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 Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (4:00 PM)
Hi everybody. Thanks for joining me today. Let's get started.
Hi Ashley, more likely to happen this year Foles throws for 4500 yds, Maclin reaches 1200 receiving yards, McCoy runs for 1400 yds and catches passes for 500 yds . thanks
Ashley Fox (4:03 PM)
Good question. I actually was at the Eagles yesterday and talked with Shady for a while for a column I'm writing for tomorrow on Darren Sproles. Not to give away the column, but McCoy is looking forward to getting a little relief from having to carry the ball so much this season. He led the NFL in rushing yards but also in carries with 314. He wants to be fresher this season. That said, I don't think he'll put up north of 1,400 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards. I do think Foles could top 4,500 yards though. And if Maclin stays healthy, he could top 1,200 yards. Chip Kelly loves him.
Ed (Queens Village)
Is it too early for Texans to name Fitzpatrick starting QB? Does Fitz start all 16 games?
Ashley Fox (4:05 PM)
I don't really think so, no. They don't have much choice. Fitzpatrick is their best option among not-so-great options. I agree that competition is good and often brings the most out of players, but Fitzpatrick is going to need as many reps with the ones as he can get. I think they will have to stick with him, if he stays healthy, but there's no way to predict if he'll start all 16 games.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear AshleyCould you ever see the league stop playing games overseas during the Regular Season?
Ashley Fox (4:06 PM)
I seriously doubt it. The league is trying to expand their brand and they see England as a viable market. And they've only been adding games overseas, not taking them away. At some point, I think they'd like to have a team located there, but we are still a ways off before that happens. They need to get a team in Los Angeles first. That's the priority.
Andrew (MPLS) [via mobile]
Ashley I was wondering what you think of the noise the media keeps making about the Redskins name change? I'm completely in the camp saying its the teams decision if they change the name. I don't the Govt or the league should step and say you have to change the name. 80% of people say it doesn't bother them and a majority of Native Americans say it doesn't bother them either.
Ashley Fox (4:09 PM)
I respectfully disagree with you about the name. I think they should change it, but the only way that's going to happen is if the trademark ruling gets upheld on appeal, and that process is going to take a while. Years. The name is offensive to some people and I think it is unnecessary to offend anyone with the name of a sports franchise. But the only way the owner is going to change it is if he gets pushed by other owners and/or Goodell. That won't happen unless or until their checkbooks are impacted.
Ashley,I have really enjoyed following your articles (and chats). Do you have any memories of the O.J. Simpson chase?
Ashley Fox (4:11 PM)
Thanks, JR. I remember the chase like it was yesterday. I was living in New York City and watching the NBA playoffs. I believe it was a Friday night, if I'm not mistaken. It was riveting. Couldn't believe it as it was going on.
Ashley, Could you see a 49er trade of V Davis to HOU for A Johnson....Johnson gets the superbowl contender he wants and HOU would have money to pay davis...both are holding out both are disgruntled....both dont have a real reason to be....its a perfect fit....johnson would give them that down field threat they always appear to be looking for
Ashley Fox (4:12 PM)
I doubt it. I think Davis will end up reporting to the Niners for training camp. He loves the game and I don't see him holding out for long, if at all once camp starts. Johnson would be a nice fit in San Francisco, but I just don't see that happening.
Jordan T (Coloado Springs)
Ashley- What do you see as a more pressing matter for the Chiefs right now... Resigning Alex Smith or resigning Justin Houston??
Ashley Fox (4:14 PM)
I think taking care of the quarterback needs to be the Chiefs No. 1 priority. I'm not sure how close the sides are, but I would expect the Chiefs to ultimately offer him a deal that puts Smith on the lower end of the top-tier quarterbacks from a compensation standpoint. Probably in the Romo/Cutler range. Andy Reid loves him and is committed to moving forward with him.
Louis Friend (Varna)
When will Tagliabue move the Rams out of the NFC West? Doesn't he own a map!
Ashley Fox (4:15 PM)
Tagliabue? That made me laugh.
What are your thoughts on Matt Schaub coming into this season for the Raiders?
Ashley Fox (4:17 PM)
I wrote a column on Schaub recently. They're very, very happy with him. And they feel like it is simply a matter of helping him get his confidence back so that he can return to the player he was before the wheels fell off last season. We'll see. They filled a lot of needs in free agency, but they're banking on older players making significant combinations -- MJD just being one -- which is not always the best strategy.
Louis Friend (Varna)
If they could switch bodies for one weekend -- "Freaky Friday" style -- who would be more miserable being the other person: Tim Tebow or Johnny Football?
Ashley Fox (4:19 PM)
Wow. Now that's a question. I think Tebow would probably appreciate the opportunity to compete for a starting job in the NFL. That's not happening.
