12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ETGil Brandt
NFL.com personnel guru Gil Brandt was back for his weekly live chat on Tuesday, June 15 to discuss his views on the latest from around the league.
NFL.com,Gil should be here shortly. Hang tight, and keep the questions coming.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI am always pleased to take these great questions from the NFL.com fans around the world. I thank you in advance for your outstanding questions, and looking them over, there are some good ones.
Todd , London, Ontario, Canada
12:08 PM ETHi Gil, Last week you said you think the Cowboys will go to the Super Bowl, what have they done to be better than last year to get this? I'm a big Dallas fan but don't see that they got better or is it other teams got worse? Thanks
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Todd! I think that the Cowboys by retaining 20 of their 22 starters from last year, plus the fact that their head coach has been there four years, Romo has the same offensive coordinator. As a whole, as I watch this team, they have improved maturity and they seem to be a team that doesn't have any contract squabbles which I think is important in success. They do have a tough a schedule opening on the road and closing with two on the road.
Antonio, Olympia, WA
12:10 PM ETHey Gil, how do you think Matt Cassel will do this year??
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Antonio, I think Matt Cassel is going to be the surprise player. They have helped him with Charlie Weis who will be a great help to him. He has looked very good in OTAs. I look for Matt and Kansas City to be a surprise team to win six or seven games because of his performance. He has looked really good in the OTAs Antonio.
Josh, Baltimore, MD
12:12 PM ETHey Gil, how do you see the Ravens compared to some of the NFL powerhouses like the Colts or Chargers?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThanks for the question Josh. I have Baltimore ranked in my top 10, below Indianapolis, but above San Diego. Flacco is an up and coming quarterback. Ray Rice is outstanding. And they made a great pickup with Anquan Boldin. I think that Baltimore has one of the better players who does not get a lot of publicity, Jarret Johnson. He's pretty good. And remember, Flacco is only 25 years old (I believe) and had a good year last year.
Jenny Rose, The Gables
12:14 PM ETWas Texas ever really going to the Pac-10? And which teams should the Big XII target now?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Jenny! I think the athletic director DeLoss Dodds at Texas did an outstanding job of playing his hands out. He was resonsible for saving the conference. When Texas gets its own network, it will be a cash cow for the University of Texas.
If I was going to add one team, I would want to add BYU. It is a tremendous program and they have fans all over the country. All you have to do is go to anyplace where BYU plays and they have the fans.
Banner, Lititz, PA
12:17 PM ETThanks for taking the time stop by Gil. Who do you think will end the season with the starting job at QB in Denver?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThanks for the question Banner. It depends on their record. If they have a chance to get to the playoffs -- and I don't think they will -- Orton will start. If they are out of the race, Tim Tebow will be the starting quarterback at the end of the year. I think he will be pretty good, too. Banner, I was one of the few people who thought he should be a first-round pick.
Andrew, Mount Laurel, NJ
12:19 PM ETHello sir, Arizona lost 5 above avg. veteran players this off season, is the NFC West about to become 49er gold? Matt Leinert, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck, or Sam Bradford who leads their team to the playoffs?-scary
Gil Brandt, NFL.comWell Andrew, I have San Francisco ranked above Arizona. I believe San Francisco will win the NFC West. I do think Alex Smith will have a very good year. This will be his coming out here. The thing that helps them is that they have all 22 starters coming back on an 8-8 team that was pretty good on defense. I have them No. 1 followed by Arizona, Seattle and St. Louis.
12:21 PM ETGil, You told me Rolando McClain might be our pick in Round 1 and you were on the money. I wonder what your thoughts are on the two O-Linemen we drafted (Veldheer & Campbell) and what you have heard regarding them so far. We really need to improve our O-Line play to improve our performance on offense. Duke P.S. It was an honor to talk to you on Sirius leading up to the Draft.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThanks Duke, it was a pleasure to talk to you. We have some great callers.
I talked to Al Davis on Saturday and he thought that Campbell was coming along nicely. He plays a little bit high, but they are impressed with him. He just needs to improve on his knee bends. Veldheer is learning his pass protection. He is grasping what they are trying to teach. I like both of these players, especially where they got him. I think that Campbell has a chance because of his potential.
