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PFW Chat 1-6


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Josh (Baltimore): With Denver being eliminated from the playoffs this past weekend, will offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak garner attention from any of the teams with head coaching vacancies?

Mike Wilkening: You would think so, but I haven't heard his name mentioned much. It seems like other offensive coordinators (Weis, etc.) are getting more consideration.


Tony C (Crown Point, IN): Who is the best running back in the draft? Kevin Jones/Steven Jackson/Cadalliac Williams ?

Mike Wilkening: My top three: 1) Jackson, 2) Kevin Jones, 3) Greg Jones. This is a better crop of RBs at the top than last year.


Aaron (San Jose): Please answer my question? As you see it, which coaching prospect is the best fit for a Washington Redskins team who seems to have sufficient talent to be in the playoffs, yet for whatever reason, lacks the motivation to play like true professionals? This thing really needs to get turned around quick!!

Mike Wilkening: Former Giants head coach Jim Fassel would be the best fit there. He knows the division, and would give that offense the balance it needs. But the Bills are interested, too. I think the Redskins aren't a playoff team in terms of talent -- the defense needs some help up front, to pick out one problem area -- but this team should win more than five games. In time, I think losing Spurrier will be a blessing for this franchise. The Redskins had a bad habit of getting worse as the season went on in his two seasons there.


Bill (New Jersey): what do you see happening to peyton manning? he's a free agent right now.

Mike Wilkening: There is no way the Colts let him hit the market. Period, end of story. We're hearing they likely will use the franchise tag on him.


Bob, NYC: How do you think Tom Coughlin will do with the NY Giants?

Mike Wilkening: I think he's a good fit. I look for the Giants to bounce back and again be a contender in the NFC East.


Sam (Oakville, ON): Who are your final 4 in the NFL after this weekend?

Mike Wilkening: Getting this question a lot, so here goes: Rams, Titans, Chiefs, Eagles.


bill (evanston, il): whos gonna start at qb for pittsburgh next season? are they gonna stick with maddox or sign someone else because of his awful performance this year?

Mike Wilkening: Looks like Maddox will be the starter next season. Some of his problems can be chalked up to an offensive line that had injury problems all season. The Steelers need to address the O-line, the secondary and the RBs before the QB position, in my opinion.


Bryan (Chicago): Jerry Angelo claimed that the Bears needed to pick up the offense, which is obvious. Why then is he interviewing only D-Coordinators. I would think Fassel would be an ideal fit, and why no mention of Norv Turner?

Mike Wilkening: This is the most mysterious coaching search of them all. There doesn't seem to be interest in Fassel. The offensive-minded candidates haven't shown up yet. Either Jerry Angelo 1) has someone in mind that's still in the playoffs, 2) has a mystery candidate that he will unveil or 3) has changed his mind on what he wants in the next Bear coach. This is just speculation on my part. There isn't a lot of buzz at the moment. ... Not hearing much about Turner at the moment. Don't think we will, either.


Bobby Dowell Virginia Beach, VA: What's going on with the Falcons HC search. I keep hearing Jim Mora Jr's name. Is that a good fit? thx-

Mike Wilkening: Lovie Smith still seems to be the top candidate in Atlanta from what we're hearing. Mora would be a good fit, too. He is well-regarded.


Zach (Minneapolis, MN): Who do you see the Vikes choosing for the D-Coordinator? We have heard names like McGinnis, Cottrell, Gregg Williams... Are there others out there the Vikes are looking at, or do you think the choice will come from these three?

Mike Wilkening: McGinnis could rate an edge because of his relationship with Tice. The team will look at the other two candidates, as well as Florida's Charlie Strong, from what we're hearing.


Mike (Montana): Will Dennis Green wind up in Arizona? The guy has some faults and didn't take the Vikings to the Superbowl (made it within a field goal though). However, it is hard to argue against his winning record and number of playoff appearances.

Mike Wilkening: Green is drawing interest from Oakland as well. Fassel, Romeo Crennel and Eagles DC Jim Johnson are also candidates. Green deserves another shot, that's for sure.


Sean (St. Louis): Hey Mike. Do you see Jon Kitna coming back as a Bengal next year or do you see Carson Palmer getting the full time job?

Mike Wilkening: Palmer is the front-runner to be the starter. Kitna is likely to be back, though he could restructure his deal.


Seth (Charlotte): Who is the early favorite to select Manning in the 04 draft?

Mike Wilkening: My guess is San Diego, Oakland or Arizona. I think the Chargers have to go with a QB if there's any doubt about Brees. Then it becomes of question of who their scouts like more -- Manning or Roethlisberger.


Steve (San Diego, CA): Earlier you chose the Titans over the Pats. Why do you think the Titans will win against a team with the best record and is finally healthy?

