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August 13, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

MW here. Sorry about skipping my usual Wed at Noon spot yesterday-duty called in Bristol. Let's roll.

Ben (Chicago via Detroit)

Matt, how is Stafford looking in Lions camp?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I haven't been to camp, but by all accounts, he has been tremendous. I hesitate to comment on comments, but the responses have been quite consistent. Also, C-Pep is lean and mean and looking good in his own right.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, with 5 first-round draft picks currently unsigned, do you have a feeling for which of these picks might be signed first?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

I really don't, but I do hope that these young men realize that they are starting their promising careers in a hole. This league is hard enough when you get every practice rep and every bit of coaching available, let alone when you are home while your future teammates (

Brandon (Bellevue)

No early start today?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

A couple minutes early today...didn't feel like I had to broadcast it though. Good observation by you none the less.

Sean (Newark, NJ)

What kind of production do you see from Hakeem Nix in his first year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Can't wait to see him in the preseason. There is certainly production to be had at the NYG WR position, but getting on the field as a starter above Hixon and Smith won't be easy. However I am guessing that he becomes a mid season starter and has a solid, but unspectacular, rookie season.

Brett (WI)

From a scouting prespective, which back would you rather have: DeAnglo Williams or Steve Slaton? From a fantasy prespective, given that Williams' O-line is better but Slaton is the guy in TX, who offers better production?

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

I think DeAngelo is the better football player. A little more left/right elusive. Runs lower and with more power. Better vision. DeAngelo was extremely impressive last year and I am a believer. As for FF, I have them ranked right next to one another, but gave DeAngelo the slight edge. Not sold that Slaton is a top notch goal line guy-although Stewart could see that role in Carolina as well. Tough call for me.

Paul (Denver)

Urlacher is healthy again this year after two years of rehad during the offseason. Do you think he'll have a great year now that he's truly 100% healthy?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

He isn't a young man any more and has faught a lot of pretty serious injuries. My bet is that it has taken a toll on his overall quickness and explosion. I do expect him to be better than a year ago however and the reason why is that the DL (esp T Harris) should help his cause out a great deal. If you remember, Chicago often had Urlacher crowding the LOS in one of the A Gaps. That doesn't help his cause either. Needs to play in more space.

Brett (WI)

Obviously there haven't been a plethora of games, but anything jump out at you so far this pre-season? Did the Bills O-line look as bad as you predicted it to be?

Matt Williamson
  (1:05 PM)

At times it did. Here and there you would see one of the rookie OGs getting blown out of a play. That quick hitting attack will help their heavier footed OTs however-no question about that. Well, until about three months from now when the weather hits in Buffalo. Still, I am not on board with that O, including Edwards and especially the OL.

Mike (Boca Raton)

which 1st round holdout hurts himself/his team the most by not being in camp?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

Either A Smith or BJ Raji. GBay is in the middle of unwisely shifting to a 3-4 scheme and counted on Raji a great deal for immediate support. The Bengals' OL is another that really worries me and that is magnified without Smith. T Thomas will play over Monroe and Morgan will play over Crabtree.

Mike (Boca Raton)

after watching 'hard knocks' last night on hbo is it any wonder why cincy is a perennial bottom feeder in the nfl?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

I have it on DVR. Got caught up in travel issues on my way home from Bristol all day yesterday and haven't gotten a chance to see it yet. A few buds said it was rather unflattering to put it mildly.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Based on what you saw Sunday, is there any future for Vince Young as a starting QB?

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

Not with my team

Brett (WI)

What kind of numbers does Moreno put up behind Denver's fantastic O-line in McDaniels scheme? Speaking of McDaniels scheme, does Eddie Royal approach 100 catches this year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

It is a good sign that Moreno is getting the start for Denver in that first preseason game and I do expect him to have a big year-assuming that McD is patient with him and doesn't rotate RBs at an unfavorable pace. But yeah, on board with Moreno for sure here. As for Royal, let's put his # of catches at about 86. You taking the OVER?

David (Minneapolis)

Do you think that Minnesota is a possible destination for Tim Tebow next draft? do you anticipate him being around near the end of the first round?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

Could be. I don't see their need for a QB going away between now and then! Where does TT fall on DDay? I really have no idea at this point. Will be interested to see him work under OC a little more and maybe make some more NFL type throws this year. But, do you really think Urban Meyer is going to "Showcase" Tebow when the Gators are down four against LSU or Georgia? Come on.

