Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

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

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Hey Hey, What Can I Do? I Gotta Woman That Won't Be True! ...Let's get this party started!

james (cleveland, oh)

Do you think the Browns have sleeper potential? Norv coaching Weeden is huge, Cameron ready to break out, T-Rich hopefully healthy, Phil Taylor healthy, and revamped pass rush with Kruger and Mingo. I'm in!

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Yes, all excellent points. I think the Browns will be MUCH better coached in all facets and their young nucleus will progress well. Players now fit the scheme. Pass Rush will be drastically improved. I am unsure about the secondary still.

Don ( New York)

Top 5 RB of all-time? I would go Brown, Payton, Tomlinson, Sanders, and Smith in that order.

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Wow, I think we did this last week, but I would prob lean towards: 1. Brown (who had an office right next to me with the Browns for a week) 2. Sweetness 3. Barry 4. Peterson 5. OJ

Paul (Denver)

Fill in the blank Matty: Jay Cutler will be a top-__ QB if his O-line gives him ample time in the pocket.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Not sure that is my worry with Cutler now. I do think the OL and protection will be greatly improved because 1. They have better football players there and much better OL depth and 2. The new scheme REALLY stresses timing and getting the ball out on time (think Joe Montana)...so pressure should be less of a problem than in recent years. However, my worry/concern is: Does Cutler fit such a precise WCO?

David (Boston)

How big of a beast do you expect Ridley to be this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Beastly for sure. A Top 10 type NFL RB

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Side note & I just threw it out on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL)...Is Kevin Williams a Hall of Famer? GREAT career, but no one ever talks about him in such a light

Ruth (Alaska)

Do you see Cecil Shorts following up his breakout season or was it a fluke?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Not a fluke...concussions are a concern, but apparently Shorts has bulked up and added muscle. I really like his game

Paul (Denver)

What's Martellus Bennett's ceiling as a two-way TE? He's only 25!

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Great point about his age! Already one of the better blocking starting TEs in the NFL and improving as a receiver...maybe a Heath Miller like ceiling? ...And that is pretty good

Ben (Charlotte)

thoughts on the Stafford extension?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Like Flacco, Romo and all the other Franchise QBs, it simply had to be done...pricey for sure and will eat a ton of cap space, but that is the nature of the league now

Troy (Phoenix)

Do you expect to see a much improved offensive line for the Arizona Cardinals this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Yes. No where to go but up! But I project Cooper to be a truly great player and the OTs played better as the season went along. Plus Brown is back. Also, Palmer is much better at not taking sacks than the QBs last year.

Colin (Canada!)

thoughts on Charles in an Andy Reid offense? Does Reid actually commit to running the ball?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I doubt Reid changes his stripes, but Westbrook and McCoy put up huge overall numbers in Reid's O...expect the same from Charles

Rayshawn (Kentucky)

Do you see ATL's Pass D in both rush and coverage letting them down to miss the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

It is certainly a major worry for me. It was a big problem last year and while I like the rookie CBs, they are rookie CBs-a position that often struggles right away in the NFL. Is the Pass D actually better, esp without Abraham? Not sure I see it

Steve (LBC) [via mobile]

Staffords new deal actually save $7 million in cap space

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

I did know that, but I mean going forward....big time QB with a big time piece of the salary cap pie

Martin (NY)

What is David Wilson's ceiling like? Is he better than all of this year's rookie RB's?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Yes, better than all of this year's rookie RBs and a higher ceiling than all except for maybe Lattimore and Michael. He could be J Charles...that aint too shabby

jt (tampa)

Always hard to gauge injuries do you see Garcon staying healthy? He s wearing a special shoe sounds sketchy to me

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Sounds real sketchy to me

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

My $ .02, Kevin Williams in in the Hall of Very Good...I grew up watching Cortez Kennedy, and I think he was more impactful...

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

I hear ya Scott...I am torn on that one. I would put Wilfork in over K Williams, but not saying that Kev isn't deserving

Don ( New York)

AFC favorite, Denver or NE? I know people are dismissing NE, but I trust Brady more in the cold then I do Manning at this point of their careers.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

I agree on that point and I think NEng did improve on D. But I am leaning towards the Broncos. Still, I would put SEA, SF & GB over any team in the AFC

Matt (Steinway)

Not concerned that Vereen makes the Pats backfield into a timeshare and that eating in to Ridley's value?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I didn't answer it from a fantasy perspective, but in that vein, I am not worried. I think they actually have more called run plays this season and Ridley's touches do not change much. Vereen gets what he got last year plus all of Woodhead's touches, plus a little more

Martin (NY)

A lot of chatter now about Hakeem Nicks. If he stays healthy and produces a stat line of say 75 rec, 1200 yards, 8 td's, do you see him getting more money than Mike Wallace? Will the Giants be able to keep him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

I think he is only 24 too...is that right. Nicks is a STUD and worth much more than Wallace in my opinion. Expecting a monster season from Nicks here. And, that O is going to be much better than most realize.

