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

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Hey Everyone! 12/12/12 at Noon! That is a lot of 12s! Bound to be a great chat, right?

Al (Wausau, WI)

What's playing on your iPod today, Matt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Pearl Jam "Black"....so good...let's get this party started Folks

Mabel (St Paul)

What is your opinion on Kyle Rudolph? Boy has got hands but his athletic ability will always leave him a steo behind the truly elite TEs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Can't argue that. Big and strong and still learning how to use that big frame properly. Has hands for sure. Too often a feature receiver when he really should be be a great 3rd option-and his QB doesn't help him. Will never be one of the very top guys, but productive none the less, esp in red zone. Rudolph the Red Zone Riendeer! That still cracks me up

Neil (NYC)

With the latest Eli Manning to the HOF article on ESPN the Mag, where do you think he currently stacks up based on this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Didn't see that, but I think he is in the Elite tier, which is a word I don't like throwing around. He and Big Ben are at the bottom of that tier (which is weird to say) with Brees, Peyton, Brady and Rodgers

Adam (Chicago)

Can the Bears right the ship and make the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

They can, but they have drastically fallen off of late, as they couldn't keep up their insane turnover and TD rate on D and that bad OL continues to get expoosed.

Mo (Chicago)

How does the absence of Ike Taylor affect PITT vs. DAL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

It certainly hurt vs. SD, as D Alexander (really good player btw) beat up on them. If Dez is out it won't be as bad, but still, Ike would line up on Austin. He almost always guards the opponent's WR1. But the pass rush is the key-huge problem

Midge (Indy)

Will Jake Long still draw top 5-7 top LT money this offseason or have injuries and below ave play make him more affordable?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Interesting question. I think that is up to the doctors. Not avoiding the question, but will he ever be the same physically? I can't answer that. He was a Top 3 OT at one point, but if he can't move and function like he once did, he isn't worth it-but will still prob get overpaid

Ruth (Alaska)

What are your thoughts on Dennard as a player? Seems very good for such a late pick!

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

For sure. Tough guy. Good tackler. I actully thought he would be a better off a FS than CB when he came out of Nebraska. After his junior year, some were talking about him as a late first rounder. But he struggled with injuries his senior year, got into trouble off the field and then ran super slow at the Combine....brutal for a guy's draft stock!

Mustaffa (Minne)

Is Jared Allen the best pass rusher over the past five years? Has he fallen off?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

I would put Ware over him in that timeframe, but he sure isn't far off. Fallen off? Maybe slightly. I was just asked to rank my Top 10 Pass Rushers-turned it in yesterday-and he was still in there, but not in the Top 5 anymore

Brandon (PA)

Who is Dennard??

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

CB for the Pats....Rookie

mike (dc)

how long until rg3 and luck are elite?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

That word is so overused...and neither might get there. I tend to think both will get there though, but Luck before RG3. RG3 needs to master playing under center and all the pre-snap stuff that Luck already has a great command of. Luck needs to cut down on turnovers, which I expect he will.

Mike (Cleveland)

Regarding the Browns: what side of the fence are you on? Fans side who want to give Heckert/Shurmur at least one more year or Haslam/Banner's side who want to clean house?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

IF they make a change, I really hope it is not a drastic scheme change on either side of the ball. For the first time in forever, things are legit looking up in CLEV. Don't ruin that. Heckert in particular did a great job this offseason...but let's not forget that he had a very high draft pick and ATL's #1. Selecting Richardson was not rocket science. Still, I commend what he has built. What Haslam will know that we obviously don't is: Who will take the job...if it is a stud coach, do it. If not, stick with this crew.

Todd (Philly)

What do you think of Paul McCartney heading the Nirvana reunion at tonights 12 12 12 show?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

First I heard that! Wow, doesn't seem like a real good scheme fit! Like asking a 3-4 NT to play DE in a 4-3! But that concert should be amazing-can't wait

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Without looking at records who is the worst team in the NFL? I think it's the Cards.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

I do a Power Rankings for ESPN Radio here in Pittsburgh...and have ZONA at 32

Mike (Boca Raton)

If Caldwell didn't help Flacco make the strides that many wanted to see as his QB coach, what will now make him do so as the O.C.?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Yeah, but he has to answer to Cameron before and didn't call the plays. I think Caldwell was brought in to install that no huddle that BALT worked all offseason on...and then quickly abandoned about a month into the season. That O needed shaken up-bad. The most vanilla/old scheme in the NFL for the past few seasons. Will Caldwell be a huge upgrade? Dunno, but I have no problem with getting Cameron out of there

Will (UK)

Paul Kruger- has he impressed you with his play this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Yes. Big time. He has been the guy who has stepped up on that D most of all

John (Wisc)

Do you believe in the Packers new look run game? The last 2 weeks they ran really well... And now they added this new explosive runner in DuJuan Harris. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Still not really buying it-esp come playoff time. Harris does show explosion, but I need to see way more before I am convinced. They don't need Jim Brown, since every D in the league is going to keep 2 Safeties deep and play the pass, but their RBs are still extremely pedestrian to me. Should GB/ATL/Cincy call JAX this offseason and offer say a 3rd rounder for MJD?

