Chat with Tim Graham
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger Tim Graham will drop in to chat about all the latest news from the NFL.
Graham joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post. He previously spent eight years at the Buffalo News, where he was an award-winning NHL and boxing writer. The Baldwin-Wallace College grad also has worked for the Las Vegas Sun and Boston Herald.
Send your questions for Graham now and join him on Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tim Graham (3:02 PM)
Hello, everybody. Let's get started. I can't stay on for my usual two hours today, but let's try to cover as much ground as possible.
Gary Rain (Albany, NY)
Do you see Trent Edwards realistically passing for 4,000 now that we have two great WRs and are running the no huddle offense?
Tim Graham (3:03 PM)
I would say it's possible if he can stay healthy. He threw for about 2,700 last year and missed a couple games. The addition of Terrell Owens really opens up that offense and should encourage Edwards to throw deep, something Bills fans have wanted to see more of.
How concerned should we be about TO's toe?
Tim Graham (3:05 PM)
It's definitely an issue to monitor. Bills fans shouldn't be in a panic yet, but I think it's an injury that shouldn't be blown off as no big deal. I have a story on Owens' toe that will post shortly in which ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell explains why such a little appendage can cause big troubles for a pro athlete.
Your Conscience (Nonexistent Apparently)
Good to see you get Fridays off in the summer- don't worry, no AFC East chat for almost a month seems fair. What a joke! Can't you go cover a division no one gives a crap about, like the NFC West, and get a real professional to do the best division in football?
Tim Graham (3:07 PM)
I was on vacation for a few weeks in early July (to move my family from Florida to New York), then couldn't chat while I was making the rounds at the four training camps. My father's in intensive care right now, and I'm chatting with you. I'm sorry I can't give you more of myself to help you kill time at work.
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
Welcome back Tim. Let's have a good chat today. It's Friday and I don't want to have to crack some skulls
Tim Graham (3:08 PM)
I've missed doing this. I felt it would be a good place to come to clear my head.
Darius Butler was pretty impressive last night - does he have a chance to start this year, especially with Springs' shaky start?
Tim Graham (3:09 PM)
Let's not count out Springs just yet. He's still getting his legs under him. But Butler did have an impressive game last night. He really caught my eye. The thing is, cornerbacks need to build up a lot of trust before a coach feels comfortable enough to use him. That can be tough for a rookie.
Any update on the Jets WR search? Or are they set with what they have?
Tim Graham (3:09 PM)
They're definitely not set in the minds. They want to add a receiver, but options are limited at the moment.
Justin M Keator (Raleigh NC)
What are the chances of D. Revis, becoming the best corner in the NFL this year.
Tim Graham (3:11 PM)
Very difficult to say because it's difficult to compare the best of the best. But he's in the top handful already. Revis already is elite.
Scotty Rhymes (Parents Basement)
Better shot at the playoffs this year: Bills or Sabres?
Tim Graham (3:12 PM)
Sabres. I think their fans should love the Mike Grier signing. His brother, by the way, is in charge of Dolphins college scouting. Great sports family there.
Do you think the Dolphins are going to cut Matt Roth and if so, who does that likely open a spot for on the roster?
Tim Graham (3:13 PM)
Even with Jeff Darlington's story today, I'd be surprised if the Dolphins cut Matt Roth. It seemed like somebody was trying to send a message through that story. To me, that means the Dolphins want him to get his act together because they think they'll need him.
were you surprised that tom brady only played two series last night? his timing is a bit off (missed moss and welker for easy TDs) and the only way to get it back is by playing.
Tim Graham (3:15 PM)
I thought a quarter would be about right. Remember, the longer Brady stays out there, the longer the rest of the first-teamers have to stay out there because Bill Belichick won't be sending him out there with reserve offensive linemen. The Patriots need to see what their backups and youngsters can do in these preseason games, too.Next week's game at Washington will be the big one for Brady and the rest of the first-teamers.
I was wondering if you read the comments under the articles you post and if you do, care to give your two cents over the discussion yesterday about the Bills and Jets?Also I heard a rumor that the Jets were trying to bring Wayne Chrebet and Keyshawn out of retirement to help at WR. And if that didn't work they were talking to a couple of local high school football teams.
Tim Graham (3:16 PM)
I do read the comments, but I'll be honest in saying I haven't noticed that particular thread. I've been dealing with an illness in my family and have missed some things. What was the gist?
I seem to be in the minority, but Patrick Turner looks really good to me. Have you seen anough of him yet to form a prediction on his impact this year, along with his ceiling?
Tim Graham (3:17 PM)
I wrote about Patrick Turner the first day I laid eyes on him. I think he has some of the best hands I've seen. Whether he has the rest of the package (speed, route-running ability, toughness, work ethic) remains to be seen. But the dude can catch.
