Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com NFL columnist Ashley Fox stops by to chat.
Fox joined ESPN.com in 2011 after 11 years as a writer and columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered the National Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia 76ers. She also has worked at the Louisville Courier-Journal and Sports Illustrated. A North Carolina native, Fox lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, daughter and son.
Send your questions now and join Fox on Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (1:01 PM)
It's Monday, which means it's time for the fastest hour of my week. Most players are back at their team's facility. The draft is in 10 days. Let's go.
antonio phila pa [via mobile]
Can the eagles win the super bowl with andy reid as their coach.
Ashley Fox (1:04 PM)
Well, Antonio Phila Pa, if you have lived in Philadelphia for the last 11 years like I have, I think you probably know the popular opinion on this one. I think they can, but until it happens, the Eagles fan base will continue to call for Reid's head. I think the Eagles have been very smart this off season and will have a good shot this season if -- and this is a huge if -- No. 7 can stay healthy and play at a high level. If he can't and the team either doesn't make the playoffs or is an early out, then I doubt Reid will get another shot.
A Fly Sex Ho (CA)
What do you think of McNabb's comments about the Redskins ruining RGIII?
Ashley Fox (1:06 PM)
Yes, well, I think McNabb, while qualified to speak on the matter after his one dreadful season with the Shanahans in Washington, is a bit biased on this one. He doesn't think it's a good fit of quarterback and coach/OC, probably because he wasn't a good fit. I actually like the fit. And you can't tell me a team would give up as much as Washington gave up to move to the two slot and not play to the quarterback's strengths. Doesn't make sense.
Mariopvn NORWALK, CA [via mobile]
With DJ WILLIAMS and RYAN MCBEANS appeal going is there a chance they play out the year?
Ashley Fox (1:08 PM)
A chance they play out the year? I don't know. I do know that the Denver Post reported today that they rescinded the RFA tag on McBeans today, so he effectively is on the street.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the Best NFL Team in 2012?
Ashley Fox (1:12 PM)
It's fun to debate these things in April, but it is a little early still, don't you think? The absolute hands down best team in the league hasn't been built yet. I will say I can't wait to see what impact Peyton Manning has on Denver. That's not to say they will be the best team in the NFL in 2012, but it will be fun to see what they look like with Manning there. Saw pictures of him in Broncos gear from earlier today and it's going to take some time getting used to that.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Totally agree that Andy Reid is on a very hot seat. But seriously, is that really fair? Everyone who gave them a good chance to win it all last year was being kind of delusional. All those new players, a new defensive system, no real off-season. Shouldn't Reid be allowed to stay if the Eagles just improve?
Ashley Fox (1:14 PM)
Is it fair? Probable not, but in August the Eagles definitely felt that they would contend for the Super Bowl. There were a lot of moving parts there, for sure, but there is only one goal in Philadelphia, and it isn't to just improve. Fair or not.
Ashley, can you figure out why the Vikings are actively seeking to make their team worse? If there were another franchise LT in the draft that they could move down and still pick, I'd be all for this. However Kalil strikes me as the only sure thing OT in the draft. Do you have any clue why the Vikings are even considering trading out?
Ashley Fox (1:16 PM)
I'm with you, Matt. Minnesota needs a lot of help. Maybe they think they are better served by stockpiling draft picks, but I agree that Kalil would fill a huge need at a massively important position. He will help the quarterback. If all the reports about Kalil are right and he is an immediate starter, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
Which rookie will have the best performance next year?
Ashley Fox (1:18 PM)
The easy answer is Andrew Luck, but he's not going to have a tremendous amount of help around him. As we've talked about here in the past, Luck will not have close to the team around him that Manning did his rookie year. The Colts very well could be sitting with the first pick in the 2013 draft as well. I'm really excited to see RG3 and how he fits in in Washington. So at this point, he would be my pick.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Does anyone know what's going on with Marcus McNeill? I follow the NFL pretty closely, and as far as I can recall, there hasn't been a real answer on this. Have teams shied away from him because they are concerned about his injury, or has he flat out not been cleared to play? If that's the deal, will he EVER be cleared to play?
Ashley Fox (1:21 PM)
McNeill has said that his doctor has cleared him to play. Neck injuries are tricky things, and like Indy with Manning, San Diego wasn't comfortable bringing him back, and certainly not at the money he was due. Maybe they bring him back at a lower price after the draft.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hi Ashley, do you agree that it makes no sense for the Eagles to trade up to #4 and select Tannehill, when it's a boom or bust year for Andy Reid?
Ashley Fox (1:23 PM)
I don't see that happening, but I will say this: I'm sure Andy Reid is not approaching this season as if it is going to be his last in Philly. He will be planning for the future. Never say never, and there are plenty of connections between the Eagles and Browns, both in the front offices and the coaching staffs, but I don't see it.
How many weeks do you think it will take before there's a full blown QB controversy with the Jets?
Ashley Fox (1:25 PM)
Hasn't it started yet? Oh boy, I don't think it will take long, despite the fact that Rex Ryan today said for the millionth time that Sanchez is the starter and Tebow is the backup. But the first time Sanchez throws in the dirt the cries will begin, fair or not. The Tebow phenomenon is a powerful thing. If you are in NYC, Chris, I'm sure you know how crazy it will be.