Dan (Mt. Lebanon)

The NFL team i would most like to see on HBO hard knocks is?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Lebo Guy! How could I not post your question! Class of '91 here! Hmmm...concerning your question: I have no idea..they are all kinda the same to me. Sorry...Sportsnation, who do you want to see?

Mo (Chicago)

Is Antonio Cromartie secretly having a great season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Yup...Just my theory on it, but I think he got bored as the #2 CB when Revis was there. Lapses. Needs to be challenged-and is living up to his great ability.

Sam (NJ)

Kruger has been solid, what say you on Courtney Upshaw?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Certainly not bad. Not dynamic and I doubt he ever turns into a top tier pass rusher, but could be a Jarrett Johnson type

Phil (France)

Has Weeden secured the Browns from taking a QB early from next years draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I hope so, but not sure what next regime (if there is one) would think. To me, if I were given the Browns job, I would love to grab a stud pass rusher with that early pick-and there are supposed to be plenty. Might use a 3rd rounder on a QB with tools/upside though considering Weeden's age and McCoy doesn't fit the QB mold they are looking for now

Kaleb (Missouri)

When will Cam Newton be considered a "good player" rather then "had a good game"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I think I know where you are coming from and that is a legit question. My thoughts are that expectations-some of which stems from fantasy football-were so high going into this season that many think he has been dissappointing, which just isn't the case. Was a VERY raw QB coming out of Auburn...which is just like 29 games ago...work in progress, but I am certainly on board with calling him a Good Player right now

Brian (MA)

Mayo looked like a new player Monday night busting through the line. Is he a good pass-rusher who couldn't rush because of zone defense before?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Well, since Talib has been on board, the Pats have played much more Man Coverage and blitzed much more. Before that, they blitzed less than any team in the league. Mayo has benefitted. Always has been a really good LB though. He also benefits a ton from those giant DTs, esp Wilfork, who was maybe the best player on the field on MNF

kc (oakland)

Niners-Pats prediction?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I wrote that game up for Scouts Inc Previews...might be even posted now...but I picked the Pats. I called the Pats to win big over Houston and think they are the best team in the league, but not seeing a big win this week. Edge out SF. Also, threw this out on Twitter last night-@WilliamsonNFL btw-I think SF and NENG are the best two coached teams in the league right now.

Shane (St. Pete)

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Coin flip. McCoy is underrated and having a tremendous year. The entire key to TB's D. But, after being overrated, I think Suh is now underrated and few realize what an impact he still makes, esp in the pasing game. Close-to-being-studs.

cam (pok ny)

do u think tannehill is the answer at qb for the phins

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

No doubt in my mind

Jack (VA)

Whats up, M-Dub.What do you think is Danario Alexander's ceiling if he stays healthy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

We are pretty much seeing it. Perfect for SD's scheme and a high end starting WR.

Davin (Spokane)

Don't you think Zach Miller is under-utilized? I have a feeling Seahawks will cut him because of his big deal and some team will be all the better for it...

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I do think so. For quite a while there, he was really called on to block a ton. Now, I don't know why he isn't featured more. Loved him with OAK.

Jay (MN)

It seems to me that Ponder's biggest problem is his pocket presence. He rarely steps up in the pocket when it is warranted, and he's easily flustered and has happy feet. Is this something that can be coached, or do some QB's just never have "it"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Would say that is a legit assessment, but overall, he looks like he is doing everything way too fast, including moving in the pocket and is playing like a guy that doesn't have any confidence

J (SF)

Has Jason Pierre-Paul's play slipped this season or is he seeing more doubles & chips?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I would say both. And his DL teammates have dropped off a bit too. JPP is still great and it is tough to maintain the level he was playing at last year, but I think it is more of a case of three steps forward, half a step back

Mo (Chicago)

Can Rivers put in back-to-back good games? I'm doubtful....

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

It is all about pass rush. Steelers' pass rush is terrible-even against that junk SD OL. If you get to Rivers, he struggles now

John (P'burgh)

Is Mike Tomlin the only African American coach to be hired since they implemented the Rooney Rule? Romeo & Frazier were interim coaches that got promoted, correct?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I have no idea...never thought of it. Sure seems like that wouldn't be the case, but can't come up with anyone off the top of my head. Sportsnation, help here!

tippy (michigan)

Staffords mechanics, good or bad this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Awful...and lazy. But he gets away with it more than most would because he is so incredibly gifted. Still, needs corrected-and his accuracy would improve.

Davin (Spokane)

Would you give up a first rounder for Larry Fitzgerald and his elephant of a contract?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Depends what team I am, but he is worth it. Would have to see the exact numbers I guess, but Fitz is still a Top 3 NFL WR

Adam (Fl)

Is Rex Ryan back next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

They might make the playoffs! Would be the worst playoff team ever, but that isn't the point. He can certainly rub you wrong and is far from perfect, but I think the guy shopping for the groceries is more to blame in NYJ land.

