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

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

It is noon on Wednesday, you know what that means! Gettyup!

Ed (Queens Village)

Who has the best potential among Jets rookies Dee, Richardson, Geno, or other?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I would say Richardson has the most upside/potential. Can be a VERY disruptive upfield player that I expect Rex to align all over the formation. Not knocking Richardson at all, obviously, but I still would have taken Eifert with that draft pick.

James (LA)

Where would you rank the Chargers WR corps?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Not Top 10, but prob not too far off. They have a lot of depth there and very promising young talent. I expect their receivers overall to be a major strength this season-and especially going forward. By that, I am including Woodhead and L Green as well. Green can be a stud, but just blocked right now.

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Is Frasier on the hot seat for the Vikings? Will his job basically depend on Ponder's performance?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Easy to forget it, but they did go to the playoffs last year after having a terrible 2011 season. I think he is safe for now.

Chris (Detroit)

Which rookie cornerbacks are likely to make the most immediate impact?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

That is a TOUGH position to excel at as a rook...very tough. Slay in Detroit comes to mind, as does Milliner of course. The guys in ATL will see the field plenty. Tough call really.

Nick (Michigan)

I know Aaron Rodgers still has a lot of years left in the league Matt but when do the Packers draft his replacement?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Now isn't the time, but it might be wise to use a 3rd or 4th rounder on a QB very soon

Craig (Braintree, MA)

The Bears cut their head coach because they lost the last playoff spot by a tie breaker and he had taken them to the Super Bowl previously.

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

That is true. Job security in the NFL is crazy. But I feel like CHI felt that Lovie took them as far as he could and that maybe more importantly, they wanted an O minded head coach

Corey (D.C.)

Im no scout, but when I watch highlights on Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas, Thomas looks light years better. What does your scouting eye tell you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I see why you say that. But I think Thomas runs under much more favorable conditions most of the time-passing downs, draws, etc. I really do like Thomas though as a do-it-all guy...he's a great 2nd RB. I also don't think we have really seen a truly healthy Ingram. And I expect this to be Ingram's breakout season-that might be wishful thinking.

Nick (Michigan)

which rookie Running Backs will have the biggest impact this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

I would go with Bell or Ball...plenty of opportunity most likely and a decent supporting cast-actually a great supporting cast in DEN

Mike P (Lenexa, Ks)

Vegas has the Chiefs at 8 wins this year. What is your best guess of wins. Does Alex Smith add to that total or take away from that win number?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Smith adds to their total as compared to last year's quarterback play. Even he just manages games and doesn't turn the ball over a ton and makes a few plays per game, that is a drastic improvement upon the 2012 QB play. I think 8 is a good line, but then you have to ask yourself: Is KC more likely to win 9 or 7 games? When phrased that way, I would go UNDER

Mari IL [via mobile]

Are there more legitmate contenders in the nfc than in the afc

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

By Far

Craig (Braintree, MA)

What do you think about Gronkowski's future in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

I think Gronk will be the best TE in NFL history...if his back holds up. Not a doc, don't know what to tell you about the back.

Nick (Michigan)

Matt do you ever have time to play fantasy football? or do you just chose not to do it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

I have been a league with my buddies for many years now. I also am in two dynasty leagues. Dynasty is a newer thing for me, but I really dig it.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Who do you like better to make a jump this year - Vincent Brown or Michael Floyd?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Floyd. More talent. Clearly a starter. Has already showed us more than Brown. I know everyone is raving about Brown, but I will take Floyd by far there.

Chris Kluwe (sportswriter now)

Which trio of CBs would you rather have - Sherman-ator, Browner and Winfield, or Flowers, Smith and Dunta?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

The Hawks' CBs...Winfield as a #3 is just criminal

johnny (n-e-w-jerz)

Matt, Please tell me i wont regret drafting Stephen Hill over Blackmon and Michael Floyd in fantasy dynasty!

