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February 9, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Let's do this!

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

Do you think San Fran should keep Alex Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I think it would be wise to keep Alex Smith if they are shooting to pick first in next year's draft and secure Andrew Luch for Harbaugh. That could be their plan. Seriously, I don't have a problem keeping him around-not at all. But I would have a problem if they just annoint him the starter and don't bring in legit competition for that job.

Tyler (ATL)

Do you think Matt Ryan will be know as an elite QB even without a playoff win?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

He isn't yet. There are 6 Elite QBs-Ryan isn't one of them. But he might be #7. Still, he isn't overly physically gifted and I wonder about his upside/ceiling as a whole. Had a great year though and I hope ATL is very aggressive in finding him one more legit target at WR or TE. But they are run-first for a reason too. Ryan isn't a guy that you put the entire O on his shoulders.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Any chance the bucs go after matt light or logan mankins in free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Well, Joseph is up for free agency too. Mankins would certainly be an upgrade. And I could see TBay being more aggressive in free agency this year overall. They could use a pricey vet or two. But I don't like Light as a fit that well. They need more RT help than LT. And I could take or leave Light at this point.

Justin (ATL)

Where would you rank Brent Grimes against the other CBs? He had a pretty impressive year. Hes always around the ball.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Very good year. Want to see more. Wouldn't say he is a Top 10 guy or anything like that, but I like him more than D Robinson and together, they make up one of the better starting pairs of CBs in the NFL.

Curt (Rocklin )

Matt enjoy your work. Can the Broncos afford to not draft one the top D Lineman in the draft. Drafting Peterson seems crazy to me. DB's are easier to get than impact D Lineman in my opinion. What are your thoughts.

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

I tend to agree...unless Peterson is just THAT much of a better prospect than someone like Dareus. That could be the case by draft time. But still, I would use the Lions mold and attack the DL first and foremost.

dan (texas)

you think jay culter wille ever be a super bowl winning qb?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

It could certainly happen. I thought he took great strides forward this season-and that was only Year 1 in Martz's O, which is very tough to learn. I do worry about his mental make up-but I don't question his toughness or desire to win. Frankly, I think he gets a raw deal from the media. He can play.

Nick (Seattle)

If you are the Seahawks, would you rather trade your first round pick of Kolb, or hope Locker or Mallett would be there when they pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

As with all the draft prospects, I need to do more work on Mallet and Locker, but from what I have seen, I don't think either is worth Seattle's first round pick. Would rather have Kolb. But, if they-or anyone for that matter-trade for Kolb, htey need to be very smart about their offensive design.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

PLEASE tell me the bengals let chad walk?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Boy, I would hope so. Such a distraction. Time for a change. And they have some young talent at the position. It wouldn't blow me away if he switched teams and had a good season or two somewhere else, but to me-I say Adios to Ocho.

Justin (ATL)

Why is Ryan not a guy you can put O on? Does the "fact" that the offense looked sooo much better when it was in the no huddle do anything for you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Trust me, I like Ryan a ton. Very heady. Accurate. Quick decsion maker. A good fit for the no-huddle as well. But, like you saw against the Packers in the playoffs, he isn't physically talented enough to put the entire O on his shoulders like a Rivers or Rodgers. Just can't carve up a D with his arm at all levels and areas of the field consistently like those guys. To me, that is the only thing that will hold him back from "Elite"...but "Elite" is a big word that should not be thrown out there as regularly as many do.

Nikki Sixx (via mobile)

Dub, what kind of tuneage you listening to today?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Just downloaded the Beatles new "Love" album yesterday. Listening to it now for the first time. Digging it quite a bit. Crue is for later on the eliptical machine today Nikki.

BenGee (NYC)

Gree Bay Superbowl next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Too early to say, but I really like how they are set up for the long haul. They get Finley back! Wow. And I don't see a ton of pressing needs. Young core. Repeating is obviously very difficult though.

Ryan (San Diego)

Rivers the best qb right now to not win a Super Bowl? Do you think he has the players around him to get one?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

I agree on that and he is my only Elite guy without a ring. But, this is a huge off season for the Chargers. Tons of free agents. Quite a few early draft picks too. But, just based on last year's roster, I do think he has enough-if they get special teams fixed and he isn't hit as hard by injuries as they were this season.

