Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 17, 12:13 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Hey everyone-Let's get rolling

Greg (Denver, CO)

Do you think that retaining T. Cable is even a consideration for Davis or is he gone after the season? Whatever the case, do you think there is any chance of Davis relinquishing any power at this point?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I would never try to speculate as to what Mr. Davis is thinking. However, I have no clue how anyone could condone keeping Cable right now. Have you watched any of the Raiders' games lately?

Lou (NYC)

Matt, I know you aren't a huge fan of Tarvaris Jackson. That said, he's played well in the last two games (granted, only 6 quarters of football against not great defenses). What kind of PASSING plays should the Vikings draw up for him to be successful down the stretch? (Please don't mention Peterson. We know they have to feed the beast first and foremost). Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Good points and a good question. I like the Vikes. Love the D and yes, love Peterson. Jackson has played well, but they must keep it simple for him. Not a lot of multiple reads. Roll outs where he only has to scan half the field. Play action-and deep balls off of that to Berrien.

Steve (Syracuse, NY)

Will the titans win again this season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

I don't think so and if Haynesworth is not available for the post season, they will probably be one and done in the playoffs.

ness-brooklyn

Any chance the giants trade 1st,2nd rounder for crabtree? maybe more?

Matt Williamson
  (1:03 PM)

Wow-seems VERY unlikely. First off, that is a huge buck to spend one player-a rookie mind you. Not always a good $$$ decision. Secondly, it would take a ton to move from say 28 to #3 or so. Moves that far up the board just don't happen because the Giants would have to give up more than just their number one and two.

Pete (NC)

What is the game of the week? Carolina/NY? Pitt/Tenn? Dallas/Baltimore?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

They all are! Don't make me choose. Of course, you will ask who I like, so here goes: PGH to win big. Big. Carolina to win decisively. As for Dallas vs. Balt-I am dead 50/50 on this one. Can't make up my mind. That is the game I am most excited to see of the three I suppose-and I also rank those two teams higher than most of the other voters did on the Power Rankings this week.

Brandon (Florida)

Just how good are the Ravens? Can they make a deep playoff run?

Matt Williamson
  (1:06 PM)

Like I said, I am a big believer in Balt. They can make a run, but it will be tough. PGH is better than they are. Indy always seems to have their number, but I do think Balt is the better team-yet would pick Indy if they played. Depends on who they get. I could see them beating the AFC West or East champ and then going to Tenn and winning. Might be their ceiling. But that is a pretty high ceiling all things considered.

Bryant (Erie, PA)

OK..any possibility Denver goes after Haynesworth in the offseason? Or would money be more well spent on a No.1 RB

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

If a #1 RB cost say 75% of what it would take to get Haynesworth, I would sign the big guy. DTs are FAR more important than RBs-opposite ends of the spectrum in my opinion as to where to use your resoucres. However, I love what Haynesworth has done these last two years, but he has been up for UFA after both seasons and his effort wasn't always 100% in previous years. I would worry just a bit that he goes back to his old way of doing things after the big pay day. Not sure how Tenn could let him out of town either.

Berger (Upper St. Clair, PA)

Matt, I have slightly more important things on my mind than Pitt Hoops, and another SB win for the Black n Gold. One tough week left in my suicide pool. Texans over Raiders (@Oak) or Patriots over Cardinals (@NE)??

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

Texans. USC? Must be right down the street Bro.

John (Columbus, OH)

Ok, here is what we know: Revis is as good as they come and Rhodes is very good ... are the rest of the Jets secondary really this bad?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

Pretty much so-and you need three good CBs now a days. Rhodes is a very good player, but isn't a tremendous pass defender. Still, he isn't the problem. The Jets' D play calling is mind boggling to me. They are SO passive. Bring some heat! Esp from a 3-4-mix it up.

Pete (NC)

Okay, we've seen several Wild Card Super Bowl champs the past couple of seasons. Let's just say that happens this year. Which wild card takes it, in your mind?

