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!
Buzzmaster (10:58 AM)
Hey everyone, Mort is on his way to the chat. He should be here about 11:15 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
From a restaurant with wi-fi....good morning.
Is there a particular reason why, 100% of the time, Mort is late to these things?
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
Good question and yes is the answer. If I'm on the phone with an NFL coach, player, exec, I finish the conversation...but, in this case, my wi fi went out at house. But we'll take this until12 noon ET
Uh huh (yeah)
I don't get the benching of Alex Smith in San Fran......Harbaugh loses the respect of Smith, and possibly everyone else if this does not work......Is....Can't spell his name.....Kopenick really that much better?
Chris Mortensen (11:25 AM)
I don't think Harbaugh loses the respect of hardly anyone in the locker room. It is NOT a quarterback driven team. Maybe Harbaugh gets knocked for his play calling like the option pitch near his own goal line. Remember, Harbaugh rescued Smith's career and he handpicked Kaepernick as his successor. Both quarterbacks are well liked and Smith is too mentally tough to let this affect him, other that tick him off - which he is.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Outside of the Pats are we seeing a changing of the guard in the AFC - Houston & Denver replacing the Steelers
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
I believe some of my biggest forecast mistakes have related to the Steelers. Their win in Baltimore the other day highlights that point. So when Roethlisberger comes back, they have fairly food shot to hold that wild card spot with Bengals breathing down their necks. Obviously, the Patriots, Texans and Broncos are a threat but never count out the Steelers and their winning culture.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
How short a leash is Sanchez on this Sunday?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
If Sanchez plays as poorly as he did in the first half as he did against the Cardinals, then I think Rex uses the hook and gets McElroy in there again.
Titus Yound to IR. Has he played his last game in Detroit? Would any other team consider a trade for him?
Chris Mortensen (11:31 AM)
I think everyone believes he's played his last game in Detroit. Is he worthy of trade or does he respond to some type of counseling? Long-shot, right now. He was forced to sit most of the whole season at Boise State for disciplinary reasons and when other teams see these issues resurface it will make them hesitate. He is talented.
Am I the only one who is not necessarily casting doom and gloom on the Bears? Yeah the defensive losses hurt, but the offense is starting to move the ball better than they have all season. Cutler looks like he's starting to heat up (that throw to BMarsh to put the game into OT was nuts), and it's not like the Packers don't have injuries of their own. All they have to do is split the rest of their games, get some guys back and go into the playoffs feeling good.
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
I don't count 'em out because of those very reasons. I think the Bears obviously have to score more points and as a Bears fan you would hope they can do that without turning over the ball and they need Forte to become explosive again but will he be healthy enough to do that?
I heard this morning that James Starks may not play the rest of the year and the Packers signed Ryan Grant. Is Starks on IR? Also what will Grant have left to bring Green Bay?
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
I don't know but he Starks has to be in a discussion. I called him a couple weeks ago and he was just walking into a gym to work out so he's trying to stay ready and motivated. I don't know what he has left but he's smart, he knows system, he's good in pass protection and I assume he has fresh legs.
The Pats D looks much improved. Do you see them making a deep playoff run again this year?
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
I think so. I guess I'm very anxious to see these next two games (in Foxborough) against Texans and 49ers. This is Texans' third straight road game. But the Patriots are winning games with key people out - Pro Bowl players like Gronkowski and Mankins - and their defense should continue to improve.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Chris, two questions: 1st - RGIII, Andrew Luck, or Russell Wilson, who gets rookie of the year? 2nd - which 6-6 teams on the bubble need to keep winning to make the playoffs?
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
If I was casting a vote today, I'd probably split it between Luck and RGIII, as much as I admire Russell Wilson. If RGIII finishes on a roll and gets the Redskins into the playoffs - or even wins the division - in a tougher NFC, I might lean his way. But Luck has won an extraordinary amount of clutch wins and they appeared headed for the playoffs. The next four games will determine my ultimate vote.
I am an Alabama and Falcons fan, so I have watched Julio for years. I have begun to worry that he may have trouble with nagging injuries throughout his career. Should there be concern that he seems to have those "nagging" injuries more often than other players, or is it too early to look at that?
Chris Mortensen (11:42 AM)
That was some teams' concerns coming out because Julio is such a physical player but he has shown an ability to tough it out and work through those injuries. He's still a very talented WR, maybe even a better football player (blocks) but I wouldn't place the concern at too high of a level.
The rest of the league found out this week what we in New England already knew - Romeo Crennel is a class act and great person. Does he get another chance in KC or somewhere else next year?
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
It's difficult to report on because there really has been zero information available. My question has been, is it really OK for a GM (Scott Pioli) to be able to fire two coaches in two years? That's something for Clark Hunt to figure out. You are right about Romeo the man but he has to put it together as a head coach. Let's see how they finish with Brady Quinn at QB.
Mike (Rocklin) [via mobile]
Bryce Brown is a beast. Do you see the Eagles going with him for the remainder of the year?
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
If Bryce Brown can prove he can hang onto the ball, I think he can be the lead back the rest of year. I don't think you want to take chances with LeSean McCoy's head injury. If he is cleared to play, then a time share would seem to be in the offing.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
The Giants lost a tough one in Wash. Do you see another SB run in them this year Mort? Thanks!
Marc (Malden, MA)
If the Redskins make the playoffs, does RGIII have a shot at MVP?
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
If the Giants get into the playoffs, yes I can see another SB run but is it a lock? Of course not.
Does Welker re-sign with the Patriots or does some team throw a ton of money at him? Given Edelman's injury history seems like the Pats need him more than any other team.
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
I have to believe the Patriots and Welker are wise enough to work something out but unpredictable right now.
Who's your MVP? Brady? Peyton?
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
I hate you for asking that!!! (just kidding). Like I mentioned before, these next two Patriots games vs. Texans and 49ers will determine a lot, perhaps even an MVP vote on an individual basis. The two rookie QBs, Luck and RGIII, will get some consideration and I'm not ruling out JJ Watt, especially if he's disruptive and the Texans beat the Patriots this week. Because he had his way with the Broncos and Manning earlier in the year.
If Suggs doesnt play sunday how do the Ravens stop RG3?
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
They have to stop the run and if anyone has paid attention, this Ravens defense has been fairly mediocre even when Ray Lewis was playing and even when Suggs came back.
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
FYI: The Packers just announced they have signed Ryan Grant.
Mort, Is the NFC WEST a surprise to you?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
No. I said before the season the most improved division would be the NFC West and they would surprise people by basically becoming the most physical division other than the AFC North and they're right there. So I got one thing right!
The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan (Atlanta, not Hotlanta....)
No Matt Ryan as MVP?
Chris Mortensen (12:00 PM)
My bad. Yes, Matt Ryan will be in consideration.
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
Time to roll. Got an appearance on SVP and Russillo Show at 1:30 today. NFL Live around 4:45 and then returning to NFL32 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 where we will cover all 32 teams and have some fun with Rex Ryan's quote about the Jets having one of the best QB situations in the NFL. We'll have a virtual tournament to determine who has the worst. Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 a.m. I'm on Twitter via @mortreport. Thanks and God Bless!