Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East 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 Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Let's talk some AFC East.
What were the highs/lows of Dolphins camp today?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
I just got back from minicamp, Chris. There were several on both sides. The highs I would say were WR Brian Hartline and turnovers forced on defense. The lows I would say were the four INTs by Miami's quarterbacks.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Jim, Can it get much worst for the NY Jets, with the Patriots adding Tim Tebow on the roster. Did they see something in Tebow that the Jets didn't or do they some kind of plan for Tim Tebow? It'll be interesting when the Jets & Patriots meet on Thursday Night - 9/12 in Foxboro.
James Walker (4:06 PM)
It's interesting to think the Jets must face Darrelle Revis in Week 1 and Tim Tebow in Week 2. It's very possible NY can lose to both players to start the 2013 season. That would be bad news.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Hi James, I've heard that Brandon Gibson has been struggling in the slot for Miami. Is that true and do you think they will miss Bess?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Gibson did look a bit hesitant in the slot from what I've seen. But he looked more comfortable today in minicamp. So maybe he's turning the corner. The Dolphins have taken Gibson out of his element, so it will take some time.
Ed (Queens Village)
What do Dee Millner or Sheldon Richardson do to show Jet fans they were right to trade Revis?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
It's not about replacing Darrelle Revis, Ed. Richardson and Milliner had nothing to do with Revis. It's more about proving GM John Idzik right that they are good prospects. I like both young players.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Hi James - do the Jets have enough depth and talent on D along with Rex Ryan's playcalling to stay in the top 10, potentially top 5?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I definitely don't see a top five defense in New York, Harry. But I never rule out top 10 as long as Rex Ryan is around. He's proven in his stints in both Baltimore and New York that he's accomplished on that side of the football. This year the Jets have a lot of young players who have to step up.
Sam (PHoenix, AZ)
What are your thoughts on the Bills dropping Jackson? Do you think Kolb will emerge as the starter?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
I didn't think Tarvaris Jackson had much of a chance to start in Buffalo. He's not a starting QB, and if he won that competition in Buffalo it's because the other QBs are not good. The Bills saw early that Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel had more promise. I don't have any problem with the decision.
With the assumption that Brent Grimes is one starting corner, do you see the other being filled by a veteran like Marshall or one of the rookies? Is this a wide open competition throughout camp and the preseason?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Richard Marshall has worked with the first team in all the OTAs and today in minicamp. No one else has really stepped up. I don't think Dimitri Patterson is a strong starting option. If he makes the team, he can be a nickel or dime CB. Will Davis has made some rookie mistakes so far and has a lot to learn and Jamar Taylor has been out due to injury.
In your opinion, does Clowny end up in the AFC East next year - if you get my drift?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I get your drift. But I'm not going there, Corteric7. We have a whole season of football ahead. I'm not predicting who will get the No. 1 overall pick in 2014.
Greg W. New Jersey [via mobile]
Hi James .. Chances miami signs randy Starks to a long term deal?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
I don't want to put a percentage on it, but I don't sense a lot of urgency for Miami. Keep in mind, the Dolphins spent a lot of money on long-term contracts this year. They can't sign everyone. Miami is committed to a lot of guys for the next 3-4 years.
Kurtis (Houston, TX)
Thanks for the Chat. Compared to Denver, Baltimore & Houston, who all upgraded either on offense (DEN) or defense (BAL/HOU), I don't see any improvements for New England... I also don't see any big injury guys returning on Pats... so where is the improvement at for NE? Also, assuming the pats win the division -- is it fair to say the Pats could easily get swept by the big 3 and get a #4 seed?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
As I mentioned in the blog, New England was a better team last year. The defense has improved some, but the offense has taken a couple steps back at WR, and we don't know how the TE situation is going to pan out. The Patriots are still the favorites in the AFC East, but definitely not to win it all this year. I don't see it happening. That upsets Patriots fans, but that's how I see it.
Is it unrealistic to believe that Miami can really challenge New England for the division this year considering they possibly added a potentionally great bookend for Cameron Wake & much better hands
James Walker (4:28 PM)
Anything is possible, Rick. But I think the gap was so large that Miami probably hasn't made it up in one offseason. It's going to take some time, but the Dolphins have made up ground.
