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May 13, 11:50 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Let's Roll!

Joshua Ricks Indianapolis, IN [via mobile]

With the newest additions during the offseason and what they have now do the Patriots have what it takes it to win the AFC East and the Super Bowl?

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Very much so. I see them as one of four elite teams right now including Pittsburgh, the Giants and Eagles. However, I do worry about their ability to rush the passer off the edge with their current group of players.

Erik (NH)

Hey Matt. How serious is the NY Jets' RB situation? Could they make a trade, say for Raiders' Justin Fargas?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Not sure that is called for. I would be comfortable with just Washington and Greene-but I do realize that Washington isnt happy with his current status. To me, he is the guy you sink $$$ into though-at least compared to T Jones. But, if NYJ can't come to an agreement with either player, they still hold the cards for the short term and both will play. Trading up to draft Greene was telling though. Don't sweat it for now.

Mike ithaca, ny [via mobile]

Do you see the browns' offseason moves as good or bad?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Honestly-somewhere in between. In a word? "Safe". Almost ultra-conservative. Guys like Patten-you know what you are getting. Of course that holds true with the hordes of former Jets who were brought in as well. That is a team that certainly needed to get deeper, create more competition at just about every spot and of course, change the culture. So, in those regards, I give them credit. But they really look VERY little risk and in turn, I don't see a lot of reward. This holds true with the draft very much as well.

ray (ohio)

Everything the Brown's touch turns to @#+* !!

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

That is another excellent point

devin howell michigan

whit larry foot do we win more than 5 or less

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

He isn't the difference maker who will be the reason-good or bad-that Detroit wins 5+. But, if 5 is the O/U, I suppose I would go under and I think Detroit has a better chance of winning four than six. I liked their off season and can't be overly critical of their draft-but they are still a bad football team and that is especially true on both lines.

Xander (Philly)

Why have the Browns pretty much given the job to Brady Quinn before training camp has even started?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

I wouldn't say that, but he has to be the front runner. Don't discount Ratliff. I don't think it was an accident that he was thrown in on that draft day deal.

Bryan (Mesa, AZ)

I think the browns (and bengals for that matter) need to take a page from the cardinals book. Talk about changing culture

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Very true-but also very hard to pull off. To me, the Dennis Green era was the beginning of a positive culture change. Remember, he brought almost the entire nucleus of that team. But obviously hiring Whiz worked out very well and getting a bright young coach from a perrienial winner is always a good idea. But-deep down, I bet Whiz wants to be a power running offense.

Max: new york city [via mobile]

Will the redskins have the top ranked defense this season with the additions of haynesworth and orakpo?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

I would still put PGH, Balt and NYG over theirs for sure. Maybe SD as well now with Merriman back. I think Dallas could be in that conversation as could NYJ. Philly's is solid as well.

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

Matty, Can you see the Steelers prepping Mendenhall to replace Parker in 2010?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

No question...if not sooner

Robert (California)

washington always has a good defense it's the offense choking that you gotta worry about

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Big time and the passing game more speciifically. Not a believer in that OL either for the long haul.

Jacob (Orlando, Fl)

nope-titans

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

What do you guys think about Tenn's D next year? Personally, I am expecting a big drop off. Would expect them to be solid, but far from as dominant as they were with Big Al beating the dirt out of OLinemen the last two years. I think we got Jacob's answer.

spokane washington

Should I be excited to hear tj and hasselbeck are showing good chemistry? or just concerned with the seahawks secondary?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Well, if you look for it in the next day or so, James Walker and I were both asked to semi-debate the teams that we both picked to be big suprises this year. I picked the Hawks and I think I will end up picking them to win the NFC West (narrowly over Zona). My worries with that team is biggest at RB, but the secondary is suspect as well. But I like the Lucas signing and do think the front seven will be vastly improved-both vs. the run and rushing the passer.

Bryan (Mesa, AZ)

tenn will make do i think jeff fischer does an excellent job with what he has year in and year out

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Very true. Excellent coaching goes a long way. But-in pass pro, guys like Vanden Bosch are going to get a lot more attention than they are used to. The LBs are going to have to fend off OLinemen coming clean in the run game more often. I have my doubts and honestly, I also have serious doubts about K Collins.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, regarding the Titans, you can't discount Coach Fisher...he's one of the best out there. He'll make it work without big Al.

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

There is a big difference between making it work and excelling. Fine line in this league. Might pick the Titans for 3rd in that division behind Indy and Houston.

