Chat with Tim Graham
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger Tim Graham will drop in to chat about all the latest news from the NFL.
Graham joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post. He previously spent eight years at the Buffalo News, where he was an award-winning NHL and boxing writer. The Baldwin-Wallace College grad also has worked for the Las Vegas Sun and Boston Herald.
Send your questions for Graham now and join him on Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tim Graham (3:03 PM)
For the first time all year, the AFC East is about to play in four games. What's on your minds?
Hey Tim, do you like Fitzpatrick to keep putting up the numbers in Buffalo or do you see him soon to be burning up in re-entry?
Tim Graham (3:05 PM)
I don't think Fitzpatrick can keep it up. Unless some deity descended from high and bestowed some new powers on him, this hot streak he's on is an aberration. He has been a backup quarterback (on some bad teams) for a reason. And even if Fitzpatrick is a quality quarterback, I think his supporting cast will cause those numbers to drop over time.
Jordan R. (Albany)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked great -- and against a couple of top-5 defenses to boot -- in his four starts. Assuming he can continue on this pace (or close to it) the rest of the season, and Andrew Luck doesn't come out, what are the chances Buffalo takes a LT or DT in the first round instead of Locker or Mallet?
Tim Graham (3:07 PM)
I still think the Bills should draft a quarterback. Fitzpatrick's presence makes that an even better opportunity. The prospect they bring in won't be under pressure to play or win right away while Fitzpatrick holds down the fort. Fitzpatrick seems like he'd make a great mentor for a young quarterback and could start for a year or two until the kid's truly ready.
Why do the Patriots insist on keeping Arrington in? Is it really worth it to destroy Butler's confidence?
Tim Graham (3:08 PM)
That decision isn't about Darius Butler's confidence. It's about Bill Belichick's confidence. If Belichick can't trust a cornerback, then he's not going to play.
Which veteran HoFer has the bigger day this week: Moss or Tomlinson?
Tim Graham (3:10 PM)
I'll go with LaDainian Tomlinson. He has a lot more going for him than Randy Moss, who's highly dependent on the health and talent of the guy who's going to deliver the ball to him.
you really think the fans will put up with another year or two of Fitz while their "savior" (or so they think) sits on the bench? I don't buy it and imagine you were chuckling to yourself as you typed it.
Tim Graham (3:11 PM)
Dead serious about what I typed. What say do Bills fans have in the matter anyway, Dan? At what point have their voices been heard over the last 10 years of missing the playoffs.
Blow pops or tootsie pops? (sorry, dum dums suck)
Tim Graham (3:12 PM)
Blow Pops all the way. I always thought a Tootsie Roll in the middle of a sour sucker was a lousy payoff.
At 5-1 the Jets look good, but i don't think they have even come close to showing how good they can be. With injuries to Pace, Revis & Santonio Holmes being out 4 weeks, this team will only get stronger. Once they peak, this team could unstoppable. What's your take?
Tim Graham (3:13 PM)
No team is unstoppable, and I still think they Jets will go as far as their quarterback takes them. I understand they have a great defense that can compensate for some offensive meltdowns, but I'm still not sold on Sanchez.
DJ MIRZA (NYC)
Tim I read your blog earlier regarding pregame playlist?s. Do you have a pre-blog playlist that helps get the writing juices flowing?
Tim Graham (3:15 PM)
No, but I recently stumbled across my pregame mix tape -- yes, tape -- from my high school days. A lot of hair metal on there.
I haven't heard anyone locally or on a national level really talk about this idea, but isn't a smart qb like Fitz (can't talk about him without mentioning Harvard) the type of player you would want on your team if you draft a 1st round qb? If we can have him for another year he can start earlier next year until the rook is ready to go.
Tim Graham (3:16 PM)
That's what I was referring to 10 minutes ago. I agree with that take.
John Bon Jovi (Cryogenic Chamber)
SHOT TO THE HEART, AND YOU'RE TO BLAME!!
Tim Graham (3:17 PM)
No Bon Jovi ... But there was Whitesnake. And the Scorpions.
With Bill Parcells stepping away from the Dolphins front office do you see him returning to the sidelines next year? Any rumors floating around out there that we haven't heard about the Tuna yet.
Tim Graham (3:19 PM)
I'd be surprised if Parcells returned to coaching. I think he enjoys his other diversions (golf, horse racing, hanging out at baseball games) too much to commit to the grind again. Being an executive keeps him involved just enough.
Whats wrong with the Dolphins running game this year after last year's top 5 running game?
Tim Graham (3:21 PM)
The No. 1 problem is identity. The Dolphins can't seem to figure out what they want to be on offense. Are they a running team or a passing team? They seem to be drifting to the latter.
No Van Halen?
Tim Graham (3:22 PM)
There was some of that ... I'll have to post the playlist one of these days.
