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August 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

Aaaand.... we're back. Per the results of our weekly Twitter contest, we begin this week with a Redskins question.

Styles (Reading PA)

Which Redskins Draft Picks are emerging to be potential contributors to the team. They lost Jenkins, and Kerrigan looks great so far... but what about the rest of the class. Any hope?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

I believe Leonard Hankerson should be a factor this year as a receiver, and that Roy Helu and Evan Royster will figure into the running game before all is said and done. Everybody's high on Hightower right now, and for good reason. But Shanahan's not scared to switch up lead backs during the season.

David Griffith (Philly)

What are the chances Ronnie Brown becomes a better back then Shady

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

I think if that were going to happen, we'd have seen it by now (meaning, in Brown's career). McCoy is the more talented all-around back and will be one of the focal points of the Eagles' offense, but Brown is a major weapon for them as well.

Tad (Carrollton)

Dan, with the inexperience now on the Dallas o-line, I am salivating at the prospect of Orakpo and Kerrigan sandwiching Tony "hide and seek" Romo. No way he hides from our pass rush or Phillys or NYGs for that matter. My question is about the budget...

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

I think the Redskins' pass rush should be very good, yes. But I think people are too upset over the Dallas offensive line situation. They wouldn't be using these guys if they didn't think they were better than the guys they replaced -- right now as well as into the future. Line was a big problem for Dallas last year, so why not try something new? There's no guarantee these guys won't be good just because they're young. Same as with Beatty in NY. It's a question mark, but the answer to the question could turn out to be a positive one.

CanadianSkins (Calgary)

What's ur opinion about Peter King's Skins prediction of 5-11 ?? Similar to Tampa Bay prediction of 1-15 ??

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

That's his pick for Redskins' record? I think they'll be better than that.

Naitik (New York City)

Do you think that Eli gets enough work in the next preseason game to fix issues with his receivers?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

No. I don't think he'll take a single snap Thursday night. But I also don't think you can assume preseason issues will carry into the regular season. Manning's an 8-year veteran. He'll be fine.

Jay (Toronto)

You picked the Saints in the Super Bowl didn't you.... I'll take that silence as a yes.

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

You have to wait until Thursday to find out.

Badgirl Bob :) (Austin)

Quite a different tune coming from Dallas about Andre Gurode compared to last year. Jerry Jones says it involved "cap issues" while now we hear he was "overrated, overpaid and overweight" from the media.What's your opinion on the real reason they cut the two time all pro?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

I think they were thinking of cutting him for cap reasons, possibly leaning the other way, but once he got hurt and they saw Costa play, they decided they could do it and get by with Costa.

John (Chapel Hill, NC)

Hi Dan just wondering if you could comment on Clint Sintim's performance last night and whether he'll be sticking in the starting lineup. Thanks

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

I thought Sintim looked fine. Thought all the Giants LBs did, in fact, and I don't usually. But Sintim is a backup as long as Kiwanuka, Boley and Goff are all healthy. He's the first one off the bench if one of them comes out, as you saw last night.

Mr. W (Dallas)

Who will be the starting DT duo in Philly?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

Jenkins and Antonio Dixon if Dixon can get healthy. Jenkins and Mike Patterson if he can't.

Mcnabb (Minnesota)

See, I can still play.

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I'm withholding judgment, but it wouldn't surprise me. Will you work hard enough and stay interested all year?

Brian (South Philly)

Does Babin have a good year? Or does he dip back into mediocrity...

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

I think the Eagles will deploy Babin in such a way as to maximize his talent and insanity. He's a high-energy guy who's at his best when his assignment is "Go get the quarterback." Think of Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun, muttering, "I must kill... the queen..." over and over, except really loud and in fast-forward. And with "quarterback" in place of "queen."

Eli M. (NYC)

I still think I'm as good as Tom Brady...but not with this O-line.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Line looked fine last night, dude.

bryan (annapolis)

i think the loss of jenkins at de really hurts the skins. do they stand pat with the depth they have at de now or do you see them signing someone new? if so, will it be a veteran already available like phillip daniels, or will it maybe be a rotational de that doesn't make the 53 man roster for another team? thanks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

I do think they'll add somebody, but I can't tell you whether it'll be a starter-ready vet or a bench guy. They like Carriker and Bowen as starters, and did even when Jenkins was healthy. So maybe they just lean harder on those two guys and beef up the bench.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Anything Andy Reid can do to calm the hype surrounding his team, or will he just embrace it, ala Rex Ryan?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

Ha. Reid will surely handle it differently than Ryan does, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have his own ways of keeping his players from getting caught up in it. Reid knows what he's doing.

