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 that time again. Thanks for joining me on my weekly chat. I will get to as many questions as I can. Thanks for your patience. Let's go.
Will the Giants' schedule hurt their chances significantly?
Ashley Fox (1:03 PM)
Well, if you win the Super Bowl, you are going to have a tough road the next year, and the Giants sure do. Their 2012 opponents have the highest winning percentage in 2011 (.547). After a Week 11 bye, the Giants will play at Washington, New Orleans, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and Philadelphia at home. That's a brutal stretch. But they had a brutal stretch last year, too, and still got it together for the playoffs. I certainly wouldn't count them out.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think has the Hardest Schedule in the NFL in 2012?
Ashley Fox (1:05 PM)
Sticking with the schedule theme here for a minute, clearly the Giants have the hardest schedule based on 2011 winning percentage. Rounding out the top five in that list is Denver (.543), Cleveland (.527), St. Louis and Baltimore (both .523). The Broncos face a tough road with a quarterback who will try to get his legs under him after a year on the sideline. Doing that with really no breaks in the schedule will be tough.
Michael Langenstein (Edinburg,tx) [via mobile]
What do you see the new England patriots doing with their valuable picks early in this weeks draft ?
Ashley Fox (1:07 PM)
Probably trading one of them, right? The Patriots have stockpiled their picks, with five in the first three rounds. As it stands now, they have: 27, 31, 48, 62, 93. They certainly have the ammunition to move up, if they so choose. But if they stay put and hold on to the picks, they will be able to upgrade their defense. I thought it was interesting that Kiper has them taking Janoris Jenkins at 31.
antonio philly pa [via mobile]
Do you think asante samuel will get traded.
Ashley Fox (1:10 PM)
I think so, Antonio, but I've thought that for about 10 months now. He has said he wants to remain in Philly, but they're obviously loaded at corner. Looked like they almost had a deal with Denver, but it didn't work out. Something will.
Deven (Buffalo, NY)
What do the my Bills need the most to improve their roster come draft time?
Ashley Fox (1:13 PM)
Your Bills, Deven, have had a good off season. Kiper has them either taking Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd with the No. 10 pick or Iowa tackle Riley Reiff. Either would fill a need. They also could use another linebacker and corner later in the draft.
Mariopvn NORWALK, CA [via mobile]
If all top 3 DT's poe, cox, brockers are gone by the broncos pick would it be a reach to grab worthy or still?
Ashley Fox (1:14 PM)
I think so. Scouts Inc has Cincinnati's Derek Wolfe more highly rated. As I'm sure you no doubt know, Denver clearly needs help with the interior of their defensive line. That is a priority.
Jason, cali [via mobile]
Hi mrs. fox, what team had the best offseason
Ashley Fox (1:17 PM)
I think it is still too soon to say, Jason. We've got a huge part of the off season coming up later this week. But Denver's got to be feeling pretty good about their off season so far with the acquisition of Peyton Manning. And I literally just saw a tweet where John Elway, who is holding his pre-draft press conference as we speak, said they don't feel as bad about their defensive tackles as everyone thinks. Interesting.
Harvey (Centreville, VA)
Good Afternoon... two questions, do you watch "It's always sunny in Philadephia"? and since you can almost call Ben Graham a bust (Eagles passed over Earl Thomas and JPP)... do you think Eagles will go DL with their first pick?
Ashley Fox (1:19 PM)
You know, Harvey, I have seen It's Always Sunny, but I don't regularly watch it. Got a couple favorites ahead of it on my DVR and not a lot of time. As for Brandon Graham, I think it's too early to call him a bust, but he is on the clock. This is Year 3. He hopefully is healthy. The Eagles need to see some production.
Adam (Valparaiso, IN) [via mobile]
What position do you think the Bears should target in the first round?
Ashley Fox (1:21 PM)
Hi Adam in Valpo. Nice of you to check in. Kiper has the Bears picking Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and McShay has them going for South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore. I think it is clear that they need some more playmakers on defense and will go with the best player at 19.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
So, is no one gonna do Hard Knocks?
Ashley Fox (1:23 PM)
That is a good question. And I will pose it to you guys: Who do you want to see as the subject of Hard Knocks? The Falcons don't want it. I saw the new Bears GM said he personally wouldn't want it. I'm still pulling for a Jets Hard Knocks. Would be must-see TV.
How much time do teams spend researching other teams needs and try to figure out what they are wanting to do in the draft?
Ashley Fox (1:25 PM)
Teams devote countless hours to the draft, and I'm sure that is part of it, trying to determine what the teams ahead of them are going to do. That's why you see so many smokescreens and rumors as the draft nears. There is a lot of jockeying for position, a lot of secrecy. That's part of what makes it so much fun. Aside from Indy and Washington, no one knows what the other teams are going to do in the first round.
Hard Knocks - Raiders - How things going after Al Davis has passed.Jets because of Tebow.Denver with Manning and Elway
Ashley Fox (1:26 PM)
I like it. All compelling story lines.