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

ANY will be capable-but give me Dallas. Balt and Indy have a shot for sure. Philly should not be overlooked.

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

Actually-I would not be surprised if the Wild Card teams beat the divisional champs in every first round game. Seriously. Down goes Den, Zona, AFC East winner and Minny.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

Which team is less deserving of a playoff spot, Arizona or Denver?

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

Denver. Zona's D is better. Actually, so is their O.

Jason (Cleveland, OH)

Am I going to be STUCK WATCHING THE CRAP BOWL (Cle vs. Cin)at 1:00? Or will Pit vs Ten somehow be on local TV? I am a Steelers fan stuck in Cleveland....Why doesn't the NFL move the Pit vs Ten game to 4:00 by use of their "Flex Schedule"?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Move back home Bro

Brandon (Florida)

So are you saying the Bucs are done as far as the playoffs are concerned?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

No, and they could make noise-as could ATL.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Matt, why do you think Carolina will beat the Giants decisively? They do have lots of injuries, but if they can stop the run (tough job), I like their chances if they make Delhomme beat them.

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

Agreed-that will certainly be the game plan and they are a strong squad who knows what it takes to win the big game. I just think that NYG's O is so easy to game plan for right now. Even easier than Carolina's. The Giants' pass catchers are not good enough. Not getting seperation. Gamble will lock down whichever WR he gets. Peppers could really give Diehl a tough time. Injuries as well. The Giants are mentally tough, but Carolina is the better team.

Chris (Cali)

Is the Ware and Merriman debate over yet?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

That is a little rough on Merriman, isn't it. That is like saying "Is the Manning/Brady debate over yet?"...but still, give me Ware. Of course.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Any more news on the Giants and Joe Horn aquisition? Is this signing more of a confidence builder for their team/WR corp, more so than a play maker/game changer?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

He's done-please do not get your hopes up. Desperation move.

Jeff (Detroit)

Matt, do you give the Lions a reasonable chance against either N.O. this week or Green Bay next?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

No, but I guess a better chance against GBay, who is realing right now and their D is playing terribly.

Pete (NC)

Matt, I'm really torn this weekend. My Panthers are in "win and you're #1" game, but I'm up against Smith, Williams, and Panthers' D in my fantasy championship game. What do I do???

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Guess it depends on how much your league pays. Could look at it as a No Lose situation I suppose.

Jack (Chicago)

Is Brian Urlacher a Hall of Famer?

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

I want to see more. Great career obviously, but I want a couple more dominant years. What do you all think? Seems early to me.

Nick (Buffalo)

What do you think the Bills will do in the 1st rd they will have a top ten pick

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

If they could get a difference maker at DE to put opposite Schobel, that D could be awesome. Then they could go O the rest of the way. Would consider a OC like Alex Mack from Cal or an elite TE. Hard to pass on a true #1 WR if one is available either. Need OL too.

Ed (Boston)

Prediction on Pats/Cards? Forecast is 20s and snow.

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

If this game were played in great weather, I would take Zona. In NE and with the chips down to get into the playoffs, I can't go against Belichick.

Joe (San Diego)

Matt, I clicked on a story about 10 pieces for the Lions to read about, but it was messed up and now I can't find it. Is this story going to be back up soon? How do you feel about Cherilous? He started slow but seems to really picking it up.

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

Will look into that. I would assume that it will be up. Turned it in yesterday. For those not knowing: I was asked to write about the ten guys that Detroit should build around. Not an easy assignment! Still, Cherilus is on the list. I see him as a pure RT-nothing wrong with that, but he needs coached up. Still, they are in no posiition to kick him to the curb though.

Brian, Brooklyn NY

What position do you see the Jets addressing via FA/Draft? WR and defense needs help. Enough of the Pats emulation.

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Another CB would be huge. A true FS as well. I can live with their front seven. Not a fan of Woody at RT-he is a guard. Will need to add a young QB at some point. Game changer at WR would be a great pick. Secondary would be my bet for the first round though.