Rob (San Antonio)

Who is more important; Sanders replacing Wallace or Jones replacing Harrison?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Jones. The Steelers had plenty of problems last year and I know their D was good statistically, but to me, the thing Pittsburgh did worst last year was rush the passer.

David (Boston)

Which receiver currently on the Pats roster will be the biggest outside threat? Is there one?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Not seeing it. Seeing a LOT of Gronk, Vereen, Amendola and Edelman...which is also Brady's strong suit. Not a highly vertical O any more.

Mitchell (Philly )

Am I crazy or can B More's D with injured stars back and under the radar additions be a top 5 D?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Baltimore's D can be the best in the NFL this year. I will project them as one of the 3 best for sure. Webb coming back is huge. The safeties are noticeably improved. A Brown could be DROY. Healthier Ngata and esp Suggs. I think Dumervil is an upgrade over Kruger and I really like the multi-dimensional addition of Canty up front.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

are the insider scouting grades/analysis updated? If not, will they be & when?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Not sure on that. I have not written one for years.

jt (tampa)

What kind of production do you see for Greg Jennings as a Viking? Will he post similar, worse or better numbers there vs his time at Green Bay?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Expect the numbers to do down. Less of a passing O and obviously far worse QB play. But he will be an effective player for them and a great influence on Patterson. I bet Ponder falls in love with Jennings.

David G (Chicago)

Who will have a better overall year? Chris Johnson or Mo Jo Drew?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

I feel pretty confident in Johnson in that question. The Titans coaching staff finally started calling runs that Johnson prefers during the second half of the season and the interior of that OL is WAY better for 2013. Johnson could have a fine season.

Hanson (DC)

If Kenny Britt has a big season do you re=sign him if you are the Titans or has past injury/of field issues made him a guy you would let somebody else pay him big money?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

They are around him every day, so what they do will speak volumes, but my hunch is there is too high of a knuckle head factor there to give him big money

Jay-Z (Brooklyn)

Well, I got 99 problems and a chick ain't one...is Ryan Clady a top 3 LT? Name your top 5 LT's in the league...

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Hmm...going to go division by division throwing out some top names that I prefer over Clady, but off the top of my head I say Clady misses the Top 3...here goes

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Solder? No...Brick? No...Thomas? Yes...Whitworth? Maybe...D Brown? Yes...Roos? No...Monroe? Maybe...Albert? No...J Peters? Yes, if he is who we last saw...Beatty? No...T Williams? Maybe...Gross? No...Kalil? Not yet, but soon...Okung? Maybe....Staley? Yes...J Long? No

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Eric Berry move into elite territory this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I expect him too...on a terrible team few realized that he drastically improved during the second half of the season

Brody (Denver)

Let's say Peyton goes down Week 1. Is the Broncos season over?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Of course, but same in many cities. However, could SF or SEA grind out tough games with their running game and D and go 10-6? I could see that. Could DEN pull that off with Osweiler? I would be much more skeptical, but maybe they could still win the division...maybe

Deric (SF)

QB sleepers this year: You like Rivers, Eli, Tannehill, or Carson Palmer as high-upside guys?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

1. Eli, 2. Tannehill, 3. Palmer, 4. Rivers

Hanson (DC)

Troy P. have enough to keep the Steelers good on the defensive side of the ball.They are a different team when he is healthy but is at that point in his career ......

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

One of the absolute keys to the season for the Steelers....he can still sure play the game and yes, two different Ds with and without #43

jt (tampa)

does Chris Ivory stay healthy and become Rex's "bellcow"?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Dunno if he stays healthy...and honestly, I hate when questions are phrased that way-how do I know?...not throwing you under the bus on that JT, but I have no clue. But to your point, being a true Bell Cow RB is also a mentality/stamina/durability situation rather than just having talent and I have some questions if Ivory is equipped for that role. Also, I only see him as a Two Down RB

Jon (WI)

Hey Matt! Let's go back to the 2012 NFL Draft and pretend you're running the Colts. If you knew you could get Russel Wilson in the 3rd Round, would you pass on Luck (trade the #1 pick) or is Luck so special that you would still take him anyway?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

I love Luck and expect him to soon be amongst the best QBs in the NFL, but I would take another great prospect first overall if I knew I had Wilson in the bag in Round 3...huge Wilson believer here

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Example...Give me Wilson and T Richardson (or whomever) over Luck and just some average 3rd round pick

Bill (Brazil )

MW- Im looking at the Bengals roster and they seem to have a lot of talent... With a Top 10 QB in place of Dalton how many games do they win?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

They have a very good roster, but I don't see Dalton as anything close to a Top 10 QB. I worry that Cincy will...at best...be what Houston has been of late. And frankly, Schaub is a much better player than Dalton.

