Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:01 PM)
We're getting Gary!
Gary Horton (3:07 PM)
Sorry I missed our chat yesterday. I was flying back from Indianapolis. It was a great week. The city and game were terrific. Who would have ever thought when we were in the lockout that the season would wind up being this good?
Rich (New Jersey)
Where does Eli's performance put him quarterbacks past and present and for his chances to get into the Hall of Fame?
Gary Horton (3:08 PM)
I think it puts him in the franchise QB state. There is no question he's an elite guy. I am very impressed with his ability to make so many fourth quarter comebacks. I think his cool demeanor is off the charts.
Mark (Cary NC)
Hello Gary - the lack of an Elite WR for the Patriots is OBVIOUS. With the Pats having so many darft picks - would a trade to the Cowboys for Dez Bryant make sense? Give Dallas a #1 and #3. Dallas resigns Robinson long term - uses picks to upgrade OLine and Defense. Brady gets a WR to spread the field and Bryant gets a coach/QB who makes become the player he can be
Gary Horton (3:10 PM)
I think there's a chance they may draft one and trade for one. I'm with you. As I watch this game, I love what they've done with the players they have, the TE-oriented passing game. But what was clear to me is they just don't stretch the field. They don't have a vertical passing game. If Tom Brady isn't perfect in getting the ball into tight windows, they struggle. They don't have speed guys who can separate. Not to take anything away, but can you imagine if they had a vertical threat?
Do people not realize that the giants only scored 17 and 19 offensive points in thier two recent superbowl wins? To me, that doesn't look like Eli Maning should have gotten most of the credit for those wins. It is very much like how Tebow wins in fourth quasrters after not doing anything. The Giants defense won the game. period.
Gary Horton (3:11 PM)
I think what you're saying is true, but what's wrong with boosting his image because of those fourth quarter comebacks. There are a lot of elite QBs in this league who can put up a lot of yards, but the name of the game is winning. But if you have a guy that can bring you back, to me that's a big deal.
Ok, honest opinion. If everything else was exactly the same, would Phillip Rivers have been able to beat the Pats twice in two super bowls?
Gary Horton (3:12 PM)
I think that's always hard to say. Phillip Rivers has been an excellent QB, but you don't know how each would have done in those respective organizations. I understand the question, but that's a hard analogy to make. Having said that, I remember the Giants took a lot of heat for making that trade on draft day. I'm sure they're happy about it now.
Jamie Rodriguez (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Would you say Peyton has a better chance at a second ring than Eli has at a third?
Gary Horton (3:13 PM)
Well, right now, it's clearly Eli getting his third. We don't even know where Peyton's going to be playing. If he stays with the Colts, they certainly don't look like Super Bowl contenders in the near future to me.
Gary Horton (3:14 PM)
This looks like like a good Giants team to me next year.
Gary, what do you think about the safety call? To me, a QB calmly going through his progression and then getting rid of the ball after his internal clock goes off is not "imminent danger", but a proper football play.
Gary Horton (3:15 PM)
I thought it was a borderline call. I know a lot of people will tell you that the officials had to call it. It seemed like a big play that could have changed the game and that bothers you a little bit. It's a call that they'll probably look at in the Competition Committee in the offseason.
Rob (San Antonio)
What do you think of Haley in Pittsburgh?
Gary Horton (3:16 PM)
I think his track record as an offensive coordinator is very good. He has an excellent offensive mind. Having said that, he has a reputation as a guy who is not always easy to work with. I'll be curious to see how he works with Big Ben. But he is innovative and that's always fun to watch.
Gary: My take on the Super Bowl. What makes a game great are plays that are memorable. Outside of Manningham's catch, what play on offense, defense or in the special teams was memorable? You recall Marcus Allen's run or Lynn Swann's catches because they were truly great plays. Desmond Howard's special teams play. James Harrison's length of the field run back with a pick. In this game there were passes of under 10 yards. No long runs from scrimmage. No great interceptions or fumble recoveries that ended in flipping the field position. No kickoff or punt returns that had you saying wow! Let's be honest. Remove your particular rooting interest from the discussion. This game was boring.
Gary Horton (3:17 PM)
I thought it was an entertaining Super Bowl. I agree with you that there weren't many big plays. But there were some key plays. There were some interesting coaching decisions. I think both defenses played better than we thought. I thought both offenses were not quite as explosive as they could have been. These are two teams that know each other well, which could take away some big plays.
