Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

October 7, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Chris Mortensen

Chris Mortensen
  (11:11 AM)

Love the NFL.What a morning. let's go.

Stan (Omaha)

Mort, what were NFL people's opinion of Crabtree before the draft? Is he a legit big play receiver in the NFL, or just a possession guy? Where did teams have him rated in that draft?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:13 AM)

I would say about 75 percent of the teams thought he was a top 7 pick, some in the top 5. His foot inury didn't allow Crabtree to work out. He did turn off some teams with personality because he bigtimed a few of them but his agent Eugene Parker has worked very hard with Crabtree's growing up.

Bryan (Ohio)

What do you think about the Bengals chances for the rest of the year? Any chance at Baltimore this Sunday?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:14 AM)

Well, I'm picking he Ravens but the Baltimore's defense isn't the same for whatever reason. If it's close at the end, Carson Palmer is making plays when it counts but I have a feeling Ravens win it by 10.

don (Casper, wy)

Hey Mort....love your insight. What do you think of the Bronco - Patriots Matchup this weekend? Do you think Denvers D can put up another remakable performance?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:16 AM)

Why not? Clearly, Mike Nolan has dialed some things up with that 3-4 and Elvis Dumervil has gone from being an good pass rusher to maybe a Pro Bowl-caliber OLB who can wreak havoc. Champ Bailey healthy so can match up well with Moss. Now, let me say this - Patriots are playing very good football and their defense has been surprisingly stable.

jerry (fresno, ca)

with crabtree signing and the coaching of singletary i dont expect to see a whole lot of crabtree cause he hasn't shown anything other than he wants money. how will singletary handle him?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:18 AM)

Well, first things first, it is professional football. Players play for the money. Your first contract is very important if you're a first round pick. Singletary himself had a holdout or two as a player with the Bears. But wde receiver is a learning curve - can they find a package or two for him and hopefully he makes a contribution by the post-Thanksgiving playoff push.

Joseph (Ft Worth)

Mort - why has Pat White not seen the field the last two games? The only pass he threw would have been a TD if he made a good throw. Why are the Dolphins not using him?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:20 AM)

Pat White never should have been a second-round pick. Third or fourth round, maybe. He is small. He is small boned and he was never a Michael Vick caliber athlete. But he is a great young man, student of the game and has been known as an accurate passer. Hey, he's a rookie, so let's see but Henne is the guy and Ronnie Brown is by far their best wildcat threat.

Zach (Lexington)

Do you think Jim Zorn will be the Head Coach in Washington at the end of the year?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:20 AM)

No, I do not. I would say Holmgrem Shanahan, Gruden or Cowher.

Johnny Jones (PA)

Do you think that Troy Polamalu. from the steelers will play the same as before his injury?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:22 AM)

Polamalu always has been a cautious healer from injury because of the way he plays - all out. I think if he keeps it smart and comes back when he's fully confident in that knee, he will be the same guy.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

Mort: What is your assessment of the Ravens' secondary? They are 23rd in the league in pass D, and opposing QBs are scorching them (including Croyle!) Some point out they may not be getting the pressure on the QB that they used to, but they are 1st vs the run and T-9th in sacks. I dont buy it; I think the Ravens secondary has to be the major concern for the Ravens going forward...they are solid in all other areas.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:24 AM)

Two corners not real physical so the pass rush has to pick it up. Let's face it, there's an adjustment without Rex Ryan. I have heard an opposing coach who already has played them say that only Ngata, Suggs, Ray Lewis

bryan (ohio)

mort i know your a close friend of bill parcells and im a huge dolphins fan i believe stephen ross when last week he said bill will return next season i think he has to in order to finish the job in miami to get them to a championship level your thoughts?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:25 AM)

If Parcells feels good about that foundation that he has put in place with GM Jeff Ireland and HC Tony Sparano, I think Bill will leave. But we have a lot of season left and if he doesn't feel good about things, he could come back for one more year. I'm betting he's gone for now.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Are the Broncos a legitimate playoff contender?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:26 AM)

give me a couple of minutes. have a quick call I have to take.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:31 AM)

Back to the Broncos question. Why not (as a playoff contender)? I know their schedule gets tough but, just as we saw with the Cowboys, some of these teams aren't as intimidating as you get to current status. Broncos always had a gifted O line. Love their run game, though they will miss Buckhalter some. Defense, much better. Brandon Marshall is finally with the program. And, finally, the Chargers look like a 8-8 or 9-7 team, just like last year.