Robb (Raleigh)

Tim Tebow will be a New England Patriot. Fullback, and Tom Brady's back up

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

I do like that call. Okay, enough of such talk.

Kevin Ryan (Austin, Texas)

Who is the more productive WR for the Bears this year, Hester or Cutler buddy Bennett?

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

Hester. Might not catch as many passes, but that should be close. Certainly will have more big plays, better YAC and more yards per reception. Olsen will be the #1 receiver though.

Matt (Philadelphia)

If I'm a Crabtree or a Raji, I tell my agent privately when I hire him that if he doesn't have an agreeement for me by the first day of training camp, he's fired. They're hurting their careers. When is this mess gonna end?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

I see what you are saying, but remember, these are very young men. Sounds like a wonderful plan to a 36 year old guy like me with two kids, but to the hot shot 21 year old, maybe not. I have no idea how old you are, but remember being that age folks? Sometimes we forget what we were like at the same age.

Eric (Chicago)

NFL Knowshon Moreno = NFL Reggie Bush...close to same size and Bush isn't that good!

Matt Williamson
  (1:15 PM)

No way. Not NEARLY as fast or as explosive. Not the return guy of Bush. Not the outside threat. But, a much better pure RB. Will attack a D up the middle. Runs hard. Every down guy. Poor comparision.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

If you were the Jets, what would you do at RB? Do you trade Thomas Jones and give Leon Washington big money to be a starter or have the two unhappy going into the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

I love Leon, but would never give him MJD type coin. No way. But, I would imagine a comprimise could be made there. Would certainly entertain offers for T Jones, as he is sure to depart after this year and his value is highest right now. But, you can't give him away considering the Sanchez situation. What is the offer? 3rd rounder or better? Then, I prob move him.

Darryl (Pittsburgh)

What can we expect from Lawrence Timmons this yr in the burgh?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

Being a big time difference maker. Playmaker in every sense of the word. Potential for greatness.

Josh (Boston)

Fantasy question, if I may? How do you see Aaron Rodgers year going? Worth a keeper spot over DeAngelo Williams OR Brandon Jacobs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

Not over those two. Rodgers is fifth on my QB list right now and yes, he is excellent. Would rather have the Big 3 and Rivers though. Those RBs are just flat out worth more. I don't think Jacobs will stay healthy, but that guys scores TDs is bunches. Plus, NYG just invested heavy in him-they are going to give him more carries than ever. Still, DeAngelo would be my pick. Great OL. Excellent skill set.

Majeed (San Diego)

M-Dub, Made a bet with a co-worker that the Fins will win more games than the Cowboys. Am I gonna be $50 richer or poorer come Jan 3rd?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Poorer. Miami's schedule is much more difficult than it was a year ago. Give me Dallas.

DAVID (Minneapolis)

when cleveland finally chooses it's starter do you think Derek Anderson will be on the trading block? where do you see as a likely destination for him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

For sure. Acquiring Ratliff was not an accident. But, who really wants DA? I wouldn't.

Rick (Key West, FL)

Do you see Matt Forte's numbers decreasing or actually increasing with Jay Cutler at the helm. It seems like teams last year keyed on the Bears running game (especially late in the season) because of the lack of the passing game. Can Cutler open things up a little more for Forte?

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

Forte did wear down and yes, he was keyed on more as the season went along. Still, remember, that was also a bit of a "rookie wall" type of situation. However, I bet his yardage goes down. Real good player who knows how to maximize runs, but he isn't special. Not a knock on the guy, but Chicago is going to throw more and Cutler won't dump it down to Forte nearly as often as Orton did.

Brad Childress (Minnetonka, MN)

Did someone say DA is on the block?

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

Of course that is the team that sprung to mind. But I think I would rather take Rosenfels. Not a huge difference, but Rosenfels will do more (and throw more INTS probably) once the play doesn't go to script.

Dan (Dallas, TX)

Matt, do you think the Falcons could have a Patriot-like offense this year with "the other" Matty Ice, Turner, Roddy, and Tony G?