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Oh, you are very much going to regret that

Hedley Lamarr (Rockridge)

MW, what's your take on Stafford at this point in his career? Because of the lions run and gun offense his stats look good, but is he a developing elite QB or just another strong armed guy whose development will remain static?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Hedley! Great to have you! I am a big Stafford fan, but felt that he took a step back last year. His mechanics are just SO sloppy and inconsistent. Poor footwork...always with the side arm stuff. He needs to get back to basics-and then can become an Elite QB

Nick (NYC)

Is there any reason, in light of circumstances, the Pats don't just become a power running team this year? They have the personnel to do it well, and then when they need to throw, they still have Brady.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

They will run the ball a lot-and should be exceptional at it. It won't be that simple as you state it, but it should shock me if they didn't feature the run much more. Plus, their D is improved

Craig (Braintree, MA)

It used to be that wide receivers would mature in about the 3rd year. Is that still the norm?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I don't know the recent data, but it seems to be less the norm now

Yogi (Alaska)

Which of these young WRs has the best chance to someday be a legit #1 WR? Alshon, Floyd, or Dobson? I own all three in my dynasty league, hoping one of them becomes dominant. Will I be so lucky?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

I would value them: Floyd, Alshon then Dobson...as for being a Fantasy WR1, they are a long way away and having Fitzgerald (who gets a big congrats from me for having his Pitt Jersey retired) and Marshall around is a huge problem.

Craig (Braintree, MA)

How much did you know about Hernandez history that caused him to fall to the fourth round when he was drafted? Did you think the Patriot's were taking a big risk with the contracts they offered Gronk and Hernandez?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

We knew that Hernandez was a character "Red Flag" coming out of Florida, but I can't say I knew the specifics and at the time, thought it was more drug oriented

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: How are you? Do you think Brooks Reed is OLB or ILB this season? Thanks........MM

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

MM! How ya been Brother! They seem to think he is a ILB, but I don't love that at all. To me, I am guessing that they judge him as not a good enough edge pass rusher to remain at OLB-and I guess I can see that. But overall, I don't think this is a good sign at all for Reed's career. Very different position

Sac (Chrisville)

Hey Matt, Tell me about this Russell Wilson character. Who goes into work at 6AM and doesn't leave until 7:30PM? These have to be just stories, right? That's Peyton Manning-esque work ethic if true.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Doesn't surprise me one bit...and yes, PM like

Marcus (Pennsylvania)

Coach Williamson, obviously experts are burying Oakland's chances this upcoming season, I beg to differ but in your opinion what has to go right for them to go 8-8

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I could see OAK as a .500 win team...in 2014. This is going to be a long year. I worry about QB, DL, OL...amongst other things. They are rebuilding properly, but rebuilding in a massive way none the less.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

G N R "14 Years" here now...how good of an album would Use Your Illusion have been if they didn't make it a double and just took the best tunes from I and II? G N R was STRONG

Paul (Denver)

NFC north, what's your prediction and why?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Tough division and I don't see any true bottom feeders, but I think everyone is sleeping on The Pack a bit-wouldn't surprise me if they hoisted Lombardi this year. The Bears are 2nd and I will prob pick them as a Wild Card team. The Lions and Vikes are very close

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, happy Independence Day! In your opinion, which NFL team will have the most prolific passing game in 2013? GB? DET? Some other team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Happy Independence Day to you as well! ATL could prob be in that convo as well-same with DEN...Give me the Pack narrowly over the Broncos

Pavone ( Sterling)

With Cruz signed. Does Wilson step up as the other key piece for the Giants' offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Expecting NYG's O to be very good this year, but keeping Nicks healthy is the key. Hearing great things about Randle though too-and he obviously has a lot of ability. The OL looks improved. I also like A Brown, he isn't just a grinder. But Wilson has star potential and I expect him to reach that status this year.

James (LA)

Early MVP prediction?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Rodgers...I will always say Rodgers. Manning certainly could as well. R Wilson?

Corey (D.C.)

