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Anyone have the Mort chat?


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Chris Mortensen: Good morning... I just reported that Terrell Owens has a sprained ankle and has told the team he doubts he can play this week vs. Redskins.... let's get started.

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Joe (Green Bay): Hey Mort.. Do you think it's time for the Packers to forfeit the rest of the season and go with Aaron Rogers at QB. The Bears should get to 6-3 over the next two weeks, playing the Saints and 49ers, so it will almost be impossible to catch them.

Chris Mortensen: No way should they go with Rodgers! Look, sitting out a year or more didn't hurt the development of Steve McNair, Carson Palmer or Daunte Culpepper. The other thing is, Rodgers hasn't impressed hardly anyone in preseason or in practice...and it's not likehe was a top-top pick. Now, a guy does have to play to get better but this is Favre's call...he has earned that right... it will become a more substantive discussion soon, I think.

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Bryan (New Jersey): Mort,is Saban considering demoting Gus Frerotte for Rosenfels?Gus has been wildly inaccurate lately.

Chris Mortensen: Yes, Frerotte hasn't played well and either have the receivers. But they just won a game 21-6 and I don't see a change coming soon. The Dolphins are in the thick of the AFC East race so I believe saban will be cautious. Perhaps at some point it happens but I don't see it now.

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Larry (Foxboro): Hi Chris, Do you think the Pats secondary will pull it together for this Monday's game vs. the Colts or will Peyton go wild? We all know the Pats own Peyton at home, but this year is different with injuries and different coaching staff.

Chris Mortensen: The key will be the pass rush and the run defense. The Pats have succeeded against the Colts because they've been able to make Manning move around while disrupting their receivers. Clearly, it's not the same dominant defense... but the Cotls can run the ball - Edge is the leading rusher. I don't see a blowout either way. And, remember, the Pats still have Tom Brady.

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Nick ((Meadowlands)): What do the Giants have to improve on to get to the Super Bowl in a few years?

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Jim (Raleigh): Mort... is martz done in St Loo??? Is he still considered on Offensive genius. If so, where do you see him working as a co-ordinator?

Chris Mortensen: Yeah, Martz is done in St. Louis, no matter what you hear. He wants to be a head coach - he is 20 games over .500. He is a great offensive mind so somebody would love him as a coordinator but he sees himself as a head coach, period.

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Sean (Charlottesville VA): When will the Bengals open their eyes and realize that Perry is more versatile than Rudi? I mean C-Perry ran me over in High School and thats when you know your good!

Chris Mortensen: The Bengals are quite aware of Perry's versatility and skills. His time will continue to grow. They have a great situation.

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Jay (New York): Can a publication like The National be successful? Was it's failure situational or is the market to minute to minute to be conducive to a national sports daily?

Chris Mortensen: I think it was a great idea, especially at the time (89-91)...being part of it is one of my great memories. Simply put, we could\n't distribute it efficiently, for whatever reason. A lot of countries have sports dailies - why not us?

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Aaron (Charlotte, NC): Is the T.O. situation similar to the John Abraham situation last year in the playoffs? Is he scared of injuring his ankle worse followed by the Eagles cutting him to avoid his huge bonus and he becomes a free agent with a bum ankle?

Chris Mortensen: You said that. I didn't. (wink).

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David Stowe (Omaha Neb): I'm sick of everyone acting like Brett can't keep up. People seem to forget that his offense is depleted and most of his interceptions are coming from dropped or tipped passes off his receivers.

Chris Mortensen: You are right, although i must say that Brett really did play poorly this week. i'm sure once he watched the game film he saw that there were open receivers on throws he tried to force the other way. He's just trying to be Superman under very adverse conditions. I still can't think of many other QBs I'd rather have than Favre.

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Ryan (LA): Where do the Raiders go from here? they have won 3 of 4 and are starting to look like a 'team'.

Chris Mortensen: Last saturday night, Jeff Fisher of the Titans told me he thought the Raiders were the best 2-4 team he had ever seen. Usually, that type of comment makes you laugh but I thought the Raiders were strong at. New England, should have won in Philly, should have beaten KC...did beat Dallas, routed Buffalo.... only once did they get overwhelmed - by a Chargers team that is pretty darn good. I think we have to pay attention to them.

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MacDaddy (Philly): My man Mort, would Minnesota be a viable place for Martz? They have offensive talent and he is a mad scientist.

Chris Mortensen: Yeah, any team looking for an offensive jump could use a guy like Martz. I think a certain structure has to be in place for him and you would have to be confident that physically, emotionally and mentally that he is ready, but you can't ignore him.