Jumpf R. Coq (Brooklyn)

I really liked Shaun O'Hara, but I'm coming around on David Baas. What have you seen from him so far, and how is integration into a veteran Giants O-line coming along?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

I just think he looks great. Smart, tough, physical, mean. Had some communication issues with his new teammates in that first game, but as we wrote at the time, that's to be expected. They targeted him as a guy who'd fit in perfectly with what they do, and it looks as though they may have been right. We'll see when the real games start.

Confused (Washington)

Beck has definitely played better than what I thought he would. But what makes you so high on him? The Colts are literally a JV team during the preseason (I don't recall him completing a pass further than 8 yards down the field), and he threw a td against Ravens backups. All of his other drives have been aided by 40 yard Hightower runs. Grossman has actually produced versus Ravens and Steelers starters

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I'm not necessarily "high" on Beck. I still need to see it in real games. But the coaches are high on him, which bears writing. And he has looked good in his preseason games. Over and over, I say the same thing: These preseason games don't mean anything in terms of predicting how a guy or a team will do in the regular season. So I haven't said that Beck will do well because he's looked good in preseason. But he has looked good in preseason, which is what people have been asking.

Brad (Minneapolis)

Thanks for answering my question in the mailbag last week. Given that the Eagles are still close to cap, do you see any potential "cap casualties" in the next week in order to get Jackson more money?

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

Been some chatter about a Joselio Hanson trade, which would help with that.

EO3 (Bay Area, California)

Do you think Dallas offense will be better this season?EO3Bay Area, California

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

They were seventh in the league last year in points and yards, without Romo and Bryant healthy for large chunks of the year. So I think yes, they will be better, and that means they'll be extremely good.

Joshua (ABQ)

Dan do you not like New Mexico? Is that why you have not answered my question?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

That is one of the 10 states to which I have never been. But I have nothing against it.

Joshua (ABQ)

Dan....shame on you. You would love green chile!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

It's not intentional. But I've covered major league sports for the past 17 years, and they don't have any teams there!

AJ (DC)

Any chance DeSean get's traded? (Especially if he is looking for a contract the Eagles just can not afford)

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

No. They're going for it this year. They'd rather try with an unhappy D-Jax than without him.

Chip (Atlanta, GA)

Who has better year...Hightower or Felix Jones

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Felix.

Steve (WA)

Which of the other ESPN bloggers do you think you could take down in the Octogon?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Williamson has size on me, and Kuharsky has a mean streak. But I think I can handle the rest. Especially if we don't tell them I'm coming.

Jonathan (NYC)

why do the giants claim they are a power running team when eli is in shotgun on short yardage plays? The less passes he throws the less int's he will throw. Jacobs cannot average 5 YPC again this year and carry the ball so few times like he did all year. I blame Gilbride on Eli's mistakes. He is a mistake prone QB, super bowl mvp or not!

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

That's a pretty good question, Jonathan of NYC. I think part of the Giants' issues in recent years has been some internal confusion about their offensive identity. To be fair, though, they like to run it. Their backs haven't been trustworthy. Jacobs had an inexplicably bad year in 2009, Bradshaw was hurt that year and fumbled in 2010. So while they want to run, they can't be sure they can trust the run.

Scott (VA Beach)

Dan, I enjoy your work. That said, I recall in an earlier chat you called the Redskins' O-line horrible. You didn't single it out specifically. It went along with having no receivers, QBs etc. It was response to a Skins fan that suggested how important it 'should' be to install two tight end sets in to their game plan. I understood the point you were 'trying' to make. That said, I think your evaluation has changed at least some on the Skins O-line as showing some real improvement- do you agree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I'm certain I didn't use the word "horrible." I have said, many times, they they enter the season with big questions at line, QB, RB and WR. They still do, though I believe the preseason has justifiably improved their own confidence in the line, QB and RB situations at the least.