Bryce, Colorado Springs, CO
12:23 PM ETWill Hue Jackson have the same positive impact on Jason Campbell's QB development as he did with Joe Flaco in Baltimore? If so, how good can Campbell be with this Raiders squad this year?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Bryce, again, I talked to Al last Saturday. He was really pleased with what he's seen out of Campbell. Jackson is a veteran coach who is thought of as a good teacher. I imagine he will be a huge help to Campbell, who I think ranks between 10-14 in terms of ability. I think he had 20 TDs and 5 INTS last year with a bad team. That's pretty good.
I think the Raiders will be a better football team this year than last year.
Troy, Houston, TX
12:26 PM ETDid AJ Smith just cost SD what could have been their season by not signing Jackson and McNeil?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThey still are property of San Diego, Troy. They were tendered, but they did not sign. They did not lose their rights. Those guys can hold out, but no other team can sign them without compensation to the Chargers.
robert ethan, vancouver, canada
12:27 PM ETHello Mr. Brandt, I understand you are expert in the scouting and draft areas. Can you elaborate on DeMaryius Thomas, who I find the most intriguing rookie for the 2010 season?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Robert, I agree with you. I think that young man from Georgia Tech who grew up with a tough background who has grown into a fine young man. I thought so much of him, I invited him to the draft. I thought he was going to be drafted much higher. He averaged 25.2 yards per catch last year on a running team. He had a tough background, but he's one of the nicest guys.
And some good news, his foot is healed and he is working out.
Jeremy, Puyallup, WA
12:30 PM ETI read that the Seahawks are interested in Marshawn Lynch? Will Marshawn Lynch be a good fit for the Seahawks. What would Seattle have to give up in order to get him,
Gil Brandt, NFL.comWell Jeremy, I think he is available and believe he will end up with the Seahawks. Word is that the Seahawks offered a fourth before the draft, but the Bills turned him down. I think Pete Carroll knows him from the Pac 10 and Lynch would probably be a good fit with the Seahawks. He was a 1,100 yard rusher two years ago.
12:31 PM ETHi Gil, which coach do you see as the most underrated???
Gil Brandt, NFL.comGood question, Rattles. The most underrated coach in the NFL is Mike Smith in Atlanta. I also think that Philips here with the Cowboys is very underrated. I really like Mike McCarthy, too. He is very, very good. I was kind of surprised when he was hired, but he has done very very well in the job. This has become a coach's league, Rattles. The coaching has become so much better than every before. Al Davis told me they have 23 coaches, which is not that unusual anymore. And then we have two teams were the coach is the defensive coordinator -- New England and Dallas.
Gilbert Riley, Pensacola, FL
12:34 PM ETHey Gil, as an old timer I've watched this game and league transform itself over many decades. My question is, do you think the league would be better off getting rid of the draft so teams on the bottom aren't forced to mortgage themselves with these high draft picks? Maybe teams could shop based on need and not on ranking to make it more competitive. What say you?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI think the draft is imperative. WE see teams that draft well quickly move to the top, and the ones who don't stay mired in the bottom half. St. Louis is a good example of a team that hasn't drafted well. They only have a handful of teams with over five years of experience on the team. think it would be a huge mistake to get rid of the draft because we wouldn't have the competitive balance that we have now.
Jake, Oklahoma City, Ok
12:37 PM ETGil, you're one of my favorite analysts on NFL.com! Do you think Dez Bryant can have a Randy Moss rookie season playing opposite Miles Austin like Moss did playing across from Cris Carter?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Jake. I think the first key is getting Dez signed and in camp on time. That is the key. I don't think Dez will have a year like that. I think he does have a chance to catch around 50 passes and about seven or eight touchdowns, which is pretty good as a rookie.
Rhodri Jones, Tredegar, Wales.
