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October 3, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Hey Hey! Let's get this started!

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, do you have your iPod playing today? Anyway, what are your thoughts on Christian Ponder so far? Seems like the Vikings are doing quite well in a rebuilding year so far...

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Just turned the iPod on and "Animal" by Def Leppard is leading off today. I am impressed overall with the Vikes-esp Ponder. Last week wasn't his best game, but they got up early and just went into a shell-which works okay with Peterson, who looks great. I think they have an OL, TE, RB, QB and two WRs....that aint so bad!

Anthony (Queens, NY)

If the Jets were to get a top 5 or 10 pick in the draft, do you think they should move up (if they have to) for Geno Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

I am not on top of the draft stuff yet, but did watch Smith go insane vs. Baylor. Wow. I have a hard time not believing that he goes #1 overall. Also, I did a Power Rankings here for the Pittsburgh ESPN radio station...I put the Jets #32. And yes, they should take a QB with their early first rounder-no doubt

Rob (San Antonio)

Try some Operation Mindcrime on the iPod. Is Mendenhall the answer to Pitt's running woes or is he only a part of the solution with the o-line being a bigger issue?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Betting this week off helps the OL a bit-knowing assignments, timing etc. As for Mend, he is better than what they are playing with for sure. And he has stome big play ability. That is a start. But I bet he is brought back rather gradually. Gotta think though that overall, the running game does improve.

Luke (Oakville, ON)

Agree or disagree. The Fish are a stud defensive back and receiver (WR or TE) away from being a contending team? I'm sure they'll be close in most games this season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Agree. Can't believe I am saying that from where I viewed them to start the season. But yes. Maybe throw in one other starting DB and a complementarty pass rusher opposite Wake...not that the D is bad.

jt (tampa)

MW, D. Hixon looked good to me Sunday. Your thoughts on his skillset

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

For sure. A little story about Dom. When we got to Akron (from Pitt) Dom was the Zips leading tackler...played FS. Our head coach, who was Pitt's WR coach with Fitzgerald and Antonio Bryant, looked at Dom and told him he was going to be the focal point of our offense. And he was. So he only played WR for two years. Good size. Strong. Not super fluid, but a plus athlete. Just needs to stay healthy. He could/will be a plus 3rd WR for NYG and allow Cruz to operate from the slot.

jt (tampa)

Is Hartline legit? Sure looks that way thus far.

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

It sure does. I don't think his insane numbers will keep up, but Tannehill certainly is not bashful and he trusts Hartline. Better speed than ofter given credit for too.

Mike Noonan (MA)

Did the Pats turn it around in the second half how many more losses do you see for them i have 2

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I put the Pats third on those Power Rankings...and I bet they end up first. I think they are loaded. Not studying their schedule right now, but maybe another loss or two.

jt (tampa)

How soon before Tebow is starting?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Two more weeks perhaps

Jacob (Texas)

Drinking the Kool-Aid down here in Houston. Without using the word injuries, tell me why I should put my cup down.

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

You shouldn't. HOUS is the best team in the league right now. Can Schaub outduel a guy like Brady/Rodgers? Also, what if a game goes out of script (which it RARELY does for the Texans) and they are down 14-0 very early in the game? Are they built to rebound?

Larry (Rochester)

What happened to Buffalo Sunday? Where was the d line? Ouch!

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Brutal. Domination. Couldn't get off blocks. Couldn't tackle. Couldn't get off the field. The O sure didn't help with all the turnovers. Kyle Williams still played a great game-but that might be about it. Also, NEng was running against Nickel more often than not. Shocked BUF didn't get bigger personnel out there when they were getting gashed.

Luke (Oakville, ON)

Where was Tannehill on your rookie report this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Fourth. VERY high on him overall. That might be a bit high after one monster game (that he made some mistakes in), but I have liked just about everything I have seen from him since Week 1. MIA has a QB-late breaking news!

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

"Today" Smashing Pumpkins ....great stuff

Raoul Duke (Upstate NY)

Sorry, but McElroy should start over Tebow. We already know what Tim has to offer.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

You might be right about that. If I were trying to save my job, I start Tebow. If I am trying to build the organization, I start McElroy with the intensions of seeing if he can be a quality number two QB.

Dan (DC)

Holmes officially out for the year, how bad are things looking for the Jets?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Awful. Worst team in the league. I mean it. I think the Browns are harder to play against than NYJ right now. How does NYJ score?

Rob (San Antonio)

When the dust clears what needs to happen at the Jet's qb position this season and in the future?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

There is not an answer on the roster. Needs to come from the outside this offseason-preferably an early pick in the draft. Check out my Jets article from Sunday night-Scouts Buzz

Steve (NY)

Where is Oakland's pass rush? I get that they can't blitz with their injury-depleted secondary but Houston/Kelly/Seymour/Shaughnessy have been really ineffective.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

They have. Wimbley has been missed huge. Thought this foursome would be much better getting after QBs. I do think they play too many snaps-no depth. That could be a factor, but not excusing it.

