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December 7, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Let's do this thing!

Thomas (Spokane)

Whats good Matt? Do you think Aldon Smith's sack numbers and impact would be marginally greater if he was being played more snaps. I think he would be closing in on The Freaks rookie sack record if he were your thoughts.

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I am sure he would have a few more sacks-just more snaps = more opportunities. Smith has been extremely impressive rushing the passer. Fantastic pick for SF. Not sure that his numbers would be quite that high and I still think Von Miller has been more impressive, but that isn't taking anything away from Smith.

Mike P. (SD, CA)

i think you kinda mentioned it in your chat last week, but is the jury still out on Ryan Mathews? he's definitely been studly, if not a stud, but injuries and ball security are still issues. do you think if he doesn't have a good year next year, maybe he's not the guy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Well, I feel like SD has been reluctant to make him their true stud every down RB, which speaks volumes. Tolbert is obviously a good player in his own right too and deserves touches, but Tolbert is also just so much more reliable. But Mathews certainly has stud qualities. No question. Like Top 3 RB in the NFL qualities. Just needs to maintain it. Carrying the ball as often as Peterson/Emmitt/etc isn't that easy to pull off-both physically and mentally.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

If the Lions' shenanigans continue, does Jim Schwartz lose his job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Nah. He and that front office have done a tremendous job of making the worst team/franchise in the league into a very relevant up and coming young team. Schwartz is doing a great job and of course, May The Schwartz Be With You

Chad (Guam)

Who would you consider the top 5 pass rushers today?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

There are SO many great ones right now. Not easy at all to rank-esp off the top of my head. But I do think D Ware is the best. Just year in, year out-game in, game out. I will prob skip a few, but the other elite guys to me are Hali, Miller-already, yes, Wimbley is getting there, Harrison, Suggs, Dunlap is starting to get consideration, Wake, Freeney and Mathis have not lost anything-just opportunity, Cole, JPP will get there soon, Allen, Clay Jr, Peppers, Long is also an up and comer, Clemons...and I probably missed a few...REAL tough to narrow down to 5

Shane (Robins AFB, GA)

MW, love how the Cards defense has started to play over the last month or so. Peterson finally looked like a CB in the 2nd half of the DAL game. Talk to me about Calais Campbell. Double D gets a lot of the press, but imo, Campbell has been the defensive MVP for the Cards this year. THEY BETTER GET HIM SIGNED!

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Yeah, Campbell is the better player. DD is a great player too-esp if he were a 3T in a 4-3. But Campbell was very good last year too. Really filling out and becoming a complete player-hitting his prime and worth big money. You are right though and I mentioned it on the podcast Monday, no one knows it, but the Cards have a D now. Those young OLBs have been an upgrade. Washington is a heck of an ILB. Williams should be able to handle NT. The offseason needs on D seem much less than I would have thought two months ago.

Baldajedi (Lititz, PA)

Matt, With all the Technology in the NFL today, why are there not cameras, even if just for replay, set to the back of the endzone, the goal, lines, and the sidelines. There were two instances where replay should have helped the NYG on Sunday. One where Ballards knee was inbounds and the other where driver stepped out of the back of the endzone.

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Just saw the Tweet (@WilliamsonNFL) you sent me on this to Baldi and without giving it a ton of thought, it sounds like a fine idea to me. What would be the negatives of doing such a thing?

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Icing your own kicker--good idea?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Probably not! lol, but if you watch the game, Dallas' STeam Coach (who is very well respected) asked Garrett for the TO-and the Head Guy obliged. And, as I said on Football Today, even if J Garrett was on the sidelines yelling "Noonan" at his kicker, that is no excuse for not making the kick. The real crime to me was how they managed the game leading up to that to put the kicker closer.

Greg (BMore)

True or False - The only AFC teams capable of beating the Packers are the Steelers and Ravens.

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Maybe the Pats. NEng can drop 35 on anyone. Call me nuts, but I think GBay is FAR from a lock as the Super Bowl champ. They really remind me of the Pats from last year at this time.

Aggie (TX)

Why has NO ONE talked about the fact that Vick was not on the sidelines during this three game stretch? Even if you can't play shouldn't you accompany your team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Hadn't thought about that. Wow. Good point I guess. Everyone wanted to crucify Cutler after ripping up his knee in the NFC Championship for not being more helpful on the sidelines with his team. What is the difference?

Tarek (NYC)

Is this Sunday's game the best test to see what Tebow's offense can really do? If they can run over the bears, then watch out (Doubt it).

