Chat with Matt Mosley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NFC East blogger Matt Mosley stops by to talk about the NFL season.
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!
Do you think the Eagles purposefully avoid promoting their players for all-pro spots? Maybe due to escalators in contracts? As a lifelong fan, can't say I ever remember them pushing fans to vote for their guys...Just sayin...
Mosley (12:01 PM)
It's certainly an interesting theory, TW. But I think they're just sticking with the same policy they've always had. The Redskins put some huge Pro Bowl campaign together last season and it was sort of embarrassing when the team crashed in the second half of the season. I don't think the Eagles are trying to stand in the way of their players making the Pro Bowl. At least I hope that's not the case.
Broad Street Brian (Ill-adelph)
I was concerned about the Jamal Jackson vs Jay Ratliff matchup before J-Jax went down with an ACL. Is containing Ratliff the key to the game for the Birds?
Mosley (12:03 PM)
I think it's a key matchup. And I think the Eagles will have to make sure Nick Cole has some help against Ratliff. He's a force in the middle -- as you saw Sunday night against the Redskins. You just have to scheme for him. But you also have to remember that Jason Peters will end up one-on-one with DeMarcus Ware at times. That's not a great matchup for the Eagles.
Matt, do the Giants have enough talent to rebound next year and get back into the thick of the NFC elite (like Philly has done throughout the decade after an off season) or is this the beginning of the end? With no cap next year, is Merriman or Darren Sharper a FA possibility?
Mosley (12:05 PM)
I think Jerry Reese will go back to the drawing board and try to find talent via the draft. I think the Kenny Phillips hurt the Giants more than some of us realized. He was turning into one of the best safeties in the league before his knee injury. They'll have to see how he comes back from that injury. And I think the offensive line may need to be re-tooled.
Before the season started you guessed what each teams record would be. How did you do?
Mosley (12:06 PM)
I obviously missed on the Giants. I think I had them either 11-5 or 12-4. I had the Cowboys at 10-6 and the Eagles at 10-6, so I was close on those teams. I think I had the Skins 7-9 or 8-8.
Phil (Hauppauge, NY)
Happy New Year Matt!Are the Giants going to hire Dick Jauron for DC next year? I hope not. I hate to say it but the Giants D needs energy, not another assistant from Tom Coughlin's past. Hopefully Jerry Reese has input on this. Besides Steve Spagnuolo, none of Tom's coordinator hirings have given the team an advantage over the opposition.
Mosley (12:07 PM)
I think Jauron's a possibility. And I think Coughlin will have more say than Reese regarding the coaching staff. It's hard to imagine Bill Sheridan keeping his job after this season.
How about Romo for MVP? I think Romo should be in the MVP conversation with the way he's playing right now. Statistically, he is up there with the other QB's being talked about. For example, how many of Romo's 8 INT's have come off of tips caused by his receivers this year? I think at least half are on his receivers.
Mosley (12:08 PM)
I think he's playing like an elite quarterback at this point. I certainly think he and Donovan McNabb have been the class of the NFC East. I'd certainly put Romo in the Pro Bowl conversation. Not ready to say he's in the MVP discussion. You have to play at an elite level the whole way through the season to win that award. But Favre and Brees are definitely coming back to the pack.
Mosley (12:10 PM)
Greg, I think Dan Snyder will offer Shanahan the most money. I'd be really surprised if he's not the Redskins next head coach.
Mosley (12:10 PM)
Dan, don't screw this thing up by falling in love with another head coach. You're this far down the road with Shanahan. Just stick with him.
Do the Cowboys have the secondary to keep up with Maclin and Desean? I understand the Cowboys D has been playing great lately, but it seems that in NFC East games defense goes out the window and the offenses run the show.
Mosley (12:12 PM)
I know the Cowboys did a nice job against the Eagles in the game at the Linc. You can take Jackson out of a game if you shade a safety over the top and let Jenkins cover him. But Maclin could end up burning you on the other side. I think the toughest matchup might be Brent Celek. I don't like Bobby Carpenter against him, and it's not like the safeties can cover him. Scandrick may have the best chance against him.
Matt, where do the Giants go from here? Clearly Sheridan has to go, but what else do they need to do to get back to elite status, if it's even possible with this team? Thanks
Mosley (12:15 PM)
You have to hope that Kenny Phillips can return to full speed following knee surgery. You need to re-tool the offensive and defensive lines. Rocky Bernard didn't give you anything. Fred Robbins was benched. Get rid of the people who are simply taking up space. In the interest in youth, it's time to move on from Antonio Pierce and Danny Clark. Go with the young guys. The Eagles were able to hang in there with a patchwork defense. The Giants have to make some major adjustments. I think they'll be fine on offense. Love what Hakeem Nicks brings to the table.