Do you think Walter White is toast?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

WW is going down a dangerous spiral, but he won't go down easily. Can't wait for the premier! BTW, I am about half way through Mad Men's 2nd to last season...hooked on that show too

Jackie (Cincinnati)

Isn't it a bit ridiculous to talk about Aaron Hernandez' red flags in college, and how the Pats should've known better? He smoked weed in college; he wasn't Ted Bundy's roommate. I certainly don't remember any "Guess Who Just Drafted a Murderer" headlines on ESPN after that draft.

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

No, not at all, but when you flirt with "Poor Character Guys" there is a risk there. As stated in Breakfast Club: Don't mess with the bull son, you will get the horns

Mike P (Ks)

I know the raiders are salary cap locked for this year and next but excluding the Broncos, Who reaches the AFC Second Round or Championship first Chargers Raiders or Chiefs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

From what I understand, OAK is in a position to spend like crazy next offseason. I see KC as clearly the best team of those three right now, but with A Smith as QB, can they get as far as you speak? Will Rivers still be viable when SD has the talent around him to get this done?

the real Evil Richie J (Pittsburgh)

Better TV character? Omar(the Wire). Tony soprano. Walter White. Al swearingen(Deadwood).

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I haven't seen Deadwood yet-maybe they are next on my list after Mad Men...but give me Omar. And along those lines, RIP Tony Soprano

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Your list of top 3 pass rushers in the L...and what happened to DeMarcus Ware? It's like he aged 10 years overnight...

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I am not writing off Ware just yet. NFL's top 3 Pass Rushers? 1. V Miller 2. Clay 3. Watt...Wake?

Sean (Colorado)

It seems whenever a team with talent is losing, the fans start chiming for a higher-energy, louder coach to take over. While that can sometimes be an effective solution, do you remember a fan ever stating they wanted a more even-keeled, quieter presence to right the ship (a la Belichick, McCarthy)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Good point...that is why fans are accountants, ditch diggers, bankers for a living

Evan (Hoboken)

Do you think Cam Newton's 2nd season was better than his first year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

In a way, yes. Quietly, Cam was outstanding in the 2nd half of the 2012 season-outstanding. And during that time, he turned into more of a pocket passer and much less reliant on running...that is a huge and difficult step to take so soon. RG3 still needs to do so. I am a huge Cam fan-big time stud

Big Mac (Las Cruces)

In your offseason grades, you stated that Denver's defense should be "adequate to above average"...considering that Denver was top 5 in scoring D, run D, and pass D last season, I assume your comments are suggesting a considerable drop from an elite unit to "adequate to above average"...do you think the loss of Dumervil will be too much to overcome, despite upgrades at DT and CB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Are they vastly better at DT? Those guys didn't play poorly there last year. I do worry about pass rush besides Von. MLB issues. I seem in the minority, but I see an average D in DEN...which still could be good enough for them to win the whole thing. They will score mad points

ASN (NY)

Your top 3 pass rushers don't include JPP? Where does he fall in your ranks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

He wasn't himself last year with his back, but he could certainly get up to #1. But off of what I have seen lately, he is behind the guys I mentioned.

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Does AD have the physical makeup to go over 2000 yards again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

If anyone can, it is Peterson. Even with Ponder behind center and Harvin gone, I have to think the opponents will fear Minny's passing game just a bit more this year with their variety of weapons.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Metallica "Wherever I May Roam"...Fires me up

Derek (work) [via mobile]

I think Chip Kelly is going with Foles this year. My logic: Vick isn't the future, might as well see what young QB 1 can do. If he fails, try young QB 2 (Barkley) and see what he can do. Vick will only stall out their progress, and Kelly should be looking towards the future as much as possible. Agree or disagree?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

I don't disagree with that logic at all. I also think that Vick doesn't have the extremely quick processing mind to properly execute Chip's ultra high tempo O. I don't know that Foles does either, but I would tend to agree with you.

