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October 5, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

MW here-lets get this party started!

Roberto (Atlanta)

With Orton becoming a free agent after this season, where do you think he ends up? Will any team ever see him as a viable franchise QB? He seems to always become a stop-gap for teams looking for the franchise guy.

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I agree with you. Servicable. Good fit for a team that drafts a QB high. Like Hass was for Tenn this year.

Roberto (Atlanta)

Is Eric Decker the only good draft pick McDaniels ever made in Denver?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Hmmm....no one else is popping up for me!

B (NC)

Matt, first of all, you're the man, and I miss your NFC East blog entries (you would have been a great replacement for Mosely). The Giants have gotten off to a good start, but have a brutal second half schedule. Think they can get into the playoffs this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Would have to study their schedule like you mentioned, but I give NYG as good of a chance as anyone else to win the NFC East. Eli is playing great. They are exceeding my expectations. Tend to think Wild Cards in the NFC come out of the North and South though.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Can Tom Brady continue to make New England's 32nd ranked defense an afterthought?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

He is doing a heck of a job at it so far! Must say that I am pretty amazed that the Pats D has actually gotten worse. Tend to think improvement is coming. But why hasn't it yet? D is awful

Taylor (Minneapolis )

What aspect of the 9ers hinders a deep playoff run (QB, OLine, Secondary)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

All three. I give Smith a lot of credit though-doing what is asked of him. That OL is pretty terrible though. I can live with the secondary-far from perfect, but not a huge problem.

brian (de)

Matt, as someone who was so high on the Dolphins D this year.... what has happened?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

First off-I was wrong on that one! Obviously. We all miss from time to time. Their lack of secondary depth has been a huge problem. Dansby hasn't played like Dansby. The LBs in general have really struggled in coverage. The DL looks great. Again, I do think they improve...but obviously not a Top 5 type unit. Need to add a DB or 2 in off season.

Matthew (NY)

Is Crabtree ready to break out? he played pretty well against this past week

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

2 weeks in a row now Crabtree has played well. Good fit in the WCO. Not a burner or big time downfield guy. So, yes-I think a big step forward is on the horizon for Crabtree.

Roberto (Atlanta)

Which rookies stand out to you at the quarter mark of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Just posted my Rookie Report about an hour ago! Check it out

Chris (LA)

Skins have two good tight ends and a monster running game. Nightmare for the Eagles linebacking corps, yes?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

True. Well coached disciplined running game.

Max (New York)

Are offensive lines really this bad or is it the simple fact that asking these guys to pass block 35+ times a game is too much especially considering the talent teams have on the DL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Both. Huge OL shortage around the NFL right now. So much spread in college has something to do with it I think. As does free agency and the lack of continuity. Also, the DL/D Players are even more athletic and impressive than ever.

Perry (Nobody Knows)

Steven Ridley, flash in the pan or a guy that's going to make NE even harder to defend?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Not a Flash in the Pan at all. Best Pats RB-and his touches need to keep increasing. BJGE is fine-reliable. But he gets what is blocked and not much else. Ridley makes yards on his own. Another great weapon for NEng.

Roberto (Atlanta)

Which coach is sitting on the hottest seat?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Gotta be Sparano...Haley would be 2nd

Drew ((NY))

Wut Up M-Dub, Ipod update

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Wut Up Drew. Right now I have my huge playlist on random and old school Ice Cube on now...will say, kinda new to rap at all, but like some of the old stuff.

A bored teacher (his classroom, London UK)

Matt, maybe I am wearing Hawk tinted spectacles but I think my beloved Seattle aren't too bad. Would I be right in thinking we are a QB away from being a very decent team in this league. Young, upside etc. Ok so we still need a number 1 CB and beast pass rusher but who does not!

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Big picture? I am with you. There is a lot to be excited about in SEA. Def need a QB. And a CB. Not wearing Hawk tinted glasses...I agree.

Roberto (Atlanta)

Considering your scouting expertise, is Luck as sound a product as he's advertised to be? Any flaws a potential buyer should be weary of?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Not that I am aware of now...but I do need to do much more draft research. Not much time for such things during the season.

