Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
I had a fun time in Browns camp this morning. So let's chat. BTW, remember if you're a player, coach or GM, you must misspell your name so I know it's really you.
James, it's been a couple weeks but I think this is the week I get back on the chat. There's been some adjustments to the Steelers O-Line lately and I'm wondering how well you think they'll play this season? Any chance Starks or Adams comes back?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
You are the first this week, Rachel. I'm not big on Pittsburgh's O-line, and really it's been that way for the past few years. Pouncey is a stud, but there are a lot of questions everywhere else. I don't see Flozell coming back. He was offered a paycut and didn't accept. But Starks is a possibility. He is a favorite in that locker room.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Absolute Worst Team in the AFC North in 2011?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
It's a two-team race, in my opinion. But I haven't made up my mind. I will predict all four teams after the preseason.
James (Los Angeles, CA)
Hey James, Do you think the bengals will add another running back in FA? Shouldnt they be worried about C. Benson being suspended?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
I don't see any big-name signing at RB. Those players are coming off the market anyway. The Bengals gave Benson enough money for one year to be the starter. I don't think he would have signed to be a backup.
If the Steelers can free up some cap room do you see them going after a veteran guard like Leonard Davis or Brian Waters?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
I don't see either, Brad. The Steelers are very tight under the cap and needed several players to restructure contracts just to get closer. I think they're done with any big signings. Max Starks returning at a lower price is more likely than the names you mentioned.
Do you see the Ravens getting either Osi or Asanti Samuels in the next few days? If not, what else are they going to do?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
Umenyiora is a possibility if the price tag is right. The Ravens always say "Right player, right price." Umenyiora is definitely the right player for Baltimore, but not for a first-round pick.
marcRen (cleveland Ohio)
Do u think the browns we smart to play the free agent market safe?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
I don't agree with the way the Browns are going about it. Yes, you build mostly through the draft. But the next draft isn't until April 2012 and Cleveland should not be content at all with its current roster. The Browns are lacking talent in a lot of areas and need help. Waiting on college players next year won't help them in September.
Ryan (Akron, Ohio)
How well is Greg Little doing in camp from what you have seen today?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Little struggled today. He had a couple drops. But he was probably the best WR on the field yesterday. That's the ups and downs of a rookie and it's expected. But Little looks the part.
D-Bo (st pete, fl)
With the drafting of RB Clay and resigning Mewelde Moore, is this pretty much the end for J Dwyer? He was a beast last year in preseason, but I hear he is overweight and did poor during conditioning...
James Walker (4:14 PM)
Clay is a rookie free agent. But I wanted to see more from him. Moore is proven and probably makes the team. I think Baron Batch has the best chance to be a sleeper. I would be very surprised if Dwyer makes this team.
J Peso (ATL)
WR depth is a concern, what plan of action do you see the Steelers taking to fix this? If the answer is Sweed or Arnaz Battle, you just ruined my day....
James Walker (4:15 PM)
I expect the Steelers to just stand pat. Sanders and Ward both will be ready for the regular season. There's no reason to go out and spent a lot on another WR.
Blake (Bedford, OH)
JW. It was good to see you at Browns training camp today. The Browns offense has looked sloppy early on in camp. Should this concern browns fans or can we just chalk it up to young players trying to learn a new offense?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
I am taking note of it, but I'm definitely not writing the team/offense off after one day. With no offseason and a new coach, this was expected. But the Browns have a long way to go on that side of the ball between now and September.
Hey James, do you think that the Bengals will sit Dalton and start Gradkowski like what they did with Palmer and Kitna?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
Nope, Dalton is the guy unless he completely falls on his face in the preseason. The Bengals drafted him because they felt he was an NFL-ready QB. Gradkowski is there for insurance.
Is the price for Umenyiora worth paying while the SB window is still open for the ravens?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
I wouldn't trade a first-round pick for him. But anything less than that, I think it's a good idea.
its (outta here)
who do you think will win the division this year
James Walker (4:20 PM)
I picked Baltimore a few weeks ago. I'm still hearing about it but sticking with my prediction.
kody m (youngstown)
hey james, give me your complete thoughts on the browns. i know you reported some bad things about them in your visit today at their camp. but tell me what they gotta do right now too improve.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
The Browns have to bring in more talent, in my opinion. They don't have enough top-level players.
Karson Palmer (In retirement home)
Any chances I get otta Cincy next yr???
James Walker (4:23 PM)
Sorry "Karson" but you're stuck this year. Maybe the Benals will revisit things in 2012.
With Hillis, Hardesty, and now Jackson, how do you think CLE will work their bevy of backs?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
I like the idea, because you need a group of backs. Former Browns coach Eric Mangini ran Hillis into the ground last year, and when Hillis couldn't produce the entire team fell apart. Now there are some backs who can share the load.
