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September 20, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dave (Phoenix)

So, according to SI and ESPN, the redskins are supposed to go 0-14 the rest of the way then? Lol. I find it funny that "experts" literally skipped over every improvement they made this offseason, and based it only on the name and reputation Of McNabb vs Grossman- despite the fact he blew McNabb out of the water last year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Preaching to the choir, Dave. I'm glad I wasn't on that bandwagon. The defense is considerably better than it was last year, and Grossman is a guarantee to run the offense better than McNabb did, in large part because he seems to want to.

Tim VB (Arlington)

Does whether or not Romo can play effect your prediction of this weekend's grudge match?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

Absolutely, Tim. Not that Kitna can't win them a game, because we saw last year that he obviously can. But the Cowboys are in an injury situation right now not unlike what the Giants have going on -- just getting so thin overall that any significant injury has to have a more significant impact on their chances than it otherwise would have. With Austin likely out, a Romo injury could be too much to overcome.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Dan, if the Eagles start Kafka against the Giants on Sunday, how do you feel about their chances to win that game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Given the Giants' issues in the secondary and Andy Reid's confidence in Kafka, I wouldn't rule it out at all. The Eagles are not in Dallas' position. If they're without their quarterback, they still have their full complement of offensive weapons to offer his replacement. I don't think Kafka makes this a walk for the Giants by any stretch.

Tyrone (New York)

Dan: now that you've watched all 4 NFCE teams in person, what are 1 or 2 big surprises that you've observed?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Oddly, I have yet to see the Cowboys in person, though I have managed to see the Rams twice. Will see Dallas on Monday night. To your question, though, I'd say is the efficiency of the Redskins offense. I didn't expect it to run this smoothly.

Yatin (LA)

Any chance the Eagles use one of their many talented CBs (perhaps Nnamdi given his size) to at least occasionally cover opposing TEs given the LBs and Safeties clearly can't do it???

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

Yes. In fact, after Sunday's game, Mornhinweg said they were planning to use Asomugha on Tony Gonzalez but had to switch that up due to the injury to Rodgers-Cromartite. So if they're fully healthy, look for that going forward when they face a tough TE matchup. But remember, there aren't many Tony Gonzalezes around. The Eagles shouldn't have to fear the tight end this week.

Mike (IL)

Dan, we all saw the two sides of Grossman on Sunday and admittingly us Skins fans were scared after that first half. Still, pulling out a game that they would've lost in previous years is something to be encouraged about, no? Also, do you see Davis being the #1 TE option now? Fantasy implications here...

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

No question, Davis is your guy over Cooley in fantasy. I'm not even sure why you waited this long to make that switch. As for Grossman, I think his recovery from the early INTs says more than the INTs say themselves.

Don (Indiana)

With Terrance Newman coming back do you see Cowboys secondary getting better to the point of Rob Ryan feeling safer about sending more Blitzes? Additionally can they keep up the sort of QB pressure they have had so far this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

Yes, Newman's return will help out the defense up front, and Ryan's ability to try more things with blitzes. And yes, as long as DeMarcus Ware is healthy, they will succeed in pressuring quarterbacks.

Jason (VA)

How long will the Giants let this CB situation kill them in the secondary?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I just don't know what they can do about it, Jason, except maybe hope that something like the Aaron Ross mini-benching last night lights a fire under him. It was clear when he was out that they have nothing behind him, and until Amukamara gets back at least they'll need major production from him. He's not delivering it.

Mike (Denver)

Hatcher seems like a totally different player out there. What is your take on his vast improvement?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

Maybe it's Rob Ryan. Some guys just click with certain coaches. Also, the guys who were on that Dallas D last year were embarrassed by the way they played, and that can serve as motivation sometimes.

Tim VB (Arlington)

Chances Landry plays on Monday?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

He keeps saying he will.