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

Oh yeah. Could be the #1 O in the NFL. Seriously. LOVE the starters. Now worry a bit about OL and WR depth (

Eric (Sioux City)

Matt, have you heard anything on Duke Robinson? Vincent isn't bad, but if Duke plays to the level others were pedicting two years ago Carolina will have 5 great linemen.

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

I haven't, but he is an excellent fit there and yes, should challenge Vincent (who you correctly identified as the weakest link on that OL) before long. Still, while Vincent isn't great, he is good enough considering what they do with that power scheme and who he plays next to. OL depth in Carolina is frightening as well.

Travis (SLC)

Does the Denver D have any chance to be at least decent this year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

I don't think so. The secondary should be vastly improved however and the O does have a chance to score a lot of points.

Jason (Moon Twp.)

Is this the year Dmac finally shows his skills and takes the majority of the carries? This kid's a beast.

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

I have said this before, more of a fan of McF as a FF player than real life every down RB. Big believer in M Bush here as well this year. McF is a specialty guy. Like R Bush. Still, expect him to show up and have many more big plays this year than last...but they have to get him into space.

Jeff (Mpls)

If the Vikes passing game is not up to par after a few preseaon games, would Chili actually go back on his words and give #4 a call just to see if he is interested now that camp is over?

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

Oh no. Just don't go there. Please.

Brandon (Bellevue)

Chris Johnson-Something is telling me that his numbers will decline accross the board. D will be worse, O-line is 1 year older, and the team can't maintain the luck involved w/ staying healthy as they did last year... Sophmore slump?

Matt Williamson
  (1:28 PM)

Sorta. I do expect LenDale to demand the ball a fair amount and to score plenty of TDs once again. But, I also expect the O in general to be improved. Not a big K Collins guy here, but they have the pieces for a very solid all around O-and Johnson is the only true stud on that side of the ball. Will have a lot of big plays. Don't sleep on Johnson. But, the D should take a step back.

Jacob (St. Joseph)

How much does Piercy Harvin mean to the Vikings?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Will Childress use him to his fullest capabilities? We shall see. But, the guy has some very special qualities. Zero to 60 in nothing flat. He will be a difference maker if they can figure out ways to consistently get him the ball in a way that he can show off that skill...but that is also easier said than done. Those guys on D know who is he is too ya know!

Mike (Boca Raton)

which playoff team(s) from last year spend this year watching playoffs on tv?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Carolina immediately comes to mind. Will also say Tennessee and Zona. Miami. Maybe Balt. Who I am missing?

John (Boston)

Matt, are Burgess and either Carter or Holliday the two missing pieces to make the Pats defense championship caliber? and would the make the 4-3 a better option? I would like to see Brace and Wilfork paly together a little bit. thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Those moves do scream for more 4-3 looks for sure. Still, Burgess is really the only guy of the group who is a true 4-3 DE. Surely Seymour would be succesful in that role as well. Could see BB getting crazy and pulling out some odd personnel groupings like a 5-1 with Mayo just running around like a maniac behind that awesome DL.

Liam (Pleasanton, California)

If Zona is out, who is in from the West?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Seattle. Have said it for some time now. They are my NFC West pick. No way are they as injured as they were last season. That D might surprise you.

Luis (Santa Barbara, CA)

Matt, does Dallas start to see more 2TE sets this year? I think with the threat of RW, Marty B, Witten, Austin/Crayton, and Barber, the defense can't possibly cover all three. Or is the presence of Marttellus just a Red Zone threat? Either way, Jason Garret had better get top 5 Offensive production this year

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

Top 5 is lofty considering teams like SD, Indy, NEng and ATL (surely others too) who are in this league. But yes, I would expect to see more double TE sets as well-esp when Felix is in the game. Try to spread the D out a bit more horizontally. Bennett will be a factor.

Mike (Boca Raton)

the thoughts that the bengals are a potential sleeper playoff team are just plain silly, right?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

The more I think about it, the more that I think it is just plain silly. I do like the D, but can Cincy really run the ball consistently? Can they protect Palmer to go vertical (esp against Balt and PGH)?

Tim (El Cajon, Ca)

What does Cutler think he is, the QB/GM of the Bears now? Saying he will have input as far as who is and isn't on the team! What kind of a ego-maniac is this guy?!

