Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:03 AM)
Mort will be here shortly!
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
Sorry about the delays (technical things)...but let's get started.
Lets get "the call" out of the way. Yes the Chargers should have won and yes the NFL should look into what can be done in the future. But why are the Chargers so hung up on this call? I don't think their game plan called for a fluke call for them to win? Two weeks and two winning TDs against their defense...they are/were the super bowl favorite.
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I wouldn't wave the white flag on the Chargers. They were 1-3 last year. And they should be more concerned about their defense that allowed the Broncos to run 84 plays, get 34 first downs and, even after the bad call, had a chance to stop Jay Cutler for both the TD and 2-pt conversion and didn't. So, they have some work to do but I don't count them out in what may be a weakened AFC.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Mort, can you please tell us what's really going on with Big Ben? I'd love to hear the news from a trusted source, and not some rumor(s).
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
A "sprained" shoulder usually means some degree of separation. It's been reported as a grade 1, which is the lesser of three evils. Eli Manning played through a more severe separation last year. Ben will just practice less while it heals but he should be able to play, though you certainly want to limit the amount of hits the big guy takes.
Bob (Colorado Springs)
Hey Chris, who do you think will be the better QB by the end of their career, Jay Cutler or Phillip Rivers?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
I love 'em both! I mean, Cutler's physical skills, accuracy, etc., are just way off the charts but Rivers - even with a lesser arm - is a tremendous competitor and gets better and better. Rivers played a great game against Carolina if you watched the game or film and he was great again in Denver. Different types but should be fun watching these two in the AFC West for a long time.
John (Tampa, FL)
Mort are you ready to admit Desean Jackson is going to be a playmaker? You shot that idea down last week when I compared him to Steve Smith
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
No, I didn't shoot that down. Check the question before on DeSean Jackson (and the first chat before the season started) - I said I loved him as an explosive playmaker. But the difference between the two is that Steve Smith, while short, is much stronger, stouter, etc.
dave mitt (foxboro)
hey mort! you picked the jets 28 -10 over the pats.why the hate ?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
That's not hate. That's just the prediction game but I have noted that the Patriots have proven through this era that you never count them out, no matter what.
Hey Mort, do you think the Vikings will trade for Jeff Garcia? I think he worked with Childress in Philly so even though we are a few weeks in the season, he could catch on quickly. He can't be worse than Jackson. Or do you feel the Vikings should stick with Jackson or try out Frerotte?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
Garcia makes sense for the Vikings. I thought they also made a mistake by not latching onto Chad Pennington, who would have enjoyed playing for a contender. We'll see what happens. I'm not ready to dismiss the Vikings.
Hey Mort, what do you think of Trent Edwards? Not a bad 3rd round pick, huh? And how about those Bills?
Chris Mortensen (11:31 AM)
The thing you have to like about Edwards is that he's a very good game manager for a young guy. And they have had some good talent in place for awhile...plus, the ways things are falling, I can see the Bills winning 10 games and finally getting to the playoffs. Plus, no matter what you think of JP Losman, if something happens to Trent with an injury (which is his history), then you're still in good hands.
Hodgie (Calgary, Ab, Canada)
Hi Mort, thanks for your great work. Why is there the overridding perception that the Cowboys won despite a meltdown from Romo and that McNabb was by far the more poised QB on the field. Yes, Romo made two glaring mistakes, however he did lead his team to the win and was otherwise spectacular. Furthermore, it was McNabb that was careless and caused the fumble and then who inexplicably didn't get rid of the ball on the Ware sack on the last drive.
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
I loved the way both Romo & McNabb plays. People don't understand how difficult it is to play quarterback in the NFL.
Mort, what's going on with LT? Do you think his toe will affect him all year or is this the start of the LT decline
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
Honestly, I wonder about both those issues and I don't have a clear answer. He tried to go back in with the toe injury but obviously was having trouble and at some point playing RB in the NFL does take its toll.
Anthony (Brooklyn NY)
Mort, You made me a believer a few years ago when you endorsed Jay Cutler the best QB in his draft class. Im still angry the Jets took a LT over a franchise QB. Made no sense then and none now. Shouldnt you always take the franchise QB over the franchise LT?
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
I'm glad you remember. I was answering some Jets fans/media who said they should take Matt Leinart and I said if it was going to be a quarterback, then Cutler was the right guy, especially with the elements a QB has to deal with playing at that stadium. However, I know a lot of top coaches and GM who say that taking a franchise LT is always a priority - obviously, the Jets didn't have the strong conviction on Cutler to go that way but D'Brickashaw did have a good camp and he's working hard to get better.