Steve (Bangor, PA)

Is Jason Campbell the right guy to take Oakland to the next level?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I don't really see it, but I would not be critical of Oakland if they were to give him another full year to really find out. Seems too unwilling to let it fly.

Bryan (Springdale)

Do you think Ryan Mallet really will fall out of the first round like Mel Kiper suggests? While his late game decision making his suspect, his talent tools have a sky-high ceiling, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

His passing has a high ceiling. His improv skills/feet do not. He worries me a lot. And if the character concerns are legit, I would really worry. But, he is a Bledsoe type. Needs a great OL...and how many teams right now really have a great OL? Very few.

Al (Wausau, WI (COLD up here!))

Matt, do you think my Vikings have a shot at an 8-8 record next year? If not, what might be more realistic? I know this may be tough to answer, given all that can happen. Your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Yeah, not avoiding the question, but that is too tough to answer. For just one reason: QB. Every team is going to have a lot of change between now and the 2011 Opener, but Minny can't possibly go into next year with this QB situation. Until then, I have to reserve judgement.

Jon (KC)

How high is Jamal Charles ceiling? Have we seen the best yet?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

What we saw this year was pretty good! He was tremendous with a rediculous yards per carry average. I guess the next steps with Charles is if he can even progress further as a recevier and how much more of a work load can he handle as a runner without slowing down.

Matt (IN)

Any thoughts on the HoF class?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Strong group for sure. I have to admit-know next to nothing on the two veteran committee guys. There were certainly a few great player left out who I think will get in like C Martin, J Bettis and D Dawson.

Plaxico Burress (The Pen)

Am I on an NFL roster this fall?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Oh I think so! Well, I think you are def in an NFL Training Camp. Maybe you look slow and cannot seperate. But you will get the chance to see what you can do.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Is there a chance if carson goes that bengals will get vince young,say it isn,t so?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

That hardly seems like the right fit for me as a QB who can change the look/persona of an ailing franchise. I don't like that at all.

Vincent Jackson (Free Agent)

If you had to guess, where do I play next season if there is a season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Tend to think you stay in SD. You and the Chargers (Rivers) are just perfect for one another. Both parties need to see that. You are an elite deep ball receiver and Rivers/Norv are great at getting it to you downfield. Plus, Floyd's contract is up as well. Another team to consider: New England.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Bears - Plaxico, Vincent Jackson or neither?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Neither. Neither is a Martz-type of quick route runner. Think I Bruce.

Rick Anderson-Rodgers (Madison)

Can you please settle an arguement. Who is a better QB right now, Drew Brees or Tom Brady? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Not easy, but I go with Brady. Certainly had the better year of the two. Can't go too wrong with either of course and I do think that Brees was more injured than any of us know this past season, but still-his INTs were quite concerning.

Jon (KC)

Does Tebow really start 16 games next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Bet that is the plan, but I really can't see a QB playing the position like Mike Alstott as someone who is a good bet to stay healthy in the NFL for 16.

Mike (Nashville)

How does Mike Heimerdinger go from Head Coach candidate to fired??

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Crazy huh? I guess Munchak wasn't all that high on him!

Mark (Cleveland)

With the Browns need for a WR. Do you see them ending up with AJ Green or could they possibly go after Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, or Sidney Rice?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

2 WRs wouldn't hurt! Green would would fantastic, but can he really last that long on DDay? Tend to doubt it. Would even settle for J Jones-or trade up for Green. A young guy would be great to grow with Colt, but I wouldn't argue with any of the guys you mentioned either. They need SERIOUS help at WR!

Patricia (Syracuse)

Big Donovan McNabb fan here. Where do you think he has a chance to play next year and be successful?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Not a big McNabb fan here. Sorry. But of the possibilities, I would say Minny would be the best situation. Maybe SF. Needs a very strong supporting cast at this stage. Still, his accuracy just isn't cutting it.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Why would anyone take a chance on vincent jackson,doesn,t he have 2 strikes already?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

That is obviously a massive concern...but he can sure play the game.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Any chance Peterson drops to the Browns at #6? Or is D-Line/WR more pressing?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Find it very hard to believe that Peterson drops that far. Seems pretty close to a perfect prospect at CB. And I REALLY like Haden. Too many other needs for the Brownies, but if by chance he was sitting there, maybe you could get a ton in trade from a team like Det.

