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 3 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (3:01 PM)
Hi everybody. Thanks for joining me. Let's get going.
I enjoyed your Ravens article, are continue to be perplexed by them. Thought Pittsburgh just executed us yesterday, but my main question is, am I off base wondering if Cam Cameron is not capable of making adjustments in game? Things don't work, they never seem to have a plan B.
Ashley Fox (3:04 PM)
That's a knock on him for sure. What got me was how the Ravens got away from Ray Rice. If I'm them, I give him the ball a lot more, particularly with a 10-point lead. Also I think the Ravens have gotten a little too predictable on offense. The injuries on defense aren't helping. I think given what they've got on offense, if the defense can get a little healthy and with their solid special teams unit, they should be able to make a playoff run. But I also thought they should have buying PIttsburgh given the Steelers ware using their third-string quarterback. Give it to Charlie Batch though. He played great.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Ashley, great win for the Steeler against the Ravens on Sunday, when Pittsburgh get Ben Roethlisberger back would that increase their chances of getting to the Super Bowl?
Ashley Fox (3:05 PM)
Absolutely. It sounds like he's getting close, so that's good. And that win Sunday was crucial for their chances of getting into the postseason. They'll miss Ike Taylor for the next few weeks. That's a tough loss. But I certainly think they should make the playoffs and then we'll see.
if you had to guess..... do you think McCoy will go this weekend for the Eagles? And if not.... do they give Bryce Brown the full workload even with the fumbling issues. Man this guy has impressed me as a runner so far. Just got to hang on to the ball!
Ashley Fox (3:07 PM)
Brown has been impressive. If I had to guess, and at this point it is just a guess, I'd say McCoy sits and Brown plays. And why not? McCoy has nothing to prove. The season is over. Andy Reid obviously is into evaluating players for the future, given that he's going to sit Vick for the rest of the season. So I think it will be Brown on Sunday.
Does the Redskins & Colts mean that much to the league or are they totally ignorant to what that other rookie is doing in Seattle
Ashley Fox (3:08 PM)
I'm not sure what your question/complaint is. But I don't think anyone is ignorant to what Russell Wilson is doing. He's having a fine rookie year and finally got a signature win on the road. He's getting respect.
Isn't it time to put to bed the notion that the Seahawks "can't win on the road"? ALL SEVEN of their road games have gone down to the final drive. If you were 2-5 calling coin flips, could I say that you "can't call coin flips"? It would be a laughable assertion.
Ashley Fox (3:10 PM)
I hear that, but the only road game they had won prior to Sunday was at Carolina. Until you do it, you don't do it. Winning at Chicago was huge for them, because if they make the playoffs, they're going to have to be able to go into a tough environment against a good team and win. They did that Sunday.
What are the chances that Reid and Vick end up on the same team next year, but not the eagles?
Ashley Fox (3:11 PM)
I was having this conversation with someone earlier today. I think it's possible but unlikely. Reid knows better than most what Vick's limitations are, and he knows his upside. It's going to depend on where, if anywhere, Reid ends up next season. If he goes to a team with an established quarterback, like say San Diego, then no. But what if he went to Arizona? Can you imagine if he was the coach of the Cardinals and had Vick and Kolb? That'd be interesting.
Last night's game more indicative of Redskin's ability to contend with good teams or the Giant's inconsistency?
Ashley Fox (3:14 PM)
Probably a little of both. Washington is getting better, there's no question. How about the running back? And Pierre Garcon? And of course RGIII. All games are important, but that really was an important one for New York. They host New Orleans on Sunday, then play at Atlanta and at Baltimore, two teams that are very tough to beat at home. Then they close with the Eagles who, while going nowhere, have had the Giants number. It's a tough stretch for New York coming up.
Everyone talks about the Falcons being vulnerable. Uh who in the NFC isn't? Giants, Packers, Bears, 49ers? ATL is as good as any of them. I have a feeling they will finally show it in January.
Ashley Fox (3:16 PM)
Well, CC, I've been high on Atlanta all season. The fact that they've had so many close wins, as opposed to blowouts, doesn't bother me. I've heard some people knock them for that, but I think it will make them more confident in the playoffs because they know how to win in the fourth quarter. Everyone inside their Flowery Branch practice facility knows that they won't get the respect until they win in January. And it's true. But this team is more mature. I think they'll be a tough out.
Wow... Not NFL News but Brett Bielema going to Arkansas... WOW!!!
Ashley Fox (3:18 PM)
Not NFL news but interesting nonetheless. The college chips are starting to fall.
Can the Packers ever catch a break with the injury's? The week they start getting healthy (greg jennings). They lose Jordy Nelson and TJ Lang. Will the Packers get healthy this year?
