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May 6, 12:13 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

Let's do this!

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

Matty, what are your thoughts on the Steelers releaseing Foote to start Timmons, is he ready to start?

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Oh yeah, Timmons is on the verge of stardom. I do have a bit of a question of his ability to take on a OG or big FB in the hole on early downs, but he has rare ability to cover space and make plays. Depth is now an issue and picking up a backup vet ILB could be an option.

troy polamalu [via mobile]

ed reed only plays the pass. bob sanders the run. i do both very well. i am the best safety in the nfl, bar none!

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I see it as a two horse race between yourself and Reed. Don't discount what Reed does back there! Isn't a bad run player either and remember he was nursing a neck/shoulder injury for much of last year which had to hinder his ability to really assert himself vs. the run.

Corey (Seattle)

Matt, Seattle is under the radar again (as always), and have quietly put together a great offseason. If Curry and Unger start and play well, and Hasselbeck and the WRs stay healthy, I see them as division Champs. What is your take on the Hawks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I am with you. Very much under the radar for some reason. My worries would be Hass' health and I really don't like the RB situation. Also-not sold on Mora. But yes, I think the roster has dramatically improved and they should battle Zona neck and neck for that division. Good call.

chicago illinoise

do you think cutler is helping forte or forte is helping cutler

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Both, but esp Cutler helping Forte. Forte was pretty easy to key on at times last year. That won't be the case any more.

Broad Street Brian- Soggy Phila.

Let us know if you are gonna pitch hit for Greeney on Fridays will ya! Also, What type of player do you think the Eagles could get for Sheldon Brown if they go that route, I hope they don't.

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Not sure what the plan is for Friday yet. As for Brown, I am expecting Philly to treat it much like the Lito situation a year ago. Make him sweat. Hold on to him unless a great deal comes along. Philly is a big time contender. Why trade proven vets for future draft picks right now unless it is a top notch deal?

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

Doesnt Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham's skill set compliment one another perfectly?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Yeah, I suppose. Except neither has proven a thing in this league.

Chad (Las Vegas)

The Vegas books have released their over/under for the 2009 season and have the Saints at 8-8. As a fan I want to say take the over. As a realist I want to look at their schedule and say it is tough and 8-8 seems very realistic. So over/under 8-8 for NO?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Just pulled up their schedule and it isn't easy, but I do like the over and see a nine win season as more likely than a nine loss season. Their running game has to improve and/or they must stay more dedicated to it. Do you now worry about the depth (& even 2nd starter) at DT now? Playing both Eastern divisions is no cake walk though-phsyical teams that NO doesn't match up all that well against.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

what about Kerry Rhodes? mangini had him playing against his strengths..... imagine rhodes in a Ryan D.... much scarier...

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Much scarier. Can say that about EVERYone on that D. Not a believer in Mangini here at all. Ultra conservative. Big believer in Rex Ryan though. That D might be fierce.

BSB (philly)

With Albert Haynesworth in the NFCE, do you see the rest of the divison (and Conference) will getting bigger at OG and OC to deal with the big fella?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

You can't get much bigger up front than what NYG and esp Dallas and Philly already have. Not a lot of finesse in that division!

Mike (Brooklyn)

What's with the snide comment regarding Nicks and Manningham? Let's just rip on every single rookie then, since they haven't proven a thing in the NFL. BTW NYG is better than the Eagles.

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Torn between NYG and the Eagles. I did agree that the two do have complementary skill sets, but counting on very young WRs usually doesn't go well. I like both players as prospects, but don't expect either to replace Burress. That is still the biggest weakness in NYG. The Giants will see a ton of 8 in the box until proven otherwise.

chauncey (teaneck)

Do you think Brett Farve will be a Viking next Year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

I do think that he will be. As a former (former) fan of #4, I really hope he doesn't...but he prob will. I just wrote a peice for the .com about the QBs in the spotlight and compared next year in Minny for Favre to Willie Mays in New York with the Mets or Joe Nameth with the Rams. I really think Favre is done.