Frank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]
Trade for Samuel and draft Kalil top two needs covered for the Vikings. Would they be willing to take on Samuel's almost $10 million contract?
Ashley Fox (1:27 PM)
Probably not, but it could be restructured. He's got got some bonuses in there, too.
With the Packers releasing Chad Clifton, and with Derek Sherrods injury, how high is the need for at least a capable backup at LT? Newhouse filled in nicely, but can he do it for 16 games with teams having tape on him?
Ashley Fox (1:31 PM)
Aaron Rodgers likes Newhouse a lot. Here is what Rodgers said about Newhouse late last season, according to my colleague Kevin Seifert: "Starting the season out, I didn't look at Marshall the way I look at him now. I look at him now as a guy who really has a strong, legitimate chance to be the left tackle of the future. I think he has the personality makeup to do that, the athletic ability to do that, the feet and the smarts to be a very, very solid left tackle for us."That's a pretty significant endorsement of Newhouse.
Just a question who do you see the rams drafting with their first pick in the second round?
Ashley Fox (1:34 PM)
On matters such as these, I tend to rely on Kiper. This is what he does, and he's very good at it. In his latest (and I believe last) mock, he has the Rams taking Jerel Worthy, the defensive tackle from Michigan State. Would help the interior of their line and their run D. Works for me.
Which division in the NFL do you think is the most competitive? NFC north maybe?
Ashley Fox (1:38 PM)
If the Lions continue their upward trajectory, the NFC North will be tough. But that's not the only one. AFC North had three playoff teams in 2011. NFC East is always tough. NFC South is nasty. AFC West should be very interesting this year. Can't pick just one.
rick tx [via mobile]
Ash"ey your opinion on chargers draft,does smith go up for a big name wth his job on the line or down yo stock pile picks in second rd or stay where theyre at and take best player available? THXashley
Ashley Fox (1:39 PM)
It's an interesting question, given the pressure to win this year. They currently sit at 18. Kiper has the Chargers going with Syracuse linebacker Chandler Jones. McShay has them with Georgia right tackle Cordy Glenn. I don't know. They need a pass rusher, some help in the secondary, among other things. I would think they would be aggressive.
What is the likelihood of Dawkins getting a one-day contract to officially retire as an Eagle?
Ashley Fox (1:43 PM)
Well, Binx, the news is breaking as we speak, given how my Tweet Deck is acting. The Eagles are going to honor Dawkins on Sept. 30 at Lincoln Financial Field, the day they play the Giants on NBC. Dawkins is an Eagle at heart. He is beloved in Philadelphia and by the organization and especially by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. They will do right by him. Just imagine: A night game against the Giants with Dawkins stepping away. That place will be off the hook.
Don (Chicago, IL)
Do you see Lovie Smith as the coach of the Bears beyond this season?
Ashley Fox (1:44 PM)
Yes. They've got the potential to be quite good, don't you think. Great off season moves so far. They were in a good spot last season before the injuries mounted.
Which college do you expect to have more first round picks...Alabama or Stanford?
Ashley Fox (1:46 PM)
I think they'll tie. Potentially four apiece. Give the tiebreaker to Stanford for having the No. 1 overall pick. How's that?
Joe (St Louis)
Manning is old and coming off a major neck injury. Is denver even that close to a Superbowl to take such a short sighted risk? St Louis has had the best offseason. Fisher, fleecing of Skins for #2, Finnegan, Wells, Langford...all shrewd moves. Go Rams!
Ashley Fox (1:48 PM)
You aren't biased at all, are you, Joe? I like Denver getting Manning. Love the combo with Elway. They're still looking for another QB for the post-Manning era, whenever that begins. If he's healthy, and the indications are that he is, he is a huge difference maker for the Broncos.
Why on earth would the Vikes pass on Kahil? KC Joyner says Claibourne isn't even the best CB in the draft.
Ashley Fox (1:49 PM)
I'm with you, Paul. Kalil would fill a huge void for Minnesota and help the young quarterback. Makes too much sense not to happen.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
I'm lazy--what time does the draft coverage start?
Ashley Fox (1:50 PM)
Man, you are lazy. According to our draft countdown, it is 3 days, 6 hours and 9 minutes away, and counting. In other words, it is at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
MistahJacks Frisco [via mobile]
If Coby Fleener is available @ 30 do the 49ers take him. He and Davis could be tough for defenses.
Ashley Fox (1:53 PM)
Kiper has Fleener going to the Giants at 32, which makes sense given that they have probably the best tight ends coach in the league, a wonderful history of developing them and a need. Kiper has San Francisco taking Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill, who he calls the biggest home-run threat in the draft. The Niners could use that.
Ashley Fox (1:55 PM)
For those of you who care, and maybe none of you do, Schefter is reporting that the NFL will not announce discipline for the Saints players involved in the bounty today. Maybe this week.
Ashley Fox (1:55 PM)
Alright guys. I've got to fly. Thanks for joining me. Shoot me questions I didn't get to on Twitter: @AshleyMFox. I will get to them there. See you next week.