Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone. Let's talk about the AFC East.
Merry Christmas, James! Dolphins turn M.Moore loose on the Patriots secondary this week? Barring weather seems like an ideal timeto see his arm! Thoughts
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Thanks, Logan. Same to you. I think the Dolphins stick to their winning formula of running the football and passing for big plays. Reggie Bush is giving teams fits right now. That has helped Moore throw over the top. But Moore needs to work on his accuracy. I don't think 50-percent passing against New England this week is going to cut it. Tom Brady is going to score some points.
If you were the Bills what would you do in the 2012 draft? Maybe draft Quinton Couples? and would you ever think of trading fred Jackson...If so what could he be worth?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Couples is a possibility. I think any pass-rusher would be ideal. Some Bills fans are saying draft a QB but I don't think Buffalo can do that. Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be the answer. But that remains to be seen. The Bills already invested $59 million in him and have to stick with that decision at least for the next 2-3 years. I think the Bills go defense. But a sleeper option could be a WR if Buffalo lets go of Steve Johnson.
James Walker (4:05 PM)
As far as Fred Jackson, I don't expect Buffalo to trade Jackson. The Bills already gave him their word that they will give him an extension. I expect Buffalo to stick to that.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Do you really want to talk about the AFC East or would you rather talk about America's team, the Dallas Cowboys?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
I'm good on the AFC East. Thanks. I'm not even sure "America's Team" makes the playoffs. Are you?
Stoph (Los Angeles)
Who's more to blame for the Jet's anemic (for the most part) pass offense...Sanchez or the O-Line?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
I've said often in the blog that the offensive line is to blame. Mark Sanchez has underachieved for what was expected of him this year. But he's had no help at times. He's often running for his life and getting beat up in pass protection. The running game comes and goes, depending on the week. And his receivers can't get deep, which makes the passing game very predictable. It's an overall failure, but I think the O-line has the most blame.
Darrell (Miami, FL)
What is the latest news on the Dolphins head coaching position? I hope for Brian Billick or Jeff Fisher!Thank,Darrell
James Walker (4:13 PM)
The Dolphins are in the gathering information phase right now. Don't expect too much news until at least the playoffs when teams start interviewing coaches whose season ended. In my opinion, I think Jeff Fisher is the best fit for what Miami can get with GM Jeff Ireland still involved. But we will see. The Dolphins may have to go the assistant route. Brian Schottenhiemer's name is coming up fairly often, believe it or not.
As the Dolphins keep winning games, their draft position keeps dropping. If they end up pick 8-10, which QB(s) do you think might fall that far?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
The Dolphins are quickly moving into Landry Jones territory, which I think is a dangerous spot for them. Of all the top QBs (Luck, RGIII, Barkley and Jones), I like Jones the least. He may have the best arm but I think he has the most bust potential. I don't expect Miami to upset the Patriots this week, so that will help the Dolphins out a little.
How confident are you that the Jets will win the Battle of the Big Apple?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I will make my pick on Thursday or Friday. I think that game could go either way. I'm trying to decide if the Jets have any chance of pass protecting against the Giants. That's not a good matchup.
What impact have injuries had on Fitzpatrick's game?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Injuries are a part of it, but I don't like that excuse because every team can play that card this time of year. Fred Jackson, Donald Jones and the O-line have hurt Fitzpatrick. But my complaint is the great-to-elite QBs lift the team through injuries. Tom Brady has dealt with injuries all year. Aaron Rodgers had a ton of guys on IR last year and still won the Super Bowl. "Fitz" is obviously not on that level. But if he's going to be paid like a great, second-tier QB, he should be playing like it.
Jeremy (wilmington, nc)
Would the owner of the Dolphins consider removing Ireland if it would help land a high profile couch like Cowher. It seems Ross wants a big name to help fill the seats when there's not many to chose from?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
I don't see it, Jeremy. I usually take people at their word, and my sense after their firing Sparano press conference is Ross and Ireland are in this together. Dolphins fans don't want to hear that. But that's what it looks and sounds like.
James Walker (4:24 PM)
But this puts pressure on Jeff Ireland to get the draft and free agency right. Stephen Ross is taking a big gamble by limited his coaching search.
Does Rex Ryan jeopardize his career, his job and legacy by trash talking, taking swipes at other teams/players/coaches, and promising so much, yet delivering nothing?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
I don't think so. Rex Ryan is who he is. He won't change that and I don't expect or want him to. Ryan is not your typical head coach. He doesn't say the norm and I like that about him. He makes it entertaining.