12:38 PM ETHi Gil. With great additions to the coaching staff and to the roster this off season. Do you think the Chiefs can win the AFC West ? Thanks.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI agree with Rhodri, the coordinators will help them. I just don't think they are good enough to win. But as I have said previously, it wouldn't surprise me to see them win seven games. They have done a great job as an organization, from the PR department on down.
paul c, kc
12:40 PM ETSince the Chiefs did not address the d-line is it because they are expecting Dorsey and Jackson to improve that much.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThey have been moving Dorsey around, and he's lost weight during the offseason. His OTA performances have made him look a lot quicker. They are going to play him some as a defensive end. I like Jackson a lot, I thought he was a good player. I do think he will live up to his draft-pick status, Paul. Both of these guys are outstanding people.
12:42 PM ETI wish Dez would catch 50 touchdowns...I think you meant 50 passes.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comYou are right Dyllan. I fixed it. Thank you.
Cory, Fort Wayne, IN
12:42 PM ETHey Gil! What do you think are the Colts' weakness(es)? Do you think these weaknesses are enough to keep them from playing in the big game again this season?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Cory. I think that their weaknesses are on defense. First, they have to get somebody to help Freeny and Mathis. Their first choice is that guy from TCU, Jerry Hughes. He should help there. I am concerned about their corners, and how they will stand up. I think their offensive line -- and they were criticized after the Super Bowl, I don't know why -- the key is the left tackle and who will play there. They have some core players, and as long as they play well, the Colts will be right there.
josh kimsey, lapeer michigan
12:46 PM ETWho do you think the lions starting running back will be kevin smith or jahvid best? Please answer!!
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI think it will be Best, and I think he has a good chance of being rookie of the year. Josh, they made a good move to get him. He has outstanding speed and he's very good in the passing game.
12:47 PM ETDo you think it is realistic that the Jets will be able to resign Revis, Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and David Harris before the season starts? Do you think this could be a major distraction for a team so close to a Super Bowl?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Austen, the biggest thing of having a good chance to win are the ones that have the least amount of distractions. Three of these players were first-round picks, and one was a second. They have all performed well and are looking for big money. I am not sure you can satisfy the four of them, especially with Revis who has a lot of years left on his contract.
12:49 PM ETHey Gil how you been i was wondering what the latest is on O.J. Atogwe?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comO.J. Atogwe is looking for a lot of dollars, Cameron. he was a player who was franchised last year and made about $7 million. He's a good player. I don't think he's a Pro Bowl player. I do think that he would be a good addition to a team, and worth the money, to a team that has a chance for the playoffs.
He also dates Mike Singletary's daughter.
Dallas Hartwell, Lincoln, NE
12:51 PM ETMr. Brandt, Do you think Suh will be a big of a force as he was at Nebraska? Or will he just become another face in Detroit? Thank you for your time.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThank you for your time, Dallas. I think that Suh, who is a real success story, will be a very good Pro Bowl-type of player. He plays a little high. But when you look at defensive lineman now, it takes some time to learn how to dislodge an offensive lineman who spends so much time on hand placement. If you go to OTAs, you see hand placement and how to get out of it. And the rookies are not used to guys putting their hands on them like they do in the NFL. But if you want to see how good Suh is, just look at his film he put up against Texas and its good offensive line.
Keino, Brampton, Canada
12:54 PM ETHi Gil, what do you make of Sam Bradford? How do you think he'll do this season?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI talked to Sam's father yesterday, Keino. I think we both agreed that it is going to be a tough road for him, but in the long run, he is going to be a good NFL QB. He has everything you need to be successful. But the Rams need to surround him with better players. Remember, Troy went 0-11 as a starter in Dallas. Peyton went 3-13. So don't expect a lot of results right off the bat.
Brian, Irvine, CA
12:56 PM ETWhat do you think about Norv Turner? Is he a good head coach and play caller? I don't have much against him, but tons of SD fans hate him and want Marty back.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comHey Brian, I've known Norv since he was a backup QB at Oregon. I think he is an outstanding play caller. I also think he's a good coach. He's had three head coaching jobs. I don't think people would have hired him if he wasn't a good coach. The Chargers have won the division all three years that he has been there.
Dallas Hartwell, Lincoln, NE
12:58 PM ETYou're the man Mr. Brandt! Thanks!
Gil Brandt, NFL.comYou're the man, Dallas!