David Griffith (Philly)

for the first time in over 5 years the eagles have 2 (maybe 3) amazing running backs.... why not use them to bang it thru the line when the corners and safeties start playing soo deep (which we both know they will once Djax n Maclin start carving them up)

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Yeah, I think we're all eager to see how this Eagles offense works when it's fully operational. Once they blow up the planet of Alderaan, they'll have to sort out some kind of division of run/pass plays.

Scott (VA Beach)

You response to Chip on your prediction of better year- Felix or Hightower. Felix is good, but will he be durable this year.Hightower is good, but will Shanny rotate backs this year more than Dallas will with theirs.

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Right. Neither guy is a guarantee to last all year. Felix was my guess.

Vinnie (Columbus, OH)

Paizon, Eli looked....not good against the Jets. How much longer does the goodwill from the Super Bowl victory last? I still have faith (although not as much as early last year). Will the fans turn on him if the INTs and bad throws continue?

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

I kind of feel like the fans already have! But the organization hasn't, and won't, and he's your guy for better or for worse. I predict Giants fans will be happier with Eli in January than they are right now.

Dale (TX)

Dan, love your work. Although a it's a bit unusual for a team to release several veteran O-lineman and replace them with undrafted free agents, one a rooke at that, I have to believe a new head coach like Jason Garrett wouldn't make a risky move like that unless he saw something in his players that made him very confident in their ability. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I agree, though only Costa was undrafted, and he's not a rookie. Nagy was the third-to-last pick in this year's draft, and was an up-and-comer at Wisconsin before he got hurt in a motorcycle accident as a junior. They like him a lot. He's not just some guy they're throwing in there because they have no other options. If they didn't like him, they'd start Holland, or would have kept Gurode and moved Costa to guard.

Kyle Shanahan (Ashburn)

How should I break the news to pops that I have more faith in Rex?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Donno. My dad likes those Titleist Pro-V1s.

Brian (NJ)

Eli is a Top 10 QB in this league, and in his prime. If Eli is the primary concern about the Giants going into the season, than I am pretty pumped as a Giants' fan.

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Guessing someone will react to this. But I'm kind of with Brian. If Eli's not top 10, he's 11 or 12.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

We all know how this league operates, and what NFL really stands for, but isn't kind of unfair that Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Yes. Assuming he actually is, it would be unfair.

TMSCFINEST aka Jean-Claude Croissant (at work in Canada)

How long do you give Kelce as starting center??? I think he's out by week 4.

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Howard Mudd picked him, monsieur. He's got a long leash. And he looked great on the Ronnie Brown TD run, so those who like him have support for their case.

Rocky (Montana)

Why no Cowboy hype? No love for Jerry's team? Are they the doormat again?

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Moments after this chat ends, my blog will post a nearly 1,000-word Cowboys commentary. Please read it.

Splooz (DC)

D-Grizzle - Equate each NFC East team to a famous movie character.

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Mailbag this question so I have time to mull it over. I want to get this exactly right.

JT (NY)

Mario Manningham had 9 targets last night, 3 catches. I could see the endzone play, where revis actually bumped MM to the inside. But I'm thinking with his speed, they should play him more in the slot or give him more slant routes to give him more room to catch and add YPC

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

They have used Manningham in the slot this preseason, and I think they will again. If he didn't play there last night, it could be because they wanted to look at Cruz more or because the Jets are on their regular-season schedule.

Splooz (DC)

Mailbags are for the french. Americans think on the fly! For shame commandant Graz....for shame!

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

But it's important to me that I get this exactly right.

Conor (Crofton)

Any advice for a high school junior who wants to become a sports journalist?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Write. Every day.

Anthony McCree (PG County, MD)

The Redskins have made many improvements this year. The O line seems to be much better, D line no question, I think Hightower fits this system and has a chance to be a leader in rushing yards and the qb position seems to not be as bad as most think. with all that being the case and an easy schedule on paper I have the skins at 10-6 what do you think

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

I think 10 wins seems high to me. I agree about everything you're saying regarding their improvements. But too often, people underestimate how tough it is and how much time it takes to translate those improvements into success. We're seeing it with the preseason analysis of teams like the Lions and the Rams. I get what there is to like about those teams and what they're doing, but I think it's a mistake to believe they're ready to jump up into the playoffs from where they've been the last couple of years. Same with Washington. They're doing it the right way. And sure, they could be a surprise team this year if they get a break or two. But just because they're better doesn't mean they're there yet.

