Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Hey everyone. Happiest of holidays to you all. Let's get this started.

Brad (NM)

Hey Matt...of the current head coaches, who do you think might be looking for a new job in the offseason?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

My best guess is that these jobs will open: Buff, maybe Jax, Wash, maybe Chi, Sea....that might be it. I think Fox and Kubiak are safe for at least another year.

Ryan (San Diego)

So I heard you on the podcast say you would take the Colts against the Chargers without a doubt. Despite the past history? How about the fact the Chargers are winning games by and average of 14 points during their 10 game win streak and colts less than 7? The Chargers just dispatched one of the hottest teams in the league with ease, on the road on a short week. Put down the haterade my man

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I hear ya and I respect what SD has done. I also am a huge believer in Rivers and therefore the entire SD passing game. But can they run when they have to? Can they stop the run? I really have serious doubts on both fronts. Even the pass rush has just been okay-and I have a hard time seeing them getting to Manning for sure...or keeping up with Wayne and company. I would also expect the Colts to run the ball more effectively than SD.

Steven (Linlithgow, Scotland)

Where do you see T.O. playing next year, Buffalo or elsewhere?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Elsewhere-but he will have a moderate market. There are a lot of teams who could use a WR with his dimensions and ability around the goal line. Buffalo needs to blow that whole thing up and go with a youth movement. Plus, I doubt TO is too fired up to return.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, How would you rate Singletary this year? Also is A Smith the answer for San Fran?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

I am on the fence with Smith. I don't see a high ceiling with the guy and he isn't physically impressive. Still makes some real questionable throws too, but I expect that to improve with more time behind center. I like Singletary, but I also feel like he wants to win games with a power running game and defense. The D is solid and prob just one more playmaker away from being quite good, but Smith doesn't operate well out of the traditional pound it out offensive system. So, for changing to fit his personnel, I give Singletary credit.

Steven (Linlithgow, Scotland)

Here's a question no-one has asked, what are your thoughts on the Colts resting Manning and not going for perfection?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Right-I haven't heard that one yet. My stand on it is a little different. This is a precision timing based passing attack. Is it really in the Colts best interest to rest this much before a crucial playoff game? If that passing game isn't up to snuff right off the bat, Indy could find themselves in an early hole against a high quality opponent. I don't have a problem pulling the players they did, but I also think that I would have given that group another series or so to presumably increase the lead before pulling them.

Brad (NM)

Just for the record, Buffalo fans are ready to see T.O in another uniform dropping balls and giving up on deep routes.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Never seemed like a good marriage from Day One. Not exactly his kind of town or offensive system. But, I also think that they were the only team interested...so, who is to say how much interest he will get now that he is a year older while not exactly putting together real impressive tape this year.

Scott (Indy)

The Steelers have to start getting younger in the trenches next year, don't they? Some of those guys are getting up there.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

The OL is young. I assume you are talking about the DL. They did draft a DE in the first round last year and I still contend that Hampton, Smith (when healthy) and Keisel are all playing at a high level. But think about this, if you are a 3-4 team, you really only have room for six DLinemen on the roster. Seven is pushing it. Those three are set, as is Hood and Hoke. Doesn't leave a lot of room for prospects.

Shawn (Boston)

What do the Pats need to do this off season to get back to being the truly dominant team in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I really like how they have played lately-on both sides of the ball actually. But, to me, their glaring need has to be at OLB. Banta Cain has been pretty good, but if they could add a dominant pass rusher off the edge, everyone would improve. A true #1 CB would be great as well. Remember, the Pats have three 2nd picks in this upcoming draft plus the Raiders' 2011 first rounder to haggle with if they see a stud that they love.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Along those lines, this offseason, I see NEng going for more quality than quantity.

Aaron (Manhattan)

The Saints offense needs to put big numbers to win with that defense. The Colts clearly are not even colse to the same team without Manning. That being said who is more important to his team: Manning to the Colts or Brees to the Saints?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Peyton. He is the MVP in every sense of the word. I contend that Indy would be 4-12 without him. I do see your point that NOrls wouldn't be much better than that, but to me, Peyton is far and away the MVP.