Steve (NY)

Will Woodson's post Raiders success convince Al Davis that he can't let Asomugha get away in free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

But if you were Nnandi, would you be overly excited about coming back to the Raiders? Been a pretty rough stay in Oakland thus far! And there will be tons of opportunities for this guy in other cities.

Frank (Chi)

Any way the Bears try to make a play for Haynesworth? He would be a perfect fit and make their line scary good. Are there any other free agents you could see them picking up... maybe Mankins?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Hadn't thought about Big Al in Chicago. With Peppers, that is a LOT of $$$ in the DL, but I think Marinelli would handle his attitude pretty well-and there are not all that many teams running a true 4-3 anymore for him. Mankins would be terrific too-big fan. These guys are not cheap though Frank!

Ryan (San Diego)

Do you agree with Brady being unanimous MVP? Not one person thought that Rivers or Vick meant a lot to their teams, perhaps more than Brady?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

My voting (just on regular season) would have gone: 1. Brady 2. Rodgers (no running game and lost Finley) 3. Rivers 4. Vick

Bladerunner (Woodbridge, VA)

Huge Eagles fan...... what would you start out with to upgrade this team and what kind of outlook do you see for this young team, youngest in the league I believe?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

That youth is certainly exciting. A lot of guys on this roster that should only improve. CB would be my #1 need for sure. Might even need two more CBs. RT/OG is a need as well. Maybe one more LB. How much can you count on S Bradley? I like this team's make up though. I do like Vick of course, but am not completely sold.

Ted Thompson (Green Bay)

Typical Bears fan yelling about spending more in free agency. Sigh.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Nice. Very nice.

Steve (NY)

I thought the Jared Veldheer showed a lot of promise for a DII rookie playing LT for the Raiders. What is your evaluation of him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

In that respect, yes. HUGE jump from where he played his college ball to the NFL-and a tough position to pull it off. Still, I do worry about his pad level and ability to sink his hips and play the game low enough. But overall, a good find for sure. Oak quietly had an exceptional draft class. I also really like L Houston.

George (Sactown)

Chances of Niners getting Kolb, McNabb or Orton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Would think the % is quite good. New coach. New optimism. Maybe go out and spend a buck or two. Esp considering the rest of the NFC West, SF doesn't have a TON of huge needs either.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Is desean jackson the next t o or chad i.e.big mouth?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

WRs with big mouths are not difficult to come by!

Mike (Boca Raton)

Are the steelers afraid that the success they saw with a power running game in the super bowl might actually be a valid offensive philosophy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Imagine that! lol...it was the thing they did best over their past two games. Would compliment the D quite well. Would take a little off Big Ben's plate. And I think Mendenhall can be a star in such a system. But their OC doesn't seem to agree!

vk (dc)

think the Skins resign Moss, or look elsewhere for a legit #1 wr?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Moss played great. If I were him, I would want out, but can Wash afford to lose him? Even if they brought him back, they still need to find yet another WR. Without him, they are shopping for two..that is awfully tough.

Greg (La Crosse)

Assuming there is a draft, what do the Panthers do at #1?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

It has to be Fairly. But I guess I could see Green or even Gabbert if his stock continues to rise. Trading down is probably what they want to do most though.

Scott (SoDak)

Matty - music question. Ever been to a Metallica concert? That's on my "bucket list" to do. I bet it'd be sick!

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Saw G N R and Metallica in Three Rivers Stadium when I was a younger man. It poured down rain the entire time. It was tremendous.

Jim (Lansing)

Is more teams going to 3-4 defense the best thing that can happen to teams that stay in 4-3?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Yes, it used to be the other way around of course. I live in PGH and use the Steelers as the model in this instance. They got A Smith in round 5, Keisel in round 7 and before that, they did an amazing job of getting guys like J Gildon and J Porter in the mid rounds. That doesn't happen any more for 3-4 teams, but pure 4-3 players (WLBs in particular) could really start to fall on DDay.

Dave (PA)

Is Vick one of those 6 elite QBs? If not how close is he?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

He isn't. Still too inconsistent. And frankly, when talking about him vs. the Big Boys, I just want to see a little more. KC Joyner does his Bad Decision metric-and Vick was the worst in the league this year...but just got away with more Bad Decisions than he realistically should have. Still sort of have an Incomplete grade on Vick when talking about the best signal callers in the game. But-that isn't to say I sell short how good he is/can be.

john (il)

what do the bears do with tommie harris. from his interview with local espn radio station, it looks to me he wants out.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

It might be time for a change of scenery with him. I am not sure what he makes a year, but I bet it is substantial. But...I would also really be curious what a team doc would have to say about him.