Miles (Virginia Beach)
With the Vikings and Saints both on 2 game losing streaks at the end of the year. Are the Eagles now the frontrunners to go to the Super Bowl from the NFC?
Mosley (12:16 PM)
I think the Eagles and Cowboys have as good a chance as anyone at this point. The Eagles have everything in the world to play for in Dallas. They could actually end up with a bye in the first round. That would be huge for them.
Kevin (New Hampshire)
Matt, I like your NFC Beast blog...keep up the good work.I'm a 'skins fan and have been amazed at the media perception of what is going on in Washington. Everyone in the media slammed Snyder for not having a traditional GM in charge and stated the 'skins would not win until a major shake-up occurred. So, Snyder finally sees the light (hopefully) and now he is getting slammed for disrupting the end of a miserable season. Who cares if this disaster of a season was "ruined" by changes. What's the deal with the media and some owners...?
Mosley (12:18 PM)
I don't know if they're slamming him for making the decision. I think the theory is that the in-season change was the last straw that caused the players to pretty much give up on the season. But in the big picture, it's still a positive thing for the organization. You can question the timing of the decision, but it's not like winning a game or two at the end of the season was going to salvage anything.
Sheldon Brown deserves to go to the Pro Bowl! Do the Eagles renegotiate his contract like he asked, because he played hard (and didn't cause any issues) and played while injured this year.
Mosley (12:19 PM)
I agree that he deserves a Pro Bowl bid. But I don't think the Eagles will be in a rush to do a new deal.
Might it make sense for the cowboys to lose in order to get a better draw in the playoffs. A trip to Minnesota looks a lot better than playing the Eagles- right now- don't you think?
Mosley (12:20 PM)
Always take the home game if you can get it. In a one-game situation, the Vikings could turn it on. Just look at the way the Cardinals got hot in the playoffs last season after dropping games late in the regular-season. The Cowboys need to win this game.
Norman (New York)
Why did you leave Jason Witten and Steve Smith off of your list of pro bowl possibilities?
Mosley (12:21 PM)
Just wasn't thinking. They both deserve to be on there.
After appointing a coach, what is Bruce Allen's first move?
Mosley (12:24 PM)
The coaching hire is the main point of emphasis at this point. After that, he needs to take a long look at this roster and start making changes. He needs to be ready for free agency and the draft. But I think you'll see the overall philosophy start to change. The draft will become a more important part of what the Redskins do. And that's a good thing for the health of the organization. Allen has to help the new coach build a cohesive offensive line. Even before the season, you knew the Skins were in trouble up front.
If the Giants feel they have to get rid of Osi Umenyiora (despite Coughlin's praise yesterday), what kind of return can they hope to get? And was the DL hampered by Sheridan's scheme, or are they vastly overrated?
Mosley (12:24 PM)
I think the DL still has a lot of talent. And I think Umenyiora will be back with the Giants next season.
Trent cole (philly)
can you write a piece on me cause no one nows about me being a force on defense
Mosley (12:26 PM)
I've actually written a couple of long stories on Cole in the past. Last season, I did one on how Cole's way into hunting. He makes hunting videos and that's his first love. I realize that he's a huge part of what the Eagles do on defense, too.
if u were voting would you select celek over witten right now for the probowl based on contributing and weaver over tahi
Mosley (12:27 PM)
I would have Witten and Celek as co-leaders in the NFC.
What does wade phillips have to do to keep his job?
Mosley (12:28 PM)
If the Cowboys win Sunday and secure a home playoff game, I think that would go a long way in getting Wade one more season. Does he have to win the playoff game? I'm not sure. But I know Jerry Jones was giddy after that win the other night. Right now he's obviously leaning toward keeping Wade.
Can Dallas receive a first round bye with a win over the Eagles this Sunday and a loss from both the Vikings and the Cards?
Mosley (12:29 PM)
Matt, how do you think Jason Campbell would perform in Shanahan's system?
Mosley (12:30 PM)
Oz, I'd love to find out. I think Shanahan would find away to give Campbell better protection. He'd also let him throw the ball down the field a little more. Campbell's at his best when he gets outside the pocket and uses his athleticism to make plays. Shanahan would get him on those situations. I think he could perform well under Shanahan.
