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

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

What is going on? Anything new in this league? Big news by chance?

Craig (Braintree MA)

What kind of impact can Randy have in his first three games with Minnesota? Will it be like training camp for him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I don't think so. Moss is a GREAT player. But, he isn't a complete player. He is going to run just a few routes-but mostly deep deep bomb routes. Run past a CB, put his arm in the air and go track down the ball. It isn't going to be like the Colts passing game or a real timing-based situation.

Ian (Denver)

Worse trade- Maroney and a 6th for a 4th, or a 1st rounder for a 2nd rounder to draft Smith and trade him away for almost nothing a year later?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Those are both pretty atrocious. The second cost more.

Jason (MI)

Your words, "Henne over Sanchez BY A MILE." Time to recant sir...

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Not yet. I still would rather start my franchise with Henne. Sanchez has played three very good ones and one very awful one, but his faults haven't gone away. Remember this conversation in December when Sanchez can't cut the elements. I do agree that Henne has come along slower than I expected this year, but if you look at it (for both guys really)they have really only started about one full year worth of games. Both are still going to improve.

Blueman (INDY)

Any chance the Pats take the money they saved by trading Moss and give it to Logan Mankins?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

That crossed my mind too. Thinking big picture here with the Pats: They are LOADED with draft picks and are VERY young (& talented) on D and with their pass catchers. I think I would lock up Mankins, who is still young-but with all those picks, you could also easily grab a high end guard prospect with say a 2nd round pick. Pass rusher would still be priority #1 no matter what.

Tom Hagen (Lake Tahoe)

With Moss gone, other than Welker, who do you see Brady developing a reporte with?...or will this be more spreading the ball around as usual?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Spreading it around as usual. They still have a wealth of options. Remember, Tate would have def been a first round pick coming out of NC if it were not for his knee injury. He will be the deep threat-that might take time though. You're out Tom.

Joseph (Sacramento)

Any chance the Skins can deal Devin Thomas for anything?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Would really be taking a loss on him. 6th rounder maybe? Not sure that is worth it. He has been very disappointing, but there a lot of ability there. And, remember, he was just a one year starter at Michigan State and came out as a junior-so a massive learning curve should be expected.

Chris (NJ)

Matt, why wouldn't Green Bay look into acquiring someone like Deangelo Williams, who probably won't be back in Carolina next year, and would make their offense unstoppable?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

They need a RB very bad. I would have settled for Lynch. DeAngelo would have been a home run. Would love that move. But, takes two to tango. What is Carolina asking?

Jared (Michigan)

how good is torain

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

He isn't great at all-but he is the perfect fit for Shanny. Very quick to get his shoulders squared to the LOS and get downhill with force. If you get him moving left/right, he is done. But he can wear a D down and is punishing. Runs very hard and has power. I said this on CIL last week that I thought he was the better player than Portis when last week's game started. Pass pro is a problem with Torrain, so you won't see him in on 3rd downs, but he should be the true starter.

Mike (Akron)

Hey M-dub, I have been looking forward to this chat since Sunday to ask you this: In your opinion, was TJ Ward's hit on Shipley cheap? I was at the game and I didn't feel like it was cheap at all. Doesn't Ward, as a rookie, need to let the league know he is an enforcer? I feel like if this was Ed Reed or Troy it would be ok. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

I thought it was cheap. I am old school on these type of situations generally speaking-and overall-for his career, it might have been a good move. Enforcers are good-no question. But that hit was cheap.

Blueman (INDY)

Can we assume Singletary will lose his job if the 49ers end up 7-9 or worse?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

I have said this for a while now-he seems like a college coach to me. Maybe a very good one. Surely he can be an amazing recruiter and that rah-rah stuff works better at that level-much better. He was never even a coordinator.

William (WA)

Matt-How do you see the Colts faring this week. Do you think they'll bounce back big at home?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

I do. Just too much respect for Manning and the organization as a whole. I love KC's special teams advantage though and I also think that you give those 2 coordinators two weeks to prepare, that they might just out coach the Colts. But in the end, Payton throws for 350ish.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub with things being so open this season if you were the Coach of the Pats, would you rather make a run at the Superbowl with Moss or without Moss?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Rather have him obviously. I don't think you can argue that they are a better team without him. But, big picture, they obviously think it is much better to get out of a player a year too early than a year too late. I agree. They are set up extremely well going forward. Maybe BB doesn't think that his D is SBowl worthy.

The Schoolmaster (UK)

Are Steeler fans to believe that Big Ben will be firing on all cylinders with his new center, O-line, and receivers upon his return in Week 6? Could he have really flayed himself into shape well enough?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Good point about new personnel, but 1. He has to be WAY better than what they have been playing with. 2. He is a great player 3. That D has proven that it can live with some QB growing pains. So-you might be right, but I wouldn't sweat that too much.

