Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (1:00 PM)
Happy Monday, everybody. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday weekend. I will do my best to get to all of your questions. Let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which NFL Teams has Owners who are Women?
Ashley Fox (1:01 PM)
To my knowledge, the Bears are the only one. Virginia McCaskey and her family own 80 percent of the team. New Orleans one day will probably be owned by Rita LeBlanc, granddaughter of Tom Benson. But as of now, Benson owns the Saints.
Bernard tampa fla [via mobile]
Will tampa bay draft a rb
Ashley Fox (1:04 PM)
This is a very interesting question. If Trent Richardson is on the board when Tampa Bay picks at No. 5, then yes. Richardson is can't miss. But I think Cleveland will pick him and then the Bucs will go with LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, who would help them tremendously.
Ashley Fox (1:05 PM)
Let me stop for a moment. Roger Goodell has decided, not surprisingly, to uphold his suspensions in the New Orleans case. Sean Payton's suspension will start April 16.
Ben (KC) [via mobile]
Judging from their offseason so far how good do you think the chiefs playoff chances are?
Ashley Fox (1:07 PM)
I think they are very good. Their roster is stocked. There is depth on both sides of the ball. They have built the roster to compete for the AFC West for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see if Ryan Tannehill is still on the board at 11 if the Chiefs would pick him. I don't think he'll still be there, but he could be.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Hi Ashley, Do you think the Eagles will address their RB need in free agency or the draft?
Ashley Fox (1:09 PM)
I assume you are looking for someone behind Shady McCoy, yes? I wouldn't expect the Eagles to make that a priority early in the draft. Before re-signing Derek Landri, I figured they would go defensive tackle in the first round. Might still. Maybe look for a back later in the draft. They have other more pressing needs.
Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)
Hi Ashley, I have a niece named Ashley!! Who do you think the Steelers will draft in the 1st rd? I'm thinking ILB that can step right in to replace Farrior.
Ashley Fox (1:12 PM)
Hi Ray. I've seen a couple draft analysts projecting just what you suggest, that the Steelers will take Alabama's Dont'a Hightower. He can really play any linebacker position in the Steelers defense. Offensive tackle is another position of need, but I'd like to see Hightower in Dick LeBeau's D.
I completely agree with your column advocating a lifetime ban for Greg Williams but what are the odds that actually happening? After all, this is a league that let Michael Vick back into the game.
Ashley Fox (1:14 PM)
I'd say it is probably unlikely. I would expect Williams to work with Roger Goodell on pushing player safety initiatives, and that would certainly help his standing with the commissioner. And you're right, Goodell has given other players second chances, including Vick, Donte Stallworth and Plaxico Burress.
Why is Indy so set on taking Luck and what makes him a surefire #1 pick over RG3 in the eyes of Indy's brass?
Ashley Fox (1:17 PM)
Did you watch him play at Stanford? He's got size, can make all the NFL throws, is smart. As many draft experts have said, he is a once-in-a-decade prospect. Jim Irsay had another in Peyton Manning. As Irsay tweeted over the weekend, it is all about No. 12. The Colts will take Luck and build around him. The unfortunate thing for Luck is that the Colts roster needs a serious overhaul. Manning at least had some help when he got to Indy.
If Mike Wallace remains a Steeler will the change the way teams deal with big contract issues? I thought other teams would jump at the opportunity to trade untested talent for a receiver who has proven he can be productive.
Ashley Fox (1:19 PM)
Not necessarily. The Steelers made the decision to let Wallace test the waters. They didn't think he'd find much interest, and they were right. That was a unique situation to them. They obviously wanted to keep him at their price. And it looks like it is going to work out for them.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How long do you think it will take Manning and Elway to elevate the Deniver Broncos to a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Do you think Elway will/should take a quarterback in the draft to protect itself against Peyton reinjuring himself?
Ashley Fox (1:22 PM)
The move to get Manning was about winning now. Both Elway and Manning said that. If Manning is healthy, I think the Broncos are a playoff contender. Can they win the AFC? I don't know at this point, but I think they can be in the mix. Like you said, I wouldn't be surprised if Elway picks a quarterback in the draft, someone who could use the time to learn and develop. That guy wouldn't get many practice reps, though.
Any idea of when the new NFL schedule will be released?
Ashley Fox (1:23 PM)
This week, although to my knowledge the league hasn't said when it will release the schedule. I hope it is this week.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Any chance Gregg Williams WILL be banned for life? Don't you find it weird Payton might be a TV analyst if he loses his appeal?
Ashley Fox (1:25 PM)
He will have to do something to stay busy. I think he would be good on TV. Maybe he can take Bill Parcells spot on Sunday mornings, and Parcells can take his spot. That would be quite the switch, no?
Dean (NY) [via mobile]
Any chance there's a team in the twentys that trades into the top ten ala Atlanta last year?
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
Will you be part of the draft coverage?
Ashley Fox (1:27 PM)
Sorry Dean. Here's your answer: Oh sure. There are always draft day surprises. The Falcons made the big one last year to draft Julio Jones. It was a good move, even though it cost them a first-round pick this year.
Ashley Fox (1:28 PM)
And yes, I will be part of our draft coverage. Will be in New York at the draft for the first round. It is always fun. Great atmosphere.
What do you see the bills doing with their 1st round pick? Best available or fill wr/OT need?
Ashley Fox (1:31 PM)
I've looked at several mock drafts for the Bills, and it certainly seems that folks are all over the map with what they'll do. In his latest mock, Mel Kiper has them taking Riley Reiff, the tackle from Iowa. I've seen others that have projected Buffalo taking a wide receiver or a linebacker, depending on who is available at 10. My guess, given what they've done in free agency, is they use their first-round pick on an offensive player.