GshawnJohnson

Matt - I know you aren't a fan of Campbell in the WCO, but I think he's a real hard worker, has improved every year, and will do so again (especially after the nonsense). Unfortunately there are some concerns around him. Can you give me a quick comment on any of these? - Kelly/Thomas/Davis having a big year two jump, Dockery being an upgrade on Kendall, Portis breaking down, one of the "desperate shot" camp RTs panning out.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Great stuff in your question and yes, I still do expect Campbell to improve in his 2nd year in Wash. I would bet on Thomas of the group to step up and I honestly do think it is/was WAY too early to start calling those guys busts. Thomas only had one big time season at Mich St...still a puppy in terms of his WR development. The OL is frightening though. Is Dockery a big upgrade? Certainly younger and bigger, but he had a tough year in Buff in 2008. I don't want Heyer starting for me. Jansen seems to be on his last leg. Portis does have a ton of wear and tear on his body (& he isn't a huge RB) and I wouldn't be shocked if this were the year that it really started to show more. Oh yeah, I am also not banking on Mike Williams to resurect his career. Wash will be my 4th pick in the NFC East.

Danial ( South Dakota)

Do you see denver push ing hard into free agency for defense next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

They better. Their front seven will be dreadful this year.

Kevin (Austin TC)

Sorry Matt, but I have to ask...sigh...is there anything new with the possible trading of Braylon Edwards?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Haven't heard anything new, but I still think he leaves.

Matt (Philly)

Without Ward and Burress, how do you expect the Giants to score? Will Manning and his 76.9 career QB rating magically carry a team that just lost a 1,000 yard rusher who caught 41 passes out of the backfield and now has no receivers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

I am picking your Eagles over NYG for that reason, but I also think that NYG has a dominant running game (which will now face more stacked boxes) and possibly the best D in the league. LOVE their DL. That D should stay fresh for 60+ minutes as they just rotating in different types of versatile DLinemen. The secondary should be improved as well-young group. I feel ya-don't get me wrong-but I see the Giants winning plenty of 13-7 games.

Bryan (Mesa, AZ)

what do you think about a anquan boldin for julius peppers trade?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

First I heard that. Hmmm...interesting. Car's DL is bad now and would obviously be much worse-but there isn't much they can do to change that either way. Car really needs a WR opposite SSmith. Peppers could sure fit in with Zona's scheme. What the heck-go for it.

rob (jersey)

Will Emperor Palpatine allow Tom Cable to have a run-first offense this year - Lorenzo Neal helps....

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Wow, he had better. The Raiders can run the ball and I give Cable (former OL coach) plenty of credit for that. Their horses up front are far from special, but they open lanes in that zone blocking scheme. HAS to be a big time run-first O. However, it is always difficult to predict what a Sith Lord is going to do.

talton walker beaumont, tx [via mobile]

What is gonna happen to marvin harrison? Are there any teams even remotely interested or will he have to wait till training camps approach to get any calls?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Would bet that he hangs it up. Little interest. The team that really only makes sense to me is Indy.

Billy (Cyberworld)

Do you have a Twitter account we can follow? You are the man!

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I sure don't and to be honest, I have very little idea as to what a Twitter account really is. Only 35 years old here, but I am closer to 50 at heart. But...I did just get an iPod a few months ago! Great stuff. Welcome to the 2000s!

Jon (Scottsdale, AZ)

How much of a wild card are the cowboys this year? They seem like one of the hardest teams to gauge.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I expect them to be tough. They too should morph into more of a power running team. I like Romo. I know about all the post season problems, but this kid is an upper echelon QB. If Roy W can step up and be the player he is capable, this O will be exceptional. I also like the D. Ware is very special and he makes it all go. Don't overlook the Boys.

Chad (Las Vegas)

The Saints are better than the 24th best team in the league, correct?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Absolutly. Where did that come from?

James (Missouri)

Matt how come no one is talking about the Chiefs? Pioli is a genius, and they improved their team in the offseason more than any other club. where is the love?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I can't give you that. They made some steps and getting Cassel was an exceptional move. But, I still see their D (Dorsey, Hali and D Johnson in particular) as far more adept for a 4-3 than 3-4. Plus, that OL makes me worry. I see improvement, but not by leaps and bounds this year. T Jackson is a very good 3-4 DE prospect, but remember, he has never really played the scheme. Don't expect him to come in and light the league on fire.

Michael (California)

Were the Dolphins a fluke or will they have another solid season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

I see a drop off coming and will pick NEng and NYJ over them in the East for sure. Once again-VERY well coached and they have a potentially great OL. R Brown might have a big year a year removed from the knee. But where is the passing game? I also think the D is just middle of the road.

Mo (NY)

Which division do you think will be the toughest this year. It seems like you can make an argument for the AFC east, NFC east or the NFC south

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

You could, but it has to be the NFC East going away. Brutal.

