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December 29, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Hey everyone. It is a little early, but it is time to roll.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Are we expecting many participants today?

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Good question. In my experience, holiday time is usually slower. I think there are just less people plopped down in front of a computer as they pretend to work from their office.

Ryan (Chicago)

What did you think of Joe Webb last night? Is he a potential long term solution?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I expected VERY little from him, but I give him credit. Made plays. Threw the ball better than I expected too. But I also think that Minny's coaching staff deserves a lot of credit-very good game plan. And the self descructive ways of Vick and the Philly O certainly helped the cause quite a bit. Webb never needed to press.

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Could Webb be a Brad Smith type? Maybe eventually a better passer, but probably not as dynamic with the ball.

Mike (Boca Raton)

no early start today?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I was a few mins early. The kids are here today. Not in my usual routine!

Adam (Chicago)

There's been a lot of hating on the Bears lately. I assume that'll slow down a tad now that the Eagles rolled over and lost at home to a WR playing QB. Note: the Bears POUNDED the Vikes twice. And the Eagles.

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Not sure that there has been a lot of "Hating" on the Bears. I tend to think that most experts were just cautious about adding them to the mix of the best teams in the league.

mike (el dorado hills, ca)

Is New England hoping for a cleveland upset over Pittsburgh? They'd rather play the steelers early then the colts or ravens, wouldn't they?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I think that is true. Tend to think that Indy is the AFC team that they want to see least. But obviously the Pats are the team that EVERYONE else wants to see least.

Joe (NY)

Is Vick reverting back to the Qb he was in Atl? below average can't read defenses and looks to run first

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

KC Joyner joins us for Cover it Live regularly and according to his metrics, Vick led the league in Bad Decisions-even before last night's game. He has just gotten away with them more than you would think. He didn't get away with it last night at all. But-that was a very strange game from the start. Not an excuse, but I think Vick bounces back. Side note: He still looks incredibly athletic for a QB, but I bet his body is hurting quite a bit-not as explosive.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Hello?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Mike My Man, what is the problem? I have posted two of yours already! Not seeing it?

Tarek (NYC)

Which area do the Raiders need to fix first for next year? OL, QB or DB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

QB would be my first choice, but bring him along slowly behind the guys there now. OL would be second. A center would be a great start, but they don't have to be real specific on positions up front. RT maybe. One more CB would sure help too-too easy to throw away from Asomugha.

49erfans (SF)

Who do you see coaching the 49ers next year? Thanks Matt!

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Not sure on that, but it had better be an Xs and Os guy. A QB guru type.

David (NY NY)

Any chance the Jets turn their defense around?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Perhaps. Real light at Safety after the Leonard injury. Lacking a stud pass rusher as well. But I do trust Ryan to scheme them up some. Could also use DL depth, as that group seems to be really wearing down. Missing Jenkins.

Dan (DC)

Is the MVP discussion officially over?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Big time

Joe (NY)

Why do you clowns at ESPN get on Eli when it is his receivers and TE's who suck?? They drop passes and run the wrong routes.

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Well this clown just turned in about 500 words for the NFC East blog yesterday discussing the subject in detail. Eli supporter here. I think the article goes up today or tomorrow. Check it out...and lose the attitude.

Ryan (San Diego)

How close is the Chargers' window to being officially closed? They look pathetic.

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Don't think it is closed at all. Rivers is the key of course. What will they do at WR with Floyd and Jackson up for free agency? Resigning Weddle will be key too. They will be competitive.

Keino (Brampton)

What do you make of Sam Bradford?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Great young propsect. Poised. Throws a geat ball. Extremely accurate. Gets it. I like-A LOT.

ian (jacksonville)

what position do the jaguars need the most and is there a guy that fits them well

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Not sure who it would be, but a great FS type would be huge. CB would be welcome too. Maybe another pass rusher. I think I would dedicate this off season to the D.

Mike (Boca Raton)

I'd like to think that the Steelers will fair much better against Colt McCoy the second time around since they will have film on him this time...right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

The key for the Browns is Hillis-and he is worn out. I also noticed that McCoy didn't throw the ball all that well in the elements last week. So-yes.

Julius (Atlanta)

Is the Falcons the team to beat in the NFC, or do you think it's another team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

With home field all the way through, I would say ATL. VERY balanced. Very well coached. Excellent QB who doesn't make mistakes. Heck of a football team.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

How does Rolle make the Pro Bowl over Kerry Rhodes? I think Kerry Rhodes has quietly had a monster year in the desert.

