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January 6, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:54 AM)

It's five 'till, but let's roll.

raygordonreid (4412 barnesroad jacksonville FLA 32207)

QUESTION matt dub WILLIAMSON AT 12.20PM hi matt dub sunday EAGLES OR COWBOYS

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Boys. Boys big in fact. That game last week really should have been worse than the score showed. Philly was dominated. Couldn't get to Romo or protect McNabb. Now, I understand that it is a new game and Philly surely won't roll over like that, but overall, I just think this is a bad matchup for the Iggles, it is Big D and the Boys are certainly playing better football of late.

Mike (Boca Raton)

When are you going to get your own radio show on a permanent basis?

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

No idea. Pretty happy with my gig right now how it stands to be honest. Love going on JG's podcast twice a week and doing hits all over the nation. I guess I would consider it, but can't say that I am complaining. Thanks for looking out for me though Big Mike.

Eric S (Saint Petersburg)

Matt-Do you see the Phins trying to get a standout WR through the draft or through free agency/trade route? Dez Bryant might look awfully tempting for the Phins to pass up.

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I really think that needs to happen. Overall, I really see that as their only O need-and a must considering that they have a first year QB with a ton of potential. Would strongly consider someone like A Boldin or B Marshall as well. Same with Balt and Cincy. In fact, WRs are really in demand right now. V-Jax is a free agent, but I can't believe that he is going anywhere. We are obviously not sure yet how the draft will shape up, but a WR in round one seems logical as well. If they can get that guy, I would then go crazy on D with the other picks/resources.

Rob D. (Rock Hill, SC)

Why not have half price tickets for games that starters wont play the whole game? That sounds like a pretty fair trade for the fans. And I'm sure that the prospect of that will alter the owners way of thinking about "resting starters".

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

First off, the big answer here is "Because they don't have to". Fans pay the same for preseason games as regular season games. The NFL is in demand. People line up to pay a lot of money to attend.

Mike (Boca Raton)

How quickly is the window closing on the Bengals (Palmer and 85)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I wouldn't say that. That D is very young and talented. Guys like Rey M and Rivers should only improve. You touched on it, but that passing game MUST be the focus of their off season though. Chase Coffman may be a viable receiving TE in time, but to me, I would like to see them go 1. WR 2. TE in the draft or consider bringing in another big name WR through free agency. I see Palmer as being in his prime and 85 is playing great. They just need help-a lot of help. But, 85 isn't a young guy anymore and the passing of C Henry hurts this position as well. Coles is just a guy and Caldwell might be a fine #3. They need another threat.

Jake (Baltimore)

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I haven't seen 1 member of the national media pick the Ravens on Sunday. They finished 1 game worse than NE. They were on the NE 14 yard line in October poised to win when Clayton dropped the 4th down pass. And now Welker is gone. Don't get me wrong, the Patriots should be favored, but don't be shocked if the Ravens win.

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Good points and yes, I am taking the Pats. I wrote that game up and I think I picked it at 17-14. Welker being out is massive, but to me, I think Belichick just says, "Hey Tom. This is your game. We are coming out in the shot gun with extra WRs and force the Birdies to put extra (poor) DBs on the field for the entire game." Meanwhile, a prominent member of Balt's front seven-maybe two-are standing on the sidelines holding their helmet. If you can get K Gregg off the field for a DB who isn't a good cover guy-go for it.

Matt (Cleveland, OH)

Matt, if you're Holmgren, why would you choose to keep Eric Mangini?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

The Pros of Mangini: He had a plan and avoided or shipped out star-types for foundation players. His guys. I didn't agree with it, as matchups make the NFL go round, but of late, that plan has showed promise. The remaining players have bought in and are playing well as a unit. Maybe the losing culture has changed just a bit. Am I a Mangini fan? Nope. But, I am just telling you what he has done well. Also, how many games does V Lombardi win this year in Cleveland with that roster? 6?

Will (Denver, CO)

Best fit for Brandon Marshall next year? What's he worth in a trade, 2nd and a 4th?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Pretty sure that Marshall is up for free agency, as are several big named Broncos. Can only franchise one-so maybe they do that to Dumervil or DJ Williams rather than a malcontent with a bad off field track record. But, he is valuable and a Top 10 WR in this league. His off the field behavior will scare away some teams, but if Denver were to trade him, I think a 2 and 4 is fair. But-like I said earlier, WRs are in demand to some good teams. So maybe the Ravens or Bengals or Dolphins give you a first rounder in the mid 20s for example. Think Shanny would want him in Wash? Bet he would.

