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 (4:00 PM)
Football season is finally here. I've been in Dolphins training camp the past three days. Let's discuss.
Derrick (Garden City)
Does Jamar Taylor have a chance at beating out Richard Marshall or does Marshall have that starting spot locked up?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
It's too early to say the CB position is "locked up," Derrick. But Taylor hasn't done anything to push Marshall for the starting spot. Taylor missed all of OTAs and minicamp with a sports hernia injury. He practiced for two days this week and got injured again. Taylor sat out Tuesday and until he's able to get healthy, Taylor won't have a role.
If Byrd signs his tender before game 1 and decides to hold out for training camp and preseason, do you think that will affect his play this year?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
I think it's already getting to the point where Jairus Byrd is impacting his performance, Chris. Keep in mind, you have a totally new defense and a totally new coaching staff. Byrd is an important player and it takes time to fit into a scheme and a new role. Byrd is a very good player. But I'm not sure he will hit the ground running and play at the same level as last year right off the bat considering all the time he's missed.
I'm thinking of getting a Jairus Byrd jersey. Smart?
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Hmmm, pretty risky Jack. Jairus Byrd has a one-year franchise tag and he's not happy. Anything can happen next year. My advice: Get someone else.
JR (Tampa Bay)
Welcome back James, hope you enjoyed your vacation. Do you know how much trouble is Mike Pouncey in for his free Hernandez cap? Philbin doesn't seem to like off the field incidents too much.
James Walker (4:08 PM)
The Dolphins handled this issue internally, and I think it was a wise move. Joe Philbin didn't confirm or deny that he talked to Mike Pouncey about it. Being around Philbin for the past year, I'm sure he did approach Pouncey about how to represent the Dolphins. I think it's a dead issue now unless it comes up again.
andrew st cloud mn [via mobile]
I know its early but sounding like a rough start for tannehill. Is the defense that much better right now or is he being over hyped
James Walker (4:09 PM)
Ryan Tannehill had a rough practice today, Andrew. He threw two pick sixes to Chris Clemons and Dannell Ellerbe. However, it's just three days into camp. I don't overreact to stuff like that. If Tannehill continues to have a bad training camp and struggles in four preseason games, then it may be time to worry.
Steve W. (DC)
What are your thoughts on the news out of Buffalo that the Bills have released Mark Anderson?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
Mark Anderson was signed for the old coaching staff/defense and never stayed healthy. He didn't seem to be a natural fit in Mike Pettine's system. I don't think it was a big loss. It makes sense.
Bill (Lehigh Valley)
Will Vonta Leach sign with the Dolphins?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Leach is taking his time and the Dolphins have moved on with training camp. Miami is still on the short list, but it's still up in the air.
If the Jets rely on running the ball with a full compliment of RBs, playing stout defense with a young defensive line and limiting turnovers via the passing game, do we have a decent chance to compete in the AFCE?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
It depends on what you call "competing." Will the Jets win the AFC East? No. Can they compete if they play efficient. Sure.
Derek key west fl [via mobile]
How is Michael egnew camp going is it better than last year.do you see him making the team?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
Egnew showed some flashes in OTAs and minicamp. But I haven't seen those flashes so far in training camp. He had a bad play today where he was stripped and lost a fumble to the defense. Plays like that prove he still has some growing to do.
John (Buffalo, NY)
I know that you see Kolb starting the season, but do you think EJ will have the job by week 10
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Week 10? Wow, John. I can't even get past training camp, the preseason and Week 1 at this point. I'm not high on either QB, but Kolb has the advantage right now due to experience.
Brendan (New Jersey)
Has Armon Binns impressed so far in the beginning of Training Camp as he fights for one of the last wide receiver spots on the roster?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
Binns was another stud in OTAs and minicamp. Keep in mind this is football in shorts and it's different when the pads on come. Binns struggled today but he hasn't been bad.
James Walker (4:23 PM)
The tricky part with all these backup receivers is a different guy is good everyday -- and a different WR is bad everyday. They all have their up and down moments. I'm waiting on consistency. That's how you make the 53-man roster.
Mike (Anchorage, AK)
James, love your AFC East Blog! Is Miami looking at a 2008 repeat? A wounded NE team and a great defense that keeps them in games to the end? I am not sold on their offense yet...
James Walker (4:26 PM)
You know what happened in 2008, right? Tom Brady got injured for the season in Week 1. Unless that happens again, I don't know how you can make Miami the preseason favorite to win the AFC East.
James Walker (4:26 PM)
I think it will be a fun, two-team race between New England and Miami. But you can't make the Dolphins the preseason favorite. The Patriots have been on top for too long to write them off.
Luis (Miami) [via mobile]
I read earlier that the o line struggled in today's practice. My question is was it the whole line or certain individuals
James Walker (4:28 PM)
Different things at different times Luis. Sometimes it was the blitz pickups and communication. Other times it was run blocking, etc. The unit as a whole was outplayed. But Miami's front 7 on D is really good. You have to take that into account.
Ryan Tannehill threw 2 interceptions today. Were they bad passes or good plays by the defense?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
Both throws were bad, IMO. The defenders read Tannehill and caught them in stride.
