Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (2:30 PM)
Hello everybody. Thanks for joining me. Let's get started.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Ashley, Of the Giants, Falcons, 49ers and Bears which one just might make it to the Super Bowl from the NFC this year?
Ashley Fox (2:32 PM)
No Packers in there? Okay. I like all four of those teams, for different reasons. But pick one? I'll take the Giants. Been there, done that. Know how to get it done. Look what they did to Green Bay on Sunday night. And I like Green Bay, too. The Niners have such depth and are playing well in all three phases, but I'll take New York, because of their experience. Key players on that roster have won it twice.
what should we expect when McCoy gets cleared to play? will he go back to being a feature back or has Bryce Brown turned this into a timeshare? any chance that they shut McCoy down and let Brown finish the year? thanks!!!
Ashley Fox (2:33 PM)
That's a good question. At this point, it's hard to tell, given the situation there. Andy Reid said today that he's not inclined to play his back ups to finish out the year. But LeSean McCoy is still early on in the concussion process. Brown was impressive last night, but he's got to learn how to hang on to the football.
Well, Ashley, the speculation starts. The Iggles' head coach im 2013 will be......
Ashley Fox (2:36 PM)
It started a couple of weeks ago, didn't it? Among the potential vacancies, I don't think the Eagles job is going to be very appealing. There's the quarterback situation. The roster likely will be overhauled. They have some talent, but it's a rebuilding job. So, that said, I think the job could go to a lower profile coach. I just don't see why any of the big-name guys would want it.
Will (Long island)
Can you tell me whats the deal with my giants? they get embarassed against the bengals and then destroy the packers. how do you explain this?
Ashley Fox (2:37 PM)
I think at this point it could be as simple as they get up for some opponents and not others. They knew all eyes were on them against Green Bay. National TV, coming off two straight losses. Got them re-focused.
Is RG3 a MVP candiate if the Redskin make the Playoffs?
Ashley Fox (2:38 PM)
A candidate? Yes. But I don't think he's going to win it. At this point, it's probably Peyton Manning's award to lose.
James H (California)
Do you think Chip kelly would be a good fit in Carolina with Cam Newton running his offense?
Ashley Fox (2:40 PM)
I'm not as in love with Chip Kelly as some people are, only because his offense works in college and he would have to change it and adapt to the NFL. I'm not saying he can't, but it would have to be different for sure.
Which team is easier to fix Philly, Dallas, or Jets?
Ashley Fox (2:42 PM)
Of those three, I'd say Dallas. The Jets have lots of holes at key positions. Philly is a mess and has a huge question mark at quarterback. Dallas has a good quarterback. They improved their secondary. They've had injury issues but I don't think they're nearly as far off as the Eagles or Jets.
Is it alarming how long Demarco Murray taking to come back from his injury? the dude is super talented but he's always been injury prone when he's team really needs him going back to OK
Ashley Fox (2:44 PM)
He's missed six games and the Cowboys still can't say when he's coming back. They haven't ruled him out for this week's game, but we will see. They could use him.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Ashley, if both Andy Reid and Norv Turner get fired at the end of the season, do you think there's a chance that Reid ends up in his native California as head coach of the Chargers?
Ashley Fox (2:45 PM)
I could totally see that. Would be a great fit for him. Get a chance to work with Rivers in, as you said, his native Southern California. I think that would be a really nice landing spot for him.
Hi ashley quick question do you think new orleans will make the playoffs this year?
Ashley Fox (2:54 PM)
If they lose to Atlanta on Thursday, then no. They are a long shot, for sure, after losing to San Francisco. I thought they might get there given the run they were on, but now I doubt it.
Ashley Fox (2:54 PM)
Sorry about that delay. Technical difficulties. Back at it.
Will Rex Ryan be fired after this year?
Ashley Fox (2:55 PM)
I'd be surprised. They've underachieved, sure, but I don't think he will be gone.
