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)
Training camps are underway, so there is plenty to talk about throughout the AFC East. Let's chat about it.
Ron (Bills fan)
Will this be a breakout year for spiller and Do you think that spiller will have more yards that rice and Charles?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
I would describe last year as a breakout year for Spiller, Ron. Most people know who he is at this point. Former Bills HC Chan Gailey finally turned him loose in the second half of last season. As far as more or less yards, I'm not a big fantasy guy. So it's hard to say. But I expect Spiller to have another good year as long as he stays healthy.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi James, Since the Jets camp opened it appears to be an interesting as to who'll be the starting QB in week one. I think Sanchez will get the nod but how many games into 2013 will the Jets go before turning over the starting job to Geno Smith?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
I would be shocked if Mark Sanchez starts all 16 games for the Jets this year. Geno Smith is the future and he may be the present, based on what happens in training camp. Unless Sanchez makes the Pro Bowl, which is a very slim chance, I don't see New York keeping Sanchez and his big contract after this season.
James Walker (4:06 PM)
At some point this year, probably sooner than later, the Jets must turn to Geno Smith to find out what he can do. Mark Sanchez is on borrowed time. He's had years to prove he's a franchise QB.
This is more of an AFC East blog question -- but the comment sections were the main reason I used to frequent all NFL Nation blogs, with the Facebook change, they are a desert. I'm assuming no change in the future?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
I noticed a lot of readers complained before the process took place. But I cover the teams and don't make those decisions. I don't know much about the process.
Which receiving corps -- Jets or Bills -- do you think is best disposed to support a rookie at QB?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
I would give the nod to the Bills. At least Steve Johnson is healthy and provides stability. We don't know when Santonio Holmes will be ready. I also like Buffalo's young WRs, particulary Robert Woods. He could surprise if Buffalo's QB play is decent.
James, do you think the Dolphins will be a better run blocking team or pass blocking team?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Interesting question. Miami's o-line has struggled with both in camp. But the Dolphins' front seven is a headache to block. I think a lot of teams are going to have issues with them this year. For now, I think the run blocking may be a little better. But neither has been particularly good.
I know the Jets offense promises to be an epic failure this season but if the defense is decent, after taking a look at their schedule, it looks like they can easily be in hunt in 10 or 11 games. Do you think the defense has the chance to carry the team to 7-9, 8-8?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
A lot, pretty much everything, has to go right this year for the Jets to win 10 or 11 games. I think that's very optimistic. This looks like a 4-6 win team in my book. But let's see what happens.
Bob (Hampstead, NC)
As weak as the Pats seem to be, do you think the Bills have a good chance beating them week 1. And if they do, does the Bills have a good chance of making the playoffs this year?
James Walker (4:14 PM)
The Bills are getting them at the right time. Week 1 is going to be the weakest the Patriots should be all season, especially if Rob Gronkowski doesn't make it back in time. Buffalo has a chance to make a statement right away.
Tom (San Francisco)
If Egnew is such a poor blocker but a good pass catcher, why not just make him a wr?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
I'm not sure Michael Egnew makes the roster this year. He looked decent in shorts in the spring. But when you put the pads on, the light just doesn't go off. His blocking is really bad, so that limits what you can do with him. Egnew also doesn't play special teams. I really don't see much of a role for Egnew.
James Walker (4:17 PM)
The Dolphins signed Dustin Keller to a one-year contract to buy time for Michael Egnew to develop. But the light still hasn't gone off. Miami has five preseason games, so there are plenty of opportunities.
Kevin (New York)
What record do you think the Dolphins will have this year?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I wrote a season-prediction post recently in the AFC East blog. You should check it out. I projected the Dolphins for 8-10 wins this year.
Brandon A (Tamp)
I had hoped Gillislee would impress and earn a time share with Miller (moreso reducing Thomas' workload) ... whats the latest on Gillislee
James Walker (4:19 PM)
I like some things about Gillislee that I've seen so far. But he fumbled in Monday's scrimmage, which is not going to win over the coaching staff. But the preseason will be big for Gillislee.
Carl Cassidy (Irvine, Ca)
How can the Dolphins possibly keep Dan Carpenter? I will take an unproven rookie over an choke artist veteran any day, nevermind the difference in cap space.
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said the best player will win. So far in practice, the best kicker has been Carpenter. But he missed two FGs and an extra point at Sun Life Stadium Monday. Money-wise, it makes sense to go young. But Caleb Sturgis needs to get healthy and prove he can be consistent.
Casey (New York)
Who do you think is more likely to be on the Jets roster at RB next season. Joe McKnight(conditioning problems) or Mike Goodson(problems with the law).
James Walker (4:22 PM)
There is a chance that both players don't make the roster, Casey. But McKnight is the one without legal issues and a potential NFL suspension looming. So maybe he has an edge.
Brandon A (Tampa)
What area if any will Miami still make additions before the Reg Season begins ... are they pursuing any O-line as they seem to be in most need still
James Walker (4:24 PM)
The Dolphins are looking at WR options this week after backup Armon Binns injured his knee.
Do you think Laurent Robinson has anything left? If he was still the same WR from 2 years ago, he'd be a terrific 3rd or 4th WR. Does Miami eventually sign him?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
Robinson had some health issues last year that may scare some teams. I'm told he worked out for the Dolphins this morning. But there's no word yet on whether the Dolphins will pass or sign Robinson.
