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October 7, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:53 AM)

What'sw up everyone? Anyone happen to hear about the Braylon Edwards trade or the Crabtree signging? Let's roll.

Broad Street Brian (Philly)

The Packer OT's look really soft. Shouldn't they be on the phone with Big Joh Runyan to add some toughness and idenity to that line?

Matt Williamson
  (11:54 AM)

They need serious help. The thing about Runyan (& Touscher) is health. Hard for me to comment on that. If the docs don't put their stamp of approval on these guys, you just can't go sign them up anyways.

Greg (Denver, CO)

Fantasy question for you. Do you think Crabtree would be a nice pick up or do you think it will take him a long time to get acclimated?

Matt Williamson
  (11:55 AM)

The upside is still high, but SFran isn't a real passing O and I have to think that he will take a good while to get acclimated. No preseason. Coming from Texas Tech's spread O. Still-I did think he was the very best player in this past draft.

Paul (Trenton, NJ)

Do you put the majority of Oakland's woes on Russell, is it coaching, or are there just holes everywhere? There are some who think Oakland would be pretty competitive right now if they had gone with Garcia.

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

I think the coaching and personnel moves have not helped Russell one bit since he arrived in Oakland. Plus, the drops are hurting him as well. But-anyway you cut it with this guy-he is awful. Can't put the ball where it needs to be. Terrible throwing mechanics and fundamentals. Doesn't he work on improving as a thrower? Sure doesn't look like it.

John (NY, NY)

What is the hype around Braylon Edwards? He has had 1 good season in the league. He is a horrible route runner and has poor hands. Sure his numbers will improve in NY but it's not like the guy is a top 10 receiver - not going to happen.

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

He is incredibly talented and has done it at this level already. TONS of upside. Your points are also valid though. His consistency in just about every regard is a huge problem. Once again-like Russell-I don't think his prior surroundings did him much good either though. But, to me, this move is VERY worth the risk from where NYJ sits today. I rarely use the term "#1 WR", but Edwards is one of the few guys in this league who has a real chance to attain that label. Obviously he is not there right now though.

Adam (Jersey)

What did you think of Josh Johnson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I really liked the decision to pull Leftwich for JJ. Leftwich is what he is-a backup who can hold down the fort for a few games or give a spark off the bench. Newsflash: TBay isn't going to win the Super Bowl this year. So-let's see what we have outside of Leftwich. Johnson can sling it and he moves incredibly well. He comes from a tiny school though and the speed of this game will be overwhelming for a while. Still, I like his chances.

Peyton Manning (via mobile)

Matt, why didn't you warn me that my eyes would bleed after looking at those road unis the Seahawks wear? We haven't been communicating and I feel left in the dark.

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Yeah, I feel bad about that. Sorry. Wow, those unis should be put to rest. Send them to a third world country. Anyways Peyton, here is a little nugget for you. You are the best player in the league...and it isn't even close. On fire.

Brad (NM)

Hey Mr. Williamson, if the Bills continue this dreadful season the way they are, do they find themselves a new coaching staff and QB next season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

New coaching staff for sure. Has to happen if this dreadful-ness keeps up. As for QB, maybe. Not a huge Edwards fan here, but you could also do worse. Depends on what system the new coach installs as well. But, right now, I would prob head my QB bet and draft a kid in the 3rd round or so and use early picks at OT.

Luke (St Paul)

Which RB would you want in the the Balt v Cin game Ray Rice or Ced Benson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Both have good run defenses, but obviously I think Baltimore's is stronger. I like Rice a lot, so I would probably take him. More versatile. Excellent running skills. But-I would bet that Benson gets more carries. Not an easy call-give me Rice.

Jake (VA Beach)

Does Tony G really affect the passing game that much? Roddy White when from breakout #1 potential, to middle of the road production...what gives?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

It is still early on White. I expect him to put together a real solid year and I see plenty of catches and TDs to go around on that O. Gonzo is obviously a huge addition though and you can see why Ryan favors him.

