Hey everyone. Just hung up the phone with a radio hit on 1250 here in Pittsburgh. You should be able to find it on my home page on the .com in a few hours. Check it out. Okay, now let's get this chat rolling!
Also-one programming note: No chat for me next week. Actually taking a family vacation. I know, the streak is broken...it was Ripkin-esque, but family time calls.
Matt, your voice sounded way different in studio than usual. Didn't recognize you. Onto the question: What's the bigger problem for the Titans D -- the Front 7 or defensive backfield?
Yeah, I listened to the podcast and yes, that was strange how different I sounded. It was me though. I would go with the secondary. I can see the Titans' safeties improving their play and I very much Finnegan, but that other spot is troubling. If I were game planning against Tenn, I would force them to play a ton of nickel. The DL isn't great, but there is more young talent there. Hayes and Morgan can be good ones.
Since we drafted the two 1st round olinemen, I believe the 49ers greatest weakness now is at cornerback. What do you think of Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer, and Tarell Brown? Are they good enough to match up against the top WR cores?
I wrote up SF's biggest weakness a month or so ago and yes, I agreed with you. But...strangely, it was actually sorta tough to pinpoint a real weakness for the Niners! Times have changed! I also expect SF's pass rush to be even better (Brooks) in 2010, which will help the CBs. They are not spectacular, but I think you can win with that threesome. Really high on this D in general this season.
MDub! Nice photo change, new hair cut? Everyone is concerned with the middle linebacker situation for the G-Men, but I'm wondering what you think about our corners this year?
Thanks for noticing! I took it while in Bristol last week. My wife-and well anyone who saw it-were not real fond of the former pic. This one is a little better, but you can only do so much with this mug. Again, the Giants' pass rush and safety play almost has to be better-esp the safety play. And I like their CBs anyways. Very strong.
Should Andy Reid be worried about his offensive line?
I don't think so. I am higher on Peters than most-upper tier LT. Justice really came into his own. They are lucky to have Cole, but J Jackson is a big time OC and they need to get him back. That will be key from being an average line to an above average unit. There is some depth here though.
What do you think of my comparison of Felix Jones to Tiki Barber? Both are/were gliding, patient runners with deceptive speed who break off lots of long runs. Jones seems to have a wider base.
Would say that Jones is faster too. Not a bad comparison. Similar body types. Like everyone, my worry with Jones is just durability. But when he is on the field, he has mad skills. Huge fan of his for sure.
All due respect, but i am physically incapable of not correcting your spelling of Ripken. It's in my blood.
Wow...had to scroll back. I really did that, huh? I am ashamed. Much appreciated.
Nice new pic M-Dubb. Better numbers this season....DeSean Jackson or Brandon Marshall?
Marshall. Just more targets. More red zone looks.
M-Dub in regards to T.O. would he be a good fit opposite Andre Johnson in Houston, I think adding another weapon for Schaub would help them make the playoffs.Thoughts?
Turned in an article on TO-and how he fits-just last night. I bet it is up today very soon. Check it out. I guess that isn't a terrible fit, but Houston is a young team. If you bring in a big name vet to that locker room, I think it has to be a positive influence. Plus, I really like J Jones to break out this season.
Where are the Redskins with trading Haynesworth? Can they get Vincent Jackson in return?
Trade Haynesworth to another 3-4 team? That isn't happening. So, that only leaves about half the league. I say send him back to Tenn.
No first rounders have signed. Will any 1st rounders bite the bullet and sign before Bradford? You have any inside news on why the two didn't start talks before the draft?Huge crush on you by the way. :-).
No inside news, but I can't believe that STL didn't have Bradford inked when they handed the draft card to the Commish. Poor business. Wish I knew more on this subject, but as usual, once one signs, the dominoes usually fall pretty quickly.
Matt W, glad you are taking time for the Fam as you are the only Chat expert who is here all the time! Noce Lettuce int he photo it looks photo shopped, haha. My man Tim tebow needs polishing and will not be the starting QB this year, but how Beast will he be in goaline, short yardage and wildcat?