Corydon (Grand Rapids)
How do you think that the Brandon Jacobs move to the 49ers will affect Frank Gore
Ashley Fox (1:32 PM)
I think it will probably help him. Jacobs isn't going to get a ton of carries, but he can come in and give Gore a breather or help in the red zone.
chris aka dolfan (miami)
where do you see the dolphins going on the number 8 pick?
Ashley Fox (1:34 PM)
Well, if Ryan Tannehill is still on the board at No. 8, I would think the Dolphins would pick him. It makes a lot of sense. With Matt Moore, he wouldn't have to play right away. Mike Sherman, his college coach, is now with the Dolphins. Miami has a lot of needs, wide receiver most prominently among them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they take Tannehill if he is available.
What do you see New England doing with their 2 picks late in the first round?
Ashley Fox (1:37 PM)
Probably trading one of them. That's been their M.O. of late. Kiper has them taking an outside linebacker and a defensive lineman. I'd be surprised if they kept both.
Devin (Detroit MICH)
Ashley, I am hearing that the Lions want to move up in the draft to get Caliborne. they want the best CB in the draft. Are you hearing anything to this trade up? thanks
Ashley Fox (1:38 PM)
You only have to post your question once, Devin. And it's Claiborne. He is the best cornerback in the draft, by far. They will have to move up inside five to get him. I think that's going to be tough to do.
Do you think Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley could really make the Steelers a offensive powerhouse? Or we going to see lots of bickering?
Ashley Fox (1:40 PM)
That's going to be fun to watch, because at this point I don't think anybody knows how this is going to work out. Mike Tomlin said at the owners meetings a couple weeks ago that Haley wasn't changing blocking schemes and that he was agreeable to suggestions. We will see how that works out. If you see your quarterback and OC bickering a lot, that's going to mean the Steelers aren't doing very well.
Do you subscribe to the notion that last yr's draft was superior as far as elite talent goes excluding QB?
Ashley Fox (1:42 PM)
Yes, I think that's fair to say. There are only a handful of sure-fire, can't-miss picks in this draft. The two QBs, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil of USC and Claiborne. There's a pretty significant drop off after that. It was a deeper draft last year. The quarterbacks make this draft.
Who is the best candidate to be given the AL Davis award for drafting a 3rd rd prospect early in the first because he had a great work out?
Ashley Fox (1:44 PM)
I'm sure Davis would have loved Dontari Poe. I wrote a piece on him last week that touched on the dangers of picking a player who has a striking workout but not the college tape to go with it. Some think Poe is just that guy. He's not a third-round prospect but I had one person tell me he is more of a second-rounder who will go in the first because of his eye-popping combine performance.
The Packers desperately need a Pass rushing OLB opposite of Clay. Who do you feel would be the best fit for them and do you see them trading up to get someone? Possibly Hightower?
Ashley Fox (1:47 PM)
Boy do they ever, John. Kiper has the Packers picking USC linebacker Nick Perry, assuming they stay at 28 (which is probably a safe assumption). He's got the Steelers taking Hightower at 24, which also makes a lot of sense.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Ashley, is there any hope for my Raiders to improve via the draft this year given their low number of draft picks and the lateness of the selections?
Ashley Fox (1:49 PM)
Yes, Don, it is going to be tough. They gave up a ton for Carson Palmer. There's always next year. Oh wait.
Ashley - what do you suppose the motivation of a journalist is, to write a story on a prospect's low Wonderlic score? The only purpose it seems to serve is to embarrass the young man in public. Other that, reporting it does nothing. Wouldn't you agree?
Ashley Fox (1:52 PM)
Well, it is news when a prospect scores low on the test. What I question is the motivation of the person who told the journalist about the low score, particularly when they are supposed to be kept confidential for the reason you suggested. It is embarrassing. In all likelihood, a team lower in the draft leaked the info in hopes that Claiborne would drop to them. He won't. And that's why you saw Goodell issue a memo threatening teams in the future for leaking that information.
Hank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]
Would there be a reasonable explanation if the Vikings passed on Matt Kalil?
Ashley Fox (1:54 PM)
The Vikings need a left tackle. Kalil fits the bill and would certainly help Christian Ponder. I've seen some other questions about the Vikings that I haven't been able to get to yet (there are a lot). They need a lot of help. It has been slow going so far. People are frustrated. Don't blame them. I think Kalil is the way they will go. Would be as close to a can't miss selection as there is for them.
How do you think the signing of Demetress Bell will work out for the Eagles while Jason Peters is out and what do you think the chances are that the Eagles will pick up TJ Graham from NC State as a return man?
Ashley Fox (1:56 PM)
I think it will work out well for them. They had to do it. Interestingly, Bell replaced Peters in Buffalo after Philly signed Peters. From what I've seen of the contract numbers, it is a pretty low-risk pick for the Eagles. If Peters can return for 2013, they can let Bell go. If Peters can't return to the player he was -- and boy, would that be a shame -- then they've got Bell. Peters was playing at a very high level. It is a huge loss, but signing Bell made it a bit more palatable.
Ashley Fox (1:59 PM)
Alright guys. Gotta run. Sorry I couldn't get to all of you. Shoot me some more questions on Twitter and I'll try to answer them that way as well. @AshleyMFox. And I'll be back here next Monday to try again.
Rahim (Hackensack, N.J.)
you never answer my questions and I love your insight. This isn't an equal relationship.
Ashley Fox (2:00 PM)
See, I'm sorry. I will try harder next time.