Mike (Madison)

Why is Jennings underperforming? He is looked like the 3rd wheel up there.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I do think Finley is the #1 target. And Driver is still very formidable. Last week, GBay just didn't throw very much. They should have thrown more. Seemed like they treated it like a preseason game after they got the lead to work on their bad running game. That could have cost them. I do think Jennings will come around, but he is a bit hit and miss since he is the deep guy.

BSB (Philly)

Would you trade Jon Stewart for Shonn Green?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Why bother? What is the difference?

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

San Diego has had significant problems on the road this year? Do the Raiders pull the upset this week at home?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

I can't buy that one! SD's O is playing at a very high level. I think SD runs all over them-then, look out for Rivers' play action. Gates is out of his mind right now too.

john (new york)

do you think the colt's might look to trade to upgrade a bad d?also is dwight freeney declining?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I don't think Freeney is declining. Indy just hasn't played with a lead as much as usual. Actually, I JUST turned in my rankings of the best 10 Pass-Rushers. Freeney was #2. Still. Colts would love to upgrade that D-not going to happen during the season. Their OL needs a lot of work too. Will be a very interesting off season for them.

Jamal (TN)

What in the world is goin on with Chris Johnson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

He has gotten a TON of carries in 2009 and 2010. I think he is dancing a little more than last year and not just hitting it up in there. Of course, every D in the land is keying on him and stacking the LOS. Not sure, but maybe a DCoordinator out there came up with a little something that is giving him a tough time. No one fears the passing game. And the nature of his game is sorta hit or miss with his home run abilities.

Stan (Denver)

What happened to Clady? I mean, I know he's banged up, but from the best LT in the NFL to this is just depressing.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

It has to be the injury. Good observation, but that is all I can come up with.

Matt (Hickory, NC)

Any rumors on a wideout to NE to replace Moss? I have heard both V. Jackson and S. Smith, any truth to these?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Hmmm...maybe another shoe will drop. V-Jax makes a TON of sense. BIG TIME deep threat. Young. Could prob get him at a bargain rate. But does SD send him to NEng?

Jake (Baltimore)

Do we have a sure victory aganst the pats now their only threat is gone?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Jake, they have lots of threats.

Phil (Pittsburgh)

If the Giants D played like it did in 2007 can they go Dancing?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I don't think so. Don't trust the OL at all.

Mike (Madison)

Do players take it personally when the get traded for a draft pick? If I were a pro-bowler and got traded for a 3rd rounder, I'd be pretty frustrated, I think.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Probably. Wasn't he traded to the Pats for a 5th rounder?

Murph (Oregon)

Matt, tell me your thoughts on Cutler. I am on about the same level with him as you are. What happened? How much is the 4-3 and Cover 2 of Fewell? Will teams copy? Also, I think I'd like to try Taylor between the tackles some. They need some sort of run game. Taylor has more acceleration. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I like Cutler. A lot. But I think sometimes you just get those Bad-Cutler games. Big let down after a huge win. On the road. Short week. Things started badly and Cutler started hanging his head. Then it was over. No question that they have to at least try to develop a run game of some sort to make this easier. The OL was terrible-terrible. But Cutler played awful-just kept holding it...and holding it. Here comes another sack! It will get better. Let Martz get back to the drawing board for a week. Carolina can help what ails ya!

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Some people seem to be making a big deal of the Ravens win at Pitt. Sure, they came back and won in Pittsburgh. It was Batch at the controls though.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

It is a big deal. They beat an excellent football team-outplayed them. If they had lost, PGH would have a 2 game lead and the tie breaker. But..I feel ya. I felt like that was Balt's best game and the Steelers' worst. And-I said that PGH wins that game by 14 if they had Ben instead of Batch...but they didn't.

Mike (Madison)

What do you know about Kahil Bell? Is he an option for the Bear's run game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I don't see much there. I don't love Forte at all, but I also don't blame the RBs for the problems with Chicago's running game. The run game takes time. Have to stay patient. Pound the rock. The Bears don't do that AT ALL.

Matt (Cleveland)

Hows it going tough guy? Hillis for Quinn looks like quite the steal, no?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Things are going well Sparky-and you? Quite the steal indeed.

Daniel (Brookline, MA)

If you were the Pats, what would you offer for Lee Evans?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Won't deal him within the division. I love the V-Jax call though.

