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December 21, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Happy Holidays to all! Ho Ho Ho!

Paul (Albany, OR)

Merry Christmas Matt, thanks for the chat. But Oh the despair. Being a Rams fan is an open forum for ridicule. Does Spagnuolo make it another year? Is that the best move? Has the team quit on him? Any body better out there? What does the crystal ball say? Thank you.

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Torn on this one. I think he is a good coach and got more out of the 2010 team than he should have. But this year is a total nightmare obviously. However, how many games does Shula/Lombardi win with such awful play at CB and OL? That isn't to excuse a terrible season at all though. I also think that the lockout hurt this team more than most with Josh McD trying to install a sophisticated O with a very inexperienced QB and receiving corps.

Joe (NY)

Hakeem Nicks proves he is merely an average receiver. Not big or fast and has bad hands. Top 50 overall player is laughable

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

You Are Nuts

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

A lot of football media folks have been droning on about how if Drew Brees breaks Marino's record it will be tainted because of the new rules protecting the quarterback and defenseless receivers. Do you feel that way, and isn't that really a tougher call than the media folks make it out to be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

It isn't tainted, nor should it reflect poorly in any way on Brees. But in my opinion, what Marino did in his era was more difficult-in terms of shear numbers.

Rob (San Antonio)

Okay, you're coach of the Steelers. Do you gamble that Baltimore will lose another game and play your injured players or shutdown the guys who are banged up and settle for the wid card?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Not copping out, but commenting on injuries is the hardest part of my job. I tend to think that you sit Ben against the Rams, then reevaluate after that game. Should be able to beat STL and CLEV with Batch-although I am not high on Batch.

Brett (Cleveland)

Hey Matt,What are the chances of Cleveland drafting a QB with their likely top 5 pick? Have you heard any rumblings or do you have any intuition?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I would. I like McCoy as a high end backup.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

What's Santa gonna bring you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Good question. Not expecting much...I have been naughty.

-Doc Dre- (PGH)

What are your thoughts on Marcus Gilbert so far? I haven't heard his name all year so I guess that's good for an OL.

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Very solid rookie season at RT. A lot to like and he should only improve. Will be interesting next year to see what happens once Colon comes back.

Blake (Houston)

TJ Yate: Exposed now that teams have tape on him? He is pretty bad about locking onto receivers.

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Struggled this past week quite a bit. Really could use Andre J in the fold in my opinion. But I don't know that "Exposed" is the right word. I still think he is exceeding expectations.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Do you think that despite losing, Timmy Teebs had his best game last week? He's extremely accurate on the vertical throws...

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Could certainly make an argument for that. But each of the last three weeks have been decent and improving from a passing standpoint. Poor Pass D, but he is just taking what is there. I still think he struggles quite a bit against a good Man Coverage D.

Matt (Toronto)

Based on what we have seen this year from my Fish, QB is frist priority, followed by a RT or Safety. Your thoughts?Merry Xmas!

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Those seem like good priorities. I don't dislike Moore though-and think you can win games in this league with him...like a Cassel or Orton. So, I wouldn't mortgage a TON to land that QB, but I also wouldn't go a different direction if/when the opportunity presents itself. RT is a big need. A playmaking FS could make a very good D exceptional. CB depth wouldn't hurt either. Maybe one more WR.

Erik (Chicago)

The Raiders played pretty well following the death of Al Davis, but now the wheels appear to have come off. What do you ascribe the difference to?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

A lot of inconsistency at the QB position for one. All those skill position injuries also have taken a big toll. I like their D for the most part, but again-incredibly inconsistent both vs. run and pass. Also-way too many penalties and they are not good enough to overcome them.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Does Hakeem Nicks get the Revis treatment, and does he make up for last week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Yeah, Nicks gets Revis. Deservedly so. That is a difficult treatment to get away from.

Matt (Toronto)

Exactly... Marino didn't have the options nor the solid playcalling that Nawlins does now... that's on Miami. Although I will say Duper and Clayton were far better than anyone the Saints have.