What are the odds of a Benson suspension and for how long?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
It really comes down to the court system, CJ. From there the NFL will weigh in.
James do you think the browns will make a move for osi umenyiora or are they content with there current defensive ends?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
The Browns keep saying they are building through the draft. So I don't see them giving up either of their first-round picks.
Todd Heapppppppppp (Arizona)
What kind of welcome will I get when I return to Baltimore October 30th?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
You will be very popular Todd. You did a lot in Baltimore during your time there and will get a warm reception.
What do you know about the Bunkley deal with the Browns what went wrong?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
I've heard two different stories and I'm not sure which one to believe. But if he passes his physical in Denver, I think I have more of an indication.
Nick (Dayton OH)
James what happens with Carson if he does not file papers? Do the Bengals pay him ? If does he fall subject to being fined for not being at camp
James Walker (4:33 PM)
Carson only gets paid if he reports. If he stays home, the year just rolls over and he will be due $11.5 million in 2012 if he decides to play.
Any update on the health of James Harrison?
James Walker (4:33 PM)
Harrison said his back was about 75-80 percent. He will be fine. Harrison looked good in practice when I was there.
Can the Ravens beat the colts this year?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
The safe side is always on Peyton Manning when those two teams play.
Val (Las Vegs)
If Carson reports, would Brown consider trading him then?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
No. The Bengals want Carson to come back. He's a better player and more experienced right now than Andy Dalton.
Clayton (Reston, VA)
What are the changes Mike Brown actually spends some more money in free agency? Cincy has some money to spend and has been fairly quiet.
James Walker (4:36 PM)
The Bengals have to spend the money. If they don't, they will focus on giving biger extensions to their own players to fill up the cap.
Tyler (Los Angeles)
Who will have a better year: AJ Green or Chad Ochocinco?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
The player who has Tom Brady throwing to him.
How big of a loss is Jonathan Joseph for the Bengal's secondary?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
It's really big. I think Joseph was their best overall defensive player. Nate Clements will be ok. He's on the decline but still brings something to the table.
Fill Taylor (Berea)
J-Walk - when will I finally get my contract done and report to camp?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
That's a tough one. The issue over the fourth year is new to everyone. So it's hard to say, "Fill."
Do you see the Browns resigning Vickers?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Nope. That ship has sailed a long time ago.
Ochocinco or Plaxico
James Walker (4:41 PM)
The guy who has Tom Brady throwing to him.
James (Hanover, MD)
Please tell me why William Gay still has a job
James Walker (4:43 PM)
I see William Gay isn't a fan favorite among Steeler Nation. He will have to compete with younger CBs to keep the same nickel role.
JW, who is the best reciever in the AFCN?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Rae Rice (Owings Mills)
How happy am I with the Vontae Leach signging?? With no Willis, is 2000 total yards (rushing and receiving) realistic?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
I would definitely make you one of my top fantasy picks this year "Rae Rae."
Brad A (Altoona)
Heads or Tails?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
The side with Tom Brady throwing to it.
How has Colt McCoy looked so far?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
He looked bad today, Nick. But I'm at Browns camp all week. He may have a better day tomorrow.
bill (wilkes barre pa)
what are the steelers gonna do with 4 quarterbacks?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Cut one eventually. Maybe a team makes an offer for Dennis Dixon and gives up a draft pick.
Why is it that teams such as the Eagles and Jets can sign so many good players while the Steelers are over the cap?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Having a $100 million QB has a lot to do with it. There's only a handful of them in the league. That's part of the reason Ben Roethlisberger restructured.
Jo Flacko (B-more)
What do I have to improve upon to get these critics off my back?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
You have to play well in the playoffs, "Jo." There's no getting around it.
History does not favor the superbowl runner ups but do you see the Steelers in the playoffs again ?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
Yes, David. Barring injuries, I do think the Steelers make the playoffs. I'm picking them as a wild card this year.
Michael H (San Antonio)
So bad do you think the Browns have to play before Holmgren steps down into the head coaching job?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
I think that ship has sailed as well. Mike Holmgren will not be coaching the Browns. He had a chance last year and passed. Pat Shurmur is the guy and deserves time.
do you really think the bengals are worse than the browns?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
I haven't made that determination yet. I have to watch both training camps and the preseason before I make a prediction. But one team is finishing third and the other is finishing last, IMO.
Bro Namath (NYC)
Is there anyone on the Ravens roster who is Ray Lewis' heir apparent?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Not currently. Baltimore looked around before the draft, but didn't get anyone.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone thanks again for your time and questions. Remember to check out the AFC North blog and AFC North Twitter for constant updates.
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