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 (11:00 AM)
Good morning...let's see what we can decipher.
Frank (New Orleans)
Should the NFL expand instant replay to review helmet to helmet hits?
Chris Mortensen (11:02 AM)
I'm assuming you're inquiring about instant replay for helmet hits as it pertains to penalties. I don't think it will come to that. Length of games is a big deal. From a health and safety standpoint, replays are available for medical personnel on sidelines.
Mort, does Roger Goodell have any authority to fine the Redskins organization for the deplorable field conditions on Sunday? If not, why not? And if not, I would think the Players Association should work very hard to get minimum standard playing field conditions written into the next CBA.
Chris Mortensen (11:04 AM)
Yes, Goodell and/or league has authority to fine the Redskins. Also, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith did the car wash thing at ESPN on Tuesday and made it clear that he wants to review the process because of OSHA laws - workplace safety. The field is the players' workplace.
I really like the fact Zimmer is interviewing with the Browns... long overdue...what would be the 2-3 things he would bring to the Browns that they have been lacking the past 14 years?
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
Mike Zimmer just brings a wealth of experience but I think what the Browns have lacked for the past 14 years is stable ownership, tragically in part because of owner Al Lerner's death. So, to me, the Browns' future going forward is more about the stability, strength and wisdom that owner Jimmy Haslam III brings to Cleveland, even though he is new on the job.
Hey Mort, how ya feeling about the Pettine hire? Can he run a 4-3 defense or will the Bills be switching to a 3-4? Thanks!
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
I don't know what he's running but he is a great hire, in my opinion. He is highly-regarded, he will bring one or two assistants with him whose contracts also have experied with the Jets. The 4-3/ 3-4 deal...we make that more complicated than necessary. Pettine will figure that out and so will the players. Obviously, linebacker will be addressed in the draft, especially the inside guys (off the top of my head).
Claudia (Western NY)
Since Bill Cowher says he will coach again, are teams now going to try to interview him? What about Brian Billick? Why will no one hire him to coach again?
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
I don't really know why Billick has not been provided more opportunity to coach again. I've heard some GMs may be tepid because of Brian's strong personality, which I believe is not good enough reason to ignore him as a candidate. Cowher has received phone calls. He did indicate he might follow the Dick Vermeil model, which was a double-digit years absence as HC. Vermeil said he made a mistake staying out that long. Cowher has been away six years.
It seems the coaching opening with the fewest rumors and the least comments is Chicago. Wouldn't that be the most attractive place out of the coaching vacancies? Say what you want about Jay Cutler but I think every other team looking for a coach would take him.
Chris Mortensen (11:17 AM)
Andy, beauty is in the yes of the beholder. Clearly, Bears GM Phil Emery is doing a massive search. Cutler is an attractive QB and so is Phillip Rivers. However, Doug Marrone could have had the Chargers job based on what I heard and he chose Buffalo because of his ties to that region of country, his relationship with CEO Russ Brandon and the Bills have shown they will spend cash on not just players but staff members.
Any other news on the Browns search? Who is the leading candidate in your opinion?
Chris Mortensen (11:19 AM)
Not really hard news. When the Browns did not land Marrone or Chip Kelly, they wanted to reboot the process and I think that's smart. So some candidates that haven't interviewed will get a shot - worthy candidates like Mike Zimmer, Bruce Arians, Marc Trestman and I think maybe a second interview with ken Whisenhunt. I wouldn't rule out Kyle Shanahan or Jay Gruden. In other words, the process is very thorough and that's a good thing.
What is the chance Peyton Manning beats out Adrian Peterson for the MVP.
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I believe Peterson probably will win the vote, based on the momentum he took into the balloting deadline, which was right after he led the Vikings to the playoff berth by beating the Packers. I would have no problems if they were co-MVPs but momentum felt like it was on Peterson's side.