Mike Wilkening: Good points. This is my upset pick. I just think the Titans match up well with the Patriots. However, if the Patriots can spread the field and throw the ball with great success, the Titans could be in trouble.


Jim (Buffalo): Who do you see as the Bills next coach? Also, will Reggie Williams and/or Kellen Winslow be available at #13 to reinvigorate the offense? Thanks

Mike Wilkening: They're going after Fassel, who would be ideal. As for your draft question: Williams could be there at No. 13. Winslow could go in the Top 10. He's a rare talent.


ben (albany): what will the giants do with their pick? i say o lineman but your the expert......

Mike Wilkening: Iowa OLT Robert Gallery would be a great fit.


Nick(Wayne NJ): Would you agree with me that Dewayne Robertson was the biggest bust of the draft? After all those teams courted him..... And that Suggs was the most underrated coming in? That's the way I felt before the draft and the way I feel now too...

Mike Wilkening: I agree about Suggs. The stopwatch lies sometimes. But I can't say any first rounder's a bust right now. Interior linemen sometimes take time to develop. Joel Buchsbaum loved Robertson's skills. That's enough for me.


Clay (Dallas, TX): What do the Colts need to do in order to come away with a win at KC?

Mike Wilkening: Break out to an early lead, force some turnovers and get the running game out of the gameplan. I know the Chiefs were No. 2 in passing, but I'd rather take my chances with them throwing as opposed to them grinding it out with Priest Holmes running behind that big, very good offensive line.


Jeff (Tampa): I noticed that Theisman was really laying into the refs in the game he was calling this past week. Was he fined? I, for one, hope not, as he seems to be the only living being that is touching upon the WORST problem with the great NFL; officiating, or lack thereof! Why can't the league revamp their system and require officials to be Full-time employees of the NFL? I know that Joe and I are not the only two who share this viewpoint, so what gives?

Mike Wilkening: I happen to think NFL officials generally do a good job. I think NFL officiating beats the officiating in college football any day. I like the idea of making NFL officials full-time league employees, but that would cost the league more than it's now paying its officials. I don't know how the NFL would feel about that.


Armen Dacity (Weston, Florida): How do you see the match-up of Panthers' rookie OT Jordan Gross against Rams' All-Pro DE Leonard Little turning out on Saturday. I have a feeling this could be a mismatch in the Rams' favor.

Mike Wilkening: That will be battle I too will be closely watching. Little has rare speed, but Gross is no ordinary rookie. The Panthers' O-line needs to keep it together in a hostile environment.


Daniel (Berkeley, CA): What makes you think the Eagles can beat the Packs?

Mike Wilkening: I think defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will put together a scheme to stop Ahman Green and consistently pressure Favre. But the Packers do have a good shot at snagging a win, I will say that. All of these games will be close.


Robby Albuquerque, NM: Do you see the Cowboys going after Corey Dillon this off-season?

Mike Wilkening: It remains to be seen whether the Cowboys want Dillon. It's no secret he really wants to go to Dallas. I think it's a matter of what the Bengals want in exchange for Dillon.


Paul (Detroit,MI): On the Manning or Roethlisberger question, could the Chargers shy away from that because of the previous Manning or Leaf debate?

Mike Wilkening: I wouldn't think so. I think their decision will be based on what they determine their needs to be, as well as the market for that pick.


Bob (Miami): Who do you think is the front runner for the Dolphins GM job and do you think that there is going to be a lot of dealing this offseason to get the team the pieces it needs

Mike Wilkening: There are a lot of candidates and no front-runner at the moment. Ruskell and Mueller were said to have done well in their interviews. The Ravens' Phil Savage will get an interview. Word is they want to hire a general manager by Friday, which makes sense, given that the Senior Bowl is coming up. Whomever gets the job will have more work to do on both sides of the ball that most people think.


David (Tempe, AZ): Who do you think is the best fit for the Cards at #3? Do you think they are sold on McCown? Thanks.

Mike Wilkening: Manning is the best fit, in my opinion. I couldn't see how they would be sold on McCown, seeing that he only had a handful of starts.


Oakland, CA: I think Tim Brown is trying to deflect attention away from himself and the fact that he hasn't been a factor at WR in at least 2 years by coming out with some new comments each week ripping on Callahan. I used to think of him as a leader on the Raiders. The more I hear him talk now, the more I think he may have been a problem.

Mike Wilkening: The situation in Oakland looks like it was one of the worst in recent memory. I think the season tarnished a lot of reputations. It doesn't behoove anyone to be throwing stones at this point.

Mike Wilkening: That's all for this week. Be sure to check us out on the Web at profootballweekly.com or at 1-800-FOOTBALL. Thanks for your questions, and enjoy what promises to be a great slate of games this weekend.

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