Hector (California)

Will this be there turn around season for the Oakland Raiders? Is it possible that they will turn some heads this season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Nah. Picking the Raiders to chose first overall this year.

Hector (California)

Will Darius Hayworth-Bey become more of an elite wide reciever than all the others in his draft class?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

Wow. Drops a lot of passes. Sort of a one trick pony at this stage of the game. Sure, you love the crazy deep wheels, but he has to do much more.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Benson had a pretty good season with the Bengals last year. I think they can run but the real issue might be can Palmer stay healthy.

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

I disagree on Benson. Don't trust him at all. Do me a favor and look at his game by game numbers. He blew up in three or four games against some of the weakest Ds in the league. Those guys on D were making vacation reservations.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

I see the Texans as this years Cardinals. Is that far fetched?

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

No. Much tougher division-and that certainly makes a difference. Can they cut down on the turnovers? Can they keep Schaub healthy? I do think that will be a continual problem considering his slighter build and so-so pocket presence. But, the D should be better. Could happen.

Hector (California)

Are you looking forward to the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys game tonight?

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

Wow-you are into the Raiders. I will be watching PGH/ZONA much more tonight-but will go back and watch that one at some point as well.

Raphael (Carolina)

With Kimo out for Carolina will the DL get run all over or do they have a rookie that can fill his hole?

Matt Williamson
  (1:41 PM)

They are going to get run all over all the time.

Luis (Santa Barbara, CA)

Matt, with the loss of Jim Johnson (R.I.P - what a great coach), MLB Bradley, and now Cole is banged up, does that D even have what it takes to stop all that the NFC East has offensively? Are you still penciling them in for the big dance?

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

I certainly now do have my reservations. Before camp, the gap between Philly and NYG was narrow to begin with-now, I tend to favor NYG a bit for pretty much the reasons you mentioned. Want to see Philly's OL get a little more settled as well. Just seems like overall bad MoJo so far in Philly. Could see Chi and/or Atl making a run as well.

Hector (California)

Okay let me change it up on you.lol With Dungy on his side Vick is sure to sign with a team soon right? And if yes who?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Everyone in the know seems to think that it is coming right around the corner. Still believe that Sea would be a great fit. Maybe STL.

Jacob (St. Joseph)

Will Matt Cassel take the Cheifs to the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Maybe some day

Mike (Boca Raton)

do you see the potential for the steelers schedule to work against them this year much like it (arguably) could have worked in their favor last year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Seems to be over-analyzing it in my opinion. Roll the teams that are not as good as you. Set yourself up for a playoff bye. Nothing to it, right?

Brandon (Bellevue)

Top fantasy RB this year will be Stephen Jackson. Next years debate will be him or Adrian Peterson first overall...

Matt Williamson
  (1:45 PM)

Shhh...

Hector (California)

Wouldn't Miami be a great fit for Vick with their crazy wildcat offense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:45 PM)

Sure it would, but they also pretty much have their quota at that position now with White, Henne and Pennington.

Dylan (STL)

Any chance LJ come remotely close to the big numbers he used to put up?

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

Nope. No chance. D-U-N.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

What are your thoughts on Sanchez? Everybody is ready to get on his bandwagon. Everyone seems to forget that Flacco and Ryan were Seniors coming out of school....Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

That is certainly a big deal. That college experience is very important. I was higher on Sanchez than Stafford, but I don't love the spot he went considering the brutal throwing conditions he will encounter...not quite like playing at USC. But, if he starts from the get-go and performs reasonably well in terms of sustaining O and limiting his turnovers, that should be considered a succesful rookie year.

ozzie (wpb florida)

Does Chad pennington have potential to have a MVP year after being comfortable in the dolphins offense now?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

I do feel like he as legit contender for that award last year (more or less). But MVP is pretty elite company. Saying No to that one.

Aaron (K.C.)

Who is the #2 FF RB?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

MJD

Greg (STL)

Saw the post about Jackson....does your shhh response mean you expect him to blow up huge this year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:49 PM)

Indeed

Mike (Boca Raton)

what kind of sophomore seasons do flacco and ryan have?