Brett Favre (bored at home)

Hi Matt. What do you think I should do?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Stay at home!

ryan (cleveland)

Do the Pens pull it off tonight? God this series has been good.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Fantastic series. Can't wait until they drop the puck tonight. Give me the Pens...but I can't say that I feel real strong about that. How did they lose Game 6!?!?!?!

Taylor (SF)

Mike Singletary is 5-4 as head coach (and could've easily been 7-2 if he hadn't made a couple rookie mistakes vs Ari and Miami). Shaun Hill is 7-3 as a starter. In a division that's up for grabs, why dont the Niners get a little more respect?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I see a lot of people picking SF as an up and coming team. I suppose I see where they/you are coming from. But I still have my doubts. Just don't see a ton of difference makers. Moreso, I don't trust the QB situation.

Chuck (San Diego, Ca)

Do you honestly feel that LaDainian has a good chance to come back and put up "elite back" numbers this year? Or do the last two years' late-season injuries weigh in too much?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I don't think that LT is done, but I think he is close. A LOT of wear and tear on that body. He has shown the signs of what is inevitably to come over the past season and a half or so. I doubt he will be elite this year. Love the player, but that is just what happens to RBs that have done what he has done.

chris virginia

what do you hate the redskins or something everything you have said about them has been bad

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

For some reason, it usually is! Not always sure why, but I don't trust the organization as a whole. Still, I did talk about how much Big Al was going to be missed in Tenn. The D should be quite good and I do think the O will be improved-but it was just terrible to finish last season.

Aaron Mn [via mobile]

hey Matt can you answer this can you explain the rams move cutting their leading tackler? yeah he was too small but they don't eexactly have the deepest bench are they not telling us something?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Can't figure that one out either. I don't know this, but I immediatly thought that he personality/character was a problem. Maybe an injury issue? I know Spags likes big LBs and he doesn't fit that bill one bit, but still-what else do you have?

Mikey(LAckawanna,NY)

How good can the Bills LB corps turn out to be if the Bills signed Pisa Tinoisamoa to play next to POZ, and Kawika Mitchell?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Slightly above average. Could probably still come up with ten other LB units that I like better. Probably more. It wouldn't be a bad signing and I am big on Poz going forward (& while at Hopewell HS), but I don't see that as a special group

doug (NJ)

who will be the giants 2 starting wideouts opening day?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

That isn't easy to answer. Could be Braylon still. But I will go with Hixon and S Smith. Nicks would be my third choice. Smith has the best chance of the group.

Bryan (St. Louis)

I don't care the Rams cut Pisa, he was too light; but they will regret passing on Maualuga for another Ohio State LB bust. Rey will be a near pro-bowl MLB.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Rey was the far superior prospect to me as well. I see what they like about Laurinitis though. They need strong character/work ethic leaders to build around. He will QB that D instead of being someone that could be a liability from an assignment standpoint. But wow, that one fell in their laps and I agree that they missed the boat.

Aaron Mn [via mobile]

hey Matt out of the the three worst teams from last year which one might be a surprise?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Det, STL and KC? Of that group, give me the Chiefs, but I don't feel nearly as strongly about those three as I do the Seahawks.

james indianapolis

do you think the colts will return to the top of the nfl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

They have never drifted too far from the top! Great organization. Still, I don't see them as an elite team right now. Very good, but not elite.

Bryce (Huntingtown, MD)

Will the Saints be ranked in the Top 10 n terms of Defense??

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I would bet not. Tough schedule. An improved D, but far from the best in the league.

Sean (Philly)

Still hoping that someone from the Browns and Eagles staff reads this chat...Sheldon Brown, Kevin Curtis and/or Reggie Brown and a conditional pick for Braylon. The Browns get two starters for a guy they will lose soon.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Really doesn't seem too far fetched. I would not be interested in Reggie Brown, but I would have a hard time saying no to S Brown, Curtis and a 3rd rounder for Edwards.

Joy (Syracuse,NY)

Matt Please tell me why you analyst overrate the NFC East every year? Last Year it was the same thing.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

They were pretty darn good last year as well. Each team does have to play six very tough dvisional games, which I think hurts them to some degree. Kinda like the SEC in football or Big East in hoops. But anyways, Philly was a final four team. The Giants had a great year. Compared to other 4th place teams, Wash was exceptional.

Hector (Key West)

Matt, if the Charger defense returns to its 2007 form, will they challenge the Steelers and Patriots for supremacy in the AFC?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

They should. Maybe most importantly, they should go 6-0 in their division and moon walk to a AFC West divisional crown....which could then lead to a first week bye. Good recipe. Sounds easy right?