Dan (New York)

Mort - is Eli's foot going to be a problem the rest of the season ... have you heard the skinny on whether this type of injury affects a QB's accuracy because of the pain from pushing off/planting his back foot? Eli has been much more accurate this year and seems to have been hitting his stride -- would be a shame if he started to regress b/c of the injury.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:34 AM)

Here's what I would do if I were you - google "Plantar Fascia" and "Plantar "Fasciitis" - it does vary somewhat. Personally I'm now in my 18th month of Plantar Fasciitis but I am not a disciplined rehab guy. The dangers of cortisone shots is you feel so good, over-do it and you could rupture the ligament. Some orthotics may be needed. Eli is is focused rehab guy, he's been a fast healer and he probably will manage this rest of year. His accuracy is better because he had young receivers who worked with him in off season. Now when the weather turn and wind blows, accuracy will not be the same but, hopefully, he'll be ok.

Blake (Lytal)

Im actually disappointed that the 49ers signed him after all his bull... these players are greedy and forget how lucky they are to be in the nfl period..

Chris Mortensen
  (11:39 AM)

NFL players are special skill people. NFL makes a lot of money off TV, tickets, merchandise...when NFL tried "replacement" players in 1987, they didn't fool anybody. It's the best of the best. It's how they work and conduct themselves. And, then, maybe it will be a career that lasts more than four years for the remaining 55-65 years of their life.

Dean (Toledo, OH)

Mort, did the Browns just trade a dollar for three quarters? This is the second time they've traded one player (Sanchez, Edwards) for a bunch of Jets castoffs.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:42 AM)

We'll see. Stuckey is a nice receiver. The special teamer is very good. Then it depends on whether they choose and develop the right players with the 3rd and 5th picks they got. Mangini's program is like Parcells, Belichick and Coughlin - it's team first, it's grinding like crazy. He did have two winning seasons in 3 years with Jets. I've said that Randy Lerner shouldn't have fired Phil Savage but when you hire one of the Parcells' disciples, you will have a change in culture and you either get with the program or don't. All those "grievances" were mainly due to one culprit - Braylon Edwards.

gordon (new orleans)

Mort, after Sharper's 99 int return vs the Jets on Sunday, i noticed that when the saints D took the field, Sharper was on the sidelines catching his breath.Is that normal procedure?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:46 AM)

Yes. Last thing you want is for a guy to be gassed and get beat on a deep ball before his legs recover. Remember, Greg Lewis' catch that saved the game for Favre and Vikes vs. 49ers. That was, in part, because Percy Harvin had just run 6 straight deep routes. He was gassed so Lewis got on the field.

matt (ny)

What do you think about Steve Smith of the Giants? Do you think we are finally seeing his true potential or is it the weak defense's the Giants have seen?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:46 AM)

Oh, I think Steve Smith is going to be a really good player for a long time. Got to be feeling pretty good about those WRs.

Rob (New York)

Mort, is Mendenhall the featured back going forward. Or will he still be taking the 3rd series when Willie gets healthy?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:48 AM)

I think it all depends on Mendenhall. Knock on him coming out was his focus & toughness. If Mendenhall grows up and does his thing, he would be tough to keep off field. Roles cold reverse there.

Willie S. (Hamburg, PA)

The eagles have looked extremely good against two below average teams so far this season however in the one game where they played a good opponent they looked lost. What do you think of them so far?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:50 AM)

They way I see the Eagles, the "season" starts oct. 26 when the schedule takes off with NFC East run. I think they're going to be pretty good and have survived some real obstacles. The schedule helped them in that respect.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Saints fans aren't use to this. So what is the realistic outlook for their sesaon?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:51 AM)

Here's how good the Saints are and should remain as an NFC title contender: Drew Brees has thrown zero TD two straight games and they have won. They run the ball & Greg Williams, plus def. personnel improvements mean they're whole. Special teams did good job Sunday but need consistency. And I think it's a pretty fair bet that Brees will resume carving up teams.

Mike (Akron)

Hey Mort, thoughts on the braylon trade? Did the jets pay too much for a guy that drops the ball more than he catches it?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:53 AM)

From the Jets perspective, I think it's OK to do that deal because Rex has an old saying, "If you have enough ants, they can carry a cock roach." Edwards has immense talent and maybe the change of scenery will serve him well.

James (Indy)

Thanks for the time Mort! Do you think the Colts will escape Tennessee with a win Sunday night and all but kill Tennessee's hopes in the AFC South? If they manage to drop the game, the 4-0 start really means little.

Chris Mortensen
  (11:54 AM)

I keep expecting the Titans to turn it around. Their problems must be real. Even if they beat the Colts, that 4-0 start means plenty. Come on, man! :)

Paul (Denver)

How surprising is it for a team to trade for a disgruntled, troubled WR, but yet Matt Jones is available on the cheap with nothing to give up?

