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December 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Happy Holidays to all....let's talk some football!

John(nj) [via mobile]

Matt, merry Christmas and a happy new year! First off I know the Giants still have a glimmer of hope for the playoffs this season, but what do you see as areas that need improvement? My top 2 are O-line and secondary. Agree/disagree? And draft candidates come to thought?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I am not all over the draft yet, so not going down that road yet, but this team is built on great QB and DL play-they are getting neither. I have no worries that Eli and JPP will be/are great players and will rebound, but the other areas of the team are not strong enough to compensate when these areas sputter. Could see them going DE (yet again, but hey it works), or CB. I hear ya on OL, but there isn't one specific spot that really stands out as a gaping hole, with the possible exception of RT.

terri (visalia ca)

Ok what do you think about the niners QB? Do you think that they have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl? In the NFL draft, when will the Raiders pick? Hope you had a good X-mas

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Huge CK fan here for SF. Not saying he is anywhere close to guys like Rodgers or Ryan in the NFC right now, but SF can certainly go to the Super Bowl.

andrew (seattle)

What happened Sunday night, are the hawks that much better than the niners? It seemed the defense looked exhausted

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

SF D did look exhausted...looked exhausted to finish the Pats game too vs. that super fast paced attack. That could have carried over. But I also thought this past game reinforced something I have been saying for some time: Justin Smith is the most important member of that D. We gotta give SEA some credit too of course-they are legit

Jeff (KCMO)

Matt, does Romeo Crennel deserver another year? And if not, do you think he would be willing to go back to his role as D-Coordinator or is he gone for good?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

He does not deserve another year and if he wants to stay in the league, which he surely deserves to be, he will take a prime DC job-and probably excel in that role once again.

Steve (NY)

Both Marcel Reece and Mike Goodson have had success running behind the same scheme and offensive line that Darren McFadden has struggled with. Is it time for the Raiders to move away from DMac?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

All depends on the cap numbers, but from what I understand, OAK could save a lot on their cap by letting him walk. In that case, I am all for it

Luke (Waterdown, Ontario)

Loved the Dolphins using Bush more in receiving game. Miller looked great as well. Do you see this offence improving enough to have the Dolphins contend for a wild card spot next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Well, Bush and Jake Long are free agents. Could def see one or both moving on. Miller could be that lead RB. But I would also be shocked if MIA didn't add a high quality WR like Bowe/Jennings/Wallace. And Tannehill, who I love, will be better. So to answer your question, I would say YES

David (Boston)

Who's more important to have back fully healthy for the playoffs for the Pats: Gronk or Talib?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Talib is a nice addition and gives them more coverage scheme flexibility, but that isn't even close. Gronk is one of the best 10 players in the league.

Mike P (SD, CA)

Happy holidays, Matt! Thanks for doing this the day after Christmas. Assuming the new Chargers brass fix the offense, does Rivers have the rebound year he was supposed to have this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Hard to say....I feel like he is now a QB that needs a strong supporting cast-and he doesn't have it now, esp at OL. Will take a lot of work-no matter who the GM is-to get that O personnel back to where it needs to be. Also, it might be smart to use a 2nd or 3rd round pick at QB...just sayin'

Vijay (NYC)

How do evaluate the play of Knowshon Moreno? Am I crazy for thinking that there is little drop off between Moreno and McGahee? And should the Broncos be thinking RB in the 1st Rd of the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

I don't think McGahee or Moreno are special. McGahee is the better of the two, but I think he dropped off from last year. Moreno is just a guy that runs hard. But the key is obviously Manning, who is just superb at changing the play at the LOS and always having his teammates/running game in the best spot to succeed.

Larry (MN)

Would the Vikings be a Super Bowl contender this year with a healthy Brett Favre?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Yeah, I suppose, esp with a healthy Harvin.