Nathan (Capetown, South Africa)
Did anyone actually watch EJ Manuel in college? What did the bills see in him besides a big body who thrived on below average competition? Do you see him doing anything for the bills?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
It's interesting, Nathan, because that was somewhat my first reaction when Buffalo took Manuel. When I watched Florida State against good teams, I didn't think Manuel stood out or consistently dominated. He never really put it all together in college. So it's risky to think Manuel will figure everything out in the pros. But Manuel does have some measurables that Buffalo likes. Doug Marrone also is good at developing QBs.
Rich B (Tonawanda NY)
Has Doug Whaley drew the line in the sand dealing with Byrd? He seems to be trying to send a message in negotiating his first contract that he won't be pushed around. They could definatly afford him your thoughts?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
The two sides just couldn't agree on Byrd's worth. That's really what it comes down to. Negotiations are over. The deadline has passed for franchise players and all Byrd can do now is show up or not show up for camp. That's the next step.
Tim (Long Island)
Is Mark Sanchez really leading the starting QB battle over Geno Smith?!
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Yes, Mark Sanchez is leading after OTAs and minicamp. But that doesn't mean much. Training camp and the preseason carries more weight.
How much of a disadvantage is it for Miami to be playing in the Hall of Fame game this year being that its such an early preseason game?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
Playing an extra preseason game can be good (reps, game experience) and bad (injuries). I think it depends on the team, really. I'm not sure where Miami fits in. As long as there's not big injury in Canton, I don't think it's a huge thing.
Those new Dolphins helmets look sexy in motion, admit it.
James Walker (4:39 PM)
I definitely wouldn't use the word "sexy." But I am getting used to the new logos now that a few months have passed.
Hey James, Love you work! You think there's any chance Anderson will come back to NE? I've read so much that the Pats need another legitimate veteran pass rusher but Abraham seems to be too expensive. Anderson should come a lot cheaper. Especially after last season. What do you think?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
Thanks for ready, Schwemp. Anderson could provide New England depth on the cheap if he's willing to play for a low salary. He fits the system, and New England lost a couple DL to Jacksonville in the offseason. There are reasons it makes sense. But it's too early to say. Anderson was just released without the hour.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Hi James, will Mike Wallace get the majority of Tannehill's targets or will the offense spread it around more?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Miami doesn't run an offense where one player is going to get 100 receptions, Candy. Ryan Tannehill is going to toss it around. Wallace doesn't need 100 catches to be effective. If he gets 60 to 70 catches and many of them are big plays, that's a productive year.
Luis ( Miami) [via mobile]
How did Jordan look today? Any word until he's 100 percent ready to go?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Read the AFC East blog, Luis. You will find out all you need to know on Dion Jordan today.
JR Three Oaks, MO [via mobile]
Choose my question, it's my son jaxson's first birthday! How did J. Martin look as LT these past 3 days?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
Happy first birthday to your son, JR! Congrats. Martin is definitely bigger and had some good moments. He had a nice pancake block on Olivier Vernon Monday. But I'm still not convinced after three days. Martin and the entire group struggled today.
Will Buffalo make the playoffs
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Not this year, Zach. The NFL's longest playoff drought continues.
What are the Jet's chances of shocking the world and winning the division?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Not happening, Matt. You heard it here first.
James Walker (4:51 PM)
BTW, my early AFC East predictions are Patriots, Dolphins, Bills and then the Jets. I reserve the right to change after the preseason.
Hey, James still wondering as to why the Jets haven't considered signining a veteran WR. Besides Kerley and Holmes we barely have a receiving core, not to mention Holmes is coming off an injury and isn't 100%.
James Walker (4:53 PM)
The Jets worked out WRs this week but didn't find anyone they really liked. With Santonio Holmes' status up in the air, I think NY would be smart to add someone. Braylon Edwards would probably be my choice with what's out there.
Jeff (NY, NY)
Do you think expectations are too high for a team who's QB threw 12 TD's and 13 int last year? I know he was a rookie...
James Walker (4:57 PM)
I don't think so. You have to consider the players Ryan Tannehill had last year compared to this year. The improving supporting cast and more experience in Year 2 should raise expectations. Now Tannehill has to produce.
James, give us another sleeper on the Dolphins besides Lamar Miller.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Would Dustin Keller count? He's looked really good catching passes from Ryan Tannehill.
Is Brandon Lloyd still available? ... seems like if Sanchez wins the job he could use someone who can catch a ball thats not perfectly thrown.
James Walker (4:59 PM)
Yes, Brandon Lloyd is still available. He will get picked up somewhere. I just don't think it will be with the Jets.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Aaron Dobson season line...50-800-4...sound too rich or about right?
James Walker (5:01 PM)
I'm not a fantasy guy, but I like Dobson's potential. He has a good mindset going in, too. I talked to him over the summer. It depends on his role on the team, so it's too early to predict numbers.
James Walker (5:02 PM)
Thanks everyone for your great questions and comments. If you still have questions to ask during the week, you can reach me via Twitter @JamesWalkerESPN
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