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May 11, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Hey Folks! Wish there was more football to talk about, but it is what it is. But I do want all of you to know to drop me a line any time on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL. Let's get this rolling!

Mitchell (NYC)

What was your opinion of the Giants draft? They still have holes at OLB and OL. OLB is hard to plug up, but isn't it easy to pick up a decent OL in free agency to plug in for a few years while developing younger talent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I can live with their OL from top to bottom. They had a ton of injuries last year-and should be healthier (you would think). In the meantime, they shuffled a lot of bodies to different spots and I think that position versatility could really pay off next season. I also like Brewer as a long term LT prospect. So, I would not go crazy with OL additons-but certainly would consider it if something attractive was available. As for LB, again, I am not as worried as most Giants fans. NYG is VERY deep and loaded at both DL and in the secondary. Therefore-and they did some of it last year-I think we see more unique D sets with 5 DBs on the field (or maybe even 5 DLinemen) on 1st and 10. I like Boley vs. the pass and Goff vs. the run. Bullock could be enough of a stop gap to contribute enough to get by. Again, I would listen-and I would be more apt to sign LB help than OL...but it isn't the end of the world to enter the season with what they have.

tony (razorback nation)

M dub can dj Williams and Finley do what pats did with their tight ends?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Yes and No. The Pats are amazing with their TEs. They had Crump, who is just as much OL as he is TE. They have Hernandez, who is just as much WR as he is TE. And they have the pure two way TE in Gronnk. And the Pats would mix and match these guys and change personnel a ton on a play to play basis. The beauty with that is it makes the D chose what to label each of these different TEs-and no matter what, that almost always leads to a good matchup for Brady. But Williams is very enticing, but both he and Finley fit more of the Hernandez mold. So, it will give them new and fun options, but not just like the Pats. And-oh by the way-Finley is a total mismatch for ANYone in this league who tries to cover him.

Mike (Rochester, MN) [via mobile]

What team/s do you think would be interested in the Panthers Charles Johnson and Richard Marshall?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Both will get a LOT of attention. Johnson had a much better season than Marshall though. Marshall has been a good CB, but struggled last season. Still, could prob come up with a long list of teams that will show interest after the top few free agent CBs sign. Johnson is going to make a fortune. How about Cleveland? Atlanta? Jacksonville? Actually, Carolina very much needs to bring Johnson back and they should have Franchised him.

Brad (Beverly, Ma)

Who do you think as the best option for Miami at QB? I don't have faith in Chad Henne, because his inability to look off the defense is a huge problem.

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

I was high on Henne one year ago, but wow, he was terrible last year. The Dolphins did an excellent job in the draft though to make his life MUCH easier. Found the missing parts. Now it is all on Henne. And I think that is the right decision. Still would consider a vet, but wouldn't go crazy. However, if this doesn't work this year, then that coaching staff could get let go. So, while it is a solid long term strategy, it isn't such a great move for the now-and job security.

Dean (NY)

Matt, what will be this year's best deep-ball combo: Roethlisburger/Wallace, Rivers/V. Jackson, Rodgers/Jennings, or Vick/D. Jackson? Or someone else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Wow, they are all very good ones! I think I would put the GBay pair last of those four though. But those other three? Big time. Don't make me pick! lol

manny (texas)

Matt your a know texan hater but this is our year colts window is closed. We got jj watt brooks read brandon harris and oh yea Williams as our olb in wade we trust.

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Not a Texans Hater. Don't be rediculous. I am actually just starting a Pressure Point article about Mario and the Texans D. Look for it on Friday. It is interesting for sure-and they now have a ton of options. Very impressed with what Houston did on draft weekend to help Wade. And I do trust Wade to coach this group up. I still think a veteran DB of some sort is in the cards from free agency-they are just SO young at CB. And I worry about the NT spot. But overall, becoming more and more of a believer in the Texans. But will still pick Indy in the AFCS

Steve Smith (Unknown)

Where am I gonna play next year??

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Bet there is a good market: Raiders? Browns? Bills? Texans-wow, opposite Andre? Jaguars? Redskins? Bears? 49ers?

packfan (gb)

I agree with you on the deep ball threats there Matt. Aaron and Greg don't throw deep balls, Greg is just magic with the ball in his hands and its all YAC.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Not all YAC, but that is certainly a big part of their equation. But they will line Jennings up in the slot and just send him deep through the middle of the D-very tough for a D to deal with...esp once Finley returns. Plus, the Pack isn't tremendous in keeping pass pro for an extending time...but that might improve too.

Nathan (DC)

Are you excited for Hangover II, or just confused by its weird commercials?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Was excited...now, confused.

Matt (Dallas)

IMO Mario Williams is one of those uncommon DEs who are above average at both pass rushing and playing the run. Which part of his game is going to be more affected by this move to OLB - his ability to stop the run or his ability to get to the quarterback?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Neither really, and I also don't expect him to be a pure 3-4 OLB either like a Woodley. He will line up all over the place, including as a 5 Technique. The thing is that now he will be playing further away from the ball usually. More time in space. More coverage.

Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)

We don't "lol" in this chat.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Thanks Ed. I did need that. What was I thinking?

Brad (Beverly, Ma)

Anything good on the Ipod right now? I got some Shakedown Street by the Dead playing.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Great tune. Nice work. I have my entire playlist going and as we speak-coincidently: The Dead's Box of Rain just popped on while I was posting your question.

colin (Florida)

hey so what about todd collins to the seahawks

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Hey, how about not?

Vince (Hoboken)

Do you know much about the Giants 2nd rounder? Marvin Austin.

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Big time talent who never should have lasted that long in terms of his ability. Will be an upfield penetrating type. Very quick off the snap, but also powerful. Great situation for Austin to go to-can work him in slowly. Might be a big help early on passing downs. Makes me think that Cofield will leave though.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Some teams (Cleveland, for example) seem to be going back to the fullback to help protect their young QB. Do you think that this might the things coming full circle? Also, why don't teams with established QBs utilize the FB for the same reason?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I don't think things are coming around full circle. TEs are more dangerous and versatile than ever and I think for the most part, TEs are more desirable than FBs.

Patrick (Wisconsin )

Is ricky elmore frank zombo 2.0? And I read Lawrence guy was going in the 3 or 4 round did we get a steal thanks._

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

We shall see, but both are very intriguing picks that could pay off. I doubt either turns into a steal of S Shield or T Williams proportions, but boht look like like have an chance to contribute for sure.

Sergio (San Diego)

Hi Matt, do you think that the Bills will make play offs with the help in defense (Dareus, Williams, Sheppard) and one year more of experience in the other side? Can Fitzpatrick drive the team until play offs? What do think about this?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I think there were strides made-esp on D. Excellent draft. But you are talking about playoffs? Playoffs? No, I don't think so. Still #4 in the AFCE. Where is the pass rush? The OTs still really worry me. I like Fitzpatrick, but in the end, he is "Just a Guy". One more pass catcher also is a must.

Grant (Colorado)

No need to worry the draft was great for everyone, only one problem for 31 teams... the Packers are going to repeat

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

You might just be correct about that. But let's at least see what happens in free agency, the preseason and the regular seasons first...

Rex R (NY)

Do I annoy you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

A little. But to each his own-and I do very much respect you as a coach. Have done a heck of a job with the Jets-and of course in Balt before that. Some of your antics are not my style, but would never let it affect how I judge you as a head guy. Strictly business.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub we all know that Nnamdi is the top FA CB in the market, but I'm also thinking where guys like Jonathan Joseph & Antonio Cromartie would be good fits. Thouhght?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Anthony, you have posted this question like a hundred times. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. But where do you think these guys would be a good fit? Need to tell me a little more here Bro.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Do you think that the Ravens drafting of CB Jimmy Smith is the steal that everyone says it is?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Sure do

Mark (NJ)

How does Marvin Austin compare to the Giants 2nd round pick from 2010{Linval Joseph}? The Giants were very high on Joseph when they drafted him. Does the drafting of Austin mean the G'men are not happy with Joseph and he was a wasted pick??

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Nah, I think it is more of an indication that the G Men think the world revolves around defensive linemen-not that I disagree. And that Cofield will probably leave town. Joseph is a bigger guy than Austin. He is more of the NT/1 Technique type. While Austin is more of the upfield/3 Technique type.

Mike (Boca Raton)

How about Carlos Rodgers as a second tier CB to Pittsburgh if Ike leaves town?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Thought about that myself. And I think Ike's play was a bit overrated in 2010-plus I think he is 31 years old, which isn't a Steelers'-type of signing. But Rodgers wasn't great last year either. However, I think PGH's pass rush is just a smidge better than the one he played behind last year in Wash.

Matt (Granbury, TX)

Is Faneca getting in to the HOF someday? If his former teammate Dawson is having trouble getting in, I don't think it bodes well for him either.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I Tweeted about that last night. And Dirt was brought up in rebuttle. I think Dirt is more deserving than Faneca. I also think from this generation that Hutchinson is more deserving. But I also think that Faneca had a HOF worthy career. Predicting the voters-esp as interior OLinemen-is awfully tough to do though.

Rigidy (Hartford)

Would Barrett Ruud fit into the Giants defensive system if/when he leaves the Bucs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I suppose. Vs. the run though, I would rather have Goff. I think Ruud is overrated. I tend to think that if the Giants are to add a LB, they should add a stud. Ruud isn't stud-that rhymes. Or, could just go for a sure SLB type like Anderson from Carolina.

Jerry (Texas)

Is it me, or do the Giants always use a 1st or 2nd rounder on the D-Line.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

...and they are always competitive

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, given the Vikings' underwhelming offensive line play last year, how much of it was due to injuries relative to age or ineffective play? Might DeMarcus Love infuse some youth and energy into this offensive line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I think the problem with Minny's OL is that they have bad football players. It is really that simple. As for Love, he has a chance to help at RT or more likely, OG. But I wouldn't be doing jumping jacks for landing D Love in Round 6.