Lord Helmet (Druidia)

After this season do you think there is a chance people will view Ryan Tannehill on the same level as RG111 and Andrew Luck?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I do. He isn't far behind those guys to me either after 1 season. I don't throw the term "Franchise QB" around lightly, but Tannehill is/will be a Franchise QB. May the Schwartz Be With You

Craig (Braintree, MA)

I heard someone on talk radio point out that perhaps the Pats should have held back on giving out the lucrative contracts on G&H because of the character and injury issues prior to the end of the rookie ones. I think that there is merit to that argument.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Of course hindsight is 20/20 and they have the advantage of seeing these young men every day-see what Hernandez is really like day to day and what the Pats' team docs are/were saying about his medical issues. The timing as obviously terrible on both, esp AH, but if you waited much longer to sign either, their price could be astronomical.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Worst starting player in the NFL might be...

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Wow...suggestions? Plenty of OLinemen that should not be starting in the NFL right now.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Jaws stated something to the effect that he thought Brandon Weeden would be an above-average starter...I saw some flashes last year, but I said the same thing about Brady Quinn at one point..yeesh..your thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Maybe more so than any team, I thought the Browns' O personnel was miscast with their 2012 scheme and now, I think the personnel is perfect for what this new staff wants to do. This goes double for Weeden. He needs to be a downfield pocket passer-which is exactly what Norv wants. Year 2 will be critical, but he really had some bad moments as a rookie. Still, I tend to be in Weeden's corner.

Al Swearingen (Deadwood)

Seriously? Omar? Dude, you need to watch my show.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I have heard that you are The Man...but watch your tone concerning Omar

Al (Wausau, WI)

Worst starting player in the NFL might be... Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars gets my vote.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Immediately thought of QBs (Sanchez), but that seemed too easy

Murph (Portland)

Which player new to the NFL (rookie) or to a new team (or off from major injury?) are you most interested seeing in pads when things start heating up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

As rookie classes go, I would say this is a boring one by that measure...Harvin comes to mind right away. But also a guy like J Casey in Philly. Like everyone else, I am excited to see Chip's plans

Mike P (Ks)

Now that the Super Bowl is being played in cold weather and in New York, which cold weather city will get the Super Bowl Next... Denver, Chicago, Kc, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I hope none of the above

Corey (D.C.)

Lets say AP has 5 more seasons averaging about 1450 and 8 TDs. Maybe one more huge season in there, but does not get a ring. Where does he rank all time on your list.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

That is a LOT of production still ahead of him and if it happens (not saying it won't), I would most likely put Peterson 2nd all time behind Jim Brown...he isn't that far off of being 2nd already in my book. Who do you take: Peterson, OJ, Emmitt, LT, Faulk?

Andrew (DC)

You have to include Tyrion Lannister on that list of TV characters.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

MANY could be included with Tyrion is top notch for sure...def my favorite Little Fella on TV

phill (pa)

why aren't teams trying to convert some of these good but not greatdt's into ol is just too much effort and time process i agree on your ol being some of the worst starters in the league.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

That happens a ton at the college level, but doing so in the NFL is a big project and OL coaches are busy with guys that actually know how to play the position.

Hugo J (HOUTX)

In relation to Cush's comments on Watt... I know he still has a long way to go, but considering he is playing inside as a 3-4 DE... do you think it's farfetch'd to say Watt's 2012 season was (at worst) top 2 or 3 in NFL History (if not best) for any D Player?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Not far fetched...now, we have to clarify a little. Houston's version of a 3-4 is a penetrating attacking scheme. Watt isn't asked to be Aaron Smith. Still, a remarkable season-remarkable

Mike Ditka (Chicago)

Uh, you forgot Walter Payton

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

I didn't forget Walter or Barry...right now, I don't think Peterson gets many votes over those two, so I didn't include them

Al Bundy (Polk High)

Actually, I'm the greatest TV character ever...I scored 4 touchdowns in one game!

