Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:02 AM)
Good morning. Well, I'm not sure what was more frightening - the violence of the Ravens-Steelers MNF game or Al Davis' press conference. Let's talk.
Mortimer - Is Brees the best QB in '08?
Chris Mortensen (11:04 AM)
I think Drew Brees is playing the best QB in the NFL at the quarter mark with Jay Cutler, Phillip Rivers & Donovan McNabb close behind. But the best QB is still Peyton Manning.
Mort, come on - Al calls you a "professional liar," you must have something to say about that? Here's your chance, Fan Nation is listening.
Chris Mortensen (11:05 AM)
Actually, after we listened to the presser, we're pretty sure he just confused his grammar and was still talking about Kiffin...regardless, why would anyone truly believe a man who has had five coaches in six years, eight in the last 15, has tried to not honor contracts from a few of those coaches and even his former MVP QB, Rich Gannon, has ripped him publicly in recent weeks.
Mort, Emmitt Smith had the Eagles as the worst team in the NFC East...How do you rank them. I know Westbrook being dinged up is hurting the Birds.
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
There's no such thing as a "worst" team in the NFC East. I'm confused in terms of who's best, who isn't. That is why they play the games. It's a great division. It should be fun.
Ed (Greensboro, NC)
Good morning Mortimer! What's the chances that the Lions deal Roy Williams before the trade deadline? If so, to whom? I think the Eagles make the most sense due to his old coach (Morniwig) being there.
Chris Mortensen (11:08 AM)
The Lions are in no mind frame to trade Roy Williams. I suppose if somebody like the Eages or Cowboys wanted to offered a first-round pick and/or a defensive player, the Lions would listen but don't expect anything to happen.
Josh (Cleveland Ohio)
Was Al Davis telling the truth?
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
Let me point out one thing that should make things clear: In that letter, he makes the claim (as fact) that Kiffin selected the free agents like Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall and "determined" their salaries. Come on. Anybody who knows Davis & how things work in Oakland knows that isn't true. The letter was a set-up for this "cause" firing as an excuse to not honor the remainer of Kiffin's contract.
Why doesn't Romo stand up for himself and say something to T.O.
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
I wish he would but as soon as that would happen, we'd end up with another T.O./McNabb or T.O./Garcia scenario and Jerry Jones wants to avoid that.
Before everyone starts jumping off the Rodgers bandwagon, you have to blame the defense for the most part for this two game skid, right? They have been banged up, but also have been horrible compared to last year.
Chris Mortensen (11:13 AM)
I don't even assign blame to Rodgers for the Packers' slippage here. They have had injuries on defense. Aaron has played very well. That he's hurt - sure, that was a question mark but, remember, only Brett Favre has played in 250-plus straight games....nobody else is close.
Cheng (Boulder, CO)
Mort, you just said: "regardless, why would anyone truly believe a man who has had five coaches in six years, eight in the last 15, has tried to not honor contracts from a few of those coaches and even his former MVP QB, Rich Gannon, has ripped him publicly in recent weeks." While I wholeheartedly agree with you, Jon Ritchie, Rob Parker and Skip Bayless on ESPN's First Take believes Al Davis.
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
Well, I don't care what anybody else says, even if it's on our network. People don't always step back and put logic together. Those guys are paid to be controversial and take sides. I can tell you they are wrong and that's not an opinion.
I know this is a long shot but anyway if the Bengals have a horrible season and the entire front office and coaching staff are canned that Carson Palmer may become available a-la Daunte Culpepper a few years back? Any idea what it would take to get him (1 & a 2, two 1's)? I REALLY WANT HIM ON MY BEARS!
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
I just don't see the Bengals doing Carson Palmer a favor like that. I do feel badly for him because he could be a potential Hall of Fame QB with many other franchises.
Mort, lets talk about that Monday ngiht game. When was the last time you saw such a violent game between two teams that obviously do not like each other?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Seems like every time the Ravens & Steelers play, it's like that...or any game the Ravens play. Ray Lewis is the most influential, infectious, motivating force in the NFL and I dare say I would compare him in that respect to the all-time greats like Duck Butkus & Lawrence Taylor.
Do you think brad childress should be on the hotseat? After all, the Raiders, and Rams were'nt expecting to do much, while the vikings seem to be under achieving. If you watch their games he don't seem to be calling the right plays in certain situations
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
I believe Childress in on the hot seat but he deserves to finish this season before you evaluate them. They played a heck of a Titans team in Tennessee on Sunday.