Ruth (Alaska)

What are your thoughts on McCourty as a FS independent from the fact it means Talib plays CB over him? Can he be close to a pro bowler at that position?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

McCourty has been great and is knocking on the door for being a Pro Bowl FS, but I think there is a greater plan in place here with him in that I expect BB to use him all over the secondary-much like the Pack uses C Woodson

Brian (Tampa)

As a Colts fan, I have always thought Antoine Bethea was an extremely underrated safety. However, this year he has looked average or worse. Is there anything that you are seeing from him that looks markedly different?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Well said. I can't say I have studied him extensively, but I do think you are right. Huge scheme change went on in INDY and Bethea is playing much less Cover 2. Also, could be an injury situation that hasn't been talked about a lot. I bet he returns to form next year.

Fred (Montana)

What have the Redskins done differently on Defense since the poor start on that side of the ball?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Their secondary was terrible, now they are playing average or so. They are also very aggressive in bringing pressure, as Kerrigan is the only top pass rusher. The Run D is very solid, which is forcing teams into more unfavorable down and distance situations.

Chris (San Diego)

Kendall Reyes come close to cracking the Honorable Mention? Seems like he and Liuget are on their way to becoming one of the pest pair of 3-4 ends in the game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Reyes played great. And wow, I did just overlook him on the Rookie Report...sending my editors a note now! Thanks!

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Reyes was just added and yes, that might be the one thing to get most excited about in SD: Reyes and Luiget

Winifred (Michigan )

Where does the Bengals front 7 rank against elite units such as SF and SEA?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Led by Atkins, I would say Cincy is Top 10, but that is just off the top of my head. I would say that they have the best Front 7 in the AFC North though

shanezzy (utah)

MW, could the seahawks make a play for harvin with their low salary cap, since harvin wants out of minny.......

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Now that would be a nice fit, wouldn't it??? Hmmm

David (Boston)

If you're running the Jets, what's your plan for QB next year and beyond? Clearly, the answer is someone not currently on their roster.

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Clearly. They need to find two guys, one preferably a vet like Alex Smith and one preferably a rookie with upside-maybe a second round type QB. But of all the GM projects in the NFL entering this offseason, I think fixing the Jets QB situation might be the most difficult.

Rick (Kansas)

Where do you see Dwayne Bowe playing next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

He is from Miami...

Otto (CA)

Jets should bring in Norv Turner and Alex Smith.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Wouldn't argue with that at all, but Smith isn't the answer. He would be an improvement, but a young guy with big time upside needs added this offseasonw with Smith or next offseason at the latest if this plan actually happens.

Pete (Bloomington, IN)

The Colts win the Super Bowl. Best story in NFL history?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Yes...not holding my breath though

Frank (Chi)

The Jets should try to trade Sanchez for Flynn.... Carroll gets his boy back and the Jets get a guy with starting potential right away.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

SEA still should value Flynn more. I honestly don't think any NFL teams gives up something of true value for Sanchez.

Nick (Des MOines)

Looking back who do you think had the best draft class last year...Seahawks, Vikings....etc?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

I would go with SEA, but look at all the top rooks...most of them are all clustered on about half a dozen teams like IND, WASH, SEA, CLEV, TB, MINN....those teams all got a TON from their rookie classes

Vinnie (ATL)

What should the Browns do at the QB position? This has been our problem since we reentered the league.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Weeden shows signs of being the guy, esp in a run heavy O behind that good OL. My number one need for CLEV is a stud outside pass rusher-and there should be many to pick from in this class. But beause of Weeden's age and since he is far from a sure thing, again, I would look at rounds 2 or 3 for a high upside guy that needs a lot of work. But what scheme will CLEV even be running next year?

Reggie (Houston)

As good as the Texans can run at times... are they a flawed offense in that there is no threat besides AJ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

They get a lot from their TEs though and their RBs can catch, but I hear you and pretty much agree with you. Aren't built for catch up mode.

Rob (Seattle)

How much does the Seahawks' stock drop if Sherman gets suspended?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I would say he has been the best CB in the league this year. So they def take a hit, but I think that is still a superb D. Opposing Os will prob try to get SEA to then live in Nickel

V (Gurgaon, India)

Matt, not missing your chat even though I'm overseas on vacation! What do you think it would take for RG3 to overtake Russell Wilson for OROY in your rankings?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Thanks V!!! RG3 or Luck could end up in the top spot, but with only one game to play, I think Wilson is quite safe unless he collapses and one of the other guys light the world on fire this week. Of course, there is a big line to be drawn under the top 3 guys on my list.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, do you think Mason Crosby is over his kicking woes? He was 2 for 2 in FG's on Sunday...

