Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's NFL "Caveman" himself, Gary Horton, stops in to talk some football and other news from around the league.
Horton, from Scouts Inc., works year-round on ESPN's NFL-related shows, breaking down film, earning him his Caveman nickname.
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!
Hi Gary, seeing the development of Kirk Cousins with the Redskins, How high of a pick they can get for in a trade next year?...........Thank you and God Bless you!.....
Gary Horton (4:03 PM)
He's getting valuable experience and opposing teams are able to gather video on him and that will help. I think there are several teams that he could walk on to right now and start. But I don't think Washington will want to trade him until after this season, with the uncertainty with RG III. They could trade him after the season and his value will still be high.
Is this the season Stafford really breaks out and becomes a top 5 QB? What is holding him back in your opinion
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
He's been inconsistent at times. His mechanics have been up and down, though the skills are there. I think it comes down to that he only has one weapon in the passing game in Megatron. He hasn't had a running game, which hurts the playaction package. Now he has Reggie Bush and that will help give him comfort in the passing game. That will give the offense balance. I think he'll play better than he has.
Hi Gary! How do you think Matt Flynn will do with the Raiders? If he's playing for a team with relatively low expectations, do you think that in a perverse way that could actually help him? If expectations are low for the team people may not be as critical about mistakes, which could give him the freedom to play as he wants?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
The Raiders want to be a run-first team and they don't want their passing game to be the focal point of their offense. The problem is they don't have the weapons. Their best chance for success is to have a healthy RB in Darren McFadden. If he's going, it gives them a chance. But I'm not sure I believe in Matt Flynn yet. If you really look at his background, he had one great game in Green Bay to get a good free agent deal to go to Seattle, but he couldn't win that job. I think he'll be the starter in Oakland, maybe a little bit by default, but I don't know if he'll be the long term answer.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Gary, Chip Kelly has tough decision - Michael Vick or Nick Foles, both looked good, liked the no-huddle and with Nick getting the start next week any predictions on who'll start in week one or wait till after game 3 or 4 of the preseason?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
The opening day starter, I think, will be Vick. His skill set really fits in this offense. The style of play will help him cut down on his mistakes that we've seen the last couple of years. But I'll be honest, I thought Foles ran the uptempo offense much better than I thought he would against the Patriots. He really looked comfortable doing it. I think we'll probably get a decision going into Week 3 of the preseason, because that's when the starters play most of the time. I think the Eagles would like to be established in terms of their QB. This week of practice and this week's game is very important. Unless, Kelly decides to let this thing go to the last minute.
Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]
Do the Browns have enough to avoid double digit losses against a pretty rough schedule?
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
I think we'll see improvements, because the players they have will be fit their schemes, especially Weeden on offense. They will play more no huddle and they'll throw the deep ball more than in the past, both of which I think Weeden will like. The defense will be pretty good. It will come down to a healthy Trent Richardson and the run game. The problem is this will be a competitive division, so even if they improve, it might not show up in the won-loss record.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Jets should start Geno Smith as Quarterback instead of Mark Sanchez who was Terrible in 2012?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I think Sanchez will start the opener, because he probably has a better handle on the West Coast offense. But the biggest reason is the Jets have very little talent to surround the QB. Whoever is back there may be in for a long season, with limited weapons, so it may make sense for your veteran to take the snaps and lumps and you don't expose your rookie and the guy you hope is the future of your franchise to be put in a situation where he's dealing with a lot of adversity.
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
If Sanchez starts, then the coach's dilemma is, how many losses before they throw Geno in?
I went to the Vikings first Pre season game and 1 player really stood out, Cordarelle Patterson. He started the game with a 50 yard KR and had a few nice catches. Hes a big and tall WR that is also pretty fast. Do you think he could be a pro Bowl WR in the future?
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
I was very impressed at how he started. A lot of people thought he'd struggle early because of the mental adjustments to the game, that he was a little raw. But he looked very natural. He has a very good mentor in Greg Jennings. They have a good playmaking TE in Rudolph. So, this passing game and Vikings offense may be better than we thought.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
Thoughts on EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills' performance yesterday?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
I thought he looked very promising. He had a couple of rough spots, but for the most part he looked like they expected him to. But I think this will be his job and there won't be a lot of drama around that. It's an innovative scheme. It's an uptempo look. Manuel will fit that nicely. He'll have some lumps along the way, but this is a different situation than the Jets. He can grow with this offense. The Bills have other positive parts of this team to build on.