Xander (Philly)

Billick or Cowher to the Bills? I think Billick will be the guy, but can he be effective?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

To me, that is the worst coaching job in the league right now. Well, at least amongst the worst. Why would Cowher take it? I think Cowher has more bargaining power and is coveted more than Billick, so, Billick makes more sense. But in terms of personality, Cowher is the better fit. Okay, let's say The Chin takes the gig. Then what? He needs to find two starting OTs, a QB and probably a WR on offense. On D, if he switches to a 3-4, which is his preferred scheme, then he might have to blow up the entire front seven. That screams of losing double digit games for the next few years. Stay at CBS this year Bill and see what opens next year at this time.

James (Indy)

Matty!!!!! Twice the Dubbster in one week...priceless!! Do you somehow get the feeling that Indy will be just sharp enough to survive Cincy/Baltimore/Jets on 1/16? That would of course lead to the AFC Title game, and one has to imagine SD or NE come calling.

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Agreed. Paul K asked me to give my opinions on those three potential matchups for the Colts-I bet it is posted today in his blog. I would fear none of the above if I were Indy. Even if the Colts open up rusty-which could happen-those three just don't have the fire power to keep up. The AFC is screaming for a SD at Indy AFC Championship.

Mike (Boca Raton)

who would want brandon marshall?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Will buzz through every team in the NFL in my head real quick and build a list: MIA, BUF (maybe), NENG?-the Pats do have extra picks and wow, Jets if Braylon leaves, Cincy, Balt, Clev?, Hous?, KC if Chambers leaves, OAK, CHI for sure, DET?, CAR for sure, TBAY and WASH with Shanny. Let's say even half that list is accurate-there could still be a pretty major bidding war. If I were Denver, I would love to get a pick and a player (DL) for him, but in the end, he might just walk for free.

Charlie (Lewiston, Id)

Matt, with the new knocked out-of-bounds rule, why aren't CB's just giving away the jumpball sideline pass thyen carrying the WR out? Maybe see it in the playoffs this year... rabbit out of the hat =)

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

It surprises me that the new rule hasn't had more of an effect this far in 2009. Maybe the DBs just haven't caught on. Good points. We shall see.

Justin (DC)

If you were in Mike Shanahan's shoes, what would you do with the 4th pick in the draft? Draft a guy like Russell Okung to solidify the left side of your line for years, or take a guy like Sam Bradford or even CJ Spiller?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Would lock up Campbell and draft a lineman like Okung. No doubt in my mind. Need to add yet another OLine starter as well this off season and create some depth with mid round picks.

Tim Lester (Parts Unknown)

Haven't we seen enough failures in short yardage offenses not using a lead blocker to officially refute the notion that a fullback is unnecessary in today's nfl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Tim, Good to hear from you-big fan here. Tell the Bus that I say Hello. Agreed. But, the issue is that this has become a passing league and hammer-head guys like you generally do not catch passes well. If you keep one guy like you aboard, do you help out enough on Special Teams to justify keeping you active for 10 plays or so per game? Somewhat along those lines though, we are seeing much more/better use of 6 OLinemen in the game together of late. Certainly a trend.

Graeyson (Great Falls, VA)

What will Shanny do with Clinton Portis?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

He should pull him aside and say, "Kid Bro Sweets, You and I have done great things together. I love ya and you were a tremendous running back. But now, I am looking out for you best interests. Go back to Miami, buy a big house with extra rooms for your costumes and retire. You can't play anymore."

Xander (Philly)

I think Shanny is overrated.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I don't entirely disagree. Did great things with that Elway character-who is the best QB I have ever seen by the way. My worry with this hiring is Shanny as a personnel guy-he was really terrible at that at the end of his Denver run. I do like what he can do with QBs, which is why I say bring Campbell back and let Shanny see what he can do.

jeff (oviedo, fl)

do you think the vikings can get it done in the playoffs, or will chilly mess up the game plan?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Not a big Chilly fan and in what surely will be close games in the NFC games, he could be a liability. But, overall, they are a big time contender. They can win it all Jeff.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, so you're going with Romo this weekend? It's over by half-time...Iggles 38, Pokes 24.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Find me next week. We'll talk.

Bryan (Arizona)

alot of teams use 2 tight ends with one in motion to be lead blocker

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Very much so. That also gives them the advantage of being able to detach a good pass receiving TE like Dallas Clark while still dictating defensive personnel. If Indy (for example) comes out in 12 (1 RB/2 TEs) personnel like they so often do, do you play your base personnel against it? If so, Clark moves away from the formation and becomes a WR against a SS or LB-trouble. If you go nickel against it, Indy runs against your smaller personnel. There isn't a great solution. That being said, I do miss the old school neckroll downhill lead blocking FB position.