Bob (Detroit)

M-Dub, with the signing of Foote almost complete how much of an impact can we expect him to make on Detroit's D?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Excellent fit. Think of what Tenn had at MLB while Schwartz was there-nothing special and they emphasized the OLBs much more with stars like Bullock. I see the same thing in Det with Foote. He is an immediate upgrade, but someone they might try to replace as soon as next off season. Two down player-which is fine when you have guys like Sims and Peterson. Overall though-real good fit for the short term.

Denny (Sioux City Iowa)

Hey how do you think the raiders are going to do next season

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Poorly...as usual. Really haven't been a fan of their off season at all. I do think they will run the ball well and Russell should improve, but I also expect their passing game to rank amongst the league's worst and the D should be in the bottom half of the league again as well. Luckily for them, their division stinks.

Bob Sanders (Injured)

Come on Troy! I'm pretty good at both, too! You know, the 8 games a year I play.

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Very very true

Kevin (Chicago)

Minnesota fans are dumb to think Favre is the answer...he will just waste one more season of AP and looking at LT starting to break down, that is not a good idea.

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

That is one of the many reasons that I don't like it. However-and this pains me a bit-he very well could be the better than anyone they currently have and much like when they got Rosenfels for a 4th rounder, it is never a bad idea to upgrade at the most important position when the cost is very minimal. He just REALLY struggled throwing the ball last year. Supposedly has a torn tendon in his biceps-that has yet to be fixed. Favre without a big arm is just a guy who takes a lot of chances and sets up the D for INT after INT. Also...he doesn't want to participate in mini camps and OTA? Huh? Then why are you coming back? Help the team. Learn the tendencies of your pass catchers. Meet the guys. Brush up on the terminology. Makes my head hurt.

Steve (Syracuse)

Who do you think has a better year: Nicks, Maclin or Britt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Hmmm. I suppose Nicks, because I see him having the best chance to be a #1 out of that group for his respective team. Britt has a chance as well, but Nicks has a better QB throwing to him and I like him better as a prospect. However, I do think Maclin is the best player/prospect of the bunch.

Kyle (minneapolis)

Matt, my man. I get that Favre isn't what he used to be, but isn't he still better than Sage or Tavaris?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Like I said-probably. But that isn't saying much. However, I would really like to see what kind of zip he can put on his throws right now. For the record, Rosenfels is a terrible fit in Minny as well-turnover machine.

john (philly)

Who do you project as winner of the NFC East?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Coin flip between Philly and NYG and I see these two as the class of the NFC. Leaning towards the Iggles right now though.

Tommy (ATL)

How big is the gap between the top (Ravens and Steelers) and bottom (Bengals and Browns) of the AFC North? Do you see this gap narrowing anytime soon?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Sorta. I see there being a huge gap between the Bengals (who I actually expect to improve) and the Browns (who I think are rather terrible). Much like in the NFC, I see PGH and NEng as the class of the AFC. Balt is in that next tier though with Indy, SD, etc. Still worry about the Ravens' passing attack.

Mike (Akron)

What do you think of what the Cleveland Jets have done to shore up there front seven? I hate to say it, but they have improved from last year (which isn't saying much). Do you like their DB's at all? What do you think of Wright and MacDonlad?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

It has improved up front. I still don't see much big play potential, but they will play better assignment football and have better depth. Wright has star potential. Needs to be more consistent and would like to see him play the run better. McD is okay, but prob best suited as a nickel rather than a starter. As for this D-how is the pass rush going to be any better than the awful performance they put on in this department last year?

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

McNabb is getting real old and Manning is just entering his prime..... Manning also plays much better than McNabb in clutch situations......just saying

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I suppose. Manning obviously played great during their Super Bowl run-but that isn't a huge body of work to say that he is a top notch clutch QB. I do think it is close, but right now-for today-I would still prefer McNabb.

