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 camp is just around the corner, especially for the Dolphins (July 20). So let's talk about the AFC East.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Hi James, who do you think the second and third leading receivers will be for the Dolphins after Mike Wallace?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
A player who has really looked good in OTAs and minicamp is Brian Hartline, Candy. He may even be better than last year from what I've seen. I think Hartline will have another good season. As far as No. 3, probably Dustin Keller. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill needs a security blanket and I think Keller will get a good share of opportunities if he stays healthy.
Chaise (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Which player do you think the Dolphins have more interest in, W. McGhahee, or V. Leach? Which player do you think would have the bigger impact?
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Definitely Vonta Leach, Chaise. The Dolphins hosted Leach recently for a visit and remain in negotiations with his representation. If the price is right on both sides, I expect Leach to join Miami before training camp. But it's always possible another team could outbid the Dolphins at the last minute.
Raymond, Brooklyn [via mobile]
I think Stephen hill has potential too be good but I think his problem is hands he needs too learn too run a route catch then run do you agree?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
If Hill needs to learn to run route and learn to consistently catch, that's a problem for a WR. Hill has good measurables. He's big and he's fast. But Hill also didn't play in a passing offense in college and is trying to learn that at the NFL level. That's not easy. Maybe Year 2 will be better.
Tim (Long Island)
Do you see Tim Tebow as a tight end?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Personally, I do not. At least not in the way New England uses its TEs. Aaron Hernandez and Tebow are two completely different athletes. I think it would be silly to think Tebow could fill in and be used the same way Hernandez was.
James Walker (4:09 PM)
I do think Tim Tebow could play more of an H-back role, which is part fullback, part TE. Think Charles Clay in Miami. I think Tebow could do that type of thing for the Patriots.
Travis (Jersey Shore) [via mobile]
With Scott Chandler being a month ahead of schedule and expected to be at TC, how much of an impact can he have especially since the Bills are mostly rookies in the pass catching department.
James Walker (4:11 PM)
I always liked Chandler and felt he was underused by Chan Gailey, Travis. His presence is big, because the Bills don't have much proven talent behind Chandler. How much Chandler will be used in Doug Marrone's offense remains to be seen. But Chandler is both a solid pass-catcher and underrated blocker. So he will make an impact either way.
You just wrote an article about the dolphins two rookie CB's being behind Patterson in the Depth chart, however Taylor as been injured and hasn't been able to show what he can do. Do you think he is capable of supplanting not just Patterson but Marshall for the starting job across from Grimes?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
I can't say, Wade, because I haven't seen Jamar Taylor once on the practice field. The Dolphins obviously like Taylor, so he will get a chance. I also liked him coming out of the draft. But until Taylor gets healthy and can at least hit the practice field, it's too early to predict his role.
Anthony (Washington DC) [via mobile]
Do you think Bills CJ Spiller will make biggest impact this year, such as more than 2k?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
CJ2K? Whoa! Slow down, Anthony. Spiller is terrific. He might be the most exciting player to watch in the division. But I don't see Spiller rushing for 2,000 yards. The Bills will use a lot of WRs and pass the ball around. The key will be getting Spiller more carries than last season.
James Walker (4:16 PM)
By the way, C.J. Spiller had six games of nine carries or fewer last year. That's unacceptable for someone of his talent.
Jake [via mobile]
Do you see Miami trading randy Starks if not able to get a deal done seeing they can slide odrick to that position?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I doubt the Dolphins would trade Starks. He's making more than $8 million this year and not a lot of teams can take on that kind of cap hit, even if for one season. I predict the Dolphins will let Starks play out the season and proceed from there. If Odrick plays well, there will be no need to sign him to a big extension.
Anthony (Washington DC) [via mobile]
Which player do you think the Bills will start under the center? Kolb or Manuel?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
It's going to be an interesting competition. But I expect Kevin Kolb to start in Week 1. Experience matters and EJ Manuel still has a lot to learn. Manuel will have to be a really fast learner to pass Kolb in training camp.
Nate (Mechanicsburg, PA)
I know everyone hates on Tebow as a QB ... but he was 6 for 8 last year (75% completion). Can Belechick make something out of him as a QB?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
You don't want Tim Tebow as a starting QB for the Patriots. Don't even go there.
How many wins do you see for Miami this year?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
I have a firm number in mind for all four teams right now. But I want to see them in training camp and the preseason before making season predictions. It's a little early.
luis (miami) [via mobile]
What is your opinion on the dolphins LT Martin and do you feel that the organization is set on him or are they still trying to improve the tackle position
James Walker (4:24 PM)
I'm not sold on Jonathan Martin, Luis. I didn't think he did a very good job when moving to LT last December when Martin replaced Jake Long. Martin did put on some weight and got stronger in the offseason. That's a good start. But I want to see how much his play has improved from Year 2.
Tim (South Carolina)
Any chance Rishard Matthews beats out Brandon Gibson and or Armon Binns for the #3 WR?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
Gibson and Binns have been more consistent in OTAs and minicamp. It doesn't mean that will be the case in training camp. But from what I've seen so far, Matthews is behind the other two.
Karson (South Jersey)
Do you think Kiko Alonso will have a big impact as a rookie linebacker for the Bills playing behind that line?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
I liked the Kiko Alonso pick. When you watch Oregon games, he's the player flying around and finishing a lot of plays. I expect Alonso to be a Day 1 starter if he stays healthy this summer. He must also prove he can stay out of trouble.