Mike (Buffalo via DC)
Speaking of the Grier family, isn't his father works for the Texans scouting dept right? The News did a story on that a while ago...sorry folks, back to football!
Tim Graham (3:18 PM)
I believe Bobby is retired, but he did work for the Texans. Bobby Grier also is the top Patriots scout Bill Parcells got into the argument with over Terry Glenn and eventually left ... because the Patriots wouldn't let the cook buy the groceries.
Per your suggestion, I went to Google 'Bacon Flavored Cocktails" and once I started typing the 'C' of cocktails, this was what Google suggested for its auto-complete featured. 'Bacon flavored cola,' bacon flavored coke,' 'bacon flavored coffee,' and last but not least 'bacon flavored condoms.' one of these does not belong...
Who do you think is the next celebrity to buy a stake in the Dolphins? I think the current lines shake out something like this:Dwayne Wade ? 1000:1Shakira ? 500:1Dewayne ?The Rock? Johnson ? 100:1Sean Kingston ? 25:1Wilmer Valderrama ? 10:1Kevin Federline ? 5:1Vanilla Ice: OFF
Tim Graham (3:19 PM)
Darius Rucker has to be livid.
Does Jerod Mayo have a shot at Defensive Player of the Year? He has looked absolutely explosive thus far, and seems like he'll make more impact plays (sacks, ints)!!
Tim Graham (3:22 PM)
He would need to step up and show more than he did last year. He's a tackling machine, but didn't record a sack or an interception. He had one QB hit. Defensive players of the year are big-time sack guys or dynamic game changers like Ed Reed.
Thoughts to your dad, Tim. Regarding the relatively insignificant game of football, after watching them in two preseason games, your thoughts on how the Bills' reconfigured O-line is progressing?
Tim Graham (3:24 PM)
Thanks, Lori. I'm not dodging, but I haven't seen enough yet to have an opinion. An O-line needs time to jell, and I'd rather see what happens in the all-important third preseason game. But I do have an emerging opinion on two players individually. Langston Walker: Not showing much at left tackle. Eric Wood: Very, very impressive so far.
zach johnson (the hamptons)
Ahhh yes, hmmmmm bacon flavored cocktails, how choice... Ill be having a few of those this evening.
Tim Graham (3:25 PM)
I've tried to have one but can't find a bartender who knows how to make them. I saw on Conan O'Brien a couple weeks ago Andy Richter tried a bacon-flavored vodka.
The Dolphins have one of the toughest schedule this year and I think will be lucky to win 6 games. So is management making a plan of bringing in these celebrities to perform at games so when the Dolphins do fall back down to the bottom half, fans will still come to the game?
Tim Graham (3:26 PM)
The Dolphins have the No. 1 toughest schedule based on last year's records. As for all the "Inside Edition" stuff going on in the board room, I think that's new owner Stephen Ross making as much impact as he can because he's not allowed to touch football operations as long as Bill Parcells is there.
The Ghost of Rodney Harrison (Boston)
Brandon Merriwether: game changer or just another guy?
Tim Graham (3:27 PM)
In the middle, but closing in on the former quickly.
what are the chances of New England not going 6-0 in the AFC East this season?
Tim Graham (3:27 PM)
6-0 would be a major feat, even for the Patriots. Any team can beat the others.
Which is worse? Covering Favre or T.O.?
Tim Graham (3:29 PM)
Both are great. They provide wonderful material. The drag is covering the saga of "Will he or won't he?" Once that is over, the football stuff makes my job so much easier.
JR (Tampa bay)
Jim Kelly said it is a win or else year for the bills however it looks like Brady is going to be Brady again and the Phins and JETS probably won't be pushovers either. Isn't that asking a bit much out of one team to get their act together in one year against 3 tough divisions?
Tim Graham (3:30 PM)
The Bills have had a decade to get their act together. No playoffs since the 1999 season and three straight seasons of 7-9 under Dick Jauron. What have they been working toward since, say, 2002?
how many passes do you think mark sanchez (i am assuming his arm doesn't fall off and he wins the job) will throw a game? I am also very intrested to see how they use the combination of jones/washington/greene. If leon doesn't get more touches I am going to lose it
Tim Graham (3:31 PM)
The Jets are a run-first team unless they swing a deal for a big receiver. I'd expect Sanchez to throw 20 to 25 times a game this year.
Hi Tim Thanks for the time. What do you think of the Dolphins rookie corners? I was not taht impressed and don't we need them to mature quickly with the WR talent in our division this year?