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

I was referring more to the rules and the way the game was played in the early 80s

Andy (St. Louis)

That being said about the Rams, do you see them taking a WR like Blackmon in the draft, or go for CB with Claiborne?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

They get like a dozen CBs back from IR, but CB is a bigger need to me if they resign Lloyd

Packers Fans (Green Bay)

Scale of 1-10, where should our anxiety level be after that performance?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

5. Rodgers rarely will play at that low level (by his standards), but that OT situation gives me great pause. The D isn't very good-same with the running game.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Things would get REAL interesting if St. Louis were to somehow surpass Indy for the #1...

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Sure would. I would imagine they would ransom that pick off to the highest bidder-and could really fill some needs in the process and set themselves up for the long haul.

Harbaugh (slapping backs)

Win over the Steelers pretty much seal COY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Yeah. That coupled with a GBay loss sure helps.

mike (fladstaff)

what positions do the cardinals need to address in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

OT in a big way. While I worry that they don't have their QB on the roster, I think you let the two they have compete in camp and go from there-at least for next year. I also like the young OLBs, but adding another guy there makes sense. Another CB as well.

Mike (Brooklyn)

MW, if you believe the report from LaCanfora that STL is going to clean house and get rid of Spags and McD, the Giants HAVE to bring back Spags, don't they? I know their D would look better with him on the sideline as opposed to Fewell, who's been a disaster this year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

There would be great competition to land Spags....Philly?!?!?!

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Watched some of the Bengals-STL...that Geno Atkins is legit...think he and Brodrick Bunkley are most underrated DTs this year...

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

They are very different in their skill sets, but Atkins and Bunkley are legit.

George (Ireland)

Atlanta's D, thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I really like the Front 7 and really worry about the secondary

Paul (Boston)

Is Ochocinco on the Pats roster next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Nope

Awayne (Indy)

Has Donald Brown done enough be considered set at RB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

I would say so. Plus, the Colts now have SO many other needs, that I would go into next year with Brown, Carter and maybe a cheap vet or mid round pick at RB and use my resources to help other areas of the team. Reevaluate again after next year.

Mike (Brooklyn)

But Mara could promise him the HC job in a year or two, a lot of other teams can't do that.

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Good point.

Roddy White (ATL)

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Great exaggerated indeed-and you have cut down on the drops. Fine work.

Dan (Vermont)

Off day for DEN's D last week, or more proof of NE's extraordinary O? (please don't say 'a-little-of-both'). THANKS for chatting!

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

A little of both! But I go with the Pats O-they do that to everyone. And in this case, it was a particularly poor matchup in that I don't like DEN's LBs and Safeties as coverage players....that is a massive problem obviously against the Pats TEs.

Awayne (Indy)

If the Texans have to franchise Mario Williams is his number at OLB or DE and with the talant they have can use his money to bring more weapons?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Don't quote me, but it would have to be at OLB, right? That is the position he plays. I like Williams, but wouldn't hesitate to let him walk and use that money elsewhere. Would you rather bring Williams or Foster back?

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Who is the comeback player of the year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Could use some suggestions, but Steve Smith is tough to argue with. Alex Smith also will get votes. Who else? Haven't put much thought into it yet.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Comeback Player of the Year is an odd award to me though. Comeback from what exactly? A poor season? An injury? It is a little vague.

Joe (NY)

Aren't the Broncos at some point (next seaon) going to have to become more of a normal NFL offense?? Teams are going to better prepare for their offense by studying it in the offseason. I don't think has or ever will have the skill set to run a conventional NFL offense

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I agree. Have equated it to a baseball pitcher that goes through the league, tears it up, then teams get more knowledge of the guy and begin to handle him better. Like the Wild Cat...but this DEN O is far more advanced than the Wild Cat. Their Run Game is very difficult to prepare for-and that won't change. But yes, they will need to be more and more conventional in terms of their passing game-and if you watch, they actually have been over the past three weeks.

LL Cool J (wearing a hat)

Don't call it a comeback...

jackie (richlands va)

aj green or andy dalton rookie of year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Newton. Green would be 2nd to me. T Smith in Dallas 3rd and Dalton 4th...for OROY

Mike (Brooklyn)

Big Blue vs. Gang Green, who ya got on Sunday?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

My initial pick was to take the G Men. Better team in my opinion, but having second thoughts. Still on the fence on that game, but like Revis taking away Nicks and I don't think NYG can run at all.