Certainly could see your man Tebow excelling in that role. Guy runs like a FB. So powerful. Unafraid. But...as with the entire Wild Cat overall, it seems like a dying breed. Must be able to pass. With Tebow-just like R Brown-I would play Cover 0 and attack with a stacked box. If he throws, he had better make a very quick accurate read to get it out of his hands...cause my boys are coming.
M-Dub, don't have a crush on you, but I want to get your opinion on J. Charles. That O has to be better this year, can he put together a Johnson-esque type season?
Never going to predict a C Johnson type season by anyone, but I am extremely high on J Charles this season. In terms of FF, I promise that I have him ranked higher than just about anyone out there. I see him making a ton of big plays from screens, draws and of course as a traditional runner too. That O must be improved. Also better coached.
Heard that the Colts are at least kicking the tires on Chester Pitts. Not a terrible idea, eh?
If he is healthy. He was on the podcast a few weeks back. Pure OG. But if he can move like he once did, Pitts would help any team. Have heard Seattle and Pittsburgh too. Could see him being attractive to several clubs. Strong locker room presence too.
Not that they ever run the ball, but how do you like the Eagles backfield of McCoy, Bell and Weaver in that offense???
As a ball carrier, Weaver is excellent as FBs go, but more importantly, he is an even better pass catcher from that position. Remember, McCoy came out of Pitt as a VERY young player. Still real early in his development. Should get stronger and become a better pass blocker and tackle breaker. He also should learn that not every run is a TD. Take what is there and live to fight another day. I would say he improves in year 2, but like at every position with every team right now-all is roses. Just that time of year. I respect the way Bell runs the football-very hard and aggressive-but I think he is a dime a dozen. Straight ahead battering ram. In fact, Scott could supplant him before long.
Is this the year Eli breaks out and plays like an elite QB not just a very good one?
Bro, he was great last year. He really was. I would expect I higher run % than last year, as the Giants D will be stronger in 2010, so there will be less catch up.
giants or jets?
G Men...Way better QB.
whats a good rumor we should all be aware of?
That you like to dress up like Little Bo Peep.
could straham still play? why doesnt he?
Would imagine he would still play if he could. He prob felt his skills were declining. Then, at his age-like everyone-you can fall off a cliff once that erosion sets in. He would know
What would it take to trade for Vincent Jackson?
You hear a 1 and a 3 or 2 2s. That seems pricey to me when considering what vets have gotten on the market this off season.
That is not new
Matt, do you feel the Chiefs should be improved this year? If so, would 7-9 or 8-8 be a realistic goal for them?
Seems too lofty. That DL has to play much better. Besides Hali, who will rush the passer? Is Cassel for real? Baby steps.
Old man stray is having a ball out there! Ahh, Giants winning the super bowl over the undefeated team memories...
Bet you like that one. Wow, that must have stung for Pats fans. Giants earned it
More rushing yards this year for the Giants, Jacobs or Bradshaw?
Bradshaw. Not to mention all the receiving yards. Huge Bradshaw fan. Not a fan of Jacobs at all. Just think Bradshaw is the far better runner-including short yardage.
Is a 2 for McNeil reasonable? Why arent more teams exploring a trade for McNeil? V-Jax is dominating the headlines.
SD must not be shopping him or realize that they are closer on talks than with Jackson. It is strange that you don't hear as much though. Jackson is better at his position than McNeil is, but LTs don't grow on trees.
Hasnt Jacobs hit the wall too?
I very much think so. Short career. That dudes takes some serious hits.
Will the Bills run d be better?
Can't be a whole lot worse, but I still have my reservations. Rookie NT. Scheme change. Below average front seven talent. Face some SERIOUS rushing attacks in that division too!
Who is the most interesting rookie you are looking forward to seeing this august?
Pierre Paul comes to mind right off the bat. Such a physical freak-does he look like he belongs. But the real answer is all of them. Losing my mind right about now. Need 2010 games to watch! Want to see everyone.
Jacobs is as big as some of the players on D and those guys are out there giving and taking big hits for years. Why will Jacobs last so much less time?
