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August 9, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

All right, you football-crazed knuckleheads. Let's fire this thing up.

Mason (Clarksville, TN)

Hey Danno! Who's going to step up and be the leader of the Dallas O-line?

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

It really sounds as if Kyle Kosier fills that role. He gets a lot of credit for helping Doug Free out last year in Free's first year at left tackle, and now he's moving over to the right side to help out rookie Tyron Smith. Seems like he takes a lot of the leadership responsibility on the line, and was a key signing for that reason.

Barry (Iowa)

What's the word from camp on just how injured LaRon Landry is. It would seem that all of the attention paid to the defense would go up in flames without the Enforcer on the field. Any thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

I think it's a significant concern, Barry. And I agree that the improvements they made around him on defense won't show up as well as they would if he were in there and fully healthy. I know they're hopeful he can be ready for the season, but I don't think they're sure.

Nathan (DC)

I think all three of those corners in Philly can co-exist--this is football, not basketball, and none of them are really "divas" anyway. The question is; SHOULD the Eagles keep all three? Would they be better off trading Samuel or DRC and signing a serviceable to good player to be their nickel back?

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

I'd only trade Samuel or DRC if I got blown away by the offer. I think they'll find a way to play all three, and unless they're getting something back that would really improve this year's roster, I don't see a reason to move one just to move one. What's interesting about the final part of your question is that they already do have a good nickel corner in Joselio Hanson. They're quite deep there, and that's a good thing.

Lou (Irving, TX)

Which position are the Giants worrying about the most right now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

I would have to think it's tight end, since they basically don't have one.

SkinsFanWest (San Diego, CA)

Hey Dan, love the blog. Other than QB what do the Redskins need to upgrade if they want to turn things around this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

See, I don't think they are going to turn things around this year. I think they turn things around gradually over the next few years. I think they'll be improved on defense and are moving in the right direction there. But assuming Beck isn't the guy for the future (as we all are), they will need to upgrade at QB, RB, WR going forward. And maybe O-line if the guys they're using this year don't pan out. Which is certainly possible.

steve (texas)

who takes the NFC BEAST this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

If you mean our fantasy league, obviously, I plan to run away with it and make you all cry in the process. But if you mean the actual, real-life division itself... well, you'll have to wait a few weeks for my predictions.

Cereal Killer (Jax)

PUNTER QUESTION!!!!: Do the Eagles even have a punter on the roster or should I assume that the Birds will be like that annoying friend who goes for it on every 4th down in ?Madden??

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

You know your intro got this question posted. Punter is Chas Henry, undrafted rookie out of Florida. And they like him a great deal.

kevin (MD)

Do you still think the giants are weak at LB with Kiwi playing there?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

Actually I think that was a good move, though if they don't settle with Osi it ends up weakening their D-line rotation. But they had talent to spare there, and I think playing Kiwanuka at LB is the smart thing to do for a team that obviously can't get outside help. I do still have questions about Goff in the middle, but the Giants like him there.

Chris (Eating a sandwich in Dan Graziano's kitchen)

Dan, are the Eagles really not going to start Babin and Jenkins? Also chances they bring in Lofa Tatupu?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

Least you could do is bring me down some chips or something. I think Jenkins starts at DT and Babin is likely to start some games at DE, but Parker's the guy for now. Tatupu makes sense, to me, for them, but the more you hear them talk, the more it sounds like they want to give Casey Matthews a shot at MLB. Right now I believe they're focused on the new deals for Jackson and Vick.

Alex (DC)

Skins to attend Terrelle Pryor's workout. Why even bother?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Why not?

Tim (columbia, md)

Who has more humid weather? DC, Philly, Jersey or Dallas? I have a feeling this may be one that the Redskins actually win.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Dallas is the only one of those places I haven't lived in or near for a significant period of time. Of the other three, DC is the hands-down winner.

Steve (Syracuse, NY)

How do you see Chris Wilson fitting into the Eagles D? They seem stacked at DE. Does he play the SAM and have Chaney move to the weak side?Also, does John Clayton have a pony tail?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

John does not have a pony tail. At least he didn't the last time I saw him, which was either at Super Bowl or scouting combine, I forget which. And yes, I think Wilson can be a swing guy for the Eagles and add to their LB depth.

Kevin (Phoenix)

Dan. Do you think the Gmen should consider finding room for any of these FA D. Grant, D.jones(LB), or TJ Houshmandzadeh? Thanks

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

You know, I was thinking yesterday, with Amukamara hurt, why not look at bringing back Grant and using some of the three-safety looks they used last year? The coaches and players seem to have really liked him. And he must be cheap by now.

