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September 9, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Chris Mortensen

Chris Mortensen
  (11:03 AM)

Good morning! New season and I'm excited like all of you. Let's chat.

Mark (Baltimore)

Mort - Do you see Jake Delhomme bouncing back this year? What kind of numbers do you think he puts up against the tough schedule?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:06 AM)

Jake played well last year; we just remember the playoff meltdown. I admit that I am not expecting much more from Jake but Panthers' concerns are on defense. I don't have a real positive feeling - yet.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:06 AM)

Jake played well last year; we just remember the playoff meltdown. I admit that I am not expecting much more from Jake but Panthers' concerns are on defense. I don't have a real positive feeling - yet.

Cody (New Jersey)

What are the biggest concerns for the Eagles going to Carolina this week?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:07 AM)

I'd say the offensive line - on paper, looks great but did those guys get enough time to work together. Shawn Andrews missed a lot, makes move to RT (his college position) and now gets tested by Julius Peppers. Otherwise, their run defense better be ready for DeAngelo Williams and physical O-line.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Mr. Mortensen: Many feel that Brett Favre was the missing link for the Vikings and a Super Bowl run. Do you see it that way or would Rosenfels and Jackson have been able to get the job done?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:09 AM)

I do not believe Favre is the missing link for Vikings; I would have went with T. Jackson. However, lets say Brett breaks down at some point - I do think his experience with this offense could be a really good mentoring tool for Jackson. Brett knows how to play in this offense and Jackson should be taking notes.

Keith (Ohio)

A fantasy question: do you think this trade is a fair trade Eddie Royal (Den - WR) Ted Ginn Jr. (Mia - WR) Troy Polamalu (Pit - S) James Harrison (Pit - LB) Matt Ryan (Atl - QB)For Michael Turner

Chris Mortensen
  (11:10 AM)

Wow! What a trade. I don't get the defensive players in this deal(guess I'm not up to snuff). I'd keep Turner.

Scott (Cinci)

Is it too early to hand Maualuga the DROY award?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:10 AM)

Have there been any games yet?

Trevor (Canada)

How does Stafford being named the #1 in Det. affect a) C. Johnsons numbers and b) K. Smiths numbers?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:13 AM)

Great question, Trevor. I think Stafford ENHANCES both Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith. Pre-season showed Stafford and Johnson have unique chemistry already and Stafford has a big arm. Smith will benefit because defenses have to respect Stafford-Johnson AND Lions are committed to running football, especially with a rookie QB.

jesse rogers (pope afb nc )

do you think reggie bush will ever live up to the hype he had coming out of college

Chris Mortensen
  (11:15 AM)

Reggie did live up to hype in second half of rookie year and again at the start of last season. Unfortunately, one of the hesitations was his size and whether he can hold up. I saw Reggie early in camp and he looked very explosive but they were still nursing him along with the knee. I say he has many big plays..with some hesitation.

VK (DC)

I'm not a big Favre fan, but how can you possibly think Tavaris Jackson is a better option? Have you seen him play? He is genuinely terrible at the sport of football.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:16 AM)

Then I'd say you have not watched him. Terrible is an exaggeration. I believe he was prepared to take the next step forward. How he handles this process will speak more clearly about him.

Jorge Menendez (Mexico)

Hi Chris, Which is your pick to be the SB champ and why?Keep up the great Tweeting!

Chris Mortensen
  (11:18 AM)

Jorge, I am picking the Ravens vs. Packers in Super Bowl with Ravens winning. However, this comes with a warning (and hope for others): I can' remember last time I picked a Super Bowl pairing correctly. lol. Thanks for the Twitter props - that's @mortreport. But I serve ESPN and ESPN.com first.

Disappointed (Buffalo)

Will Ralph Wilson ever bring in a big name coach? I would love to see Cowher come here and clean house. Sick of the mediocrity and lackluster play.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:19 AM)

Based on what the late John Butler told me when he left Buffalo and on everything since, I don't think any big-name coach would embrace or accept that job. I wouldn't pain yourself dreaming about Cowher or any other "big name." Let's see how they play this year and then go find the next great young coach.

Jon (Greensboro)

I know the nfc north wil be tough this year and everybody is high on Minnesota and Green Bay. But I really think Cutler is all the Bears have needed for the past couple of years, and can really make a SB run! Am I wrong/

Chris Mortensen
  (11:21 AM)

Even though I picked the Packers, I believe the Vikings and Bears grab th wild card spots in the NFC. I think any of those 3 teams can win the NFC North and, subsequently, end up in the Super Bowl. So many variables. Bears have to play dominating defense for your deam to come true.

Benjamin (Louisville, KY)

Morning Mort! If Dallas doesn't make the NFC Championship game - will Mike Shanahan's phone be the first to ring?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:21 AM)

I believe it already has rung. He's just on hold.