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

I see Ryan lighting it up. I see Flacco struggling in many people's eyes, but when you look back at his career, this could be a crucial year where he slowly-but consistently-improves. Just really worry about Flacco's supporting cast.

Jacob (St. Joseph)

Who do you pick as the rookie of the year? I know the season hasnt even started yet but who would be your choices?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

A Curry without a second thought. O is much harder for me. Moreno I suppose.

nate (ga)

what about turner? great offense and no one can put 8 in the box w tg?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Should be very solid. I do worry about that Curse of 370 and he doesn't offer a thing as a receiver. Also did his best work against poor comp last year-which isn't his fault.

Fred (Greenville, SC)

What kind of season does Jay Cutler have? The Offense in Chicago doesn't have the supporting cast he had in Denver and the OL is nowhere near as good as Denver's

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

True, but he is going to produce. That guy doesn't back down and never met a throw he didn't like. Will throw some INTs for sure however.

Jacob (St. Joseph)

You think Moreno will fit into the Broncos offense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

That I do. Very good all around skills. I certainly see what they like about him for what they do. Still, I would have gone Front Seven with that draft pick, but that's just me.

Terry (Atlanta)

Who's going to start in Cleveland?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

Quinn. No doubt.

Dylan (STL)

How long will KC regret taking Tyson Jackson over Curry?

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

As much as I love Curry, I don't love him for the 3-4. Perfect fit in Seattle and I have no doubt that he would not embarrass himself in a 3-4, but not what he does best. Still...that was early for Jackson.

Dylan (STL)

Matt Leinart to the Vikings?

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

Wow. The Vikes should eat that up. But, you can't move him if you are Zona. Warner is old and coming off hip surgery...like a grandmother.

DAVID (Minneapolis)

other than QB, what is MN's most glaring deficiency?

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

It is far and away QB first of all. Next? Hmmm. I suppose secondary depth is questionable. No-wait-actually, their special teams are Legend-wait for it-dary awful.

KC (Fan)

We already regret the Jackson pick. If you're going to give $30M guaranteed to a rookie, he'd better be a sure thing like Curry and Raji.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Would have preferred Raji myself. Still, I think Raji would be better off in a D like Minny's than as a pure NT in the 3-4. Those guys are just SO hard to find...which is why Jackson was vastly overdrafted.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Teach your teenage kids to be 3-4 DLinemen.

Kevin Ryan (Austin, Texas)

What are the odds Brady opens up with a play-action deep pass to Moss into double coverage? Just to show that the Pats will dictate what happens no matter what.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Love it.

Jamarcus Russel (Oakland, CA)

We will win the AFC West.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Seriously? SD has that division wrapped up by Week 13.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

M-Dub: You didn't just go Barney Stinson on us, did you? You're better than that.

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

He is the greatest. I am not better than that. You might need to re-evaluate your thinking on Barney. The greatest.

Mike (Boca Raton)

i still think you need to teach your kids to be left-handed pitchers

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

Long snappers as well. Teach that kid to fire that rock back there, get his head up and hustle down field. Bulk him up to 250ish and have him snap since he can crawl. Only 32 of them in the world, but no one starts snapping at an early age.

Brandon (Bellevue)

Vincent Jackson-I just can't get behind him. Am I wrong to doubt?

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

Very. He is my guy this year. Love SD's passing attack and he will lead that charge...so to speak. I am better than that.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Let's say, just for discussion purposes, that Brady re injures the leg and is out for the season. Is Kevin O'Connell good enough to lead the team to 11 wins? For the record, Barney is very good but George Costanza is a better sitcom side kick IMO.

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

Not knocking Costanza. Never would have said that Cassel was capable a year ago, so I will say it is possilbe. Great supporting cast and better D than Cassel had. The sea was angry that day...

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

What if my kids are both girls?

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

Then you are obviously out of luck...in many regards.

joe (new orleans)

Matt, how big of an impact will Greg Williams have on the Saints D?I like what I have heard about his intensity in practice so far.

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

Certainly will be an edge and more overall aggression. I believe that the secondary problems are fixed-yup, I said it. I worry more about the guys up front. But Williams will help for sure.

Matt Williamson
  (2:03 PM)

Okay folks-I am outta hear. Have a good one. Back to my normal time next week.