If one of your key players is cleared to come back from a serious injury (like Nick Collins in Green Bay), should the GM still draft a possible replacement if the talent is there, but not reaching just to fill the position? The way I see it, even if Collins does come back, I would be much happier from a football perspective to see that we have a backup plan.
Ashley Fox (1:29 PM)
That would be the prudent way to handle it, but every front office is different. Some approach the first round by filling a need, others take the best player left on the board. But I'm with you that having a backup plan for Collins would be comforting.
Phineas Ferb (Tri-State Area)
Which QB do you think will be more successful in the NFL, Andrew Luck or RGIII?
Ashley Fox (1:33 PM)
I love Phineas and Ferb, by the way. Wicked kids cartoon. Ok, I think they are both going to be successful, fun to watch, huge hits for their clubs, but if I had to pick one, after listening to the talent scouts and people who study this for a living, I think Luck is the can't-miss, once-in-a-decade guy. The question is going to be how quickly can Indy build around him and get him the help he needs. This is basically a total rebuild. It's going to take awhile.
Kyle (Owings Mills MD)
Sooner or later everyone has a narrower window to win a Super Bowl...based on current rosters who has a longer window to win a Super Bowl, Giants or Ravens?
Ashley Fox (1:36 PM)
Well, Kyle in Owings Mills, I'm guessing your pick would be Baltimore. Their window is still open, clearly, although they are going to have to reload on defense a bit. But it starts with the quarterback, and I like Flacco. He's 27. Entering what, his fifth year? I think if the Giants taught us anything last season it was to not count them out. Manning is in his prime, but this still was a 9-7 team last year. So for the purposes of your question, I will say Ravens, but...
What would be the best draft for the Packers?
Ashley Fox (1:41 PM)
Well, I think it's pretty clear that, if they don't move back from 28, they're probably going to look for defensive help. Kiper has them picking USC linebacker Nick Perry and McShay has them either taking Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, or possibly Boise State linebacker Shea McClellin or Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus. Either way, building up the defense is going to be the priority.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
What do you make of the fan's reaction to Tebow at the Yankees game? Seems weird--Sanchez isn't a football demi-god in NY, or anything...
Ashley Fox (1:42 PM)
I don't know really what to make of it. I thought it was funny that Rex said today he was booed more loudly at a recent Knicks game. That would not be a surprise.
BBlanks (Disneyland CA)
Do you believe the BUCS need an outside threat more then they need Trent Richardson?
Ashley Fox (1:45 PM)
Well, I think if Richardson is there at five then the Bucs should and will take him. If he's not, then they should and will take Morris Claiborne, who would fill a need for them, too. Can't go wrong either way.
Jace Burgess (Cedar City, UTAH)
Could it have worked for the Denver Broncos if they kept Tebow as a backup for Manning?
Ashley Fox (1:48 PM)
Could it have worked? Sure. But Elway didn't want the distraction any more and Tebow wanted an opportunity to play, which he will get in New York. If he had stayed in Denver, Tebow would have gotten maybe one practice snap a week. In New York, he is going to have an opportunity to play in some capacity. He is probably at some point going to have an opportunity to start. It is a better situation for him than Denver would be.
Gary (The Woodlands, TX)
Where do you see Cedric Benson ending up and do you think he will sign before or after the draft weekend?
Ashley Fox (1:50 PM)
That's a good question, and I don't have a good answer other than I would think he would be an after-the-draft guy now. He's 29 but coming off his third straight 1,000-yard season. He will get work somewhere.
Am I the only one who finds it ridiculous the that the Browns are considering Tannehill?
Ashley Fox (1:53 PM)
I don't think it's ridiculous, but taking him at 4 is high. It's going to depend as much on their evaluation of McCoy as it is on their expectations for Tannehill. If I were going to guess, knowing the people involved in making that decision, they will pass on Tannehill. Just a guess.
What do you make of Mark Barron to the Cowboys at #14?
Ashley Fox (1:55 PM)
Well Caz, that is Kiper's pick for the Cowboys there. Best safety in the draft. Fills a need. Would continue the push to fortify the secondary. Seems like a good fit. Makes sense.
Do you think it'd make sense for Indy to offer Pitt a couple of 2nd round picks for M. Wallace? Would Pitt even consider such an offer?
Ashley Fox (1:57 PM)
No, I don't think it'd make sense. Every team in the league had an opportunity to go after Wallace and no one really did. He's going to be back in Pittsburgh, and that's a good thing for the Steelers, and for him.
which year 2 players do you see stepping up the most next year?
Ashley Fox (1:59 PM)
I'm looking forward to seeing Cam Newton's development into Year Two, as well as the Panthers improvement. They locked up Steve Smith, which is good. And Newton will get a true off season of prep, which is good. There are big things ahead for that kid.
BBlanks (Disneyland CA)
What I should have also asked you, Mrs. Foxy, is if Blackmon and Richardson are on the board for the BUCS you think the BUCS will choose Trent over Justin? Thanks Ashley
Ashley Fox (1:59 PM)
Yes. Richardson would be the guy.
Was Tebow the first backup QB in the history of the NFL to have his own press conference?
Ashley Fox (2:00 PM)
I can't say definitively but he certainly was the first backup QB in history to have a press conference that was as well attended. That place was packed.
Ashley Fox (2:01 PM)
Okay, guys. Thanks for the questions. If you want, send me the ones I didn't answer on Twitter (@AshleyMFox) and I will get to them. The hour flies. We will do it again next week.