Ashley Fox (2:56 PM)
Eagles housecleaning continues. They just released Jason Babin. Wow.
Shoe (Montreal, QC)
Hey Ashley, thanks for your always-interesting football insights. Your point of view is a little different than a lot of other sports journalists and very much appreciated. I still think that the Seahawks, with their tremendous home-field advantage, could yet grab one more road win in Toronto (nearly neutral site against the Bills) and then win out at home to get to 10 wins (assuming the Bears play to their potential and beat them next week). Do you think that will be enough to get them in as the final NFC wild-card?
Ashley Fox (2:59 PM)
Thanks, Shoe. Appreciate those kind words. The Seahawks do have a tremendous home-field advantage, but my goodness, they can't win on the road. The only team they've beat is Carolina. I guess the good news is they've only got two road games left: at Chicago (tough) and at "Buffalo" (winnable). But even if they do get in the playoffs, their inability to beat good teams on the road does not bode well for them.
Rah-Steam (Hackensack, N.J.)
Hey Ash which teams have been the most disappointing and the most surprising in a positive way this season? Thanks! Happy Holidays!!
Ashley Fox (3:01 PM)
The most disappointing by far have been the Chiefs and Eagles. I thought those two teams would at the very least contend for their respective divisions. The most surprising in a positive way has been the Colts. What a story. 7-4 with everything going on and a rookie quarterback. If the playoffs started today, they'd be in. Never expected that.
Marc (City of Brotherly Love)
Why release Babin now? A locker room disturbance perhaps?
Ashley Fox (3:02 PM)
I wouldn't say a locker room disturbance. He underperformed. A sign of more to come and that the Eagles now are going to evaluate their young guys. Now that this has happened, I wouldn't be surprised to see more moves and lineup changes. Can you say house cleaning?
Ashley, would you rather have 2 great years (potential Super Bowl team) of Peyton Manning, or 10 solid years (building a solid playoff contending team around the QB) of someone like Ryan Tannehill? Which would be worth more to you? Short term success or long term stability?
Ashley Fox (3:05 PM)
I guess in a perfect world I would take 10 solid years of Andrew Luck (over Tannehill). But this is a results driven league where the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. I don't fault the Broncos at all for chasing that with Peyton. I loved the move at the time and clearly it has worked for them. And how about this stat I got from them today: They haven't had back-to-back division titles since the mid 1980s. That's amazing. They're going for it.
Wrong place, wrong time for Green Bay? Makeshift o-line, defensive injuries (Clay, Woodson), no Jennings, rested/fired up Giants. I'm not making excuses, I'm trying to find a silver lining here...
Ashley Fox (3:07 PM)
I'm not going there yet. They've missed Matthews. Jennings is close to returning. Still got Aaron Rodgers under center. Don't jump off the cliff. Rodgers had been on fire heading into that game.
Rob (San Antonio)
Can you honestly look at Atlanta and Houston and believe they can win it all?
Ashley Fox (3:09 PM)
Yes. For sure. When it comes to Atlanta, few are going to give them a shot because they have not had postseason success under their current coach and QB. That's an issue. But they have a ton of weapons and Matt Ryan has been playing well. They've won something like seven games by a touchdown or less, which I see as a positive, as opposed to the other side of that argument that they aren't blowing out anybody. As for the Texans, they're solid all three phases. The defense has slipped a little these last few weeks. I think they miss Cushing a lot. But I can see them making a run.
What does Holmgren's earlier than anticipated departure tell us about Mr. Haslam and the new Browns regime?
Ashley Fox (3:10 PM)
It tells me that Holmgren knew it was over and he got out. New owner, new president basically means new everything. It's not a slight to Holmgren. They're going to do their own thing. Doesn't make them unique.
If the packers were to face the Giants in the Playoffs again. How different will it be with Clay Mathews, Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, Sam Shields, and Possibly Cedric Benson all back?
Ashley Fox (3:11 PM)
Well, that would be the story line, wouldn't it? I'm sure they would spin it that way, too. And they'd be right.