Rob (Kansas)

So if the Jets and Cleveland are the worst teams, KC won't get their QB of the future in the next draft. ugh....

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Their QB situation is a nightmare too and they could pick Top 5-no doubt. Same with JAX

Adam (Jersey)

Lavonte David going to make an appearance on the Rookie Watch?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

He was on the list early in the season and has been honorable mention since. Very productive on Sunday!

Kyle (St. Louis)

Shouldn't Chris Givens be getting more playing time? He might be the only Rams WR that can beat press coverage.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

He certainly has big play ability-but their protection issues don't allow them to throw deep. Certainly could make a case for more playing time, but they just have all these blah young WR prospects...I know it was two different admins, but don't like the tactics they took to improve at WR over the past two years.

Corey (D.C.)

How happy are Matt Barkley, Gina Smith, and Landry Jones?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

No different than any other year. Gina?

Andrew (Denver)

Is this a "must win" game for the Steelers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Wow, pretty close I suppose. That Raiders loss was a killer. Still don't know how OAK won that game.

Mark (NYC)

Another Manning/Brady showdown this week. Has Denver added anything significant on defense since last year? Pats had their way with them easily.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Think Pats have their way with them again this week. That O is unstoppable. DEN's interior run seems to be improved though.

Mark (NYC)

Geno's sister's a QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

A good one too apparently!

Mark (Toronto)

Shouldn't Miles Burris at least garner an honorable mention in your rookie rankings? He's arguably been the best player on the Raiders D and he's done way more than Russell Wilson who can barely move the chains.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Moved Wilson down to an honorable mention. I am aware of Burris, but I will say-very tough to narrow it down, esp early in the season. He has a case, but I don't see any greatness there. Solid guy.

Neil (NYC)

Does Dallas need to move on from Tony Romo?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

NO NO NO ...The guy is a Top 10 QB. Who do you suggest they replace him with? Green Bay isn't going to cut Rodgers any time soon.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Seems like Eric Berry has really regressed this year. I assume that's not because of talent but of more getting trust into his knee and reps?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Hard to pinpoint why, but you are very right. He is having a poor season.

Corey (D.C.)

Am I not allowed to have 1 typo amongst my hundreds of questions posted? Geeeez. G-I-N-O Smith. There I corrected myself. Now, Matt, back to football. What is your take on Alf Morris? The guy is a tank. I read he can squat 645 lbs. Thats like trying to tackle a Honda Civic.

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

All in good fun Big C. Morris gets better every week. He is exactly what Shanny wants. Powerful. Decisive. Doesn't fumble. Great stamina. Dependable. He's a handful. Not taking anything away from him, but he is also VERY fortunate to share a backfield with RG3-opens a ton in the run game.

Eric (Paris, Fr)

What to make of Freeman up & down season so far? Is he a franchise Qb?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I know think anyone knows that. He can be for sure. Played great in the 2nd half. Seems sorta mentally fragile though. Not saying the guy is soft, but does he have confidence issues? Also, his mechanics are not the greatest. Could really use a great QB coach

Nick (Tampa Bay, FL)

Schiano seems to be doing the right thing down here in Tampa, Bucs are looking good. What do you think he needs to do for them to go to the next level?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

He is. They are WAY more difficult to play against than they were last year. More than anything, they need to get Freeman right. The D is also very young-and semi injured-that will take some time.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

"Why Worry" Dire Straits...great one

Mark (Toronto)

The best part of Corey's typo is that he still got it wrong. It's G-E-N-O. (Short for Eugene)

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I didn't even notice! Nice!

David (Halifax)

A lot has been made about the Eagles offense not scoring and only winning by small margins however, the defenses they've faced have all be above average to say the least. Why is this never factored into the discussion?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

It sure should be! "Matt, why isn't A Rodgers tearing apart the NFL this year?"...happen to see who GB played the first three weeks! Same for Philly! As for the Eagles, I am happy they finally featured McCoy-finally. And the turnovers have been unacceptable. But, if you are playing against: Hous, Philly, Chi, Sea, SF or Zona, don't expect much from the O. Those six Ds are big time.

dc (dc)

Possible that RG3 is the best QB in the NFL as soon as next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Not possible. Not unless Brees, Brady and Rodgers retire...and Eli and Ben too

Murph (Portland)

If Romo is John Wayne and Cutler is Josey Wales (according to Gruden), then which QB is Doc Holliday?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

That is an excellent question. "You're no daisy. You're no daisy at all."

