Hello everyone! Hope you're all doing well...I've been busy with personal stuff - got a son graduating from high school this week and moving to Arkansas at the end of the month - but I've been working the phones a little...so let's talk.
what are your thoughts on the Ravens in general and Kyle Boller in particular. Do you think the passing game will improve? and will this team be a contender for the superbowl?
If I were the Ravens - regardless of the investment I have in Boller - I would have been very tempted to make a play for Kerry Collins. The Ravens would be my Super Bowl fave if they ahd Collins. But they have invested in Boller and they have in Jim Fassel in as a consulant/QB coach (he's working with Boller) one of the best QB coaches of this era. So I believe Boller will improve and the Ravens will be a contender, yes.
Tom (Newbury Park, CA):
Mort- are football writers' pens at half-mast today with the retirement of Shannon Sharpe?
Oh, I'd say so - especially in the post-game locker room - but he's obviously going to have a forum unlike he had before. He's a terrific guy and will do very well in the TV business.
JOE ST LOUIS:
Mort what do you think the chances are for the Seahawks to win the big one this year? Or will they flop like every other year?
I am among those tempted to pick the Seahawks to go all the way this year. I don't think they flopped last year. Losing at Green Bay in a tight, tight playoff game was no disgrace.
James (Los Angeles):
Mort, Gut feelin, do the Raiders cut Gannon, and sign Collins? After June 1st of course.
My gut has been "yes," but I understand Gannon threw the ball very well in minicamp. My gut still says yes, but that may be wrong.
Dom (Bay Area):
San Diego's O-line was a bigger problem than Drew Brees was last year. Same with wide receiver. But I understand the PR need to draft a QB. Even though they netted a potentially high #1 next year, might it not have been wiser to take Gallery?
I don't know that they had to invest in Gallery - the QB position needed serious addressing. But the fact that the Chargers then neglected the O-line with many of their other picks was inexplicable. To take a kicker in the third round when there were some pretty interesting linemen available...well, I didn't get that.
Bat (La Plata, Argentina):
Any chance that Collins and the Giants could work something out? He's not going to get a boatload of cash, or a real shot at a starting spot likely anywhere else.
I thinking he won't. I just think it's a good idea that he move on - now that they have drafted Manning. Kerry was very popular in the locker room. He needed to cut the cord and so did the Giants, even if they did want him back under a restructured deal.
Michael, Myrtle Beach SC:
If the Raiders cut Gannon, could you see him reuniting with Gruden in Tampa?
Yeah, I could see that happening but I have to tell you there is a tremendous buzz out of the Bucs' coaching staff and players about Chris Simms this offseason.
Shaun, Boyne City, MI:
Is there any truth to the rumors that Kurt Warner could be coming to Detroit? If so, do you see that as a good move for the Lions?
I think Warner would be a real good pickup for the Lions. They obviously have put together some weapons and there seems to be some doubt about Joey Harrington. So bringing in a Warner makes sense. Great insurance policy if they do it.
Dom (Bay Area):
How does the acquisition of the Giants' #1 augment their chances of getting Mike Williams if there's a supplemental? Would the supplemental work like the NBA lottery, or is it based on the 04 draft order?
It is a lottery based on the '04 order. Worst team (Chargers) get the most chances.
What kind of number do you think J. Jones from the Cowboys can put up on his rookie season? Will he REALLY be a upgrade from Hambrick's numbers last year?
I would be very, very surprised if Julius Jones is not a serious upgrade from Hambrick. Parcells is pretty high on Jones. That's a good sign. Parcells has done quite well with RBs he chooses. Jones just has to take care of the football and he'll be a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Steve (Turlock, CA):
Hi Mort, Now that the Packers have given McKenzie the right to seek a trade, do you think that a trade with the Raiders for Charles Woodson would be possible. Maybe the Packers get Woodson and the give up McKenzie and a 2nd or 3rd round draft choice. What do you think?
I seriously doubt that would happen. Woodson's reputation is a little shaky. He's been hurt a lot and when he's hurt, he's just a so-so corner. He wants a lot fo dough. Now when he's healthy and committed, he's the best. But I would not look for the trade you're suggesting to happen.
John Albany, NY:
Mort- Don't you think it would be wise for the Giants to look into trading Strahan while he still has value since he has made it pretty clear he isn't looking to rebuild?
Knowing Tom Coughlin, I don't think the word "rebuild" is appropriate. They were very active in free agency bringing in veteran players. If Strahan were a pain in the neck, and you could get great value for him, then maybe. But, really, you search forverer trying to find an impact defensive end/pass rusher and the Giants have one in Strahan.
Frank (San Juan, Puerto Rico):
What is going on with the Dolphins organization? They are having problems with staff, and now with Ricky Williams and David Boston? What are they doing?
Ricky Williams problems is his own. If he should lose this appeal - and I think he has a chance of winning it - then he's going to lose money, not playing time. Boston is a different cat. They know that. But their receivers coach, Jerry Sullivan, has had a real success with Boston in Arizona so let's wait and see. As for the staff, that obviously is a concern, maybe even messy.
Is Kellen Winslow going to be in camp on time, or should we resign ourselves to a holdout? It would go a long way with the public relations for this team if the fans were not put through this, expecially in these economic and political times...
My guess is that Winslow will sign. Randy Lerner (owner) and Butch Davis have cleaned house with some negative publicity. My guess is they'll work very, very hard to get the deal with Winslow on time.
Do you think that patriots need to upgrade there offensive line?
The same offensive line that has won the Super Bowl two out of three years? They've done some upgrading but let's wait and see how the new backs (Corey Dillon and Cedric Cobbs) run behind 'em.
