Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
Sorry I'm a little late. Got a phone call I couldn't miss. Here we go.
Hi Mort - Can Brady stand up to the Ravens pressure Sunday and get some throws to Moss deep? Also, will the Pats be able to run at all on Baltimore to take some of the pressure off Brady? Thanks
Chris Mortensen (11:09 AM)
The matchups heavily favor Patriots wideouts against a suspect secondary, especially at cornerback for Ravens. But you hit it on the head - can the Ravens stuff run & pressure Brady? This is a tough game for me to pick because it's in New England.
Teddy Canilao (Rochelle Park, NJ)
Hi Mort, love your insight. My question is if Fred Jackson is still worth keeping even after Lynch returns?
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
I would say yes for now. Jackson has gained favor with coaching staff and he's much more versatile. Obviously, Lynch will get some of those touches and probably on goal line.
Chris (Staten island, NY)
Chris, I know it's early but you can already see that the Cowboys once again are not going to play up to the level their talent suggests. How would you handicap the new regime in 2010, Shanahan, Holmgen, Cowher, Urban Meyers, etc.
Chris Mortensen (11:12 AM)
I think you're projecting talent at a higher level than it is. It's playoff talent but Super Bowl? Don't know. I would bet Shanahan is the guy if this thing doesn't finish well.
Hey Mort!! What are your thoughts on the Browns quarterback situation?
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
I think Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn can both be quality starting QBs but lot of people question the scheme. Bottom line - Browns owner Randy Lerner shot himself in foot by firing GM Phil Savage. He was very capable in personnel and had a plan. Good franchises don't panic like Lerner did. And then you compound it by maybe making the wrong hire. It's not the quarterbacks, not at all.
Noah (Kalamazoo, MI)
Will the Broncos beat the Cowboys this weekend?
Chris Mortensen (11:15 AM)
I don't know. You tell me! Broncos defense looks legit (see the Bengals game, especially). Cowboys offense won't have Felix Jones and no serious threat at WR against good secondary. I think Brian Dawkins' familiarity with Cowboys scheme and personnel does help Denver. I still haven't figured this one out.
Tashard shld start...felix the 3rd down back and then let marion take their heart in the 4th quarter....you agree?
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
I assume you're talking when all are healthy. No, I understand your logic but wouldn't quite agree. Barber should be the starter but I can see justification to get Choice in the mix earlier; the problem is, that takes touches from Felix. Nice problem to have. The running game hasn't been an issue this year for 'Boys - I think they lead the NFL in rushing.
Chris Mortensen (11:18 AM)
Derek Anderson has been named Browns starter for Bengals.
Mort, Is Devin Hester developing into a legitimate starting NFL receiver? He ended last season well and he's off to a strong start with Cutler.
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
I know Cutler was sold on the guy when I visited with him in camp. He told me how pleasantly surprised he was at Hester's instincts as a WR. Ideally, Hester would be a 2 or 3.
Hey Mort, since Mangini has put DA as a starter, if this doesn't work out, (if the Browns go 3-13 or worse) does he get fired after the season because of all the big name coaches out there this season?
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
I think Randy Lerner sells the team before he fires another coach.
Chad (Fresno, CA)
With Pennington out for the season, who is the best candidate for the QB position in Miami?
Chris Mortensen (11:21 AM)
Bob (Phoenix, AZ)
Mort - Pittsburgh and San Diego - your thoughts. The Bolts are struggling in the red zone and not running the ball but Rivers has been excellent; Pittsburgh is 1-2 and without Troy P. Good time for the Bolts to get a regular season win in the Steel City don't you think
Chris Mortensen (11:23 AM)
I could see Chargers winning in Pittsburgh. Played Steelers tough in cold weather playoff game. But my gut is that Mike Tomlin will impose his will on Steelers and find a way to win the game.
Do you agree with Mike Freeman's column (CBS Sports) that Randy Moss is a dog and NE shouldn't put up with his laziness any further?
Chris Mortensen (11:24 AM)
I don't think Moss was dogging it Sunday vs. Atl. You could tell his back was hurting and that may have created a perception he was dogging it with some routes & blocking.
Nick (Atlanta, GA)
Do you think Buffalo has any chance to make the playoffs? Do you think Trent Edwards is the answer? I have my doubts on him. Thanks for the insight!
Chris Mortensen (11:26 AM)
I don't think Bills make playoffs. I am undecided on Edwards. I think he's smart, pretty accurate, good enough arm. However, he needs great protection and his ability to throw deep ball in a stadium where weather is usually a factor creates another question.
If the Bears don't make the playoffs. . . how about a reunion of Cutler & Shanahann in Chicago?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
I've thought about that but the Bears are 2-1. I also don't know if Bears ownership will make the financial commitment that Shanahan would want; not just in terms of salary (because Bowlen owes him for 3 more years) but in football ops spending. Shanahan has Chicago roots. I still think Dallas would lead the handicap.
Marc (Durham, NC)
Are there any rumblings concerning disappointment with Derrick Harvey in the Jaguars' front office?
