Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the NFL season and other news from around the league.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:01 PM)
We've got Gary!
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
I arrived in Indy yesterday. The weather's been terrific. I think it's going to be a great week.
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
Today is the perfect day: I've been watching film all day long.
the hooded genius (CT, New England)
Who's health is more important when attacking NYG's 3 safety nickel defense? Gronk or Vollmer?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
Oh, no question it's Gronkowski. Will he have the ability to make the cuts and the big plays that he has. Solder has done a nice job of filling in for Volmer. Although if Volmer does play it gives them some versatility in red zone packages. But Gronkowski is critical to this offense.
what kind of film have you been watching?
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
We've got about 70 different telestration packages on both teams. By the time you've watched that much film, you get a real feel for both teams, strengths and weaknesses.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Gary, which of the Super Bowl teams is the healthier one (less injuries) now?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
I think both teams are relatively healthy. The Giants probably have less concerns. I think the only real injury story in this game right now is Gronkowski. That's the only thing that anybody's really talking about. For the most part, both teams are ready to go.
Does a dome favor either team? Offense? Defense?
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
I don't necessarily think so because both of these teams throw the ball well now. They both have multi-receiver packages. They will benefit from the fast track. Neither team is great at running the ball. So weather is not a factor. It will be great to watch, because both of these creative offenses should be at top speed.
You mention people only mentioning the Gronkowski injury, does that mean Nicks' shoulder is good to go?
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
Nobody's really talking about it. I think there's a feeling that he will play. I haven't really studied it today. But I think Gronkowski's injury is so big because he's been walking around in a boot and he's been so hot.
Gary, is the pats defense that bad or are they getting a bad rap?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I think their pass rush has really improved. That's on the positive side. Wilfork is almost unstoppable. The edge rush is good. Where they get in trouble is on the back end where their secondary struggles to cover. I will say this, they do tend to make big plays that covers up their deficiencies.
the hooded genius (CT, New England)
Can Baas keep Wilfork from collapsing the pocket?
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
Right now, nobody is doing it. He is the combination of power, leverage and his motor is non-stop. He has absolutely collapsed the inside. The Giants are physical. This interior defensive line is underrated. I think they can get some pressure and that's the kind that Eli hates. That's a big part of this game.
Luke (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
If rob gronkowski doesn't play can the patriots win?
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
I think it becomes much tougher because now they don't have their versatility. Not only is he a productive player, but he helps free up other guys to make plays. I think it's a big deal in terms of personnel groupings and how teams think in terms of matching up. It's the most unique offense in the NFL.
most intriguing matchup?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I think it's the Giants 3 WR package v. the Patriots sub packages in their secondary. New York is really effective now in spreading the field. The Patriots have really struggled in terms of matching up in man to man. They'll have to play a lot of combo coverages, with probably 3 CBs and then Cover 2 safeties behind them. I think they're doing it with mirrors right now. That will be a huge test.
will the Giants attack Edelman hard from the start?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
Bolden looked like he really went after Edelman last week. But the Patriots are smart. They'll try to hide him. Move him around.
Most glaring Giants weakness from your watching film?
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
I think they've really improved in all areas. I did not like their secondary early in the season, but I really like the way they're playing in the last couple of weeks. I would probably say their lack of consistent running game is the biggest weakness. I see glimpses of good RB play, but I don't see it consistently enough. I'm surprised because that's not what we're used to seeing.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will win Super Bowl XLVI?
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
The more I watch film, I think the Giants are a more complete team and I think they win this game. They're well matched and I'm not sure the secondary can hold up against how hot Eli is right now.
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
The week is going to get crazier as time goes on. I really think this has the chance to be a great Super Bowl.