STACY (GEORGETOWN)

HEY MORT-GO ESPN AND I WATCH COUNTDOWN EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY.WHO IS CRAZIER?YOU OR BOOMER?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:22 AM)

I believe if you took an internal vote on who is crazier between me and Boomer that I would win. It might be close. We're different crazies.

Scott (Green Bay)

Mort, have you seen Jermichael Finley? Is hype legit?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:23 AM)

Yes, I have seen him and hype is legit.

Chuck (NYC)

How do you see the RB situation shaking out in INDY?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:24 AM)

The Colts are high on Addai and Brown, so expect production from both. I was told that Addai starts the season at his healthiest, even counting his rookie year. Brown looks quicker. As for Arizona, Hightower and Wells will split carries but Hightower is a year ahead in pass protection - a biggie when you consider it's Kurt Warner back there.

Chris (South Carolina)

Will there ever be a co head coaching job in the NFL? ...ie, Mike Shanahan and Wade Phillips at Dallas.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:25 AM)

No.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:26 AM)

Actually, on Cowboys question, now that I think about it, yes. Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones...co-head coaches.

Jason (Las Vegas)

You said that Merriman is on the outs with the Chargers GM. Would they trade Meriman this season and what might it take to get him? He might be a good fit in SF With Singltary and Munasky!!

Chris Mortensen
  (11:27 AM)

Nothing would surprise me with Merriman and A.J. Smith. Then again, Chargers have a Super Bowl urgency about them, so why remove Merriman?

JaMar (St Louis)

Do you think the Rams have improved their O-line enough for S Jackson to get back to elite RB status?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:29 AM)

I do. The Rams had great emphasis on becoming more physical on the O-line and that's right they drafted Jason Smith. I believe Jackson will rebound with big season. I can't project injuries but that's my feeling at this point.

Jeff (NY, NY)

What are your thoughts on Mark Sanchez and the Jets? I think that they could surprise some people.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:31 AM)

I think the best thing for Sanchez is the confidence his head coach Rex Ryan and OC Brian Schottenheimer have in him. Schotty will finally be able to run an offense like he sees fit - they will run the ball more consistently. I have Jets finishing 2nd in AFC East but I wonder if that's a reach with a rookie QB. Defense has to show up for that to happen.

Benjamin (Louisville, KY)

If you were his agent - what would you tell M. Crabtree right now?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:33 AM)

I think Eugene Parker, his agent, is a very capable guy. Sometimes, it's a little bit too much hardball but, ultimately, the player is in control. I'm sure Parker has explain to Crabtree the facts of life. You lose a year of big wages. You loses your elite draft status. It's dangerous but it's his privilege.

CC (Atlanta)

The Falcons blitzed a ton in the preseason which is one reason the DBs got torched. I can't see them doing that when the games count. Were our coaches just looking to see how they'd react? I sure hope so... b/c we can't get away with it.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:35 AM)

Teams around the NFL blitz much more in preseason than old days. You have to do that with young players so they can learn and grow. Falcons were pretty good on first 2 downs, struggled on 3rd down. That's why they added Brian Williams - he's experienced in this scheme and is another guy, like Mike Peterson, who can assist the young players. Both played for Mike Smith in Jacksonville.

Kyle (Cleveland, OH)

Has any draft pick ever sat out the season?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:36 AM)

Bo Jackson (but he had the baseball option) and Kelly Stouffer come to mind. Stouffer (first rounder, '87, I think) was traded after that year and fizzled. Those two come to mind.

Matt (Charlotte)

How soon will Nicks be a factor for the Giants? Will he be #1 by mid-season?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:38 AM)

When I was there in camp, they had a lot of doubts on whether he would make a big contribution this year but then he came on big the final two preseason games. Your projection makes sense. Rookie WRs have big learning curve in this league but Coughlin (an old receivers coach under Parcells) will make sure he's coached up.

Joe (New Orleans, LA)

Have the Saints (with the hiring of Gregg Williams and some good defensive moves) done enough on defense to complete the package and go deep in the playoffs?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:39 AM)

Joe, I believe so. The Saints defense still has some holes but Williams will bring much more aggressivness and more takeways (turnovers). If they can just be a top 12-15 defense, I can see them winning the NFC South and making a run in the playoffs, if Drew Brees remains healthy.

Mike (Baton rouge, LA)

Mort it's frustrating what is going on with the 4 weeks suspensions of Saints Grant and Smith. We were already to let them serve the 4 games with an easy start (detroit, buffalo, philly, jets) and have them back for giants, falcons, patriots etc. Why the delay? Is this fair?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:41 AM)

It's a head scratcher. I know the Vikings' schedule is "soft" the first month, too, but maybe they get lucky and win their cases. Sometimes it's dangerous to play the schedule game - don't assume any wins. The delay is related to the Minn court case; I'm sure NFL wants uniformity.

vernon (pennsylvania)

Any word On Jay cutler trusiting is ex Team mate Earl Bennet to be like Brandon Marshall for Chicago.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:42 AM)

Jay knows he can truly trust Bennett, whereas behind the scenes in Denver, almost nobody trusted Marshall, even when he was on the field. But, bottom line, Marshall is an immense physical talent and there's no way Bennett can match that.