Rafael; Portland OR:
What's the status with Mike Wiliams and Maurice Clarett? Is the NFL going to have a supplemental draft???
For clarification sake, the NFL will not hold a supplemental draft for Clarett and Williams unless they lose their case this summer. The league holds a supplemental draft almost every year but there seldom are any big names. The NFL's intent is to make their rule stick with no compromises.
Terry PDX OR:
What with Mike McKenzie. Is he mad about his contract or is he just sick of GB?
He's been upset with his contarct and reportedly upset with coaching changes on the defensive side and in the seocndary. He has hired his fifth agent (Drew Rosenhaus) in six years. What does that tell you?
patrick - los angeles:
mort, regarding the winslow signing - he wont get to camp on-time with carl poston as his agent!
The Postons have had successful (on-time) negotiations with several clients. They are tough, even nasty. I get a lot of negatives from teams on them but Bills president Tom Donohoe said he's negotiated with the Postons twice and both times was a breeze. Others have have tagged them as "auctioneers," not negotiators. They are not going away and these deals will get done. Some will be on time, some will be ugly.
Mort do u think its a good idea to sit a qb the first yr. all words out of pittsburgh is Big Ben is adapting fast how you heard anything about him moving up the depth chart?
I think a young quarterback with a veteran team should play right away - if he's good enough. That's why Dan Marino was a smashing success in Miami. I heard Big Ben impressed in minicamp. That's minicamp.
Joe D. (NYC):
Mort- Buffalo fan in Southern NY. Not good times. Bad times. Was just hoping that you could give me a realistic opinion on Buffalo's 2004 season. What should we realistically expect? Thanks!
I will be shocked that if the Bills stay healthy in key spots they are not a strong contender. healthy, the Bills can win 10-to-12 games.
Brandon (Kalamazoo, MI):
Do you think Mike Shannahan can turn Tatum Bell into a 1000 yard rusher like he has done with his past 4 backs?
I mentioned Julius Jones as a rookie of the year candidate. If you were a betting man - which I know you're not - then Tatum Bell would be a great bet for ROY and at leats 1,000 yards.
Mark (Clifton, VA):
Mort, What do you think about the Redskins chances in a tough NFC East? Gibbs seems very optimistic for so early. He has always been very upfront with us fans and he seems more optimistic then usual.
I feel that optimistism whenever you hear Joe speak. It might be just his excitement to be back in the NFL and to realize that, despite an 11-year absence, the X-and-0's part of his game and mind is still relevant. He's a tremendously intelligent man. I am very anxious to see how the Skins do. I expect them to be in the playoff hunt.
as a true viking! is this the year of the VIKINGS? their defense has improved BUT
A true Viking!? Wow! Their defense is improved. I think it's going to be a heck of a race in the NFC North with the Vikings right there at the end. They were right there at the end this year but fell just short. They should be better.
Any prediction on Carson Palmers stats if he stays healthy? He has some pretty good talent around him.
If Palmer holds onto the job - and I believe Marvin lewis will go to Kitna if Palmer is not making progress - then the Bengals are very talented. So whatever Kitna did statisically, Palmer should match...maybe more yards and more picks.
Trent, St. Louis:
what about the Bears, can they move up in the North?
I don't see it. If you're a Bears fan, you're going to just have to let them surprise you. realistically, I have to slot 'em fourth behind the Pack, Vikes and Lions.
Lake (New York, NY):
What do you think the Patriots should do about the Ty Law situation
Exactly what they're doing. Don't overreact. He will not hold out. You need him. Plan for everything to remain status quo. That's been their plan. We'll see if things change as the summer rolls around.
Jeff (Boston, MA):
Mort, with all your predictions of teams doing so well, is anyone gonna lose this year??
The Bears. I think they'll lose more than they win. The Chargers. The Cardinals. The 49ers. That's all I have for now. Seriously, I haven't even given it much thought these days.
randy roeder, san angelo tx:
is there a chance that the cowboys will not bring in testaverde if hutchinson continues to improve in europe
I think the Cowboys are somewhat content without Testaverde or Hutchinson in the picture. They're very encouraged by what they've seen of Henson so far. Carter won 10 games in his first full season as a starter. Tony Romo is a guy Parcells is intrigued by.
One add: I'd look for Testaverde in new England before Dallas.
Mort, for all of the success that the Panthers enjoyed last year, I've barely heard a murmur about them leading up to this coming season. What can we expect?
John Fox has proven he's going to have the Panthers competitive. I can tell you that he is real excited about the first round pick, CB Chris Gamble. Upon early glimpse, they think the's better than even they thought when they evaluated him for the draft.
Morty,,,,what do you think about them eagles
The Eagles should go 19-0. really, I like 'em to win it all this year if they stay healthy.
Elliott Austin, TX:
Please say something positive about the Chargers. As much as it may hurt!
The Chargers play in the best place to live in America.
What about Testaverde to the Giants?
I think it's a consideration and it obviously would be convenient for Vinny. However, there is a real connection between Testaverde and Belichick. Remember, it was Belichick who breathed new life into Vinny's career when he dumped Bernie Kosar in favor of Vinny in Cleveland.
Who cares about Testaverde?! PLEASE ANSWER A JAGUARS QUESTION! How's the Jags offense looking? Do you see Leftwich making the leap to Pro Bowl caliber QB or is it just hype? Fred Taylor seems underrated...is he gonna break out even more?
I see good things for Leftwich and the Jags. Fred Taylor probably is underrated. He is one of the five best backs in football in my book.
I have to call it quits, but I can tell everyone's hungry for football, football, football. Great job everyone. We'll get back to you soon. All my best and God