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Good point. The Minny win was the best and most that Tebow has thrown the ball-but call me a hater if you want-that was against about the worst secondary in football right now. And Tebow hit a few WIDE OPEN targets. Bears' D will be tough-vs. run and pass. Plus, curious how well the read option works running right at Peppers.

Baldajedi (Lititz, PA)

Whats wrong with the NYG? They play great agains the pats and win, Loose a tough one to San Fran, get out played by Vince young and the eagles D, Give up aginst New Orleans, and then play the Pack tough. Who are the NYG?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

I don't really know the answer. I do think they can play with anyone. But the inconsistency is maddening. Having a poor OL tends to lend itself to such inconsistency though.

Nick (OB)

Is there anything you can say to help console Bears fans? Man they were looking good before Cutelr went down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

They sure were. Such a shame. I still thought they could beat teams like KC with Hanie. Now, I have very little faith. But who knows, the NFC Wild Card is still quite wide open. Maybe Cutler gets back sooner than expected.

Craig (NY)

Is Revis having the best season as a CB.. ever?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Not sure on that! I bet Deion, Blount, Night Train Lane, etc have had some pretty good years! But I am leaning towards making Revis (From Pitt) my DMVP selection right now.

Rob (San Antonio)

Could you imagine the nightmare if Favre came back and he and Tebow played each other?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

My head would explode

Rob (San Antonio)

I love Revis but I think Rod Woodson was the most complete corner to play the game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Can't argue that. I have a #26 jersey upstairs. Shhh...don't tell anyone

Jake (Maimi )

Was Saparno's fate sealed when he went 0 -7 or is he still fighting to keep his job or is it too little too late?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Hard to predict Miami's ownership, but assuming the Phins finished strong, I would bring back Saprano and M Moore for that matter. They are playing very well.

matt (ewing)

Mdub! Quick question: Is Aaron Rodgers slowing down or speeding up in your mind?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Just cruisin'....and a remarkably high level. Just think how fantastic Brees and Brady are playing-easily at an MVP type level for both...and neither has any shot of winning the award.

Brian (NY)

Do you like the Giants to beat Dallas Sunday night?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Leaning that way, but haven't yet made my mind up on that one. Both teams are real up and down. Could be the best game of the week.

DARNELL (FLORIDA)

WHERE TEAM IN THE NFL DO YOU THINK TRENT RICHARDSON WILL LAND TO AT WHAT NUMBER

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I need to study Richardson and the draft MUCH more-and I will. But if what I am hearing is right and that Richardson is the clear #1 RB and truly a better prospect than Ingram, then I would have to guess (for now) that he goes Top 10. But who really needs him of the bad teams to use such a high pick on a RB? How about Cincy packaging picks to move up for him? Would complete the O. I can't come up with any other team that fits as it stands today.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Not to hate on Tebow, but to me that amazing turnaround is more about the D.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I tend to agree, although the D didn't play well in Minny. But there is no way around it, DEN's O is VERY difficult right now to prepare for in just a few days and very difficult to play against on game day.

Kurtis (Houston, TX) [via mobile]

Whats your view on this Texans team? Legitimate playoff and superbowl contender?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Legitimate playoff contender. Maybe win a playoff game. But in the end, their QB will have to shine to make a playoff run-and I just don't see that happening. I see three Super Bowl contenders in the AFC: BALT, NENG, PGH

Aggie (TX)

Why does no one call Matt Ryan out for playing so horribly this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

He certainly has not been great. I still like him long term and felt like he was the 7th best QB in the NFL when the season started. But he would be further down my list now.

Jake (Maimi )

What ever happens with Miami's coaching or front office do you think it's a priority to keep Nollan?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

It should be-no question

Rob (San Antonio)

Should it happen do you think Pitt is better prepared to beat the Pack?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Than from a year ago? Yes. The Steelers secondary is vastly improved since the Super Bowl.

Tom (NH)

Any WR in the league having as good a season as Welker?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Calvin?

Eric (Paris, Fr.)

Best 3 interior D-linemen in the league: Ngata, J. Smith, Seymour?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

You are counting 3-4 DEs as interior DLinemen? I can live with that. If so, Smith would be #1 to me. Ngata

Matt (NJ)

Now that teams are treating Aaron Hernandez as a reciever and covering him with the nickel corner, do you expect the Pats running game to become a lot more productive?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

You would think so-esp as the weather turns. But Ds have been playing the Pats this way for over a month now and the running game has not been fantastic. It does worry me a bit that NEng isn't as willing to take the run when it is given to them.