Chris, Larry Johnson. Last year I was disapointed in him picked him first in my fantasy league (Luckily I got Moss in the 7th round) is Larry Johnson no longer a great back? or is he just not getting enough carries?
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
They are still going through the transition of getting their Ol-line together and had some preseason injuries that caught 'em for the start of the season.
Joe (Chico, CA)
Is the Dallas-Green Bay winner the clear frontrunner for home field in the NFC?
Chris Mortensen (11:39 AM)
Maybe but the NFC East with the Giants, Eagles & Redskins certainly should give them Packers a slight advantage going forward if they can win this game. It's a long season.
Joey (Rochester, New York)
Adam Schefter reported on the NFL Network that Vince Young tried to take himself out of the Chargers Playoff game at Halftime and had to be talked into coming back. Is there any truth to that? If so that plus everything else that has happened I think would spell the end of the V.Y. era in Tennessee. Agree?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
Jeff Fisher and two players told me it wasn't at halftime, it was after he threw his second interception. That did not sit well with his teammates. He has the right coach in Jeff Fisher to manage this thing but Vince has a lot to overcome to be the guy owner Bud Adams thought he'd be.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Mort, when will people begin to realize that when they draft people in fantasy leagues, it's not just the player their drafting, but also the team. Just because LJ and SJax top notch backs, their situations will reduce their abilities because they aren't in a balance offense which keeps LB's from crowding the line of scrimmage.
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
Will, that is absolutely good insight. That's why I loved Calvin Johnson as a receiver - besides the talent, the Lions figure to be playing a lot of catch-up all season.
Chris, if I could, I got a fantasy question for ya: I got Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress, and Greg Jenning. I got DeSean Jackson of the Eagles on the Bench, should i pull any of my starting WRs to put in Jackson?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I don't think I'd bench any of those guys. You did a great job. It's funny, but Moss may be the guy to watch for some slippage.
If the coaches upstairs see the TV play-clock hit zero before the ball is out of the center's hand, can the team throw the red flag? The Jets seemed to hit on a few big plays (54 yard catch by Coles in Q2 comes to mind) Sunday that should have been DOG penalties. I'm surprised Belichick and company didn't catch it if it is reviewable.
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
I know what you're talking about on those plays but I don't think it's reviewable because of the problem of synching up the cameras with the 40-second clock. But I did just make an inquiry to the league to double-check that and maybe I'll have an answer shortly.
Ajay (Los Angeles, CA)
2 words - JT O'Sullivan. Is this guy for real?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
Two words...well a name: Mike Martz...Kurt Warner...Marc Bulger...Jon Kitna. So, yes JT O'Sullivan figures to have a fairly big statistical year.
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
And the league just clarified that I was correct: The clock is not reviewable,
Mike (Boca Raton)
anyone is the steelers organization getting tired of roethlisbergers penchant for nagging injuries? if it is not one thing it is another with this guy. what is his deal?
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
Well, Ben's a big guy and you know the old saying about the bigger they are, the harder they fall? A lot of QBs get injured. I know that when Brett Favre, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, just to name three, are finished with their careers, we'll hear some prety amazing stories about injuries they have had to deal with that we didn't know.
Whats wrong with the Colts Running game? Is it a hurt Addai, immobal Manning(can't run the stretch play), or an inexperienced OL?
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
Why do you need me? You answered it perfectly. All of the above, plus don't forget they were facing a great Vikings defensive front.
Matt (New York)
Chris...impressive rookie RB class so far. Which would you chose between Jonathan Stewart and Chris Johnson
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
If it's just those two, I'd pick Stewart because he's big, strong and fast. Johnson's speed is ridiculous, though.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Mort, if I could see just one NFL game, which stadium would you say to go to?
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
John Poway CA
Mort, Will the NFL finally figure out that the officials need to get faster to keep up with the pace of the game? To amny of these guys are to old and slow to keep up and see what is happening.
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
The NFL requires these guys to stay physically fit, they are tested in the off-season and if they see someone unfit, they get bounced out of the league. Your point is well taken but their fitness (well, judgment, too) is very high priority for obvious reasons.
is it just me or did this rookie draft class produce the best WR class and RB we have seen in years.
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Probably the best rookie running back class in years (might be 10-to-12 deep), really good O-line group, and fairly good at WRs...the two little guys, Eddie Royal and DeSean Jackson are phenomenal so far.