Do you think Babin will be signed by someone immediately?
Ashley Fox (3:12 PM)
He has to go through waivers first.
Do you think the Browns biggest need is now is a CB opposite Haden? Gordon seems to be coming along @ WR.
Ashley Fox (3:14 PM)
That's one of them. I was talking with someone earlier today about attractive head coaching jobs. If Cleveland comes open, which it very well could, I think it would be attractive, given all the young talent they have. Tom Heckert did a great job with the drafts he oversaw. He's a very good talent evaluator.
Mike Hunt (Wetlands)
Who do you think should be the 49ers starting QB?
Ashley Fox (3:17 PM)
That's a great question, and I can see both sides of it. Harbaugh obviously loves Kaepernick. He's his guy. But I don't like players losing their starting jobs due to injury. I understand it happens. Happened to Bledsoe and Kevin Kolb. It's a big boy league. But Smith was playing well and he's 20-6-1 under Harbaugh. I understand Kaepernick has upside and this is no slight to him, but I would've stuck with Smith. Maybe Harbaugh will go back to him, but at this point I'd be kind of surprised if he did.
Hey Ashley. How did the Packers do in the playoffs last year when they had Clay Mathews, Greg Jennings, Sam Shields, and any kind of running game(I'm sorry, Benson is no James Starks)?
Ashley Fox (3:18 PM)
I hear you. No one was going to beat the Giants at that point.
Do you think the dallas cowboys will make the playoffs/
Ashley Fox (3:20 PM)
They've got a shot. Their schedule certainly is favorable. But their offensive line is a big concern and they haven't been consistent all year. At 5-6, it isn't out of the realm of possibility, but I haven't been overly impressed by them.
The way I look at it, the Giants played their best game. The Packers haven't yet. Packers will get all their players back, and if they face them in the playoffs, the Packers will remember this game.
Ashley Fox (3:21 PM)
I wonder what the "draft experts" think about the Browns draft now? Especially the picks after the first round. The "reaches" in the 2nd and 3rd have been solid players to say the least.
MVP is Peyton Mannings to lose? Can you please elaborate on that comment? In what manner, has his season better than Brady's? I know people LOVE to have Manning in the spotlight, but, seriously, it's his to lose? Can you please back-up your statement? Seems awful short-sighted (not being disrespectful, just curious). Thanks.
Ashley Fox (3:25 PM)
Hold on. First to the Cleveland point. I agree about their draft. Solid. As to Manning v. Brady, I didn't say Brady isn't in the conversation, I just think Manning is going to end up winning it, particularly given their remaining schedule. But yes, Brady has had a sensational year and has thrown three picks all year. I get it. But you can't discount the degree of difficulty of what Manning has done, switching teams and still having success. To me, he has been most valuable thus far. There are five more weeks, so we'll see.
Can we stop with the comparing games from last yr (GB/NYG), 2 years ago (GB/ATL) and making blanket statements like "ATL can't win in the playoffs"? Elway was a bum in the playoffs until he wasn't. Same with Peyton. Things change from year to year. Dynamics change.
Ashley Fox (3:26 PM)
I never said "Atlanta can't win in the playoffs." I said they haven't. And I'm sorry, but that matters. Everyone in that building understands that they haven't won under the current regime. But you're right, this Atlanta team is different, and I'd argue more complete, than the past Atlanta teams of the last few years.
Tell John in Wisco, that wasn't even the Giants best game, their game in San Fran was even better.
Ashley Fox (3:27 PM)
Man, you guys are too much.
Did you think Gruden watched that game last night and thought, "Oh the things I could do with that team..."
Ashley Fox (3:27 PM)
I bet he thought, "What a mess."
Ashley Fox (3:28 PM)
Alright folks, thanks for joining me. Sorry I couldn't get to everybody. We'll do it again next week, and as always, you can hit me up on Twitter: @AshleyFoxESPN. Have a great week.