Tim Graham (3:33 PM)
Sean Smith has looked good. I've been quite surprised to see a rookie play so soundly. He's not going to be shutting down Randy Moss right out of Utah, but he has been a revelation. Vontae Davis needs to show some discipline on the field.
Dixie Normous (O'fallon)
Leodis Mckelvin 5 picks this year?
Tim Graham (3:33 PM)
Eh ... I can see that.
Settle a work debate here for me. Is the AFC South better than the AFC East? I think it's a lot closer than it seems at first glance.
Tim Graham (3:34 PM)
Great question. I think the AFC South has three potential playoff teams and could, if things fall right, actually send three teams. The AFC East couldn't do that this year.
Any feelings one way or the other on Henne after the pre-season game? for me it was nice to see him in some action but I was not blown away. Am I being to critical at this point? It has been known to happen from time to time.
Tim Graham (3:35 PM)
I haven't been blown away by much of what I've seen from him. When I was at Dolphins camp, he was shaky in two-minute drills.
D (my house)
Glad we can provide a distraction for you Tim. If you're going to talk fun dip you also have to go pop rocks, ring pops, freshen-up gum, and reggie bars don't you? The one candy i never got - buttons. Those things always had paper on em.
Tim Graham (3:36 PM)
Freshen-up ... That takes me back.What about Chewels?
bill (fairfax, va)
What do you think of the Bills no-huddle?
Tim Graham (3:37 PM)
It's not as up-tempo as I hoped it would be. But I think it can help create a rhythm that the defense might not be able to adjust to.
Tim, thanks for the chat and the answers. Is King Rex's bravado a good thing for the Jets? They are a franchise and fan base that has been lacking a swagger for a long time. Or should Rex be laying low until they win some games?
Tim Graham (3:39 PM)
You're not very good at guessing things about people, are you?
Tom (Gulf Coast)
Tim while you were at Dolphins camp, what were your impressions of Cameron Wake, do you think he can bring the level of performance from the CFL to the NFL?
Tim Graham (3:39 PM)
He would look totally overmatched on some plays and dominant on others.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
If each team had a fatal flaw that could cost them multiple games, what would the be for the four AFC East clubs?
Tim Graham (3:40 PM)
Hmmmmmm ... Bills would be an injury to Trent Edwards, Terrell Owens or Lee Evans.
Tim Graham (3:41 PM)
Dolphins would be a long-term Chad Pennington injury.
Tim Graham (3:42 PM)
Patriots would be if Tom Brady loses his pocket presence.
Tim Graham (3:43 PM)
Jets would be if their defense doesn't play as advertised.
bill (fairfax, va)
who are the fantasy sleepers in the afc east i should be aware of?
Tim Graham (3:44 PM)
I don't know how much of a sleeper Fred Jackson is anymore. I like Laurence Maroney as the pick from New England's backfield. Chris Baker. Anthony Fasano.
Is there any hope for Vernon Gholston to be a good player in the league? And how big is this opportunity he has the first 4 weeks of the season with C. Pace being out?
Tim Graham (3:46 PM)
There is hope. What's both good and bad about Pace's suspension is that Gholston will get his opportunity, but he won't be able to ease into Rex Ryan's defense as a situational pass-rusher. That was the plan. Now Gholston will be expected to fill the void.
Hey Tim, can you see if ESPN will post a picture of you that doesn't look like the Unabomber after kidnapping a 7 year-old boy?
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
Those are the only photos my lawyer provided.
Am I crazy to think the Dolphins may have the best secondary in the divisions?
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
Not crazy, but a little misguided. I think the Jets will have the top secondary.
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
But you could turn out to be right.
I can't understand the disrespect Buffalo gets from writers and the so-called experts who have them winning 7 games again and finishing last in the division. Trent has really done nothing but win when he's healthy. If Buffalo had Fitzpatrick last season, they probably would've turned a couple of those Loss-man games into victories. Their defense is deep, they have good rb's and wr's..I just don't get how they're being written off so easily. I also believe the no-huddle will be effective regarding tiring out defenses. Your thoughts sir? My sympathies to you and your family as well.
Tim Graham (3:50 PM)
Disrespect? They haven't been to the playoffs since 1999. Why is so hard for you to understand why people would want to see a little something first? By the way, Trent Edwards is 12-11 as a starter. And their defense is not deep.
Tim Lindberg (Berea, Ohio )
Can you rank the defenses in the AFC east for this coming season?
Tim Graham (3:53 PM)
The Jets are the wild card here. They are overhauled. ... But here's a quick list: Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, Bills.