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Eric (Chicago): Hey Mort: What impresses you most about the Bears at this point: Their defense, the progress and maturity of Kyle Orton, or the running of Thomas Jones?

Chris Mortensen: All of the above. The defense was going to be strong. We knew that. But who knew that Orton would look like he isn't in over his head or that Jones would rise up to become a big-time, physical back. If Orton keeps getting better, they will be really tough. The loss of Bradley hurts, though.

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d (st. louis): Could the Rams hold Martz hostage since he is under contract for next yer and get draft pick compensation for the rights to him?

Chris Mortensen: I'm sure there will be some gamesmanship and that it is one of the scenarios.

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Jason (Baltimore): Mort, please give us the skinny on Roethlisbeger and whether he will play this week.

Chris Mortensen: I'm pretty sure he'll play.

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Scott (Upstate, NY): Is Julius Jones the full-time back for Dallas when he is healthy or is it now gong to be more by committee with the pesence of Marion Barber III?

Chris Mortensen: Parcells drafted Barber because he knows that Jones' size crated some potential durability issues. The guy who can stay on the field and be most productive will be the main man. But a healthy Jones gives you an explosive back.

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John (D.C.): Mort: Granted, the Eagles look bad right now. But, why everyone so down? giants haven't won on the road, all cowboys div games are on road. Eagles get two cracks at the giants, and a puff schedule with gb, arizona, st. louis on the dockett. They have started 4-3 in the past.

Chris Mortensen: Well stated. If you're an eagles fan, that's one way to look at it. But the division is much better than it's been in recent years.

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Bob (Fullerton): Hi Mort - Why haven't the Jets made an offer to Sad Diego for Phillip Rivers The young QB. Here's a guy that's ready to get of the bench and contribute.

Chris Mortensen: The trade deadline has passed. There are some in the league who believe the trade deadline should be later in the season.

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Brad (Albuquerque): Chris..what do the Bills need to do this bye week to make a big push for the playoffs?..Is it even possible in your opinion after watching them self destruct against the Pats?

Chris Mortensen: Well, they dominated the Patriots and found a way to lose. I thought they got some bad calls at critical spots. I think Holcomb hurt them when it counted. And I think Brady proved why he's the best. The Bills also are missing tackles - a fundamental issue. I wouldn't count them out yet.

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Daniel (Greenville, NC): Do you think that with the better pass rush the Broncos have showed, they could have a chance to challenge Indianapolis in the playoffs? Even at the RCA Dome?

Chris Mortensen: yes, I think the Broncos are a legit threat to anybody, including the Colts at the dome. Their defensive front and their secondary are much improved.

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Kevin (Philly): How many wins in the AFC will be needed to get a wild card spot? Does Jacksonville have a legit chance? Thanks Mort.

Chris Mortensen: The Jags have a schedule in the second half that looks very favorable, but that Rams game was not a confidence-builder. Gievn all the adversitiy the Rams had...for the Jags not to win that game creates some doubt.

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Mat (Scottsdale, AZ): Whats the word on the Skins cap for next season? Can they add a few players to take the next step and become a SB contender? If they have the space Snyder will spend.

Chris Mortensen: I think they ahve cap issues but they've got some good players on board right now. I believe they need to keep building through the draft. We also know Snyder will do wahtever it takes but he has to be careful because you really can't buy championships.

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Jeff (Iowa): Is Tice done in Minnesota? Could they possibly be better with Johnson at QB, and if so, do they trade Culpepper?

Chris Mortensen: I assuming Tice is done even though I have heard the new owner likes him....heck, Mike is a very likeable man. I doubt the Vikes could be better with Johnson but he has won a lot of games, he's wona Super Bowl and he is a veteran. I have reported that Dennis Green could make a trade play for Culpepper in the off-season but that's difficult under these injury circumstacens. Lot of questions with the Vikes; very few answers.

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Dan (Chicago): Mort, there are rumors that Garcia is banged up and won't play this week. Is it true?

Chris Mortensen: Oh, Jeff is definitely banged up. Did you see the game? That means Harrington has a shot to play.

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Jay (New York): Do you think that the internet and ESPN News have shortened the news cycle so much that The National could ever be successful? Or can you see a niche for it still? Haven't SI and the Sporting News had to re-invent themselves to contend with the new realities?

Chris Mortensen: Yeah, eveything's different. Maybe it wouldn't work. I just wished it had.