Chris Mortensen (11:29 AM)
I think they're resigned to idea that Harvey has a chance to be a very consistent, good pro but never as an impact pass rusher, which means they never should have made that pick in 2008.
Matt (Green Bay)
Mortimer!! Pack or Vikings? Please say Pack -- it's my birthday on the day they play!!!
Chris Mortensen (11:34 AM)
I think you'll have to celebrate your birthday when Vikes come to Lambeau. Forget Favre. The matchups favor the Vikings' defense against that GB O-line, especially in the Metrodome where crowd factor will help pass rush.
Jack (Boston MA)
Mort-Can we all agree that the Broncos are not a 4-12 team and look more like a 8-8 or 9-7 team. With the Cowboys, Patriots, and Steelers not playing as well as they can I can see the Broncos steal 1 or 2 of those games--your thoughts?
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
Yes, I would agree. Always said Broncos better than perception. I can see them "stealing" one or two wins and really give them very good shot vs. Cowboys in a home game & Dallas coming off Monday night.
Hey Mort, Love your work! Huge 49er fan here. Are we as good as I think we are. I mean, we had the Vikings beat last week before Favre's heroics. I think we should be 3-0 right now. Your thoughts
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
I gained so much more respect for 49ers watching them play on the road against Vikings. It tells me that if they may be a lot closer to turning this thing around than anyone initially thought. It'll be interesting to see how Glenn Coffee fills in for Gore. Love that Vernon Davis is becoming what they thought he could become; credit Singletary...and Davis for embracing the change in management style.
Does Anthony Gonzalez get his job back when he is healthy or have Garcon and Collie earned playing time when/if Gonzalez returns?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
I don't think Collie gets any time when Gonzalez returns but Garcon potentially has a chance to become Marvin Harrison's "replacement." It'll be interesting to see how it unfolds.
Richie (New Orleans)
Mort Saints or Jets? Is this the Game the rookie QB Sanchez comes back to earth?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
I would say this is Sanchez's biggest test because Saints D is aggressive & the Superdome will be rockin'. On the flip side, Jets are for real. Drew Brees clearly missed having Lance Moore in lineup. He's Drew's security blanket. Great game.
Where do you see Jeff Garica landing now? Perhaps Oakland or The Panthers?
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
Garcia doesn't want to play for Raiders under any circumstances, from what I understand. The Panthers showed zero interest in Garcia when Josh McCown went down for year. They signed Feeley. Garcia wants a shot with a playoff contender, even if he's a backup.
anthony (san antonio)
ok so the raiders should bring back j.garcia...by the way who is the raiders gm? He should be fired asap!
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
See the above question
marcos (sierra vista,az)
hey mort,do you believe that the carolina panthers will recover from a 0-3 start and match what they did last year?
Chris Mortensen (11:47 AM)
The Panthers won't match what they did last year but they will not roll over. They played Falcons & Cowboys very tough in road games. On offense, lot of people around league say system doesn't work with Delhomme if they're not running the ball with impact.
Mort, what are your thoughts on the early returns of Todd Haley as a coach in KC?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
When you bring in a Scott Pioli (GM) and a Todd Haley (coach), you are talking about a total culture change. I will wait & see but I know it's way too early to draw a conclusion. That's another year or two down the road.
Matt (Hartford )
Hey Mort, is Kevin Smith's shoulder injury serious enough so he wont play Sunday?
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
My understanding is that it's unlikely Smith will play Sunday for Lions in Chicago but Mr. Schwartz is playing it close to vest.
Jauron is getting blasted in the local media for being a coach that instead of playing to win, plays not to lose, or even plays not to lose by more than 10. A perfect example of this was punting the ball on 4th and 1 on their own 29 with 7 mins left in the game. You can't tell me that The Hoodie wouldn't have gone for it. Does Jauron last past this season? Or even Halloween?
Chris Mortensen (11:52 AM)
I agree with that assessment, I think, because I thought same thing when it was unfolding. Then again, Bills defense was having a relatively good day and you have to trust your O-line to go for it there. All in all, I would have gone for it and I would say Jauron is shaky if he doesn't get some wins here soon.
Chris, what do you think about the new and improved Ravens offense?
Chris Mortensen (11:53 AM)
It's what I expected when I picked Ravens to win Super Bowl but I am concerned about the defense, of all things!
Do you see the 49ers having to open up the offense a little and throw more with Gore injured?
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
That's not Singletary's style and they don't have receivers to open up. Plus, Coffee is a rookie (filling in for Gore) and while he understands pass protections somewhat coming from a Nick Saban program (in Alabama), it could be a liability. Coffee had real good preseason; still has to adapt to NFL regular season speed.
Scott (Baltimore, MD)
Hi, Mort. Just curious as to what football writers you yourself read, and which football writers have influenced you?
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
I would say that the late, great Will McDonough had the most influence on my approach.
Robby (Pensacola, Florida)
Mort, any word on if the Steelers have any issues with Big Ben hosting WWE Monday Night Raw next Monday?
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
This is a real good question. I'm sure when Ben committed to this, he wasn't thinking team would be 1-2. I think it's ill-advised, regardless. You're in season. You're a quarterback. No sideshows.