Chase (New Bedford MA )
What is going on with Mankins coming back? Is he expected to start when he returns, and how to the Pats feel about getting him back?
Tim Graham (3:23 PM)
It all will depend on what kind of shape Mankins is in. Once he shows up and gets around his teammates in the locker room and on the practice field, I doubt he or the team would let a grudge get in the way of being competitive. If he helps them, then I think he'll play.
Pat (New York)
Tim, who do you think has been the most impressive rookie in the AFC East thus far?
Tim Graham (3:24 PM)
Offensively, Aaron Hernandez. Defensively, Koa Misi.
Aaron Maybin (Orchard Park)
Tim, Was my benching more of a motivational thing or am I really that bad?
Tim Graham (3:25 PM)
If not playing is a motivational tool, then the Bills have been applying it for weeks. Aaron Maybin barely played before they scratched him Sunday.
Mike (Canastota NY)
Tim, Jason Allen leads Miami in picks,but i think he also gets smoked more than any corner in the league,Do you think theirs anyway Sean Smith sneaks back into the starting lineup anytime soon?
Tim Graham (3:27 PM)
Jason Allen not only leads Miami in interceptions, but he also has 75 percent of them (three out of four). The reason he has so many is because teams are picking on him. At 4 p.m. you'll see my Final Word, in which I advocate putting Sean Smith back in.
Tim be honest. Which is your favorite team in the NFL?
Tim Graham (3:28 PM)
It's easy for me to objective. I truly don't have a favorite team. I grew up in Cleveland and was a Browns fan until they moved to Baltimore. After that, I just followed the game.
Why can't Fitzpatrick develop into a solid starter in the NFL? He's only 27.
Tim Graham (3:30 PM)
He'll be 28 in less than a month ... He looks like a solid starter right now. But how many "solid starters" put a team into the playoffs on a regular basis? If you want to win championships, you need much better than a guy who's 28 years old and MIGHT hold down the fort.
is it too early to call CJ Spiller a first round bust?
Tim Graham (3:31 PM)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early. Give him a couple years at least.
So is Art Modell someone you despise? Can the Jets run it against GB like they did against Buffalo? They should have had the same gameplan versus Denver but the Broncos shut them down most of the game.
Tim Graham (3:33 PM)
I wouldn't say I despise him. He was a sensational philanthropist in Cleveland, and I know people whose lives were directly impacted by his charity. But I was pulling for the Giants in that Super Bowl so I didn't have to see Modell hold the Lombardi Trophy.
Tim Graham (3:34 PM)
The Jets can't run it against the Packers like they did against the Bills because the Bills have the league's worst run defense. But the Packers are vulnerable there. They rank 25th in run yards allowed per game.
Tim quick question. Dolphins have to get better in the Red Zone. Whos holding this team back?
Tim Graham (3:35 PM)
It would appear to me it's their offensive coordinator.
Tim, what is the most important one-on-one matchup in the GB v. NYJ game?
Tim Graham (3:36 PM)
Clay Matthews versus Damien Woody.
im a dolphins fan and i dont know what the dolphins should use their first round pick on, i think they should get a RB or TE. what do you think?
Tim Graham (3:36 PM)
What about another cornerback?
Why is tom brady so high on the mvp watch? He has been bailed out by his defense and special teams as often this year as he has been responsible for wins
Tim Graham (3:38 PM)
The Patriots keep winning, and at 5-1 they deserve representation on the list. Brady is their best player, and continuing to win without Moss has emphasized Brady's value. Also, I'm not so sure his defense has bailed him out that much.
Chad H. (Miami)
Hey if I cant lead my team to the playoffs will my team look for another QB?
Tim Graham (3:39 PM)
All depends on how the year plays out. It's possible Henne can have a great season from here on out and still miss the playoffs.
In your opinion, will Favre play this week? Also, should he play, if he feels he can, but Childress does not?
Tim Graham (3:40 PM)
I can only go by the reports, and they seem contradictory at the moment. Some say Childress will go with Jackson. Some say Favre looks OK. It would seem to me, as an outsider who never has covered the Vikings, they would be better served with benching him and focusing on Jackson rather than the distractions and turmoil Favre is causing at the moment. But that's what the Vikings signed up for.
why do you keep reporting that Cincy sat starters and helped the Jets in ? they played EVERYONE except Benson and maybe some mdiocre DT , and were romped 28-0 at the half ! cmon man - they ran for cover ...
Tim Graham (3:42 PM)
Please. The Bengals did not try to win that game. They did sit players, whether it be at the beginning of the game or at halftime. Peyton Manning started in Week 16 against the Jets, but they eventually sat him. Just because players "started" doesn't mean the Jets had it tough. The Bengals went into the game knowing a win or loss didn't matter -- in the frigid cold, no less. Let's agree the Jets got a freebie.