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Not bad in Modern Family either

Keith H (Seattle)

For a cold weather Super Bowl, you could do much worse than Seattle. We wouldn't mind if it were a home game, either.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

I am really NOT in favor of a cold weather Super Bowl

KC (Houston)

so with everything the Pats are going thru this offseason, are they still your #2 team in the AFC b/c of BB & Brady? Or will you finally admit that the Texans are now the biggest threat to the Broncos?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

I am very down on the AFC right now. Not sure I would put Houston over Baltimore. The Pats are def weakened though. Those four will still be my division winners-boring I know. But I think the AFC is there for the taking...but I don't see a team equipped to step up

Dr. Who (Tardis)

Is it true that Dan Marino and Barry Sanders had a baby named Russell Wilson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Nice one

James (LA)

I would take Walter, Faulk, and LT over Peterson. Nothing personal, I just prefer the more complete backs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Certainly a strong argument in your favor there...that is the one thing that hurts Peterson for sure, esp against guys like you mentioned

Corey (D.C.)

My Top 8 RBsin no particular order: Walter, Barry, Dickerson, AP, Faulk, OJ, Sayers, Brown. Did I miss anyone?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

No LT? The guy that is far too often overlooked in my opinion is Earl Campbell

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Actually, Al Bundy pulling Sofia Vergara on Modern Family is a wayyy more impressive feat than 4 TDs...

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

That it is...any joker can stumble into the end zone a few times

Ali (NYC)

NFC East appears to be pretty wide open between the RGIII injury and aftermath, Chip Kelley in Philly, the new play-calling in Dallas, and the Giants having released many key players from the past. Who wins the division and why?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I totally agree and have said many times over the past month or so that I expect this to be the most competitive division in the NFL and to me, the very hardest to predict. I don't have a great feel for this division, but will prob pick NYG to win it and only one team to advance to the post season from the East

joe (uk)

true or false gronk is now the most important non qb in the league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Wow...Peterson? Calvin? Von? Watt?...yeah, you are probably right

Kurt (TX)

could this be a year we see the NFC rack up the most wins vs. the AFC since 2002? I have a feeling each Division in the NFC will feature winning records vs AFC Division... by a lot

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Might be right. I might pick a team like CHI, ATL or NO as the 2nd best team in the AFC

Corey (D.C.)

LT was the man, elite, but Id take Marcus Allen over him. Campbell too. Maybe even Dorsett. Ok not Dorsett, but I put LT about 10th.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

I am not feeling Marcus over LT

Pony Boy Curtis (Golden)

Barry Sanders most exciting back ever, no doubt. Stay gold MW.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Couldn't agree more Greaser

Brandon Marshall (chicago)

Am I better than Andre Johnson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

No, but it is close. Andre J is a full grown man who always gets coverage rolled his way-not that Marshall doesn't. Very close. Both are semi-allergic to the end zone btw

Corey (D.C.)

Where does Bo rank if he plays 12 healthy years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Top 3

Paul (Denver)

What do you think of the revamped Bears LBs, especially the rookies Bostic and Green? Lots of speed and athleticism!

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Collective upgrade at LB for Chicago...None of the new guys will rival Urlacher in his prime, but they have a nice combo now of rooks and vets that can play several different positions as well. Those rooks also should boost special teams coverage units.

Paul (Denver)

What needs to happen (with Cutler and offense) for the Bears to be contenders this year? Defense will be status quo with a few tweaks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Agreed on CHI's D, but I expect marked improvement on O. Better coached. Better protection, although I don't expect that OL to be Top 10 or anything that drastic. Bennett is a great addition and Cutler must incorporate him and Alshon instead of force feeding Marshall. I also expect a real nice season from Forte as well. The Bears are for real and I see them as a Super Bowl contender

Brandon Marshall (chicago)

I did have more Td's than Fitzgerald and Megatron COMBINED last yr though.....

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

You are great-no doubt...that but stat is a fluke

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

I am out...see ya next week or just drop me a line on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL