Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL offseason and what to expect from your team in the coming season.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James to chat Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Hello, everyone. For the first time in a long time, we're doing players and coaches only this week. So I will answer a few regular questions then only get to the ones asked by players and coaches. Let's go!
What are your thoughts on Brian Daboll so far?
James Walker (4:01 PM)
Daboll is very excitable, Dwizzle. He appears to be very detail heavy and hates to see mistakes, big or small. That could be good for the Browns.
Janie [via mobile]
Hi, I'm a big H Hi, I'm a big Derek Anderson fan, so what do you feel are the chances of him being the starter this year?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
The Browns are giving Derek and Brady Quinn every chance to win the job. It really is a clean slate. But the offensive system happens to fit Quinn's game more than Derek's. In the end, I think that's going to make the biggest difference.
David (Frederick, MD)
James, I love the blog, read it every day. How many more productive years do you see out of Ed Reed?
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Reed will be productive for as long as he wants to play. He doesn't come off as a guy who will just hang on as an average player just because he can. Reed will retire while he is still in top form, but how long that will be is really up to him.
Brandon Marshall (Denver, Colorado)
I need to get out of Denver and move to a contending team that needs a big WR that can stretch the field. I hear Ozzie Newsome has been looking for one for years and was even willing to take a chance on TO until he decided to be a jerk. Any chance I end up in Charm City and make the ravens a top-3 team in the NFL? What would Mr. Newsome be willing to give up for me??? P.S. I AM A BEAST!!
James Walker (4:07 PM)
Thanks for my first player question, hopefully the first of many, Brandon. I'm not sure the Broncos want to let you go. You're their best player. The Ravens are interested in WRs so expect them to do their homework. But if you want a $10 million per year contract this summer, forget about it.
the eagles (philly)
brandon, we love you!
James Walker (4:09 PM)
It looks like Brandon has an admirer in the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are already stacked this year.
joeseph flacco delaware [via mobile]
hey james. still having nightmares of polomalu. i got no new receivers or a great rb. and im still wearing PURPLE. heeeelp....
James Walker (4:10 PM)
Joe "Cool," what's up? Maybe we should be asking you about Brandon Marshall. At some point, you're going to have to climb that Black and Gold mountain if you're ever going to shift the balance of power in the AFC North to the Ravens. Are you up to it?
Eric Steinbach (Cleveland)
Second string??? SECOND STRING?!?!? What the bleep????
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I know, Eric. I find it odd, too. You put on a good face about it during minicamp but it has to be eating at you. Eric Mangini wants you to gain weight and I think it's in your best interest to do so.
Brian Westbrook (SW Philly)
I will be the MVP of the league this season. Look out.
James Walker (4:13 PM)
We have a lot of non-AFC North players in our blog today. I'm not sure what that's about. You need to get healthy first, Brian.
Coach Cowher (Raleigh, NC)
I know I "used" to coach in the AFC north, but I wanted to ask you if you think that I make a good fit in Carolina, once John Fox leaves next year?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Coach, don't say that too loud. You don't want the media to get wind of your comeback just yet. The Panthers would be a great fit if things go south this year. You stay away from your former team in Pittsburgh and you still get to remain home.
Debo (not at the White House)
Who said I was afraid to fly? I bet it was all the opposing LT's and QB's I'm about to destroy and embarass this year!
James Walker (4:19 PM)
Whatever gets you excited for the season is up to you, James.
Braylon Edwards (Cleveland)
Hey James, my contract is up after this year if we dont make the play-offs im good as gone the bright lights of new Giant stadium sounds nice to me what do you think?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
I knew you were secretely wanting the New York trade to go through. Why didn't you tell me? No big deal. Just handle your business on the field this year and you will have plenty of choices in the offseason.
Coach Fox (NC)
You sure you want my QB Cowher? He throws to the wrong team.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
Bill Cowher has plenty of experience with quarterbacks throwing to the wrong team, particularly in Super Bowls.
Ryan Clark (You don't know but better have your head on a swivel
Troy Polamalu gives me tons of credit. I don't want to break the bank. I want to retire as a Steeler. Will I be able to?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
I have a good feeling about your situation, Ryan. Talk to Max about restructuring and I think that increases your chances.
Ray Rice (Endzone)
James, do you see me having a breakout season this year?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
What's up Ray? I noticed you hit the weight room this offseason. I think you will have a solid year. But you still have to share the carries with two other RBs. So don't pick yourself first on your fantasy team.
Dick Lebeau (The Steel City)
Who you gonna block? You wanna double-team Harrison? I got somethin' for ya on the other side. Send in Woodley. Ah, you wanna pick him up too, well, look out for my new toy, Timmons, looping around Harrison's outside. Chipped him with your fullback, did you? Oops, you should have been looking for Polamalu on the delayed blitz up the middle the whole time. Mangini, please, please start Quinn. When's the first game? Let's get this started.
James Walker (4:26 PM)
Coach, figuring out what to do with all this talent has to be tough and fun at the same time. A lot of d-coordinators would love to have the players you work with everyday.
Neil O'donnell (Canada)
Low blow. But I deserve it.
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Facts are facts, Neil. How's life these days?
Chad OchoCinco (Palmer's Kitchen)
So James, I'm sitting here eating my turkey sandwich at the Palmer's kitchen and was wondering: Do you think my "new look attitude" is foreal? I mean , are you buying it?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
Chad, sometimes players have to hit the bottom before they get in top form. You admit that you were humbled, and I believe it. You didn't work at all on your game and realize that the NFL is not that easy. I'm expecting a good year from you.
Greg Mattison (Baltimore)
Top 3 Defense again this year James. Write it down. Rex Who?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
Ok, Greg. I'm going to remember you said that.
