Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:04 AM)
Good morning again. Wow. One weekend of games and all kinds of news and surprises. let's talk.
Do you think the Jags made a mistake trading Marcus Stroud...thanks
Chris Mortensen (11:06 AM)
No, because word around the league is that he had really declined for the past year and a half, for whatever reason. And here was a telling sign: The Falcons were in dire need of a big, stout defensive tackle in the offseason and their new coach, Mike Smith, passed on any interest in Stroud. Smith was the Jags' d coordinator, right? But maybe a change of scenery is what Marcus needed...and don't forget, the Titans gashed the Jags in last year's opener worse than they did this opener.
Zak (St. Petersburg)
What was your biggest surprise of this weekend Mort?
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
Zak, lot of them. Maybe the way the Bears handled the Colts. The Panthers beating the Chargers was a surprise but I had a gut it was going to be close with some of the San Diego injuries plus the Panthers could be a playoff team this year.
K. Ross (Jackson MS)
do you think eddie royal is that good or deangelo hall is that overrated
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
I would say both of those thoughts apply. I know the Broncos have been high on Royal from day one and I know a lot of people in this league have always thought Hall was overrated and not deserving of the kind of money Al Davis gave him.
Do you think the Patriot defense can carry them to the playoffs past farve and the jets?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
Well, we have learned plenty of lessons following the Patriots this decade and that is never count them out. I think this divisional race will be tighter now with the Pats, Jets & Bills.
Jeremy (New Orleans)
Thx for nuthin for breakin the Colston story, JK. Do you think this will be a chance for Henderson to step up, or Will you see more of Shockey Flexing out in the Slot?
Chris Mortensen (11:13 AM)
Oh, they have weapons and a great scheme. Yes, Shockey gets more involved, can flex out. David Patten, Terrence Copper, Devery Henderson...and last year's no. 1, Robert Meacham, can play a role. But the guy that Drew Brees loves is Lance Moore - never drops a ball, great route runner, always where he's supposed to be...and did I mention Reggie Bush?
How long before the Titans have to start thinking about a different long-term solution at QB?
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
Too early to tell but it has to be on their minds. They certainly will try to revive Vince Young but I think it's one reason why they simply didn't promote Ingle Martin from their practice squad. I'd say we'll know more by the end of the season.
Mort. I think that Shawne Merriman is to blame for not having surgery as soon as he could. I dont think the Chargers are going to the sb with or w/o him, but how much do you think he is to blame for his current situation?
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
Merriman could have and should have had the surgery right after the Chargers lost to the Patriots in the AFC playoffs. But he chose to play in the Pro Bowl and then he decided to have arthroscopic surgery to clean the knee out instead of getting it done back then. I would assign more blame to Merriman than the Chargers.
Do the Raiders have to wait till the draft to get a decent WR or is a Boldin trade possible? Is it the WRs fault or is Jamarcus just not servicable yet?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Boldin trade is not possible. When Ashley Lelie gets cut by the 49ers - who have a weak receiving group - and turns around and starts for the Raiders, it tells you how bad it is. Jamarcus would be good if they surround him with the right talent. They blew it on Javon Walker. Too bad. I honestly mean this - the NFL is better when the Raiders are winning and/or competitive. And their defense has talent but I hear a lot of people around the league second-guessing the scheme.
Dave, Atlanta GA
How do you think the Bills defense will matchup against the Jaguars injured O line? Will the Bills offense have success against Jaguars?
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
I think it's a great matchup for the Bills' d-line but I wouldn't look for a big scoring game from the offense. (Irony: Gregg Wiliams is Jags' def coordinator now). But let's hear it for one of the best special teams coaches of all time in Bobby April and for talent like Roscoe Parrish.
Jay (Middletown, CT)
Mort, I know its only the Raiders but the win was at Oakland against a division rival to open the season. Cutler looks like he is ready to show his true skills with a wide open offense and Marshall and Royal at his disposal. You ready to give some love to Denver yet???
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
Yes, Jay. I had the Broncos & Panthers on my "surprise team" watch list. I have always loved Cutler but I am truly stunned at how good Eddie Royal looks this early. This has a chance to be a phenomenal rookie class on offense.
What are your thoughts on WR Matt Jones? he looked motivated last Sunday.
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
Matt Jones could end up being a 1,000-yard receiver this year if he's available all 16 games. A totally different motivated guy.
When are people going to abandon the browns playoffs joke? Their schedule is ridiculous the rest of the season i can only see them beating the bengals twice and maybe washington and houston... maybe. How was this team ever considered a playoff contender?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
I'm not ready to abandon them. The key is they have to get healthy. To have a schedule like they have and start with too many key guys injured or coming off preseason injuries is dangerous. They have to find a way to survive the first month and then they can get in the hunt.
Robert - Vegas
With Merriman done, what's the likelihood that AJ looks at Rosevelt Colvin to fill his void? He's only 31, proven pass rusher in the 34 defense & is available. He's had injury problems in the past, but the team has space (SM on IR) & cap room for a 2 year contract. Good move?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
That's a good name but we've seen a couple of teams - most recently the Texans - that didn't want him. But that's a very good thought about Colvin & the Chargers.
John (Sheboygan, WI)
Hi Mort, do you think Aaron Rodgers will show what a Tedford-coached college QB can do if given enough time to develop?
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
Well, I always thought Jeff Tedfford - who I think the world of as a coach - got a bad rap. He made these guys and he helped them understand what playing quarterback is all about. Now, he has a different philosophy about throwing mechanics that people have jumped on but he's gotten a bad knock.
Mort, you don't see Cassel Brady-ing Brady do you? I mean, no one heard of Brady before he took Bledsoe's job.
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
No, I don't see Cassel making Brady the next Wally Pipp, so to speak. But Matt has a great chance here. If he can play well and the Pats win, he is going to be an unrestricted free agent and he can make some money, at the very least, when this season is over.
Mike (Boca Raton)
whose maturation has impressed you more--Cutler or Roethlisberger?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
Well, maybe Cutler because Roethlisberger has been surrounded by better talent and a more dominating defense that takes pressure off a QB, though I'm a big Ben fan. But I see both as Pro Bowl caliber guys - we have a group of pretty good young QBs in Ben, Cutler, Rivers, Eli, Romo, etc.,
This lions team is a joke Mort, What's the chances of Ford handing Cowher anything he wants to make this team at least respectable?
Chris Mortensen (11:35 AM)
I was very disappointed what I saw from the Lions. Will Cowher fix it? I don't know. I'd focus on finding a great front office football person first.
Perry - Dallas
Tavaris Jackson I think he is a good QB but that is the problem he is just good and does not seem to have much more game than Akili Smith (Strong Arm). That will hinder AP from running the ball effectively and make our Def stay on the field which will kill them in game 12-16. Do you feel he set the Vikes back?
Chris Mortensen (11:37 AM)
Oh, I think Tavaris is much better than an Akili Smith or a Tim Couch. Look, he was having a really good preseason when he got hurt and a young QB needed to play in week 3 and 4 of the preseason, plus they were on the road against a darn good team and the receivers still just so-so. I am not ready to abandon the hope for Tavaris.
Chris, Matt Forte looked amazing, can he have an Adrian Peterson type of season, he looked very explosive in his first game, and is a bit bigger than some of the other backs.
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
Forte has great feet and maybe he can be as productive as AP in terms of yards but he is not Adrian Peterson. The one knock is that he won't run as tough or violent as AP but he has those feet and pretty good vision.
How did Carolina not shock you? They didn't have their best player in Steve Smith!!!
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
John Fox set out to make this a physical team and they succeeded this off-season and training camp. Plus, Jake Delhomme's arm actually looks stronger after Tommy John surgery. They are physical on both sides of the ball....watch out for the Panthers, especially when Smith comes back.
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I have had some inquires on the Browns' Donte Stallworth, who pulled a groin in pre-game warmups Sunday. He was having an MRI but they didn't think see it as as aseason ender; however, I think it looks bad for this Sunday vs. Steelers and, of course, Joe Jurevicious, is out at least until week 7.
michael lee, toronto
chris, what are your thoughts on how pennington looked in miami?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
He looked like Pennington. He's a pro. He manages the game. He's tough. And he does have some limitations, especially with the limited WR group.
Dan - Vancouver, Wa
Mort, can I get your opinion on Jim Zorn and what seems to be his growing pains as a rookie head coach in over his head and how soon will Dan Snyder impose his will on Zorn and request a Brennan sighting?
Chris Mortensen (11:46 AM)
No on Brennan. Look, Zorn is going to have some growing pains and to run their West Cast offense, you need big WRs. They drafted two in Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas but they both got hurt in camp. Plus, O-line is a little shaky.
Since you brought up some of the Browns injuries, do you think thats why they looked so bad against the Cowboys? One thing that really concerns me is how easily Jason Witten ran by Sean Jones on a regular basis.
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
Sean Jones is pretty good but not having Brodney Pool back there with him with some of the other younger corners probably overloaded Sean. When you think about losing Pool, Antwan Peek, both RGs, Stallworth before the game, Braylon Edwards clearly not ready to play and jamal Lewis trying to play with a hammy...it wasn't meant to be against a very good Cowboys team.
Ryan (Boise, Idaho)
Mortimer, how did the Steelers look to you this past weekend and what do you expect to see from them this year in Tomlin's "second lap around the track?"
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
Well, I was really impressed by the Steelers and I'm impressed with how tough Tomlin is in terms of how much he demands from his players. If that O-line holds up, they could hit the Super Bowl, regardless of schedule.
Trevor, Ocala, FL
The Bucs supposedly "aging" defense held the Saints offense, expected to be one of the more explosive ones in the league, to a respectable 24 points in their house Sunday. Do you see any positives despite the loss, or is there a reason for concern?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
The Bucs no longer have an aging defense. They've been getting younger while still have a couple of wily vets like Barber and Brooks.
Chris, are you more mpressed with the Eagles, Titans, or Jets?
Chris Mortensen (11:53 AM)
The Eagles, although I like all three of those teams.
Charles ( Atlanta, GA)
Mort I know it's just one game but do you think it possible that the Falcons aren't the worst team in the league? And are the Lions really that bad some experts had them as a playoff team with 10 wins?
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
I know the Lions were bad, but I saw a lot of good signs from the Falcons. Their O-line is better than advertised...the rookie QB may not be in over his head, great two-back combo in Turner and Norwood...defensive scheme very well coached... I see some hope in Atl but not a playoff team this year.
Ryan (Brockport, NY)
Mort, Did the ESPN analysts underestimate the Bills again this year.....like they do every year?
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
Did the Bills go to the Super Bowl already? I heard some of our analysts pick the Bills as the surprise team but I'm among those who want to see more - that was not a good Seattle team that showed up in Buffalo on Sunday.
Please discuss the Saints RB situation as it relates to Colston, Deuce, and P Thomas. Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
Sean Payton (the coach) doesn't really want to play Deuce until he's 100 percent so he really would like to utilize Bush, Thomas and Stecker with a pretty good deep group of receivers,including Shockey...regardless of Colsotn being out the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Matt ryan looked great in his first game, so did michael turner, but is this just a really bad team they were playing, or will they be at least a 7 win team?
Chris Mortensen (11:58 AM)
Again, on the Falcons, much improved. Seven wins? Maybe.
Mort, Julius Peppers didn't get a sack Sunday playing against backup linemen should this be a cause for concern given last years performance?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
I don't think so. the Chargers helped out a lot against Peppers...and Julius was utilized in different ways, too, and was a very positive factor in Carolina's win.
What's the story on Marques Colston? Was his thumb the reason for his poor showing on Sunday?
Chris Mortensen (12:01 PM)
Yeah, he tore ligaments and tried to play with a plastic cast. he had surgery Tuesday and should be back in 4 to 6 weeks.
marony is twice the runner morris is...y r they sharing the load? marony had a great rookie year and bill hasnt taken advantage of this kids talent..y not?
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
Well, I think Maroney takes a lot of hits so they're being wise and how they distribute the load.
Out of all the college QBs that I have seen this year, Jevan Snead looks like he will make the best pro. Has he been generating much buzz among scouts?
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
Snead's just a redshirt frosh. He'll have his day but Georgia's Matt Stafford and USC's Mark Sanchez have created the biggest buzz as "potential" future NFL stars, although both likely will stay in school for their senior seasons. They're juniors now.
Mark (Flemington, NJ
What's the story on Chris Simms? I thought he'd be a great pickup for someone considering his age and the fact that he's led a team to the playoffs (although some time ago). Why did Dallas bypass him and why did the Pats just send him home? Any idea where he might end up?
Chris Mortensen (12:04 PM)
Simms is in Nashville today taking a physical and should get a contract done with the Titans.
What is wrong with Bulger? Is he done?
Chris Mortensen (12:05 PM)
Well, if the defense is going to make it one-dimensional by giving up so many points, that's going to make it pretty tough on Bulger. The receiving corps is not what it used to be. But let's see how it unfolds.
Austin (San Antonio)
Would you address the situation? I have a feeling that if the current trends continue the Lambeau Leap will garner a flag before the year is over; that is something no one wants to see. Some of football's more memorable images are tasteful celebrations, and they stregthen the humanity of the the player's image. All good things for the NFL
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
The Lambeau leap is alllowable under the rules. So is dancing.
Randy Brooklyn NY
Hi Chris,dont you think Chad Henne's arm better then Chad P. and he also had good preseason why not put him in insted settle for weak arm?
Chris Mortensen (12:07 PM)
Well, sure Henne's arm is strong than Pennington's. It's stronger than Phillip Rivers' too. But Parcells & Co. generally don't like to throw young QBs to the "wolves" and Sunday's loss wasn't on Pennington.
with the vince young situation and all matt leinharts off field not to concerning stuff, how thankfull is denver to get cutler
Chris Mortensen (12:09 PM)
Cutler was always the best prospect among those guys, physically throwing the ball and built to take a licking. He also had to deal with adversity througout his career at Vandy playing in the SEC, whereas Leinart & Young were playing with stacked decks and seldom faced adversity. However, I am not ready to say that Leinart and Young are busts yet. I do give Leinart a slightly better chance than Young to succeed but Cutler is the best of that group and will be the best going forward.
Hey Mort, Do you think the Jets can be a top 10 defense this year? I was really impressed by the impact of Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace this past week.
Chris Mortensen (12:11 PM)
Pace, Jenkins, David Harris, Darrelle Revis & Kerry Rhodes are a good core of a potentally good defense with a gew holes but it should get better as the season moves on.
Brady Quinn is the starting quarterback for the Browns Week _____.
Chris Mortensen (12:12 PM)
If Anderson gets hurt, Quinn will start. But Anderson did not play poorly Sunday and anybody who watched undestood what happened.
What are the Titans saying behind closed doors about Vince Young?
Chris Mortensen (12:13 PM)
They're concerned. I'll leave it at that for now.
Adam (Louisville, KY)
Let's get a Colt question in here. Do you see this team returning to form and competing? Or is the second hardest schedule too much this year?
Chris Mortensen (12:14 PM)
I think the Colts will get close to form, yes. The Jeff Saturday injury was a big one and Manning missing most of camp was big. I expect the defense to make corrections and get better but it is important they don't fall into too big of a hole so this game at Minnesota is interesting.
Ryan (Portland, OR)
What is the deal with Alex Smith? The 49ers have been silent for several days on this. If he is done, what next?
Chris Mortensen (12:15 PM)
I would not expect Alex Smith to play this year or for the 49ers again but still awaiting definitive word.
Anything positive for SF in their first game? They did have 5 turnovers and were still in the game. If they correct these mistakes do they have a shot at the division?
Chris Mortensen (12:15 PM)
I think the offense will get better and the defense is pretty good. I'm not dismissing them outright yet.
Chris Mortensen (12:17 PM)
Well, I have to run...thanks for the time and great questions. As usual, can't get to 'em all. In fact, they come in so fast, i can only get to a handful but I always enjoy 'em. We'll update you on ESPN Radio Football Friday Night from 7 to 9 ET and again on Sunday Sportscenter and Sunday NFL Countdown. Thanks and God Bless.