Bud (Nebraska)

Hey Matt, it seems there are always a few teams that rise out of the early season shadows. Who do you think will be those few teams this year? Forget the obvious suspects like the Colts at 2-3.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Not easy to predict right now at all. Minny comes to mind right off the bat. Maybe SF can kick start their season and end up winning the West. Dallas.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

What do you think of ATL's D? Is Peria Jerry (2nd yr. player back from injury) having a major impact?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I haven't noticed him to have a major impact. Babineaux is a stud next to him though. I see this D as vastly improved from a year ago. No question.

Ryan (San Diego)

Matt, was good to hear you give the Chargers a little credit on the podcast yesterday. They are leading the league in both offense and defensive yardage but special teams basically cost them 2 wins. Starting to come around on the defense or because they havent played anyone?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Gotta give credit where it is due. People don't always understand that I really don't have a bias to may analysis. They are quite strong-LOVING the O. Rivers is a super star. One of the truly elite players in this league. The D has shocked me. Want to see it tested before I am on board.

Jay (MD)

The Saints have a lot of injuries. Do you think they can get everyone healthy and be back to playing at last year's level in time for the playoffs? Or do they have deeper issues?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

I have no idea if they can get everyone healthy, but I do think they have deep issues-which is why I picked the Falcons to win the South. NOrls is still quite strong though, but that run D, DL as a whole and inability to create turnovers like they did in 2009 are going to be tough to overcome. I don't worry much about the O-even though we certainly have not seen their best game.

Kevin (Baltimore)

Is Haoli Ngata a DPY candidate? He has been dominate all year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

He is awesome. One of my true favorites. Have been often asked who I would take to start a D and Ngata is on my VERY short list. But how many NTs/DTs win that award? C Matthews? Troy P?

Justin (Minnesota)

How do you like the chances of the Vikings being Dallas bound for the super bowl with the signing of Randy Moss and Sydney Rice also returning to the team mid season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

How much can you count on Rice though? Doesn't this move indicate that they might not be real confident in his return? I also very much worry about Minny's protection in order to get Moss deep downfield. But...no doubt...a very talented team just got a lot better.

Erin (Miami)

Matt, I'm sure I'm not the only Dolphins fan EMBARRASSED by our performance this week. I'm hearing so many rumors about Henne stepping down in favor of Chad and Thiggy? I don't blame Henne for the loss, the picks were bad, but we had no running game and ST lost it for us. Can Henne hang onto his job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I wouldn't bench Henne. He stared guys down and those INTs were terrible. But wow, the special teams were simply amazing. I would stay the course.

Paul (Denver)

Do you have any insight on why the Bears released Mark Anderson? He had the most QB pressures on the defense, but Lovie stated they wanted to improve their pass rush. Kind of strange if you ask me.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

That is an odd move. Seemed like a good fit opposite Peppers and in a rotation. No clue on that one.

JC (Ohio)

Matty... PGH was 30 sec from beating Ravens w/ 4TH string qb. with the addition of roethlisberger, are they now the most complete & dangerous team in AFC??

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

They are still #1 on my Power Rankings.

Ryan (San Diego)

The Chargers have improved their run game by over a ypc since last year with LT and of course he is doing well in NY. Who do you think was the problem last year when they were 2nd to last in the league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

LT didn't look like he does now then at all. Not even close. There were also a lot of OL injuries last year-little continuity.

pj (virginia)

Matt, thoughts on Flacco going forward this season. Denver comes a calling this week - do you see Ravens by air or ground this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I like Flacco. Was extremely impressed with him in PGH. I also see inconsistencies. Will have some bad games. I don't love the Denver matchup for Balt-and might make it my upset special. I think Orton will throw all over the Ravens' secondary. That will put pressure on Flacco to keep up. Denver's DL is very strong vs. the run and I see Champ taking away Boldin. After a huge win-physical win-I think I will make Denver my upset special.

Kyle (Seattle)

what is up with L. Timmons this year!?! guy is playing out of his mind!! on his way to the pro bowl you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Playing at an extremely high level. No question a Pro Bowl player. Does it all. Ridiculously athletic.

Paul (NJ)

Anything new on Portis ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

He isn't very good...guess that isn't new. Sorry.

MJ (Boston)

That's Pats are 3-1 and Moss wants out?? Its all about him, he looked broken after he didnt' catch a pass, even though they beat a division team on the road. The Pats will be fine without him...

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Not sure that he wanted out...never heard that. Just heard that Minny came calling.

Marc (Charlotte)

Am I crazy to try to trade Percy Harvin for Brandon Tate? I've got Jennings, Royal and Edwards as well.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I would rather have Harvin. Moss will help Harvin tremendously. Move him back to the slot where he belongs.

Patrick (Kentucky)

The Chiefs are the only undefeated team. But are they legit?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Not really-don't trust the QB. I think we will look at this season as a huge stepping stone. Big time progress. But not a contender.