Greg (CT)

Donald Brown on the Colts seemed an odd choice to me. Are they trying to shop Addai, or not see brown as #1 material?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

They don't see Addai as #1 material. Can't carry the load. Didn't do it at LSU. Big durability/reliability questions. Plus, Brown is their type of RB for sure. Do it all guy. I like the pick.

Aaron (Denver)

I see Greg Olson having a breakout year at Tight End for the Bears this year. Cutler loved his Shefler in Denver, and Olson is the best pass catcher on the Bears Roster...other than Forte.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I very much agree with you. One year from now, I could see us talking about Olsen as one of the very best at his position in the NFL.

Mike (Akron)

What, you never heard of Kamerion Wimbley? Oh, not since his rookie year? With any luck, shaun smith is healthy, Browns can put Rogers and another average OLB opposite side of Wimbley and Maybe he can get to the QB more than 4.5 times this year. How does that sound?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Enticing

Mike (Brooklyn)

Do you agree that NYG could challenge PGH for the #1 ranked defense in the league? They were #5 last year with atrocious LBs. Now that they've beefed up their OLBs, the only weak spot is Pierce. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

No question. But more importantly-their DL is incredible. A LOT of movable parts. Everyone should stay fresh. That DL could dominate for 60 minutes. Also, Phillips is going to be a star at S.

Tim (California Viking)

What would YOU have done at QB this off season if you were the Vikings (They only had the 22nd pick in the draft so the top QB's were off the board)

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I hear ya-not an easy question to answer. One thing though-since Childress has been there, they put little band aids on that problem instead of going out on any sort of limb and making a substantial move. I see all these guys (& yes, Favre included now) as bargain basement guys. Minny is walking into the dealership looking at Accords and Tauruses. So, if you are going to get a cheap guy, I say go after someone who is not a huge risk taker. I certainly don't love him, but even Garcia would make some sense. Maybe Leftwich. But, if you realize that you can only get so far with the women driving a Taurus and you want to buck up for the Benz, then go attack Cutler or Sanchez or even someone in the middle like Quinn.

Nick (SLC)

Will Larry English evolve into an elite 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I like him, but did think that was a smidge early to take him. That is fine though. Great hustle guy and a lot of talent and production. I really doubt that he is a bust. But elite? I don't see that either. Could see him as an excellent 2nd OLB in that scheme. Maybe better than Phillips in time, but not at Merriman's level.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub how does Belicheck & Pats continue to do it?? Every year they stockpile draft picks, their always trading down & still get quality players. As a Jets fan this is annoying, instead of getting closer to them it seems like the rest of the AFC East is still far away. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Not sure what else to add, but I do think you have an excellent vibe of what is going on.

Matt Cassel (Kansas City)

Why wont Haley name me the starter after I went 11-5 and my competion is a winless spread QB from Coastal Carolina?!?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Thigpen wasn't bad last year by the way! Actually, maybe Minny should have called KC about him. Anyways, I am with you....but I don't see a whole lot of mystery in the situation either though.

wes (los angeles)

Follow-up on the Merriman. Do the chargers keep him after this year, or does he become a free agent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

He is a great player. BUT-he wants a lot of money, is coming off a serious injury and has a strike against him from drug usage. Seems to me that is why they drafted English.

McNabb (AZ)

Wow i wish my best WR wasnt a RB

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

But that RB is awfully good at it! Still, I think Philly has proven that they can move the ball through the air by spreading it around to many options. Adding Maclin will help. That is also a credit to McNabb. Uses his guys.

Randy (St. Paul)

Come on Matt I drive a Taurus and have no problems with the ladies! Anyways, can't the same comparisons be made between Gus Frerotte and now Rosenfels and Favre? They are all gunslingers and Favre is better than all of them. And didn't Frerotte go 8-3 last year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Well, you have that special something about you that the ladies just can't resist. I hear ya-all gunslingers. That just doesn't make sense to me though considering that the strengths of the team is the running game and the D. Not need a big time risk taker...unless they were to go all the way with a guy like Cutler.