Hanson (KY)

Wild guess on who Danny Snyder makes his rediculous signing/trade this year,can he top McNabb and Haynsworth?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

I bet he will try!

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Just how close is Josh Freeman to being elite?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Not far. Obviously we need to see a lot more, but his progress this year was outstanding-exactly what you want to see. Extremely physically gifted too-he can be as good as any of them. Big time guy in the making.

RH (San Diego)

Knowing Mike Brown is it possible Donovan Mcnabb could go to Cincy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Unfortunatly, that does make a little bit of sense. Would be a huge mistake.

PT (Franklin)

Do you believe the Raiders should switch to a 3-4 or atleast show more varied looks, and looking at their current roster who do you think would be in that 3 man front?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

With their off season moves before this season, I thought they would be going to much more of a 3-4...just fits their personnel much better. They did some 3-4 of course, but I tend to think that will be their base D going forward. It should be. I love Seymour and Houston as the DEs. I don't see a true Hampton/Wilfork type NT, but Henderson is still a heck of a run stopper. Kelly could factor in as well. I like it. Wimbley would be even better at OLB in the 3-4 and Scott might fit that role too real well. The guy who gets the short end of the stick would be Shoughnessy, who I do like a lot.

Rob (Boston)

Why did the Pat's get bounced by the Jets? Overconfident? Bad game plan? They looked unimpressive...is Belichik losing his Yoda like grip on the team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Were outcoached for sure, but the Pats' QB played terrible. He didn't play a bad game. Brady played a terrible game. Was confused. Didn't pull the trigger to open guys. Might not have been real healthy either. That wasn't the only reason, but it was a huge reason.

vk (dc)

Are Rex Grossman and Ryan Torain the Skins starters next year? Should that be terrifying to Skins fans?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I bet one of the two is. And I think that is semi-terrifying. I prob like Grossman more than you do though. Guy isn't bashful and he can sling it. Shanny might surprise people with him. Not saying I love him by any stretch though! The Skins are a nightmare.

mark (missouri)

do you think there is a bias against raiders going to HOF, why is there no stabler,guy,branch, hayes,flores and now tim?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Might just be right. I do think it hurts some teams that there is already so many greats in the HOF. Oakland certainly qualifies. I bet Brown goes, but I would take C Carter over Brown-and he didn't get in either. Actually, I would take Branch over Brown too. Can see why Guy (not condoning it) and Flores are not in though.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Even though rex played less games he out-played mcnabb

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

More or less. Surely he would have been exposed more with more tape and more opportunities, but he isn't a tremendous slouch either.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

Do you see Jerry Jones spending alot in free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

He doesn't need to. High draft picks than usual and just a few needs-but those needs are big! CB, FS and OL (RT/OG) is what is needed. But, I could see Nnamdi as a target and remember that R Ryan coached him with the Raiders. That D could be sick with Nnamdi.

JK (IN)

If you combined the Redskins and Bills rosters would you have a playoff team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

No. You would have a team with a lot of holes.

vk (dc)

Grossman makes plays, I agree. But he also guarantees you 2-3 terrible turnovers per game. You can't win that way. Then again, the Redskins never win anyway...

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I don't disagree with you. I do like what Shanny can do with QBs though and how he designs offense. But yeah, not getting on the table for Grossman here.

Lonnie (Cincinnati)

more holes than a golf course

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Not only wouldn't they have a playoff caliber roster, but they still might have the worst roster in either of the East divisions.

Scott (Friggin' freezin' South Dakota)

The Niners need a CB a QB (obviously). I think they need a second WR, too, though. Am I alone in this thinking? Your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

I bet it is a little chilly in SD! Wow. And yes, one more WR would be a real nice addition. Morgan is fine, but he isn't enough.

Marco (FLA)

What time does the Lonnie from Cincinnati show end?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Most of you prob do not know this, but I don't always even look at the name of you guys posting. Like to keep the chat moving at a very fast pace. Read the first question that pops up, if I like it, hit the "POST" button.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

And on that note, I am out. Great chat. I will be in my normal time slot all off season. Stop back!