Nature of the position. RBs don't have long shelf lives and his style lends it to being exceptionally short. Gets hit by two and three missiles EVERY time he is handed the ball. Those guys make a crazy impact. Helmet on bone. Like a car crash over and over. He doesn't really get out of the way so well!
Buster Davis: bust or breakout candidate?
Perfect example of a guy I am excited to see in preseason. You read all these great things, but a fast talented WR SHOULD excel in shells in practice and in 7 on 7 drills. Can he get off a jam, adjust his route based on coverage, make space for himself, snatch the ball and get up field to make a play against say, Champ Bailey? We shall see. The talent is there and WRs do take time. But...LSU WRs = Bust?
M-Dub, what are your thoughts on how long A. Peterson lasts as a running back? Very bruising style, ala M. Barber, and Barber looks to be about done. Big mistake to reward AD with a huge contract?
Such a tough call. He isn't like everyone else. I firmly believe that, but I also can't see him lasting like a C Martin or J Bettis with that style of his. Takes a lot of huge hits. I am with ya.
Spiller or Fred Jackson?
Fred. But again, how much does he have left for the future? I was VERY critical of the Spiller pick-and still am, don't get me wrong. But, have re-thought it a little. No idea if Buff is taking this approach, but I would use him just like Minny did with Harvin. More or less make him a WR first.
Can Legedu Naanee come out big in Vincent Jackson's absence?
Naanee is better than many realize. Catches EVERYthing. Goes over the middle. Not a real field stretcher or dynamic guy, but could do well with Rivers throwing to him and against single coverage.
Do you think Chris Johnson is going to be the 1st RB to have back-to-back 2,000 yards seasons?
Would say No. Just such a rarity. I know how fast he is and all, but can he keep up that pace of breaking off real long runs? Could so easily just miss a game or a half here and there and poof, no chance at 2K.
I'd rather have 2 very good olineman for the price it costs to have 1 elite RB. lineman are more durable and aren't clowns like Titans RB Chris Johnson, who makes Willie Parker look like a professor at Carnegie Mellon.
Agreed. OLinemen last. They play hurt. They improve everyone around them. If you are going to use a first rounder on a RB, he had better be special.
what rookie has the best hands? I saw guillard drop some balls in a rookie challenge. unimpressed
Hmm...not sure on that. Hernandez in NEng comes to mind. Any ideas out there? I remember Decker catching everything thrown his way. Certainly would not pick Gillyard.
I know you're down on the Panthers, but I think that offensive line (arguably best in the league), those RBs (definitely best in the league), and a top-rated secondary mean they could surprise. Thoughts?
It is possible-if Charles and Brown exceed expectations at DE. Top rated secondary? It is okay, but I wouldn't go that far. I also like Moore and think S Smith could have another monster year. I am not so down on Carolina to say they will only win 4 or 5 games, but I just don't see them as a contender or in ATL or NOrls' class right now in the South. I was actually a little rougher on the Panthers last week in this chat room than I meant to be by the way.
Matt, any chance the AFC North provides both wild card teams this year?
Certainly could happen. Not huge on Hous or Tenn, so I only see Indy coming from the South. Just one from the West-for sure. The East could certainly put more than one team in the dance and Cincy/PGH/Balt will all do damage to one another head to head. So, I say it is unlikely, but very possible.
So now that the Redskins have a veteran QB and a much better offensive line, are you giving them any chance of making the playoffs? Or at least winning some division games this year?
The QB position is obviously huge, but I don't see an improved OL at all. Still see a 5 win team.
Who will provide the heat opposite Mario Williams this year? Antonio Smith? Connor Barwin? Anyone? Williams is a 20 sack player if he could get some help.
Very much agree. Could/should be the best DE in the league. Barwin is certainly intriguing. Move Smith inside on throwing downs and bring in Barwin-who should be better in year 2. Remember, didn't play a ton of DE at Cincy. Former TE.
MW: R. Mendenhall has been going in the first round of a lot of the mock drafts I have been in. Am I way off base in saying I just dont see Mendenhall has a top NFL RB this year? Given Pitt will likely be in a lot of low scoring games and even before the loss of Colon, I didn't see him grinding up huge yardage.
