Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 28, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:55 AM)

Let's get this rolling. Come one. Come all.


Do the Cowboys have any glaring needs? If so, anybody out there that may fill them?

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

OT and FS really were never addressed and I saw them as their top 2 needs pre-draft. Still do obviously. But I also thought that Dallas had the fewest pre-draft needs of anyone. I think they can get by and contend with what they have, but I also wouldn't object to bringing back Flozell-even just for depth.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, thoughts on the Iggles Draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Just turned in a blog post for Mosely's blog about the Eagles' extreme dedication to adding DE/OLB tweener types. Brought in some serious power with that type of player. First off, I love Graham and he is one guy in this draft that I see an instant impact from. DROY? Very well could be considering his new environment. Nate Allen will play early too I would think and I really like Kafka. Excellent draft overall. Kind of shocked that they didn't add more to the OL though.

Kevin (Baltimore)

What's up Matt? How concerned should I be about the Ravens secondary? Any word on when Fabian and Ladarius could be ready to play?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Haven't heard in terms of their health, but if the draft is any indicator, I guess Balt must feel good about their progress. I would still worry though at CB.

David (NY, NY)

What is the official Matt Williamson position on Matthew Stafford? Are you confident he will live up to being a franchise quarterback?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I am. Tough. Wants to win. Extremely physically gifted. And I really commend Det for adding guys like Burleson, Pettigrew, Best, etc. since Stafford arrived. Throwing to Calvin J won't hurt his cause either! But yes, franchise QB. Stud in the making.

Father Guido Sarducci (Vatican City, Italy)

If you could be any animal, what would it be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Great White Shark...or maybe a Butterfly. Nah, Great White.

Broad Street Brian (Philly)

Not sure how I feel about the Eagles draft. They seem one big DB short in a div that now has Austin, Bryant, Nicks, Thomas, and just about every great TE. Do you think they should have made the position a priority?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

I see where you are coming from, but they sure did address the pass rush. Certainly can make up for some secondary short comings.

Mike (Brooklyn)

NYG draft MW - let's hear your thoughts.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

JPP is risky. Worth the risk for the Giants and clearly they put a premium on the DE position. I thought an underrated need of theirs was a plugger DT in the middle of that D and Joseph should provide exactly that. Would have been nice to add more at MLB though. Petrus is their type of OLineman-great situation for him to go to.

john (mass)

does hughes start for the colts on oening day

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Nope. Will help spell Freeney-hopefully extend his career and keep him fresher for the playoffs.

Brad (STL)

In favor of sitting or playing Bradford in week 2 i say play, you can't gain expierience from the bench

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

The OL looks to be quite strong now in STL. If that holds true, I would be in favor of getting Bradford early work. But when to play a first round QB is different on a case by case basis. How prepared does he seem in the film room and practice field?

Justin (Charlotte)

Any idea if the bills are shopping for a veteran OT like gaither or flozell? Would this add value to their spiller pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

It would add to the Spiller pick-which I didn't condone. An outside runner without OTs to open running lanes? Hmmm. Not sure that Balt can afford to deal Gaither now. Flozell would help, but at this stage of his career, do you think he is real excited about playing for Buffalo?

Ben (Chicago)

Is the Lions brass taking this team in the right direction?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

No question. Don't expect a playoff birth or anything this year, but they are doing it right on both sides of the ball. Real excited to watch the Lions this year. Refreshing really.

george (kansas)

i give the saints an F for addressing their needs . your thought ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I am pretty much with you there. Woods is a real good fit there, but I wanted to see a higher pick on a DT who could stop the run. OLB still needs a lot of work too.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

I know with the draft it's too early to tell but I'm definitely thinking of what could have been had the Browns taken Taylor Mays and Terrence Cody in round 2 vs. T.J. Ward and Hardesty. Any thoughts on how quality of a D-line Baltimore will have with Ngata and Terrence Cody?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Going to be tough to run on the Ravens! That obviously isn't unusual, but I like Cody there. Like that Lewis and company should police his weight issues. Like him in short yardage next to Ngata and Gregg. I would argue that Ward is better on tape than Mays. I also really like Hardesty in Clev and think he might lead the team in rushing this year.

mike (neb)

your thoughts on the cardinals taking qb skelton ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Great move. Let him sit for a year. Ask nothing from him. Notice a trend of late with Zona's QBs? They added DA and Skelton this off season. Two big tall, semi immobile, pocket passers with big arms. This is going to be a running team and more vertical in the passing game.

