Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (4:01 PM)
Greetings everybody. Thanks for joining me today. Fire away and I will get to as many questions as possible.
Ed (Queens Village)
Which is stunning of NYC Football Jets 3-2, Giants 0-5, or both?
Ashley Fox (4:03 PM)
Good question. Neither is what we expected for either of the New York teams. If I remember correctly, the Jets started the season No. 32 in our power rankings, which shows how high our expectations were for them. I was surprised by how well the Jets played Monday night and how poised Geno was, particularly on that last drive. He was very steady. I think new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who knows a thing or two about coaching quarterbacks, deserves a lot of credit.
Lets see if this topic is untouchable around ESPN. Did you watch League of Denial? Do you feel football is in danger of extinction in the next decade or two?
Ashley Fox (4:07 PM)
Untouchable? No. I was working in Bristol the last few days and did not have a chance to see the Frontline documentary. But I will. I don't think football is in danger of extinction because the money is too great. It is a huge business. I do think the game will continue to evolve as the league tries to make an inherently unsafe sport more safe. Just look at how the game is played today versus 10 or 20 years ago. It is very different now.
RAY GORDON REID ( JACKSON MS 30901)
QUESTION TO ASHLEY THE FOX AT 4.25 PM SAINTS OR PATRIOTS
Ashley Fox (4:09 PM)
That's the game I will be at on Sunday. It should be a good one. I've seen the Saints twice in person so far this season and I have been very impressed. The defense is much improved and the offense is putting up points. I wasn't surprised New England struggled against Cincinnati's defense last week, but to not score a touchdown was alarming. It will be interesting to see if Gronkowski plays. Sounds like he will. Even so, I am learning towards New Orleans.
could the cowboys-eagles-giants win a superbowl if they combined rosters?
Ashley Fox (4:10 PM)
That's an entertaining question. Is it sad I'm not sure they could?
Hi Ashley, do you believe that Foles will return to bench if he plays real well against TB on road? Seems Vick injuries are inevitable and Foles is intermediate solution - no doubting team's running potential is stronger when Vick under center but not sure any team can build consistent winner with prospect of losing QB each week and an approach that exposes QBs to big hits -Vick is a real tough guy but getting older too so injuries seem to linger longer - love your work and write about our VCU rams come B-ball season - they are at Lasalle this year
Ashley Fox (4:13 PM)
It is going to be interesting to see what happens if Foles plays well. I know Chip Kelly has said Vick is the guy, but I wouldn't put it past him to stay with the hand that is the hottest. I think Vick is the better of the two but there isn't a huge gap there, and you are right that Vick is often injured. If you are a frequenter of this chat you know I don't think the Eagles quarterback of the future is on the roster. They'll probably find him in the 2014 draft.
With the new hard knocks rule, if no team volunteers don't you think the patriots are HBO/NFL's first pick?
Ashley Fox (4:16 PM)
It's funny you mention that. I was thinking the same thing. Belichick would HATE it. But you have to read the fine print on that new rule. Teams that have made the playoffs in at least one of the last two seasons will be exempt. So if nothing else, that means no Patriots in 2014. Also exempt are teams with first-year head coaches and teams that have participated in the previous 10 seasons. So basically there are outs built in. But yes, I would love to see a Patriots Hard Knocks. That would be amazing.
hey have a trade offer in my league and i would recive reggie bush, ray rice, and gregg jennings, and give away marlon brown, arian foster, and willis mcgahee. im not for sure if this is a good trade with rice and bushs injury history
Ashley Fox (4:17 PM)
I don't play fantasy, so I'm really not the one to ask.
Frank (New Orleans)
After a 3-0 start the Bears have loss consecutive games. So are the Bears a good team in a slump, or are they just an average team?
Ashley Fox (4:20 PM)
Well, they lost a division game on the road and then lost to New Orleans, so it's not like they got blown out by Jacksonville. But to your point, I think they are more in the average range. A lot is on the quarterback's shoulders. He's in a contract year playing for a first-year head coach that opponents now have some film on. So teams are able to adjust a little easier now. We'll see how Chicago adjusts. The good news for them is they've got the Giants at their place on a short week.
Tell Joe to take that trade and thank me later.
Ashley Fox (4:20 PM)
There you go. That was my inclination as well.
Redskins/Dallas has no buzz this week. What gives?
Ashley Fox (4:21 PM)
State of the division. It is depressing.
Andrew (Kansas City)
Although Matt Schaub isn't a true legit QB and the Texans will look to draft one in the 2014 draft how do you feel about fans turning against a QB like they are in Houston? Being a Chiefs fan I can say that it's disheartening when a QB continues to make endless mistakes and turn the ball over and almost single handily loses games for you week after week (Matt Cassel last season). But still do fans take these things to far? It's still just a game and they are still people.
Ashley Fox (4:24 PM)
You are the voice of reason, Andrew. It's one thing to boo. I get that. But to go to a man's house and harass him is way over the top. It was one person, mercifully, although I know some fans were burning Schaub's jersey after the Seattle game. I understand people take this stuff seriously for a variety of reasons, but you're right: It is just a game and the men playing it are people. That was well said by you.
Mike P (Greater Kc)
Atlanta says a Tony G trade is preposterous... but how likely would it be and could he be traded to the chiefs
Ashley Fox (4:27 PM)
I think if they continue to lose it would be on the table. What if Kansas City was willing to give them a fifth-round pick for Gonzalez, who they're not going to have next season anyway? Why not do that? The Chiefs make sense because they need a tight end and there is history there. Would be pretty cool if that indeed happened.
The only reason I though League of Denial would be untouchable was based on the fact ESPN was willing to be part of the documentary, then wanted no part of it at the last minute. Thanks for the answer.