Jonathan (Philly, PA)
Matt,Samuel is a great CB, but the Cowboys should be able to beat him deep on a double-move. Do you think Asante should play a little softer in coverage this week to limit the big play?
Mosley (12:32 PM)
I don't think a guy can change the way he plays that much from week to week. Samuel is a gambling corner who can jump a route at any moment. The last thing you want is for him to start getting conservative. It's not in his makeup. And that's OK.
Dave (Rochester N.Y)
Who's the best NFC team right know?
Mosley (12:32 PM)
I'd probably say the Eagles.
Any chance Garrett does the gutsy thing by going against Jerry by keeping Roy Williams and Bennet on the sideline. At this point I think John Phillips and Ogletree are more dependable.
Mosley (12:32 PM)
That's not Garrett's decision.
Brian (Ashburn, VA)
I wish fans would realize that the pro-bowl is basically a sham, and the true testiment to a player having a great season is being selected to the All-Pro Team. Any Beast players have a shot at being selected? D-Jax may not have as good of numbers compared to some other wideouts, but it would be awfully hard to ignore how much of an impact he's had this season.
Mosley (12:33 PM)
I agree with that, Brian. I think Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten and DeSean Jackson should all be considered for the All-Pro team.
Ryan (Damascus, MD)
Do you think the Giants will actually show up against the Vikes or fall on there face again?
Mosley (12:35 PM)
I'm not sure either team will show up to be quite honest.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Matt, do you feel Dallas has a reasonably good chance of beating the Eagles on Sunday?
Mosley (12:36 PM)
Sure, Al. They already beat them in Philly this season. The Eagles are on a roll, but you can score points against them. And the Cowboys' defense has been superb lately. I think the Cowboys have an excellent chance of winning this game. Now when the stakes get higher in the playoffs, I might have a different opinion.
Bruce Allen wakes up Monday Jan. 4th, brushes his teeth and drives to the office...who does he not fire?
Mosley (12:37 PM)
Matt, Love the blog. Why not admit your mistake, cut williams, Pay Austin Williams money, which he deserves more, and let Ogletree and the others have their shot, they at least seem hungry and play hard.
Mosley (12:38 PM)
Perhaps you haven't known Jerry as long as I have. The man doesn't like admitting mistakes. He's not even close to cutting ties with Williams at this point. He's still hoping the receiver can somehow justify those draft picks and the $45 million.
Matt Moore (Charlotte)
How much does GM Jerry wish he'd kept me around as a backup and or trade chip?
Mosley (12:40 PM)
It was hard to tell about Moore at the time. I'm sure there's some regret, though. Especially when you consider that Brad Johnson was the backup quarterback.
Sorry to burst your bubble but Miles Austin is a more complete WR than your boy jackson.
Mosley (12:40 PM)
Not totally sure I agree with that. Not when you factor in what Jackson brings to the return game.
I would love to get a win against philly this week but do you think it is possible to beat the eagles 2 weeks in a row even if both games are in dallas?
Mosley (12:41 PM)
I think that's an incredibly tough thing to do, Cody.
Hey Matt, I love your blog. Thanks for all the great reporting you produce throughout the year. I am worried about this Eagles defense. Will they be able to put enough pressure on opposing QBs come playoff time? When passers have time, that secondary can be picked apart. Thanks.
Mosley (12:43 PM)
Thanks. Sean McDermott is getting more and more comfortable with his blitz packages. You're seeing a lot more blitzes from cornerback Joselio Hanson over the past two games. I think his ability to change things up will keep teams off balance. And I think Trent Cole can give the Cowboys' O-line some serious problems Sunday.
Am I correct in assuming the reason why the Eagles will NEVER cut Reggie Brown is because of his cap hit?
Mosley (12:44 PM)
No, I think it has more to do with the other Eagles' wide receivers. You see a lot of injuries at the position (Maclin, Curtis, Jackson this season) and it's good to keep a familiar face around. I think we keep dismissing Brown, but Reid's not doing that.
Justin (Wilmington NC)
Matt, what are 3 big name skins players Allen gets rid of? I think Clinton Portis, Antwan Randel El and Carlos Rodgers are 3 big name players that will not be here in 2010. What do you think?
Mosley (12:45 PM)
Justin, I think you're off to a good start. Throw in Rock Cartwright.