Jared (West Union IA)

Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler or Robert Ayers, Alphonso Smith, Tim Tebow, Demaryius Thomas, Parrish Cox and a 2nd rounder. Which group do you want.

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Group 1. But-it does have to be noted that Cutler and Marshall are not without their off the field concerns. Your point is very valid though and I wrote something about it right after the draft.

Rocky (Seattle)

Does Whitehurst have a legit chance to start next year, is he that good?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

None of us really know, but the Hawks have to find out. Assuming their season doesn't go so well, I would expect to see a lot of Whitehurst in the 2nd half of the season. Hass isn't the most durable QB around either any more.

James (Indy)

Other than Spiller at #9, what other first-round pick or picks did the Dubbster not condone? The Dude does not abide!

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Wasn't big on these: McClain, Spiller, Alualu, Tebow and Robinson. While I really like the player, I didn't understand Odrick to Miami. He is a DE, a position that they are very strong. Now, they prob move Starks to NT, but he was excellent at DE. Hunch, Miami just didn't want the Jets to have Odrick and I think NYJ would have taken him over Wilson.

lostinyomi (the moon)

will anyone pick up jamarcus russell?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Boy, it sure seems unlikely. If he had done what he did for any other team, I could see Oakland being interested. What team fits him? Why bother?

Allen (Washington DC)

If you get Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd round, why take another QB in the 6th? I get maybe they feel it is a good value, but doesn't Carolina have other needs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Didn't like that either. Training/Coaching rookie QBs takes a lot of time. Why dedicate any of that time to a 6th round pick? Plus, like you said, there surely were other needs in Car.

Rigidy (Hartford)

Can we nickname JPP "The Giant Hearthrob"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

You can. I will not.

John (Va)

Hey Jim, is Oscar Tejeda for real?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

What on Earth are you talking about? I assume this Tejeda character is a baseball player. Wrong chat. PS...I am not Jim.

chris (miami)

What do you think about the Dolphins draft? and how do u think theyll do this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Talked about Odrick. Their other picks (like Odrick) are really their type of guys. But I don't see a lot of instant impact. Still, I like Miami this year. Well, I like their O and Henne is going to be a good one. Picking up Marshall is just huge. Have a lot of questions about the D any more though.

mike (charlotte)

hey matt hope all is going well. As a panther fan I am psyched and my Jimmy Clausen Jersey is in the mail, but when will he start?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

I don't dislike Moore, but that is a heck of a pick for sure. Would let those two battle it out in camp. Best guy for right now starts. If it is a close race though, you lean towards Clausen. I still see a long year in the Carolina though Mike.

David (NY, NY)

Will Denver's passing game always revolve around short passes, or was McDaniels just doing that because of Orton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Hand cuffed because of Orton. Ideally, Denver wants to do what NEng did when they went 18-1 I would assume. Maybe a little more running, but you get my drift I think. Thomas is a vertical threat and I assume that McD knows that their passing game has to do a better job of going deep.

Cody (Charlotte)

Do you think the panthers will try to sign the recenttly releashed John Henderson? could they make a move for Osi at DE? Pease say yes!

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

DT is surely the bigger need. Both players are far from perfect though. Age for one and Carolina is rebuilding mode. Osi doesn't like to play the run any more. Henderson is a durability risk and has become more or less just a big run stuffer.

Ryan (NY)

Wouldn't it have made more sense for the Bills to take Bulaga with 9 and Clausen with 41? They made it pretty clear that Edwards isn't their QB of the future by benching him for Fitzpatrick last year. Plus, RB seems to be the one position they're solid at. Strange draft

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

I agree. Even Dan Williams. I don't believe in Buff's QBs at all. Must be addressed. Obviously a little early for Bulaga though, but I do think that Bulaga can help at any of four OL spots.

David (NY, NY)

Which guests are you lining up for Football Today? Daniel Jeremiah is becoming something of a media star after you unveiled him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I don't think I unveiled him! He is excellent though. No guests this week though. Just me answering all your questions this week.

Matty (PA)

Matt, If the steelers can get through first 4 weeks 2-2 are we serious Super bowl contenders?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

That is strong, but I do see them as a top 10 team for sure. Going to be the first to say this: The Steelers D will be elite next year. Top 3 overall.

