Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

October 10, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Hey! Let's get this going!

Paul (Denver)

What do you make of Corey Wootten finally contributing for the Bears? He's huge and fast!

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Had a fantastic game! They weren't playing a great team, but wow is CHI's DL good-and deep. Versatile. Pretty exciting really

Fred (Montana)

Hi MW- Where would you have rated the Texans D before the Cushing injury and where do you put them now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Thought there were/are 6 great Ds: Hous, Chi, SF, Sea, Zona and Philly...now I would keep Houston in that convo, but I am worried. All those Ds have excellent play from their 2nd level guys. I don't think Houston does any more-in fact, it is a weakness. I would try to keep heavy O personnel on the field and keep Houston in their Base 3-4-then run up the middle on that NT/ILB triangle and try to expose their ILBs in coverage against TEs and RBs.

Raoul Duke (Upstate NY)

If I'm the Jets I start McElroy and let Tebow get about 30% of the snaps. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Yeah, I have said that as well. And my reasoning is just to see if McE can be a legit #2 QB. If so, great. At least that is one spot that won't need addressed. There isnt' a #1 QB on that roster

Steve (Wisconsin )

Why has the Bills d line struggled so much? I thought they were supposed to be elite!

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Anderson has really struggled. Surprisingly, Dareus hasn't played that well either. All the O turnovers don't help either. One thing about that D. They show the same looks all the time-and rarely blitz. O Coordinators now a days eat that up.

Person (DC)

Current thoughts on Alex Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Mediocre starting NFL QB. Has improved for sure. Still, middle of the road with a fantastic supporting cast.

Mike H (Acworth, GA)

Do you think in Mendenhall has another great game this Thursday, the Steelers try to get a deal done ahead of Wallace?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Well, I wonder what kind of workload they give Mend....super short week as he mends from injury. Could see a similar work load as he had on Sunday-and then the following week be when he really takes over.

Troy (Burlington, WA)

Your thoughts on the Seahawks defense and the depth that they have?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Fantastic. Might be the #1 in all the land. They bring J Jones and Irvin in on throwing downs! That is close to unfair! Wagner keeps getting better too.

Blueman (Indy)

With big emotional win Sunday,can the Colts make it 2 in a row? Jets are banged up and on a short week but the Colts have always struggled with bad QB and the Jets wil use 2 of them.

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Would you rather the Colts were playing against a real good QB? Not sure I am following that logic Blueman! But I like Indy in that one. I just think they are the better team-and much better at QB. Cro on Wayne is interesting though. Cro is playing great and Luck leans on Wayne SO much now.

Simon (Michigan)

Are the Lions imposters, average, bad luck stricken, or what? They didn't look this bad in the preseason

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Mediocre. I think that passing attack will improve and be really strong once again. Maybe Best comes back in the next few weeks-he would be a nice change of pace to LeShoure. So overall, I don't have a ton of worries about the O. But I really don't like their secondary, special teams or team discipline. Also, that DL might be imposters...

Jay (Michigan)

Does Dallas beat Balt or at least come close?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Certainly could. Two weeks to prepare. I expect their CBs to give BALT's WRs all they can handle. But the thing I can't get off my mind for that game is Ngata...he is going to dominate that terrible interior OL.

Jay (Michigan)

GB/Houston...who you like and why?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

The Cushing injury is huge. Could see GB doing good things with their TEs and I expect Green to actually be an upgrade at RB-since he is a good receiver. I also think Williams does a real good job on Andre J, which severly limits Houston's passing attack. But I will take Houston. Don't think GB is the best fit to now expose Houston's interior D issues. Plus, it is in Hous

Neil (NYC)

Alex Smith and Mark Sanchez. Are they really that different besides what is around them (talent, coaching,etc)? Wasnt Alex Smith Mark Sanchez before Harbaugh? If not, what makes Alex Smith better?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

No, they are very different. Let's put it this way. Smith knows what he is and gets the most (coaching helps of course) of what he has. Doesn't make mistakes-that is the key. Smith is also more accurate. Doesn't leave SO many plays on the field.

Nick (Nola)

Does Hernandez's return make the pats the best offense in football?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

As I wrote on Sun, they the best O in NFL even without Hernandez...by far

ISMAEL (TEXAS)

Should Texans pick up, Chad Johnson or Plaxico Burress to help out Andre Johnson????

