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 (3:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everybody. This will be the first chat in five months with no AFC East game to look forward to. Whatever shall we talk about?
do you think the dolphins are kicking themselves now that fisher is available??
Tim Graham (3:01 PM)
If Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is to be believed, Miami wasn't interested in Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden. So they wouldn't have been interested in Jeff Fisher, right? Again, that's if Ross is to be believed ...
Considering the fact that Mark Sanchez has been to two straight AFC championship games in his first two years in the league , Why isn?t he consider the best young quarterback in the league over Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, and Joe Flaco?
Tim Graham (3:03 PM)
In some minds, I'm sure he is in that conversation. But what those players have over Sanchez is better accuracy and command of the offense. When it comes to Bradford and Freeman, they also have worse supporting casts than Sanchez does.
Kevin Miller (Chattanooga, TN)
What are you hearing about the Titans coaching search?
Tim Graham (3:04 PM)
I'll be honest: Nothing yet, and with that team being outside my jurisdiction, I would pay more attention to AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky for updates.
Chad Ochocinco (New England (I Hope))
What is the likelyhood of me going to New England? Me and coach B have a special relationship.
Tim Graham (3:04 PM)
JR (Tampa Bay)
Tim, do you think that the dolphins hiring the OC from a team with a worse offense than theirs was a good idea?
Tim Graham (3:06 PM)
Too much is being made of that. A coordinator's success is based on fit and materials at his disposal. Dan Henning is the same coordinator who took the Dolphins to an AFC East title with Chad Pennington. But by listening to Dolfans, you'd be convinced Henning got stupid overnight when Chad Henne became quarterback.
Hi Tim, thanks for taking my question. When it was clear that LT was on his last legs, why didn't the Jets make Greene their feature back. I know that Shotty trusted LT more, but why would Shotty's opinion even have relevance? What has shotty shown that allows him to make such important decisions? Thanks
Tim Graham (3:08 PM)
The Jets have gone to two straight AFC Championship games. That doesn't give Brian Schottenheimer any credibility with you?
Hey Tim hope you are well. Brian Shottenheimer's track record as OC is questionable at best. He has been with the Jets for six years and never had a top 10 offense. He has all the talent in the world on that side of the ball, and can't seem to bring any consistency in the way they do things. Why don't the Jets just move on from him? thanks.
Tim Graham (3:10 PM)
Tough crowd. This reminds me of listening to WEEI the morning after the Jets beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Some callers said it was time for Bill Belichick to go because he can't get them over the hump. I don't know what to tell you. I think Schottenheimer is an excellent offensive coordinator.
Tim, do you think that the officiating was horrible for the jets at Pittsburgh or was it just me being an angry jets fan. ( Sanchez being blasted after sliding , fumble call for a TD , all sorts of holds missed)?
Tim Graham (3:12 PM)
That was a fumble William Gay returned for a touchdown. People wrongly paid too much attention to the throwing motion Sanchez was making when the ball came out. That was irrelevant because the ball didn't go forward. It was a lateral -- a live ball. But I do agree there should have been a flag thrown on Harrison for hitting Sanchez on a slide.
Tim, thanks for all the coverage all year long. More and More of these "mock drafts" have the Bills taking Gabbart at the #3 slot. I am not sure if I like that or not, but are you hearing on this from inside sources?
Tim Graham (3:14 PM)
Thanks for the kind words, Doug. Glad you liked the blog in 2010. I'm hearing that if owner Ralph Wilson wants to take a quarterback, then it won't matter how much Chan Gailey supports Ryan Fitzpatrick. I've heard GM Buddy Nix likes Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton but maybe not at No. 3.
Hey Tim, do you think Chad Henne starts next year for Miami? If not....who does?
Tim Graham (3:14 PM)
That is my prediction: Chad Henne as Dolphins starter on opening day.
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
NEVER QUESTION THE CHAT REF
Mike (Buffalo NY)
Tim, how much impact do you see Dave Wannestedt having on the Bills Defense?
Tim Graham (3:16 PM)
It can't hurt. But the actual help he brings will be exponential to the talent they bring in. A good coach maximizes talent, but he can't turn pedestrian players into stars.
Let's be realistic. The Dolphins aren't going to pass the Patriots or Jets next season. Knowing that, the best they could reasonably finish is 8-8. After another mediocre year, will Ross can Sparano or stick by his word? All-Star coaches are going to be on the market! Part II of this question, is any owner ballsy enough to get all the stud coaches on board together? Imagine Cowher, Gruden, Fisher, and Billick all on your side-line - even Belichick would run and hide.