Ashley Fox (3:19 PM)
And back to the NFL. You're right. They can't catch a break with injuries. I don't know if they'll get healthy this year. The good news, at least, is they get the Lions at Lambeau this year. The last time Detroit won there was Dec. 15, 1991, 21-17. That was also the last season Detroit won a playoff game. So there's that.
Hey Ashley, I'm a big Denver fan and I am shocked that Von Miller isn't getting the media coverage that Watt does. Is he not a Defensive Player of the Year favorite?
Ashley Fox (3:21 PM)
Not to drop a huge hint, but check out my Between the Tackles column NEXT week for a little treat. Miller and Watt are the frontrunners. Aldon Smith is in there, too. That's some great, young talent. Four games for those guys to make their case.
Ashley, the Vikings cannot possibly stay with Ponder after this year, can they? I mean, they've got one of the all time great RB's (if not the greatest) and they're completely wasting him. Please tell me AP doesn't line up behind Noodle Arm Ponder again next season...
Ashley Fox (3:24 PM)
I've heard a lot of this. You feel for Peterson for sure. And what about Larry Fitzgerald? He's being wasted in Arizona. That was probably one of the worst quarterbacking performances that has ever been Sunday against the Jets. The question with the Vikings then becomes, if not Ponder, who? It's not a good quarterback draft. There aren't going to be a ton of free agents. Maybe Matt Flynn is available, but he's still an unknown. Would Vick work there? I don't know.
At this time last year, Panthers fans and the media were gushing over Cam Newton, "once in a lifetime" player. Last night RGIII broke Cam's rookie rushing record. Cam is a borderline bust this year...will defenses have RGIII figured out by next year?
Ashley Fox (3:27 PM)
Well, that is the nature of the league. Coaches figure guys out, and players and opposing coaches have to adjust. Cam hasn't had a good year, but he's still got a ton of talent. There will most likely be changes down there. So that could help. I'd be almost as concerned about Cam's attitude. I haven't been impressed. As for RGIII, what's not to love about that guy. He's got the whole package, and Mike Shanahan is smart. He will adjust. I think it was Cris Carter this morning who said you can't underestimate or appreciate Griffin's speed until you actually see it. He's a problem for defenses.
David (California by Way of Philadelphia)
Ashley, I've been following your writing since your days covering Philadelphia sports. Congratulations on your move to ESPN and best of luck to you. In your opinion, is there any chance that Andy Reid keeps his job next year? On the outside chance that that happens, do you see Lurie and Company scaling back his responsibilities by stripping him of his GM duties? And in that scenario, could they also become more involved in choosing his coordinators? As much as it pains me to say it, I'd like to see Andy Reid have one more year with the Eagles but get rid or Marty and Todd who I think are predictable and overwhelmed respectively. Thanks and keep up the good work!
Ashley Fox (3:30 PM)
Thanks, David. That's nice of you to say. Is there a chance Reid keeps his job? Sure. Unlikely but not out of the question. Jeffrey Lurie doesn't want to fire Andy Reid. But if you've spent any time listening to sports talk radio in Philly -- and I have -- you know the apathy among the fan base. That's a problem. They've been embarrassing. NFL owners don't like to get embarrassed on national television. So I think Lurie will fire him, but there's a chance they restructure. I'd be surprised, but...
I agree with you on attitude...I heard a telling comment from a sports radio host in Charlotte, he said, "Cam shows great leadership when they are winning"...that about sums it up, his attitude is horendous when they lose
Ashley Fox (3:31 PM)
Yep. Gotta show leadership in good times and bad. That's part of being a leader.
Do you think Alex Smith will get the starting job back at SF and if not, where do you think he will play next year.
Ashley Fox (3:33 PM)
Two good questions. Does he get his starting job back? I think at this point it would be hard for Harbaugh to go back to him. Never say never, but you strip the guy of his starting job because he got a concussion, and then you're going to ask him to come back and win games for you when you've clearly favored Kaepernick? That'd be a tough sell. Where will he play? He should have options. Kansas City maybe. Philly maybe. Look around, there are teams in need of a quality quarterback and he had the highest completion percentage in the league this season. He will get a job.
Carson (Virginia )
Will RGIII lead the Redskins to the playoffs?
Ashley Fox (3:35 PM)
It's not out of the realm of possibility. As I mentioned earlier, the Giants have a very tough remaining schedule. Look at Washington's remaining games: home against Baltimore, at Cleveland, at Philly and Dallas at home. Will it happen? Who knows, but they've definitely got a chance. If they beat the Ravens, things should get real interesting. I'm excited I'll be in the house for that one.
Alex Smith to MN. He would easily lead this team to the playoffs with Harvin, AP, Rudolph, etc. Add another decent WR option (draft or FA) and they could really scare someone.
Ashley Fox (3:36 PM)
He would be a nice fit there.