Drew ((NY))

What up M-DUB, If Santonio is done for the season then who has the better stats for the season, Hill or Kerley?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Hill needs to get every rep possible-and Keller needs to get on the field! But I would think Kerley leads the team in receptions but Hill makes more big plays.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Maybe poker's just not your game Ike? I know, let's have a spelling contest.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Johnny Ringo: [Ringo steps up to Doc] And you must be Doc Holliday.Doc Holliday: That's the rumor.Johnny Ringo: You retired too?Doc Holliday: Not me. I'm in my prime.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Don't get me started! I need a Tombstone fix!

Mike (New Jersey)

Who wins steelers or eagles?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Brutal game. Philly's D is MUCH better than Pittsburgh's-can't believe I just typed that. But we shall see how much of an impact that Harrison and Troy make-could be substantial. I just think PGH at home with two weeks to prepare gets them the W. And quietly, Ben is playing as well as any QB in the NFL. But can Brown and Wallace get off press? Can Steelers protect at all?

Mike the egg man (Canton)

Matt.. Who is a better RB for the ROS Steven Jackson or Ridley..

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Ridley. Both by NFL standards and Fantasy....but not getting all FF crazy with you guys-that isn't an open invite to ask me who you should start this week!

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I really like Ridley though-big time RB

Marc (Malden, MA)

Evidently Mr. Ringo's an educated man. Now I really hate him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Doc Holliday: And you must be Ringo. Look, darling, Johnny Ringo. The deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill, they say. What do you think, darling? Should I hate him?Kate: You don't even know him.Doc Holliday: Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him.

Drew ((NY))

Whats the deal with DMC? or is the whole offense the reason he cant get going?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

New run scheme that they have not adapted to well. When you watch him run though, he doesn't look injured or different. I can't place it other than if I am playing OAK, I am doing EVERYthing possible to make sure he doesn't beat us.

Mike (Brooklyn)

Worried about the NYG DL? I think Fewell needs to rotate more. That's the second game that the DL ran out of gas in the 4th quarter, Week 1 being the first week.

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Excellent point and they do have depth. I haven't studied the snap counts, but now I want to. This DL hasn't dominated...and it very much should.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

"Say Goodbye" Dave...great tune

Raoul Duke (Upstate NY)

How about Sanchez and a 2nd rounder to Seattle for Matt Flynn?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Sanchez makes a lot of money I think/assume. Flynn isn't cheap though either. Not sure what SEA does that...well, that 2nd rounder is nice. Change of scenery with PC could be useful. Dunno. Is Flynn the answer for NYJ though? Or just a bandaid? I think the latter.

Michael (Oklahoma)

Speaking of DL, the bears best DL in the leaque, in terms of talent and depth

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Right at the top! DEEP. Versatile. Studs. Guys like Melton and even Paea are much better than many realiize. Izzy too. Still real high on Eaglea and Giants' DL of course. Houston and Zona are no joke. JJ Watt is the DMVP right now.

Steve (NY)

While the fanbase is justifiably impatient, aren't the Raiders effectively an expansion franchise with all of the changes (on and off the field) in the last 12 months? This won't get fixed in a year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Well said. RIP Al Davis, but he put this team in a huge hole the last few seasons in terms of talent, draft picks and $$$ spent on wrong players. I give this admin a lot of credit for making the right steps this past year and not taking short cuts. This will take time though-lots of time.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Seattle would be more likely to say "we'll take the 2nd rounder, but you can keep Sanchez."

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Was kinda thinking that too

Ryan Williams (Undefeated)

Am I a legit RB? I thought with Beanie on IR I'd get more carries, but got less because I can't run the hurry up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

That is a problem for sure. And this past game didn't go well for you-turned into a shoot out and no one runs on MIA. But I do think you are legit. For fantasy-Williams is a huge BUY for me right now. Still, his OL stinks. Stinks.

Blueman (Indy)

JJ Watt the best 3-4 DE since Bruce Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Justin Smith...but what Watt has done through four games is simply amazing

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I obviously wan't in this biz or studying film of B Smith's Ds. I do know they ran a 3-4, but they didn't ask Smith to be a typical two gapping type DE, right? He wasn't Aaron Smith. Am I correct on this?

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Who has a bigger impact this year - Lamar Miller or David Wilson? Both are electric players, but apparently neither can block?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

But they will. This year? Hmm...tend to think their time is next year. Bush looks fantastic. But Bush and Bradshaw are both injury prone. I like both quite a bit. Tough call.