Casey (New York)

Is it safe to say it is a make-or-break season for the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

It's "safe" to say it only because you don't have to hear how loud I'm screaming in reaction to having been asked this question for the one billionth time. What does "break" mean, in this case? They going to get rid of him? Romo played brilliantly down their 2009 stretch run and was playing well before his injury last year. He's the least of their problems. Cowboys' season will rise and fall on the performance of Rob Ryan's defense.

Aerolithe_Lion (Fargo)

Daniel, why haven't the Redskins PROPERLY addressed their WR, or RB, or QB issues? Are they seriously attempting to go all out on defense this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

Well, there's really only so much you can do in one offseason, right?

Amaan (New Jersey)

Are the Giants doing anything differently to get motivated to play the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

Man, I'll tell you. I have spoken to several Giants players, and they are steaming mad about the six-game losing streak to the Eagles. They can't explain it, they don't think it makes any sense and they're furious at the impact it's had on their last two seasons. I think they will be JACKED UP to play the Eagles in 2011.

Dan (Washington, DC)

They DID address the receivers!! Did you all miss the Gaffney trade and the Hankerson pick (plus several others!)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

This is true, Dan. They added a lot of depth at WR and RB in the hopes that a couple of players would step up there. It's a tried-and-true method of addressing a position of weakness when you're unable to bring in a high-impact starter at that position. Create competition and hope it produces a solution. If not, they'll likely address offense in a more directed way next year.

Darrick Knight (Chapel Hill,NC)

How good do you think Jamar Chaney can be in Juan system.

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

I think the linebackers in Philly this year are going to be more about pass coverage than anything else, and that's where Chaney's game needs the most work. They do love his speed, and they think he can maximize that on the outside better than he could in the middle. But at this point, he's their fallback if Matthews can't handle the middle. I'd say the answer to your question depends on how quickly he improves in pass coverage. Seems like a sharp kid. I wouldn't bet against him.

Brendan (DC)

Am I way too excited about the good reports about Tim Hightower?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Shanahan loves the guy. I think the only thing he can do to blow the opportunity is fumble. But Tim can fumble.

Chris (Franklin Lakes)

Dan, two questions. First, do you think with all this talk of incentives and such are things looking up in the Osi Umenyiora situation? Secondly, are you hitting up the Waldwick Carnival? Fireworks wednesday my man

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

You know, I drive by there when I pick up the kids from camp at the Wyckoff Y. I believe they will put some pressure on us to go. We will see. As for Osi, I think it's all going to come down to how far he wants to push it. If the Giants offer an olive branch in the form of incentives, I'd personally take it if I were him. He has no leverage. But he seems bound and determined to make his point, and there's a decent chance this gets uglier before it gets better.

Kenny Phillips (Giants)

I'm now one year removed from my knee surgery and Fewell and the coaches are no longer protecting me in the defense this year. Don't count on our secondary giving up nearly as many big plays this year Dan!

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Hey, Kenny. Enjoyed talking to you yesterday at Giants camp. And I thought the stuff you said about having your "explosiveness" back was interesting. You were about to break out as a top safety in the league two years ago before you got hurt, and I don't see any reason why, if you're coming off a fully healthy offseason in which you trained the way you used to train pre-injury, you can't pick right up where you were two years ago.



Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

How can Dallas have a trip across the country when it's in the middle? And why are you shouting at me?

Scott (MD)

Carriker is listed as the starter at DE for the Skins currently. However Jarvis Jenkins is all the rave around Redskins park in Ashburn. Any chance this rookie wins the starting job?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I think there's a chance, but I don't think they feel Carriker's done anything to lose it. They're going to rotate defensive linemen, and I believe you'll see plenty of Jenkins, who's drawing raves not just for his play in practice but also for how quickly he's learning the scheme.

Christopher (DC)

Do the Eagles Superbowl chances live and die with Vick? we all know that Vince Young can't handle hometown criticism well and in Philly that's all he's bound to get when fans are expecting Vick results. I can't see Young filling in those shoes, even with the talent around him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Yeah, I think if they lose Vick, they have no chance of going all the way. Young can fill in for a game or two, but he's not the guy who takes them to Indy. I think a lot of what they're doing in terms of building up has to do with Vick and the sense that they can't know how long his window is going to be. Have to go for it while you have that kind of difference-maker at quarterback. Vick looks fantastic in practice, by the way.

Alex Forrester (New York, NY)


Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Did you guys hear something?

The Big Zephus (The Big ATL)

Every year, a late round draft pick surprises Eagle fans and does well, whether it be Jamar Chaney, Kurt Coleman, or Moises Fokou. Who do you think that late round draft pick that will shine be this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

I don't know if a center can shine, but this Kelce has a chance to open the season as the starter there.