Bret (Minneapolis)

Alright Matt. You bashed Cutler after the loss to Green Bay. What do you have to say about his performance after the last 3 weeks? Or do you only analyze press conferences?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Alright Bret-Cutler stunk in that loss to Green Bay and acted like a spoiled child in the presser. He has played much better and is an elite talent. Honestly, he can be my QB anyday. He is putting this O on his shoulders and is very capable of doing so. I thought he was a bit overrated, but not sure I am on that bandwagon anymore. Big time player.

kit (mpls)

Still think the bears going to win the division?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

I don't feel terrible about that prediction, but if I were to re-place my bet, I would pick Minny.

Jason (Chicago)

Titans fan here... We stink absolutely stink VY isnt the guy neither is KC what are the odds we cut KC and trade VY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

The problems in Tenn are not Collins' fault. He is limited though-no doubt-and getthing quite old. At some point, assuming this season is shot, they have to see what they now have in VY. I really have my doubts about him as well though. Then-maybe you deal VY, keep Collins as a mentor and draft one high.

Paulie Walnuts (NJ)

Is Mike Sims-Walker legit? I know health is an issue, but he looks primed for a big season considering the Jags will be chucking it when they're down in the 2nd half every week...

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Oh yeah, he is legit. The guy has produced every time he has seen the field since entering the league. Like you said, health is the big worry. But, overall, Jax found their go-to guy.

oscare (Charlotte)

Think Miami and jets look like another classic

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Not really. I see NYJ stomping them. Crushing that Wild Cat like Balt did last year. Then where does that leave Miami? In big trouble. Henne is going to get hit a lot.

Steve (NY)

Matt, even if Braylon doesn't put up huge numbers, won't he be worth his weight in gold for the attention he'll take away from Cotchery, Keller, and Washington and his ability to remove that 8th man from the box?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

No question. Get Leon or Keller on a LB more often now. Cotch on a #2 CB. Gotta love it.

Bret (Minneapolis)

Thanks Matt! You're a good sport!

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Will keep my eye on you

Larry (Pasco, WA)

Are the Chargers going to put it together and win the AFC West, or there just to many injuries and holes?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Thought this would be a cake walk for them, but their DL is flat out awful. Can't mask that. Such trouble stopping the run. The OL isn't much better. I am starting to actually drink the Denver Kool Aid a bit too and have to say that they are the best team in the West.

Chizzie (Thornton, Co)

Matt long time Colts here ( since the Baltimore days). I have a question about Austin Collie. Is herein for Rookie Of The Year? He looks awesome. runs great routes, but, more importanly, Peyton loves this guy.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

OROY might be a bit steep! But yes, perfect fit in this O and certainly will become (or already is) a favorite of Peyton's. Very solid possession guy.

Jay (Philly)

I like Parker, but I say stick with Mendenhall if for no other reason than he seems to block and catch the ball better than Parker. He also seemed more decisive in hitting the holes than Willie has all year. I like the way he was moving bodies after contact for a few extra yards too. Your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

He does catch the ball better and flat out-the guy is very fast for a big strong guy. Can't teach that. Will move some piles and abuse some DBs in space. But, I am still not 100% on board with Mend. I really worry about his ball security. Runs too high, so he doesn't get the most out of his strength and power. I have only seen that decisivenss that you mention in one game so far, so we shall see there. My thoughts is that he needs things to be blocked well and when they are, he will be extremely dangerous. Like I just said, SD's DL is horrible. But, I would still start Mend going forward. Not a Parker believer here either.

Brett (LA)

Do you know how long Buckhalter is out for? Perhaps Moreno's first 100 yard game this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I expect Moreno to blow up while C-Buck is out. Just a few weeks I think, but don't quote me. Moreno will put a strangle hold on that starting RB job.

bengalbill (cincinnati)

Why don't people realize that these are not the same old Bengals? Other than a fluke loss to Denver this team is 4&0 with quality wins against quality opponents

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

That wasn't a quality win against a quality opponent last week! But still, you are right. They are going to make noise this year. Potential contender.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Does Eli's injury have a major effect on NYG?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Them Manning boys are awfully tough. I would fully expect Eli to play and not miss any time with it.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Do you see the Panthers turning it around? I think they'll start running the ball more and beat up Washington.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I like them this week quite a bit. Coming off a bye. Playing a poor Wash team. But "Turn it Around"? I don't think so. 6 or 7 wins.