Julius (Oakland)

What do you think of Frank Gore's chances of getting back to Pro-Bowl form under the new sytem in SanFran.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:44 AM)

If Gore stays healthy, he can book a flight to...wait, no Hawaii, but Miami, site of the Pro Bowl. The 49ers do plan to give some of his carries to Glen Coffee, the rookie from Alabama, hoping to keep Gore healthy.

James (Tustin, Ca)

Mort, what kind of numbers does Winslow put up in the Shaky QB situation in TB? He is my fantasy TE

Chris Mortensen
  (11:45 AM)

I don't think the QB situation is shaky with Bucs. What's shaky is their first 7 games - go look at it. I did sense that it was taking Leftwich and Winslow time to get on the same page. But I have to believe that will happen.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Hotter seat Sean Payton or Wade Phillips?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:46 AM)

Wade Phillips.

Matt (Chicago)

What do you think of Moreno in week 1? Does coach Mishandles like him enough to give him 20 touches?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:48 AM)

Not sure I quite understand questio, but I'd be surprised if Moreno got 20 touches in week 1. Buckhalter and Hillis will get their share. They should ease Moreno into it with the knee but he's supposed to start and he is going to be an impact guy when he's 100 percent. Great football character to go with that ability.

Steve (NC)

Will Stewart eat into D'Angelo's carries significantly this year in Car?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:49 AM)

No, if anything, Williams will get more carries than last year. Stewart has an Achilles problem and team not quite as enchanted with him. That's a wait-and-see deal.

Chris (CT)

Chris, talk to me a little bit about Jason Campbell and the Redskins?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:49 AM)

If the offensive line holds up, I see Campbell with a big year and 'Skins right in the mix for NFC East title. That's the big if.

Mike (Detroit)

Will New Orleans score on every possession against us this weekend? I like that Stafford is starting, but is this the type of game you want to start him in, where we will likely be down all game and forced to be put in obvious passing situations?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:50 AM)

I think you're probably right on the Lions-Saints analysis. I'm always prepared to be surprised, though.

Mike Mitchell (Jackonville, Fl)

Mort which Hall of Fame coach do you think Tomlin is most like.. I'm not talking about how successful I just mean in coaching/leadership style

Chris Mortensen
  (11:51 AM)

Love the question and I probably need more time with it. Honestly, and this is interesting, he has more in common with Chuck Noll than, say, Bill Cowher.

Ryan (Brooklyn. NY)

Do you know what the plans are for Brandon Marshall this weekend with the Broncos?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:52 AM)

I think they'd love for Brandon to be a big-play contributor. Then again, if he hasn't embraced the new offense, he is prepared? I have my doubts.

Michael (Knoxville, TN)

Mr. Mortensen,What do you think the Dolphins will do this year with their new QB Pat White. Repeat of last year? Wild Cat?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:53 AM)

Stay tuned. They have plenty up their sleeves.

Dom (Minneapolis)

What do you see from Carson Palmer this season? I think he is due for a bounce back.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:54 AM)

I certainly hope so because Palmer is a great guy and he deserves a break. I really worry about their O-line, which impacts everything, including his health. If he is upright and healthy, huge year.

Bob (Oakland, CA)

Last try. Can the Seymour deal be rescinded if he refuses to show up in Oakland for a physical?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:55 AM)

I believe the answer is yes, but his contract has been assigned to the Raiders (that's how these things work).

Charles (Dayton, Ohio)

Chris Where do you see the Browns record wise? Also Buckeyes or USC who is winning saturday?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:57 AM)

Don't ask me why, but for some reason I have a feeling the Browns are going to be better than the expectations. What does that mean? Vikings shouldn't take them for granted Sunday, for starters. USC or Ohio State? Out of my domain.

chris (detroit)

is leon washington a solid flex positon start for week 1?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:57 AM)

I'd say yes.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Marvin Harrison is still a great player and leader. Why is he not on a team yet? like the eagles?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:59 AM)

It's difficult to say Marvin is still a great player. Great leader? I would say no. Marvin also has a lot of pride and he isn't going to play for a real cheap salary. He is a mystery and to those who know him they'd tell you that's not news.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:01 PM)

Wow, as usual, the hour has flown past. I am already having a blast this morning getting ready for this weekend's games. Mike Tirico, Keyshawn and I have back-to-back ESPN radio hours starting Friday @ 7 ET. NFL Sunday Countdown @ 11 a.m. with some early SportsCenter nuggets with my new partner, Adam Schefter. You can always catch up with me, too, on Twitter @mortreport. I try to get to a few questions there, too. May all your teams dream on! God bless.