Omar (Baltimore)

So, last week Romo was a Choking McChoker and the Cowboys were in the running for Andrew Luck because they had to get rid of Romo, and now Romo's a hero. Dare I say we shouldn't overly judge a QB that let Darrelle Revis get the best of them?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Omar, you're making a lot of sense. Must be those Honey Nut Cheerios you love so much.

rob (va)

since romo finished sunday's game why wouldn't he play this week? it shouldn't be any worse right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

I guess, Rob, but if there's any concern, in the light of the new week, that he could make the injury worse, they should and likely will hold him out. I think a reasoned decision this week could be different than a spur-of-the-moment one made Sunday.

Bill (Philly)

Even with the loss - the Eagles and their fans have a lot to be excited about. Three turnovers Sunday night and they still had a 10 point lead. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

Clearly, where the Eagles are strong, they are very strong. I think it's safe to say the Eagles had more things to feel good about in their loss than the Giants did in their win.

alex (DC)

Do you see the Giants picking up a quality veteran TE?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

I'm sure they're looking. Do you know of one who's available?

Big E (OldskoolNYC) (NYC or course)

the Eagles defensive weakness is the middle. how often will we see the Giants run up the gut and maybe a few middle screens?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Lots, I'd say, since the Giants tried to do that Monday and may not have enough receivers to generate a downfield passing game against the Eagles' secondary. If the Giants don't find a way to get mismatches against the Eagles' linebackers, then I'm not sure why they have offensive coaches.

Jack (Wyoming)

What is up with Dallas running game...

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

That's a good question. Jones looked so good in the preseason, you thought he was ready to take a jump. But he just continues to look like a guy who can't hold up and handle the load physically. They may need to spread the carries around after all.

Emily (Maryland)

Ryan Kerrigan looks like a stud and opposite Orakpo and Fletcher, the Redskins could have one of the top LB corps in the league? What do you think?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I agree. Kerrigan is a rookie, and not without his flaws, but the defense he's in plays to his strengths as a pass rusher, and he's going to look very good a lot more than he's going to look bad. No one's going to care if he can't cover a tight end as long as he's knocking quarterbacks over.

Damien (Philly)

After this year is all said and done, do you think McCoy will nationally be recognized as one of the top running backs in the league?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

I think he is already, or certainly should be, but yeah. He shows all the signs of continuing to develop and flourish. Tremendous talent in a strong position from which to succeed.

Dan (New York)

Do you think Monday night's performance was the "real" Eli, or do you think he can return to form from his superbowl days?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

He looks to me like a guy who doesn't trust his receivers (other than Nicks, who's a complete animal) and is running an offense that isn't yet in synch. Least he looked that way early in the game. The offense ran better later in the game when they locked in on the real short stuff and got into a rhythm.

MattC (Dallas)

Is Fred Davis the real deal in DC? He looks great so far.

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I can't believe how often he's open. After watching Week 1, how could Arizona fail to cover him so much in Week 2? Does he have some sort of invisibility cloak?

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

What's wrong with the Eagles offensive line? They should be so much better than they are, and Mudd is one of the best line coaches ever.

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Lots of new pieces in new places. Takes time to develop. Also, Mudd introduced a very different blocking scheme that most of these guys aren't used to -- aggressively pushing forward and establishing a spot instead of sitting back and bracing for impact. Work in progress. It will get better.

Dan (NYC)

Nice of the G Men to bring flopping to the NFL. What an embarrassment. If I want to watch soccer I will. Agree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I agree, but what can be done about it? The Giants are a desperate team with wily veterans, and they used a weapon they had at their disposal.

Jason Garrett (Dallas)

Do i have the potential to be the best Red-head coach in NFL history?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Got a long way to go to claim the top spot in the division, right?

Chris (Giants Land (NJ))

How good is Greg Jones at linebacker for the Giants? He had a great tackle yesterday on the goal line.

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Yeah, he really plays the run well. He's a definite playmaker, as he was in college. They'll continue to get him off the field in passing downs, but he's helped more than he's hurt on first and second.

it aint easy bleeding green (KY)

Dan, If Vick is out for the Giants game can Lesean mccoy carry the Eagles to a win?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

Sure he could, but I still think the Eagles will throw plenty against that Giants' secondary. How can New York cover Jackson, Maclin, Avant and their old buddy Smith? Oh, and Celek?