J (SF)

Rooney Q: Hugh Jackson in Oakland, Jim Caldwell in Indy

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Thanks much! Caldwell was promoted from within though

Brett (St. Louis)

Any argument that Randall Cobb been the Packers most valuable weapon outside of Rodgers this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Zero argument...and Cobb is a great player in the making

Mike (Boca Raton)

Thoughts on Nick Foles?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Played really well this week-against what might be the worst pass D in the NFL. But I think he has a chance for sure. Ability is there without question. Deserves a chance next year to be The Guy, but I think adding a guy like Alex Smith would be wise as a bridge player/mentor/backup

Joe (NY)

I'm assuming Greene is gone next year, but do you see enough in Powell to make him the feature back in NY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Certainly not a bad RB, but would be a low end starter in my opinion, which is fine if it allows the Jets to address other needs in the meantime. I like Powell, but don't see him ever going to any Pro Bowls.

Lyle (NM)

True or false: In (most) normal years, each of Luck, Wilson and Griffin would have been unanimous RoY picks (even if Martin and Morris were still there).

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Easy to say, but do they deserve it more than Cam did last year? What is a "Normal" year? Clearly this is a special year for QBs, but last year's draft class overall was even better.

Craig (Flagstaff)

Draft one of this kids from Texas A&M, move Levi brown to RT, sign Michael Vick. Boom, a ten win team appears like an oasis in the desert

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Agreed....Vick is a slippery slope though-although I have said that Zona is the best fit for him. That guy is all over the place and while I think he makes Zona an instant playoff contender, I think Vick has a ceiling as to how far he can take you. Do what you said, but use that early 2nd rounder on a QB prospect as well. I love it.

Jack (Maryland)

Is it too early to get worried about Torrey smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

No, just a bit of a one trick pony that runs 9 routes and relies on speed. That is a tremendous asset, but he doesn't get off press coverage well and BALT hasn't helped the passing game at all with their scheme/play calling before now

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Would you say that Harvin carried the Vikings offense for the 1st half and now AD is doing the carrying? Too bad can't have both available now.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

No doubt, but Minny still has subpar QB play now no matter what the supporting cast is-and that can't be masked.

Jack L. (Lewisville)

Could the Seahawks make a run in the playoffs even with the "can't play on the road" bugaboo?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Sure can

Rich (Philly)

Matt- what would you think of an off season trade: Vikes give AZ their #1 pick for Fitz? Fitz's dad said Larry is a Viking deep in his heart.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I helped recruit Larry out of Minnesota to come to Pitt and yes, he is a Viking at heart. Larry's father did Vikings' radio and Larry was a ball boy in the Dennis Green era with Moss/Carter/etc. Would be a tremendous fit for team and player, but again, I don't know details of his contract and Ponder (Who I have been high on) is still a liability.

Craig (Flagstaff)

re Vick's ceiling: I think 2010 Michael Vick, where they nearly beat GB in the wild card round, was a top pivot

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Maybe. Anyone can get hot for a stretch, esp someone with his immense abilities, but he is just so all over the place. Very tough for a coach/OL/team to trust on a play to play basis. I still like him in ZONA though.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Fans of the NFL - Fitz would make a ton of sense everywhere....

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Indeed...including Arizona

Jack (VA)

Who is your MVP. I would go with Brady, more consistent then Peyton or Rodgers.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

1. Brady 2. Manning 3. Peterson 4. Calvin J 5. Rodgers....4 INTs for Brady and I posted on Twitter yesterday, he is 19 TDs to 0 INTs vs. the blitz this year, which is just insane. And the Pats are the best team in the NFL and the best O-even without Gronk, who is one of the best 10 players on the planet

Burke (Santa Barbara)

What do you think happens with Greg Jennings? Think he leaves GB or takes less money to stay?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

I think he leaves...they are well prepared for that departure and could still use a high pick on a WR

Chet K (LA)

Should Green Bay sign Steven Jackson as a free agent?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Not their style, but as I alluded to earlier, GB, ATL and Cincy could really use an established RB like MJD...S Jax would do just fine!

Harry (Siloam Springs)

What's the weakest position overall in the NFL right now? Offensive line? Tackle?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Yes. Yes. Especially RT for some reason.

Rick (Ca)

Is martin a serious ROY candidate?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Great season, but No-neither is Alf. QB will win it, as they should

Ray (Trenton)

Would Andy Reid take an OC job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

HIGHLY doubt it

jonathan TN [via mobile]

Do you think the colts might come back

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Come back? To Baltimore? No

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

Makes Heckert's move to draft Mitchell Shwartz that much shrewder

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

No question and that has worked out extremely well. Foundation type player.

Doc Holliday (Tombstone)

Matt, where you going with that shotgun? Madcap.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Oh...I am sorry...I forgot you were there

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Adios everyone! I am out