Barry (New York)

What's up with Shonn Greene? Is that Powell's job for the taking or does it not even matter who is back there because the Jets are so bad?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I don't think it makes a huge difference, but I have been saying since well before the season that Powell is NYJ's best RB. Not sure what that coaching staff sees in Greene...at all

Nick (Arizona)

How good would Larry Fitzgerald be if he played with a QB like Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Manning?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

He would be phenomanal...like he is now

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, true or false: Minnesota beats Tennessee on Sunday.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, I got the Vikes in that one...esp in Minny

Rob (San Antonio)

Roth or Hagar?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

David, but I do think Hagar gets a bad rap in some ways. However, saw VH a few months ago with Roth-he is cooked. Disspointing.

Myron (CLEV)

What makes you want to BUY Ryan Williams? Not disagreeing, just want you to add-on to that comment.

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Cause his value is so low right now-and he is very talented. Looked fantastic in preseason, so we do know he can do it.

chilly (wasted, po)

MDub - Love your work, sometimes disagree with your theses. NFC West questions: 1) are you still absurdly high on Russell Wilson? 2) Do you still think Anthony Davis is terrible?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Changing my tune on both. Davis has clearly improved this year. Also, he is a VERY young player still in terms of his age. As for Wilson, coming down on him a bit, but I also contend that SEA holds him back way too much. Would like to see him used like RG3 has been to some degree. And I think Wilson has looked his best when they go hurray up and just let him make plays.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

I think Mario Williams is better in the 4-3, but say he stayed at OLB in Houston's 3-4 this year (hypothetical - I know). Would he be getting Ware-Type numbers? Watt would be on opposite side, Joseph at CB. I really think he could have been better at the 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE (at least in this hypothetical situation). Agree?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

I don't. He isnt' really similar to Ware. Williams is like 285 lbs and really isn't a quick twitch guy like Ware or Clay Mathews for example. He is a very good player, so he was fine at OLB for Houston-and in reality, they play a 5-2 instead of a 3-4. But 4-3 DE on the strongside is his best role.

Raoul Duke (Upstate NY)

You'd take Watt over Ngata? As a pure 3-4 DE, I'll still take Ngata.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Agreed. NO D player is outplaying Watt in 2012 though. BTW, Ngata looks better this year too. Ngata is awfull special.

Tim (El Cajon, Ca)

Where would you rank the Vikings defensive front?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Underrated for sure. Esp guys like Griffin and Robison. Williams still playing well. Allen hasn't erupted, but every blocking scheme fears him. Henderson and esp Greenway are quite good too. But the key has been the Vikes' secondary isn't awful right now.

Alex (Chicago)

Is Sidney Rice's mediocrity a function of the conservative Seattle offense, or are his skills overrated, or both?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Both. They don't throw the ball enough. He doesn't look quick though either. Can't get off press coverage well enough either.

Peter (RI)

Speaking of big guys, did you happen to see Wilfork's hit on Jones Sunday? That really looked like it hurt.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Sure did. Wow. Wilfork is another amazing interior DL. Hall of Famer? I think so

Awayne (Indy)

Big plus for Ngata is he can play end tackle NT or just about anywhere he wants to play.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Exactly-or drop into coverage! Watt certainly has versatility too. He could line up on the edge better than Ngata and is the better interior pass rusher on throwing downs too. Ngata is just so big...

Marc (Malden, MA)

RGIII is Legen...wait for it...Dary

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Barny Stinson! You haven't visited my chat in WAY too long.

jt (tampa)

Is torrey smith a top 10 wr now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

No. But he is greatly improving. Top 10 is just too lofty based on such a small body of work. Speaking of small bodies of work though, Smith isn't Julio or AJ for example.

Raoul Duke (Upstate NY)

Watt is more Richard Seymour style...even quicker. But not as good against the run.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Agreed. Watt was a 4-3 DE in college. Ngata most certainly was not.

Mike (Brooklyn)

Worried about Nicks's knee? Coughlin's being awfully cryptic about it.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Sure sounds miserable, doesn't it? I hate commenting on injuries-didn't go to med school here. But the vibes are bad.

Jim (Green Bay)

Hey Matt, What are your thoughts on Randall Cobb? Do you think he should see more targets/playtime while Jennings is out? In bot there wins he recieved 8+ targets and in there two losses he saw a total of 4 targets.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Easy to say that he should get more of a chance-and he surely will while Jennings is out. But it is also easier said than done. This isn't a team lacking in weapons. Not a huge fan of lining him up in the backfield. I know he has all these gimmicky tendencies-which is fine. But to me, I would concentrate on turning him into an elite slot WR.

jt (tampa)

Whi is the most underrated NFL player? My vote goes to Forte

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

I always say Justin Smith, but Forte is a good answer. Amazing to me how different that O is when he is healthy. Just the dump off/recieving option he presents is massive-esp considering their OL woes. Great player.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Folks, I gotta run! It has been great. To quote the tune I am listening to "Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight" Words to live by...