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I thought Rolle had a good year-used much differently in New York than he was in Zona. But I agree that Rhodes had a quiet, but very good season too. Not sure either was really worthy in the end though.

Jim (NO)

Matt Ryan was terrible agsinst the Saints

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Wouldn't say that he was terrible, but I would tend to agree that it was one of his worst performances of the season. I believe in him though.

Peyton Manning (Indianapolis)

Why am I not the MVP? Without me this team would be 3-13!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

That is all prob true, but Tom had a better year

Spence (Toronto, Canada)

Big fan Matt, what do you think of Green Bay's chances of making it to the Superbowl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Could happen, but it will have to happen on the road and that lack of a run game will catch up to them I think. Love the D though more and more-Raji is a super star in the making and the CBs are excellent.

Ryan (San Diego)

Chargers will have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds this year. I think they have to go with Dline, Linebacker and probably Oline. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Maybe WR if they lose their top 2 guys-or even one of them. I don't see massive needs in their present roster, but I think your suggestions are valid. OLB more than ILB.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Any Christmas carols on your iPod today? Hate to say it, but the 'N Sync christmas CD isn't bad at all.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Wow-that sounds bad to me. Actually, kids are here today with Disney Channel on. Not my usual routine. But I am fighting through it.

Kevin (St Paul)

Is Matt Flynn a future starter or did he just have success in 1 game against a bad defense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I have liked him all along. Good in preseason too. Accurate. Smart. Real game manager type-although he needs to improve that clock management! Very dependent on team/system with Flynn for me. I would say he has Matt Cassel upside though.

Curt (NJ)

In your opinion, how has Pete Carol done in his first year as Seattle's HC?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

They were really terrible a year ago-and they are pretty terrible now. Totally revamping the roster. Good draft. Some quality additions all in all. But that OL needs a lot of work. Tend to think they need a QB too. Still a TON of work to do.

chance (orlando)

do the bucs have the front office of the year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Hate to say it, but how about the Pats? Playing a TON of rookies. The Moss trade. Signing guys like Woodhead. KC and Det are in the running, as is TBay.

Ryan (San Diego)

How much of the Chiefs turnaround was being good now and how much was the fact they had one of the easiest schedules in the league? They still don't win on the road

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Read the Football Outsiders article on KC on the .com...great stuff. And I very much agree. Certainly a much improved football team from a year ago though any way you cut it. Very impressed with their coaching and the rookie class. But a true contender? I don't think so.

Mike (Boca Raton)

btw, you need to check out Phineas and Ferb on Disney Channel...that's fun for the whole family. truly good stuff.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

It is on here all the time!

David (NY NY)

I remember different opinions about Weatherspoon of Atlanta when he was coming out in the draft. How has his first year been?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Hurt a lot, so I would say Incomplete. Certainly is an athlete and improves the team speed. But up and down. Jury is still out.

matt (cleveland)

Hey pasty gangster. Any consideration for Haden for DROY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Is Pasty Gangster a good thing? But VERY high on Haden. Will see in my Rookie Report that I am all over Haden. But Suh is DROY. Prob would put McCourty slightly above Haden too-slightly.

Scott (Phoenix)

How about the Bears for front office of the year? No draft picks to speak of, but they added J. Peppers, C. Harris, and M. Martz - all while being in a win or lose your job year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Good case to be made for the Bears too. I like it. Wouldn't say the C Taylor move has been a home run, but not all are.

Curt (NJ)

The rookie CBs McCourty and Haden have been impressive. Both have 6 interceptions, but who is better in coverage?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Would say that McC's environment is much better-knows opposing QB will be throwing. Prob better players around him. Similar though. Both are quite tough, good agaisnt the run and forces in the run game. Coverage skills are quite comparable too. Not an easy call.

Dan (MA)

Matt, chances that Chad Henne can turn it around with a better OC and an offseason of really working on his rhythm with his receivers? Seems to me he is the product of playing scared and having his confidence rattled by bad coaching and poor results.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I was real high on Henne entering the season and I do tend to side with you on this one. But his bouts with inaccuracy and making terrible decisions is inexcusable. Not sure on this guy now. He has been quite bad.

Matt (Chicago)

The Chargers need to toughen up, period. That starts in the trenches, and they need to improve both the OL and DL in my opinion, and then the roster will fall into place. Maybe easier said than done, though.

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

They do have a lot of resources via the draft. Wouldn't say they are weak on the lines now though.

Mark Sanchez (NY)

I'm surprised you haven't gotten to ripping on me yet MW. What gives?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I will if you want

David (NY NY)

Henne had really good receivers at Michigan, didn't he? Manningham, Breaston, Avant....

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

He did. Also handed it to Mike Hart, who was a great college RB and had guys like J Long blocking for him. But-not sure that is real relavent right now.

Jason (Boston)

Any Chance BB rests his starters on Sunday? You have to imagine the Welker incident from last year is in the back of his mind.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Seems extreme. But-if I had a guy like Cowher lined up, I would pull the trigger.

chance (orlando)

Mark Sanchez couldn't hold Josh Freeman's jock.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Agreed

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Haden has been solid, but what about Ward? Next great S in the North?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Numbers are more impressive than his play, but certainly an excellent rookie season. What I mean by that is that he is just a much better run player/tackler than in coverage now.

David (NY NY)

You said a few times when Cleveland was hot than they were "nofun to play." Would did you mean by that?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Never took plays off. Well coached on D and very multiple on that side of the ball, esp on throwing downs. Very physical football team on both sides of the ball. But now, I tend to think that they are just collectively worn out. Not what they were a few weeks ago at all of late.

Steve (NY)

Is Nnamdi Asomugha the first CB to make the pro bowl without an interception?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

No clue, but INTs are not a true indicator of a CB's value. Nnamdi is very deserving, but no one throws at him!

Andy (Boston)

How did Merriweather get in the AFC Pro Bowl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Didn't understand that one at all

Awayne (INDY)

Was Dom Rhodes performance Sunday because the Colts commited to the run or was it more a guy coming in that understands how the system works and knows how to get the most from it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Some of both for sure and he certainly looked very fresh. No wear on him this year. The key with Indy is the # of carries each game.

David (NY NY)

I don't get firing Sparano because of the home record. Isn't the total record what matters, not the home record? How shallow as an owner can you be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Another good point by you. I would worry that the coaching staff hasn't developed some guys (Henne) as well as they should. Not taking Miami "Over the hump" to contention. Some coaches are great at getting a team from the slums to mediocre, but can't take them to great. Is that Sparano?

Awayne (INDY)

If the NFL goes to a 18 game schedule would you be in favor of the IR becoming more like it used to be with a player eliguble to come off it after so many weaks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I like that idea. More like baseball perhaps. Have a 15, 60 day disabled list type of situation.

Aggie (College Station, TX)

Have you liked what you have seen of Sean Lee as of now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Certainly improving. Started slow, but looks like a future starter for Dallas at ILB.

Joe (Boston)

any chance the Saints lose to the NFC west winner?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Nope

Ryan (San Diego)

Do you think Norv should have been fired? I think he deserves one more season based on the fact he's 40-23 and the amount of roster changes he's had to balance this season (76 players) including not having Vjax for all but 4 games.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Agreed. Plus, the guy is a QB/Offensive master. If they just play average special teams this year, they are in the playoffs easily. These past two losses are concerning though.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, Happy New Year to you and your family! Do you think the Vikings will end their season with another victory at Detroit on Sunday? If so, might their 7-9 record prevent them from drafting a top-line QB (unless they decide to move up in the draft)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

I will take Det in that game. Very short week for the Vikes. Last night could not have gone better for them. Det is playing well. Actually should be a real good game though. Tough for me to speculate where the top QBs fall in the draft right now, but I do know there are about 10-12 teams that will prob be looking to upgrade the position...and I promise there are not 10-12 QBs out there who are capable upgrades!

Seahawk Fans (Seattle)

Our 7-9 Seahawks will be hosting a playoff game. Yeah baby!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I don't think that will happen. Also, I just ranked Seattle #30 overall in my Power Rankings. They stink

Mike (Boca Raton)

Everybody loves Philip Rivers b/c of his record in December, but what is his record in January or February?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Not great I am sure. Not being a Rivers apologist, but I do think playing in a conference with Brady, Peyton and the Steelers during his time in the NFL is awfully tough. Like the Knicks when Jordan was with the Bulls. Again, not an excuse, but it sure isn't easy for Rivers/SD/Norv to keep up with those three elite franchises over this time period.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Winter Classic or bowl games on New Years Day?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Classic this year. Might tape a bowl game or two. The Classic is in Pittsburgh!