Chris (Giants Land (NJ))

I would like your thoughts on Hynoski, the rookie Giants full back. He has been pretty good so far, he is very physical and most of his errors are due to lack of experience rather than him being out-physicaled. He even had a nice little reception yesterday. Full back of the future for Big Blue?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

The present and the future, Chris. They like everything about him, and for good reason. Does exactly what they need him to do and does it well.

Rob (Toronto, ON)

Dan, why is Romo always snapping the ball with less than 3 seconds on the play clock? Is it Romo is it Garrett? this is going on three years now...

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

LOL. Poor Tony.

MattC (Dallas)

Maclin looked great SUnday, think he could be the best reciever in the NFC East with Dez/Hakeem Nicks not staying healthy?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

That's a great trio, and sure, if Maclin's the only one healthy he'll be the best. But I think Nicks is the best player among those three right now all else being equal, and that's no slight to the other two guys. Nicks does so much technically right as a receiver, and has the talent and athleticism to back it all up, too.

Pete (Wyoming)

Chat's a little slow today. You fall asleep? Forgot to eat your wheaties??

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Let's just say there's been some multitasking going on, and the second half of the chat will proceed at a more normal pace.

Tim (DC)

I know its still early but Dan can you give us your prediction for the Skins Boys MNF match-up?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

No. Predictions come out Friday, and jeez -- we don't even know who's playing yet!

mike (philadelphia)

after kafka has a big game against the depleted Giants, whose 2nd round pick will we get for him? I am saying Seattle's, after they don't get luck.

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Clearly, Andy Reid understands the many potential benefits of being deep at the quarterback position. I wonder why more teams don't.

Aggie (TX)

Dan, do you think the return of Dez provides enough firepower for the upcoming two weeks against WAS/DET with Miles out?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

I think what it does is give the passing game a chance. If both Austin and Bryant are out, I don't see how the Cowboys can score consistently.

can you answer my question (your pc screen)

you post a dumb question like forgetting to eat your wheaties but cant answer if you have any news on Barden. nice

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Given the way his career has progressed to this point, I think it's pretty bold to assert that a Barden question is worthwhile. Barden can't get on the field, is never healthy, exasperates his coaching staff and likely will never become a factor in NY. That better?

Mike (Denver)

Does JG not scout himself? Can you please let him know every time he has run the ball in short yardage situations this year it is been to the left. Teams are over playing it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Perhaps it's all part of the larger plan...

Steve (Bristol)

Do the skins stay to their roots and try and run against the boys or do they attack a questionable secondary?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

The Redskins will run. They've got 61 carries in two games -- seventh-most in the league. It's no coincidence. They want to run. They have the depth at running back to make it happen, and I'm guessing any game in which they don't at least approach 30 carries will upset Mike Shanahan.

TheHurricaneofEinstein (DC)

Why do people continue to ask questions in the comments section every week when it's clear you don't answer those in the chat?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? And what's on the other side?

Stephane (Philly)

its my birthday sunday...all i want is for Chaney to be starting at MLB and Matthews relegated to the bench? is there a chance i get my wish?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

There's always next year!

B (NC)

Dan, do you think Eli's 16 of 18 performance in the last 32 minutes of the game was a fluke or a sign that the offense is starting to figure things out? The short passing game in particular was very nice to see. I can only hope they stick with it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I think it's a sign that the short passing game was what was available to them with Manningham and Hixon out and Nicks either well-covered and/or not 100 percent healthy. And yes, of course, that could continue.

Ed (Chester, NY)

Why would anyone want Dick Chaney to start at MLB? He's short and has a bad heart.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

But he's got a mean streak!

Darrick Knight (Durham,NC)

Dan, seeing Trent Cole play on Sunday he has to be one of the top DE's in the league.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Yes.