Drew (Tampa)

What are your thoughts on Benn and Williams?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I give TBay a ton of credit for attacking DT and WR, which were monster needs. Williams is all or nothing of course, but for them, well worth the risk. Benn is much different. Safe. Solid. Probably never a real star, but very solid-which is what Freeman needs. Still, could be a long year throwing the football in TBay...but should improve with time.

Andrew (Boston)

As a Pats fan, what can we expect from Gronkowski and Hernandez this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

The NEng TE situation is interesting to me. Three VERY different guys. Crump is just a big (real big) blocking TE anymore-and does that quite well. Hernandez is the total opposite and needs to be detached and moved around. Gronkowski is the traditional two way Y. Gives the Pats options (which they love) in terms of how to attack their opponent though. If he stays healthy, I like Gronkowski a lot though. Doubt he is a star, but should be extremely solid.

Dan (San Francisco)

Did you watch "Run Ricky Run"? How awesome is Ricky?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Watched it last night after playing hoops. Was very good. Need to watch more of those 30 for 30s. Did also see "The U", which was great. You see some of those clips of Ricky and Texas and wow, almost forgot how amazing he was. Still is rather amazing.

Paul (Albany, OR)

With you Tampa receiver comments, are you not a believer in Sammie Stroughter as an asset for the Bucs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Yes. As an asset. Good way of putting it. Slot guy. Move the chains. Few big plays. Safety blanket option. Sure.

Dave (Detroit)

Hi Matt. What do you think of the Dexter McCluster pick (to KC)? Some analysts seem to see him as a Wes Welker type but will he really hold up in the NFL at his size?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

That is my take on him too. Possibly a more dynamic and certainly more versatile Welker type. But yeah, how does he handle the big hits? Working out of the slot, he is going to be very close to roaming LBs. He will get hit and hit by big mean bodies. I get the pick, but it was early in my opinion.

Dave (Jax)

What are the chances that the Jaguars could sign Sharper and T.O.? Will they have a positive affect?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Paul K just asked me about Sharper. Will have to check out his blog to get my thoughts. I would pass on TO.

John (Kansas City)

Hi Matt. Any thoughts on the Chiefs draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I was very critical/worried about Pioli as the draft approached, but I think he did quite well. Berry would have been my pick. I mentioned McCluster. Just a bit early for me, but he does have a lot of upside as a slot guy who can do much more. The Asamoah and Moeki picks were two of my favorites in this draft. Arenas will play and won't embarrass himself.

Benjamin (Albany)

I love Graham too but I dont see him playing Left end full time with cole on right end. That is teeny tiny, like colts tiny

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

That was one of the things I talked about, but they still have Abiamiri and J Thomas-amongst other smaller options.

Ed (Saginaw (mich))

Will young guys like Guyton, Chung and Wilhite make more of an impact in NE? The def needs to step up and learn quick while the offense still is top notch.

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Guyton and Chung showed some promise. I think Wilhite should take the McCourtey pick personally.

Yatin (LA)

Great column on the pass rushers my Birds have accumulated. But do you think w/ smallish, quicker DEs, they become more susceptible to power running games?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Yes, but Cole isn't a slouch vs. the run and since they have so many, you can keep rotating guys in so they stay fresh and don't get worn down against 330 lbs OTs. Plus, they will be big at the SLB position most likely and most importantly, S Bradley returns. He was missed as much as any D player in the league last year with injury. Still, I bet Dallas tries to run all over them. How with the new group hold up? Should be fast-including E Sims.

Benjamin (Albany)

with Calvin Johnson Jahvid Best will never see an 8 man front, Who would of thought, detroit lions offense will keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

How about that! Plus, with such weapons it lightens the load on the OL. Guys like Scheffler and Best can really cause problems as receivers when you have STUD like Calvin in the fold.

Dave (Orlando)

you mentioned Miami's defense... how do you think Starks will handle the switch to NT?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Wish he didn't have to and I guess it is only for half of the season. He prob will do fine. But just isn't as well suited as he is for DE.

Jeff (Chicago)

With the trade for C. Harris and the return of Urlacher, Tinoiasoma, and addition of Peppers how good do you think the Chicago D will be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Certainly improved. But like last year, I think they are as good as Tommie Harris wants to be. Even with Peppers and Urlacher, Harris is the biggest difference maker. When he plays well, they are very tough on D. When he doesn't, they aren't.