Tom (NH)

Calvin? The numbers aren't even close!

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Up until about a month ago Calvin was amazing. Started the season scoring 2 TDs EVERY week. He has slowed down, but still has had a great year. Steve Smith comes to mind too.

David (AK)

Anyway we can flex this weeks Monday Night Game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I hear that! I have to host Cover it Live for this game! Grrr....but I am impressed with SEA. They are building something there. If they can add a QB...

Shane (Robins AFB, GA)

#1 priority for the Cards this offseason the Tackle positions? They are crazy bad. No wonder why the $63M Man is always running for his life.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Has to be. Well said. Prob stick with Kolb for next year at a minimum-improve his supporting cast. But Zona needs 2 starting OTs.

Rick (Montana)

Could you explain a good form tackle? Most officials can't. Too many yellow flags on aggressive hits. Your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I think there are way too many flags for aggressive and violent hits. Don't understand it, but it frustrates me a great deal.

Julius (Atlanta)

Do you think the 49ers have a realistic shot at the super bowl, the way GB is playing and all?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I could see SF going into GBay and knocking them off...in a blizzard. I have said for a while that home field might not be a great advantage for GBay-it might be a great equalizer for their opponent. I am not picking SF to go to the Super Bowl, but I am saying that it could happen.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Does Matt Forte rush back and play in 2 weeks? Or is he done?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Not sure why he would rush back considering how his contract situation has been handled.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Best hands in the league? Hmmm...Lloyd, Nicks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

I am a little biased, but I would have a hard time not picking Larry Fitzgerald. Another guy that catches EVERYthing is Bennett in CHI.

Will (Manchester, UK)

I see you have two ravens rookies in your rookie watch. How has Jimmy Smith impressed you so far? Is he a star in the making like you predicted?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Hard to say. Want to see more. It is actually a good problem for BALT right now. Their other CBs have far exceeded my expectations.

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

"Over the Hills and Far Away" Zeppelin. BBC Sessions. Extremely Loud. In case you were wondering how I am rolling today.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub with the Chargers not playing to their potential this season, would you consider both Coach Turner & GM AJ Smith on the hot seat? And whom would you consider as their replacements?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Well, I think their "Potential" is a bit overrated-which reflects poorly on Smith. But I also think this would be a very attractive job for a coach like Fisher, Billick or Cowher. They have the QB in place, which is HUGE. And I am still very much a believer in Rivers. There is not a dominant team in the AFC West. And living in SD doesn't sound so bad...

Leise Chow (vegas)

It's funny cause he's fat.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

So True Chow...stop back anytime

Jerry (SF)

Could you see Peyton Manning QBing the Cowboys next year? Would that take them to the elusive SB (assuming Peyton is heakthy)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I cannot see that. Romo is a top 10 QB who is having a very good year. QB is not a need in DAL

Awayne (Indy)

Do you see the Colts hiring a D-cord that will stick with the 4-3 and particularly cover 2,or since a total rebuild is needed do we see them go another direction? What would that mean to Dwight Freeny?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Mathis is a free agent, but I also think he and Freeney would do fine as pass-rushing OLBs in a 3-4. But revamping that D is a crazy-big project right now. I still think I stick with 4-3. But they really don't have many pieces for either scheme.

Shane (Robins AFB, GA)

You dont think Gruden would be a good fit to pair with Rivers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Wouldn't argue with that

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

"Beth" KISS...Live

Paul (Edinburgh)

Hi Matt, thinking about Atlanta's offence woes here. Is Matt Ryan a QB capable of dropping back 40+ times a game but not with that o-line or is he just not that type of QB full stop?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

That is prob asking a lot from Ryan. But that OL is more of the problem than Ryan-much worse than a year ago.

Mike Carey (Head Official Chat Ref) (NFL)

I'm better than Hulkali

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Easy Chief...Ed?

Jim (Miami, FL)

How much of Cam Newton's success is due to the OC & QB coach?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

A LOT. Not taking a thing away from Newton, who is just terrific. But he has been brought along very well. CAR is a very well coached team top to bottom. Very impressive and very encouraging going forward for that franchise.

Bill Belichick (Foxboro)

Mathis is a free agent? Hmmmm......

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Hmmmm indeed. But BB doesn't address that position for some reason. Hmmm again.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

"Brain Damage" Floyd. Live. "Got to keep the lunies on the path..."

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Who's goinna take a chance on D-Jax next year? Perfect Patriots manuever - talented player that will fill a need and be kept in line by vets?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Maybe. Sure would fit in with NEng from a needs/scheme standpoint. Bombs away. But only at the right price. They don't need him, but I bet Al Davis would have loved to grab Jackson!