Tim Graham (3:18 PM)
That would be a fun staff to consider, but impossible to pull off. You would have too many men who insist on organizational control. As for the Dolphins' situation, I have no idea what's going to happen down there. Hard to say which club is more dysfunctional, the Dolphins or the Titans. As for Sparano, I think the Dolphins do need to improve, especially at home, for Sparano to keep his job.
Shea Lambert (Pilot Mountain, NC)
If the Jets hadn't made the playoffs this year, would you still have ranked Sanchez over Fitzpatrick?
Tim Graham (3:19 PM)
Depends on how the Jets wouldn't have made it. If they collapsed in December, then Sanchez probably would have been a significant contributor to their downfall. But the way I ranked them for Thursday's story was based more on how shaky Fitzpatrick looked in the last few games.
Tim Graham (3:20 PM)
Here's the link for that story: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/25585/how-do-afc-east-qbs-stack-up-for-2011
JR (Tampa Bay)
Sanchez has done well enough in the clutch... problem is I don't like him when it's not a clutch situtation.
Do you believe that Stevie Johnson is good enough to be a number 1 receiver? If not do you beleive there is a possibility they go after Green with the 3rd overall pick?
Tim Graham (3:22 PM)
The answer to each of those questions can be yes. I see receiver as an area the Bills would not focus on with the No. 3 pick. Lee Evans still is under contract, so that would make drafting Green less of a possibility. But with the Bills you never know.
Who would you rather have, B. Edwards or S. Holmes, and for how many years? Would you trust either one with a long-term deal?
Tim Graham (3:25 PM)
The only people who need to be comfortable with a long-term deal are Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan. I'm not trying to dodge the question, but the only way to know if either player warrants that kind of commitment is with intimate knowledge of how upstanding they've been behind the scenes. Based on what we know publicly, I don't know if I'd ever be able to trust either player. They haven't shown sound judgment.
Brandon Marshall (Miami)
What are my chances of winding up taking my talents to the NBA if the NFL is locked out next season?
Tim Graham (3:26 PM)
Ashley (Upper East Side)
When will the Jets make Shonn Greene their feature back? Why does Brian Shottenheimer still have his job after his awful playcalling in the Afc championship game, especially on the goal line? Thanks
Tim Graham (3:28 PM)
Shonn Greene can't catch, for one. When he's in the game, you know what the Jets are going to do, and even if they do throw, they have one less viable option with him on the field. As for Schottenheimer, we addressed that earlier in the chat. I think you're overreacting.
I know it's not really an AFC question but I just read your post on painkillers -- doesn't that put the Cutler "situation" in some perspective? He makes his living primarily via his body -- it was very disheartening (no pun intended) to hear players say essentially that he should've just gotten doped up and back in there. I find your perspective generally pretty clearheaded--Just wondering about your thoughts on that. Thanks, Tim.
Tim Graham (3:30 PM)
Football is a brutal sport, and it seems a lot easier to play when you're watching from your couch. That's where a lot of NFL players were when they criticized Cutler via Twitter.
Overreacting? First quarter points. Reg season losses - all loses but ONE came b/c we dind't score A TD! How is that overreacting?!?!
Tim Graham (3:34 PM)
It's overreacting because nobody in the NFL agrees with you. I'll side with level-headed reasoning over hysterical fans when it comes to judging a coach's worth. A major reason why the Jets don't score in the first quarter is because they always defer. They outscored opponents in every other quarter and overtime. Schottenheimer helped get a raw quarterback to the AFC Championship two years in a row and you want him fired? Yes, that's overreacting.
Hi Tim,If there is no CBA reached soon, will there be free agency at all this offseason? Thanks!
Tim Graham (3:35 PM)
There has to be some form of it because a lot of players won't be under contract.
Scott (Columbia, MD)
About your Shonn greene comment. are you sure it's that he can't catch? I think they just don't throw. He caught 67% of passes (16/24) thrown at him, about the same as Lt (59/72 = 66%). (numbers from Cimni's article.)Maybe the low targets are b/c he runs bad routes, .... ?
Tim Graham (3:38 PM)
He has notoriously bad hands. I'd guess his catch percentage is impacted by the fact he's not defended as closely as a receiver like Tomlinson is. It's not tough to catch a lightly thrown dump pass when you're wide open.