Rusty (tn)

Has Tashard Choice seen his last days as a Dallas Cowboy?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I doubt it. I know there's some talk about Lonyae Miller pushing him, and anything's possible. But they've invested a lot of time in Choice and I'm sure they'd like to see him react to this challenge and show what he's got. That's more likely what's going on there, in my opinion.

David (Halifax)

Give us the inside scoop on Maclin? When will he be practicing?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

If I had it, I'd give it.

Chris (Hoboken)

Did the Eagles attempt to resign Stewart Bradley? I know he had a down and injured season last year, but he previously looked like an up and comer... Did he want more than the Eagles were willing to pay him?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

They did not. They made it clear on the first day of free agency that they weren't bringing back any of their own guys. And it turns out they wouldn't have offered Bradley what he ended up getting. Too many injuries, I guess, for them to commit long-term.

Damien (Ashburn, VA)

Didnt think Kevin Boss was that good in the Giants offense, his biggest asset was as a blocker. Do you think his departure will have a fundamental effect on Eli's season as some seem to think?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

I do, especially in combination with the absence (at least early on) of Steve Smith. Both were reliable safety valves for Eli when he got in trouble. Take away two of those, and it's tough to recover. I think he's going to look for Hakeem Nicks A LOT.

Will Kelland (New York City)

Will the giants go after tulloch or rudd next year when their contracts expire? The one weak link on our d is the mlb now that kiwi is strongside

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

I think they like Goff, honestly. I guess if he has a bad year there, maybe they change up. But they're giving him the opportunity.

Mark (Toronto)

Do you think the Giants have a TE that can step up to fill the void of Kevin Boss?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

I do not.

Chris (NY)

Biggest impact made by a skill position rookie in the Beast?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Wow. How many are there? My first reaction is "Hankerson."

Allan (Philly)

What surprising cuts do you expect this preseason?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

I mean, if I expected them...

josh (rochester)

what rookie will have the biggest impact earlier this season for the giants now that prince is out and austin is being limited with his hip

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

And Brewer left practice last night with a leg injury. I guess maybe Jernigan in the return game?

Justin (Richmond)

Are the Skins still in the running to sign Tatupu or Hayden? Do we even need either of them in your opinion?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

No, I think the Buchanon signing took Hayden off the table, and the signings of McIntosh and Keyaron Fox probably took Tatupu off.

Juan Castillo (Leigh)

Did I look in control and on top of the game as a new DC?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

You look like a wild man out there. I was worried about you when you got in there to break up a fight between the offensive and defensive lines Saturday.


Best receiving (WR + TE RB) corps in the Beast??

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

I guess that'd have to be a fully-healthy Eagles team, which would be better at RB than the Cowboys and better at TE than the Giants while WR is close all the way around.

Shimon (NY)

can you explain the eagles' new defense to me? it sounds like everything is pass, pass, pass... how will they stop the running game (there's a few teams in the division that like to run)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I don't think the idea of sending defensive linemen aggressively into the backfield necessarily means only being prepared to stop the pass. You can meet a running back back there before the line of scrimmage and have the same impact. Why wait until the back gets to or through the line to stop him?

Mark (Philadelphia, PA)

Shimon, I think the Eagles' plan for defending the run will be getting a big lead with their offense.

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

There's also that.

Gabriel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Hey Dan! I wanted to say you do a great job running this blog! How good does Avant look in training camp in the absence of Maclin and Jackson!?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

He looks unbelievable. Makes a crazy one-handed catch every day, seems like. But I imagine he's getting tired and would like those guys to come back soon.

John (PA)

Dan, am I the ONLY realistic Skins fan that thinks they're doing a fantastic job rebuilding this team? Why not give Beck a shot? If they think more highly on next years QB class than this one, it only makes sense to give the guy a shot. With so many holes to fill it's going to take time. With so many WRs and RBs someone's going to step up, then we go for another stud in the draft.

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

No, I think they're doing it right. I'm just not sure Skins fans are used to the idea of a long-term rebuilding project as opposed to trying to win now.

Not St8Prop (Atlanta)

any bad blood in the Skins minds for the Monday night beatdown to Philly last year

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Yes. Spoke to several Redskins players about that game, and they are... eager to try again.

HighFlyer (ATL)

Power Rankings come out later today. Predict them if you would?Mine follow:1) Packers2) Eagles3) Patriots4) Jets5) Steelers6) Saints7) Falcons8) Ravens9) Colts10) Chiefs

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Well, I actually have an advance copy, so it really wouldn't be fair.