JP Handal (Bogota, Colombia)
James big fan. TD-INT ratio for Tannehill for the Phins to be successful, What is you projection.
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Thanks for reading from Colombia, JP. A good TD-to-INT ratio usually 2-to-1. That's pretty standard for good QBs. Ryan Tannehill's ratio was 12-to-13. So he has a lot of work to do in Year 2.
Niles (Pembroke Pines, Fl)
I like the way Philbin runs his practices and last night was the same, lots of activity going on at the same time at a very face pace , what do you think about his HC style?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
I didn't know much about Joe Philbin's style until last year. I've been pretty impressed. He can be a stickler for certain things. But I think the players have a better feel for him in Year 2 and he has a better feel for his players, as well.
James, What are your thoughts on Ryan Tannehill and his future for the Miami Dolphins, and can he be an elite QB in the NFL?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
I don't like to throw the word "elite" around too often. Tannehill's goal this year is to become a quality QB. He doesn't have to be elite for the Dolphins to win.
Which CB has looked the most solid opposite Brent Grimes in Dolphins camp so far?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
It's been an interesting back-and-forth thus far between Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall. Patterson has come on strong late and may have a slight edge at this point. But both will play, especially if rookies Jamar Taylor and Will Davis aren't ready by Week 1.
Carlos (Miami(The U))
Don't you think Miami should look at Bumphis, Mcnutt(Who both looked good at scrimmage) and other younger WR's a little before bringing in injury prone vets?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
There's nothing wrong with examining all options available.
Troy (Binghamton, NY)
What is the chance that Bilal Powell is the Jets' starting RB in Week 1?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Not a large chance unless there are injuries. Ivory is the favorite right now. Powell is more of a third-down type.
Arte Olde School New York Fan (Marina Del Rey, CA)
Hey JW. Isn't it possible that the end of the NE Patriots supremacy in the AFC East is eminent? Like the Celtics, Lakers and even Yankees who had their dynasty, once Brady loses his ownership with no All-Pro receivers or TE's, the Pats will miss the playoffs and be at the bottom of the division? For what it's worth, that's my take anyway. Reality sets in this year. Go Jets!!
James Walker (4:39 PM)
I think you're underestimating how good Tom Brady is. He won't play forever. But Brady is the QB this year and makes New England preseason favorites in the AFC East.
So you wrote about Miami's stock going down with the OL. How is Lance Loius coming along? I hate to hear that they are moving Pouncy around and other guys too,he needs to stay put. Wasn't Louis going to battle Jerry for the RG spot?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Lance Louis has been injured all offseason and didn't do much at the start of camp. He's just recently starting to increase his workload. But Louis is behind the other linemen. He's not in consideration to be a starter right now. But maybe in the next few weeks Louis can make up ground.
Tom (New York)
Is the AFC East the weakest division in football right now?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
I haven't really thought about it. I do think this is the weakest the Patriots have been in a while. That probably makes the AFC East a weak division.
Hi James, much is bein made of the PAtriots huge losses on offense, but what about key additions or resignings on defense such as Talib, Wilson, and continued development of young guys like Jones? Couldn't the defense really step it up ths year?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
The defense will be better. But do not expect the Patriots to suddenly become a defensive team. This was a team built on offense and around Brady. But suddenly, the Patriots lost Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd for various reasons and haven't replaced all that production. New England is not a title-contending team like its been the past few years. The Patriots takes a step back this year. But they're still good enough to be favorites to win the AFC East.
No doubt Miami is better this year and NE looks to be sliding down a little , do you see this being a wasted year for the Jets till they jettison Ryan and Sanchez?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
I don't know if you can call any year in the NFL a "wasted year." The Jets may be "rebuilding" or putting some things in place this season for the long haul. But unless the QB play this year is off the charts, which it won't be, NY doesn't have enough this year to make the playoffs.
James, has Tebow really looked as bad as people say in training camp? What are the chances he gets a strong look at TE?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Tim Tebow has never been a good practice player. That's not his thing. I also don't think Tebow can play TE in New England and fill a Hernandez- or Gronk-type role. The TE is too important in the Patriots' offense. Tebow isn't ready for that.
Terri (Jackson, Miss)
I'm hearing good things about Jordan since he started practicing, do you feel the same way?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Yes, Dion Jordan is showing some major flashes. I early, but I can see some of the things Miami saw when making Jordan the No. 3 overall pick. Jordan is very athletic and looks the part. I like his potential.
When is Gronk supposed to be back?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
The Patriots are providing a timeline, Ann. But the goal is to have Rob Gronkowski ready by Week 1. It will be up to his rehab.
Will the Browns surprise people?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
Don't expect the Browns to have a winning season. But Cleveland at home will not be a cakewalk for Miami in Week 1.
Matt Barkley reminds me of a young Tom Brady. Am I even close?
James Walker (4:58 PM)
C'mon now. Let the guy play a preseason game first. Wow.
Am ne I crazy to think Shane Vereen is actually an upgrade over Woodhead and can actually really help the offense this year?
James Walker (4:59 PM)
Shane Vereen has some skills and athleticism. Vereen is definitely faster than Woodhead. So there is an upgrade there. However, Woodhead's strength was his reliability. He always did his job. Vereen needs to prove he can be counted on.
James Walker (5:01 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time and good questions. Feel free to send more questions to my Twitter account at @JamesWalkerESPN at any time.