I dont doubt Schotty is loved in the NFL - probably a great guy, and people love his dad. What other reason would local and national writers applaud his play calling in Pitt (reg season) when they scored ***13 offensive points*** Isn't THAT overreacting? What other OC gets articles written about their great job that yielded 13 points???
Tim Graham (3:41 PM)
I didn't see anybody applaud him for that game. The fourth-down call on Sanchez's 7-yard run was brilliant, but I think you're recalling some sort of glowing coverage that doesn't exist. Also keep in mind, the Steelers have a great defense. If you want to hate Schottenheimer, go ahead. I'm not going to join you. You get to wallow in the misery of having an offense that got to the AFC Championship game two years in a row. Boo hoo.
As a Pats fan, I find it interesting that Jets fans are blaming the OC for not doing a good job, but at the same time are upset with analysts for not giving Sanchez enough credit for how far the team advanced in the post season (see the third post in this chat). As an outside observer, I think that Schottenheimer did a good job for the Jets and I think Sanchez needs to improve his game for that team to progress to the next level.
Well Tim, I think Jim is overreacting. As a Phins fan, I hope he gets his wish. Shotty has helped that team tremendously
Wow Jim. Relax. Pitt's D can make any offense look pedestrian. Didn't the Jets win that game? Try decaf next time.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you like to win Super Bowl XLV?
Tim Graham (3:43 PM)
I'm going with the Packers because I saw the Steelers a lot this year, and they looked flawed more often than not. They almost got swept by the AFC East in the regular season, getting lucky against the Dolphins and Bills.
Is Parcells officially gone from the Dolphins?
Tim Graham (3:44 PM)
Not officially. He's still a consultant.
What do you think will happen do David Harris now that he is a free agent? (Please not NE).
Tim Graham (3:45 PM)
I'd be stunned if he's not with the Jets next year. They might even put the franchise tag on him.
With Brady entering his mid-30s and BB always ending up with a handful of picks in the first few rounds do you see a chance of the Pats taking a mid-late first round QB a la Aaron Rodgers to learn from the best in the next 2-3 seasons?
Tim Graham (3:47 PM)
I doubt the Patriots would draft a quarterback that early just for the sake of that possibility (a Rodgers-type scenario). I'm not sure there are enough quarterbacks in the draft who would qualify as an heir apparent to Tom Brady.
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
I guess what I'm saying is it's too soon to think that way in New England. If the Patriots were to draft a quarterback that early, he would have to be special. But even then, Brady could have five more years left in him. That quarterback would turn into a wasted asset.
Tim, I dont understand how Sanchez and Henne are viewed so differently. They have VERY similar career stats, Henne might even have better stats(not that I am saying Henne is good qb by any means). Is it just that Sanchez seems to always come through in the 4th quarter through what I see as luck?
Tim Graham (3:50 PM)
This is an instance where stats don't matter. Sanchez has that intangible leadership/clutch/comeback trait Chad Henne seems to lack. Sanchez also makes plays with his feet and goes downfield more often. If Sanchez has gotten lucky, then he has done it a lot against some good teams on the road.
Tim Graham (3:51 PM)
A few more questions and then I have to go do some snow angels.
I love how Mia fans discredit Sanchez while posting under a fake NY name. Ala Mike (NY)
Tim Graham (3:51 PM)
Kind of a follow up. Brady and Manning I think have both said theyd play into their 40s. How many more seasons do you think Brady is going to play? (roughly 3/4 of this chat would probably be pretty happy if that number was low)
Tim Graham (3:52 PM)
Brady could have five more good years in him.
Is Bill B slipping as a coach (is he is as good now as he was in 2001-2004) or is the league cathching up to him so the disparity isn't is great? PS: the Belechick coaching tree (Weis, Crunnel, Mangini and McDaniel) has proven to produce rotten fruit.
Tim Graham (3:53 PM)
Maybe the Belichick coaching tree isn't successful because Belichick's organization made them look better than they really were.
Chris (Ann Arbor, MI)
Do you think the Dolphins or Bills will take a shot at getting Palmer? I think there will be some competition for him, so they will need to step up.
Tim Graham (3:56 PM)
Not the Bills. They're satisfied with Ryan Fitzpatrick and will try to add another quarterback through the draft. The Dolphins ... It's anybody's guess what their intentions are there. Jeff Ireland said this week Henne will remain in the mix but didn't commit. I imagine they'll bring in somebody, but not sure if it will be a draft pick or a vet.
Tim Graham (3:56 PM)
Thanks for dropping by, everybody. Have a great Pro Bowl weekend!