Mike Carey (Head Official Chat Ref) (NFL)

Delay of Game on Ed Hulkali

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Wow-thems fightin' words

Blake (Nashville)

As a Colts fan, the thought of Mathis in a Pats uniform just made me throw up a little bit in my mouth

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

As it should. Prob not the first time you threw up in your mouth this season though...so you are at least used to it.

Mike (Virginia)

Where do you think Denver will go in the draft? Big WR or CB to replace ageless Champ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Hmmm...Maybe another DT. I like CB though. I also think Champ someday will be a Pro Bowl FS in the R Woodson mold. TE for DEN?

Brad (London)

Mathis the Saints please!

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Sure does seem like a dome player...on a team that scores oodles of points.

Hanson (DC)

Will Houston have to pay Mario top 3 DE money to keep him and as OLB is he worth that much?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

With as well as Barwin and Reed have played, I don't think HOUS can overspend on Mario-esp coming off an injury. Would think 4-3 teams will pursue him hard though. Still think that is his best fit.

Nick (OB)

Charles Tillman. Have you ever seen a player with his FF skills?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Pretty amazing. It really is.

Dan Snyder (Big Pile of Money)

How much they want for Peyton up in Indy??

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Might just release him instead of giving him the 30ish million bonus if his neck isn't right.

Dan (DC)

Can Kerrigan and/or Orakpo handle Gronkowski this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

In coverage? No-not even close. At the LOS? Yes.

Ed Hulkali (Real Official Chat Ref) (Weight room)

Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mike Carey - Impersonating the Official Chat Ref!

shaneezy (utah)

MW, i could see the 49ers adding jackson for their deep threat, or could the browns make a case for that they need a deep threat bad, or do they just draft blackmon...

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

SF doesn't sound like a bad fit-if Harbaugh is willing to put up with all of the headaches that Jackson brings. I don't like the fit in CLEV...not that they could use him. But slow track. Need to get the QB in place first.

Steve (Bristol)

Do you think the Redskin's defense gets a lot better next year once everyone's healthy and they have two full years of the 3-4 defense under their belts? Could be one of the best in the league in my opinion.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Has been quite good this year and I would not expect WASH to dedicate many resources this off season to that side of the ball. Going into next year, I will prob rank them as a Top 10 D-could improve a bit too.

ED HULKALI ((GYM))

Unsportsmanlike conduct on Mike Carey! You dont belittle with a man who has arms the size of your torso!

Shane (Commercial Point, OH)

What is your take on Dalton vs. Newton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I don't think it is even close. Dalton has been very good-no question. Exceeded expectations. Newton is out of this world-no one else like him.

Nick (OB)

Why is Caleb Hanie so timid in the pocket?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Well, their protection has been pretty terrible while he has been in there and for some reason Martz continues to call a lot of 7 step drops. Makes no sense. But yes, he does seem timid and too eager to run as well.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Is this the Miami DEF you were hyping all year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Got that right.

Jake (Maimi )

What are your thoughts on how Reggie has worked out in Miami?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

How can you complain? Been quite good. Still don't think he is a true bell cow guy and needs to split time with Thomas. But he has played great. And I bet his role as a receiver increases there going forward.

Mike (Virginia)

Best running back tandem right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Prob HOUS over CAR. OAK is tough too.

Steve (Bristol)

Will all the O-line/TE injuries, and now the latest suspension, do you decrease Helu's workload to make sure he doesn't get hurt and keep him fresh for next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I don't think Helu is special enough to do that with and he doesn't have that many touches this year. Play the guy.

zac (chicago)

Which receiving corp would you rather have, Packers or Saints?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Pack. To me, Graham and Finley are now a wash. Jennings is better than anyone NO has at WR. Actually, Nelson might be too. I also am real excited about Cobb.

Corey (D.C.)

Where will Ingram/Sproles rank next year amongst RB tandums?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

High. Very high. Love Ingram here.

Bert (St. Paul, MN)

How much of a chance is there that Hillis will not be Cleveland next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Slim and None...and I think your boy Slim is packing his bags.

Anthony (NYC)

Michael Bush has been solid this year, but i'm starting to wonder if McFadden is worthy of a new hefty deal. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Very RB-Friendly rushing attack in OAK, but to me, the whole deal with McF is the injuries. He is also a straight line violent runner who takes a lot of big hits. That is def a worry.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Adios Folks. Great chat! Do it again next week!