Chris Mortensen
  (11:56 AM)

Matt Jones is a free agent you can sign for minimum wage. Istill think he plays at some point. Cowboys should look at him but Matt's reputation for being lazy is hurting him more than anything else. Guy caught a lot of balls and I've heard he realizes he messed up but those are consequences players face.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:05 PM)

sorry, had another call, this one from a player...a couple more questions.

tom (philly)

wat you think of desean jackson is he the best wr in the nfc east

Chris Mortensen
  (12:06 PM)

I think DeSean Jackson probably is the best WR in the NFC East.

Dan (DC)

Follow up to Zorn/Redskins - if Snyder hires one of the big names you mentioned, do you think he'll give up organizational control and cut ties with Cerrato? I can't see Bill Cowher listening to Vinny, for example.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:06 PM)

If that happens, Cerrato would be more than willing to yield. He's done that before, with Joe Gibbs. Vinny is a team player.

Rob (Reno, NV)

Mort, can Glen Coffee run wild on the Falcons this week. Their run defense doesn't look very strong.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:08 PM)

Run wild is a little bit of exaggeration but Coffee is a good back, still learning how to run in the NFL. Falcons have had a bye week to adjust to some injuries they had. That's going to be an interesting game. Haven't figured out a winner on that one yet.

Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)

So word now is that the two picks in the Edwards trade are a third and a fifth. Does that info affect your view of the trade?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:09 PM)

Sounds like a fair trade to me, in light of Edwards' attitude. Roy Williams to Dallas ruined any idea that a WR will command a 1st round pick. Anquan Boldin couldn't bring a 1st rounder to Ariz.

Matt (Chicago)

Mort -- would you say Ray Lewis is an all-time top-5 LB? I've thought for each of the past three years that this would be the year the wheels fall off, but he keeps producing.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:11 PM)

No question on Ray Lewis being a top 5 LB. And I really appreciate you not asking me if he's the best ever. The thing about Ray Lewis people don't appreciate is what a tremendous student of the game he is. He has developed over the years into a quality, quality person, too.

John (Erie, pa)

Mort, whats the deal with the Vikings not getting Shiancoe more involved in the passing game. He finally had a break out year last year and its like he is a forgotten man this year.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:12 PM)

I would suspect Shiancoe gets more as season moves on. Got a big TD other night. But addition of Harvin and Sidney Rice's improvement probably cuts into that, too.

andrew (wisconsin)

Dom Capers blitzed Cutler in week 1 and it seemed to work out because Cutler threw 4 ints. Now Capers has not brought that kind of pressure since. Why stop doing it if it worked so well in week 1 and we saw what happend one a quaterback gets to much time?

Chizzie (Thornton, Co)

Chris, longtime Colts fan here. I have one question for you. Is it me, or has Austin Collie been put in to the Rookie Of the Year discussion? Peyton seems to like this guy. I think he loks awesome so far.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:14 PM)

Wait, Collie has had one real good game. Rookie of the year? Garcon has been more impactful. But here's the good news - Colts feel Garcon could be a stronger, more explosive Reggie Wayne and Collie by next year can be a Brandon Stokley type. Then you had Wayne, Gonzalez comes back and I heard the Colts have a decent quarterback, too.

Sean (Louisiana)

Mort, chances of Gruden taking a job at Notre Dame if Weis is fired

Chris Mortensen
  (12:16 PM)

Weis should not be fired. When I watch Notre Dame right now, I see Weis getting the program on the right track. I think Gruden is an NFL coach all the way but he has flirted with some college jobs.

Dewayne (San Diego)

Mort hes always been a quqlity person. Ask his family,friends and teammates

Chris Mortensen
  (12:17 PM)

Who? Ray Lewis? Either way, I really like him and have always had a good experience with him.

Rob (Reno, NV)

Mort, will the Cardinals step up and fight for the NFC West or are they going to let the 49ers have it this year.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:18 PM)

I think Cardinals will put up a fight and if Seahawks gets healthy, they could be in the battle, too.

Jim (Dallas)

Speaking of Roy Williams...how does a guy with that much talent not get separation? Do you think the media is making too much out of the receivers and not realizing Romo gets no protection to throw the ball? Will Roy get more involved as the season rolls on?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:19 PM)

I'm afraid Roy Williams is average, or slightly above average as a receiver. I do think Romo gets a little too much criticism. Comes with the territory, though.

Len (Cincinnati)

Oh great one, why is wideout Chris Henry in Marvin Lewis' doghouse? He seems to be better than Coles. Is it because Lewis didn't want him in the offseason or is there something more there that this guy is not on the field?

Chris Mortensen
  (12:20 PM)

Chris Henry suffered a quad injury that has been nagging him. They're hoping he is getting close to 100 percent.

Chris Mortensen
  (12:21 PM)

Gotta go. Check me out on Twitter.com @mortreport. Sunday NFL Countdown @ 11 a.m. ET. Friday night radio do via espn and espradio.com. God Bless!