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Nah, that second WR spot is an issue, but they don't feature that guy in their scheme much anyways. And adding one of those guys could be more detrimental than advantageous...team is going great. Don't add a distraction

jt (tampa)

Can Seattle contain that patriots offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I have no idea. My favorite O vs. my favorite D! If anyone can, it is SEA-esp in their building. My guess is the Pats approach this week will be to try to spread SEA out-a lot of quick hitting routes. Spread. Empty.

Neil (NYC)

As a follow up to the Alex Smith/Sanchez question, what is the difference between Sanchez now and Smith b4 Harbaugh's coaching job (which i think cannot be underestimated)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Well, Smith wasn't an easy guy to scout back then because he was always hurt and/or going through a scheme change. I still think Smith was more accurate back then and made fewer mistakes though.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, if RGIII plays on Sunday for the Redskins, how do you think the Vikings should best attack that offense? Do you think the Vikings will win and improve their record to 5-1?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I def think Minny is the better team. But how well do they travel? First off, I REALLY hope they don't rush RG3 back-not worth it! But I would bet that Minny challenges him to go deep. A lot of bodies near the line of scrimmage. Very good tackling D, which sure helps.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

BTW, "I have seen a million faces...and I've rocked them all" Not the biggest Bon Jovi guy, but this tune has my toes tapping

Jalky (Dodgeville MI)

Clay or Watt for DMVP so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

No knock on Clay, but Watt-by far. No one is close. Animal. I actually tweeted (@WilliamsonNFL) yesterday that V Miller would be my vote for runner up to Watt. Clay is right there though.

Adam (Chicago)

Do the Bears win the North then? You are picking Houston over GB which would put them really far back. The Bears are better than an improved Vikings team, correct?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I agree with all of that. Pack could certainly go on a tear and finish the season with 8 straight wins, but CHI's D is just fantastic. Give me Da Bears.

Tim (Austin)

Texans just signed MLB Barret Ruud and cut Trindon Holliday, what do you think of the moves?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Blah...Ruud hasn't been good for two or three years.

Eric (DC)

What happened to the Broncos Defense? It's basically Von and a bunch of role players.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Played some very tough teams for one. But I did expect more. Guys like Bannan and Vickerson have actually played pretty well. Not real impressed with their LBs other than Miller and Safeties though.

Mo (Chicago)

Is Ridley talented enough to still get 20+ carries with his fumbling issues?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Oh yeah, was talking on Twitter this morn about how Greg Cosell mentioned that he thought Ridley is a better RB than Murray-couldn't agree more. Ridley is big time. One fumble this year, right?

John (Wisc)

Does the Colts loss actually help the Packers? Maybe regaining their focus?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Would rather have the W

Quinster (San Diego)

Any update on "Gameday" Gaither? No Gaither vs Miller, Dumervil et al could be trouble.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Have not heard an update, but yeah, that would be a massive problem! How does SD's OL coach not notice that Gaither can't walk to finish that game last week? How does Gaither not tell Rivers? Geez

JC (Utica, NY)

Too early to think that the Phins found their franchise QB in Tannehill? He looks awfully impressive, and his ability to throw on the move is eye-popping.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Nope...they have their first Franchise QB since Danny M...no doubt in my mind

Will (Tallahassee)

How many CB duos would you put over Contnoris?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Who is that?

Aggie (TX)

MDub, Still insisting Aaron Rodgers looks the same as last year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Never said he did-because he doesn't,but I am still insisting that he is the best player on the planet

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

If we make every NFL player a free agent and I get first pick overall to start my blank team....Rodgers

Mo (Chicago)

Two fumbles for him - in the 4th quarter, but only lost one.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

You are right. And last year was an issue. I just think BB knows that Ridley is far and away his best RB. Maybe he doesn't use him in the 4th quarter of real close games as much, but he has to be the lead guy.