Greg (NY)

With the Hawks ??? at RB could they go after James. He will want revenge on the Cards and could easily get 1000.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Blah. I just don't see it anymore with James. Runs hard-don't get me wrong. But in a way, he reminds me of S Alexander at the end...but of course, Alexander ran very soft. James at this point doesn't bring a lot to the table on game day. Good pass blocker, but just a so so threat as a pass catcher. No breakaway ability. Can't help on special teams.

Eric(South Buffalo)

Do you think the Bills can use Aaron Maybin at OLB on 1st and 2nd down? And then use him at DE on 3rd down or in long situatiuons? I always loved the way the Chiefs used Derrick Thomas. You dont see many teams do that these days. And I am not comparing Maybin to DT by any means. Just a thought!

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Not this year. Right now, I think you have a one down (3rd) player in Maybin. One trick pony to me. Could, in time, develop into more.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub though Maroney maybe the starting RB, how long before Taylor takes over the starting job? Even if he isn't the starter he'll likely get most of the work load.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

He could. I would say that Taylor is the Pats' best RB right now. But, I think we all know that who is getting the rock will change on a week to week basis based on game plan and who has the hot hand. Could Maroney have a big year? Sure, but I tend to be a believer of what you say instead. But wtih Taylor, I don't want him in the game in short yardage situations. More of a 20 yard line to 20 yard line guy.

Kanyon (Huntington,WV)

why won't you answer any of my questions MATT

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Happy now?

Joy (Syracuse,NY)

Matt last time i remember the Patriots were 11 and 5 and didnt make the playoffs. We all know the AFC is hands down the dominant conference. NFC East just has the names.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

The NFC East is a division-not a conference. I agree that the AFC is the better conference, but I do think that the NFC has the best division-the NFC East. I am done with this conversation now.

Dylan (New York)

Should the Jets: A) Sign Plax B) Trade for Braylon C) Trade for Boldin D) None of the above

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

E) Any of the above...unless Plex is in jail.

Matt (NM)

Matt, how long can we expect McDaniels to last in Denver with his bone headed moves and draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

That leash surely is getting shorter and shorter. Yoy.

Bob (Toronto)

If Jason Campbell takes the Skins to the playoffs does he earn a long term deal? And if the Skins miss the playoffs are both Campbell and Zorn gone?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Hard to predict the former, but with the latter, I would say Yes. Remember, there are guys like Shanny, Cowher and Holmgren on the open market now. Think the Skins could be interested in one of those guys?

Sam, Bustling Metroplis of Greer, SC

Where are the likely landing spots for M. Vick when he is released from prison? Is it likely he gets to play this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

No idea if he can play this year or not-not sure if anyone knows. Seattle makes sense with the Mora connection. Surely the Raiders make sense or many/no good reasons. There will be suitors.

Matt (Philly)

Could you imagine how many passes Braylon Edwards would drop with McNabb firing bullets at him

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Plenty. Still, would be the best WR they have.

Dan (mn)

with no bret what are the chances we se the vikes in the playoffs

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Not bad. Even with Brett, I wouldn't change the odds much-if at any. Right now, I like Chi slightly over Minny and Minny slightly over GBay-but that is a tight division.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

One thing that I wanted to mention: We all need to realize that this time of the year is probably the VERY BEST that your team/any team is going to look. Optimism abounds. Everyone is healthy. Just had the draft. Rosters are all stacked. Everyone looks good to me. Much more will be revealed as we approach opening night.

Kanyon (Huntington,WV)

Come On MATT answer my question

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Nah

Anthony (NYC)

With a healthy Carson back in the fold, do you think Ochocinco & Carson will regain their probowl numbers again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

If the protection is there-yes. 85 can play. He really did nothing last year, but Cincy had zero vertical presence for a couple reasons. Protection was poor. No one worried about Fitzpatrick's deep arm/accuracy. Plus, the running game didn't keep anyone honest and D's could put a safety over the top of 85. Those things could change for the better. Could.

charlie (new orleans, la)

cmon matt...nfc south predictions...i know you have east coast bias...but throw me a bone

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

ATL is one. Probably going with NO 2nd. I see a drop off in Car this year-maybe as big of a drop off as with any of the top teams from a year ago. Coin flip between TBay and Car at the bottom.

tyler ([il])

Do u think Adrian Peterson will be the best rb in the league this year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Oh yeah-zero question in my mind. Not even sure who #2 is. Big gap there.

ian (virginia beach)

shuld the browns trade one of the qb's ,history shows that two qb's never work .

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

They really now have three QBs. One has to go.

Mike Gundy (Stillwater, OK)

Answer my question, Matt! Cmon, I'm a man! I'm 40!

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

You sure are. Well folks, I am out. This was great stuff as usual. Stop back next week and we can solve all the world's problems together. Pens 3, Caps 2. Malkin with the game winner.