Seeing how Moore is playing good football dont you thing Miami would be a better team next year if the keep him on as the starter and draft positions they really need like RT,RG S,TE, LB. Seems to me they would be better team next year if they do this instead of going for a qb first. And wouldnt iif be awful all us Miami fans have been screaming for a first rounder for years and the time we do it hurts us. Now that seems like Dolphin LUCK
James Walker (4:28 PM)
Nope. The Dolphins have to get a QB. Miami is not winning the Super Bowl next year or anytime soon with Matt Moore. With a new head coach, that person needs to find his long-term answer who can eventually take the Dolphins to the next level.
James Walker (4:29 PM)
That doesn't mean Moore can't start next year. But Miami needs a guy who can be better for the long term.
Diane (queensbury NY)
can't the bills cut fitz during the off season and just owe him his signing bonus..I think if they draft high enough to get a top QB they should
James Walker (4:32 PM)
That's bad business. The Bills need to get something back on their investment. They paid a lot of upfront money and will stick with Fitz for the next couple of seasons. After that, it makes sense to cut ties if things aren't working out. But he deserves another chance in 2012 to show he can be the franchise quarterback.
Will Long be back for the pats and why do you think they havent moved Jerry over to RT yet, Columbo is horrid?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
We have to wait and see how the week progresses with Long. Columbo makes starter money. JJ doesn't.
James, will the Giants give the Jets the same problems that the Eagles did next weekend? Passes to the Tight End and a mad pass rush?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Yes, it's a similar matchup, because many NFC East teams are built the same. That's why I think this is a very dangerous game for the Jets. This is not a lock by any means. I've been going back and forth on this one all week.
Derek (Washington State)
Who do think will win the AFC East?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
The Patriots are a lock, Derek.
Are you going to give Santonio Holmes the Stevie Johnson treatment regarding his taunting penalty?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
You can't compare these two celebrations. Not even close. Johnson mocked a fellow receiver who went to jail for shooting himself in the leg. It was in very poor taste. Holmes did the Eagle and was flagged for using the ball as a prop. Not the same.
Robert (Altus, OK)
The Patriots tight ends, Gronk and Hernandez, should definitely be viewed as two of the best all-around tight ends to ever play the game especially since they're being so productive this young. Would you agree or disagree? Also, do you believe they are getting the respect they deserve for their high level of play?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Let's slooooow down, Robert. Both are playing great but you're not an all-time great until you've done it year after year.
James, If the Jets were somehow to show up the next few weeks and sneak into the playoffs again, how deep in the playoffs do you think they can go?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
It depends on the matchup. There are teams I think the Jets have a better chance aqainst than others. Houston is actually a good matchup for NY. But the Jets easily can be one-and-done as well.
Vin F. (Long Island, NY)
Will Wayne Hunter be back at RT for the Jets next season, and will they give him some much needed help against Jason Pierre-Paul on Sat.?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
I don't expect Wayne Hunter to be back -- not as a starter anyway. That's one of the first positions the Jets will address in the offseason. Surprisingly, New York hasn't given him much help, which has led to the many sacks. I think they change that this week.
Do you think Moore has played his way to being next years starter regardless who the Dolphins draft, or will there be an open competition in the preseason? Thanks!
James Walker (4:51 PM)
Moore is under contract for one more year and I think he's earning his way to being considered for the starting job. It's hard to say without knowing who the other quarterback is. We also don't know the head coach. I expect the Dolphins to bring in their long-term solution to compete with Moore in training camp. The winner will start next season.
Hey James, just a hypothetical but if the Pats make the Superbowl which team out of the NFC will make the most memorable match up Saints/Packers?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Either matchup would be entertaining. The NFL likes high-scoring games, and the Super Bowl is its biggest showcase. Patriots/Saints or Patriots/Packers would be very high scoring.
Which team is the toughest matchup for NE in the playoffs?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
I think any team with a great defense can give New England issues. Baltimore or Pittsburgh would be New England's toughest matchup. Those games could go either way. The rest of the field, the Patriots clearly would be favored.
Forrest M (Tucson, AZ)
Any chance fans start to give Ireland a little more credit for the job he is doing in Miami? He took a team devoid of talent and has turned it completely around in 3 years, yet all I hear on Fin fan sites is that Ireland sucks and needs to go.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Turned it completely around in three years? At 5-9? I don't think that's an accurate statement. I have not been as hard on Ireland as others, but I think he deserves equal blame as Tony Sparano. That's often the case in the NFL. But Ireland needs to be able to find a quarterback. His two draft picks so far have been Chad Henne and Pat White. He needs to get this one right.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks for your time. Remember to check back next week for another chat on the AFC East.