Dougie Fresh (DC)
The Bills appear to be graded across the board as the best special teams in the league, a much better D with young studs, and an O with exceptional skill players, that only needed the QB to step it up. Given the progress that Edwards has made, do the Bills have pieces in place to make a realistic championship run this year? Love you great work...keep it coming...
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I think the Bills have a good shot at the playoffs but I know their coaching staff is concerned about some things, especially on defense. But they have a lot of good things going for them with 12 games left to play.
Is Al Davis the owner,the managing general partner or what? Is he part owner or the majority owner? Coudnt the ownership group remove him from his current role? im not a Raider fan so I hope he stays.
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
He is now the majority owner.
Brian (Orlando, FL)
What do you think about the Bucs Mort? They NEVER seem to get any respect???????
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
The Bucs are a tough-minded, well-coached team on both sides of the ball. I think the biggest concern is at QB - yes, Griese is winning but his turnovers have made it a little shaky.
The Redskins have obviously surprised a lot of people with how well they are playing. Jason Campbell should be given a lot of credit for that. Would you put him in the same conversations with Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers and the other young quarterbacks in this league
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
Yeah, I'm pretty close to doing that. Jaosn Campbell is showing a lot of signs of being a championship quarterback.
Chad (Savannah, GA)
Is Robert Meachem going to suprise people this season?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
Well, Meacham was a first-round pick last year so I don't know how you can say "surprise." Perhaps, finally perforrming to expectations is a better way to put it, and especially timely in light of Marques Colston's injury.
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
I have to do a spot with Colin Cowherd right now...will be back in 10 minutes. hang with me.
Jcvols (Huntingdon Tn)
There is a lot of talk about Lane Kiffin replacing Fulmer as the Vols HC among forums, whats your opinion and where do you think Kiffin is headed from here.
Chris Mortensen (11:37 AM)
I do think Kiffin is high atop some athletic director's list at the major college level.
What's the latest you've heard regarding preliminary reports that Plaxico Burress did not disclose 2 domestic disputes to the league? What do you foresee as possible actions the league may take? Can we expect further suspensions in addition to this week's ? Thanks.
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
The league is looking into it. A player is oblgicated to report these matters - now, there were never any charges or arrests made but it remains to be seen if there will be any further disiciplinary action.
Morth - what about the Niners this year? Exceeded or haven't met expectations? They have really killed themselves with turnovers in their two losses. Do you favor them against NE this weekend? Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
I think this could be a close game wiht the Patriots traveling to SF. But Bill belichick has had an extra week to prepare the Patriots and the Pats' D-line matches up beyond well against the 49ers' O-line. I would favor the Patriots, even though the 49ers have a chance.
Mort, can you elaborate on your previous comment that the Bills' coaches have concerns about the defense? Seems to me that the concerns should be on the other side of the ball, as the defense is playing at its highest level in a decade.
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
I just know the the coaches weren't happy that the Rams almost put 400 yards up on them. They haven't had to face a dynamic offense yet but the bottom line is, the Bills are playing winning football where it matters most in the NFL - in the 4th quarter!
Justin (St Paul)
What do you think of Jonathan Stewart for this season and do you think he will be the starter soon?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I'm big on Stewart and believe he eventually will be the starter but that's a nice combo the Panthers have with a pair of first rounders - Stewart & DeAngelo Williams.
Mort, i know you're a football guy, but it is October now. Any love for the Cubs?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I always have love the for the Cubs. Don't want to jinx 'em.
Mort what do you think about Matt Forte is he for real?
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
He sure looks for real to me. His vision and feet are exceptional. I mean, really good.
Mort! Did you see the Smith/Boldin hit as a flagrant violation of the rule or a Bang/Bang unfortunate play?
Chris Mortensen (11:46 AM)
I thought it was a violation but I can't say flgrant because, at full speed, it had some bang-bang to it. Players react and i think Smith wasn't thinking about the rules that say you can't launch or strike helmet to helmet. In other words, I don't believe there was a malicious attempt to hurt him. It just happened and players have a fine line between playing the game hard and understanding the violence that can maim.
The eagles have 2 first round picks next year. With the window closing, shouldn't they make an offer for Roy Williams? That would finally give the Bird's a #1 WR, and make it that much harder for teams to matchup with Westbrook.
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
If I were the Eagles, I'd make a play for Williams. Of course, that means a big contract would have to get done, too.
eball (Durham, NC)
Mort, referring to your comment about the Rams putting 380 yards on the Bills...you do know that 100 of those yards came after the 6:00 mark of the 4th quarter after the Bills went up 31-14, right?
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
I'm only passing on to you that the Bills coaches are internally concerned...but, gosh, they are very happy to be 4-0.
