Chat with Matt Mosley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NFC East blogger Matt Mosley stops by to talk about the NFL offseason.
Mosley, an award-winning writer for The Dallas Morning News for seven years, joined ESPN.com in January 2007 and writes columns, features and blogs about the NFL.
Send your questions now and join Mosley on Tuesday at noon ET!
In what order do you see the Giants' receivers contributing to the team in 2009?
Mosley (12:02 PM)
Hey Doug! Congrats on having the first question. Something to tell the grandkids about someday. Anyway, I'd go Steve Smith, Dom Hixon, Hakeem Nicks, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Ramses Barden, David Tyree
Jeremy (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Matt, Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas? Who has the best chance to breakout this year?
Mosley (12:02 PM)
Jeremy, I'd go with Thomas. I think Kelly's one of those guys that may always be banged up.
Jeremy (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Matt, is Kenny Phillips ready to be an elite Safety?
Mosley (12:04 PM)
Depends on what you mean by elite. I have Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu in the elite category -- and maybe Bob Sanders when healthy. I do think Phillips could emerge as one of the top safeties in the NFC East, though. For now, I'd put him behind LaRon Landry and Kenny Hamlin. Mikell and Phillips are pretty close.
Jeremy (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Matt, Did the Giants make a mistake releasing Plax if he ends up playing this season?
Mosley (12:05 PM)
Oh wait! Is that two for you already? I don't think the Giants will look back on that decision. He was a talented player, but not worth all the headaches.
Scott Lohman (Waldorf, Maryland)
Thanks Matt, read most everything you write on the best division on football.My Question: With Albert on the D-line for the Skins, it should improve the pass rush. I am not predicting drastic changes but at the very least should lead to 5-6 more sacks as a team over the year with the addition of added QB pressure throughout games. With this, I would say it is a safe bet that the offensive line is clearly the weakest point on the Skins team. Why was this not addressed? And if this line could stay healthy and could the Skins compete in the deep NFC East?
Mosley (12:07 PM)
Sure, the Skins could compete for a playoff spot. The schedule sets up well for them -- but that was the case last season, too. This year, though, they have a backloaded schedule of tough road games. Last year, they got the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles road trips out of the way early. They did address the guard spot with Dockery. Pretty solid player, so that shouldn't be a problem. Samuels is starting to age a little bit, but still a solid left tackle. I think the biggest question is right tackle. We'll see if Stephon Heyer can get the job done. If not, the Skins will have some issues.
bruce d. (dallas,tx)
with brandon marshall demands for a trade do u think it would be a good move for the eagles to trade for him.
Mosley (12:09 PM)
The Eagles have already traded for one unhappy player in Jason Peters. I don't think they want to become a safe haven for whining players. With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in the fold (soon on Maclin), I don't think the Eagles are in a hurry to deal for a player like Marshall.
Why hasn't Dallas tried to get a better receiver to complement williams
Mosley (12:10 PM)
Bill, I think the Cowboys truly like the young guys Sam Hurd and Miles Austin. And Patrick Crayton was a pretty solid No. 2 in 2007. I think they had a "better" receiver to complement Williams. He's now playing in Buffalo.
J.R. ((Dallas, Texas))
Matt,Will Roy Williams score more than 10 touchdownsnext season for the first time in his career?And will Keith Brooking start alongside Bradie James?
Mosley (12:11 PM)
Yes, Keith Brooking will start. I think it's reasonable to project Williams catching 10 touchdowns. He'll certainly have a ton of opportunities in the red zone.
Do you think the eagles will be ok in the secondary this year, and can macho harris have an impact this year maybe becoming a safety?
Mosley (12:12 PM)
I think Macho will help out primarily as a special teams player at this point. I like Quintin Mikell. I think he's one of the truly underrated players in the division. And you should be fine with Samuel and Hobbs. They've played together before, so it's a good fit. We'll see what they do with Brown.
Do the Eagles really have enough weapons now to stay on top of the NFC East? Beyond Brian Westbrook, the backfield still looks thin.
Mosley (12:13 PM)
I think the backfield looks a lot better with LeSean McCoy.