NoGoreNoGlory (california)

Dont forget about Aldon Smith

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

A Smith comes in second to V Miller to me as DROY

Richard (Greensboro, NC)

Looks like Denver will match up against AFC North loser if everything stays on track. Is that a kind of game Denver can win at home and who would they match up better against?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Tend to think they struggle to run against either BALT or PGH-and that is bad news for DEN. I like DEN's D, but the way to attack them is through the air with multiple valid weapons, which is PGH more than BALT. Neither of these teams has played well on the road though.

New Yorker (NYC)

Even if they take away Nicks, that still leaves Cruz who is more than capable of the big play

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

No question. And I am very high on Eli. Just not sure on that game yet.

Ben "The Black Knight" Roethlisberger (The Forest outside Camelo

Tomlin: Ben, we're sitting you down against the RamsBen: I've had worseTomlin: Ben, you can't walkBen: It's just a flesh woundTomlin: You're sittingBen: Oh, running away are we? Come back you yellow bastard!

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I command you as King of the Britons to stand aside!

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, T. Smith in Dallas is going to be a turnstyle this weekend...38-19 Iggles over the 'Pokes...mark it down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

I love Smith, but I am picking PHIL too. And yes, I think they do get after Romo quite well. That could be a heck of a game. But, don't discount F Jones-I actually think he is a better RB than Murray.

Peter (NYC)

What percentage chance do you give Buffalo at home vs. Den this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

15%...terrible matchup for Bills. Can't stop the run! Oh no! And Champ takes away S Johnson for the most part.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Based on their defensive and offensive statistics the Jets are lucky to have 8 wins. Were they overrated coming into this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Not by me they weren't. They are an average football team-maybe slightly above.

Jerry (Texas)

How about some consideration for Aaron Maybin for comeback player of the year, he did pretty much nothing in Buffalo, now he has 6 sacks and counting with the Jets.

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I can buy that, but not even an every down player. Came back in a big way, but not as much as Smith or Smith

Blake (Thomas)

MW. I find it quite enjoyable to remind my Cowboy fan friends that the Eagles could win the division at 8-8. Am I a bad person?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Coal in your stocking

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Right now, would you take Tebow over Sanchez and Flacco?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I would take Flacco over those other two

Downtrodden Peasant (Muddy Field)

What's a Briton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Don't get my started....or I might have to taunt you a second time!

Chris (NYC)

Is Coughlin fired if the Giants miss the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I tend to think so

tim (nyc)

Matthew Stafford a top 5 qb?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Not now. Maybe some day. The top 5 are: 1. Rodgers 2. Brady 3. Brees 4. Roethlisberger 5. Eli/Rivers

Vince (Maryland)

Ravens D better without slower but intelligent Ray Lewis?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Lewis had a tough night, but he was playing well before his injury. Let's see if it was just rust.

Josh (Mission Viejo, CA)

Does Donald Butler look like a long term solution for the Chargers at one of the ILB spots?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Yes. Very solid player. Needs to become a sure-fire every down LB though.

John (Chicago)

Do you think the Lions can have any success in the postseason?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Maybe one post season win, but I doubt it. See who the matchup is, but the lack of a run game is a big problem.

Matt P (Berkshire, NY)

Where does the Vikings secondary rank for worst all time?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

All time? Not sure on that, but it is right at the bottom of the NFL right now.

Tarek (NYC)

Does GB and NO offenses both look like they will have a hard time in the really cold weather?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Yes, but Rodgers does throw in poor conditions really well and the Saints can certainly run it when they chose.

King Arthur (back in the day)

The Knights who say Ni

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Bring us a Shrubbery!

Mike (San Diego)

Not just Butler, but Vaughn Martin, Cam Thomas, and Luiget form a great young trio.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Yes, maybe, but Luiget has struggled in Year 1 and I don't see a great player in that group, but rather a solid nucleus

Milan (The Ville)

I'm starting to see a lot of chip blocking help against Jabaal Sheard. Give Browns another threat at DE and that would make the front scary. Like Dumervil to Miller or Mathis to Freeney and vice-versa. Confirm or deny?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Confirm

Richard (Work)

Matt, Where will the AFC Championship game be played? and who do you see as the winner of the AFC?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Played in New England...not sure on the AFC representative. I was leaning towards Pittsburgh

Tarek (NYC)

The Titans have a outside shot at the playoffs, but do you think it's time to start Locker? He might give them the best chance to win the next two games.