Dave (Oakland)

Who is closer to making a playoff run 9ers or Raiders?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

San Fran by far. Would like to see SF (who has two first round picks) add one playmaker on D-maybe at FS and try to land two starting OLinemen this offseason. Then, they might be a contender. Oakland needs much more than that.

Jeff (Windy City)

What is the first few steps the Bears take this offseason to begin the turnaround for next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

It has to start on the OL, more specifically at OT. No question in my mind. That would sure help the run game and lighten the immense load on Cutler's shoulders.

Steven (Linlithgow, Scotland)

If Favre and the Vikings met the Packers in the playoffs, who would win? Or would the insane media hype around the game just cause the universe to implode?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

That could happen for sure. I am very high on GBay right now and would pick them in that game. Minny just isn't playing well. Can they rebound? No doubt in my mind. But, as of right now, I wouldn't say that Minny has the edge at QB or in their pass protection.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, With 2 mid 1st round picks for San Fran. What two position would you draft? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

One has to be OL-preferably a tackle. In fact, I would consider packaging picks to go get a potential super star OT. But, for now, let's say OT and a D difference maker. I used to want that difference maker at OLB, but A Brooks is really stepping up in a huge way. Now, I lean towards FS.

Awayne (INDY)

If (when) Shannahan takes the 'Skis job is Jason Cambell his QB next year or do they draft a guy to takeover and bring in a vet to hold the job untill the rookie is ready?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I would keep Campbell. Is he tremendous? No, not at all, but this guy has learned 9000 systems and really needs someone to give him stability-that also goes for the run game and esp in the protection. SO tough to succeed given his circumstances. I just don't think you can do better. Use the pick on OL instead of a rookie QB.

Gary (Charlotte)

Hey Matt, people keep on talking about London Fletcher getting shafted at the MLB for the pro bowl, but I think Beason got a raw deal, the dude is second in tackles in the NFL and has made plays despite not having that big NT in front of him to eat up blockers.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I very much agree and only a few can go. That is a brutal position to go the Pro Bowl-as MLB is just such a productive position. If I were to rank the MLBs, I would probably put Beason 2nd behind Willis.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, Isn't Goldson a FS. He has had a good year. What about T Mays out of Souther Cal if he is available? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

What I have seen of Mays, he screams bust. Poor angles and instincts. Looks the part like no one before, but there is much more to that position than being big and fast. I like Goldson and honestly, I am not exactly sure where that D difference maker of which I speak fits in, but I do really think they need one more guy on that side of the ball who frightens their opponent. Maybe at CB. OLB is still a possibility with a great pass rusher.

Benjamin (Albany)

what is Crabtree capable of next season with an actual training camp?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Greatness

Benjamin (Albany)

tell Matt Mosley that while Jay Ratliff is a great player Darrell Dockett deserved to be in the pro bowl over him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I would pick Dockett narrowly over Ratliff for deserving DT type this year-but it is very close. Ratliff is playing great right now and he is a big reason that I am picking Dallas this week, as Philly will be without J Jackson at OC-Jackson is a very underrated player.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

What direction is the Seattle Seahawks franchise going in at this point? They have a lot of decisions to make.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

They are a nightmare. Gutless. To me, they must find their next QB now. Plus at least one quality offensive lineman-maybe two, a power RB to complement Forsett and the secondary needs blown up. DL help wouldn't hurt either.

Benjamin (Albany)

If Hakeem Nicks and Mario Mario Manningham both take big steps forward next year..... and Steve Smith demands to be paid like a true #1.... could steve smith and the giants be heading for an ugly divorce?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Seems WAY too early to think about that.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Tom Brady made the Pro Bowl because his name is Tom Brady. Either Roethlisberger or Shaub should have gone in his place.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I would have voted Ben in over Brady.