Beth (Pittsburgh )

Dwayne Allen is a Top ___ TE this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

For Fantasy? Top 15...in Reality? Top 8...But in 2014, it wouldn't shock me at all if Allen was Luck's #1 target

KC (TX)

I love that you give Denver the favorite status in the AFC over the Pats and claim Baltimore as top defense (i'm assuming in the AFC).... you know the Texans beat every AFC opponent they faced last year except the Pats.... why do you overlook them so much?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

I will pick HOUS to win the division, but I don't love teams that must play within a script. When the train goes off the tracks a bit, which always happens in a playoff run, Houston isn't well-equipped to rebound. That comes back to the QB much of the time.

Andrew (Denver)

Is it just me or are people sleeping on the Ravens? Big IF, but if another WR steps up with Smith, I see a very balanced team with a potentially GREAT defense.

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

GREAT D...Great stable of RBs...but I really worry about this passing game. Flacco has always had a Woobie...Mason then Boldin...Pitta can become that guy perhaps and T Smith will provide big plays, but I don't think Flacco will play as incredible as he did during that short post season run. And I don't see this WR stepping up in which you speak. Will need to win low scoring games.

Felix (San Diego )

How concerned are you about Detroits O line with their off season losses?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Very....I love the Warford pick, but I think this OL could be amongst the league's worst...which is a massive problem considering how much they throw the ball

Kurt (HOU, TX)

so out of the left tackles you named... who are your actual top 3?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Hmmm...Thomas and Brown for sure...could go many different ways with the 3rd one

Handel (Canton)

Speaking of predicting injuries,has Cardinal off.line improved enough to keep their QBs out of hospital this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Palmer doesn't avoid pass rushers well, but he is quick to throw the ball away, which will sure help. I hope Arians cuts backs on the deep passes though-Luck got HAMMERED last year. But overall, I will say Yes

Nadia (Salem NH )

Do you see A Bradshaw being a true 3 down back for INDY or a split with Ballard?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

3 Down Guy that will be spelled by Ballard for a series here and there

Jamall (NC )

Do you see Hilton and DHB as true deep threats who can open up the underneath stuff for Wayne, Fleener, Allen? How good can Indy's offense be with the upgrades to their line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Upgrades at the OL are huge, Luck will be better in Year 2 and Bradshaw is a massive addition. I also expect much more for Fleener and the scenario you mention is true, although I think Hilton is more than just a deep burner

Handel (Canton)

Houstons inability to play "off script" more a byproduct of Schaubs lack of moxy or Kubiaks conservative nature on play calling?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Gonna go 50/50 on that

Kurt (HOU, TX)

and last LT question --> so out of Duane Brown & Joe Haden... who you like more?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Brown vs. Thomas? I lean towards Thomas...dude is just so solid...like Ice Man-No Mistakes

Dave (Charlotte)

Do the Patriots really deserve "blame" for drafing Hernandez? Players have been arrested for drugs, assault, drunk driving and other charges but who can predict MURDER? I don't think it's fair to say they should have seen this coming.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Agreed....if you want to blame them for something, blame them for resigning him to a big deal just recently after having the opportunity to get to know him on an every day basis for a few years.

Timothy (Wisconsin )

Who will get to the QB besides Matthews in GB? Can Datone replace Jenkins void?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Jones is a massive addition to this D and exactly, he is the Jenkins role that has been missing so badly. Perry also could breakout. Also a very good secondary helps that a bit.

Guy (Medford)

G Bernard top rookie for fantasy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Big picture? Yes. I have some worries that Cincy will actually keep BJGE as the starter there, which is insane. My early pick for OROY though might be Hopkins.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Similar to the Cards, the Browns seem to be moving to an offense that suits their strengths, a vertical O. Numbers for Josh Gordon, in 14 games? 70 catches, 1200 yds, 9 TDs...?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Not sure an offensive personnel was fit worse with the O scheme last year than Cleveland's, which also goes for Weeded. Yes, now it fits-perfectly really. I will take the UNDER on those numbers for Gordon, but not by much

Tom Cruise (rubbing dogtags)

Talk to me Goose...who do you like in the Rams new fast offense? Who gets the best receiving numbers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

That group of pass catchers is very different...just think, from big to small they go Cook, Quick, Givens to Austin-and all four are extremely different. I think it will be extremely hard to predict who gets the numbers which week, as they can exploit specific weaknesses with such a varied skill set of players. If asking for fantasy, I tend to stay away...not enough balls to go around.