DAVE(VA)

how do you feel about Greg White changing his name to Stylez G, White inspired by the movie Teen Wolf? I think its classic !

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

He beat me to it.

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

I might have to settle for Anakin Skywalker or Rocky Balboa.

Joe (San Diego)

After reviewing the Lions and their pieces, who would you take #1?

Matt Williamson
  (1:28 PM)

They need everything! One note here. If they hire a 3-4 coach, the few pieces (White, Sims, Redding) that have some value on that D might go out the window. I am hesitant to draft a QB first overall and throw him into a bad situation, but if they can add a piece or two in free agency on O, that wouldn't be a terible decision. I like Sam Bradford for sure. Need to figure out scheme though first.

MJ (Boston)

Will Ware be Defensive Player of the Year, that guy does everything...he is the real freak!

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

It has to be between Ware and Harrison right now and I have to think that Ware has taken a small lead over this past week. Plus, while Dallas' D is excellent, he doesn't have someone like Palamalu on his own team to take a vote or two away.

nick (nyc)

Where does one find the alternates for the probowl?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Haven't seen them myself. Have they been announced?

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub with the Jets having 7 Pro Bowlers hows it gonna look if they fall short of making the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Not good at all. Seven is a big number for an average football team that is playing quite poorly now. I doubt they do make it.

Mike (az)

alternates have been announced but i dont know where to find them, can tell you though that dansby and dockett are both alternates

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Very good-can't be too hard to find

Luis (SB, CA)

MW, you mentioned your torn about the Bal/Dal game. But you forget that Dallas is playing for the last time in Texas Stadium. The hype will be HUGE for the boys and the town. That place is going to be rockin for a rookie QB. Dallas 17 Baltimore 9

Matt Williamson
  (1:33 PM)

I didn't forget that and yes, that will help for sure. But don't underestimate Balt. Still, if I HAD to pick, I would take the Cowboys.

Ryan(MPLS< MN)

I hear a lot of bickering out of ATL about Abraham not been picked for the pro bowl and Jared Allen being picked. Who you got, Matt?!

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

I like Allen better of the two. Slightly, but he plays the run a little better and is more consistent overall. Tough being an NFC DE right now!

Shawn (Jamestown,NY)

Are the Bills this bad of a team or is it the injuries?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

Both. Terrible QB play. OL has really dissapointed. I think injuries have hurt a very good D. Still the same problem on O as before in that they really only have one dangerous pass catcher.

Nick (NJ)

Forget Crabtree. The Giants need to get Kenny Britt WR/Rutgers. Had identical stats to Crabtree while playing in a more traditional offense and is slightly bigger.

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

They are not going to have to worry about Crabtree. As for Britt, I like what I have seen. Need to do more draft prep overall though. I will.

MJ (Boston)

As a Cowboy fan, this game scares me. the Ravens D makes plays, and Romo tends to be careless with the football. If Romo plays dumb and makes bad decisions, this game will be trouble.

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Meant to touch on that. Surely could see Ed Reed doing an end zone dance at some point of this game.

Devon (Pitt)

If you were a coach and had to choose between Cinci or Cleveland to start your headcoaching career. Who do you choose?

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Cleveland pays better

Mike (az)

so the trent edwards mvp talk is over, thats what your saying??

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

I am pretty sure that he doesn't need to dust off a spot on his mantle for that award this year.

MJ (Boston)

How many Giants WR's are they going to have, can only keep so many on the roster, Hixon, Moss, Mannnigham, Toomer, Steve Smith. ...are they giving up on those young guys, is toomer gone?

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Not giving up on any of them-they need one to step up and very well could draft another high next year. I bet they could get by without Moss if need-be and in a crunch for roster space.

Max, NJ

Slaton or Pierre Thomas?

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

In the real world or fantasy? Slaton has blown me away. Watched him a ton at WVU and was great most of the time, but when they really needed him late in his career, he was no where to be found. Obviously had injury issues, but I didn't trust the guy. Hous is a great situation to be in. Gibbs' zone blocking is starting to hit its stride and of course there will always be running room with those weapons. Similiar in NO I suppose, but I do think Slaton is the better RB of the two right now. Guy runs hard and more explosie than Thomas, who I like as well.

Vincent (GA)

How good would Abraham be if he had those DT's next to him? Abe has 15.5 sacks with NO help. He should get in over Allen.

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

I don't have a rebuttle for that. Of course it doesn't matter for this year's voting, but Allen was awesome last year in KC with poor talent around him as well.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

MW, please tell all Bills fans that were annointing Trent Edwards as the next Jim Kelly that he will turn out more like Kelly Holcomb than anyone else. Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

He really went down the tubes after his concussion this year. I have faith that he can be a fine game manager who plays smart, hands off a lot and doesn't turn the ball over going forward.

MJ (Boston)

Has the 30 year old Chad Johnson fallen off the planet? He must be going nuts these days without getting any attention.

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

I would assume so as well. Non story any more.

Matt (Ohio)

For Jason in Cleveland: Google "NFL Distribution maps" and you can find out what games will be airing in every area of the country.

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

Nice work Matt-big help.

Luis (SB, CA)

Thanks Matt. I can't tell you how great it is for us Cowboy fans to see Jay Ratliff make a Pro Bowl. Not to question Ware's ability at all, but it's no coincidence that Ware posted career numbers and is threatening the all time record because of what Ratliff has done lining up ahead of him: 44 tackles, 7 sacks, 5 PD. all as a NOST TACKLE

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

Ratliff is very easy to root for and I do think he deserved the Pro Bowl. Ball of energy. NTs are obviously incredibly important in the 3-4, but Ware is the guy who stirs the drink on that D.

JP Losman

Should i start packing for the CFL??

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Nah, your time in Buff is about to be over, but someone will take a shot on you as a backup with "upside". I wouldn't.

Matt, Cleveland

Matt, great name. Do the Browns wise up and take Maualuga in the first round? Will he be there at 6-7?

Matt Williamson
  (1:45 PM)

I would think he will be there. Not sure that they really need a ILB as a very top priority though. OLB is the much bigger need. CB wouldn't hurt either. Starting to think that JLew might be done. Plus, Stallworth has been a major bust and adding a WR opposite Braylon is now needed.

MJ (Boston)

Ware's stirs the drink, Terence Newman makes the drink, and Ratliff's the bar back picking out the glasses.

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

Ratliff is the bouncer. I like Spencer and Ellis quite a bit as well-but they serve the drink.

MJ (Boston)

Bradie James had the best season of his career, he's the unsung hero on that D.

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

Very much so. The DEs are not to shabby either.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Do you think that Mike Martz would be a good fit in Oakland?

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

Wow-that seems so likely and the results would be incredibly dysfunctional. Perfect.

Jonathan Babineaux

Please tell Vincent that I am a very good pass-rushing DT and do help Abraham.

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

You are indeed. For those who don't yet know about Babineaux, it is time to learn. Up and comer. Penetrator. Plays the run well too. Good fit next to Gravy Jackson.

Greg (Baltimore)

Ohio Matt rocks

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

YAY Ohio Matt!

Todd (Boston)

Please tell me there are no more prime time games featuring the Cleveland Browns. Schedule makers must be thrilled by their stellar play. Woof.

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

My bet is that they have fewer next year...

vonte(nc)

hey whats up matt? a week ago i know you would have picked the Giants to beat the Panthers. what has been the biggest change in your mind?

Matt Williamson
  (1:49 PM)

I talked about it earlier, but that O doesn't have me believing. Weapons are not good enough.

MJ (Boston)

Matt - we agree too much, do you need an assistant? I can make good coffee....I'll be Smithers to your Montgomery Burns, without the man-crush. I'm a little to biased when it comes to the Cowboys though.

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

Check out my power rankings...been catching heat the last two weeks for having your Cowboys so high. You and I know it to be true though. Not a coffee drinker, but I could find some use for you around here I am sure. Excelllent...

Braylon Edwards

I have stellar hands, that alone should get us six prime time games.

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Very reliable

Mark (Bangor, PA)

I think you would find that the Browns DB's would be fine with decent LB's. The LB's have done nothing to help that DL apply any sort of pressure to opposing QB's. The DB's are left out on an island for eternity and eventually they can't cover anymore.

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

I don't disagree with you and Holly will return next year. I really like Wright. Reminds me a bit of Hall and Joseph in Cincy. Those guys can't cover forever. But adding one more guy back there for depth/competitiion certainly wouldn't be a terrible idea. But yes, OLB who is a difference maker would go a very long way.

Mitch (Gainesville, FL)

Just wondering - Mel Kiper Jr. thinks Tebow will change positions to H-back or TE in the pros. I could understand it happening if he shows he can't pick up a pro-style offense, but right off the bat? I'd think a few teams would at least give him a chance at QB, right?

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

First I heard that and I would like to study him more, but I am with you.

Donald (Atl)

Matt, I have not read much about the Pats accomplishing what is likely 11-5 in the face of huge losses of personel. Brady, Maroney, Thomas, Harrison for the season and many others for long periods. Any thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

Very impressive. No doubt. I have not been in NE's corner very much this year. However, they did have the easiest schedule in the league entering the season.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Do you think that Nnamdi Asomugha's hiring of Tom Condon last week is an indication that he wants out of Oakland or simply that he doesn't want a repeat of last year (franchise tag)?

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

No question. Already hearing rumors that the Pats want him.

Matt (Houston)

I was surprised that C.Pitts was named a pro-bowl alternate when Winston is clearly the Texans best linemen.

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

I haven't seen the alternates either, but that does surprise me as well.

Matt (Farmington,CT)

Can you see the 49ers going after Haynesworth in the offseason?

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

I don't hate their front seven. I would concentrate more on O and get one more starting caliber CB-well maybe a FS as well in the secondary.

Ed (Boston)

Easiest based on last year's records but clearly the division has greatly improved and they had 4 west coast games. 14 guys on IR including 4 LBs. Pretty good job by Belichick.

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

All excellent points. Certainly the Phins are not exactly the 1-15 team of a year ago. Not to mention, the Pats' secondary is just awful and their LBs are a mess right now as well.

Anthony (NYC)

If the Lions go 0-16, where do they start to rebuild this team? It seems that Calvin Johnson &#x26; maybe Ernie Sims are their only Franchise worthy players.

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

I have an article coming out on the top 10 guys worth building around for Det-look for it.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

What's with the Steelers' offense? Can they make it to the Super Bowl with the way things are going? Surely the defense will wear down eventually from constantly having to bail out the offense.

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

Don't worry about the D. Superb. Still, field position isn't helping them either-poor punting and returns. However, PGH has faced a few of the very best Ds in the league over the past several weeks-will not get any more difficult than that stretch. They have enough on O to win-esp Roethlisberger.

Erik (Dallas)

Jay Ratliff is making his 1st trip to the Pro Bowl. How good is he and do you think he is the long-term solution at NT? He is certainly not your typical space eating DT.

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

He isn't asked to be in that D-much more penetrating than what NE or PGH does for example. However, I do think it is good to have someone like Tank Johnson or a Jason Ferguson type to be the short yardage guy and spell Ratliff. A lot of wear and tear on the body at NT.

Luis (SB, CA)

M-dubb, I'm assuming we won't see you next week. If So, Happy Holidays from "Da Nation"

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks Bro-I haven't heard about next week. I might be spreading some holiday cheer with a spiked egg nog and my Santa hat on.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

How about the Browns switching to 4-3 and signing Hayensworth?

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

If they did go to the 3-4, I would have no problem with Rogers and Williams at DT with S Smith giving them rest. Might be their initially strongest position if they switched. Would need true 4-3 DEs in a huge way though.

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

Okay all, if I am not back next week, enjoy your holiday. In the meantime, get ready for some great football this weekend. Take care.