Dave (San Diego)

Matt, not that this is a fantasy chat, but you know... Anyway, is Aaron Rodgers going to play much on Sunday or do I need to make other arrangements? Thanks and GO CHARGERS!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I would make other arrangements.

Jason (Houston)

who has had a better year at qb for their team Matt Schaub or Kyle Orton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Schuab by far. FAR superior QB to Orton.

Steven (Linlithgow, Scotland)

Are Sorgi and Painter legitimate shots at being Peytons long term replacement? And if not, when do you think the Colts would look at drafting said replacement?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Sorgi isn't. Painter would be a real long shot and I think he was drafted to eventually be the #2. It is a strange situation. The Colts are always contenders and Manning never misses a game. Plus, he is playing at an extremely high level. Indy isn't a big player in free agency and often loses their own UFAs. So, the draft is extremely important to fill needs and get immediate help. Very tough to spend a draft pick for them on a QB who won't see the field. But-it does need to happen someday of course.

Benjamin (Albany)

Eli deserved pro bowl love..... 4000 yards, nearly 30 tds, all with a WR core many early in the season people hated but right now cant stop gushing over

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I thought Eli took a big step forward this season and overall, had a tremendous year. But, I would still have put these NFC QBs in ahead of him: Brees, Rodgers, Favre, Warner and Romo. Maybe McNabb. Once again, not a knock on Eli...but that is tough company.

Jared (West Union IA)

3 years in a row I have watched Denver choke their way out of the playoffs. Which direction would you go with them in the draft and do you see them resigning Marshall. Happy New Year

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I would like to see them add two DL starters, but with all their free agency issues, I doubt they can pull that off. Will have to replace some of their own guys. Marshall has to be priority #1 though.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

The Colts should just hope that Peyton stops aging and plays forever. No "replacement" for Peyton.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

That is pretty much it. No great solution to that problem. But, about 25 (or maybe 31) teams in the league would like to have that problem.

Randy (Colorado Springs)

Is Kyle Orton really the qb the Broncos need to go far in the next few years or would someone else help more?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I would very much look to replace him. Just so limited. Very low ceiling. I bet he ends up as the worst QB to be in the playoffs this year...unless Sanchez gets in.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oakland)

Greatness is in my future, just ask Uncle Al.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Gotta learn to catch first. That is important at the position you play.

becky (philadelphia)

who has more of a shot to break the all time rushing record, a. peterson or c. johnson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Peterson. He is more built for the long haul. I love what C Johnson has done, but it won't be long that he goes from a 4.2/20 guy to a 4.5/40 guy...then he will become very average.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub the other day you & JG brought up the notion of trading De. Williams to draft a QB in round 1, wouldn't they still be able to draft a QB by putting the franchise tag on Peppers

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Carolina traded their first rounder this year during last year's draft in order to select E Brown from FSU. I am still for shopping DeAngelo though. I bet there would be a LOT of interest-he is a big time RB. Might not even try to turn DeAngelo into a QB...maybe finally get a WR to play opposite S Smith and let Matt Moore handle the QB duties while bringing in a vet QB for backup-a K Collins type.

Greg (NYC)

True or false: Mike Vick best suited to QB buffulo NEXT YEAR!Bad O-line (has ability to get away from defenders)Wildcat Offense potential (Lynch & Jackson)Wind/weather (Has the arm to cut it for deep out)Wr's (deep threats Evans and Ownes to keep defenses honest)

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I hear your points, but I also have seen very little from Vick this year to make me feel confident enough to give up a draft pick to make him my #1 QB. He has done a few good things as a passer, but that was never his strength even in his prime. Might give up a third rounder for him if I were Buff, but wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

Awayne (INDY)

Does Suh stay inside or move to DE moving inside on passing downs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

He is going to play on the interior. Interior pass rushers are very hard to get and he fits that bill on passing downs. It wouldn't shock me if STL lines him up all over (like Haynesworth in Tenn) to create more space for his teammates and also exploit some matchups, but I bet he spends most of his time on third down inside. Great asset.

