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 (1:02 PM)
What's up, everybody? Thanks for joining me. I was away last week, getting some much-needed R&R. Hope you had a great week. Let's get started.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi, enjoy your column. Roger Goodell's 5 point memo cleared the way for one, possibly two teams moving to Los Angeles. Teams showing up in the media have been the Chargers, Jaguars and Raiders. I think the front runner are Raiders, if two do go would it be similiar to what the Jets and Giants have? Who do you think is at the head of the list and how many are looking into a move?
Ashley Fox (1:05 PM)
Thanks, Rich. Good questions about the potential for a team or teams in L.A. Given that there hasn't been an NFL franchise in Los Angeles in a while, I think talking about two teams is a bit optimistic at this point. Minnesota was at the top of the list until they got their stadium deal done earlier this year. San Diego, Jacksonville and Oakland are on the list, and I think you can add St. Louis, given their uncertain stadium situation. Take your pick of those four.
How many wins do the Browns need to keep Shurmur's job safe?
Ashley Fox (1:07 PM)
Andre, I think Shurmur is safe no matter what. The Browns are young and building (how long have we been saying that?). Mike Holmgren is going to give his head coach time to develop that team, implement his offense and bring along Weeden and Richardson. They are moving in the right direction.
Kyle (Baltimore MD)
So everyone is on the Eagle bandwagon, AGAIN. Most people think they have the most talent in the NFC East, Giants have as much if not more. Last year Gmen get healthy last 6 games gave up only 14 a game ald played Dallas, NE, GB and held Atlanta offense to 0 points. On offense I'd take Cruz and Nicks anyday over Maclin and Debaby Jackson and with two minutes left would you want Vick or Eli to win the game. Giants 4 Super Bowls Iggles zero. After 46 years sooner or later you all will be right someday. Maybe!
Ashley Fox (1:09 PM)
You'd take Cruz and Nicks, I'd take Maclin and Jackson. Personal preference. But you're right, with the game on the line in the final two minutes, I'd take Eli as well. He is clutch. I've been saying this for months, if Vick can stay healthy and play well -- two big ifs -- the Eagles are going to be in the discussion down the stretch. They are loaded with talent. But the Giants are going to be there, too. Going to be a great division to watch.
Blake (Pittsburgh PA)
Why is no one picking the Giants this year? If they stay healthy, neither conference has the talent they do, and Pierre Paul and the D that was healthy gets a training camp? Osi's happy and if the NASCAR defense may surprise a lot of you so called "Experts picking Philly or GB. PACK slides big time this year can't see 15-1 again with that porous D and Eagles have no leaders period.
Ashley Fox (1:12 PM)
Staying with the Giants here for a minute, I agree, Blake, that the Giants are flying a bit under the radar, if that's possible for the defending Super Bowl champs. I think part of that probably was their regular-season record last year. When we did our post-draft power rankings, they were our No. 1 pick, in large part because most of us feel the defending champs should get the pole position until they are knocked off. But ... the Packers will be better on defense and I disagree that the Eagles have no leaders. All three will be in the mix.
Kelly (Finksburg, MD)
Love the Ravens and like the Giants a lot, can they meet each other in SB 47 and who gets the edge?
Ashley Fox (1:14 PM)
Sure they can. You're talking about two of the last four teams standing last season. The Ravens were one completion away from playing in the Super Bowl. If that matchup were to happen, I'd probably give the Giants the edge given their experience in the big game. Eli has won two. He knows how to get it done. But there is A LOT of football to be played between now and then.
rick,tx [via mobile]
Watched a debate during olympic trials had toomer and lt(21) debateing whos better eli or rivers and if draft went the way it could of gone would rivrrs have 2 rings and if eli might have gotten one in sd...question whos better I think rivers stats are way better ur thoughts....thx
Ashley Fox (1:17 PM)
Thanks, Rick. That's an interesting debate. I don't know if Rivers would have two rings had he ended up in New York. Eli was instrumental in both of those Super Bowl wins, it's hard to say if Rivers would have played as well. Who is better between the two? They're both very, very good, but with two Super Bowl rings Eli is right there in the discussion with Brees, Brady, Rodgers, P. Manning. I'd put Rivers in the second tier.