Ashley Fox (4:28 PM)
You're welcome. I heard Schefter talking about it this morning on Mike & Mike. No one that I know is ducking it.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is Tommy C on the hot seat in NYC?
Ashley Fox (4:30 PM)
That's a fascinating question. The man has won two Super Bowls. That bought him time but not eternity. And I would think by tomorrow night they'll be looking at 0-6. Not good.
Dare I believe in my Chiefs? The D has been outstanding, but the offense has been hard to watch. The lack of throws longer than five yards is mostly because of Smith's rag arm, Bowe's inability to get open, inexperienced line or combination of the three?
Ashley Fox (4:33 PM)
The D is really good. I talked about this on Insiders yesterday. Andy Reid told me Monday night that the defense is playing hard and together and believes in Bob Sutton's system. "They have fun," he said. It sounds simplistic, but it is evident just watching them that that is true. Reid also loves Dontari Poe. As for the offense, I think it's a little bit of all three as well as just how that offense is set up. They nickel and dime you to death. The biggest thing is the turnover differential. The Chiefs aren't committing a lot of turnovers. That helps.
How great would it be that Dallas and Washington tied? Just imagine that headlines that nobody is good enough to win. Oh and the Eagles lose (along with the Giants). The rest of the football world would rejoice while fans and teams of the NFC LEast would be up in arms. Here's to hopeful thinking.
Ashley Fox (4:35 PM)
Yeah, that would be indicative of this season. But I'd be surprised if the Eagles lose to Tampa Bay. Not out of the realm of possibility but I doubt they will.
Hi Ashley, what approach do you think the Steelers should take for the rest of this season? Obviously they aren't mathematically out of anything yet, but what would some realistic goals be for the organization in 2013?
Ashley Fox (4:37 PM)
Get some of the younger guys on both sides of the ball as many reps as possible and reevaluate the drafting strategy. There has been a drop off in talent.
Can the Jets be a playoff team?
Ashley Fox (4:39 PM)
Oh boy. Let's look at their next four games: Steelers, Patriots, at Bengals, Saints. Ask that question again after that stretch. They can't be a playoff team if they are below .500, which after that stretch they very well could be.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Rob Ryan's performance in NOLA earn him consideration for a head coaching job? Or does he need to cut his hair first?
Ashley Fox (4:40 PM)
I don't think the hair is the only thing. And no, I doubt it. But he has done an excellent job in his short time in New Orleans.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Which former coach of the Denver Broncos will be gone by the end of the season, Shanahan or Kubiak?
Ashley Fox (4:42 PM)
Will be gone? Maybe neither. I know Dan Snyder likes to change head coaches, but I don't see him letting Shanahan loose. If the Texans miss the playoffs Kubiak could be in trouble.
Vegas still has the Packers as overwhelming favorites to win the NFC North even though they sit in third place. Fair assessment?
Ashley Fox (4:44 PM)
They have them as overwhelming favorites? Define overwhelming. But yes, I think they're the best team in the division, even though they are a game behind Detroit and Chicago. Losing Clay Matthews for a while hurts though.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Cleveland says Josh Gordon is not going to be traded, but we all know everything is negotiable...so what would they take and what would teams offer?
Ashley Fox (4:45 PM)
Everything is negotiable, yes. If they were willing to trade Trent Richardson, I'd say anything is possible. I don't know what they'd take but I would venture to guess a third-round pick might get the conversation started.
Ed (Queens Village)
Chip Kelly now the longest tenured coach of 4 major sports teams in Philly. Does Chip make it to 2014 season opener?
Ashley Fox (4:46 PM)
It is remarkable the turnover in Philly, isn't it? Yes, I think Chip makes it to the 2014 opener. You don't think Lurie would fire him, do you? He's on the hook for a lot of money.
EJ Manuel suffered his second injury in less than two months. Bad luck or a sign of what's ahead for his career?
Ashley Fox (4:49 PM)
Bad luck at this stage. The good news was the injury wasn't worse and that while he's going to miss significant time, he isn't going to miss the rest of the season. That's good. The bad news is he now is 2 for 2 on injuring his knees. It is worth watching once he returns.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Should Matt Flynn be arrested for grand larceny after stealing 14 millions in two cities while never earning a start?
Ashley Fox (4:51 PM)
That made me laugh. And yes, he should. He had two shots and got beat out each time. That would qualify as a bust.
When will the Chiefs suffer their first loss? They have 3 home games in a row going into their bye week, then off to Denver.
Ashley Fox (4:54 PM)
Chiefs fans are pumped, I can tell. Kansas City has the Raiders, Texans and Browns in the next three weeks, then travel to Buffalo before the bye. And then the real fun begins with Denver twice in the next three weeks. If you are an Andy Reid follower, you know his record in Philly after the bye was stellar -- 13-1 if my memory is correct. But I would expect there to be a hiccup there somewhere before the bye. Maybe Houston, if Schaub can regain his composure and confidence. A big if at the moment I know.
Packer 4/5 Chicag0 4/9 then dropped off from there
Ashley Fox (4:55 PM)
There you go. That would qualify as overwhelming, yes.
Thanks for the answer. The nickel and dime act is what worries me. That won't buy many playoff wins.
Ashley Fox (4:56 PM)
It is only five games. Like I said, follow the turnover margin. That's a big one.
Do you think new Orleans will be the top seed in the nfl playoffs once there in?comments.
Ashley Fox (4:56 PM)
Certainly looks that way right now.
Ashley Fox (4:57 PM)
Alright everybody. Thanks for all the questions. We'll do it again next week. Enjoy Week 6.