Shane (Robins AFB, GA)
Mr. Horton, I have no doubts that the HoF voters take their jobs seriously & with due diligence; however, I think the PROCESS is outdated
Gary Horton (3:19 PM)
Well, I've talked to several people about that. The consensus that I get is that ex-players should be involved in the voting process. They played against these guys. They know how good they are. I feel there is some resentment that there is no involvement there. I was shocked that one of the three WRs didn't get in: Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Tim Brown. It would have broken a log jam for the other two to get in. Now, one or two of them won't get in next year. What's going to happen when this new group of WRs are eligible for the Hall and their stats are so inflated? I thought this was the year to help out that backlog.
Rob (San Antonio)
People are talking about Brady and the receivers not getting it done but I think the credit needs to go to the Giants defense. Towards the end they really stepped up the pressure on Brady and it showed.
Gary Horton (3:21 PM)
Oh, I definitely agree. I thought his OL did a good job for a lot of the game. But I thought the pressure started to effect him. It really looked to me that the receivers struggled to get open and separation. That's a product of the WRs not having great speed and good, physical coverages. Brady almost had to have perfect accuracy to get those completions. And his guys did drop some balls.
derrick smith [via mobile]
why are they talking about scrapping the pro bowl? what they should do is go back the old days and have it after the super bowl..duh
Gary Horton (3:22 PM)
I know it was an embarrassing display this year. Something needs to be done. I agree that it seems to be a better game when it's after the Super Bowl, especially with the Super Bowl teams able to send their players which is better for the fans. I've heard some people suggest just having a skills competition. But something will be done. They won't put that product on the field much longer.
Jeff providence ri [via mobile]
What do you think about the steelers up coming season? Should they get rid of all the old players (like Ward, Farrior, Hampton, and etc)?
Gary Horton (3:24 PM)
I think like always, they'll be a playoff contender and an elite team. You know that Todd Haley is going to have an innovative offense. And I think their defense will have one more year, even though age is a real factor and they have to get some young guys ready. Offensively, I think they'll be really good and a tough team to beat. But Baltimore in their division will be good also, with Cincinnati coming on fast.
Gary, Do you see green bay signing matt flynn back as the Pack's second string QB?
Gary Horton (3:25 PM)
I don't think they can, because I think he will cost too much. It's a tribute to their coaches that he will demand this kind of contract. I'm sure they would love to keep him, but it's just not very realistic.
If Peyton Manning Becomes A Free Agent What team will he sign with?
Gary Horton (3:26 PM)
I think an ideal spot for him would be Miami. Ownership there will spend whatever they need to, because they want a glamour QB who will sell tickets. And they're not a bad football team. Certainly the Washington Redskins will be involved. And you'll always hear about the Jets, but I don't see that either. I think Miami and Washington are the two hotspots. It would be interesting to see if Seattle were interested.
After all the build-up to how great he is and how hard a time the Giants O-line would have, there was no impact by Wilfork. Is that because the O-line played well, or because there was some over-hype of what he had done to that point in the play-offs?
Gary Horton (3:28 PM)
I don't think Vince Wilfork was overhyped. I watched him on a lot of film and he was almost unblockable in the other playoff games. I think the Giants did an outstanding job in pass protection, especially inside. In fact, I thought both OLs played better than I anticipated in terms of pass protection.
Who's your pick to be the next champion?
Gary Horton (3:29 PM)
I'm not very good at that stuff. It's too early....but I think we have some young teams that haven't had a lot of success getting better every year. There are always teams that get to the playoffs that we don't expect. Look for the 49ers to be great again. My sleeper team that's too early is Carolina. I think they'll make some noise, though I don't know if that means Super Bowl. And keep a sharp eye on Houston if they stay healthy.
What do the falcons need to do in the draft this year?
Gary Horton (3:30 PM)
They have to get better on defense. They have a couple of OL issues. They have a good football team with an outstanding core of players. Their passing game and run game should be very good.
The fact that the Patriots were two minutes away from winning a championship with that defense is amazing. Do a couple of tweaks on defense and WR get this team right back to the big game next year?
Gary Horton (3:32 PM)
Well, I think you're absolutely right on the WR. And I think they have to upgrade their secondary, which we all know. On the positive side, I thought the biggest weakness on their defense the last 2-3 years was the lack of an outside pass rush. But Ninkovich and Anderson played terrific. They'll have Carter back so that might not be as big of a need as we thought. This is a good football team that will be right in the thick of things next year.
Rob (San Antonio)
Now the obvious question. Take a knee or score?
Gary Horton (3:33 PM)
To be honest, I like what Tom Coughlin said that they thought about it. The reality of that being a chipshot field goal, stange things have happened. He probably wouldn't have missed it, but they have enough confidence in their defense to go ahead and score. It hink it was the right thing.
Gary Horton (3:34 PM)
Even though the season's over, we'll continue to chat each week. I'm sure with the draft and free agency, we'll have a lot to talk about. I'm working on team needs right now, so that will be interesting discussion.