What kind of an impact do you feel Austin is going to have against the eagles. I think if Roy can catch his 4 passes thrown to him and barber is able to maintain 3-4 ypc we have an excellent chance of beating the eagles, 21-10. Whats your opinion?
Mosley (12:48 PM)
That's a big IF on Roy Williams and I think McDermott will try to take Austin out of the game with double coverage. Remember that Eagles secondary coach Brian Stewart knows this personnel pretty well.
Randy (Dallas, TX)
I can't believe you are ignoring me....hmmm...How about Tuesdays with Ed Werder???? Please rank the NFC playoff teams.
Mosley (12:49 PM)
NFC playoff teams: 1. Eagles2. Saints 3. Cowboys4. Cardinals5. Packers 6. Vikings
Is anyone playing better defense in the NFC? Can you rank the playoff teams' defenses in the NFC?
Mosley (12:51 PM)
NFC defensive rankings in my opinion: 1. Cowboys2. Packers3. Vikings4. Eagles5. Cardinals6. Saints
How will the Eagles use Westbrook for the rest of the year? Does he still have the ability to still be THE guy that defensive coordinators always have to be aware of?
Mosley (12:52 PM)
He's still a dangerous player, but opposing defensive coordinators spend a lot more time on DeSean Jackson than they do Westbrook.
I think London Flecher should get a pro bowl bid this year
Mosley (12:52 PM)
I'd love to see it but I think he's pretty much given up on that dream.
Will Colombo make his way back into the rotation against the Eagles and if not will he be used in the playoffs due to a long layoff?
Mosley (12:52 PM)
I don't think he'll play this Sunday but he could definitely return in the playoffs.
Kevin Ogletree (Dallas)
Matt I think I can play for this team and contribute more than roy williams, is it too late in the season for the coaches to give me a chance this year?
Mosley (12:53 PM)
He'll get more reps but he's not going to replace Williams as a starter.
Mike (Fartville (yes its a real town))
Where are the Giants most needed to help? Secondary, O-Line, D-Line, Safties/Linebackers?
Mosley (12:54 PM)
Mike, I'd start with the secondary and then go the linebackers, O-line and finally D-line.
Nick Cole (Philadelphia)
Matt, how come everyone thinks there will be a huge drop-off from Jamaal Jackson? I'm one of the more tenured members of this Philly offensive line and I've already beaten out Stacy Andrews at OG. I know our offensive line schemes as well as anyone on the Eagles.
Mosley (12:55 PM)
I agree with you, Nick. I'm not really worried about a dropoff at that position.
What's going on with ILB Jason Williams? I heard he was a great inside blitzer at the low level college he went to. Any chance Wade gives him a couple of snaps to see what he can do?
Mosley (12:56 PM)
This is not the time of the season when you start experimenting with inexperienced players.
Assuming Bruce Allen lets Zorn go, could you see Zorn reuniting with Holmgren?
Mosley (12:56 PM)
Zorn's future in the league is as a QBs coach.
TIZZLE (GERMANY VIA AIR FORCE)
PLZ explain how 2 games makes the cowboys super bowl contenders
Mosley (12:57 PM)
It's not just those two games. It's the fact that the Saints and Vikings appear to be backing up. Should the Cowboys fear either one of those teams at this point?
Jon (Phoenix, AZ)
Any chance Dallas will be giving Tashard more looks at those 3 and 1's and 4th and 1's
Mosley (12:57 PM)
I would not count on it, Jon.
Matt awesome job this year, and every year. Have you heard any word yet on Demps or Vick returning for the cowgirls game?
Mosley (12:57 PM)
I think Vick's more likely to return than Demps.
mike (macon, ga)
if you were to guess now, will shanny keep Campbell? If not, you think he will look to the draft? Bradford perhaps?
Mosley (12:58 PM)
I think the Skins will keep him and draft a QB at the same time.
With the fine year the McNabb is having, any chance the Eagles extend his contract in the off-season. I can't imagine him playing next year as a lame duck.
Mosley (12:59 PM)
It's great hearing from my female audience. Lori and Jenny, sorry I didn't get to you guys. I think the Eagles want McNabb to play out this current contract.
Which game will you be going to Sunday? My guess is Washington-San Diego.
Mosley (1:00 PM)
My plan is to be at Cowboys Stadium for the game of the week.
Is B Jacobs back next year?
Mosley (1:01 PM)
Yes, I believe Jacobs is back. OK, that's a wrap on that chat. You guys have been great. Over 500 questions. Thanks for your participation.