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Paul (San Diego): If Green does make a trade proposition for Daunte, who will he use as bait? Will my boy Fitz return home to Minnesota? I hope not I like him alot in AZ!!

Chris Mortensen: Oh, no, Green would never trade Fitrzgerald but I certainly think he would have traded a No. 1 pick for Culpepper and maybe then some.

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Kevin (DC): I kind of always thought Skip Bayless was a blowhard about T.O. being a malcontent who slowly bleeds his team, but it seems more and more like T.O.'s out to prove him right this year. Is that why Owens picked the division games to beg out of?

Chris Mortensen: I don't know that he's begged out of them. If he's injured, he's injured...and he has shown strong recuperative powers in the past. But in light of his recent comments that he wouldn't have played in the Super Bowl had he know what he knows now, it does raise this discussion.

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Wes (Atlanta): Mort, great report this morning on 680! Is there a chance the corner you in Denver you said was cut signs with Atlanta? They need another cover guy so Webster can shift to nickel back. Also, when will Greg Knapp shift to a more Reeves-esque style offense that fits Vick better?

Chris Mortensen: I don't know how the Falcons would feel about Walls. Greg Knapp has done a brilliant job of fitting the offense to fit Vick. I've heard a lot of compliments about that, so I think that's off-based.

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MattLeavey (Owings Mills): I think the Ravens need to trade away commodities teams would seek like Chris McAllister, Jamal Lewis and Terrell Suggs for draft picks and rebuild quickly. It might hurt in the short term, but this team needs to get young, humble players in, and overrated, ****y players out. What do you think?

Chris Mortensen: I think the Ravens played a heckof a game without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. I don't think you get rid of good players like that. Their core problems are pretty basic: The quarterback, the offensive line and the defensive line. Really, the QB is a key. They just have to find a way to get that right.

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Chris (New Jersey): What is your feeling on the RB situation in Chicago, will Jones remain the featured back or will Benson start to split carries in future weeks to keep Jones healthy and fresh?

Chris Mortensen: Jones will remain the featured back but Benson is making enough progress to get Jones a needed break, especially with Jones banged up a bit. But Jones is very competitive right now. He does not ant to give an inch to Benson.

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d (st. louis): Quick who is your top 5 first half MVP's?

Chris Mortensen: Without really thinking.... the names I would throw out there are Manning (he's the one changing the plays for Edge at the line of scrimmage)....Ladainian Tomlinson...Steve Smith....Dwight Freeney.... Tom Brady.... Ben Roethlisberger....Michael Vick.... Jake Plummer.... Shaun Alexander... Thomas Jones...Carson Palmer.... Chad Johnson.....

I guess there's too many.... that's why we play a full season!

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Majeed (San Diego, CA): Mort, Can Miami run the ball succesfully vs the Falcons weak run D and pull off an upset this Sunday?

Chris Mortensen: I think the Dolphis are a real threat to the Falcons....and these bye weeks may be welcome but a lot of teams do have trouble getting back in rhythm.

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Nick (Jersey): You should have mentioned Tiki Barber in there.

Chris Mortensen: Yeah, probably, but he just now had a breakout game...but I think he's one of the great players..... OH, let me add Warrick Dunn as one of those guys, too.

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Cindy ( Charlotte): Speaking of Steve Smith, shouldn't he win the Comeback Player award? Last year, Drew Brees won it depsite Mark Fields coming back from Hodgkin's disease, although to the voters that wasn't as impressive as Brees coming back from poor seasons on the bench. After the media fest with Bruschi's return, it seems like the voters will rob Carolina again.

Chris Mortensen: Well, if bruschi pulls this off, the sentimentality is going to clearly go his way. But Steve Smith won't get overlooked for even bigger awards. What an amazing player he is! Tom Jackson is going in there Thursday to do a feature on him for Sunday NFL Countdown. Hope you watch!

Chris Mortensen: Well, I have to go....thanks again to everybody out there for allowing me to enjoy the best job in the world. And to that one Halloween question, I didn't post - yes, you are right.

God Bless!

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Mat (Scottsdale, AZ): Whats the word on the Skins cap for next season? Can they add a few players to take the next step and become a SB contender? If they have the space Snyder will spend.

Chris Mortensen: I think they ahve cap issues but they've got some good players on board right now. I believe they need to keep building through the draft. We also know Snyder will do wahtever it takes but he has to be careful because you really can't buy championships.

There are also some quotes about the Eagles, the Giants and the 'Boys.

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