Paul (Denver)

What do you think of the Bears youthful, inexperienced WRs? So much for the thought that Jay has no targets.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Exactly. Knox is the really intriguing one. Has possession skills, but is crazy fast. Hester just keeps getting better and is an ideal big play guy for Cutler. They need to get Olsen more involved, but I think that will come-the kid is dripping with talent and is the best over the middle and goal line option. Bennett is fine as well, as a move the sticks type.

MIke (Akron)

Hey Matt, do you feel this was a move the Browns had to make? Seeing as though Braylon was gone after this year, which is a lost season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Yeah, in many ways, yes. He didn't want to be there. Could have franchised him still though. But, you simply cannot keep ridding yourself of all the guys on your team who are potential difference makers. If I were Cribbs or Rogers, I would walk right into Mangini's office today and ask to be traded.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Braylon Edwards doesn't seem like the person who can deal with pressure very well. But he's going to be expected to really improve that offense, do you think he can step his game up in New York?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

One think I can promise: He won't be worse than he was for Cleveland this year. Worth the risk overall for NYJ.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

By the way, I obviously have no idea what you all do on Sundays-besides watching gobs of football, but you should stop by the Cover It Live feature we do now. Pretty cool. I am on for like five hours. Good stuff. Okay, enough self promoting...

Jason (ny)

Why are you so high on this clown? He is a locker room cancer, drops too many passes and now has to learn a new offense. This could hurt the jets

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I am not extremely high on the clown, but I am extremely high on the move for NYJ. Potential. He will immediatly free up the other pass catchers. Big time target to develop with Sanchez. Not a ton of risk with the guy. Let him go on his way if he doesn't work out.

Ed HULKali (Chat Enforcer)

That's a personal fowl on Jason (ny). Chat King has repeatedly explained his reasoning for liking Braylon and the Jets move. Fifteen yards and repeat third down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

It is about time you stepped in and did your job. Fine work.

Mike (ny)

How will the jets stomp the dolphins when their qb is a turnover machine?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

He was against the Saints-an extremely aggressive D. He also threw more than NYJ's game plan probably accounted for. I like Sanchez's poise and make up. I don't see that being the norm for him at all.

Dominic (Philly)

Will the cowboys make the playoffs this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I really doubt it. I like NYG and Philly much better in that division. I also like ATL or NOrl better and Minny or Chicago more as well. Maybe even GBay.

andrew (wisconsin)

Dom Capers put a lot of pressure on cutler in week 1 forcing him to throw 4 interceptions. Since then he has put no pressure on any quaterback. Why back off if it worked so well in week 1?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

I don't have a great answer for you as to what has happened to GBay's D. I know it was the preseason, but they were tearing people up back then too. Switching schemes is not easy to pull off though.

James (Indy)

Matty!!!!! Peyton is indeed on fire. Will the Indy D be able to man up enough to escape Tennessee with a W on Sunday night? The 4-0 start is well and good, but that only includes one win within the division. Win and Tenn is essentially toast. Lose, and you're only 1-1 in the division.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I have little doubt that Indy once again wins the South. They will be facing a desperate football team on the road this week though. But, that desperate football team cannot stop the pass. That is a bit of a problem against the Colts. No worries James.

Chris (CT)

M-Dub, everyone asks about Zorn being gone after this year, but how about Cerrato? He's obviously failed to deliver...when will they go with a quality GM?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

You would have to assume that if Wash were to bring in a big named head coach (Shanny) that he would not want a GM hovering around. If they get a big guy, he will want to buy the groceries.

Scott (Detroit)

Now that Braylon is gone, who are the potential go to guys in Clev?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Massaquoi really looked good this past weekend and I get the feeling that DA and he have a good relationship in working with the 2nd team. But overall, this group of pass catchers is now pretty terrible. Time to get Robiskie more work as well.

