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 (11:01 AM)
Let's get started...
Larry Fitzgerald needs a change of scenary and a team that willl get him the ball, why dont teams like the panthers jets browns rams and dolphins oofer a 1st or 2nd round pick for him?
Chris Mortensen (11:03 AM)
What makes you think the Cardinals would trade a Larry Fitzgerald, one of the few superstar players AND persons in the NFL? The Cardinals are also in the race. The Cardinals have paid Fitzgerald an enormous amount of money - few quarterbacks have made the money he's made during the same stretch - so it's their call right now. The right call is to keep Fitzgerald and get the right quarterback.
So does Philly come out swinging vs ATL or are the Falcons too good? Seems like a make or break game for the Eagles and Reid, no?
Chris Mortensen (11:05 AM)
Fascinating game with both teams coming off byes, considering Andy Reid's record (12-0) after bye weeks. The Falcons are very consistent and they have played very well on the road. But there is no question that immense pressure is on the Eagles. Make or break game? The NFC East is fairly even. The Giants appear to be the class of the division but the Giants are 1-2 in the division, having lost to the Cowboys and Eagles.
With the Texans beat down against the Ravens, do you have the Texans making it all the way to the super bowl? What biggest obstacle do you see in their pathway?
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
Ismael, I picked the Texans to win the Super Bowl this year so I can't waver from that pick even though the injury to Brian Cushing was a big blow. We all know how well the defense is playing and, of course, Arian Foster. But I'm also seeing Matt Schaub elevating his game to a very high level. Biggest obstacle? More injuries.
I thought Jerry Richardson would have a new GM in mind when he fired Marty Hurney midseason. But now he says he hired an outside consulting firm...who are some good candidates? JR vowed to never give his HC personnel powers after the Seifert era, but could he change his tune and consider some Sweet Chin Music???
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
Jerry Richardson fired Marty Hurney, I believe, to satisfy his fan base and send a message that the status quo of losing is unacceptable to him as owner. You are referring to Bill Cowher with "Sweet Chin Music." I believe Cowher is a name that will be naturally mentioned if the Panthers continue to disappoint and it becomes clear that Ron Rivera is out as coach at the end of the year. As far as good candidates, they are out there but don't have time to mention them and I'm afraid I would omit someone's name.
Why have the Bengals taken such a huge step back on defense? Personnel isn't that different.
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
The secondary is just not as strong. My question about the Bengals, especially during this losing streak, is why has Andy Dalton struggled? It isn't always the O-line on some of his errors or inaccurate throws. So, it's a team thing that needs to be corrected in a hurry.
Al Davis faction (Oakland)
A lot of pundits at ESPN and other places bash Carson Palmer saying he can't get it done. I think he has been a bright spot on this bad team. He's throwing to prctice squad calibar guys and has a terrible o-line? Do yuo think Palmer is still a good qb?
Chris Mortensen (11:16 AM)
I'd agree with you to a point. Everyone knows - or should know - that the roster needs serious upgrading and due to the personnel, lack of draft choices and salary cap woes that new GM Reggie McKenzie inherited, it does have a negative impact on Palmer. However, he has had a tendency to throw some ill-advised picks. Every interception has its own story, as Peyton Manning likes to say, but Palmer can clean that up. Also, he has shown he can lead a team from behind. The key is still for the offensive line to get Darren McFadden rolling.
Cam has brought alot of heat upon himself this season. What did you think of Warren Moon's criticisms of Cam yesterday? Seems to me Moon is dead on, both with Cam and with how certain media members treat Cam. Alot of articles coming out saying "I told you so on Cam" lately.
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
I mostly agree with Warren Moon in that media members have a tendency to compare black quarterbacks with other black quarterbacks. That always has made me uncomfortable when I have heard it. That being said, even most of Cam's advocates coming out of Auburn worried about one thing: How will he handle failure? There was not a lot of confidence he would handle it well. He is not playing well and the team is not playing well. But it was his own teammate, veteran Steve Smith, who raised the issue of moping three weeks ago. I personally believe his perception would also be better served if he just met with the media in the locker room after some games, as opposed to standing at a podium where some of these guys feel obligated to make a "state of the union" speech.
Randy Moss (Rand, WV)
Do you think the Josh McDaniels offense is taking full advantage of Gronk? His numbers are off this year.
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
I saw Gronk make some key plays the other day. Remember, defenses adjust and the Patriots have been praised for recognizing they need balance in the run and pass game. Gronk's blocking is part of the run game. Let's see how the season plays out. It's early, especially for a team like the Patriots.
The North Land (Fargo, ND)
Are the Vikings a legit playoff team? What are your thoughts on Ponder's progress? What are the Vikings lacking on offense? A deep threat?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
The Vikings are a legit contender. If they are 7-3 or 8-2 going into their week 11 bye, then I put 'em there. The schedule gets very tough after that. Ponder did not play a great game against the Cardinals this past week. Tom Brady didn't play great against the Cardinals, either. I think getting Jerome Simpson reacclimated in the offense is the deep threat you're talking about.
Stafford has been awful this year, his stats are way down and are actually very similar to Newton's numbers. yet Stafford does not draw the same amount of criticism, do you think that will change soon? Matt needs to grow up a little and make better decisions, but he is being incubated from any accountability.
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I think that's a fair observation, Terry. He appears to lack some confidence in his offensive line. His fundamentals/mechanics have gotten sloppy, according to a number of football people.
do you think there will be any trades before deadline? like a rb to zona or wr help for jets, cowboys, etc?
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
I'm sure there will be a couple of trades. Arizona looking for a running back makes sense. I would say no WR help is necessary for the Cowboys. The Jets? Maybe. Keep an eye on the Rams being active before the Tuesday deadline.
chuck (south carolina)
Mort, I'd be curious to hear your opinion on why you think the Bills defense has struggled so bad year. I believe its because Wannstedts scheme is too watered down and generic. Do you think he still has it to succeed in the league??
Chris Mortensen (11:31 AM)
It's a mystery. Obviously, Mario Williams has not been dominant up-front and now he's talking about possible surgery on his wrist. The Bills have young corners. Wannstedt is a respected coach but one thing I wondered is whether he has needed to get comfortable in that role again as a defensive coordinator. Since 1992 when he was the DC of the Super Bow champion Cowboys, he has been a coordinator in just one year - 1999 in Miami - until this season. He has mostly been a HC at Chicago, Miami and Pitt during the majority of other seasons. But players have to make plays.
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
Time to roll. We have NFL32 on weekdays at 6ET on ESPN2 and we are virtually getting to all 32 teams during that hour. Follow me on Twitter via @mortreport. Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. on ESPN. God Bless!