Daniel, Indianapolis Indiana
12:59 PM ETHey Gil, how do you think Jimmy Clausen will perform out of college with the advantage of already been using a pro-style offense at Notre Dame?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comWell Daniel, I think Jimmy Clausen is really advanced for his age and experience coming into the league. In high school, Thousand Oaks, he led a team to a 42-0 record in three years. I have a little concern about his arm strength in throwing the out-route. I think he can get by with intelligence, reading defense and doing a good job.
Mark Eckblad, Madison WI
1:01 PM ETGil, the Vikings players have supported Brett Favre despite the bonehead play that cost them the NFC title game. Is Brett really that lovable, or are players just reluctant to criticize a living legend?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comI think that Brett has two personalities. I don't think he was as popular with the players in Green Bay as he has been in Minnesota. I think the Green Bay and Jets experience might have taught him the value of having your teammates like you and respect you.
Fraser, Glasgow, Scotland
1:04 PM ETHi Gil, Who do you think will miss the cut in the Colts crowded WR corps? Gonzales is a former 1st round pick, but Garcon and Collie played really well last year and theres a couple of other WRs on the fringe with potential. Who should the Colts play?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comGood question, Fraser. They are fortunate to have Collie and Garcon, a couple of late-round draft choices along with Gonzalez and Wayne. Most teams are now keeping five WRS, so I would imagine that all four will be there, but the fifth guy is going to have to play well on special teams.
1:06 PM ETIf Brett cares what his team mates feel so much then how can he basically skip camps and practice with these guys and play the season? We all know that he is going to play...
Gil Brandt, NFL.comGood followup Ben. But i guess if you have been to training camp as much as he has -- I have been to 29 camps with the Cowboys and i didn't play and it got old to me -- you find a way to miss it. He's like a lot of veterans who through retirement, he has found a way to miss camp, stay home and come in when the season starts.
I think the players resent him for it, but they also realize he is a meal ticket for them. Look what he did for Sidney Rice.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta
1:09 PM ETWhy are so many people high on Joe Flacco and low on me? I threw more touchdowns than him in less games, and last I checked we were both on 9-7 teams. Also, while my interceptions were up, he was hardly Tom Brady, either.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comWell Matt, you and I have a relationship, we have spent a lot of time together. I know your family well. And you will remember that I invited you to the draft and not Joe Flacco. And if you remember, your family -- including your younger brother -- we had some good conversations prior to your draft. So I am not underrating you.
I think your mental part of the game is ahead of your physical right now. I think that you have a chance to take his team the Super Bowl. If you guys didn't lose to the Cardinals, I think you could have been playing the Steelers in the Super Bowl two years ago.
Ben, buried in Corn Fields
1:13 PM ETGil...over here! READ ME!!! Thanks, Now that I have your attention, Do you buy what Jerry Jones is saying, he isn't interested in OJ? If so, what other moves might they make this off season as far as transactions?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comYou know Ben, I have talked to Jerry quite a bit. I don't think he will be making any other moves this year. I think that he may be fudging a little bit. I think he has a little bit of an interest in OJ, even though he has told me that he doesn't. We talked about this last week at practice, and I thought that if the price was right, he could help their team. I think that Jerry, if the right deal came up, he might make a player for player trade. Other than that, I think that they have a very good football team.
Gerardo V., Virginia
1:15 PM ETHey Gil, The Raiders are looking better and better on paper as the offseason goes on. I watched recently on NFL Network that the benchmark for the Raiders would be an 8-8 season. Wins to losses where do you see them being and do they have what it takes to finally beat the Chargers after all these years?
Gil Brandt, NFL.comThank you Gerardo. The Chargers have had an unbelievable streak against them. I think that he Raiders have a chance to be a 9-7 team. They open in Tennessee. I think that Johnson might be one of those guys who is holding. They have made a lot of good moves. The defense is better and the offense should be, too. Like I said earlier, Campbell is good quarterback.
What gives me hope is that they beat Pittsburgh last year.
Gil Brandt, NFL.comDesmond Bryant who is a second year player who was undrafted free agent signed by the Raiders two years ago has been the surprise of the Raiders OTAs. Just a little more Raiders information for you.
But that is going to do it for me today. Great questions, and I had a lot of fun. Thank you all so much.
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