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

For sure. He will make mistakes, but I highly doubt that TEN makes the playoffs. I think Locker's time needs to be now.

King of Swamp Castle (Swamp)

Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who!

Josh (Mission Viejo, CA)

It seems like Quentin Jammer is having a down season. Is he getting to slow to play CB? Perhaps SS in his future?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Never has had good hands for Safety, but yeah, I do think he would be a fine FS-but not as good of a FS as Weddle

Steve Smith (CLT)

I've already won Comeback player in 2005, recognize me as an ALL Pro WR instead. Comeback Player should revolve around injury or non-playing situation, not Jimmy Clausen.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Thus the grey area of that award. But yes, I did vote for you on my NFC Pro Bowl ballot.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

The Ballad of Brave Sir Robin:Bravely bold Sir Robin rode forth from Camelot.He was not afraid to die, O brave Sir Robin!He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways,Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin!He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken;To have his kneecaps split, and his body burned away;And his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Robin!His head smashed in and his heart cut outAnd his liver removed and his bowels unpluggedAnd his nostrils raped and his bottom burned offAnd his pen--

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Sorry...the Grail gets me off on tangents!

Joe (NY)

Is Andre Carter a big loss??

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Yes. Clearly their best pass-rusher. Anderson played well, but I worry about him in an every down role over a long stretch of games.

Steve (Bristol)

Other than resigning Londer Fletcher, which they should do right NOW, any other moves they need to make to be a top 5 D next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Top 5 is lofty. I am with you on Fletcher of course. But I would dedicate just about everything to the D side of the ball. Maybe add a CB for good measure.

Hanson (DC)

What no " Bring out your dead"

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

"I'm not dead yet." "But you soon will be."

brian (de)

Reggie Bush for comeback player? Not sure what he is coming back from though.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Exactly

Matt (DC)

Aldon Smith hasn't proven he is a complete player like Ryan Kerrigan, who rightfully should be higher on your Rookie Reports and the DROY voting.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

I hear your argument, which is my argument in V Miller's favor over Smith. But Smith is more special than Kerrigan. More of a threat. Bigger difference maker.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Does Sanchez have a chance to be a top 10 QB or is middle of the pack more likely?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Not Top 10

Steve (Bristol)

What ever happened to Ryan Torain? Is he injured? Or just can't block?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Can't block. Doesn't make anyone miss. Hurt all the time. Helu is clearly a better option and I think they want to see what they have in Royster.

Blake (Thomas)

JJ Watt deserves some love as well. Not his fault his position doesn't produce gaudy stats, but the guy is an animal.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Watt has lived in my Rookie Report Top 10 all year. Legit for sure.

Jeff (Nashville)

What does GBay need to do in the offseason to get the D back to a top 5 unit? D-line and another OLB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Sounds about right. Maybe FS (or move Woodson there). The loss of Jenkins was big to me. Maybe 3 new starters.

Steve Smith (CLT)

No one cars about the Pro Bowl, its about ALL-PRO. Who else is on your ballot??

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

I think Welker and Calvin have had better seasons than Smith for sure

Steve (Bristol)

On that Helu note, has your opinion of him gotten any higher? Looks like Ray Rice II to me, quick, fast, and has some power.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

It has gotten higher and I feature Helu in this week's Rookie Report. But Rice? No-doesn't do anything close to as well as Rice. Sorry

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Okay Folks, I am out. Drop me a note on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL) and Happy Holidays to all of you. And I leave you with this:Minstrel: [singing] Brave Sir Robin ran away...Sir Robin: *No!*Minstrel: [singing] bravely ran away away...Sir Robin: *I didn't!*Minstrel: [singing] When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.Sir Robin: *I never did!*Minstrel: [singing] Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.Sir Robin: *Oh, you liars!*Minstrel: [singing] Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat. A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.