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January 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:55 AM)

Let's get this party started!

Kevin (Cleveland, OH)

How many years away from the playoffs are the Browns?

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Pretty tough to guess on that. Division is awfully difficult first of all. But they need a passing game. No way around that. They need other things as well-obviously. But until I at least see the beginnings of a passing game being built, I can't speculate.

Eri (Paris)

Raji second best NT in the league behind Ngata, right?Dude is a beast and he can dance too...

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

He is a total beast. Ngata isn't really a true NT, but I here where you are coming from. In the entire DT category, I would put him near the top. Ngata would be #1. Wilfork is tremendous. Kevin Williams is great. Kyle Williams was awesome this year. You have to recognize Suh. There are others, but Raji is now in that class for sure.

Mike (Boca Raton)

early start today?

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Five min early or so-best I could do!

Eri (Paris)

Harrisson or Matthews? Who's best?

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Turned in my Super Bowl Player Rankings last night. Had to rank EVERY player on both rosters from 1 to 106. Not going to reveal it all, but I have Harrison one spot above Matthews. And that is a very tough call. Plus Matthews doesn't have a guy like Woodley on the opposite side. Still, Harrison would be my vote for DPOY and he is just a total animal.

Ben (Fairfield, CT)

So how are you going to trash Sanchez this week? If the defense could tackle in the 1st half, he could of had a chance to win the game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Download yesterday's Football Today podcast. At the end of the show, I praised Sanchez up and down for his past two games performance. Just call it like I see it.

Eric (Paris)

Biggest need for the Bucs except DE?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I look at the Bucs needs as pretty much all on D. I would not go DT, but DE is the top need and after that, I don't think they need to be picky on D. If a real good value RT fell into their lap in the 2nd round or so, I would strongly consider that route as well. But I guess I put Safety as need #2.

Sameer (Nashua, NH)

Is Randy Moss still an impact reciever? If you were Belicheck, would you go get Moss back or make a trade for Fitgerald, Jackson or someone else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I do think they will add a vertical threat with size. They have plenty of draft picks to get that done-either with a rookie or using the picks as trade bait. Why would Zona trade Fitz? V-Jax is certainly interesting though as a free agent-same with S Rice. As for Moss-he didn't make anything close to an impact after he left the Pats. My hunch is he can still do it though-although he showed nothing. But if he is still that one trick deep threat pony, he can make an impact.

Jamie (Rochester, NY)

With the Bills issues on defense, is there any way they consider Green with the 3rd selection in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

I would think not, but I still don't consider WR a strength of that team either. They are weak just about everywhere. If Green is truly the best player on the board, I would have no problem at all going that direction. But, like you said, it almost has to be D.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Were you surprised at how well Casey Hampton did against Nick Mangold? For an All Pro I thought Mangold had a poor showing.

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Love Mangold and thought he was totally dominant vs. Indy. But yes, I would say Hampton got the better of him. Hampton can still play though! But yeah, I agree with you.

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

Denver Broncos appear to be shifting to a 4-3. What do you think about that based on personnel and availability of players?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Dumervil will be okay as a 4-3 DE, but he can't be an everydown player in that role. Ayers is better suited for the 4-3. But still, they need another DE for sure. I see a bunch of "Guys" at DT for their new scheme, which is why I would jump all over Fairley or Dareus to build around.

Jacob (Wisconsin)

What team has the best foundation built for the next 5 years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

New England. No doubt in my mind. Outside of Brady, they are extremely young-and are loaded with draft picks going forward.

Sean (DC)

List your top 5 trio of Wrs........Mine would be 1)GB 2) Indy when healthy 3) Giants based onpure stats 4) Cowboys and 5) Eagles

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Tough to argue with your list. NOrls could be in the convo. As could PGH, but not as good as the ones you mentioned. Minny? Jets?

Bill (Largo MD)

From a pure talent level, which team makes it to the Super Bowl in 2011, Jets Giants or Ravens?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Would still bet on New England ahead of those.

Dave (Fresno)

Do you think Sage Rosenfels should be a starter somewhere?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Maybe, but he would always be the type of starter that you would constantly try to upgrade upon. So-stop gap starter.

Steve (Harrisburg)

Do you see the Steelers being able to run the ball on the Packers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

I can see Mendenhall having a very good all around day, esp as a pass catcher like Forte did last week. I think PGH will run it better than the Packers and I think they will be able to run "Enough". Make sense?