Karyn (NJ)

What are your thoughts on Titus Young? Will he become the #2 receiver for Matt Stafford?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Yeah, I think so. Dynamic. Should soon kill one on one coverage. Obviously VERY different than Calvin J. Gives Det a very diverse set of pass catchers. am a fan-but might take a little time for him to adjust to the physicality at this level.

Paul (Albany, OR)

Thoughts on the Rams MW please? The schedule is difficult, but to not be respectable is another story. Seems silly to have ANOTHER coaching change, but something different needs to happen somewhere. Please give us your insight to the fix. Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

A coaching change isn't in order. Not yet anyways. I think Spags has done good things in STL...well before this year. But they flat out stink now. Can't cover. Can't block. Can't get open. Making Bradford's job WAY too difficult. Sure, the schedule has been tough and there has been injuries, but this isn't good enough. Awful showing.

Haim (Israel)

Hey M-dub! Greetings form the holy land. Love the podcast, and wish you were on more.What can Atlanta do to fix the o-line issues? I saw them using 6 O-linemen in the first half vs Seattle. Is that a good start?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

6 OL sets is worth a try. McClure being healthy will pay off for sure. Baker is just a bad player-he was last year too. That prob will not change. Losing Dahl hurts, because now you have 2 holes instead of just one (Baker). Still, the decline of this OL is pretty amazing that it has been so drastic.

Pat (MA)

Who are the dolphins going to pick up for their QB? Schefter says no on edwards and croyle...

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Seems like a very good fit for Garrard

Dan (Washington, DC)

Redskins playoff talk is extremely premature, correct? (Although they have already met the expected win total of ESPN the Magazine...)

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Much like NYG in an earlier post, I think they have a legit shot at that division. Actually, I think all four teams do. Tend to think that Grossman will hold them back in the end, but any way you cut it, this has been a very successful year for WASH.

Chris (Ann Arbor, MI)

Why don't the Steelers help their OL with playcalling or a bit of strategery? I seem to recall Heath Miller blocking Mario Williams 1-on-1 a few times. Absurd.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

And they left their OTs one on one with Freeney and Mathis far too often as well. Couldn't agree more. They just cut Scott and added Starks. Could be a step in the right direction. Can't be worse than Scott.

Max (New York)

Mike Tannenbaum, worst GM this offseason?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Hands were tied a bit. They were close the cap and had their hands full just to bring back their own. But my complaint is too much trading up in draft-lose too many picks in the process. Makes building depth far too difficult...and they are paying for it.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Surprised by Shanny's use of RBs, or should we have known better? What happens in the future?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

We should have known better. Hightower just doesn't bring enough to the table. Torain runs harder. Doubt he stays healthy, but he is their best option.

Logan (Detroit)

What is the Lions biggest need when the draft rolls around and in what round can we expect them to address it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Hard to say right now! But a power RB would sure be nice. A little more OL help too for sure. CB.

Pat (San Jose, Ca)

Can you put the 49ers front 7 up there with the Steelers and Ravens? they are pretty darn good aren't they?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

For sure. Certainly playing better than Pittsburgh's right now too. Smith and Willis are awesome, but the real up and comers are McDonald and Bowman-those two have taken that group up another level. And I really like the OLBs. A Smith made my Rookie Report this week.

Jim (Boston)

I'm shopping QB Fitz.....I've been offered AJ Green. Your thoughts ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Sounds fair. Would have no prob starting Green. He will be up and down, but he is awfully good. Guess it depends what else you have.

Rick (St. Paul)

What was it about Donovan McNabb's last three seasons convinced Minnesota that it was a good idea to bring him in as a starter? When two teams give up on you as their starter in two years, it should have raised some questions.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

But of course...but they did draft a QB in round 1 ya know. Needs to be Ponder time.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Can we please give James Harrison a little acknowledgement for returning to the game with a fractured skull? Ok, it was the orbital bone, but still pretty impressive, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Well said! He is an animal. Despite the Steelers D troubles, Harrison has played real strong.

Roberto (Atlanta)

If it's Ponder time then it surely must be Tebow time as well, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I said that in my Scouts Buzz. Didn't understand why TT didn't see the field in a blow out loss. Seemed like the perfect opportunity. But then again, the fact that he didn't might tell us all we need to know about that situation. To me, Ponder is a much better QB prospect than TT. But I do think DEN MUST know what they have with TT before the next draft. But again-maybe they already know what they have...