Frank (SF)

Hi Matt, do the Niners destroy the Giants this Sunday?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

No...one of several excellent games this weekend coming up. I will pick SF I think, but Eli is a man on a mission. Said the other day that SF has best OL in NFL-and NYG's DL hasn't done much, which is super surprising

Kyle (St. Louis)

I think Contnoris = Cortland Finnegan + Janoris Jenkins.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I see. Love that pair. Right near the top of best starting pairs in NFL. Maybe number one. Not sure what starting pairs are better. Sea? Chi? Jets for sure when Revis is healthy. Philly?

Aggie (TX)

Dallas? with Carr and Claiborne?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Yes...I prefer Dallas' CBs to STL's

Bob (Tucson)

Contnoris? Really? That is weak.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I tend to agree....was trying to figure out if that was something dirty that I shouldn't post

Jerry Reese (DC)

Coughlin and Reese...best tandem in football?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Right at the top. Belichick and Belichick is pretty strong. Steelers/Packers/Ravens and maybe now the Niners have a case as well

David (New Jersey)

When you do local radio, which host do you think is the sharpest? Come on, come on, make headlines!

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Will always go with my guy, Stan Savran here in Pittsburgh. On with Stan every Friday at 10:25. Grew up listening to Stan's show every week night as my fam ate dinner. He was on right after Myron Cope here in Pittsburgh. Legends. Call me a Homer on that one...cause I am

Matt (Philly)

Do you think Hakeen Nicks plays this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Not getting any news on that right now...but imagine that O the last few weeks if they would have had Nicks!

jt (tampa)

Does belichick really deserve the credit for the offense? I always thought he was a defense guy

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

He deserves credit for the entire organization. Made his bones on D, but is now the GM and overall Czar

Jeff (Chicago)

Donald Brown out for 2-3 weeks what are your thoughts on Vick Ballard?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Thought Ballard looked better than Brown in preseason. Brown might never get his job back. Not that Ballard is great, but he brings more aggression and burst than Brown. Banger.

David (New Jersey)

The Giants are so mysterious about Nick's knee....Fear a microfracture situation.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Never know....myseterious indeed

Calabash Meerschaum (SE.GA)

odds the Titans continue their trends of 20+ pt losses tonight against the Steelers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

They play tomorrow...if the spread is Tenn +20, I will take the Titans

Awayne (Indy)

Critics have always had a reason to not consider Reggie Wayne great,first he was No 2 to Marvin Harrison,then it was he is just a product of the system and Peyton Manning.Even at this point in his carrer is Reggie stile a top 10 guy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

He is great-always has been. Top 10 WR? Would prob say No if I went through every WR in NFL, but not far off.

CC (Atlanta)

Why do we still hear that "Vick needs to LEARN to protect the ball"? The guy is 32 yrs old. He's reckless and that's why no team he QBs will ever win a SB. At some point, he is what he is.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Oh, he is what he is. Risk taker. Take the extreme goods with the extreme bads.

BJ (SLC)

Would you say Miami is a solid CB away (and maybe a free safety) from being a top 3 defense? Seems giving up a big pass play once in a while is their only real weakness.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Yes, and maybe a designated pass rusher opposite Wake....this team overall isn't nearly as far away as I suspected to begin the season

CC (Atlanta)

Pats O is "by far" better than ATL's? Not so sure about that MW.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I am sure of it...wait until Hernandez comes back too! They run like 80 plays a game! 35 first downs! Can do it ANYway they want

Keith H (Seattle)

Thanks for the compliments on the Seahawks defense. May we take a moment and raise a toast to Alex Karras? He and Merlin Olsen were the two top DTs of the 60s.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Indeed. Cheers!

Corey (D.C.)

I suspect 30 of the coaches outside of NE and ATL would rather play Atlanta's offense than NE's. That is the definition of "by far".

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Most Def

Tarek (NYC)

Should the Raiders try and make Huff a corner for the long term or do you think they should switch his back to safety.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Drafted him to be a CB and he failed. I like him quit a bit at Safety. Leave him there and add true CBs. Huge rebuild in OAK

Matt (Boise)

35 first downs, that is just crazy

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

The pace is just insane. Brady's numbers are not off the chart, but he is playing fantastic football-esp pre snap

Imre (Missoula, MT)

I belive you meant to say Mos Def, ha!