Rakibul Islam (NY NY)

Can Mario Williams be effective as a 3-4 DE? I kno Wade runs a one-gap scheme unlike most 3-4 systems, but it's still a big shift from the 4-3

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

That is the #1 reason that I would not have hired a 3-4 guy. Makes little sense to me. You have the 1st overall pick and a premier DE-the guy you built around! Then, you switch it all up. 4-3 schemes can work! Now, a terrible D has many more needs than they would have, which makes rebuilding it all that more difficult. I like Wade-don't get me wrong and he might scheme some things up to improve this group-but overall, that is bad biz to me.

Chris (Minnesota)

Is the window closed for the Vikings now? They have some talent on offense (Peterse, Harvin, Rice) but on defense we are only getting older.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Depends what they do at QB. All depends on that position. They are getting older and they do have other needs (DB and OL) than QB, but if they had a good QB right now, I think they could still compete. Maybe Kolb is that guy. Not sure.

Shane (Tucson)

Which NFC teams will be the best in the coming years

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Philly is built for the long haul and could get another high pick from dealing Kolb. I know it didn't show this year, but I think Dallas' roster is pretty solid with an addition or two that JJ will surely make. GBay of course is right up top too...they get Finley back next year! And Grant!

Kevin (Cleveland, OH)

Which NFL team is the next to crawl out of the cellar?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I am sure you would love to hear the Browns, but I am not biting. Lions? Someone from the NFC West?!?! But...can I at least see what these teams do in the draft and free agency? lol

Dan (Boston)

Woodley is a guy who would be perfect for NE, any chance he leaves Pitt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

He just seems like the exact type of guy that PGH does not allow to leave. Can't see it, but NEng would love him-no doubt.

Jacob (Wisconsin)

Do you think that the Packers should match up C. Woodson on Hi. Ward and put T. Williams on M. Wallace or would you put Woodson on Wallace?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

I would put Williams on Wallace-just a better matchup from a speed perspective-like Cromartie instead of Revis. Woodson will be used all over the place-including on H Miller, but he certainly has a nice advantage against Ward right now. This group of CBs (including Shields) is just so good right now-and they use them very intelligently. Impressive.

Nick(Middletown, NJ) [via mobile]

The Bills have to draft Nick Fairley if he's there at 3. C'mon man!

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

For sure-and I still am not an expert on the draft-but how can he fall past Carolina and Denver? Don't see that happening. Denver should do cart wheels if he is still there.

Carolina Panthers (via mobile)

Did you say stop gap QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Nice. I can buy that.

Justin (ATL)

Rank these QBs going forward: Bradford, Ryan, Flacco, Sanchez, Freeman.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

As they stand this minute: Ryan by far, Flacco, Freeman, Bradford, Sanchez. How I like them going forward: Bradford, Freeman, Ryan, Flacco, Sanchez. And by "Going Forward", I mean long term-total career.

Sam (New York)

Is Peyton Manning on the decline? Seems like last year everyone wanted to crown him as the best QB of all time. Until he blew it in the Super Bowl that is...

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I would say he is declniing more than he is ascending-and none of us ever stay the same. But only like a 2% drop off-which still makes him just about better than everyone else. He is still an all time great and a total super star.

Ray (pgh)

Rank these QBs going forward: Kolb, McNabb, Palmer, VY.

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Yuck. From this minute on, I will go: Kolb, Palmer, VY, McNabb. Not a real similar group though! Two youngsters and two old timers.

Kevin (WI)

If Pouncey plays through the bad ankle, do you think Raji pushes him around?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

If Pouncey was 100%, I will still give that one-on-one advantage to Raji. Pouncey is very good, but I actually think he has become a little overrated. He isn't the best OC in the game and huge power NT types give him a tough time.

Eric (Chicago)

Why is everyone so caught up in QB rankings when majority of the QBs they ask about suck? There is a Super Bowl to be played in 2 weeks and I know MW, you're liking Stairway To Seven, correct?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I have not yet made a prediction and I am in the middle of writing my Scouts Inc Preview. Haven't yet picked a score, but Stairway to Seven seems quite possible...but wow, GB is strong.

Ryan (San Diego)

Are you buying or selling the Chargers next season? Key FA's are Vjax, Floyd, Burnett, Cooper, Weddle. 5 picks in the first 89

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Not sure how I can answer that...because of everything you just said. As it stands right now, they are my favorite to win the West in 2011. But surely there will be a lot of change with their roster-and me sitting here today and guessing what moves they will make doesn't make sense. Tend to think BUY...because of Rivers mostly. Plus, I beleive in R Mathews to actaully do something in this league.