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I know the league pretty well....but I honestly have no clue

Guy (Medford )

Are you taking Dez Bryant or AJ Green for the next 5 years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Green...by a hair on the field....and by a wide margin off it. Still, WRs over next five years, I go Calvin first, Green second, then it would be tough to decide between guys like Dez, Dem Thomas and Julio

Nick (Des MOines)

Which Viking rookie has impressed you the most so far Khalil, Harrison Smith or Blair Walsh

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Great group, but Kalil for sure. Been excellent in protection and is developing as a run blocker. Rookie LTs don't come in and do that often and is obviously a very tough spot to play

Gregory (Pasdena )

It's clear he is a stud.. so what do you attribute Trent Richardson's poor YPC to?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Last week, he had three injuries listed (including Illness) on his report. He does look sluggish, but I don't worry for the long term. His college career lasted very long (late bowl game) and then had that knee issue in training camp. Long season-and it is showing.

Victor Cruz (NYG)

I'm not in that discussion?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Nope

Hoss (Austin)

Chandler Jones: still injured, doghouse, rookie wall, none of the above?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Guess: Recovering still from injury

Steve (SF)

"I would say he has been the best CB in the league this year." If he gets busted do we put an asterisk on that sentence?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

You gotta right?

Frederick (Illinois )

Do you see the Lions going after a #2 WR in free agency or the draft? Its clear this is a huge need but they have other holes and are invested in Young/Broyles.

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Young prob gets cut though, right? Love Broyles, but where is he in his recovery? Plus, they want to play a ton of 3 WR sets, so yes, they need to find a #2 WR either early in the draft or in free agency. That is the only real need I see on O...the D needs DE, OLB and much work in secondary

Richard (Florida)

Will you pick ATL at home in the divisional against SEA, SF, or GB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I feel like I am always questioning the Falcons...but I prob take each of those teams you mentioned to win on the road

shanezzy (utah)

MW, with the rams gettin better and the picks they got from the skins if they did add a big time wr in the offseason (bowe,jennings,harvin) and draft pass rush or o-line how much better could they be with good corners and good d-line.......

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

LOVE where STL is sitting right now and I prob live with those young WRs, but I would put serious assets into building a great OL. Assuming Jackson leaves, they might need a power RB too. On D, I love the DL, but could use one S and OLB...not a real tough list to fill considering all their resources.

Nick (Des MOines)

What free agent WR (or two or three) would best help the Vikings next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I don't trust Wallace, but imagine the room his speed would open things up for Harvin, Rudolph and Peterson! Esp in a dome

Kenny (Oregon)

How would you judge Nick Foles' season now that its over?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

B- and better than I expected really. Showed signs and traits of being an NFL QB. That is a start.

Rick (Kansas)

Will the chiefs continue their 30 year of tradition of bringing in someone else's garbage back-up QB? If not, which QB do they draft with their first pick or the 33rd pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Again, I don't know the draft well enough, but I will crush KC if they don't use a pick in the Top 33 on a QB. If Geno Smith is the 8th guy on their board overall, I don't have a problem using the 1st overall pick on him. But I would also field offers for that first overall pick and maybe move up from 33 to grab a quality QB in the teens perhas while also addressing other areas like WR.

Hoss (Austin)

Hoyer gonna start for someone (Arizona/KC/NYJ) in 2013?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

I would say Yes, but I was shocked that a smart organization like the Pats even released him to begin with...then he sat out there unemployed for quite a while...then a smart organization like Pittsburgh cut him...Always thought he was a quality #2, but maybe I am the one wrong on him, but he looked good enough for the Cards

Curt (Rocklin, Ca)

Matt do you see the AFC being a little stronger than the NFC this year, and do you see the AFC Championship winner eventually winning the Super Bowl this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

AFC is more top heavy and I firmly believe that Denver and New England are the best two teams in the NFL....and one will win the Super Bowl

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, given your comments about Wallace to Nick of Des Moines, might a trade of Minnesota's first-round draft pick to Pittsburgh for Wallace be reasonable in your opinion. Imagine how an improved passing offense would make life easier for Adrian Peterson...