Brad (NY)

Agree with Brian about Eli being a top 10 QB. There just aren't that many great QB's out there right now. The only guys better than Eli that I can see are: Brady, Brees, Peyton, Rivers, Ben, and Vick. He is basically in the same class as Ryan and Schaub.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Well, you forgot Aaron Rodgers, and I'd put Eli behind Ryan and Schaub and Romo, but I agree that it's close there.

Brandon (Raleigh)

Just like last year, there's going to be 1-3 good teams in the NFC deserving of a playoff spot that simply won't make it. That said, do you think its possible for the NFC East to send 3 teams to the postseason this season? (Phi, NYG, DAL)

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I do think it's possible. Playing the NFC West teams should help the NFC East teams' records.

Hud (A Big Rock)

Yeah about Brads top 10, Bradford and Stafford could both make cases this year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Not yet. Though those in the BEAST fantasy league know I'm hopeful on Bradford...

Steve (WA)

I saw what you said about the NFC West.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

And?

The Hurricane of Einstein (DC)

How do you feel about D-Grizzle as a more permanent nickname?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Not very good.

Rich (Philly)

Vikings run offense that good or Cowboys run D that bad?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Adrian Peterson is that good, of course. But you would like to see the Cowboys be more physical up front. Would have helped if Spears had been playing, I think.

drew (md)

Dan, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

17

David Griffith (Philly)

what are your thoughts on the Jacobs Wilkerson fight last night - Is Jacob too hype?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

Jacobs is such a great talent, and such an awesome physical specimen, he should be able to accomplish anything he wants in this league. But based on my experience talking to him and to others in the organization, he's (a) not the most brilliant guy on the team, (b) got a horrible temper, (c) maybe not in love with football the way the truly great players usually are. Now I'm just going to hope that, the next time I'm in the Giants' locker room, the combination of (a) and (b) doesn't result in any harm to my person.

The Hurricane of Einstein (DC)

So Danny Walnuts is a better one?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

Getting there.

CorgiMaster (NoVa)

Some in the DFW area believe that the Cows are officially starting an all-out roster-flipping rebuilding of the entire team with the cutting of Gurode (and several other highly compensated veterans). Do you think that is the case or do you really think the coaching staff believes they are better off with young guys (some of them UFAs) in the affected positions??

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I think the latter, and again... check the blog in about a half-hour for a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this matter.

Bob (Va Beach)

Do you agree with the Sporting News on the skins record of 2-14? cause that would guarantee a guy named Luck comming to skins.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

No, not at all. They'll be better than that.

Brian (NJ)

Another thing about Eli, people make it seem like he had a terrible year last season b/c of the 25 INTS. That was definitely bad, but he did throw for 4000 yards, 31TD and complete 63% of his passes. I think Eli is set up for a really good year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Yes. The INTs are the only standout number from last year that doesn't show continued improvement for Eli. He gets those cut in half, he's right back on the same track he was a year ago, which is a great one.

MattC (Dallas)

Whats the latest on Maclin, good to go?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, they're all saying he'll play Week 1.

Hurricane Irene (Alaska or Canada or sumthin)

Did you enjoy me this weekend?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

You were a pain in the ass, but I'm thankful you were no more than that.

MattC (Dallas)

Wheres the love man? Who leads the Eagles in receptions this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

LeSean McCoy.

Erik (Illinois)

So since you missed chat last week is this one going to be longer? And any chance Cowboys pick up S, J. Sanders, who was released by NE?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

I don't think the chat will go long, though that could depend on what kind of shape the Bergen County golf courses are in two days after the hurricane. Working on finding that out now, actually. As for Sanders, I can see your point, but I think the Cowboys like their current safety duo.

Punt the punter (puntsville)

PUNTER QUESTION!!!! How many punts would a punter punt if a punter could punt punts? oh and whos your favorite Punter in the east?

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

I said a couple of weeks ago on Twitter that Weatherford was the best, and Mat McBriar's wife seemed upset in a response. So, to foster peace, and because Weatherford hasn't make the team yet, I'll say McBriar this time.

