rare. The upside is Hall of Fame material but Ryan looks like a special guy, too.

Sean (Philly)

Everyone beats up on the Raiders orginazation, but it wasn't that long ago they were in back to back Superbowls, or would have been if not for the tuck rule.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:48 AM)

That's what Al Davis points out... I'd like to point out that the combo of Bruce Allen, Jon Gruden and Rich Gannon were the driving forces. Gannon's role cannot be understated - it was like having another coach and disciplinarian on board.

Ross (Chicago)

Mort, Why aren't Clady and Royal getting more publicity for ROY?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:49 AM)

I think they will get consideration but it's an awesome rookie offensive class - Matt Ryan, Chris Johnsn, Matt Forte, Joe Flacco... I think Ryan Clady was almost as good a pick as Joe Thomas was a year ago for Cleveland.

Pnb (NYC)

To continue the QB question. Eli, Big Ben, Brees or Cutler on your team right now. Which would you prefer?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:51 AM)

I'll be honest - I'm a Cutler guy. If I put him on a team with a great defense, I guarantee he'd be winning a multiple Super Bowls.


Hey Mort...I can't figure out why Schonert prefers to split carries between Marshawn and Jackson? Why wouldn't they give it to the big man 25-30 times a game like Minnesota does w/AP? Especially when their passing game is so futile right now.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:51 AM)

Lynch is no Adrian Peterson - but nobody is. Fred Jackson actually looks a little more explosive than Lynch.

Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)

Mort, you got props on the blogs for answering my question a few weeks ago about ESPN "confirming" other network's stories. You guys still continue to do it. Do you know why Fox or SI doesn't post headlines confirming your breaking stories?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:53 AM)

It's not that big a deal. really, some ofthe reporting is so split-second..or minutes apart and there's a little trick to getting it out. I think each brand/agency should just do their job and not worry about the "credit." ESPN is the big brand so I think we're treated like that.

Dustin NC

I just wanted to ask you one question. Why is everyone saying Portis in MVP discussions and not Peterson? Peterson has very similar stats and better in some categories.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:54 AM)

I think we need to let the games be played out. The MVP isn't won right now, at least not by my principles.

Terry (San Diego)

Mort, do you think Rivers can pull the upset at Pit this week? Or should I go crazy and start Thigpen vs the Saints ??

Chris Mortensen
  (11:55 AM)

I'd be tempted with Thigpen.

Farley (Ossian, IN)

Any chance Bill Cowher gets back into the league next year? If so, what teams might lead the pack for his services?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:57 AM)

I keep hearing Cowher is not itching to coach but I have to believe after two years, he'll really listen harder this time around. I can see the Lions, Browns & (surprise!) maybe the Cowboys making a play for Cowher. I've heard rumors but, honestly, none of them have checked out.

Alan (Indy)

Mort have you had a chance to corner Kiper and get an inside on the Lions No.1 overall pick for the upcoming draft?Because the Lions need everthing I think they should go back to the basics and try to build on both lines,win in the trenches win on the scoreboard right?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:00 PM)

I haven't talked to Mel lately, but the key will be which quarterbacks are available. If it's one of the underclassem studs, the Lions would have to look at it. Then again, as you say, you have to build the team inside-out and the Alabama left tackle (name's escaping me) isn't far-fetched. Look what the Dolphins did.


Mort, Do you think we will see Marty Schottenheimer back in the NFL next season? I hope so!

Chris Mortensen
  (12:03 PM)

I think somebody would be foolish NOT to take a good look at Marty. Honest. Aside from his track record of winning, the one thing I learned when he left San Diego was how well he connected to today's players. That's very unique for a so-called "older" coach.


How come some guys are to be suspended like Matt Jones and haven'tand guys like larry Johnson face immediate suspensions? By the way will LJ have a strong week?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:05 PM)

LJ was a personal conduct case; Jones falls under the collectively-barganed substance abuse policy. Jones was notified of a 3-week suspension a couple of weeks back and he appealed, as is his right. I think the logjam of the diuretic cases has put a drag on all appeals.

Will (Philadelphia)

Mort, will Andy Reid ever be fired? The man finds special ways to lose games.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:06 PM)

Be careful of what you ask for.

Mark (Bangor, PA)

Chris, it is brutal being a Browns fan. What hope can you give me for next year?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:07 PM)

I truly believe a good foundation is in place. The team has to stay the course in building the roster and, yes, make sure they have the right coach to lead them. As I said, let's see how the Browns finish the season.

Sean (Philly)

LJ was suspended by the team wasn't he, not by the league. Does the league take these team suspensions into account if they decide to hand down a ruling?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:08 PM)

No, LJ was make inactive for three games by the team - that's a per game decision but he was paid his game checks. The NFL suspended him for one game. LJ will be back and learning how to work out of the new spread offense the Chiefs are running. I think he may actually be very effective in it.

Ryan (San Diego)

Where is the love for Rivers? Doesn't get a mention on here yet he leads the league in td passes and qb rating. Unbelievable

Chris Mortensen
  (12:10 PM)

Honestly, Philip is a great competitor and a very good QB. I thought he was throwing the ball much better the first three weeks of the season. He doesn't it throw it pretty but he is effective. I guess once the Chargers start winning (will they?), you will see him get more attention.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:10 PM)

Honestly, Philip is a great competitor and a very good QB. I thought he was throwing the ball much better the first three weeks of the season. He doesn't it throw it pretty but he is effective. I guess once the Chargers start winning (will they?), you will see him get more attention.

Robbie (Indianapolis)

I'm one of the few Browns fans that agree with you in that the Browns were unfair to Derek Anderson. That being said, it's all over for DA in Cleveland. What is his trade value this offseason?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:10 PM)

I think he will be a great pick-up for someone (the Jets, especially if Favre retires) and it would seem he could bring 2nd round value.


Will we ever see Jimmy Johnson coach in the NFL again?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:12 PM)

I don't think so. He's had plenty of chances to come back. Maybe he'll get bored and be a Bill Parcells type but Jimmy likes his life, he makes good money and he isn't enamored with today's NFL, I don't think.

Bills fan

Mort, Did Dick Jauron really get a new contract? I hope not! I dont think he is the guy for the Bills(My opinion). Any chance the Bills fire him?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:13 PM)

He did get a new contract, according to my sources. The Bills are 5-4. I don't see any firings there.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:14 PM)

I'm having so much fun but I have to go...thanks for the great questions 7 sorry I could only get to a few. Have a great weekend. Catch us on ESPN Radio on Friday from 7-9 ET and Sunday NFL Countdown 11-1 ET. God Bless!