Chat with James Walker
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Cavaliers at the Dispatch. Walker grew up in Hyattsville, Md., before attending Temple University, graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in communications and mass media. He resides in the Cleveland area.
Send your questions now and join Walker on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Hello everyone. Let's get to it. We're going to get to players and coaches only this week. So ask your question in that fashiong. We'll start, though, with some regular questions.
Craig (Austin, TX)
How do the Steelers address their offensive (literally) line in the off-season?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
I view Pittsburgh going the route of a major makeover, as in 2-3 changes at least. Marvel Smith is hurt and won't be back, Max Starks' tag will end, so that's two tackles right there. The draft is usually the best option for Pittsburgh. The Steelers may sign one free-agent lineman as well.
coravenfan (denver, co)
James first off great xmas wish list this a.m. I say we pass the collection plate and get these refs full time on our own if thats what it takes! Maybe start our own website like those fans in the UK trying to buy their own Soccer team :) My question is: What are your thoughts on the Ravens free angency situation, who makes it back next year and who do we say bye to? Also what are we looking for in the draft?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
What's up, Coravenfan? I see you around all the time. Thanks for the support. I'm big on changing the ref system in the NFL if you can't tell. I believe all the added replay and tweaks and such are smoke screens from the real problem. Suggs and Ray will be back at a steep price. I think Bart (free agent) and Chris McAlister (cut) may not return. All those guys are great players but you can't keep everyone.
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Where are my players and coaches this week? Everyone must be watching film for the playoff push.
James, what are your thoughts on the number 2 seed having the easier 2nd round match up?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
They're all tough, Patrick. The best scenario for AFC fans is Pittsburgh and Baltimore avoided each other until a potential AFC title game. It's not highly likely, but at least they won't knock each other this year.
Stacey Andrews (IR)
James Walker (4:13 PM)
I know, tough break. That is the danger of accepting a one-year franchise tag and should be a cautionary tale to a lot of players around the league. All you can do now is have surgery and get healthy.
John Harbaugh (Bawlmer)
Was Saturday night the best coaching performance of the year? Not only did I outcoach the 'boys, but I got this team off the gut-wrenching loss to the stillers in about one hour. COY???
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Coach, we're writing about this topic on Christmas. So if you have time on the holiday to go to ESPN.com, check it out. You will like what you see. I'll be covering the game Sunday by the way, so we will talk soon.
Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh)
JW, what's up playa? What are the chances Santa reaches into his bag and pulls me out a new OC for next season? I'm begging the fat man for one. Shoot I gotta get back to yelling at my O line. Peace
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Coach, Santa was sitting right next to you earlier today at your press conference. Everything you wanted this Christmas, he would have given you.
Cedric Benson (Cincinnati)
Do you me getting franchised or resigned? I looked pretty awesome sunday, $$$!!!!!!!!
James Walker (4:19 PM)
No chance for a franchise tag. That is wishful thinking. But you did earn a spot in the league next year with a strong finish. I'm not sure if it's with the Bengals though.
ed reed (MD)
i'm tired of just getting 2 interceptions a game. i think the jags deserve 3.
James Walker (4:21 PM)
You only seem to get two against the NFC East, Ed. Maybe the AFC South will help you up that number.
Cut?! Man i gave my heart soul and body to this team and you are going to hold it against me because I didnt want to have surgery and watch from the sidelines? Poll the WRs in the Nfl and i bet you I still come up as one of the most feared corners in the league.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
No doubt, Chris, you are a great player. But consider the position the Ravens are in with their three free-agent linebackers and your big contract. On top of that, they want to check out other positions like WR, also. It makes sense. Consider this a heads up.
Marvin Lewis (Cincy)
We ain't franchising Ceddy, but he'll be back. I'm worried about TJ and Chad. Can Carson help Jerome Simpson and Caldwell turn into some pretty good WR's?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
There you have it. Coach, you took those young WRs over some other names like DeSean Jackson that made those in Cincinnati cringe. They better come through for you.
leron mclain (md)
Am i the best big runningback in the league or what?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
Nope. Brandon Jacobs is. But you made a tremendous name for yourself this year.
Joe Flacco (MD)
JW, love the blog. Keep the love coming. I heard these playoffs can be tough for rookies. I'm kinda scared. Any advice for me?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Take care of the football and let your defense win games. But you're playing on the road this year, Joe. So you will be fine.
Joe Flacco (Bmore)
people keep asking me why i'm so much better on the road. well to be quite honest it's cuz i'm afraid of Captain Defense. that guy scares me.....
James Walker (4:28 PM)
Oh, that's what it is? Now it all makes sense. Haven't seen characters like that at Delaware, huh?
Terence Newman (Dallas)
CMac's a good corner, but I'm better...actually I'm better than just about everyone.
James Walker (4:31 PM)
Where did you come from, Terence? This is an AFC North blog.
Rex Ryan (soon-to-be-former-Baltimore-resident)
I keep getting all-expense-paid invitations to visit all these cities - St. Louis, Oakland (I think I have a brother there. Works for some crazy man), Detroit. Should I visit all of them, or is there one out there that's the right fit for me?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Take as many interviews as you can, coach. I hear Cleveland may be calling soon, possibly as early as next week.