Jason (Rock Hill, Carolina)

Do you think the Panthers will start using Jonathan Stewart a little more than they have so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Not so easy to pull off. DeAngelo doesn't deserve to have his carries bit into. But, that D struggles to get off the field and now Carolina needs to throw more on O than they would like or than they did last season. Doesn't leave a lot for Stewart-who I do really like by the way.

Bryan (NY)

Does the acquisition of Edwards change your prediction for the Jets this season? Do you think they can win 11 or even 12 games if everything goes their way?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

11 or 12 sounds about right. They played NOrl very tough on the road even with all the Sanchez problems. This team is for real and they got better today. I would have prob said 11 or 12 even without this move though.

RAYGORDON REID ( KANSAS CITY MISSOURI 64129)

QUESTION TO MATT DUB WILLIAMSON AT 12,55PM HI MATT DUB WHO YOU HAVE SUNDAY BRONCOS OR PATRIOTS

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Give me the Pats in a close one. Should be an excellent game, but I like NEng's passing attack to step up here.

Matt (Chicago)

Matt, I know losing Jamal Williams hurt a lot, but I look at SD's rush defense and compare it to a team like Denver. On paper, SD still should be formidable, but they look awful against the run (and not so good against the pass either). Is this poor player evaluation, coaching, schemes, an overestimation on SD's talent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

They certainly are not playing great fundamental run D. But, I go back more to personnel. Olshansky is now in Dallas. Jamal W is gone. The replacements are just not good enough. Been picking DLinemen up off the street this year left and right...hard to win with that formula. Not protecting the ILBs either.

Brandon (Columbus)

Any chance Maroney ever becomes the feature guy in NE?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I tend to doubt it. Too much wasted movement and isn't able to stay healthy. Not a Belichick type of RB.

chris (boston)

11 or 12 wins for the jets, you can be serious. They arent that good. I assume you think the pats are going to win 13 then

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

NEng will be in that 11 or 12 win territory as well. Did you happen to notice who won when these teams first met this year? Just curious.

Matt (Seattle)

A theoretical question for you: When talking about the effect that WRs have on each other, are you in the camp that says having a Boldin to a Fitzgerald frees Fitzgerald up? Or in the camp that says that Boldin will cannibalize Fitz's production? I hear it argued both ways.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Both benefit, but in this particular case, I tend to think that Boldin benefits more. Fitz is a true #1 on any team in any situation. Not sure that I would say the same for Boldin. If you threw Boldin on Cleveland right now, how well would he do? I have some doubts. Still, it is about to come out, but JG and I ranked the Top 10 WRs in the league right now. Fitz was 1. Boldin was 9.

Lou (Boston)

Yeah, New England played their worst game of the season and was right in it until the very end.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

...but they lost. I think the Pats are quite possibly the best organization on the league, but I also find it humorous how NEng fans feel like they are entitled to win the division every year. The Jets are very good.

bengalbill (cincinnati)

In your opinion is Laverneous Coles a better fit for the Bengals than Chris Henry?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Sorta. 85 is their top guy, but his best asset is his ability to stretch the field and get deep. Same with Henry. I think Henry is prob the better WR than Coles right now, but they need a chain mover (Coles) on the field. Plus, Caldwell is more of slot guy, so he plays a ton too.

Mikey (Lackawanna,NY)

When do you envision Michael Crabtree to crack the 49ers starting lineup? Will he be a factor?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I will say Week 9ish. And at that point, yes, I think he will be a factor. Will take time and that O is never going to be real pass heavy.

Lou (Boston)

Not entitled, just better than the Jets.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

You have shown me nothing to make me believe that. Perhaps you did overlook the fact though that I said both clubs will be in the 11 or 12 win neighborhood. I respect NEng a great deal. You should do the same to the Jets.

Kevin Ryan (Austin, Texas)

Shouldn't the entire AFC East file tampering charges against the Browns and mangini? He just gave away Braylon Edwards and before teh Marc Sanchez. This stinks of doing what he can to build a team to beat the Patriots.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Might just have to leave this at that....