Ed (Plano, TX)
Any chance the Steelers would look into getting a veteran like Shaun Alexander? Is he even still willing to play? Surely they'll need a little more help than Davenport who failed them at the end of the year.
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
Alexander very recently told me (& others) that he is staying in the best shape of his life. He very much wants to play. I'm sure the Steelers have discussed him but I don't know if they have reached out.
Panthers look pretty strong on the defensive side of the ball this year and Steve Smith finally has a compliment on the other side. Do you think the Panthers ahve a shot at taking the NFC?
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
I think if the Panthers can stay healthy, they are a team to watch. They lost both offensive tackles (Jordan Gross & Jeff Otah) early in Sunday's game and still found a way to win.
Nate (New York)
Hi Mort, love your work. Who are your leading candidates for Coach of the Year? Would you say Jim Zorn and Dick Jauron are in the conversation?
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
They'd be at the top of my list, along with Tom Coughlin (who has held his team together despite the retirement of Strahan, injury to Umenyoira, trade of Shockey).
The Titans are getting a lot of positive press but just how good do you believe they are? Super Bowl contender?
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
Yes, I think they would have a chance to be a Super Bowl contender. How far they go will depend some on Kerry Collins playing consistent football at QB. But they have a lot of things going for them.
Kansas City looked pretty good against Denver last week. If they keep playing like that do they have the potential of turning their season around? What are the odds of a team starting 0-3 and making the playoffs?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
Well, we forget the Chiefs also had the Patriots on the ropes in the first game on the road, too. I just think that if they could stabalize at QB & the O-line, they're capable of being much better. How much of a turnaround? I don't know.
Will the coaching change in STL help right the ship? Will Bulger be re-engized enough to play well?
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
While it's true that Scott Linehan had problems both with his players and perhaps the pressure, they have personnel issues, too.
Mort, I know the Browns won last week but Derek Anderson has to be on a short hook this week doesn't he?
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
Not this week.They have a bye.
will the league catch up to Zorn?
Chris Mortensen (12:05 PM)
Looks to me like Zorn caught up with the league really quick.
Joe from NY
Hi Mort. What is going on with Slowik in Denver. The defense is terrible and has 1 pick and 5 sacks in 4 games. Is it the scheme or the players?
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
We have to assume it's the players because the coaches have been changed.
Larry (New York)
Hey Mort, When are Dan Snyder & Cerrato going to get the credit they deserve? The media loves to rip them, but never give them credit
Chris Mortensen (12:11 PM)
I think Snyder deserves a lot of credit, especially for hiring Zorn when people thought he was crazy. He used the formula that anybody who works for Holmgren is an excellent candidate.
Mike (Boca Raton)
espn.com has an article about dallas requiring pac-man to keep a really low profile and that he is somewhat struggling to do so. is he really that addicted to trouble that he needs hand-holding the entire season from the dallas staff?
Chris Mortensen (12:15 PM)
That is an interesting story. The point is that Jerry Jones has taken a risk & he wants Pacman to be low profile even if it's an innocent event. Basically, Pacman agreed to sign away some of his freedoms for the privilege of playing for the Cowboys. Jones has a security detail that monitors the acitivies of all players, espeically Pacman.
obama' (next president)
let me ask you as question what do you think was going through herm edwards brain when he did not start huard in the beginning of the season...i mean he's their best qb....?
Chris Mortensen (12:16 PM)
Herm inherited an old team and his goal was to get younger, then better for a long-term run at success. And they had to find out about Brodie Croyle at QB to make that happen. If Croyle could stay healthy, he might be OK but that was one of the issues with him coming out of Alabama.
Mort, Have you heard how Vince Young is doing with his injury rehad? I know a lot of talk is that he's stuggling mentally, but do you forsee him coming back with a new desire to succeed and possibly put the Titans in the Super Bowl? When healthy, he'll take over for Collins.....right?
Chris Mortensen (12:18 PM)
No, Vince will not take over for Collins when he is healthy. He will only take over for Collins if Kerry hits a bad slump and the Titans lose games because of that. Vince should start practicing again today. Jeff Fisher told me he ultimately expects a posititve outcome for Young but that he needs to sit and learn first.
Bears in the driver seat is the NFC North?
Chris Mortensen (12:20 PM)
Surely, you're kidding. Nobody is in the driver's seat but I do think the Bears will be in the hunt come December. As you know, they could be 4-0 but they're 2-2.
Chris Mortensen (12:21 PM)
It's time to run again. Thanks for the time. Catch us on NFL Sunday Countdown at 11 ET and on ESPN Radio on Friday nights from 7-9 p.m. ET. God Bless.