Matt K (Enola, PA)

Matty, where could you see Fast Willie Parker ending up next year and will he get a chance to start somewhere? He is still one of my favorite steelers of the past few years.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I also think he is very much declining. Not-as-fast-as-he-used-to-be Willie looked great last week, but he gets nicked up very easily, doesn't move a pile, breaks fewer long runs than ever and isn't much of a help on throwing downs. That isn't real appealing. He is a #2 RB at best right now who also doesn't help out on special teams. Guys like that just aren't that valuable.

Matt K (Enola, PA)

Matty, making the call now, JETS in the AFC title game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Picking the Jets to win this week here-and that is it. One win ceiling for Sanchez.

Jason Campbell (DC)

Matt, do you think Mike Shanahan will embrace the chance to working with me, or draft, "his guy"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I would bring you back, but I bet he does the opposite. Shops for the groceries. I see that as a mistake though, as I really like Wash's D and think the O is savable without a complete overhaul. Using that high pick on a QB (without an OL or running game) will stunt the growth of the entire organization a great deal. Bring back Campbell. Use that first rounder on a franchise LT and the second rounder on a very good RB prospect. Maybe add an interior OLineman who has started games in free agency and at least one more on DDay. Leave the D alone for the most part. You might just have something.

Jared (Phoenix, AZ)

Who is the best and worst divisional round match-up for the Chargers? Bengals--Jets--Patriots?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

The Jets and Cincy would worry me because I think SD's biggest problems are running the ball and stopping the run. Those teams might-just might-be able to dictate the game with their running game. Plus, they have great CBs against the Chargers massive WRs. There isn't a great answer for Gates though. Revis could eliminate Jackson one on one though. Then you have yourself a tight game.

Joe Flacco (Baltimore)

Wow cool, 3 rook QBs w/ 3 new head coaches in last 2 years, 3 playoff spots. Who will have best career, me, Matt Ryan, or Mark Sanchez???

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

That is rather crazy Joe. No question in my mind that I would put Sanchez last on that list-a distant last. The other two are very comparable. Very different players in terms of skill set and I think Ryan regressed this year, while Flacco steadily improved. High on both still though. BTW Joe, you should have stayed at Pitt.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

Can no one actually make a good decision while throwing (or give me the ball more)?!

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Matt, You didn't exactly earn it. I saw no special qualities out of you this year (& not really last year either to be frank). But, that OL in Chi was just so awful that no one on that O could succeed. Then Cutler pressed and pressed harder-trying to do it all. Bad formula for a guy who takes too many risks to begin with. Then Cutler got gun shy and afraid of taking so many hits.

7 (Pittsburgh)

Do I work as hard as I should to take advantage of my natural talent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

You hear things to that effect, but I have no qualms at all with #7. Great player and one of the best several handful of players in this entire league. Okay, think of this. Every player in the league is thrown into a pool. All are free agents without a team. Then there is a draft. How many NFL players would be selected ahead of Big Ben? Honestly, he might just go first overall. Seriously.

Ben (Dover)

Happy New Year M-Dubbbbbb!

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Thanks Brother-you too. A smidge late, but I cool with that!

LeBron James (Cleveland, OH)

Pshh..I'd show all these chumps how its done at the WR position in Cleveland..

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

King, you would get broken in half. Big target.

Rick (Casper, Wyoming)

Matt, you're being a little hard on Shanahan as a personnel guy. Yes, he bungled the defense...badly. But he also drafted Cutler, B. Marshall, Eddie Royal, Ryan Clady, and Ryan Harris.

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Good point and I should have been more specific. Was very strong with the draft and terrible in free agency.

Chris Johnson (Tennessee)

You think Big Ben would go #1! Are you hallucinating?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

CJ, talk to me in three years when you slow down a bit. Plus, RBs are about the easiest position on the field to find. Plug and play. QBs are the hardest and make the world go round.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Do the Steelers get back to dominating D next year with TP and AS back?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I tend to think so. You know they will attack the D heavy through the draft as well. Can't see them being complacent about stepping up that side of the ball in a big way.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Drew Breeeeeeees!

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Certainly would be considered-as would Rivers. I think Brees might be older than many realize though.

Ed HULKali (Gold's Gym)

False start...Chris Johnson. Five yard penalty, remains first down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Nice work Ed.

Rocco (MN)

Do you think Favre will return next year regardless of this season's outcome?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Who knows. What I do know is that I really not looking forward to another off season of "Will he retire or will he stay?" Too much drama for my liking. My hunch tells me that he would return-esp if they don't win it all. He is playing great and looks to be having fun.