What game was Joey watching?
Don (Port Huron, MI)
Tim, Do you believe the whistle have been blown before the turnover on Shawn Nelsons OT catch? IMO it should have.
Tim Graham (3:42 PM)
Probably, but it's the kind of judgment call that could be justified. It was that close.
Joey just embarrassed himself. He sounds like a Met fan.
Hey Tim, do you think the Dolphins should fire Dan Henning. I mean his play-calling has been more than suspicious
Tim Graham (3:45 PM)
Tony Sparano has defended Dan Henning every step of the way, but I think he did the same with John Bonamego. It might be time. Maybe give David Lee a shot at it ... or Sparano can take it over himself. He called plays in Dallas.
Candy Corn (Bag)
I was robbed!!! Everyone knows I'm the best candy!!!
Rory (Buffalo, NY)
How unlucky is it for Buffalo that when the defense for the past couple of years has been pretty good and the offense atrocious, the year that the offense is good, the D is pitiful. Painful to be a fan.
Tim Graham (3:47 PM)
It's not like the Bills' defense disappeared just for that game, though. They've been bad for weeks. But I understand your point. Maybe they should have made Dick Jauron and Chan Gailey co-head coaches?
Mary Janes (black and orange wrappers)
Wrong Candy Corn. I'm the best!
Candy Corn is vile.
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
They'll never be as bad as circus peanuts.
Did anyone in history ever like "bottlecaps?"
Tim Graham (3:49 PM)
Flat soda. But in candy form!
Scott (Colorado Springs, CO)
The wax bottles with the sugar drink inside were pretty bad, could never get all the liquid out!!!
Tim Graham (3:51 PM)
They always seemed like a good idea before you tried them, though.
mike (Myrtle beach)
will John Gruden coach the Dolphins next year?
Tim Graham (3:52 PM)
I doubt that very much.
You got any Dokken or Ratt on the pregame tape?
Tim Graham (3:53 PM)
You guys are starting to peg me ... Dokken (Tooth and Nail), but no Ratt.
Saturday Night Live (NY)
You know what this chat needs? The perfect cheer
Best way to carry your candy: Pillowcase or black mega-huge garbage bag?
Tim Graham (3:53 PM)
We always had the store-bought plastic bags with the reinforced handles that snapped together.
Kip Winger (1987)
Any Love for us?
Tim Graham (3:54 PM)
Not a chance ... But I did seem them in a festival concert once. It wasn't as awful as you'd expect.
Who would your rather have Santonio or Braylon next year?
Tim Graham (3:55 PM)
Santonio Holmes seven days a week.
what would be worse for the Jets in your opinion? the Jets losing the Super Bowl, or the Jets not making the Super Bowl?
Tim Graham (3:56 PM)
Not making it. Getting to the Super Bowl would be a major accomplishment for a franchise that hasn't been since Namath's guarantee.
Rory (Buffalo, NY)
You have any Hip on the playlist?
Tim Graham (3:57 PM)
Not back then. I hadn't even heard of the Tragically Hip. But I have three of their albums on my iPod.
Tim...I'm egging your car right now!!
Tim Graham (3:57 PM)
I hope not because it's in my garage. Don't step on a rake.
Joe McNeil (Indiana)
The Jets are not going to the Superbowl
Nick (New Mexico)
Circus Peanuts = Beast
Any chance you can replace yourself with someone that will actually talk football?
Tim Graham (3:58 PM)
What do i have to do for u to answer my dang question lol Fitz or Willaims (Seatle) ?
Tim Graham (3:59 PM)
Spell Seattle correctly.
if the jets were to verse the steelers now who would win? same with ravens and patriots
Tim Graham (4:00 PM)
The Patriots and Ravens just played 10 days ago, and the Patriots won. If the Jets and Steelers were to play this weekend, I'd be confident in a Jets victory. The Steelers have a banged up defense.
Tim Graham (4:01 PM)
A couple more and then I have to get back to polishing the pennies I'm going to hand out for Halloweeen.
what are the chances the bills win 8 out of their last 10 games ?
Tim Graham (4:02 PM)
Is there a number lower than zero?
I know the statisticians have to go by the calls on the field, but isn't changing Henne's last throw against the Steelers to an INT a little ridiculous? Especially considering it was fourth down and had no impact on the game, shouldn't they rule it an incomplete pass, since that's exactly what it was?
Tim Graham (4:03 PM)
Every play must be scored with the same attentiveness. What if the defensive player has a clause in his contract that gives him a bonus for interceptions?
Seriously how did you get this job???
Tim Graham (4:04 PM)
Connecticut temp agency.
What if the QB has a clause that states they get a bonus if they only throw a certain amount of interceptions?
When you applied for this job did you apply for AFC East, or was that assigned to you?