Malcolm Kelly has had no problems during training camp with his knee, and Devin Thomas has been progressing nicely (as I've read from this blog, and other Redskins sites). The speed and size they each bring was unmatched in college, do you think this is a 800-1000 yard 6TD season for either of them, or do you see a replay of last seasons disappointments
Mosley (12:15 PM)
Michael, we're still waiting for training camp. OTAs don't count. I want to see whether Kelly and Thomas can get through an intense training camp. Last year, Kelly was still banged up. Devin Thomas had no clue how to approach training camp and he ran himself into the ground. At least that's what he told me recently. I think Thomas has the best chance of reaching the numbers you're throwing out. But I wouldn't bet on it.
Allan (New Milford,CT)
Hey Matt, Any chance D Ware breaks the sack record this year?
Mosley (12:16 PM)
I think DeMarcus Ware is focused on becoming a more complete player. He's already solid against the run and he'll continue to improve in coverage. I don't see another 20-sack season coming from him. He's more focused on opening things up for teammates. I think Spencer might take a few of his sacks -- and the Cowboys would be just fine with that.
Mike D (Philadelphia PA)
What's up Mattman. What meds they got you on? Don't be holdin' out on me, haha. Get well soon mang!
Mosley (12:17 PM)
Claritin D followed up by some prescription medicine that may or may not have been filled this decade.
Does Tony Romo look overweight to you?
Mosley (12:19 PM)
I've put on 25 pounds since arriving at ESPN three years ago. That's why I don't comment on other people's weight. He looks about the same to me as he did at the end of last season.
Jake (VA Beach)
Is it too late in the game (as in too much work with the rookies, returnees) for the Giants to consider Marshall or Edwards if Cleveland trades for Marshall?
Mosley (12:20 PM)
Jerry Reese will listen to any and all offers. So it's never too late. But I'd be very surprised if they traded for another receiver at this point.
Matt, love the BEast and the blogs. How about some details on the Giants' running game? How is Bradshaw looking to fill in Ward's spot and who wins out the number three running back spot? Do they have enough room for four RB's?
Mosley (12:22 PM)
The Giants have carried four running backs on the team in the past, so I don't see any problem with it. I think there will be a good competition for that No. 2 spot with Bradshaw, Ware and Brown. And I think we'll see all three of those guys at some point this season. My hunch is that Ware will eventually be the odd man out. I'm not sure they trust him.
Do you think ingram will have an impact for the eagles this year and if not can celek hold the fort down and help in the red zone
Mosley (12:25 PM)
I think the Eagles will bring Ingram along pretty slowly. Celek showed a lot of versatility last season -- especially down the stretch. Ingram will get an opportunity, but I think he'll be pretty rusty early on. And it's not like the Eagles are going to line up in a two-tight end formation and run the ball downhill. I think Ingram will be one of those guys who moves around quite a bit. Sort of an H-back type.
James (Woodbridge, VA)
Matt, do you think Kevin Barnes has a chance to take over at third CB for the Skins considering how bad Smoot played at the end of last season?
Mosley (12:25 PM)
No, he's not quite ready for that. And I'm hearing some good things about the Tryon kid.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MM: Which divisions will provide the NFC's wild cards this year? East and South are my picks, but the North has the easiest schedule.
Mosley (12:26 PM)
I think the NFC East will have three teams in the playoffs.
Jim (armonk, ny)
hey Matt - Firstly, I want to let you know how much I enjoy the Beast; in my book it is tied with the Cowboys blog on the DMN (JJ Taylor, Tim McMahon
Mosley (12:28 PM)
Thanks, Jim! That blog you're referring to was once called "Matt Mosley's Cowboys Blog." And yes, Tim MacMahon and Jacques Taylor have done a nice job maintaining its excellence! :) I'm kidding. It's better than ever.
J.R. ((Dallas, Texas))
Matt,Seeing how Jason Garrett will utilize a twotight end formation in the redzone.Are Jason Witten and Martellus Bennettthe most dangerous tight end combinationin the NFL?