Gary (Rapid City)
Do you think the Broncos have enough of what it takes to make it to the AFC Championship?
Ashley Fox (3:39 PM)
Absolutely. They're getting great quarterback play from Manning and forcing opposing quarterbacks into mistakes. How about this: The Broncos have as many wins as the rest of the AFC West combined. I really expected more from that division this season. It has been a huge disappointment. But the Broncos are tough and I wouldn't want to face Manning in the postseason.
Dan (San Diego)
Whenever anyone asks your colleague, Matt Williamson, about Phillip Rivers poor play, Matt always say's "He's got 6 kids at home"!!...it's kind of funny but do you think that could really be a factor?
Ashley Fox (3:42 PM)
That is funny. I don't know. I'm going to speak with Greg Cosell later this week about what he's seen from Rivers on film. He has a great perspective on quarterback play. But there is truth in what Matt says. It's easy to forget NFL players are actually real men with lives.
Mike (New York)
Where is Mark Sanchez playing next year? The Jets? Can they trade him?
Ashley Fox (3:43 PM)
I think he'll stay in New York. But I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't wish they could rethink that contract extension. What a mess.
Do you think that the Seahawks have a chance at the Number two seed and winning the NFC west? It is mathematically possible
Ashley Fox (3:46 PM)
It is mathematically possible, yes. Three of their four remaining games are at home, so that's a plus. That Week 16 game against San Francisco would be huge. So sure, there's a chance. But I think it's unlikely they move up to No. 2 and probably unlikely they win the division. They haven't won more than two consecutive games all season.
I guess it is both good and bad but I haven't heard much about the play of Brandon Wheedon...how has he been playing this year?
Ashley Fox (3:48 PM)
You know, he had a slow start but I think he's been solid, particularly lately. The thing I like about the Browns is when they were 2-7, they didn't quit. They still played hard. It was evident in the Cowboys game. And now they've won two straight. It's a shame because I'm sure the new owner is going to clean house in the front office and with the coaches. Tom Heckert has done a solid job there with the drafts and acquiring players.
Please tell me there is no way concievable that Ken Whisenhunt is the HC of the Cards next season.
Ashley Fox (3:49 PM)
I think he will be gone. Mike Sando dropped this nugget on me today: The two teams in the DRC-Kolb trade have both won eight straight. Not they way they drew that up.
Kyle (So Cal)
Maybe Brad and Angelina can help out Phillip Rivers...
Ashley Fox (3:49 PM)
Of the forecasted HC openings next year, Philly, Carolina, San Diego, Arizona, Cleveland, Dallas (maybe) Buffalo (maybe)...which is the most attractive?
Ashley Fox (3:52 PM)
I really don't think Dallas will be open, first of all. But if it is, it would be attractive. Same thing with San Diego and Carolina. The better the quarterback, the more attractive the job. Cleveland has young talent. I don't think Philly is attractive at all.
Brian (New York)
Do you think there could be any "surprise" head coaching changes after the season? Jacksonville? Oakland? New Orleans?
Ashley Fox (3:53 PM)
New Orleans would be a surprise, but only because it would mean that Sean Payton would be leaving Drew Brees. That'd be a really uncool move, given how the Saints have stood behind him through all the bounty allegations.
If Manning wins his 5th MVP (wow!), is there any question that, at minimum, he is the best regular season QB ever?
Ashley Fox (3:56 PM)
I'd have to study that before giving a definitive answer. I know this: He is the best quarterback ever pre-snap. He breaks defenses down and adjusts before the snap better than any quarterback ever. And, I think he has a very good chance to win that fifth MVP. I heard a lot of debate this morning about one of the defensive players sneaking in there and getting it. But its going to be hard to rip that award away from one of the quarterbacks in this day and age.
So still no Sean Peyton deal with the Saints. You familiar with the smoke/fire cliche?
Ashley Fox (3:56 PM)
Yes. I know. They could've gotten it done and haven't. That's why there's the speculation. And it is warranted.
Sebastian (Las Cruces)
Considering all the the success by both Andrew Luck and RG3 which team has the best chance of going deep into the playoffs ?
Ashley Fox (3:58 PM)
I'm not even sure Washington is going to be in the playoffs. Either way, both of those teams are going to have to win on the road against good teams. That'll be hard to do.
Tell Steve that he can have Manning for the regular season and I'll take Tom Brady EVERY SINGLE DAY because he is post season money (I have amnesia for Tom's last 2 Super Bowl appearances)
Ashley Fox (3:59 PM)
There is that. Five Super Bowl appearances, three victories, two losses to the Giants. But I believe he said regular-season, right?
Ashley Fox (3:59 PM)
Alright everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions. Hit me up on Twitter @AshleyFoxESPN or come back next week when we will do it again. Have a great week!