Jason (San Francisco)

Hey Matt Do you follow the stats at football outsiders or pro football focus? Does that help at all in your player evaluations?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I do. Along with KC Joyner. I think that is a wonderful tool for doing my job. An interesting way of seeing the game. Along those lines, I read/watch/study EVERYthing that I can get my hands on that I consider from a strong source.

Nick (St. Louis, MO)

Does Darren Sproles makes sense for the Rams since they didn't do anything about the backup RBs in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

STL MUST do something at RB. Felt like neglecting that was a big mistake. Sproles would be fine, but honestly, if you add him, I still think you need add another guy. More of an every down back. Sproles is just too specialized to be a pure backup-esp to S Jax.

Steve (NY)

Steve Wisniewski seems more than deserving of HOF consideration. Excluding Randall McDaniel there weren't any other interior linemen from that era that were obviously better than the Wiz.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Wiz was a little earlier than those guys. Someone on Twitter also brought up Larry Allen and Will Shields. I would take Dawson over all of them...but I could be slightly biased on that one!

Eric (Paris)

Bonjour from France Matt! Do you think Mason Foster could be a Derrick Brooks type of Linebacker?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

No. More of a MLB fit for the Bucs. Doesn't move anything like Brooks...who was pretty good!

pablo 3 (colorado)

why arent you answering my question?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I either didn't see it-or you haven't asked anything good.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub would the Lions be able to add Charles Johnson to their defensive line or would they likely not have any cap space pending CBA?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Wow. Can't really see Det spending a lot more money on their DL! Except if they bring back Avril, which would make sense. But they need to eventually help the back 7 of that D!

Pablo (Pueblo )

why are you so mean?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Pablo, I did just notice that you are from Pueblo. I like that. But...I would suggest you ask something of consequence or your 5 minutes of fame will be quick to evaporate.

Aggie (TX)

Hey Matt, what do you think of Jason Garrett? At least what you have seen to date.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Been impressive. Seems to me that with picks like Smith and Murray, that he is gradually going to more of a pass-first O...which I am favor of for Dallas. Limited viewings of Garrett, but he is bright. And I would have done the same thing as JJ and hired him.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, as it stands today, how would you rank the NFC East? I'm guessing Washington is bottom of the barrel again.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Oh yeah-for sure. As for the Top 3. I really could put them in any order. Let's see what happens in free agency. Tending to lean towards NYG to win it now though.

alex (orlando)

How many years till Blaine starts? And do u like rackley thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

I do like Rackley as a RT or more likely a starting caliber NFL OG. I bet Gabbert starts games this season.

Aggie (TX)

Why does Philly keep going smaller and smaller at LB? Seems to me a team with a good power running game could just run over them.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

& they are not real heavy up front either, esp at DE. But, I do think their model is a big power player (Bradley) at MLB. And a bigger guy at SLB, with a real speedster at WLB. Also, it is important to note how much help Dixon was at DT in terms of overall team run D.

Nathan (DC)

If Pablo really thinks you're mean, he doesn't spend much time in ESPN NFL chats!

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I don't either. Rough neighborhood, huh? "Roll em up Rusty!"

Curt (NJ)

Asamougha. Adam Schefter says he believes that he'll end up in the NFC East. Do you share the same conviction?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Philly seems to be the leader in the club house. We know that Washington will spend-and Shanny game planned against Nnamdi quite a bit in the AFC West. Of course Dallas could be a major player too. So, yes.

Aggie (TX)

Other than the Saints don't you think the Colts would be a perfect fit for Reggie Bush?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Real good fit. That is an O that knows how to use tweener types. Can pass block well enough. In a dome. Yeah, I am on board with that. But Indy doesn't usually make big free agent splashes from other teams.

jose (pueblo)

dont talk about my boy pablo like that

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Jose, you would be cooler if you were from San Jose.

Mike (San Diego)

"Vacation" Excellent!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

"This is crazy. This is crazy."

Marc (Charlotte)

Quan Sturdivant was a pretty darn good player in his 4 years at UNC, why do you think he slipped to the 6th round?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Don't have a great answer for that. That position does tend to drop, but it also made me think that he might have had a character or medical issue that most of us didn't know about. Seems like a steal for Zona though-and a good fit at a need position.

Steve (NY)

While he has never lived up to his lofty draft status, Michael Huff has been effective the last two seasons. How much of an effort should Oakland make to keep him? The conventional wisdom is that Dallas is poised to overpay him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I very much agree. But I also contend that he was excellent last year. Oak finally got smarter with how they used him and let him stay further away from the LOS as a deep coverage player. I think Huff is for real. GREAT fit in Dallas. Will have several suitors though.

Tre (Miami, FL)

I really do think Howard will stay in Orlando seeing that he gets some surrounding talent.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Ok. Wrong chat Bro

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, does Reggie Bush really count as a "big free agent"? Don't you have to be kinda good at least, to qualify for that title?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

He is kinda good. And yes, he qualifies for sure.

Mike (San Diego)

Real tomato catsup, Eddie?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

On that note, I am out. Good stuff today folks even though this lockout is driving us all insane. Take care. Download the podcast. Follow me @WilliamsonNFL