Mike (Brooklyn)

Matty, NYG vs HOU - who ya got?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Very tough one for me. I wrote that game up for Scouts Inc. I took Hous 24, NYG 23. Wonder about Andre J. Wonder about Butler's ability to protect Schaub's blind side.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

What are you thoughts on team like Minnesota who are in a win now mode vs. who stay the course, build through the draft, and trust their teams, scouts and coaches? I agree with JC from OH, why is BALTIMORE the team to beat because of 1 game and who looked awful against the Bengals?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Win now mode is very frightening. Big picture: How does Minny rebuild their OL? How do they draft/groom their QB of the future? How do they replace P Williams? Better win it all-that is all I am saying.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Where does Orton fit right now with respect to the Top End QB's in the game? He is playing pretty well right now.

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

He is playing great. He can't be in that convo right now though. Not after 4 games.

Kyle (Atlanta)

Kyle Orton basic question...is this prolific version the real deal?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Great scheme. Very good weapons. Give the coaching staff some credit too. But yes, Orton is nearly flawless right now.

Mike (Madison)

Who's the most talented RB in Tampa?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

None of the above, but I would use Blount-a lot. Go young. Build some physicality from that position. But I think that RB will still be a need this off season.

MJ (Boston)

Matt - do you watch every single game each week? or do you see snippets? Just curious....

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I do Cover it Live for feature games and watch the Red Zone channel as much as possible. Then also flip to other games. Then, I watch all the Short Cuts starting Monday and eventually get the coach's tape. Read a ton too of course-always interested in other good opinions. Do EVERYthing I possibly can.

Jeff (Nashville)

Is that Deangelo to Green Bay trade a real thing or just homers fantasizing? Man they need an RB...

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

This isn't their style, but I would give Car a 1st rounder for DeAngelo RIGHT NOW!

Mike (Brooklyn)

Matty, where does the NYG secondary rank for you on talent alone? Top 10ish sound about right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

For sure. Prob 6th to 10th off the top of my head.

Eric (San Jose)

Lets say that Singletary does get fired, would Harbaugh be a good candidate to jump from the college game to the pros?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Like it..esp if he brings Luck with him!

MJ (Boston)

damn that's alot of football....

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Beats digging ditches

Mike (Madison)

Did you get a chance to see James Starks? With Green Bay's rushing woes, he may get an opportunity this year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Going to be a HUGE learning curve. Not only is he coming from Buffalo, but he didn't play college ball last year and has no reps at all at the NFL level. Seems really unlikely to me.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Chris Mortenson doesn't see NE giving up a 2nd round pick plus $30M guaranteed to a guy who is 1 strike away from a lengthy suspension. So how about the Pats take a chance on Devin Thomas?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

I can understand that with V-Jax. I would consider Thomas, but bet he would take a lot of time before you saw anything. 6th rounder at best.

B (NC)

Matt, I'm dying to know if The Schoolmaster (UK)'s comment earlier in the chat was a reference to the Pink Floyd tune 'The Trial'

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

I kinda caught that too...would have to go back and re-read...but he didn't get it up all that well. Tremendous stuff though. Far and away my all time favorite album.

Jeremy (Cookeville, TN)

So... thoughts on Steve Jackson and his "grain injury". Think he'll sit out against the Seahawks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Is it any worse than it was this time last week? He played quite well. Don't question his toughness at all. Maybe it would be smart to sit him-but I bet he doesn't want to.

BSB (Philly)

Has covering these chats reinforced thoughts you may have had regarding some fan bases?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Not so much. Hosting Cover it Live has more so, but still, I don't generalize fan bases like that. Everyone has their own opinions.

Rob (Atlanta, GA)

My guess is the Patriots don't make a move at wide receiver, and give Price a chance to play. But if they do, it will not be for V-Jax unfortunately. But perhaps Deon Branch can be had or Holt heals up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I wouldn't bother with Branch or esp Holt. I do like Price going forward too.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

McDaniels take a lot of talk regarding trading Cutler. Maybe its to early to tell, but I am assuming McDaniels could have made Cutler into a great QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I don't think McD could handle Cutler's turnovers and pension for going outside the box. Seems like a real clash.

Ryan (Arkansas)

Matt, who's a few of your other favorite analysts? No slight on the others of course. Which ones do you tend to respectfully disagree with the most (any juicy details?)?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Greg Cosell is the best in this business. Really respect him a lot. There are many good ones out there. I do like the metrics that KC, Football Outsiders and ProFootballFocus do-just a real cool way to look at the game as a complementary piece to my work. There are tons of good ones out there.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Folks, I need to run. This was fun as always. See ya next week. Download the podcasts.