Broncos4ever 3rd ward new Orleans [via mobile]
Are the broncos legitimate Super Bowl contenders?
Ashley Fox (1:19 PM)
With Manning, I think they are. Now, that said, they have some holes to fill and Manning is going to have to show that he is the Manning of old. But I think he will. And, just for a little timely breaking news, John Elway just tweeted that the team has signed kicker Matt Prater to a new four-year deal. So there is that.
Ashley Fox (1:20 PM)
More from Elway, via Twitter: "This was the final piece in setting our roster for camp, and we are thrilled Matt is going to be a Bronco for a long time."
Denver [via mobile]
What do you think the dolphins need to do so we finnaly get mentioned in the race for afc east
Ashley Fox (1:22 PM)
Sign Tim Tebow? Oh, wait. Sorry. They're going to have to prove that they can win. It's as simple as that. The AFC East is New England and everybody else. And the Dolphins have a ways to go catching up.
gary (new york)
How old are your kids, are they playing sports, reservations about letting em play football?
Ashley Fox (1:24 PM)
I wrote a column about this a couple months ago. I do have reservations about letting my son, who just turned 3, play football. Don't want him to. Know that sounds hypocritical but so be it.
Al Mc (Georgetown, ON)
Which one of these RBs would you keep? L. Blount, S. Jackson, M. Bush, D.Brown, D. Murray, M Tolbert or J Charles? Thanks in advance.
Ashley Fox (1:25 PM)
Oh boy. I assume this is a fantasy football question. I don't play fantasy, so I'm probably not the one to ask. Sorry.
Jeremy, Moore,OK [via mobile]
Lately rookie QB's have been exceeding expectations. I realize starting rookies have certain goals they are suppose to meet but with the recent success of Ryan, Flacco, and Cam will Luck and RG III be expected to match it in their rookie years?
Ashley Fox (1:28 PM)
Good question, Jeremy. The bar has certainly been set pretty high for the rookies. What Cam did last year was special, though. Not the norm. Ryan and Flacco each led their teams to the playoffs as rookies, if I'm not mistaken. But they had more around them than Luck will have in Indy. Nevertheless, I'm expecting big things out of Luck and RGIII.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Michael Vick progress in his reads enough this season to stay disciplined in the pocket and not take unnecessary hits when he should be throwing the ball, not running it? Can Andy Reid get this team back into the Super Bowl?
Ashley Fox (1:30 PM)
That's your money question right there, Tony, regarding Vick. Can he avoid the unnecessary hits so he can stay healthy and, thus, on the field. It is the Eagles' biggest question heading into the season. If he can, I think the Eagles have enough to get back to the Super Bowl. But so much of it is going to depend on No. 7 (who, by the way, got married over the weekend. Congrats to him and his new bride, Kijafa).
Is the blackout rule a big deal? We can all point to reasons for declining attendance (economy, ticket prices, etc.), but I think HD TV sets and Sunday Ticket don't get mentioned enough.
Ashley Fox (1:34 PM)
So true, Vinnie. I'd throw in there the NFL's red zone channel, too. For the football loving fan, that is can't miss TV on Sunday. A lot of teams are trying to enhance the in-stadium experience by exploring adding wifi, among other things, so fans have more access to information while at a game. But given the option, especially when factoring cost, I'd rather watch on high def.
big tom (columbus, ohio)
what do you think of the bengals this year? it has been a while since they have put together back to back good years. was last year a fluke or is the superbowl within reach? who dey!