What's your take on the Rob Ryan firing? I'm an Eagles fan and I think he got railroaded. Also, Lovie a real possibilty for the Eagles? Seems like they'd prefer to go with an offense minded guy....
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
Lovie Smith is an interesting guy. Successful, experienced head coach, a very strong leader. What hurts him: His defensive coaching staff is still under contract in Chicago and has not been let go because management may want them if they make a hire on the offensive side. Then you get back to Lovie's demise: Four offensive coordinators during his Bears' years. Majority of owners and GMs have tipped their hand that they are looking for offensive-sided coaches.
Im hoping for a Ravens win this Saturday, what are the chances they pull it off in Denver?
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
As of now, I give the Ravens a fighter's chance if they are not too worn down by Sunday's game vs. Colts. Defense played lot of snaps. They were healthier. But this is short week and thin Mile High air so it's going to take some big Joe Flacco plays and Peyton Manning struggles in frigid weather forecast which can challenge the nerve problems he still has in his throwing arm/hand.
When are other teams going to follow Green Bay's lead and invest some time and effort into improving their field's? Lambeau has one of the nicest playing turfs in the league and they play in one of the worst climates in the league. It amazes me how good Green Bay's field is compared to Washington's and others...
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
I had that conversation with league and NFLPA yesterday. One of the problems is multi-use fields on these stadiums but if the Packers can do it, why not everyone else?
I notice you mentioned Marc Tresssman.he was nearly selected by Ryan Grigson last year,other than the Browns is his name coming up?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
The Bears interviewed Trestman, too.
Lovie and Norv to the Eagles. Bring Ryan in as DC. You buying?
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
Well, I really support your Lovie and Norv pairing except that Norv's brother Ron was one of the offensive coordinators that Lovie fired in Chicago. Also, Lovie is a strict 4-3, Tampa-2 defensive guy and, as you know, Rob Ryan is not.
Does Tony Romo start the first game next season?
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
Absolutely. I haven't heard anybody in the league question that, inside or outside the organization.
Brian (Tacoma, WA)
What chance do my Seahawks have to get past Atlanta?
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
Nobody wants to play the Seahawks right now but I do think that the Falcons can make some big plays in the passing game. I think it's a toss-up game. I'm leaning toward Atlanta as the winner but I'm not convinced. Heck, I'm not convinced of anything!
I have scarcely heard Pete Carroll's name mentioned for Coach of the Year. Shouldnt he be as deserving as anyone?
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
Pete clearly was a consideration at the time of balloting. I don't know who will win that award. You get one vote. There was a lot of sentiment for Bruce Arians/Chuck Pagano; I thought Leslie Frazier was as strong a candidate as anyone and I love what Pete did. (There are others, too).
Where do you personally rank Ted Thompson as a GM?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
I think you rank him either at the top or top 5. Thompson, 49ers' Trent Baalke, Ravens' Ozzie Newsome Seahawks' John Schneider, Falcons' Thomas Dimitroff and, of course, - off the top of my head, those are GMs that have jumped out in no specific order. And I know I'm forgetting a couple others, so forgive me.
You reported that RG3 will be out 6-8 months. With the exception of Adrian Peterson, I've always understood the recovery time to be closer to 12 months. Why the discrepancy, or do I just have it wrong?
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
I reported that the Redskins were informed by Dr. Andrews that going into surgery it would be 6-8 months. I believe the actual healing of the ACL/LCL is usually in that 9-12 month range but rehab therapy advances have been so significant that players are coming back much sooner, like Peterson, like Wes Welker, etc. Much depends on RG3's quadriceps strength during this period.
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
Gotta run. I haven't turned in my picks yet because I've been so busy working on coaches and RG3. I'm leaning: Broncos, Patriots Falcons, Packers. I feel fairly confident on the AFC picks; I cold reverse both NFC picks. Enjoy the rest of the week. We have @NFL32 weekdays at 5 ET on ESPN2. We have NFL Countdown shows at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. And pick me up on Twitter via @mortreport. God Bless!