Dave (Staten Island
Chris first off its always a pleasure to listen to your take on the NFL. I was offered a trade in my fantasy league of Wes Welker and Darren McFadden for Joseph Addai and Santanio Holmes. Not sure if I should pull the trigger on this. My other starting back is Marion Barber.
Chris Mortensen (12:01 PM)
That's just trading for trading sake, I think. I know Addai makes you a little nervous right now but I'd stick with Addai and Holmes, especially since you have Barber. Patience. i've learned a few painful lessons myself.
MORT, How is it that some high QB picks all work out (Rivers, Big Ben, Eli, Cutler, Ryan Leaf) and then other years they bust horribly (Alex Smith, etc.)? What is it that the teams see, or don't see, that causes these hits and misses?
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
Jason, we don't have enough time but in a nutshell: 1. Player and mental evaluation; 2. Media/owner pressure (to take a QB when you really shouldn't...i.e. Smith); 3. Organization (a QB needs stability around him, something else Smith didn't get); 4. Luck.
After watching Dallas move the ball at will it gives me some hope for the Browns defense. Unfortunately injuries are piling up, but could they stabalize as they play lesser teams in Baltimore and Cinci?
Chris Mortensen (12:04 PM)
Yeah, the amount of Browns' injuries in a way is more devastating than the Patriots losing Tom Brady (don't have time to explain). This is still a team game and when you start losing six-to-eight key players like the Browns have, it's tough. But they have to win these next two games and they can win them. If not, it's going to be very rough.
Robert - Vegas
Mort, re/ the Chargers, it's clear from last year and this year Norv is not the problem - it's the DC Teddy Cottrell. Is it fair to say that Norv has no control over reprimanding/firing Teddy C, that its ultimately AJ's call since it's his friend whom he asked to come out of retirement & coach the defense?
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
I am hesitant to overreact. We did last year when the Chargers started 1-3 and the defense was having problems, too, and overcame them. I do think they might have two or three more holes on defense than we thought and, let's be honest, losing Merriman is pretty significant.
Steve in NY
How about an educated guess? As a percentage how much of the Raiders current situation is directly attributable to Al Davis and his unwillingness to address organizational shortcomings?
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
I would say almost 100 percent s attributed to Mr. Davis and that is sad because he has meant so much to the league and the Raiders.
Brady Quinn (Cleveland)
Hello Mr. Mortensen, With Derek Anderson struggling to open this season and down the stretch last season, when do you predict I get my first start in Cleveland
Chris Mortensen (12:07 PM)
Brady (pretending, of course), I know you're glad you weren't playing those first two games because if may have been uglier for you.
First your hair looks great on camera. Second, jay Cutler is the most confident looking QB stepping to the line I have ever seen, I say that the broncos are this years Superbowl AFC tea, what do you think?
Chris Mortensen (12:09 PM)
Well, I am all about the hair....jk. You are right about Cutler and the Broncos might have a shot but that defense has to get better to be a Super Bowl team, I think.
Hey Mort, with the Titans starting off 2-0 and I know its premature, but the defense sure does look impressive and the running game is improved with the addition of C.Johnson and his ability to take it to the house any time he touches the ball. So now to my question - with that nasty DEFENSE and strong running game, can you see the Titans playing in late January (playoffs) and early February (Super Bowl)? What about C. Johnson for ROY? Whats his chances? Thanks Mort!
Chris Mortensen (12:10 PM)
Well, you have to like what you see from the Titans and it will be interesting to see if Chris Johnson can handle a long, long season with that kind of juice.
will detroit ever have wining season?
Chris Mortensen (12:12 PM)
When they fix the front office and I absolutely believe it will have this time around.
Will Steve Smith help or hurt the Panthers?
Chris Mortensen (12:13 PM)
He's not gonna hurt them, that's for sure. Smith makes them a very dangerous team and capable of winning a lot of games....maybe where we throw them i the class of all those NFC East teams and the Packers.
I have seen every snap Terence Newman has taken in his six years, the guy epitomizes the term shutdown corner. He hardly ever gets thrown on, he's only given up 3 TDs the past 3 seasons. Between him and Champ, there is not been a better corner the past 4 seasons...why does he still not get the recognition? He gets beat less than Champ.
Chris Mortensen (12:16 PM)
Well, you're right that Newman is among the elite guys....the best pure cover crner is probably Oakland's Nmadi Asamugha (I know I probably just butchered that spelling).
Terry (San Diego)
So, which conference do you think is stronger now??
Chris Mortensen (12:16 PM)
As it stands right now, I'd probably say the NFC by a nose.