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Are the Vikes starting to use Harvin more like they should...will Ponder help or hurt him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Not sure how Ponder could hurt him. Ponder is a real good short/intermediate passer. Harvin is great in the shorter zones. Still don't think Minny utilizes Harvin well enough.

Kyle (Lock Haven)

Think Painter gives the Colts enough hope to get five wins this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Only 12 games left! 5-7 from here on out? I will take the UNDER. I will say that Painter gives Indy hope that he can be a solid #2 QB.

Todd(Allentown Pa) [via mobile]

I know you said several times the Cowboys have holes(so does every team)but wouldn't you agree that after the bye they could be a VERY tough team to beat. They basically have not had a game yet with both starting WRs playing together or all 3 starting CBs. And won't that also make Romo better by then not trying to win games all by himself.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

No question. That D is playing way better than I expected too. Give Ryan credit. Romo of course needs to stop making the big mistake late. And I think the OL is a little shaky-just so young. But T Smith is playing great and I doubt Free continues to struggle so much.

Xander (Philly)

Eagles in as much trouble as it seems or do they right the ship this weekend against the Bills?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I will pick Philly. They do have big troubles though. But they have had a ton of turnover-and the lack of a real off season might have hurt Philly more than any other team.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Matt Dub, do FJax and Mathews stay as good as they've been? I'm suspicious...

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I have no worries about Mathews. Stud. Jackson is a very solid all around RB. But I doubt he produces at such a high level. Good player-but not great.

Tom (India)

Is Osi walking a thin line in Giant land now that Pierre Paul has emerged?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

I would say so. Can't see him staying there past this season. But NYG isn't going to give him away either. They are trying to win now.

Eric (Chicago)

Who ya got in the MNF game? I'm thinking you'll say Lions by a TD, yes or no? UPSET ALERT, Detroit loses first game!

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Lions...but more than a TD

Blueman (Indy)

If you are Dallas and you get a 20 point lead in the 4th, would you pull Romo? The guy just doesn't know how to play it safe.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Just kneel on it! lol

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

My man Matt Forte is killin it, really deserves a contract...does he stay a top 5 RB numbers wise, or does he drop off as teams realize he IS the entire offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Everyone already has to know that by now. I do think he keeps it up though. Will just get so many touches.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Do the Lions have kind of the 1998 Redskins feel? Explosive offense, but questionable defense and winning some "flukey" games?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Can't say I remember the '98 Skins off the top of my head. But I don't think so. Det's Front 7 is big time-and soon they will add Fairley to the equation.

Archie (Halifax)

Can the chargers just give Gates the rest of the regular season off to get healthy? Easy schedule and weak division, Can't they get by without him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Prob would pick SD to win the West even without Gates.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Is James Farrior done in Pgh? TEs are killing Pgh in the passing game and he just can't seem to keep up.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Farrior and A Smith seem like the two who are going backwards.

David (Flushing)

Do the Jets have anything in Bilal Powell -- or is he just a guy? Because Shonn Greene stinks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

It is time to find out. I liked Powell a lot coming out of school. And yes, Greene stinks. OL isn't helping.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Sorry haven't read your rookie report...but can you make me feel better about the whoopin the Pack put on the Broncos and say good things about Von?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

He is #1 Brother!

Paul (Richmond)

Where is Kerrigan right now in the DROY standings? Still behine Von Miller? He's got to be up near the top after 4 weeks, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Read the Rookie Report! But I have Kerrigan noticeably behind Miller. But also have him 4th overall in amongst rookies.

SC (NYC)

What is the best way to defend all these amazing atheletes we are seeing at TE in the NFL right now? Finley, Hernandez, Gronk, Cook, Davis, Lewis etc

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

That is the big question in the NFL right now. No real good answer. If you really dedicate the D to stopping one of these guys, someone else will kill you. It is certainly something that has changed dramatically in the league of late. Where are all these guys coming from?

Austin (CA)

What are your thoughts on Tamba Hali?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Might be the best pass rusher in the league. Fantastic. Really showed up last week again. Doesn't get much help from having a big time pass rusher opposite him either.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Do you think the Titans can keep winning? CJ2K is just getting up to speed...