Xander (Philly)

Campbell just blasted Portis in a phone interview. Good for him. I'm hoping Shanny drafts a QB cause i'd love to see Campbell with a Bills helmet on.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Would be a good start for the Bills. Not a HUGE Campbell guy here, don't get me wrong. But I do think you can win with him if you give him some sense of stability. Needs a running game and please, let him stay in the same O system for more than one year at a time!

A Rodgers (Frozen Tundra)

I know it sounds crazy, but I think an argument could be made for taking me first. Im young and pretty awesome.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Agreed. Wouldn't blame anyone for making that move. HUGE fan here. A-Rodg, you might just get yourself a ring this year.

Rocco (MN)

Do the Pats have enough of what it takes to make a serious playoff run?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I don't think so. I like them this week in a close one, but their lack of weapons (now), a pass rush and their pass D in general is just too much of a problem for me to get on board wit the Pats. Plus, no way is Brady healthy.

Phil (Jersey)

Calvin Johnson #1?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

LOVE him. In the conversation of first non-QBs to go for sure. For sure.

Andre Johnson (Houston)

Yo, best WR in league here, someone say something about someone else being #1??? Don't think so.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Would take Andre over Calvin if that made-up draft was today. Would still take half a dozen QBs over either of you. First D player? Revis? Ware? Would lean towards a stud DT if I were building a 4-3 D-Ngata?

Adam (Lakeside, CA)

Matt, do you have an opinion on Larry English's first year. He hasn't shown much, especially if you compare him to other first-round LBs like Orakpo, Cushing and Mathews.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Being brought along slowly, but I expect him to really breakout next year. Remember, he is coming from a much smaller college than those guys and is learning a new position. My guess is that SD lets Merriman walk (to NEng?) and English steps. In fact, jot this down, English will have a better year in 2010 than Merriman did in 2009.

Revis Island (NJ)

Dont forget about me! You can pick Andre and Calvin before me if you want, but I will shut them down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I mentioned you Brother. Would never overlook a Pitt guy who is also from the 'Burgh.

Ryan (America's Finest City)

MW... I think you are wrong about Marshall walking for free. If it's an uncapped year then he would be a restricted FA and if Denver didn't match the tender offer then Denver would receive a 1st and a 3rd.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I might be. Can't say I am totally on top of who is what in terms of free agency at this point.

James (Indy)

Dubbster...do you think that ultimately the Colts' O and D lines will lead to their downfall? They obviously will never be a power-running team, but the lack of a run game threat and still shaky run defense don't bode well for them.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

It very well could be their downfall. If something is to bring them down, that will be it-and special teams. They are far from a perfect team, but I also think their run game and run D are prob a little better than you are letting on. They really run to the ball well and gang tackle.

Julius Peppers (Charlotte)

Where will I be in 2010?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Starting to think that you will be a Panther for quite a while. You guys are not that far away if M Moore continues to impress. I do understand that you would rather play OLB in a 3-4, and I think you would excel in that role, but the Panthers would have to get a lot back to let you go.

Adrian (Minneapolis)

Will I fumble the ball on a critical game winning drive in the Super Bowl or in the conference championship?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

That worries me. No way around it. You just don't value the ball as well as you should.

matty (Enola, PA)

Matty, where do you see TO going?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Scroll back. I listed a ton of WR-interested teams. But, remember, one year ago, TO sat around without a team interested in him other than Buff. Think his stock has gone up or down since then?

Jeff (Sacramento)

How did the Redskins get around the Rooney rule? Was anyone else even interviewed for the job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

They interviewed a minority candidate (whose name escapes me) that was presently an assistant coach on Zorn's staff.

matty (Enola, PA)

Still the best chat in the sportsnation, see ya next week same Matty time , same matty station.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

No question Matty. Where is Enola?

Bryan (Arizona)

TO will end up in Boca....retired

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

With Mike

Mike (Akron)

Name a better match-up this weekend than Larry Fitz vs Charles Wood? Gonna be an amazing game!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Awesome and yes, this is absolutely the game I am most looking forward to. Hopefully Boldin plays and is 100%. Side note: Why doesn't anyone else ever call Boldin out for always being hurt? Sure, he plays very tough on the field...but he misses a ton of time. If I were trading for him, I would be leery.

Chad (Las Vegas)

We knowFavre, Mannin,g and Brady are HOF QB's. But what other QB's would make the HOF right now that are starting in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Hmmm...I think Warner would go. McNabb is borderline, but I tend to vote no on him. Ben with a few more strong seasons. Guys like Brees and Rivers are a ways away yet and don't have any jewelry. Might be it.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Okay everyone, great chat. Really enjoyed it. Check back next week.