Benjamin (Albany)

should the Bills trade Lee Evans? hes 29 and his speed will dry up soon, and the bills cant get him the ball anyway

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

I bet Evans would do cart wheels to get out and your points are very valid. But, can they afford to lose Evans AND TO while breaking in a new QB without any offensive tackles? That O is more of a mess than any in the league in terms of their ability to rebuild. They need all of the tough/expensive positions to get.

Brad (NM)

In a different scenario from VIick, can you see Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn in Buffalo next season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

I could see it, but I don't love it. I question Quinn's arm and he hasn't proven to me that he can cut through the Clev wind and handle the elements. Buff isn't a cure for that problem. You need to be a physically gifted thrower to play QB in those two Lake Erie towns.

Benjamin (Albany)

has TJ Houz. officially killed his reputation with his ridiculous play and attitude this year in Seattle?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Yup. I contended back when that he wasn't that great in his prime in Cincy. Unable to stretch the field and benefited a ton from 85 (who I am high on) being on the opposite side. He is a #2 WR on a good day...and I didn't see many good days this year. Did I mention that Seattle is a mess?

Tony (Cincy)

Do you still have faith in Carson Palmer? He can still turn it on when needed (such as against KC on that final drive last week). I think the added running game has taken pressure off him but he's still money when needed.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Very high on Palmer, but other than 85, I have little faith in the rest of their passing game. The OL is built to hammer people in the run game and is massive and not nimble in protection. Benson isn't a receiver. The TE position is an extra run blocker and the other WRs other than 85 are below average. This team isn't built to throw, but the two guys who do not deserve blame for that are 85 and Palmer.

Brett (WI)

Speaking of Peppers, how much does motor matter with someone like him? Would you rather have a more limited player, incapable of dominating games the way Peppers can, but more capable of providing solid effort/production on a consistent basis?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

That is tough to say from where I sit. Give me an example. Peppers is maddening though. He is a beast on prime time and you get the feeling that he can do that any time he sets his mind to it. Has been injured some this year, but his lack of down after down production makes me crazy. Still, what he can do...few can pull off. Fine line.

Ben (Minnesota)

where would you rank DeSean Jackson as a WR?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Outside the top 10. I love his explosiveness and big play ability, but still more or less a one trick pony to me. It is a great trick, but he isn't very strong or physical and that is tough to get past in this sport. Champ handled him pretty well this past week.

Noah (Arizona)

Why are none of the cincy players in the pro bowl? I mean come on Ochocinco is a STUD!!! Same as Carson Palmer

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Palmer doesn't have the production this year to warrant it. 85 does. Bobbie Williams could have gone. Both CBs were deserving.

Dave (Baltimore)

Matt, how do you like the Ravens chances in the playoffs, assuming they get in?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Probably one and done. Maybe one win in the post season. Much like I was saying with Cincy, Balt really only has receiver that they can count on. Heap has come on near the goal line, but Flacco needs more help. Also, I really worry about their secondary.

Tarek (NYC)

What do you think of the Raiders other two WR's (Not DHB) Chaz and Murphy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

They should be the starters for the foreseeable future. Neither is tremendous or nearing a #1 WR, but both are good players who should only get better. Their skill sets are different too and they complement each other well. Better pass pro would go a long way in Oak as well. To me, they need a LT in a huge way.

Sean (Philly)

Did Cedric Benson's attitude change in Cinci, or were the Bears just not playing to his strengths?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

I would guess both. When you are a superstar athlete since you could walk and then suddenly you are on the street without a team for an extended stretch like Benson was, that has to make you reevaluate your work ethic, etc. Plus, the O is custom made for him in Cincy. Downhill power run game.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Folks, I am out. Heading to the ESPN radio station here in Pittsburgh to do a 3 hour stint from three to six...check it out on ESPN 1250. Happy New Year to all and see you back here next week.