Mark (NC)

This was a very ani-Fox draft for the Panthers, do you see this as someone shaping up the team for someone else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Felt like a very Cowher like draft. Actually, not really, but it felt like they were/are VERY much living for tomorrow...and for the next coach.

Boba Fett (The Ice Planet Hoth)

On the 30th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, you must field my question. How much improvement will we see from Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I didn't know! That is awesome. Best of the six for sure. Cutler and Martz. Wow, could write 1000 words on this one right now, but to sum it up: I don't like the fit. Oil and water in terms of playing style and what Martz wants from his QB. But-there is also a lot of upside there if it does work out. Desperate type move. All or nothing.

Kingston (INDY)

Will Pat Angerer strictly be groomed to replace Brackett and play special teams or will he be given a shot at OLB and slide over to MLB in a couple of years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Could see him competing on the strong side immediately. Not a knock on Angerer at all, but that was a strange pick. Rarely do they draft LBs that high and I just wonder about his range compared to what they play with now. Plus, they just invested heavy in Bracket for the long term.

David (NY, NY)

I believe you believe in LeSean McCoy. I didn't see it at all last year with the Eagles. Are you going more on his performances at Pitt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I wouldn't say that I love McCoy. It should be noted that he entered the league at a very young age and his body will continue to develop. He needs to get and run stronger and with more conviction. Upside still there for sure. But I do have my doubts.

Brian (CA)

What do you think of the 49ers offensive playmakers (Crabtree, VD, Gore, Morgan, Walker, Ginn, etc.)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Love Crabtree and Gore. Davis is obviously pretty unique in that he is just so incredibly fast. Overall, I really like the supporting cast for Smith this year. No more excuses. Crabtree will be a star. Pro Bowler very soon.

pat (las vegas)

who's going to the superbowl this year ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I have GBay and the Jets right now...but that is not my final answer.

Brandon (OC, CA)

Toby Gerhart's skill set doesn't seem to compliment AP's in MN (they even seem to have similar styles), so how do you expect he will fit into the offensive scheme? Thanks for chatting!

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

It does in that he secures the football and should be great near the goal line. I like Gerhart a lot, but overall, I agree with you. Would have preferred they landed more of a pass catcher that they could split out wide at times. Peterson has really come on as a receiver though. I know about the fumbles, trust me, but man, I really like Peterson.



Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Much bigger. Much more athletic.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Any thoughts on the Steeler's Worilds pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Their type of guy in a big way. Played hurt a lot this year. Tough. Low. Quick twitch. Will redshirt this year and excel on special teams.

David (NY, NY)

Peterson is great, but offensive lines don't just turn it around without new players. I mean, how many years in a row was Arizona at the bottom with their yards per carry?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

The Vikes OL is the most overrated single unit in the entire NFL. Excellent point. If anything, it will be worse this year as Hutch gets older.

Kevin (OH)

Matt, are things looking up in Cleveland?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Semi...but right now, this time of year, optimism reigns supreme in every NFL city. As it should. This is the best that everyone of those rosters is going to look. Full of hope. But yes, I like what Clev has done to some degree. Obviously really improved their terrible secondary. Still don't think they will be able to throw the ball at all.

phil (san deigo)

Is Ryan mathews the next LT?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Don't like the comparison at all, but you hear it more and more. Very different styles to me. Plus, LT is an all time great. LT-in his prime-is much lower/shiftier/more dangerous. Better vision. More versatile. Guy was amazing.

David (NY, NY)

Were you surprised with how forthright Holmgren seemed to be about his team's plans before the draft? He didn't seem as paranoid as the other presidents/GMs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Was strange. Made me wonder if he was flat out lying. Guess we will never really know, but it was also a bit refreshing.

Poo (uKnowWhere)

well whats the worst team right now and the best Jaguar player besides MJD?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

D Smith-one of the most underrated players in the league. Worst team? Give me the Bills. Mark it down, they will be 0-6 in the division.

phil (san deigo)

What kind of numbers do you see Ryan Mathews having in that offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Wasn't being critical of Mathews by the way. And I see him having a very big rookie year. Maybe 1400 on the ground and another 300 as a pass catcher. That O should be awesome.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Folks, I need to run. This was great-as always. Next week-same time.