Hey, are there any major rule changes in regards to replays, i.e. like looking over pass interference... and will patrick chung beat out merryweather
Tim Graham (3:55 PM)
I have been to a pair of briefings on the new rules, and I don't recall anything specific to instant replay (last year they changed the rules on field goal replays). There definitely was no adjustment to the replay policies on pass interference. That will remain the same as always. As for Chung, he won't get the job this year unless Meriweather gets hurt.
Which Dolphins receivers do you see making the team as of today? Ginn, Bess, Camarillo, Hartline and Turner? or will they keep 6 or put Cam on PUP to open to open up a spot for Chris Williams?
Tim Graham (3:56 PM)
The first five will make the team. If Chris Williams makes the team, then Brandon London is gone.
how'd you feel about ochocinco's kick
Tim Graham (3:57 PM)
I thought it was phenomenal. I love seeing stuff like that, Doug Flutie's dropkick the Wildcat. It reminds us this is a game and not life or death. It's supposed to be fun.
How in the world do you put the jets and pats ahead of miami's Defense?We only had the number 10 D and improved on our pass D this offseason.
Tim Graham (3:59 PM)
Last year's rankings were thus: 10 Patriots, 14 Bills, 15 Dolphins, 16 Jets.
Eric L. (RI)
Golden Girls fan? Heard there is a marathon this weekend...
Tim Graham (4:00 PM)
I never liked that show.
You've convinced me..my favorite team sucks. For some reason I thought Trent's record was better. Do you think Maybin contributes much this season? What are your thoughts on rookies who hold out of training camp?
Tim Graham (4:02 PM)
The Bills will be better this year and should be a lot of fun to watch, but they went 0-6 in the division last year. They have a lot of improving to do before they can contend for a playoff spot. I wouldn't expect much from Maybin. A slow start and a handful of sacks.
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
That's a personal foul against Eric L. for even thinking of bringing up the Golden Girls in this chat. 15 yards and repeat 2nd down.
Spanky (Tallahassee FL)
Do you remember what you were thinking in that headshot? I bet it ws something like "Yes, as a matter of fact, I HAVE been in the sun before. Twice."
Tim Graham (4:04 PM)
No, I was thinking "Isn't it cool that when you work for ESPN they take your photo in their studio and post it on your blog for you?"
Brad...there is no reason to listen to Tim. Unfortunately, he hates the Bills and they have not made a good move in his eyes in regards to anything. He will continue to blindly follow Jets and Dolphins and medias golden child the Patriots.
Tim Graham (4:04 PM)
That's right. I was wrong last year, too. When I predicted they would make the playoffs. Thanks for paying attention.
Joe (Phx via Buffalo)
How do you think the finished order of the division will look like this year?
Tim Graham (4:05 PM)
Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Bills.
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
That's a personal foul against Spanky for trying to bait the chat host. Watch it Spanky or we'll only allow Alfalfa to post from now on. 15 yards and repeat 2nd down
Internet Whiner Guy (Cyberspace)
Tim, why do you hate (Insert my favorite team here)?! What is it about (insert team I hate the most) that makes you love them so much?! WWWWWAAAHHHHHHHH
Brian (Plantation, FL)
I predicted last year that Miami would have the biggest turnaround in NFL history. Everyone laughed at me. Who's laughing now? Tim I think you are a closet Patriots fan.
Tim Graham (4:07 PM)
That's an interesting theory.
Scott (Colorado Springs, CO)
Speaking of favorite teams, how do you think your Browns will do this year?
Tim Graham (4:08 PM)
Sometimes I'm glad they moved to Baltimore and made me stop caring 15 years ago.
You follow the hardware, Bills haven't had any hardware in a while. Don't listen to them Tim. Oh, and you're right, Golden Girls sucks.
you said before that the options the jets have for receiver are few. what are some of these options, for example
Tim Graham (4:10 PM)
I was referring to New York Daily News reporter Rich Cimini's recent story the Jets were fishing for Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe or Sinorice Moss.
Internet Whiner Guy is my new favorite poster.
JR (Tampa Bay)
My conspiracy theory is that Tim grew up as a fan of a non-AFC East team and took this job because ESPN offered it to him. Now I'm putting on my tin-foil hat.
Who do you see winning the backup QB job for the Pats, O'Connell or Walter?
Tim Graham (4:14 PM)
This is purely a hunch, but I think Walter could take the job. I'm interested in seeing him in the fourth preseason game, when he has had time to learn the playbook.
Alexander (Long Island)
Do you think the Jets finally struck gold at TE with Keller? There's a long list of bust TE's for the Jets... Jolly, Becht, Brady...
Tim Graham (4:15 PM)
Keller should be a great target. If he can learn to block, watch out.
Tim Graham (4:16 PM)
Thank you all for dropping by this afternoon. I got you Eastern Time Zoners 75 minutes closer to happy hour. Catch you next week from Washington.