Mark (Las Vegas, NV)
Where is Len P? Loved the Tip Sheet column...will it return soon?
Chris Mortensen (12:20 PM)
Thanks for asking about Len Pasquarelli, our great ESPN.com writer/columnist. As you may know, Len had emergency quintuple bypass surgery on Super Bowl Sunday in Arizona (Len's great line is that his surgeon, Dr. Brady, had a better day than Tom did in Arziona). Len is recovering and he is doing some podcasts with Jeremy Green during the week. We can't wait for him to be the full-service Len Pasquarelli so keep him in your prayers.
Is Aaron Rogers the real deal?
Chris Mortensen (12:21 PM)
In my mind, there was (and is) only one real question about Rodgers: Will he have durability? Otherwise, yes, he is the real deal and they have a great team and coaching staff around him, too.
Derek (Albany, NY)
Has Felix Jones always been that good returning kicks? I mean, he's no Hester, but the one he ran back looked golden and he got 200+ return yards.
Chris Mortensen (12:22 PM)
I had the pleasure of watching Felix Jones at Arkansas (my son plays there) and I can tell you what I saw Monday night is exactly what I saw i the previous three years in college.
Ken (Tarzana, CA)
What are your thoughts on ESPN not giving credit to reporters who break stories? Instead giving credit to ESPN reporters who confirm stories. I'll give you mucho credit if you actually answer this question.
Chris Mortensen (12:25 PM)
Wow, I was looking for that credit. Look, our business has changed dramatically with the immediacy of everything. Sometimes, we'll get something out over the airwaves first before we ever get it posted on the website. Plus, we don't have automatic email lists that goes out to different blog sites but there are a lot of good reporters out there doing excellent work. The best thing any reporter can do though is to stick the the standards - it is better to get beat on a story than to compromise the standard. We have worked hard at giving credit when credit is due.
What do people around the league think about John Fox and Marty Hurney sitting Steve Smith for the first 2 games, and still coming out 2-0? Gutsiest coaching move outside of Shanahan going for 2??
Chris Mortensen (12:27 PM)
You bet. Because there has been so much drama with Tom Brady's injuries and nail-biting games, controversy, etc., we have overlooked the guts it took for the Panthers to sit their best player and still start 2-0.
Mort, What would of happened had the 49ers taken A Rodgers and the packers taken A Smith?
Chris Mortensen (12:29 PM)
That's a very good question and I don't know if it would turn out the same, although I'm sure Rodgers would beg to differ. Aaron got a chance to learn, mature physically and watch one of the all-time greats in a stable organization but on physical talent alone, it doesn't look close to me. Rodgers is for real.
Ed (Cincy, OH)
Hey Mort - It seems like the Bengals are better when they have criminals on the team. They may have cleaned up their image this year, but the team stinks. What gives?
Chris Mortensen (12:30 PM)
well, Michael Vick gets out of jail next year....ah, that's a cheap shot. I'm actually hoping the best for Vick. The Bengals, as someone as wrote, have lost their soul because they compromised too much on the character issue. Plus, their O-line is creating problems that have nothing to do with character.
Kyle (St. Louis)
Who will be coaching the Rams next season?
Chris Mortensen (12:31 PM)
Who will be owning the Rams next season? That's the more pertinent question.
Nate (San Antonio)
Mort, would you drop Derek Anderson or Matt Schaub for Kurt Warner?
Chris Mortensen (12:31 PM)
I would drop Schaub for Warner.
Marc (Detroit, MI)
What have you heard about the Lions signing C.Benson? Who is out there that would make a great GM for the Lions future?
Chris Mortensen (12:36 PM)
The Lions bring in a differerent position group every week to work out to evaluate in case they have injuries. It was running backs this week but nobody is getting signed. I think there are very capable front office guys out there like Tom Donohoe, Floyd Reese, Ron Hill (and I know i'm fogetting someone who is bound to call me).
Mark (Las Vegas, NV)
It will never happen....but what if the NFL mandated that new QBs get a 2-3 year "internship" on the bench before starting...would the game and qb play improve?...
Chris Mortensen (12:38 PM)
It's different for each guy. I know Jeff Fisher really wanted Steve McNair to stick around another two years and let Vince Young sit but McNair wanted a new contract so he was traded.
Chris Mortensen (12:39 PM)
Well, I do have to run finally...thanks...catch us on Friday night ESPN Radio 7-9 ET and NFL Sunday Countdown at 1 ET. God Bless!