L. Coles (Cinci)
I am feeling left out, should Carson and Chad invited me to have turkey sandwiches too?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Don't worry about it, Lav Co. Those two got some things to iron out, so it's probably best you just focus on football.
Rex (New York)
Who is this Greg guy? I bet he's all tatted up and thinks he's tough.
James Walker (4:32 PM)
C'mon Rex. You know Greg. Stop playing around.
Rex Ryan (New York)
Greg Mattison, the Ravens will be the number 2 defense behind my number 1 defense
James Walker (4:33 PM)
Ok, now you know him. I don't know. You're playing against Tom Brady twice a year. It's going to be hard to keep the No. 1 rated defense.
Chris Mcalister (Unemployed)
JW, I need your help. I am still looking for a job, what team will be interested in me? -Cmac-
James Walker (4:34 PM)
Chris, first get the knee healthy. Second, wait until an injury happens in training camp. Then I expect your phone to ring.
Eric Mangini (Clevlend)
So I decided to bring some of my old Jets players here.How is that going to work out?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
I think they will be decent additions for the short term. They're not spectacular players but they will teach the system to everyone else.
Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh)
So I'm finally healed and Leftwich is gone, but am I going to lose the number 2 spot to Dixon? Help!
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Only you can determine that, Charlie. Dennis Dixon is playing well this offseason. He looks hungry.
Joseph (columbus) [via mobile]
Is there some sort of theme I missed today?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
Players and coaches only, Joseph. Get with the program.
Dick Lebeau (designing blitzes)
Relax Greg, Ryan.... fight for second place this year.
James Walker (4:39 PM)
Good point. Steelers D is the reigning title holders at No. 1.
Ziggy Hood (Jealous of his teammates rings)
yo what rookies has had the best off-season? I gotta be up there, right?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
I liked what I saw Ziggy. Since no one was in pads, I don't want to go overboard. But I think the AFC North this year will have a solid rookie class.
Terrell Suggs (Negotiations Limbo)
We better not trade for Marshall. How would we afford to pay me Freeney money, sign Marshall to a long term deal and still afford to extend Ngata and Gaither (not to mention afford to feed them)?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
This will be a big question, Sizzle. If Marshall wants to get paid this year, that could hurt a trade. It would not look good if Marshall was compensated before what I consider "true Ravens."
Lions, Vikings, Bears, and Packers (NFC North)
should we be scared???
James Walker (4:44 PM)
I would be pretty worried, yes. The AFC North is going to try to beat you up pretty bad.
Brandon Marshall (Denver)
I miss Jay, any chance we'll be reunited?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Brandon, I thought you said you wanted to be in Baltimore just 20 minutes ago? Make up your mind.
Ozzie Newsome (Owings Mills, MD)
J-Dub, Be Easy, we've got this under control. T-Sizzle will be taken care of this year finally. We'll franchise Ngata, extend Gaither and still be able to pick up Brandon Marshall.. Take that to the bank
James Walker (4:46 PM)
By the way, Ozzie would never say "Be Easy." But I will play along.
Derrick Mason (Baltimore)
Don't forget about me! Is my contract going to get worked out. I've made it clear I want to stay in Baltimore.
James Walker (4:47 PM)
The Ravens have enough problems, Derrick. My gut feeling is you're going to need to play it out this year. The team also needs to see you return to health (shoulder).
Rey and Keith (Cincinnati)
Man we can't wait to get the chance to get a cheap shot on Hines....
James Walker (4:47 PM)
I doubt Hines Ward is backing down. I've never seen it.
Pittsburgh Pirates ("City of Champions")
We want a parade too!
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Then you should play football or hockey.
Josh cribbs (KSU alumni party) [via mobile]
Any chance my new approach to contract negotiations will work?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
What's up, Josh? The NFL is a dirty business where promises are not always kept, particularly from past regimes. The team may honor a new deal, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Browns do not.
Brady Quinn (South Bend)
See James...you don't even acknowledge me. Why can't you and everybody else see what I see? Greatness!
James Walker (4:52 PM)
I don't? We have a huge story on you coming up tomorrow.
Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati)
Did I lose my passion or was it just my team?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
Marvin, I have been in your corner all along, saying that you're a good coach with an awful franchise. It's hard making the Bengals constant contenders, just look at their history. This is a big year for you, though.
Hines Ward (Pittsburgh)
Keith, why do you want a cheap shot on me. If I hadn't blocked you, you would have made the tackle. Speak some truth to him JW!
James Walker (4:55 PM)
No flag was thrown but it did prompt a rule change. So I don't care to take sides.
Ray Rice (Baltimore)
JW, who will have the more productive year? Myself, or McGahee?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Whoever starts and gets the most carries. Can you hold off Willis in training camp?
you want to talk about cheap shots keith.....
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Ok, ok, enough about cheap shots. No need to go there.
Roy Williams ((Queen City))
JW, the beef on me is I can't cover the pass. Can I silence the critics?
James Walker (4:59 PM)
It's a pretty accurate statement, Roy. And since you're getting older, it's probably an even bigger issue now. Mike Zimmer is smart enough to protect you. He will do his best not to put you in bad spots.
Kimo Von Oelhofen (Chillin with Rex)
Steinbach threw me into your leg dude. And now he's riding the pine!
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Is Rex Ryan with Rob Ryan right now?
Willie Parker (Fast)
Should i be scared for my spot on the team? and could this be my last year with the team?
James Walker (5:01 PM)
This is a big year for you, Willie. You have to prove you can be healthy and productive in the last year of your deal. Pittsburgh spent a first-round pick in 2008 on Rashard Mendenhall, so it's pretty easy to see what's going on.
James Walker (5:02 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time and doing something different from the norm. Don't forget to read the AFC North blog and send any questions to the division inbox.