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Even just that amazing speed threat without a ton of actually production would really open things up for Peterson, but also for Harvin on quick hitters and Rudolph in middle of the field. Is Ponder a great deep passer? I have my doubts, but not sure the jury is out on that entirely. But a trade only happens if the Steelers Franchise Wallace

Hoss (Austin)

Rick didn't enjoy Trent Green's good times? Seems that when he wasn't concussed he was pretty good.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

They have a point Rick!

Michael Lombardi (Ohio)

You gonna answer the telephone when I call?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Always answer....but Mike, what do you want? Trying to host a chat here!

Jeff (Ny, ny)

What are your thoughts on coples? He has started to turn it on and I think him and Wilkerson could form the beginning of a real good dine.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Totally sold on Wilkerson....pretty much sold on Coples, but lets see him stick with it for an extended stretch, as competitiveness was his biggest concern coming out of UNC

Frank (Zona)

I think the Cardinals definitely have to come away with TWO NEW QBs this offseason. A veteran starter, and a top rookie. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

I would bring Hoyer back, just as a fallback option. Kolb really didn't play bad, but he is very expensive from what I understand next year. But who do you recommend? Not many vets will be on the open market. This sounds extreme, but Vick will land somewhere...and I have all kinds of negative things to say about Vick as a QB. But that O right now (or with upgraded OL) and Vick would put up points...maybe a lot of points.

Michael (B-town)

Has T.Y. Hilton been the biggest-impact rookie receiver? What do you think his ceiling is? #1 guy possibly?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Speed #2 Deep Threat...which is a great ceiling. And Indy throws deep a ton. Best rookie WR though? I prob go with Gordon

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Which would be better for Minnesota's future - losing and getting higher draft picks or making the playoffs for experience and momentum?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Playoffs...for sure

Frank (Zona)

I would bring in Matt Hasselbeck, keep Hoyer, and draft Geno Smith or Matt Barkley.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Solid plan...better get some OL too though!

Anthony Powell (Boynton Beach, FL)

Matt Nate Solder Overrated or Underrated?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I don't know how "Rated" he is nationally to be honest, but I would prob take 10 LTs over Solder, but I also expect him to improve

Otto (CA)

AJ Jenkins will surpass Hilton and Gordon soon.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

What makes you say that? Not saying he is a poor prospect, but haven't seen anything from him yet. Look out for Quick next year...

Casey [via mobile]

Love your Rookie rankings each week. I was surprised no recognition for Janoris Jenkings? Has 4 TDs. Can you compare him to Hayward.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I like Jenkins and he has been a big play machine obviously, but he also has been picked on quite a bit-esp being opposite Finnegan. I still think he will develop into a high end man to man CB, but he had a very rough stretch at one point this season too.

Dallas (Indy)

I know we need a whole lotta D and OL, but is there any chance the Colts get a new toy for Andrew Luck like Dwayne Bowe?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Nah, not with Wayne still playing so well. Will be a very heavy D offseason...and yes, OL as well

Dave (Seattle)

How can you put NE as one of the two best teams, when they went 1-3 against the NFC West? Not buying their soft schedule.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

They lost by 4 total points in those first three losses....best O in NFL....elite QB and Head Coach

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Reggie Bush in Denver next season...is that the perfect fit as the new toy for PM?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Having Hillman, I think they need a power RB more than a jack of all trades guy like Bush....can't become an all finesse O

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Where do you have Kalil as far as rookies go?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Think he is 6th overall this week....been in Top 10 pretty much all year

Hoss (Austin)

A lot of chatters wanting D Bowe for their team - is he even a very good player? and for the dollars he'll command?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Certainly bust potential in signing him to huge money-no question. Very good WR, but not a real top guy. Not great at getting seperation.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Happy Holidays to all once again! I am out!