Micah Syracuse NY [via mobile]
Hey James, with the Patriots recent struggles off the field and questions at receiver, what does Buffalo need to do in their opener to beat the Pats and start a new era for the Bills
James Walker (4:31 PM)
I'm actually looking forward to that game in the AFC East. When the schedule was first released, I thought this would be an easy win for the Patriots. But now with all that has gone on, Buffalo may actually be catching New England at the right time. The Patriots will be a lot easier to beat in Week 1 at home than in Week 17 on the road. I'm expecting a competitive game.
Hakeem (ft lauderdale)
Considering the lack of faith surrounding the 2013 QB class, don't you think it would have served the Bills and Jets best to wait until 2014 to draft a potential franchise QB? instead of using two high picks to get one this year.
James Walker (4:33 PM)
For coaches, players and GMs, the NFL is a year-to-year league. I've also taken that approach in the blog. Fans like to think 2-3 years in advance. But people lose jobs in that span. Rex Ryan can't wait 2-3 years for a good QB. The Jets need to try to get one now.
Do the Jets have any chance to win more than 5 games this year?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
Sure, Jon. Every team has a chance at the beginning of the year. But I don't see the Jets competing for a playoff spot this year. This is a rebuilding season in NY.
James,Do you like the new Dolphins logo?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
I'm not really a logo guy, Andrew. That's not something I pay much attention to. But as time has gone on, I've gotten more used to it. I thought it was odd at first. Now it looks more normal to me.
Kate (Washington, DC)
If the Bills can get consistent solid play from Kolb or Manuel (game management type play at least) is a 9-7 season a realisitc possibility if the rest of the team plays to their potential? They have some good pieces.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
If the Bills get good QB play, they could be a dangerous team in the AFC East, Kate. But a lot has to fall in line. I'm not a big Kevin Kolb guy. He has some skills, but he struggles with his health and never lived up to his potential. EJ Manuel also still has a lot to learn.
JPizzle8049 (St. Louis MO)
Who is in the drivers seat right now for the #2 WR spot for Buffalo.
James Walker (4:38 PM)
As long as he stays healthy, Robert Woods should be Buffalo's No. 2 receiver in Week 1. I liked this pick for Buffalo. The guy is polished.
Mari IL [via mobile]
Has the NFC taking over the NFL like the AFC used too in the beginning of the 2000's
James Walker (4:40 PM)
The AFC (Baltimore) won the Super Bowl last year.
Simcha Lev (NJ)
You said that you don't care about any team in the AFC East so what team do you root for?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
I'm a Temple Owls fan, my alma mater.
Eric (Las Vegas)
Hi James I really enjoy your work. With Lloyd and Edwards still unsigned, and the state of the Jets receivers, wouldn't it make sense to sign one of these guys? Wouldn't the Jets get some value on the contract with both being unsigned so close to camp?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
It would make sense for the Jets to sign at least one veteran WR. I like the move to get TE Kellen Winslow. The Jets don't have a lot of weapons and need to try to add at least one more to help the QB.
How will the Jets survive without there biggest star Tim Tebow?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
The Jets went 6-10 with Tebow. I doubt they will miss him.
Bored (at work)
With the sorry WRs the Jets have, wouldn't it make sense to complete the circus and add both T.O. and Ochocinco?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
I like the idea of Brandon Lloyd or Braylon Edwards a lot better.
Ethan (San Diego)
Better rookie campaign: Robert Woods or Aaron Dobson?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
I like the potential of both players. But Woods has a better chance to start in Week 1 for Buffalo. So Woods would get a head start this season.
Ryan (Vienna, WV )
With the news and injuries outside the Patriots, do you think that will affect their performance this season as they defend their AFC East?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
The gap has certainly closed with the Patriots. But the gap was so large to begin with, that you still have to make New England the preseason favorite.
James Walker (4:49 PM)
The Patriots were at least five games better than every AFC East team. That's a lot of ground to make up, and I don't know if any AFC East team has made up five games in one offseason.
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Maybe the Dolphins made up two or three games. But five may be a bit much.
What would it take for the Bills to draft a QB in the 1st round again next year?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
The Bills won't draft back-to-back first-round QBs. They are committed to EJ Manuel. He will get at least 2-3 years to show what he can do.
Paul (Bowdoin, Maine)
Do you see Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce making an impact for the Patriots this year considering that Tom Brady is their QB?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
New England's offense is pretty complex, Paul. It's very precise and WRs have to be in the right spots at all times. I think that's what was really troubling for Chad Johnson in NE. He just couldn't conform. With that said, it's hard for rookie WRs to come in and play right away in New England's offense. Tom Brady is very demanding and so is the offense.
luis (miami) [via mobile]
Is the albert to miami still a possibility and is there anyway they can make that happen or has that boat sailed
James Walker (4:56 PM)
That ship has sailed, Luis. Training camp starts in about two weeks. The Dolphins are going with the guys they have.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
If the Pats do not add any receivers and Gronk misses say, 2 games, what's the over/under on receptions for Amendola? 108.5??
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Danny Amendola has averaged just six games played the past two seasons. I think it's very risky to assume he will play all 16 games and catch more than 100 passes this year.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time. Remember to check out the AFC East blog for all the latest happenings. You can also follow me on Twitter @JamesWalkerESPN.
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