Who are u picking preseason to win defensive rookie of the year...Clowney, Mack, or a dark horse candidate?
Ashley Fox (4:21 PM)
I'll take Mack. The news about Clowney needed surgery to repair a sports hernia was troubling. Better to go ahead and have it now, instead of in August, but nevertheless you don't want your No. 1 draft pick dealing with something like that.
Adam [via mobile]
Thoughts on the Titans D under Horton? Doesn't anything under him have to better than anything under Jerry Gray?
Ashley Fox (4:24 PM)
I'm looking forward to seeing what Ray Horton can do there. He's reunited with Ken Whisenhunt, with whom he worked in Arizona. And Tennessee wasn't horrid on defense last season. They ranked 14th overall, so there are pieces to work with. If he can build that defense up, Horton is going to have a chance to be a head coach in this league. Thought it might happen last year in Minnesota.
Ashley, how does the XP as it stands now help the game? It is virtually automatic, what is the worst case if you move it to the 20 yard line and some teams decide to go for 2?
Ashley Fox (4:26 PM)
Why punish kickers for mastering their craft? The game isn't broken, so why fix it? But John Harbaugh, whom I respect greatly, is for moving it back. He thinks it will make the game more exciting and force coaches to consider going for two more often. I just don't think it's a necessary change that's going to positively affect the quality of the games.
What is the best big 4 sport city in the U.S?
Ashley Fox (4:28 PM)
I'm a little biased because I've lived in Philadelphia for the last 14 years -- I can't believe that, by the way -- and I appreciate and understand Philly Fan. But there are passionate fan bases elsewhere, in your fair city, Chicago, New York, among others. I love when sports define a city and fans really support their teams. That's cool.
I'm offended by the Jags uniforms. Should I start a petition for them to be changed? Gov't getting involved in the Redskins issue is a slippery slope.
Ashley Fox (4:29 PM)
Not the same thing, CC. With all due respect.
Not only is the use of an imaginary favoritism rating (80%?) completely wrong but I can't believe the argument that the "majority of Native Americans" is enough to put the issue to rest. Would any of the disillusioned proponents of Washington's nickname ever call a Native American the offensive name to their face? Doubt It. Change it already.
Ashley Fox (4:30 PM)
Thank you. Agree. A writer for Esquire today had a great explanation of the origins of the name and what it means. I suggest anyone who doesn't understand it google the article and give it a read.
Duke or N.C?
Ashley Fox (4:30 PM)
Louis Friend (Varna)
Via SN poll, 62% of the public thinks the Washington American Football Club should not change the name. Out of that 62%, how many were watching either "Boy Meets World" or "Sex and the City" while voting this afternoon?
Ashley Fox (4:31 PM)
I think public opinion polls on this issue are irrelevant.
Dear Ashley, say the Cowboys go another year 8-8, do you get rid of Romo or keep him and continue to ride the ship of faith?
Ashley Fox (4:32 PM)
They can't get rid of him until they have a replacement for him. And I don't see Jerry Jones jettisoning him. 8-8 is normal for the Cowboys. And remember, they're still printing money, which is what Jones cares most about.
No it's not the same thing. But once you start down that road of allowing gov't leaders to influence things like this it never goes back. They'll get their tentacles involved in more and more.
Ashley Fox (4:34 PM)
I agree with you on that. It is a slippery slope.
I dunno, the whole "game is not broke, so dont fix it," is a pretty dangerous slope for an argument. A league should always be trying to improve their product, no? Belichik, Harbaugh, Matt Williamson your colleague, many more are in favor of a change. Thoughts?
Ashley Fox (4:36 PM)
We agree to disagree. That's fine. I assure you, if you polled the 32 kickers in the league, they'd all be against moving PATs. Does that make them wrong? No.
Ashley - What are the other owners thoughts on the Redskins changing the name??
Ashley Fox (4:36 PM)
That's a great question. Few, if any, have talked about it publicly.
Will the REDSKINS win the division this year ?
Ashley Fox (4:37 PM)
I think Philly is the team to beat but Washington got better with the addition of DeSean Jackson. He should be motivated to have a huge season. What improvements does the QB make working for a new coaching staff?
Ashley it happens every year. A team or two with a winning record last year implodes (Atlanta, Houston). What's you're prediction this year?
Ashley Fox (4:41 PM)
Well, I was surprised the Falcons imploded last year, but their roster was thin due to giving up so many picks to move up to get Julio Jones, and then they had so many injuries early. I don't know how you predict that. Cincinnati is going to be worth watching, after what happened to Andy Dalton in the postseason and with Mike Zimmer leaving for Minnesota. That's a big loss.
