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)
There's plenty to talk about with the Miami Dolphins and the rest of the AFC East. Let's discuss.
matt Florida [via mobile]
Ryan Tannehill throws for 25 touchdowns and 4500 yards true or false?
James Walker (4:01 PM)
That's a lot of yards, Matt. I just don't see it. The touchdown total is feasible. But red-zone offense has been a problem for Tannehill the past year or so.
Carpenter to the Jets, will he come back to hurt the Dolphins or is it just a passing-by
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Dan Carpenter has to make the 53-man roster first, Fred. I'm not sure he will. Carpenter is late to the party, which makes it tough. He gets about three days to win a job, which isn't a good spot to be in. Folk is still the favorite to be the Jets' kicker.
Do you think Jeff Tuel has a chance against the Patriot Defense for Week 1 at Buffalo?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Very slim chance Tuel out-duels Tom Brady in Week 1, John. I just don't see. The Bills have been unfortunate with injuries. Kevin Kolb, E.J. Manuel and Stephon Gilmore are all significant in their own right.
Justin (Boston, MA)
What affect will Mike Wallace have on the Dolphins offense?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
I've already seen the difference in how much defenses play off in the secondary this preseason. Last year you'd see safeties and corners constantly creep up to the line of scrimmage. There was no fear of getting beat deep. But Wallace has kept the safety and corner back, which is why you're seeing more completions underneath.
James Walker (4:07 PM)
Guys quick note: I have to step away for a few minutes because the Dolphins just released their roster cuts. Be patient with me.
James Walker (4:18 PM)
Ok, sorry to step away. But I had to write about the Dolphins cuts today. Let's get back to business.
Jeff (Cincinnati, OH)
Enjoy your work! Question, you wrote in May that the Patriots will be "neither better nor as dangerous" in 2013 than they were in 2012. After the preseason and what we've seen from their crop of rookies, do you still believe that? Mike Reiss believes they will be "bigger and more explosive." Something has to give! What are your thoughts now?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
Good question, Jeff. Yes, I stand behind my statement that the Patriots are not better than last year's version. Offensively, they are weaker at WR and TE -- and that's big for NE. For New England, it's all about winning Super Bowls. This year's team won't do that.
James Walker (4:21 PM)
But the Patriots are still good enough to win the AFC East. The Dolphins, Bills and Jets still have some catching up to do.
Rory (Nassau, Bahamas)
What do you think of the decision to terminate Lance Louis contract? Specifically since Miami is very thin at G?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
Interesting decision by the Dolphins. Louis wasn't looking like himself coming off an ACL injury. But I thought he would get at least one more game. Miami is thin on the o-line and needs quality depth.
James Walker (4:23 PM)
Moving on from Louis all but assures the Dolphins will be scanning the waiver wires for OL this week.
Raj (Toronto, Canada) [via mobile]
Do you see Tim Tebow making the final 53 man roster for the pats.
James Walker (4:25 PM)
Tim Tebow survived the cut to 75, Raj. He has to take it one day at a time this week. Tebow is not a quality NFL quarterback. So it really comes down to whether Bill Belichick thinks he can get something more.
Adam Gause (Myrtle Beach, SC)
If the Dolphins don't secure a playoff spot this season, will Joe Philbin be on the hot seat?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
The second year is too early to have that kind of talk with Joe Philbin, Adam. He did a solid job last year to get seven wins. This year's team is better, so the bar will be higher. But it's definitely not playoff or bust for Philbin. Year 3 could be more important in that regard if the Dolphins don't get to the postseason in 2013.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Jim, Jeff Tuel or Matt Leinhart will either one get the Bills to 8-8 or better or are the Bills just want to be competitive while waiting for EJ Manuel to get healthy?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
I think you're dreaming Rich. The only way the Bills get to 8-8 is with E.J. Manuel healthy and playing well. Don't drink the Tuel kool-aid. This is only preseason football.
Hey James, do you have any insight to whether the Fins will keep 2 or 3 QB's?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
We've been asking Joe Philbin this all week, and he's not budging. I think it's a big week for No. 3 quarterback Pat Devlin. He's on the bubble. The Dolphins like him, but they may like to keep an extra OL, CB or LB. It could come down to this final preseason game for Devlin.