Walter (AZ)

Does Mendenhall have enough to keep the starting job or will Williams or Taylor take over eventually?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I think Williams has the most ability, but I do think Mendy has enough to keep the job...and Arians obviously is fond of him.

Kellogg (Ft.Worth)

In Dallas Cover 2 doesn't call for press coverage corners how much could they get for the 2 guys they have now in trade scenarios?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

After spending big money on Carr just a year ago and trading up big to get Claiborne on Draft Day, that would be such bad business..just like hiring a Cover 2 Guru was....however, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume we will see more 2 Man than many expect...I hope

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, do you think Leslie Frazier, given his contract status, needs to take the Vikings to the playoffs this year to be back as their head coach in 2014?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

He did take the Vikes to the playoffs last year...my guess is that Minny misses the playoffs this year, and Frazier is then on a very hot seat, but would be there for 2014-although I don't know his contract status

Kealan (Ireland)

You've said in previous chats that you are a fan of Tannehill and that you think Miami will have a very good D this year, so what's preventing them for winning the AFC East?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

I think they will have a great D and yes, extremely high on Tannehill. I still like the Pats roster, QB, coach and experience better and I have big concerns about MIA's OL

Bob (San Diego, CA)

Rivers behind Tannehill and Palmer. Earlier this offseason you had him behind Cutler and Shaub. Selling LOW on Rivers. Tannehill won't touch Rivers jock EVER in his career!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Rivers has had a great career, but they were asking how productive I think all will be in 2013...in that, I am shying away from Rivers...I still see huge OL problems & I think Rivers likes getting hit much less than in his younger years

Brian (Tampa)

Back to the Wilson/Luck question, considering Colts got D. Allen in round 3...still the same answer on taking someone else in the first?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

No, because I think D Allen will be a multiple Pro Bowler

Martin (NY)

You expect Eli to be closer to his 2011 stats or 2012 stats this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Eli should be closer to 2011 than 2012...IF Nicks is healthy...although Randle is really promising. Again, I expect NYG to have a heck of an O

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Not sure the questions are posting properly...if not, sorry

Marc (Malden, MA)

I don't really care about the Pats being "vertical," I care about them being horizontal. The problem they've had the last few years is their inability to get open outside the numbers, which has allowed defenses to clog the middle of the field.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

All very true, but the Pats also haven't struggled putting up points despite this "Problem"...not sure it changes much next season

Gabe (Seattle)

Debating a buddy, but we both agreed that whoever between Peyton and Brady won another SB would go down as best QB of all time. If neither one, we both put Peyton over Brady. What say you, Matt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

All time, I put Brady over Manning, even if Manning hoists Lombardi this year. Manning's post season failures are just too hard to ignore. But I don't think either is the Greatest QB of All Time.

Todd (Iowa)

Kudos to you for picking Denver as the best team in the AFC. I don't think I agree that SF & SEA are better. Denver's Defense should be pretty good and omg how many points are you going to have to score to beat them? When they show up for warmups on the field before the game they have 4 touchdowns in their back pocket.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Denver's O will be awesome...I am not as sold on the D as most and have questions about Manning in post season/weather/cold, but the are extremely strong

Chris (Baltimore)

On Flacco, why don't people discuss he only got that contract due to a lucky 4th and 21 play and if the Denver defender doesn't screw up at the end of the playoff game, Flacco doesn't get a contract and isn't considered "elite"? And now who will catch all his "just throw it up and let Bolden catch it" balls?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Those are reasonable points about Flacco, who I do not consider Elite. He really didn't have a very good regular season. But he did play great and while he isn't Elite, he is a Franchise QB...and they don't grow on trees either. Couldn't just let him walk for nothing.

Vince (Phoenix)

Montana best QB of all time? I think hes the only one I'd say outclasses Peyton and Brady.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

My favorite is Elway...way before my time, but Unitas could be #1

Marc (Malden, MA)

The Pats may not have had trouble scoring in the regular season, but they've had problems in the playoffs, which is all that counts.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Legit concern about Pats scoring points in post season, but not seeing a remedy right now

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Okay everyone...that is a wrap for today! Stop back next week!!!!