Eric (San Jose)

Are you looking forward to the Senior Bowl on Saturday?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

But of course and I have been following it all week. I used to go down with McShay and company, but I am just too busy with NFL stuff now-a-days. But I do miss it. Tremendous.

Mike (NY)

Speaking of Quarterback...how do you rank Eli Manning? Elite? Top Tier? Second rung? Middle of the road?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

8th or 9th overall. Not elite. Second rung I guess, but not at the very top of the second rung.

David (Cbus)

Screw the QBs! Rank the following bands GnR, AC/DC, Zeppelin, The Stones, Sublime.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Zeppelin wins by far. GnR is next. Stones. AC/DC. Sublime seems okay, but they don't belong in this convo.

Carlos (Belton)

how many years do you think Peyton Manning has left?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

5

Steve (Harrisburg)

Does the extra week off give one team more of an advantage?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I would say PGH, since they have more injuries. Also, the more hype and the more pressure builds for GBay, who just hasn't seen this media storm yet. PGH's experience in this game is certainly a big plus.

Brian (Milwaukee)

I'd have to argue that GB has the best foundation for the next 5 years, they have young superstars already on both sides of the ball. NE doesn't have many and draft picks are just draft picks at this point.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

GBay is extremely well built for the long haul. But I disagree that draft picks are just draft picks at this point. NEng is going to select someone with those picks! They are assets. That makes them set up very well. Not a knock on the Pack at all, but I still take the Pats.

Carlos (Belton)

what do you think about Jay Cutler?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I think everyone is way too hard on him for this. The guy got hurt. It happens.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Can the steelers pressure the Packers O to help out in the secondary? Pretty encouraged by the play of Hood, Hampton, and Kiesel

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Yeah, this DL is playing extremely well and I also think PGH has a real nice advantage with their OLBs vs. GBay's OTs. So, yes, I do think they are succesful in getting pressure.

Bill Belicheck (Foxborough, MA)

Am I still the best coach in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

No question.

Tom (Long Beach)

Do you think Eli has reached his peak? What you see is what you get.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

In a way, but I do think his INT numbers this year are not really a reflection of him. He values the ball better than those huge numbers would indicate. And if he cuts that number down over the next few years, his production will greatly increase.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Other than Bellicheck, any current coach that you'd take over Tomlin? NOT ME!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I don't think so. Really respect Harbaugh in Balt. S Payton is very strong. M Smith is impressive. But no, Tomlin would be my 2nd choice.

Ryan (San Diego)

New CBA by the draft, yes or no?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I have no clue and won't discuss it much on this chat or on my podcast. Not a labor expert. Sorry.

Matt (Lynchburg, VA)

If you were running the Carolina Panthers what would you do at QB this year? I don't really want any of the "top" QBs in this draft. Any veterans you think they could use?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

QB might have to be next year's project unfortunatly. Luck staying in school really hurt. But who knows, maybe Clausen shows us more in year 2. Certainly wouldn't reach on a QB just because he is a QB though.

Caleb (Andover)

I don't doubt for one second that Tomlin is a good coach, but he did inherit a great situation, organization and personnel. Agree?

Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)

Do you think the Raiders can challenge for the AFC West next year or will they regress back to a last palce team again? By the way AC/DC is way better than the Stones or GNR...

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Again, REAL tough to speculate on how 2011 will shake out before we see what these teams do in the off season! But, as it stands right now, I put Oak 3rd in the West for next year. Don't love the QBs.

K (philly)

Late first rd pick for Kolb? Qbs dont seem that impressive in the draft

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I bet Philly gets at least a late 1st

Steven (RI)

Should the Dolphins grab Mark Ingram in the draft if he is available at 15? Logan Mankins free agent to Miami?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I know the interior of Miami's OL didn't play well this year, but I think they are better than they showed. Mankins is fantastic though. Ingram would be a real good fit. But they have QB/WR needs as well. Would rather take the RB in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Jeff (Nashville)

Who does Gbay draft? OL? OLB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

OLB is their number one need to me. Need a guy opposite Matthews. A future starter at OT has to be considered too. Adding a playmaking SS wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Have you heard anything more outrageous that Dick Lebeau would leave the Steelers to go to another team? Retirement is certainly possible. But why in the world would he leave the Steelers to go to, say Arizona, who defense resembles the French Army?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

That makes little sense to me too. I don't see Troy, LaMarr and James in Zona.

Jerry Jones (Dallas,Tx)

Do you think we should get Asomugha , draft Prince or move up to draft Peterson

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Adding Nnamdi would be huge for Dallas! Huge. I love it. I also think a really good FS would go a long way too.

Justin (ATL)

Falcons needs in order: DE, WR, nickel CB, LT, RB. Sound good?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Sounds real good. I might actually put WR over DE. I know I am in the minority, but adding one more weapon for this O would be huge for Ryan.

Steve (Bristol)

Being a Skins fan, can you give me something to look forward to over the next couple of years... other than high draft picks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Wish I could. I see dispair in Washington for some time. Just not built for the long haul at all.

Jeff D (Denver)

Do you think Denver can get a 2nd rounder for Orton? once the new CBA kicks in of course

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

That is too much. 3rd or 4th rounder.

Steven (RI)

Are all the Jets wr's free agents?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

I know Santonio and Braylon are. Not sure on Cotchery. Brad Smith is up. Holmes is going to be extremely expensive. He is a stud.

Jerry (Texas)

Can Haynesworth be had by the 49ers for a 4th or 5th rounder?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

No way do I see him going to another 3-4 team!

Mo (New Mexico)

What are the chances of Oakland getting back Nnamdi Asomugha?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Would you go back if you were Nnamdi? He is finally out. Had some awfully tough years in Oak! I would think a better organization would be just a bit more appealing! Maybe that's just me though

Jason (af)

Revis or Nnamdi?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Revis, but that isn't a knock on Nnamdi at all. He is clearly #2. And he is clearly great.

Carlos (Texas)

do you think the Colts will do better in 2011?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

They HAVE to be healthier-esp at their skill positions, which is obviously key for Manning. Also, Polian isn't real used to picking this high on draft day. Could actually land a starting DT or LT where they sit. So, yes. Plus, I am not real excited about the rest of the AFC South.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Is there a worse organization than Oakland?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Carolina is pretty terrible. Cincy is in the discussion. They are no where near as bad, but I am starting to really worry about Miami. Buff?

Awayne (INDY)

Isn't Revis or Nnamdi like asking Manning or Brady? One may be slightly better but you would kill to either on your team.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

No question

Matt (Lynchburg, VA)

What players on the Panthers, other then RBs and Beason, would you welcome on your team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

There are plenty actually: Kahil, Gross, Otah, C Johnson, T Davis, Pretty much the whole secondary. That D could be middle of the road with a superstar DT like Fairley. The passing game is the real area of weakness.

Jerry (Texas)

Is Champ Bailey still a CB, or should he move to Free Safety?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Still a very good CB, but I see FS in his future. Which is nice considering that he is a free agent now and could pay off longer than other CBs due to his potential for a position switch.

Max (Ca)

Trade Welker while he still has value and play Tate and Edelman inside? Pats need to get the ball into their speedy playmakers' hands more often. No knock on Welker but has the knee cost him his quick first breakaway step?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Bet you wouldn't get as much for Welker as you think and would be best keeping him. Coming off a knee. A systems guy. Also, I like Tate on the outside.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Bold trade prediction: McNabb to Miami. Haynesworth to Denver

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

I like Haynesworth to Denver for sure. Hadn't thought of that one. Nice. The other makes some sense too, but again, makes me question the Phins.

Jason (Moon Twp.)

Do you get the feeling Troy is more injured than reported, or are they scheming him differently? His impact hasn't been as significant in the playoffs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

More injured. Keeping him in the deep middle-away from contact. These two weeks off could do him a ton of good.

Carlos (Belton, TX)

do you think Bob Sanders is done?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

No, but he is crazy expensive for a guy who plays so seldomly.

Tom (Halifax, VA)

Haynesworth to Denver won't work out. Do you really see Fox taking on that kind of player? All his history in Carolina says no chance he wants a player with the attitude of Big Al.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I understand that. But I think Al NEEDS to go to a 4-3 and if he did, his attitude might just change dramatically. Where else could he land? Back to Tenn?

J.B. (PA)

The Vikings seem dangerously close to making that 'bad organization' list considering some of the things that have gone on with personnel over the past 12 months.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I would say they are teetering on that fence.

Chris (Minnesota)

You can pick one QB, RB, and WR to start a team with.....who do you choose?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

QB Always. RB would be last. They just have short shelf lives and are often a product of the system and environment.

Jason (Moon Twp.)

Do you think the Steelers will resign Suisham next year? Seems very underwhelming.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Highly doubt it. PK will be a need this off season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Okay folks. Great chat. Tough weekend ahead without the NFL. Take care!