Mosley (12:29 PM)
Let's not get carried away, J.R. You sound like Cliff Barnes after a couple stiff drinks. Martellus Bennett is a phenomenal athlete -- especially for a 6-6 guy. But let's see him do it over the course of a season before we start calling them the most dangerous duo in the league.
With McNabb's extension, what do the eagles do with Kolb? Possible package with Reggie Brown at next offseason?
Mosley (12:32 PM)
They don't have to do anything with Kolb right now. They could offer him a one-year extension at some point like the Cowboys once did with Romo. I think they're still trying to figure out whether he's their quarterback of the future. But he wouldn't bring much in a trade right now. It's not like we think of him as Matt Schaub when he was in Atlanta. We'd actually seen a glimpse of what Schaub could be.
Brian (Los Angeles, CA)
Matt, a lot of people seem to be high on the Eagles (with good reason, given some impressive moves in the offseason). But doesn't this bode poorly for their chances? As an Eagles fan I feel a bit nervous with all this good national press. When has the hot team in June won a Super Bowl?
Mosley (12:34 PM)
Brian, stop worrying and enjoy the offseason -- or what's left of it. The Eagles and Giants are Super Bowl contenders. Just deal with it.
I've seen a lot of rankings lately that are putting Justin Tuck ahead of Osi Ummenyiora. Hasn't Osi done enough to establish himself as a top 5 pass rusher in the league?
Mosley (12:36 PM)
They're both excellent players. And Umenyiora's absence probably made us forget about how dominant he really was. But we haven't seen Umenyiora operate without Strahan. We've seen it from Tuck -- and it's pretty impressive. I just think in the long-run, Tuck's the better player.
Matt, what makes you think Eli will have a break, possibly pro-bowl season? Work with receivers, maturity, or is he getting to the point where he "just gets it" for the QB position in the NFL? Don't get me wrong, he is capable, but has shown bad lapses every season he's been in the league.
Mosley (12:38 PM)
I thought he arrived at the "just gets it" point during that 2007 Super Bowl run. Yes, he had some setbacks last season with the whole Plaxico Burress thing. But I just think that a full offseason and training camp without the Plax controversy and the arrival of some talented young receivers will give him a lot of confidence. He's the smartest player on the team, and I think he's poised to lead this team to a Super Bowl. I don't think he's worried about Pro Bowls.
J.R. ((Dallas, Texas))
Will Gerald Sensabaugh start at strong safety?
Mosley (12:39 PM)
Mike D (Philadelphia, PA)
Wadup Mattman. Dawkins not on the all decade team is a joke. Polamalu is filthy, no doubt, but B-Dawk has damn near 1,000 tackles, 15 sacks, 20 FF's, 20 FR's, 30 int's, and endless bone crunching momentum changing hits. Do you agree that he got snubbed? Will Quinten Mikell get snubbed on the all decade special teams? Get well soon brother.
Mosley (12:41 PM)
Mike, I don't think we're doing an all-decade special teams unit. Brian Dawkins has had an amazing career. But he's not Ed Reed. And you have to factor in what the Steelers have been able to accomplish in the postseason -- with Polamalu playing a big role. In all my conversations with folks around the league, I kept bringing up Dawkins. And they all have a tremendous amount of respect for him. But Polamalu and Reed were won out in the end.
Hey Matt, both the Eagles and Redskins will be starting new guys at Right Tackle this year. How much do you expect this to strengthen Justin Tuck's impact on the division, considering Osi's presence wont allow them to focus on Tuck's side?
Mosley (12:43 PM)
Kevin, it's a good point by you. But keep in mind how the Giants like to flip flop their DEs quite a bit. And then Tuck will move inside on some downs. So it's not as cut and dry as you're making it. That said, I think Tuck's eyes will get big when he looks across as Stephon Heyer. And while I respect Shawn Andrews' immense talent, I'm not sure that will be the smoothest transition.
Jen (Providence, Rhode Island)
What kind of roles do you see each of the Dallas running backs filling this season?