What do you think are the chances that the Packers have this year at playing deep into the playoffs?
Gary Horton (4:18 PM)
You always have a chance when you have Aaron Rodgers. The passing game can generate tremendous production. Their young defense is a year older and they will be improved. But it really comes down to their running game and OL. They don't have a lot of experience at RB. They have marginal depth in the guys up front. They need offensive balance. I'm also a little bit concerned about the depth in the passing game. They can not afford any injuries. I still think the Packers are closer to being an elite team, but I don't think the margin for error is quite as big as the past.
I know it's only one preseason game, but what rookies impressed you?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
To be honest I was really impressed with some of these young guys. Baltimore WR Laquan Williams looked good. I liked Gio Bernard in Cincy. Travis Benjamin in Cleveland looked great as a punt returner. Denver has a rookie free agent at SS, Duke Ihenacho, who really catches your eye. And probably the young guy that has everyone talking the most is Tyrann Mathieu. Like you said, it's only Week 1, but I was really impressed.
Gary Horton (4:22 PM)
As I look more at my notes, we already talked about Patterson with Minnesota. DeAndre Hopkins looked great and he fills a huge need. Baltimore's Goodwin was also terrific in the kicking game. Last, but not least, Giants' DE Demontre Moore. That is a huge need for them.
Thoughts on Marc Trestmans' first game with Chicago?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
I thought the offense was still a work in progress. I think they'll get better. What they really need to improve is the OL. They still don't protect well and that has to change. What I did like about the Bears is their defense left off where they were a year ago, making big plays and creating turnovers. It looks like that side of the ball might have to carry them as the offense gets into sync and improves things. I think we're looking at an improved team.
Bill ( Dallas)
What is your opinion of Romo? Why is there so much hate him when he's far from the weakest link on that offense?
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
Expectations in Dallas are high every year. So, the bar is probably raised very high for him. I think the QB position in Dallas is a glamour position and this team gets a lot of publicity, deservedly or not. And, mostly, it's because of what they have not accomplished in the postseason. For a lot of fans, this team teases with a good team that doesn't make deep runs into the playoffs and Romo takes a lot of the blame. But I don't understand people when they say there is a better option.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Hi Gary - is Seattle's D becoming the blueprint model for teams looking to put together a versatile, aggressive counterattack against the many high octane offenses out there?
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
I love their personnel on defenes and I love their schemes. It all starts with a very physical secondary that can play man to man and cover receivers. That can mess with the timing in the passing game. When you have guys on the back end of the defense that can push players around, it gives the linemen more time to get to the QB. This is a young defense with good athletes, good depth. I don't think they have a major weakness on any level. When you have a running game like they do on offense, this is not a defense that needs to stay on the field a lot, and that means you can be relatively fresh in the fourth quarter.
John (New York)
Hello Gary, what are your thoughts on Victor Cruz. He looked great the other night and with Nicks and Randle on the outside do you think he is in for a big year in the slot?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
It certainly looked like he and Eli were on the same page. I have always felt that he's at his best when he can move inside and play the slot, rather than play outside. I think he can use his quickness and explosiveness as a slot reciever. Keep in mind, when he's inside, he's usually not going against the defense's number one CB. I think the Giants would love for Randle and Hicks to stay healthy and man the outside. That would give the Giants a great three-man package.
Where would you rank Matt Schaub in Power Rankings. For me it would be 6
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
I would say I probably agree with you. I don't think he's quite in the elite category by being in the top 5, but I think he's a good, solid, NFL QB and is in the top 10. He understands the offense well. He has the benefit of a good run game. I love him when he bootlegs out of the pocket. I think we will see better play this year because of the addition of WR DeAndre Hopkins. It's now going to be tougher to double Andre Johnson. Schaub will really be good with two outstanding targets outside.
Buzzmaster (4:31 PM)
Thanks for chatting Gary!