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub supposedly the Jets gave up a third & fifth rd picks in the Edwards deal even if he decides to leave at the end of the season the Jets could put the Fran. tag on him for a #1 pick. Kudos to GM-Tannenbaum, thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Scroll back a bit....couldn't agree more.

Ryan (San Diego)

The Chargers defense will improve once the players adjust to life without Jamal. They are still new to it and by week 8 they will be a completely different D. Mark my words

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Could happen. It would also help the D if the O could eat some clock with a running game of their own. But, any way you slice it, running a 3-4 run D with NT problems doesn't usually work out.

James (East L.)

Can you give me your thoughts on Mathew Stafford through 4 games? I wasn't too high on drafting him, but I have to admit I like what I've heard about the guy off the field as well as the progress he's made through 4 games.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

I agree. The physical tools are glaringly obvious. He can make all the throws-and is very willing to pull the trigger. I think he is going to be a good one. Hopefully he doesn't miss too much time with this knee-needs all those rookie reps he can get.

Sharell (NCFalconFan...)

Do you still have faith in my Falcons? The defense is shaky right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

D is shaky for sure. I still love the O. Playoff bound.

Mikey (Lackawanna,NY)

Do you see the Chargers re-signing Shawne Merriman?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I really don't, thus the use of their first round pick on an OLB. Merriman wants a ton of money, has already been suspended by the league and hasn't looked close to the player he was before the original knee injury.

John (Buffalo,NY)

Do you think the Broncos will be looking to lock up Elvis Dumervil to a long term deal? I believe he is a FA at the end of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Gotta. Big time pass rusher. Greg Garber actually just called me to get some of my thoughts on Dumervil. Not sure when it will come out, but check it out. The move to a 3-4 has been quite good for him. Pass rushers are worth their weight in gold.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Outside of ESPN, what blogs and writers do you read?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I read and watch every shred of film, articles and NFL shows on TV that I can get my hands on. Don't agree with everything, but I like to get as many angles on a subject as possible.

Jerry (PA)

Do you think the Panthers Steve Smith is ready to explode on and off the field anytime soon?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Such a tremendous player. Terrible situation he is in though. Yeah, both explosions could happen. A lot of Carolina questions today...would you guys like to see the Panthers deal Peppers? I bet NEng would like to have him!

Joe (Texas)

Is Harrison a true No. 1 in Cleveland now??

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Should be. Lewis is done and wasting reps on his going forward doesn't make much sense. What Cleveland must find out is whether or not if they have to draft a RB high or not. Would have been nice to see more of J Davis for those reasons as well. But with Harrison, Clev surely will be losing a lot and he will be apart of the passing O. Has struggled picking up the blitz in the past though.

Eric (California)

Do you think the Saints will look to use Reggie Bush a bit more in the passing game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

That is pretty much the only way they use him. He is more WR than RB. Still, his touches are down. Just doesn't demand the ball like many thought he would when he entered the league.

Cover It Live? (NCFalconFan...)

How can I find that? Not to be sucking up...but I love your chats!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Wish I could tell you, but I would assume that it will not be difficult to find on Sundays. A lot of us contribute and it goes from 1:00 to 7ish. I usually come on around 2 or 3 and then stay the duration. Stop by!

Jeff (Arizona)

Do you think Kurt Warner and Larry Fitz will get back on track and start putting up big #s again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Better numbers for sure, but not blow-you-away numbers. Zona has a bit of the same problem that GBay has-protection.

Mike (Akron)

M-Dub, which WR are you most impressed with in Minn; Harvin, Rice, or Berrian?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

It is an awfully nice stable all of a sudden with Schiancoe too. All three are quite good and the arrow is surely pointing up for Harvin and Rice in particular. Very dissimiliar skill sets as well. But, Harvin would be my answer to the question. Just so explosive. Stronger than many realize. Remember, he is still learning the WR position.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Folks, I am out. This was tremendous today. Great stuff. Stop back next week.