Do you think the Bills held out on releasing T-Jacks, until the Patriots signed another QB, so the Patriots wouldn't sign him and get insider information on the Bills new offense? I think the Jets may try to pick him up now for that same reason.
James Walker (4:30 PM)
No, I think that's a bit too much of a conspiracy theory. The Patriots wouldn't be interested in Tarvaris Jackson. He doesn't fit their system. But the Jets may kick some tires on TJax. Let's wait and see.
Is Tarvaris Jackson's release any sort of statement of confidence in EJ Manuel?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
It's a statement of confidence for both Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel. Both were better this spring and better for Buffalo's system.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Does it sound like the Dolphins plan on making Lamar Miller the guy? I think he has enought talent to see 1200 yeards...
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Yes, Lamar Miller is the starting RB. But this is the first time he's carries the load. I'm not sure he will be asked to run for 1,200 yards. I think he will split carries with one or two other RBs.
MARI IL [via mobile]
Is the spiller-jackson committee over in buffalo
James Walker (4:36 PM)
This is an outdated thing from the Chan Gailey era. Fred Jackson was Gailey's guy and it was hard for him to let it go. Doug Marrone is coming in with a clean slate, and anyone with objectivity knows CJ Spiller is better and should get more carries at this stage of his career.
Wreck (Gville via B-Lo)
Do you think Tarvaris Jackson will land anywhere? I would have liked to see more of what he could have done on the field, but there has to be a reason teams don't want him as their starter.
James Walker (4:39 PM)
Jackson should get a shot somewhere. Buffalo was probably the only place where he got a chance to start. The truth is Jackson is a career backup in the NFL. There's nothing wrong with that.
Mike Ho (Hong Kong)
Hey James, who has been the most pleasant surprise coming out of Dolphins camp so far?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
I've been most surprised how good and how healthy CB Brent Grimes has looked in May and June. I didn't expect him to look 100 percent this early.
I've got the over/under at 10 snaps for Tebow this season. What are you taking?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Tim Tebow has to first make the 53-man roster this summer. Once he does that, then we can pick his over/under for snaps.
What do you make of TJ Graham? Will he be the odd man out in the musical chairs of the Bills slot WR...
James Walker (4:45 PM)
The Bills aren't giving up on Graham. It's only Year 2. But Graham did not show the Bills could count on him last year. He had a lot of drops and lapses in concentration. I would say Robert Woods is the favorite to start, while Graham and others will fight for backup jobs.
Do you think Tebow signing with New England is any more 'newsworthy'/impactful than any other team? Isn't it still 'much ado about nothing when it comes to Tebow?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Regardless of what you think of Tim Tebow as a player, he has a large fan base, larger than most NFL players. So, yes, Tebow signing with a major-market team like the Patriots is newsworthy.
Peter (New York)
great blog James! You said Egnew was taking most of the reps with the first team. How'd the guy look out there? Think he could fit into a 3 way rotation of Sims, Keller and Egnew?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Egnew didn't do too much today. But Egnew had a good two or three week stretch in OTAs where he flashed every week. But Egnew still needs to do it in pads. Training camp will be the real proving ground.
Or the Bills will constantly play a 4 WR set with Stevie, Woods, Goodwin and Graham. Two good route runners and two faster than Cheetah deep threats. BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!
James Walker (4:50 PM)
This isn't "Madden Football," Xander. The Bills have to protect the QB and run the football at some point.
Do you think Miami will hit the waiver wire for RBs one the preseason hits, or are they are satisfied with their 3 RBs?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
The Dolphins are happy with their RBs. That the sense that I'm getting. It's hard to evaluate at this point without contact. But I will know more about this young group later this summer.
James, do you think that Joe Philbin has what it takes to build the Dolphins into winners?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
Joe Philbin has looked solid so far. He got seven wins out of a team that didn't have elite talent. This year he doesn't have talent so it's going to take some good coaching to make the jump.
tim (columbia, sc)
Any chance Olivier Vernon beats out Dion Jordan for the starting DE spot?
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Vernon did work with the first team today. But it has more to do with Randy Starks being missing. It's hard to say what Jordan's role will be right now. He hasn't practiced with the team.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time and great questions. Be sure to read the AFC East blog for all the latest news on the division.
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