Ashley Fox (1:37 PM)
Wow, Who Dey. This might be my first question to include "Bengals" and "Super Bowl." Congrats. I don't think last year was a fluke, but they will have to be 9-7 to make the playoffs this year. Tough division, too.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Ashley, who do you think will win the Pac 12 Conference championship?
Ashley Fox (1:38 PM)
Honestly haven't studied it, Craig.
Bob (Washington D.C)
Besides the Eagles, the Chargers have also been one of the most up and down, unpredictable teams. Do you think the Chargers will make the playoffs this year.Why or why not.
Ashley Fox (1:41 PM)
You are right, Bob. High expectations there. I think they have the personnel to make the playoffs, but their division is going to be really tough. Kansas City is better. I think Denver is better with Manning. Both should be playoff contenders. I don't see three teams from the West getting in. I'm not saying San Diego is going to get left out, but they are going to have their hands full in the division.
Which of the second year QBs do you expect to make the biggest stride from last year?
Ashley Fox (1:44 PM)
Good question, AJ. There is usually a pretty good jump between years one and two for that position, especially now that those guys have actually had an offseason to prepare. I'm looking forward to see how Newton handles this year. He had such an impact last year and I think caught a lot of teams off guard with what he was able to do. The thing now is can he help the Panthers get into the playoffs? They've made some upgrades around him.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Ashley, I hope you had a great time on your vacation! How do you think the Vikings should handle the Adrian Peterson ACL recovery situation? PUP? Reduced number of carries to start the season? Some other idea?
Ashley Fox (1:47 PM)
Thanks, Al. It was fun getting away for a bit. I think the Vikings will proceed with caution with Peterson. They obviously need him for the long haul. There is no reason to rush him back before he is ready, and despite the progress he says he is making, it's hard to envision him being the AP we are used to seeing at the start of the season. Does that mean he starts on PUP? We will have to see. They've got time to figure that out.
Rah-Steam (Hackensack, N.J.)
If you had to pick one from each conference, which teams do you see making the playoffs that didn't the year before? Although I'm a Giants fan, I see the Cowboys from the nfc, closely followed by the Eagles and Bears, and Kansas City, closely followed by Buffalo and Tennesse. Your thoughts???
Ashley Fox (1:50 PM)
Good question, Rah-Steam. I'll take a couple. In the NFC, I'll take Philly and Chicago. I don't see the Eagles, with what they have, missing it again. Chicago was a playoff team before they got besieged by injuries. I think they will get back. In the AFC, I, too, will take Kansas City. They've really built a deep team there. Buffalo should be in the mix. I'm not sold on Tennessee.
What is the problem with signing Brees? Who do you think needs to give a little?
Ashley Fox (1:53 PM)
If I'm the Saints, I give a little to make Brees happy. The last thing they need is for him to be unhappy. They've got two weeks to get it done. As my colleague Andrew Brandt likes to say, deadlines spur action. I've got to think they get something worked out.
Gigi (Los Angeles)
Can Cam Newton be the MV? I'm just saying, best rookie QB ever....
Ashley Fox (1:56 PM)
Can he be this year? Probably too soon. The Panthers will have to be major contenders for that to happen. But eventually, if he continues to develop, he will be in the mix. I expect the crazy passing numbers we saw last season to continue for the foreseeable future.
Hollow (Newark, N.J.)
Do you feel with the right weapons and a solid O-line Sanchez can live up to his draft slot???
Ashley Fox (1:58 PM)
Well, can he get the Jets to the Super Bowl? That's all that matters, right? I don't see it. But we will see. He will be under an enormous amount of pressure this season, with you know who as the backup.
What r ur plans for the 4th? BBQ? It would be a great day to watch football.
Ashley Fox (1:59 PM)
Yes it would. A little BBQ and family fun. Hope you and yours enjoy.
Ashley Fox (2:00 PM)
Alright, folks. Thanks for all the questions. We will tee it up here again next week. And hit me up on Twitter, if you are so inclined. @AshleyMFox. Have a great week.