Tim Graham (4:05 PM)
It was assigned to me. I was covering the Dolphins at the time for the Palm Beach Post and had worked in Buffalo and Boston.
Mike (Arlington, VA)
It won't suprise me if the Bills take a QB first, then have him ride the bench. They consistently draft top picks to sit the bench (Spiller, Maybin, McKelvin).
Tim Graham (4:06 PM)
Leodis McKelvin is playing, but let's not forget John McCargo.
Graham's Girlfriend (Cleveland)
since im your girlfriend you should answer this question. who wins the dolphins vs jets rematch?
Tim Graham (4:07 PM)
I hope my wife's not reading ... Unless there are major developments by then, I'll have to go with the Jets. They'll be at home. It'll be the middle of December. The Jets would have the edge.
How much crow are you willing to eat if the Bills turn out some wins this season?
Tim Graham (4:08 PM)
My preseason prediction was 5-11. They better get cracking.
Why no love for the dolphins
Tim Graham (4:09 PM)
They're a good team. They just happen to be third best in the AFC East.
Bill Polian (Indianapolis)
Timmy, I've reviewed your tapes from high school and am quite impressed. As you know, we've been beset by injuries this season. We have a game coming up Monday night and I'm going to need you to play the slot WR spot for us. You in?
Tim Graham (4:11 PM)
You got it. Put 16 men on the field and let's run a bubble screen.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger Tim Graham will drop in to chat about all the latest news from the NFL. (Can you help talk some news TIMMY)
Tim Graham (4:12 PM)
For somebody so down on the chat, you sure have stuck around for a long time. I can't thank you enough for your interest.
Mike (Arlington, VA)
Do you think Maybin can turn things around? He seriously can't be THAT bad...can he?
Tim Graham (4:14 PM)
He's young. He came out of Penn State early and with little playing experience. He still has a chance, but maybe he should do what a fellow Nittany Lion did. Change his name, go play in Canada and see if he's any better as an NFL when he's 28.
Tom (Palm Beach)
Henne pass was INCOMPLETE you moron. It bounced off the ground timmy. Keep sucking up the bills and jets. They hated you at PBP anyway
Tim Graham (4:15 PM)
Yes, I'm quite the Bills homer.
Who would you rather have for the next 5 years, Henne or Sanchez
Tim Graham (4:16 PM)
If I had to pick, Mark Sanchez because he can do more with his legs and seems capable of improvising more than Chad Henne.
Scott (Colorado Springs, CO)
Throw the kids a curveball this year and hand out Buffalo Wings instead of candy
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
Do I need to take my shirt off and show Sanchez what a real man looks like? He's an amateur.
Mike (Myrtle Beach)
After six games Henne has a higher quarterback rating then Sanchez.
Tim Graham (4:19 PM)
Thanks for the diversion today. Made mailing it at work at 3 easier. Thanks Tim.
Who cares (Next door)
Your lying to people saying Sanchez stats are better than Henne when they are clearly not. Henne leads in all most every stat. Do some research before you speak.
Tim Graham (4:21 PM)
I'm not going to rag on Henne, but in the interest of having a discourse with you, Henne has a lower passer rating, more interceptions and fewer wins. Those are some important stats.
Tim Graham (4:24 PM)
Also, Henne's completion percentage is inflated by his number of short passes. Henne plays from behind more often, so he throws more often. In that, 154 of Henne's attempts have been 10 yards or shorter compared to Sanchez's 121. Plus, Sanchez has gone deep way more often than Henne, which also impacts completion percentage.
Tim Graham (4:25 PM)
On passes that travel longer than 20 yards in the air, Henne is 3 of 8 for 109 yards and no touchdowns. Sanchez is 5 of 20 for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Tim Graham (4:26 PM)
If you take the difference between the two quarterbacks and factor in the number of high-percentage passes for Henne and the number of low-percentage passes for Sanchez, then that completion percentage gap will close.
Henne does have a higher comp. %, more yards. A higher qb rating. More 1st down completions and 2 more ints. As far as wins I didnt know Henne played special teams in 1 loses or got cheated by refs in another.
Tim Graham (4:27 PM)
Henne's passer rating is 84.9. Sanchez's passer rating is 86.4. http://is.gd/gsLiN
Scott (Colorado Springs, CO)
Why do I always feel like I'm listening to two teenage girls argue about Twilight when people bring up Henne vs Sanchez?
Tim Graham (4:29 PM)
I feel the same way.
Alias Sports Bureau (Everywhere)
If you want to get technical, Fitzpatrick's rating is higher than both. Does that mean he is better? No
Fitzpatrick > Sanchez > Henne. Deal with it everyone
Brady > All of them
Tim Graham (4:31 PM)
I have to wrap it up, folks. Hope everybody enjoys the games this weekend. Thank you for dropping by.