Chat with Chris Mortensen
Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the NFL, joined ESPN in 1991 and appears on Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter.
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:03 AM)
Here we go...
What's your opinion so far of the job Garrett and Ryan have been doing in Dallas? I don't understand why Garrett is getting credit for the team playing hard and winning close games when it has been recurring mistakes that made these games close and Tony Romo, playing injured, who pulled them out.
Chris Mortensen (11:06 AM)
When you hear former Cowboys who were critical of the Wade Phillips' tenure, they say that Garrett absolutely has made this team resillient, mentally tough, as opposed to folding when adversity hits, whether it's through injury or mistakes in game. Games are not perfect. Teams are not perfect. How you respond in those times can be telling and I know Garrett's daily approach to detail is exemplary. This is a young O-line and an offense riddled with injuries, plus a secondary that has issues and I don't hear the coach allowing his team to use those injuries as a crutch.
Has anyone done a study over whether Vick really is not getting late hit calls vs. other QBs?
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
Mark, yes but the league itself has been reviewing all these hits on Vick to see if he has a case; Andy Reid also has expressed his concern on this matter, both last year and this year.I don't have the data but in terms of penalties called, it appeared this year that there was no discernable difference.
What are your thoughts on the skins mimicking snap counts on Monday night? How common is this, and will the NFL take action?
Chris Mortensen (11:12 AM)
This has been a problem throughout the years and it is against the rules. But this was also one of the problems that was anticipated when the NFL move umpires from the tradition position behind the defensive line/linebackers to the offensive backfield opposite the referee. The umpire would be the one official in the traditional position capable of hearing if any defensive team was simulating the cadence. On only one of the four snaps in question Monday night, the umpire was in the vicinity but did not hear anything. You also have to consider crowd noise, even if the home team is supposed to have an advantage in that respect.
As a Bears fan, I am totally fine with Jay Cutler as our QB. The problem is that Angelo, also seems to be fine with the Bears line. Would it make since for the Bears to look for a qb like Geno Smith (W. Virginia) or a free agent that is a little more mobile, and can extend the play, as a back up plan, when Jay sadly takes the one big hit, that can put him on the sideline for awhile?
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
First of all, Angelo has used two first round picks on his OTs and this year's choice, RT Gabe Carimi, was hurt in week one. Mobile quarterback? Cutler is extremely mobile. Mike Martz wants his QBs standing in there and taking the hits until receivers can make their breaks. The 7-step drops that Cutler has to make frequently is an issue. Cutler trusting his receivers. Play-call sequence can be an issue. Being on the same page in protection. But there was panic on the Bears early in the season last year and it worked out. There also was no panic when the Bears throttled the Falcons in week one.
Is it wise for Vick to play against the 49ers this weekend given that the 49ers defense has been putting pressure on opposing QBs and already injured one (Romo)?
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
Nick, are you a 49ers fan? Just kidding. The Eagles should play their best players if the doctors and player say he's OK to go. This is a vicious sport. Vick is expected to play; his hand problem could be an issue under center with snaps and any handoffs he normally would do with his right hand. But the Eagles have a lot to clean up with protections and Vick getting the ball out even more quickly.
If the NFL had a league-wide draft, who do you think would go #1 overall? Then, who would be the first defensive player taken in your mind?
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I believe your answers are in the NFC North - Aaron Rodgers would go #1 overall and Ndamukong Suh probably would be the first defensive player. Obviously, I'm factoring in the skill and age of players.
Are the Cardianls in trouble with a loss to the Giants this Sunday?
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
Not in the NFC West. I just don't see anyone running away with the division. This is a race that will be decided in the second half of the season and the records won't be pretty, circa 2010 with the 7-9 Seahawks winning the division.
Brad (Beverly, Ma)
Do you think there is any chance Tony Sparano survives the season.
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
Yes, I think there's a chance he survives the season. There has been some discussion publicly about Sparano's ability to survive an 0-4 start with a bye week following the Chargers game. The signals I'm getting is that there won't be a change that is imminent but owners can be unpredictable, especially since we don't know the track record of those owners like Stephen Ross.
Mort! How do you feel about Dexter McCluster? Does he have what it takes to be an every down back?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
Not really, though I sure appreciate his skills at Ole Miss. I think he can be a 15-18 'touch" player in rushes and receptions.
Hello Mort. C'mon Mort give us your feelings towards the New Bills.Thanks Ed
Chris Mortensen (11:30 AM)
Ed. they're fun to watch and easy to root for. The "reject" team - few people gave Chan Gailey any respect when he has one of the most impressive coaching resumes in the NFL. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson, 7th rounders. Fred Jackson, undrafted. Bunch of guys like that. The problem is sustainability and franchise stability. It's something the late great GM John Butler worried about and expressed to me when he left for San Diego. Will the Bills do what's necessary to keep the core players as they build going forward? And don't panic if things hit a few bumps. In the meantime, enjoy the moment. Lot of people around the league are rooting for them and the Lions.
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
Have to run to a meeting for tonight's NFL32 Show on ESPN2 (6 ET). By the way, we've been on air 2 weeks and we've had good Bills' guests like Fred Jackson & George Wilson. Jermichael Finley of the Packers scored 3 TDs after calling in last week and surprised us with another call last night. The Raiders....looking forward to Lions vs. Cowboys.... players and coaches routinely call into show....send us questions and comments on Twitter (@NFL32)...Facebook page...and even YouTube questions...everyone has a voice! Oh, and Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. every week! God Bless!