Does Rex make it to week 6 without getting fired?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Rex Ryan will make it to Week 6. But I'm having a hard time seeing Ryan making it to next season.
Do you see the Dolphins seriously challenging the Patriots for the division title before Brady retires?
James Walker (4:33 PM)
I take things year to year, Marcus. Right now, this year, the Patriots are still on top of the AFC East. I'm won't think about next year until this season is over.
can david harris still be a starting-caliber LB? it's painful to watch him in the open field
James Walker (4:35 PM)
It's interesting, Jeremy. Harris has been a very good LB for a long time. I'm not sure I'm ready to write him off. But that is a position where players get old quick. The Jets will be in trouble if that's the case for Harris this year.
Robert (Melbourne, FL)
Rishard Matthews has impressed in years past, but due to injury, he's been silent this Camp/Preseason. What's the odd's he makes the club over Preseason standouts like McNutt and Tyms?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Matthews will make the team, Robert. His flashes last year carry weight, especially against unproven WRs that you mentioned. Matthews also add contribution on special teams. Tyms could be looking at the practice squad.
Any chance Moore plays this year if there is questionable QB play or does Ryan keep starting no mater what these next few years?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
The Dolphins are behind Ryan Tannehill 100 percent. Injuries could change things, but the coaches expect Tannehill to play well and produce.
whats is the dolphins D-line and LB projected starters
James Walker (4:39 PM)
DE Vernon, DE Wake, DT Soliai, DT Odrick, LB Ellerbe, LB Wheeler, LB Misi.
Do you see any surprises coming with the final 53 cut down in the AFC East?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
There's always a few surprises every year. Tim Tebow could be the biggest name in the division. Stay tuned.
I don't see how Miami can start the season any better than 1-4 at best. I think they will actually be 0-5 before going into their bye week. They play at Cleveland, at the Colts, Atlanta, at the Saints and then the Ravens. The way I see it, the Patriots might actually clinch the division by November 11th.
James Walker (4:42 PM)
It's a brutal stretch, Jay. That's why we're going to find out if Miami is legit right away. No excuses. I think if the Dolphins finish 2-3, that sets them up pretty well. Their schedule gets easier after that. Miami just needs to tread water in the first five weeks.
Do you think Miller's job is sealed like he said, or its still up in the air?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
The job is Lamar Miller's. I don't think that was ever in doubt. Daniel Thomas looks improved, and that's good. But he's not starting material, IMO.
James, how do you think the carries will be split in the backfield between Miller and Thomas?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
I expect it to be 70-30 or 65-35 in favor of Miller. The question is how many carries can Miller handle. The Dolphins are still trying to figure that out.
Jeremy (Washington D.C.)
Do you see Spiller playing every game this season? What are the chances he gets injured?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
There's always a chance of C.J. Spiller getting injured. Durability is certainly a question. He already had a scare in the preseason. Spiller must prove he can handle 300 carries this season. Bills coach Doug Marrone appears willing to provide him that many opportunities.
Big P (Chi Town)
Is the AFC EAST ONE OF THE WEAKEST DIVISIONS IN THE NFL ????
James Walker (4:58 PM)
I've seen two years of AFC East football up close. And outside of the Patriots, I have not been impressed. The Bills, Jets and Dolphins need to step their game up if the AFC East wants respect. Right now it's a one-team division until someone else can win more games.
George (Atlanta ,GA)
Longtime fan here, would like to know you're opinion on TE/OT depth for the Fins. Seems we have a couple of capable guys in Martin/Clabo but the depth in both positions needs to be addressed after cutdowns don't you think?
James Walker (4:59 PM)
The Dolphins are thin in both areas. They have a lot of tight end, but no one is really a starting tight end. That's why the Dustin Keller injury is big. The Dolphins also don't have much behind OTs Martin and Clabo. Both of those players must stay healthy.
Luke Hancock (Waterdown, Ontario)
Dolphins D looks like it could be a top 5 unit in the league. That means the O will need to be a top 15ish unit to make the playoffs?
James Walker (5:01 PM)
Interesting prediction, Luke. I like Miami's defense, although I do question its depth behind the starters. The offense has nice pieces but remain a work in progress.
James Walker (5:05 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for all the great questions. Sorry I had to leave due to roster cuts. Remember to check out my work on ESPN.com and also follow me on Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL if you have more to discuss.
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