Has Desean Jackson become that "Number 1" receiver that the Eagles have been looking for or is he not on that level yet?
Chris Mortensen (11:58 AM)
I would say he's very close to being a No. 1 receiver. He can catch anything. Tough to cover. Explosive. Just undersized.
Carlos (Panama City, PA)
Mort, do you agree with moving Josh Johnson instead of Freeman to the quarterback position?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
I'm assuming the Bucs have seen something (maybe their schedule) that wanted to keep Freeman on sidelines. I would watch what happens after bye when Bucs return from London (playing Patriots) in week 7.
Reading through the transcript Mort, has Randy Lerner sold the Browns yet?
Chris Mortensen (12:01 PM)
No. lol. I just believe he will sell before he fires another coach. I don't think he's passionately focused on the Browns and I really sense he'll seriously explore selling the team. Buyers, come forward!
Hi Mort - Do you think the Falcons have the mental toughness to get to the playoffs?
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
Mental toughness is least of Falcons' obstacles. Just have to hope young guys on defense keep growing and adjust to what defenses are doing. It's been a challenge offensively because I know the goal has been to help defense by more ball-control and defenses seem to know it. They may have to open up more, IMO. They are 2-1, having played 3 playoffs teams from 2008.
Hey Mort, I know that is still early, but without a fluke play at the season opener the Bengals would be 3-0, do they have what it takes to challenge the Ravens for the division, or at least a wildcard?
Chris Mortensen (12:04 PM)
I'm kinda buying in that Bengals can steal a wild card, with hesitation. They need to take care of business in Cleveland this week.
Hi Mort- Are the Saints sold on Pierre Thomas as the feature back when healthy?
Chris Mortensen (12:05 PM)
Yes they are but they like their options with Mike Bell.
Any word if Marvin Harrison will ever find a team? Yes he is not the same No. 1 Receiver he once was but he can still make great plays can't he?
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
Marvin has a lot of pride & he wants to get paid above any wage teams are willing to pay.
Mort, could tyler thigpen surprise us, i mean parcells see's something in him, he has a little experience, but could u see a little romo in him.
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
I believe Thigpen has a chance. But he will have to wait his time because Henne is the guy. Now here's a thoughy: Thigpen is fairly prolific as a runner; more physical than, say, Pat White; he can throw and he plays comfortably out of shotgun. He could be a Wildcat threat.
Mort with McDaniels off to such a good start will he eventually be forgiven for the Cutler trade? As long as the Broncos keep winning that is.
Chris Mortensen (12:09 PM)
Winning cures everything. He improved defense with hiring of Mike Nolan and signing of Brian Dawkins. He brought in some really good backs with Moreno & Buckhalter, so that eases the pain of not having a franchise QB.
Mark Cuban (Dallas)
Will Goodell let me buy the Browns?
Chris Mortensen (12:10 PM)
Just let me know. I can work on it. :-)
Robby (Pensacola, Florida)
Mort, any word on if the Steelers have any issues with Big Ben hosting WWE Monday Night Raw next Monday? (was posted earlier, but not answered)
Chris Mortensen (12:11 PM)
I had this problem last week - questions posted but my answers not posting. I have to think Steelers don't like this. Ben probably made commitment before he knew team was 1-2. But he is the leader of this team. He's the quarterback. Stay focused on season. No sideshows.
Don (San Francisco)
How would rate Bill Cowher's chances of coming back to NFL?
Chris Mortensen (12:13 PM)
I would do an early handicap like this: Shanahan to Cowboys, Holmgren to Redsins, Cowher to Panthers.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Hottest seat(s) in the NFL nto occupied by someone named Zorn?
Chris Mortensen (12:14 PM)
I would put Dick Jauron right there for now. Those are the only two where I would not be shocked by an in-season change.
Chris (New York)
I hear by several NFL talking heads, that league is better when the Raiders are a contender. If this is true, then why are there so many haters?
Chris Mortensen (12:15 PM)
Analyzing with criticism is not hating. That's a catch-phrase. You think Rich Gannon wants to "hate" the Raiders?
Mike (Salem, Oregon)
How would Shanahan and Jerry get along?
Chris Mortensen (12:16 PM)
Mort, looking at his time in Denver as a precedent, Shanahan would most likely only come back if he could be Head Coach and GM. He had Pat Bowlen for so long who let him totally run the show. Do you really think he would go to the Cowboys where Jerry Jones is the GM and one of the most involved owners in the league. I just dont see it
Chris Mortensen (12:18 PM)
Again on this. Jones will always keep his GM title. But, as he did with Parcells, he will allow a big-time coach to be the major influence in football ops. And Shanahan, really, just wants to coach a team that has a chance to get him a 3rd Super Bowl ring with a QB he really likes (as he does with Romo), and with an owner who will open his wallet, when necessary.
Chris Mortensen (12:20 PM)
OK, gotta end this session. You can always follow me on Twitter.com @mortreport and I try to answer as many questions when time permits. Also, catch our radio show on ESPN radio & ESPN radio.com Fridaynights from 8-to-10 ET and various re-airs through weekend. Sunday NFL Countdown @ 11 a.m. ET. Thanks