We agree to disagree. But kickers would be the MOST biased group of any demographic in the country you could poll right?
Ashley Fox (4:43 PM)
Yes, you're right. But moving the PAT because they have become proficient at their job to me isn't reason enough to move it. I do agree, however, it could be fun to see a kicker have to kick a longer PAT with the game on the line, but losing a game because of a missed extra point would really stink.
Ashley whos your favorite eagle of all time?
Ashley Fox (4:43 PM)
It's a tie between Troy Vincent and Brian Dawkins. Both total pros and delightful human beings.
Will the Browns start Johnny on the first day and go ahead and find out what they have?
Ashley Fox (4:44 PM)
I hope so. Would be fun. But it is too early to tell.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
What was the point of Marshawn Lynch's off the field drama? Will this serve as a distraction at all? Or will he tone it down now that football has started up again?
Ashley Fox (4:45 PM)
I don't know. He's the third highest paid running back in the league and is approaching his expiration date as a running back given the workload he has shouldered in his career. We'll see how he feels when training camp opens.
Best Hoosier football player off all time? Anthony Thompson??
Ashley Fox (4:46 PM)
I believe so, yes.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will the Niners make another move at WR before Opening Day? They still have issues at this position in my opinion. Your thoughts?
Ashley Fox (4:47 PM)
It's going to depend on who's out there after the final round of cuts. Whoever it is won't be a significant difference maker. That's one reason why Davis is so important. But I don't expect them to re-do his deal either.
Yo, Ash how do you see the Arizona Cardinals doing this year?
Ashley Fox (4:50 PM)
I expect them to be highly competitive. Loved what Bruce Arians did last season and how Carson Palmer responded. They were a huge surprise. The division obviously is a beast. I think something worth watching will be how Seattle responds to their success of last season.
Best Hoosier is Antwaan Randle El , ever
Ashley Fox (4:51 PM)
There you go.
Ed (The OC)
Ashley, About the Redskins name change...by re-branding Dan Snyder would stand to make millions upon millions of dollars...why fight it?
Ashley Fox (4:52 PM)
This is so true. And imagine the value of the "old" merchandise.
Ash, In fantasy what position would you choose 1st?
Ashley Fox (4:53 PM)
I'm probably the only one here who doesn't play fantasy, so I'm not the best one to ask. But LeSean McCoy would be a good choice. Or Jamaal Charles. Multipurpose backs.
Louis Friend (Varna)
What's the worst part about your job -- besides chatting with us, the VILLAGE IDIOTS?
Ashley Fox (4:54 PM)
I love everything about my job. I write and talk about football for a living. What's better than that?
Ed (The OC)
Superbowl champs in recent years have shown MASSIVE decline in their hangover year...so why am I alone in thinking the Seahawks miss the playoffs this year? I know they return a ton of their players but they're in the toughest division in the sport, they have a 1st place schedule to deal with, the proverbial target on their backs, they're historically questionable on the road, they p;ay in the loaded NFC...they're going 8-8 this year.
Ashley Fox (4:56 PM)
That's why I said it will be interesting watching them. There is something to the Super Bowl hangover. But they're still a young team that doesn't have a bunch of dollars tied up in the QB. I'd be surprised if they go 8-8, but it bears watching.
Enjoyed watching you on Sports Reporters. Do you think that Bradford will have a productive season or will the Rams have to look for a new starting QB either in next year's draft or FA?
Ashley Fox (4:57 PM)
Thanks. It was fun. As for Bradford, this is a huge year for him. Huge. The Rams are firmly behind him, but they're going to have a decision to make if he has a shaky year.
Steve (San Luis Obispo)
My bet is that with the Sterling issue in L.A. and the Redskins issue, other sports owners are terrified that their own skeletons may be discovered. They will lay low, indeed!
Ashley Fox (4:57 PM)
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Will the Saints run away with the NFC South this year barring significant injuries to key personnel?
Ashley Fox (4:58 PM)
I believe so. It's going to be interesting to see how the Falcons respond to having the Hard Knocks crew around for seven weeks. Not sure that's going to help them rebound from 4-12.
Will it be business as usual for Peyton Manning this season ?
Ashley Fox (4:59 PM)
There's no reason to think not. I do think they're going to try to run the ball more to be somewhat more balanced.
Did you ever meet Tony Gwynn? 224 career plate appearances against Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez and he struck out just one time; amazing feat!!!
Ashley Fox (5:00 PM)
Sadly, no. My experience covering baseball has been limited. But he certainly seemed like a gem. Sad that he's gone.
Ashley Fox (5:01 PM)
Alright guys, thanks for participating today and the respectful discourse regarding the Washington nickname. Appreciate that. Have a great week.