Mosley (12:46 PM)
Jen, I think the Cowboys are toying with the idea of starting Felix Jones and returning Marion Barber to the closer's role. He wasn't nearly as effective in '08 as he was in '07. I think there's a fatigue factor that comes in when you administer and receive that type of punishment. Barber would probably play the second and fourth quarters. Let Felix start you off and then bring in Tashard Choice for a change of pace. So it would be "Flash, Smash and Tash."
Erik Donchez (Catasauqua,pa)
Hey Matt, Big fan. With the Cowboys under the radar this year, do you think they could exceed expectations, or do you see this team totally imploding this year. Also if Romo fails to win a playoff game this year, could it possibly lead to being replaced next year?
Mosley (12:48 PM)
The Cowboys wrote Tony Romo a check for $30 million. They're not going to replace him if the Cowboys miss the playoffs again. And I don't think the Cowboys ever fly under the radar. They are the most overhyped team in football, and that's how Jerry Jones likes it. I don't really see them imploding. I've predicted 9-7, but you could also make a strong case for 10-6, which would get them into the playoffs.
So how come Dallas never strengthens their secondary...yet another year of them getting burned deep?
Mosley (12:50 PM)
Sensabaugh's a definite upgrade over what they had last season. Put a healthy Terence Newman with either Mike Jenkins or Scandrick and you should be OK.
What role do you see shady playing at RB? Will he split carries with BWest or play the same role as buckhalter did last year?
Mosley (12:51 PM)
I don't think he'll split carries. I could see McCoy receiving 10-12 carries per game and catching a couple passes.
Who is your favorite Cowboys player and is Darren Woodson Hall of Fame worthy?
Mosley (12:51 PM)
Mat McBriar -- and yes
Should the Cowboys blow out the Giants in their home opener (which I think they will) would you be surprised or is that almost expected?
Mosley (12:53 PM)
I'd be shocked, Larry. When the Cowboys closed down Texas Stadium, there was a lot of emotion in the building. But the Ravens still found a way to win. There's no reason in the world why the Cowboys should blow out the Giants. It just won't happen. Now, they may win. But a blowout seems like a silly prediction.
Victor (Tallahassee, Fl)
Matt, I think it is funny how people are saying the Giants are not one of the best teams in the league, maybe not even in their own division. Did we all forget they beat both the Steelers and Cardinals last year and went 12-4? Top 5 offensive line and running game? QB that continues to get better every year? With some key additions on an already great D-Line, the Giants are hands down the most complete team in the NFC. Do you agree?
Mosley (12:54 PM)
I haven't heard anyone say that about the Giants. I think they're a top-three team in the league. And I have the Eagles right behind them. Actually sort of right there together.
Dave (Scranton PA)
Hey Matt, i notice everyone is very high on the giants and understandable so, but with the loss of both starting receivers shouldnt everyone be a bit more concerned. The eagles seemed to exploit new york's offensive weaknesses, and though Manning is a decent qb, he didnt look like anything special when the running game was stuffed. I just feel New York is going to be a one dimensional and thereby predicable offense that is going to be susceptible to the powerful defenses of the beast.
Mosley (12:57 PM)
I think the Eagles' offense exploited the Giants' defense in those two games in December and January. First of all, they were able to get Westbrook one on one with Pierce, which is a bad matchup for the Giants. The Giants have brought in reinforcements on the defensive line and at linebacker -- with Boley. I think Manning's one of the top quarterbacks in the game. I don't see him as "decent."
Which rookies do you see having the biggest impact?
Mosley (1:01 PM)
I think LeSean McCoy will end up making the biggest impact of all the rookies. Orakpo checks in after that and then Nicks. Maclin will eventually be a big-time player, but the transition from a spread offense to the West Coast will be more difficult than most people think. Folks, you've been wonderful. Tell everyone you see that I'm back from vacation. Our numbers were a little down today, so we need to come back strong next Tuesday. Special thanks to the NFL and college head coaches who were lurking on the chat today. I'm pretty sure Tony Sparano was in the chat room for about four minutes and then Art Briles stopped by late. Enjoy your vacations, fellas.