Derrick Mason, Balto
Hey JayDub, Great blog, sorry it took so long to type this but I only got one good arm? Did you see that Dallas game? I mean man, how 'bout some props for that effort? I am in the running for an ESPY???
James Walker (4:34 PM)
That was a great effort, sort of a summary of the toughness the Ravens have this year.
ocho cinco (cincy)
who do you see me playing for next year?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
Ocho, it's difficult to predict one team at this moment. Dallas is your preference but the Roy Williams trade ruled that out. There is no promise you will be out of Cincinnati, but it would be for the best if you were.
Still can't cover me Newman, even with one arm. Thankfully Joe Cool has been keeping the ball in the framework of my body all year and making my job less painful. Except that one throw against the Giants, that was painful trying to make the catch and even more painful seeing the DB take it in for 6.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Yes, Joe Flacco is doing his part. Great teamwork on his end.
James, my man. Long time no speak. Happy Holidays my man. Be well.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Same to you Steiny.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore)
How long until someone decided to give Cam Cameron another try at being a head coach? I want him to be my offensive coordinator forever.
James Walker (4:39 PM)
You're safe with Cameron. His rep around the league now is he's a great coordinator but not a great head coach. A lot of coaches are most comfortable that way. You may want to start looking for a new d-coordinator soon, though.
Terrell Suggs (Baltimore, MD)
A potential re-match with the Titans looms in the divisional round. This time I won't hit Collins on the head on the final drive. Wait, I never actually touched his head. Maybe I'll drop back into coverage this time.
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Good idea. You need to stay focus on the Jags this week.
Rob Chudzinske, Ctown
Do i have a shot as an OC somewhere else next season?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Coach, you spelled your own name wrong??? You are really in a slump right now. You may have to wait a little while for another shot, but I've seen stranger things.
Troy Smith (B-More)
Am I better off staying here as the backup or looking to start somewhere else?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Stay with the Ravens for now, at least until your contract runs out. You never know with injuries. But if you ever got your chance, be ready.
Bruce Arians (Pittsburgh, Pa)
are you only taking posts from coaches and players? btw, have i convinced anyone that you don't need a fullback to run the football?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
Yeah, coach, that was a little strange. I understand that you're trying to spark the running game again, but a fullback is a big part of running the football on most teams.
Ben (the burgh)
Anyone in here got some stick-um. I need some for the playoffs.
James Walker (4:45 PM)
But how will you throw the ball if it sticks to your hand?
Haloti Ngata (Owings Mills, MD)
JW, where do you think we end up playing in two weeks? I'm still pissed about being snubbed
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Miami would be the best matchup for you guys. But I'm not sure the Dolphins can beat the Jets on the road this week.
Does anyone believe me now when I say that I am a true winner? I mean, come on, the Lions can't win at all without me!
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Joe Flacco (Baltimore)
I already know how to play quarterback. Now I need somebody to teach me how to show emotion every once in a while.
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Not really, Joe. The Ravens drafted you to be you. It's a great spot because there are a lot of other players on that team that will do the talking for you.
Romeo Crennel (Cleveland)
James, I'm going to confied in you some here since you've been good to me. I don't think I'm coming back to Cleveland next year but don't tell anyone because everyone will be shocked! Where should I land after this disaster of a season?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
Thanks for the scoop, coach. It's been great working with you also, despite all the losing seasons. My advice would be to take a year off, recharge your batteries, then consider your options. The Browns still owe you a lot of money.
Have you heard the rumblings and internet rumours of Mikey Brown hiring a GM for next year? Please tell me yes so we can get some football minds in here
James Walker (4:53 PM)
You're more likely to play this week, Carson, than Mike Brown hiring a GM.
Bill Cowher, comfy couch
How much should i ransom the browns for?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
The $8-9 million. Then use it for leverage to get hired somewhere else that doesn't need as much work.
Brian Billick and Rex Ryan
Hey Bill, we were thinking the same thing.
James Walker (4:55 PM)
You two don't have as much leverage.
Bart Scott (BMore)
So, I've observed from Jamie Sharper, Ed Hartwell, and Adalius Thomas that awesome Ravens linebackers just don't have the same success anywhere else. That doesn't bode well for me, does it?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Every player is their own person, Bart. You play in a great system but I have the feeling your physical style will translate well anywhere you go.
Kyle Boller (unknown, USA)
So this is what I was supposed to do when they drafted me ...
James Walker (4:58 PM)
How is the shoulder? There are a lot of teams in need of QBs next year.
Mendenhall (the weight room)
How come the Steeler fans seem to have forgotten me. I'm ready for some vengeance on the Ravens next year. I'm going to complement Willie and Moore well behind a new line.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
It's just the nature of the business, especially since you didn't have a chance to do much before getting injured. Consider this a red-shirt year. Pittsburgh will need you in 2009.
James Walker (5:02 PM)
Thanks again for the fun time. As always, check out my blog for the latest on the AFC North. Merry Christmas, everyone. -JW