GregC (Hernando,Ms)

Do you see Roy Williams having a good year this season and what type of number will he have?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

From what I understand, he was battling an injury with Dallas last year. Okay fine. I will buy that...but he was horrible for the Boys. But, in his defense, you can't just throw a guy into the mix-and Romo was fighting thumb injuries-and expect the timing to be there down the home stretch of a season. Obviously a crucial year for Williams, but I suspect that he puts it together. Not a Pro Bowl season, but very respectable. Dallas would be wise to lean more on their running game though as well.

Greg (CT)

As much as I'd love to see Favre ride off into the sunset at this point, wouldn't it be interesting to see how he'd perform on the Vikes, matched with an elite RB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Oh yeah....it will be interesting. Carnivals and Circuses are interesting.

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

matty, Keep hearing Braylon Edwards to the Jets for Thomas Jones and Picks, sounds great for Jets?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Depends on the picks of course, but why would Clev want T Jones? How different is he than Lewis right now? The Browns have gone two weeks or so though without adding anyone off that heralded 2008 Jets team though. Mangini will insist that the Jets through in Nugent.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

what about corey webster? isnt he a star?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

In that neighborhood. Real nice player. I think he average speed would be exposed more on a team that didn't rush the passer as well as NYG, but that sure isn't Webster's fault. Well above average starter.

Jim Glendale Az [via mobile]

Do you think Wells can be the break away back that the Cardinals hope for or is he to injury prone

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I like the pick considering where they got him, but I also bet they would rather have D Brown. SO much more well rounded. For as much as Zona will throw, Wells is a liability in the pass game. Also, I can see him driving Whiz/Grimm crazy as he runs much smaller than his size suggests and isn't always the most competitive RB around. But, I do think he can be a break away RB and is clearly an upgrade over Hightower, who is extremely average.

MIke (Akron)

Any chance the Browns can get the value for Braylon that the Lions got for Williams?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

No-that was very steep.

Greg (CT)

Can Crabtree produce in year one, or will he need an actual QB to do that?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I think he could do well. Once again, not Pro Bowl type of rookie year, but a good showing. He should immediatly be their top option. The O will be FAR different than the one he ran at Texas Tech though, so there could be an adjustment period. As for Hill-he sure isn't pretty and I don't think he is a high end guy, but he can get the ball to Crabtree just fine.

Sean (Philly)

ESPN is reporting that Sheldon Brown isn't enough to get Braylon from the Browns, and that the Eagles don't need him with the addition of Maclin. What if the Eagles throw in Curtis as well? That way the Eagles have a WR with some size to pair with Maclin and Jackson.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I think that would be a tremendous deal for Philly. A bigger guy would be key near the goal line for sure. Braylon has his drops-no doubt about that-but he can really go up and get it. Is that enough if you were in charge of Cleveland? Maybe Edwards for Brown, Curtis and a 3rd rounder?

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

Matty, another great chat, final question then have to work. What odds do you give the steelers on repeating this year? I like the chances.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Thanks and skip the work for the next 15 mintues. As for the Stillers, I like their chances. EASY schedule and I think they are the clear favorite in the AFC North. That very well could lead to a bye in the first round. From there, they are in the hunt for sure.

adam (Houston)

Biggest sleep team in 2009 will be______________?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Houston or Cincy. Would have liked to see the Texans do more on DDay though.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

Boldin is still the better fit for the Iggles

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, maybe. Would be curious what the contract demands of both players is though. Either would do!

Jeff, Mpls

Do you think Favre has some underlying motives behind the fact that he only wants to play for Minny, or do you think he just has the itch to play again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Similiar O to what he was succesful with in GBay-West Coast. Has a relationship with some of the guys on that staff. Personnally, I would assume that playing against GBay twice a year might factor in just a bit as well!