Chris (Washington, DC)

What's up with Shanahan having John Beck as the 2nd string QB in the first team depth chart when he's basically been issuing public love notes to Beck since the draft? Has Beck's bad start to training camp done a 180 on Shanahan's opinion of him?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

It's because Beck's got a groin injury, I believe.

milroyigglesfan (anchorage, ak)

I think you avoid this question because you forgot to ask it dan!Is mudd or will mudd work with our quarterbacks to hasten their throw and improve their "internal clock"?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Oh, right. I remember your question. Impression I got is that Mudd is working with the linemen on changing the way they play, as opposed to with the QBs. That's something that could happen down the road, but I didn't get the sense that's where his focus is right now.

Nathan (DC)

Heard all about how Jenkins has been impressive in camp. What about Kerrigan?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Hasn't practiced a whole lot because of a leg injury.

BobbC (Philly)

Is Dallas concerned with the injury to Newman lingering? Are they again going to be in trouble at this position? Any leftovers in free agency they can get cheap as insurance??

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

I think they felt like they made themselves deeper at cornerback by moving Alan Ball back there, but it doesn't sound as though he's been very impressive. They'll need Newman to come back healthy, and I think he will.

Mike C (Bethlehem PA)

Who wins the Skins RB competition? Does Helu get a real shot?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

I think a lot of different guys are going to start there over the course of the season, and I wouldn't doubt that Helu will be one of them.

Matt (NYC)

Saw that the 'Skin are #29 in ESPN's just released Power Rankings. This implies a 3-13/4-12 record. They were 6-10 last year, have improved the defense, have more WRs, probably upgraded RB. Isn't that ranking implying that some combo of Beck/Grossman can't put up 2010 McNabb's 77 rating w/ 14 TDS and 15 INTS? How does that make sense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

You must ask the voters, of which I am not one. They all do their own chats, I believe.

Fred Sherman (Dallas, TX)

Mudd is having the QB making the line call instead of the center. Is this hurt or improve Kelce's chances of starting?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Well, I imagine it would help, since it reduces the number of things he has to learn in order to get up to speed.

Roy Helu (Ashburn)

What'd you see in me that's making some people get too excited for a 4th round RB?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I saw Shanahan draft you, and I think that's what's got people excited.

Bobbo (Somewhere hot)

Shanahan drafted Clarret too...

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Well, somewhat different issues there. We would hope, at least.

Mike (New Lisbon)

Skins go 6-10 again or 8-8?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Those my only two choices?

moffat (olathe, kansas )

what is dallas main goal right now, to get more free agents to help toughen the defense or just work with the players they have now and see what happens?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Hey! I've been to Olathe! My freshman roommate is from there. Still good friends. You know Bobby Wilhelm? Anyway, Cowboys... I think they're counting on bounce-back years from guys like Jenkins and Spencer and Ratliff, and they're going to hope Rob Ryan is enough to get something out of them.

Mr. W (Dallas)

***VERY IMPORTANT***Third times a charm! Is there a defense the Eagles can run as there base that uses 4 DL's & 3 CB's and filling ot the rest of the spots with LB's and Safetys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

Sure. I believe they call that the "nickel."

Adam (Ridgewood, NJ)

Hey Dan, great work with the blog, my friend. Why haven't the front offices from the Giants (and even the Cowboys) gotten more criticism for their irresponsible salary cap management? They went spend-crazy the last few years and now have no TE and one of their top linemen is playing LB. They might not have known that the new cap would be this low, but must have known that it would likely decrease. They couldn't plan ahead for this type of situation?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Yeah, I'm particularly curious about how the Giants got into this situation. You can look back and see how the Cowboys misspent on big contracts, but I'm trying to find out what I can about where the Giants' money has all gone. They do seem to have managed the cap rather poorly.

EagleBeagle (Work)

you scoffed at any questions so far regarding the eagles Run Defense. while you are correct that stopping a RB in the backfield is a good thing, and that with a lead built up opposing offenses will be pass-heavy...but how can you build up said lead if your defense can't stop the run all game? the run D has been a bit of a letdown lately for the eagles, do you feel they've done anything to fix it?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

I didn't scoff! I answered that question. You even reference my answer in yours. They signed two defensive tackles, each of whom has been on a Super Bowl champion team in the past two years. I think they'll be able to commit more people up front because of how talented their cornerbacks are. They brought in one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the game. I'd say they have made a multi-pronged attempt to fix their run defense.

The Sun (Pimp Slapping Everyone on the East Coast)

Heard that Hasslett runs a lot of 4-3 looks in his 3-4 as well. Who's the 4th DL in Hasslett system?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

Jarvis Jenkins, at this point.

T (DC)

Rex looks a little heavy & out of shape, any concerns from Redskins camp?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

About the quarterback position? Yeah, a couple.

Joe (NY)

Ohms chatting- see yaaa

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

That's my cue. Go talk to Ohm. I'll catch you next week. Been real.