Matthew Luchko (York,Pa)

How far do you think the Ravens can go in the post season if they stay healthy.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Real strong team, but I don't see them winning in Pittsburgh or New England.

Chris (Hurlburt Field, FL)

Any chance of answering a question not originating in Boca Raton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Nah

Taylor (Miami)

Do you like the Falcons to be a serious contender for years to come?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

I do. Don't see a massive hole on their present roster and I also trust this front office to keep infusing young talent to the mix. Ryan will only get better-which is saying something.

Jim (New Hampshire)

Of all the talk about Brady not throwing interceptions, shouldn't the rest of the team get equal credit for not fumbling? I don't think Green-Ellis has ever fumbled at any level.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

No question. Amazing ball security on that team.

CC (Atlanta)

Even though we lost how impressive was the Falcons D? I'm actually quite optimistic b/c that O won't have another stinker like that.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

That is a good way of looking at it. Beat Carolina. Hang/Rest/Study for a week while your opponent beats itself up. Host a round 2 game. Dome will be rockin'. No one will remember this past game by then. ATL is strong.

Tarek (NYC)

Brady doesn't fumble either, he just tucks! I'm still bitter.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Bet you are...tough one to swallow!

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

AP has much improved his ball security, but I havent heard much about it. Must be cause the Vikings are so bad!

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

They did talk about it quite a bit last night. LOVE Peterson and he had a good game, but he didn't look 100% at all to me. Lacked his usual voilence.

Curt (NJ)

Josh Freeman is a stud. Do you think the Bucs could become a serious contender next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

With a real good off season. Tough to hang with NO and ATL in that division too. Need some real help on D still. Not much room for error. But yes, Freeman is a stud.

Matt (Newport)

What do you think the Chiefs chances are in the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I am betting that they win one at home and then have a real long day in round 2

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Matt,Assuming there is a season next year, who do you see coaching the Cowboys? Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you and your family

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Thanks-you too. I would really lean towards Garrett right now.

Bart Kelly (belgrade)

Holmgren is your Xs and Os QB guru...to San Fran, what are the odds?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Zero...Cleveland just gave him a fortune one year ago. He isn't going anywhere.

bill ( okc)

who should the rams pick up in the 1st 3 rounds? i like a lb 1st round a WR the second and a quick speedy change of pace back the 3rd also is alshown jeffries out of south Carolina a senior

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Not going to get into names yet, but WR is clearly the #1 need. Maybe even get in the free agent market for a guy like V Jax. They have WR depth, but need one stud. Maybe package picks up for a big time WR prospect. I also like your thoughts at RB. Need a backup/complement for Jackson in a big way.

John (LA)

If it was the Broncos who got the #1 pick would they take Luck despite having Tebow

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Nah. Just bad business. Doesn't endear you to the owner to shell out that kind of money to a rook QB two years in a row! Prob trade the pick. But that is all moot. Luck should be a Panther.

CC (Atlanta)

Hartley missed the FG in week 3, McClure had the fluky snap + the Turner goalline fumble. Can we call ATL & NO even? I want a rubber match in 3-4 weeks!

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Would LOVE to see these two do battle one more time this year.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Kevin Kolb for Vikings' starting QB in 2011 - your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I like it. But like I said, the supply of QBs doesn't match the demand. That puts the Eagles in great shape with Kolb. He will be expensive! But Minny might be quite close with a vet QB.

Jimmy Clausen (Carolina)

But what happens to me then, Matt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Backup. Put on the back burner. Maybe traded. Doesn't really matter to be honest.

Tom (NJ, which is nothing like those stupid tv shows)

Matt, I need you. Who do you see breaking out next year, the same way Nicks, Loyd and Hillis did this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Wow, tough one. Going to have to kick that one around a little and see what happens this off season. Crabtree with a real QB? Dez?

johnny (duncan,ok)

u can start on my team jimmy

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I want to play against your team then Johnny!

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Folks. That is a wrap for me. Big family day planned. Need to run and get everyone into the mini van. But Happy New Year to all of you. I really do appreciate the support you give me. Be careful and have a tremendous 2011.