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Perhaps...getting this from The Wire...I have very little street cred here

Al (NYC)

Hi Matt, if every NFL team had to put their players in a draft and start the league over, who would be the top 5 picks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Hmmm...all would be QBs I suppose. Rodgers one. Bet Stafford would be in there-must consider age of course. Maybe Luck and RG3. On D, I would say Watt and Miller would be right at the top. Calvin or AJ Green would be first WR. Richardson would be my first RB. Just off the top of my cranium there.

Corey (D.C.)

A lot of people thought the Eagles could break the sack record this year. I have their DEF on my fantasy team and guess what...they cannot get to the QB. Whats the deal?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Like the Giants, that is a bit of a surprise, but I bet it comes around. Just great deep DLs. Be patient.

Imre (Missoula, MT)

No worries Matt, no street cred here either... thought on the Bears? Loss of Jeffrey should be lessened by return of Bennett, no?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Yeah, that isn't a deal breaker and Cutler obviously loves and trusts Bennett. Best team in division. True contender. GREAT D

Aggie (TX)

How much will Jay Ratliff's return improve the Dallas D?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

They have not been bad at NT, but Ratliff is a very unique NT. I might not use him a ton on early downs and just let him attack the QB in the subpackages and give him some early down snaps here and there.

Neil (NYC)

Matt same question regarding redraft, but for this year only (so age is not an issue)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

1. Rodgers 2. Brady 3. Brees 4. Eli 5. Ben...something like that

Yogi (Alaska)

If you were the Titans and the Cardinals offered you a 2nd rd pick for CJ, would you take it? They will release him outright next year, dont you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Yes, I would take a 2nd for CJ (& his big contract) in a heartbeat if I am TENN. Not saying another RB would have great success though behind TENN's OL...and Zona's OL has been just as bad at opening holes.

Mike P (SD, CA)

Bigger issue for SD: O-line or secondary?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I guess OL, esp without Gaither. He is a difference maker. Both could use a little work this offseason though

Craig (Braintree, MA)

How soon until other teams are trying what the Pats are doing on offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Trying is one thing, but truly implementing it with a QB that can pull it off is totally different. Taking a ton of C Kelly's principles from Oregon. The pace is just off the charts. TB is a maestro

Falco (Miami)

Now will the Redskins finally realize that a franchise QB can't take so many hits???

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

You would hope. Vick never realized it though.

Marc (Malden, MA)

You would take Richardson over Foster, Rice and McCoy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Yes. Not saying he is the superior player right now, but he is very special-and no tread off the tires at a position that doesn't last long in the NFL

Ethan Tremble' (Hollywood)

How soon till Rodgers is Tearing up the NFL again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

I gotta think soon...really soon. Just too special of a player.

Quinster (San Diego)

Best live concert you have ever been to M-dub? G-n-R, Use your illusion tour was pretty epic :)

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Saw G n R with Metallica-epic for sure. But this past summer takes the cake with Air Supply...no really, Roger Waters The Wall was the best show I have ever seen-this summer. Amazing. Like going to a broadway play-but so much cooler of course.

Craig (Braintree, MA)

How much longer until you can say whether AD has totally recovered or not?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

He looks quite good to me. But I would estimate that he is 90% and prob stays around there all year. Guessing of course. But he is a remarkable player-an all time great. Our kids will ask about Peterson.

Quinster (San Diego)

Pretty like minded on our music tastes but not too big of Pink Floyd guy for some reason

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Floyd is big time Bro...not for everyone I suppose, but Wish You Were Here, Animals, Dark Side, The Wall...anything live....oh baby

Craig (Braintree, MA)

It seems to me that the Pats offense is different from Oregon's in how many between the tackles run plays they incorporate. Any comments about differences?

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Haven't studied Oregon's much to be honest...but the Pats have a big RB in Ridley-Oregon hasnt' had such a guy, right? And this is the NFL-have to run between the OTs

lewis (michigan)

The Lions seem to still be undisciplined. How much blames goes on Coach Schwartz's shoulders?

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

He deserves blame and they are certainly undisciplined-esp on special teams, which has been a killer. Part of it goes with scouting/team make up too...they obviously want very aggressive/borderline nasty players...with that, you get penalties, esp in today's NFL

Matt Williamson
  (1:03 PM)

Folks, that is a wrap! Great stuff!