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Yes, but they seem like a 9-7 team to me...not a playoff team. REAL curious to see Johnson vs. PGH this week though.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Obviously the loss of Andre Johnson is big, but is it so big it screws up the Texans season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

No. Will still pick HOUS to win the division. But of course it hurts. He is an amazing player. If by chance he was out for the playoffs, I think it would really derail their chances.

George (FL)

Do you think the Bucs get to the playoffs via the wildcard this year or are we still one more year away?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

They are playing better than I thought and Freeman should play better than he did during first 3 games. Playoffs? Perhaps. ATL's fall helps too. Really like TBay's DL right now.

James (San Francisco, Ca)

Do the 49ers have the best inside linebacker tandem in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

They gotta. Willis is the best 2nd level defender in football. Bowman is legit

Eric (Chicago)

MW, True of False...the only thing that can screw up the Texans shot at the playoffs is if #18 comes back?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

False-Peyton coming back wouldn't do it either. They are 0-4! And he is coming back any time soon.

George (FL)

Do you think Blount will be a top 10 RB by the end of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Depends how you view it. He really doesn't help at all in the passing game. Liability in protection. Average receiving skills. But as power RBs go-he is a top notch. Still surprises me that TBay didn't add a dynamic pass-catching type RB to complement Blount.

shanard (utah)

Matt, owen daniels does he become the #1 target for schaub...

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

For sure. Very impressive. But it is much easier getting open with Andre J around.

Eric (Paris)

Bucs young D-line really coming on, what's their ceilling, Matt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Could be elite. McCoy is the key. He can be one of the best DTs in football-then the rest falls into place. Clayborn is already a very good player. And they are deep. Bennett put on a show on MNF.

Greg (AZ)

How about the Beanie baby! Has he done enough to remain the feature back in 'Zona past this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

For sure. Williams will return at some point of course though. Good problem to have!

George (FL)

Is it just me or are the Chargers receiving corps always banged up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Sure have been the past two seasons. Not sure if there is anything to make of it or not though.

Robert (FL)

What are your thoughts on Felix Jones?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

A shoulder injury is a massive problem for a RB. Bet that lingers all year. But I love the way he is playing when he is out there.

SC (NYC)

What have you seen from Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter so far this year? Can NE improve its pass rush

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Both have flashed, but need to provide more consistent pass rush. I do think that will come. Good players. If Haynesworth can stay on the field-it might be exactly what the doc ordered.

Dave (Orlando)

when it's all said and done, where will the phins be drafting next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Hate to say it, but Top 10...maybe Top 5

Doug (NYC)

Please fill in the blank: Hakeem Nicks is a top _ WR in the league

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

6ish

Otto (CA)

Why dont Steve Muench chat no more? I got a score to settle with him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I will pass that along-not sure what is up with that! Come on Muench!

Derrick (PA)

Argument with a friend over Wes Welker being a top 5 wr. I said no, he said yes. I'm right, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I agree with you. Great player. But wouldn't be a GREAT player in any system-like someone like Nicks would.

Mark Sanchez (New York)

I'm really disappointed my fan club did not some out to defend me this week, MW.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Yeah...where are they? Where are all the lovely notes I usually get about him on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL)?

jesse (las vegas)

what position did the raiders need to address in the draft

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

OL is playing fantastic, but that is what I would have said before. Need a man to man CB. Still not sold on Campbell either. Maybe an OLB.

shanard (utah)

Matt, shud the lions look into picking up Aaron curry from the hawks he would be great for schwartz scheme...

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Other teams need him more. I really like DET's starting LBs.

Giovanni (NY)

Victor Cruz... #2 WR over Manningham? He looks outstanding.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

More trust worthy with work ethic and route reliability.

George (FL)

Bigger draft need for the Bucs next year OL or CB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

OL...not sold at all on their OL. CB could be useful for sure as well. As could that scatback RB type.

Redskins Fans Everywhere (Everywhere, USA)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....Haynesworth stay on the field?!....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Well played

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Why so many '12 draft questions? Weird...

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Was just thinking that. Weird for sure. Are this many teams/fans really ready to cash it in already?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Okay folks..that is a wrap. Good stuff