Agreed. Could be an every down RB though. Better receiver than many tend to realize. At that price though, have to say that he probably won't be on my team either.
M-Dub if you were Shanahan, thou your options aren't great between Portis/Johnson/Parker who would be your startin RB & why?
I trust Portis the most from a receiving and blitz pickup stand point. Parker wouldn't even be in the equation. I think he is even more done than these other two, who I also think are done. LJ didn't look bad in Cincy and he would see the field some for sure.
Okay, I'll give you the d-line being questionable - BUT, that secondary was 4th in passing yards allowed; 5th in INTs; and 2nd in passing TDs allowed. That's not too bad. Not sure what else they would need to be considered a top secondary. Feel free to tell me to get a life...
I hear ya on the secondary. Peppers rushing the passer surely helped. Carolina's secondary doesn't have big named guys, but they are solid. Well coached. More worried about the safety position than CB though. Three good CBs for sure.
Interesting debate between friends...is Eli a top 10 QB right now?
No doubt in my mind. Not top 5 or anything, but Top 10 for sure. Maybe the best in that division too.
Do you see Forte bouncing back this season now that Martz is in Chicago?
Not really. Tend to think that Taylor actually has the more productive season. Even at his very best, I never saw exceptional skills from Forte. Good/okay in all areas, but needs a ton of touches to really be productive. Just wrote an article about this last week-check it out.
I was surprised you weren't positive last week if Eric Dickerson was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Early in his career, perhaps only Marino and Montana were comparable stars. Not only was Dickerson a first-ballot HOF, but so were Dorsett, Franco Harris, and Marcus Allen (!)
It either came out wrong or you misunderstood. I just wasn't sure if he actually was inducted on the first ballot. I knew he was in, but was more or less asking if he had gone as a first ballot inductee. I think Dickerson was an elite RB. All time great. Very deserving of first ballot-over those guys you mentioned. Agree with you.
Hey Matt. If the Jags were to grab Owens, how would that effect their playoff chances? (My guess is not much)
I don't have a big problem with their pass catchers. Again-JUST wrote an article on this too! Thomas and Miller can really emerge. Adding TO would stunt their growth-like Holt did last year.
Why do so many people doubt Eli Manning? Last year, he threw for more yards and TDs and had a higher QB rating and completion percentage than any other season in his career. This, despite losing Burress and dealing with an inexperienced crop of receivers. What more do people want?
Seems like an extremely polarizing guy. Plays in New York-obviously that has something to do with it. Compared him to Big Bro and Dad. Compare him to Rivers after the DDay mess. Just judge him standing alone. The guy can play. Improving. Getting more accurate.
Call me crazy, but I think the Raiders win the division this year. Hue Jackson & Campbell make a huge difference with the offense. The run D is much improved with Mcclain, Henderson,
I am calling you crazy. The D should improve, esp vs. the run. Hate their OL though. Not sold on the skill guys. And while I like Campbell-and surely he will improve the position drastically-he still isn't anywhere close to a guy like Rivers.
Ill take you up on that scott from boston. You are Crazy
Got that right. I suppose the wheels could fall off in SD with the holdouts and a well placed injury-then, who knows in that division. But, just don't see it and certainly don't see Oak as a contender
I see Miami and Baltimore in the AFC title game and I blind?
Indy is still super strong. Some real good AFC teams, but I can't bash your selections. Two of the most physical and well coached teams in the league. Great OLs.
How good would McFadden be if he had been drafted by Dallas instead of Oak?
Not much different. Hate to say it. Straight line athlete who doesn't generate power, push the pile or show a lot of wiggle in tight quarters. Would have more long runs in Big D with better holes to run through, but he still would be a bust.
To further your point on not using a 1st rounder on RBs, two of the top 7-10 RBs came after the 1st, Rice in the 2nd and J.Charles in the 3rd.
Hadn't looked at that, but makes sense. Obviously Peterson and Johnson were first rounders though. MJD in the 2nd...
Folks, that is a wrap for me. Gotta run. Great stuff. Stop back in two weeks-will have tons to discuss.