Michael (New Jersey)

Was weatherford the most important offseason move that the nyg made?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Ha. See previous question. He could be. He's very good.

Not St8prop (Atlanta, GA)

Can the Skins upset the Giants in Week 1.

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Of course. This is the NFL. We can't know what's going to happen!

Jake (Neptune)

Dan why do you always ignore my questions on twitter (@KalaalitNunaat)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I find this hard to believe. I answer almost every Twitter question I get. Are your profane or insulting? Because those are really the only ones I ignore.

Zach (NYC)

Any word or updates on Osi? Been a bit since we heard his name...for better or worse.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Well, he's recovering from knee surgery. A few more weeks, I believe.

Djax (Philly)

Nnamdi got paid. Vick got paid. How much longer can I hold it together before I snap? PAY ME MY MONEY!!!!!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

I don't really have that much. Can lend you a couple of bucks if you're that hard-up, but I'll need it back.

Jon (Fairfield, CA)

At this rate of injury, are the Giants going to be able to field a team come week 8?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

No, they will have to stop getting injured at the current rate in order to make it through the season. I'm honestly not sure they could survive one more to a starter.

Obdummu Mawoshin (Botswana)

Hello Mr. Dan as a resident of this nation your blog is the only way to keep up with my cherieshed Eagles. I do appreciate the output that you give. Do you think the Eagles can now win the big one this season. And thank you.

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Botswana, people. We're big in Botswana. I want to know how many readers Seifert has in Botswana, and I want to know now.As for the question... yes, I believe they're right there in the mix as far as the teams that can win the Super Bowl this year, even though I did not personally pick them to do so.

Hog.Brew (Austin)

I call shenanigans that you got the first pick in the 2011 Beast FFL. Were you ever on the fence as to who to draft with the first pick? Adrian Peterson was a no-brainer top pick this year imho.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I was on the fence until Arian Foster got hurt and I watched Peterson against the Cowboys on Saturday night. That sealed it!

Phyllis_the_troll (Trollsville)

Have you enjoyed my numerous names? And what's your take on my legendary status on this blog?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

It continues to mystify me.

drew (md)

The redskins have low expectations, no distractions, a young core of talent, and have also shown promise of continuity on the O-line. This makes us a dangerous team.. Right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

If you mean "dangerous" in that you'll give the very good teams tough games and be no pushover, sure. I'll buy that. But I'd like to see you actually show up for this Giants game before I go all in on that, since it's been a couple of years since the last time you didn't roll over for them.

josh (rochester)

dan i need to know this and i needed to know it yesterday could you beat romo in a round of golf

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

No.

Marcus (Madison)

Jean-Jacques Taylor contends that the Cowboys are in a rebuilding stage based on their recent o-line changes. To me it appears this is a huge oversight based on the talent the offense has as well as Ryan taking over the D. Thoughts on JJTs report?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

In approximately 15 minutes, a very long rebuttal will post to my blog.

Brandon (Va)

Who do you have in the super bowl?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

The picks will be out in about 48 hours. We've waited this long!

biochemskinsfan (St. Louis)

Dan what do you think of someone taking two QBs in the first four rounds of a fantasy football draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

It wasn't what I expected, to be sure. We can only start one, right?

Jake (Neptune)

Week 1 where are you going to be?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

St. Louis.

Chris (Hoboken)

Most of us know you're not revealing your superbowl or BEast champ predictions, why continue to waste chat posts on answering them?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

It amuses me.

Steve (WA)

What are the titles of your two books?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

"I Think She's Trying to Tell Me Something" and "The Ultimatum." They are not sports or football books, just FYI.

David (Charlotte)

Why not be at skins/giants?

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

All three options involving NFC East teams were considered. In the end, I ended up going with Eagles. Have no fear, I will have seen all four teams live by the end of Week 3, I believe.

Mike (Los Angeles, CA)

How does the East finish this year?? I have Eagles, Cowboys, Giants and Skins (in that order). With the Eagles and Cowboys making the playoffs. Thoughts???

Dan Graziano
  (1:02 PM)

I have... predictions coming out Thursday.

Dan Graziano
  (1:03 PM)

Out, all. Catch you next week. And yeah, go read that Cowboys thing in about 10 more minutes.