Greg (CT)

What's more likely to happen this year: Favre plays again, or Boldin gets traded?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Favre

jimmy ((sammamish,WA))

hey matt i have been dying to ask a question about the seahawks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Go for.it...or scroll down to the beginning of the chat.

Patrick (Agawam, MA)

Patriots have reloaded defense similarly to the attention they gave to offense when they added moss and Welker... how would you characterize the net gain on defense this season, marked improvement or just refreshing an aging D?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Massive improvement to the secondary. Brace is a great insurance policy at a very important NT position. My only worry with this team right now is at OLB-they seemed to ignore it. However, they do have a ton of picks in next year's draft and could still call Car about Peppers-or sign J Taylor.

Kyle (OH)

Thoughts on the Rams draft? Second year in a row they've gone "conservative," in my opinion. I always assumed when teams drafted that high it was wise to go with talent and not "need."

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Sorta did both with Smith though. I didn't have a big problem with their draft. Good value and need for Laurintits as well. Just had so many needs and could get to all of them in one draft. They still need a lot of WR help, a backup RB and a QB of the future for starters on O.

Kyle (OH)

How good will Bradford look in Ram horns next April? (Or will there be an OL/DL they covet [snicker])

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Great fit from what I have seen. Todd projected that as well.

Ryan (San Diego)

Seriously, there was not a more overrated draft than the Patriots. They traded down a bunch because they didnt get the guy they want and then what do they do with those picks? Use them on players that never play, and when they do they were terrible picks. Tom Brady masks a lot of deficiencies

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Having a Superstar QB surely does help all problems, but I liked their draft-mostly because they stock piled for next year, when the class should be much stronger. One of those picks was a long snapper-who could make the team-and another was Tate, who is still hurt and could spend the whole year on IR.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub with all the moves that Al Davis has made during the off-season other than a last place finish, what else could be expected of Raiders?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Chaos

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Sorry I'm late. No one mentioned Favre yet, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Nope, hasn't been brought up.

jimmy (sammamish,WA)

next year do the seahawks draft a quarterback or do they address the RB spot

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Wow-who knows. Could see Hass having a very strong year, but still, a young QB should not be out of the question. I really don't like their RBs one bit. Okay-done projecting the 2010 draft now...and talking about Favre.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Side note: My Pens need a win in a bad way tonight.

Chad (Las Vegas)

GB's new 3-4 will crush Favre and the Vikings. Good thing you can't see my face while typing that.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Nice one. First that GBay's 3-4 has come up.

Jake (VA Beach)

Could we still see a late trade of Bradshaw or Ware, with Hixon and a pick for Edwards?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Doesn't seem unlikely at all. RB, WR and a 2nd rounder for Edwards? Mangini does love acquiring those middle of the road vets.

Bryan- MA

What are your thoughts on Chung?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Good fit in a Harrison type role. Not a great deep coverage player, but very tough and plays the run well. Smart and productive. Will allow Merriweather to stay at FS, where I think he fits better.

BSB- channelling Joe Banner

Brown, curtis and a 3rd for a guy who is a free agent... get real. We're the Eagles. We never overpay!

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Well obviously the Iggles would have to get a deal in place with Braylon before pulling the trigger. Not renting him...that is for sure.

matty Ice (the Burg, PA)

Since I stuck around for the best chat in the Sportsnation, remember to tune in next week at the same matty time on the the same Matty station.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

You are too good to me

Marc ( City of Brotherly Love)

What's going on Matty Ice I'm back!!!Jeremy Macklin over/under 60 receptions 1000 yards and 7 TDs. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I will take the under...but don't misconstrue that. I really like him as a prospect. Just a lot of mouths to feed in that passing game.

Justin (MA)

Can Michael Hamlin become a playmaker for the Boys?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I don't see him being a difference maker, but could be a solid starter. That pass rush should make the DBs job far easier once again next year.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Folks, I got to run-have a local radio hit to do here in the Burgh. Go Pens.