LC (NYC)

So many people were pissed at the Shannahans for benching McNabb last season. Now Redskins is 2-0 and Vikings is 0-2. Is McNabb done?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

What I was told about McNabb this summer was that he wasn't willing to put in the work during the week anymore, and that that's what cost him in Washington. I saw no reason to believe that would change with a move to Minnesota, and we've seen no evidence that it has. I think you can safely drop him from your fantasy team.

peter (washington d.c)

wheeties, cherrios, lucky charms or cococrispies?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

As we've said here many, many times, the only correct answer is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Gilmer (Stat Class @ VCU)

Over or Under, you answer 1 of my questions today?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

Under

Splooz (DC)

Sir Graziano - Perchance did you enjoy yourself in the lovely confines of Fed Ex field at the football spectacle on this past Sunday? Were you treated amicably by the local denizens and were the washrooms up to snuff?Respectfully,Sir SploozPS - WE WANT DALLAS....

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

As NFL stadiums go, FedEx Field is... one of them. But overall, yes, my experience there was quite pleasant. I have many old friends who cover the team for the Washington Post and it was nice to see them. And the Redskins themselves are a very pleasant bunch of guys to be around. Good locker room, good atmosphere, fun to watch them succeed.

Brian (DC)

C'mon Dan - give us a bold statement about the NFC east!

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

OK: All four teams will finish at least .500 for the season. How's that for bold???

dp (ne)

so dallas continues its failures in pass protection, 4th qtr turnovers, red zone, clock management, injuries, field goals, but the defense already has itself worked out even with several different cornerbacks playing. am i the only one that thinks ryan should be the head coach?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I think you are, yes.

Stephane (Philly)

When will you be visiting the Linc? The Philly fans are better than we get credit for

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I will be there by 10 am Sunday morning, Stephane. Where's your tailgate set up?

Gilmer (Stat Class @ VCU)

Dan pretty bold there sir. But do Skins finish above .500 since you had them 7-9?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Hey, they asked for bold, I went bold.

Kevin (Cambridge MA)

any word on vick's injury/injuries?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

I don't think we'll hear anything more on that until tomorrow, and I don't think we'll have a real clear picture of it for several days -- maybe not until Sunday.

Answer my question please (typing away)

The Redskins run D was mediocre at best second half, Wells really found big holes. Jones, if he plays, is very capable of doing that. Concern to you?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Yeah, the Cardinals did find something in the run game there in the third quarter. Hey, the guys on the other team get paid too and all that. Overall, I think the Washington D has shown more good than bad, and the return of Landry will only help.

Santa (Recovery Room)

"The Philly fans are better than we get credit for" That's not what I remember...

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

I'm sorry. Had to post it.

Justin (Trenton, NJ)

If Kafka starst on Sunday, and Vick & Young are injured, who's the backup QB for the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

How's your arm feeling, Justin? Maybe grab a burger at Rossi's and go over for a tryout. (Seriously, I imagine they'd sign someone to hold the clipboard, and if they got desperate they'd direct-snap it to Ronnie Brown.)

Alex (Trumbull, CT)

Stop avoiding the question....Whats your prediction on the Skins overall record?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I'm not going off predictions after two games. I said 7-9. They look better than that, so when asked to say something bold I added one win.

Dave (NJ)

Avant was the emergency QB in the last preseason game

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Or that.

PA (Chicago)

Dan, who do you have as the best division in the NFC and why? And no need to explain anything regarding the NFC West.

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

If the Lions are really this good, I'll say it's the North. I don't love the Bears, but the defense is legit.

Hog Brew (Austin)

Are lookin' forward to a visit to Jerry World for MNF?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

I am. It's a spectacular place. And I don't know if you know this, but they have In-n-Out Burger in the Dallas-Fort Worth area now.

cowboynfceast (philadelphia)

Dan, has the Cowboys D played better or worse than you expected them to play?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Better.

Chris (Sunny Sarasota)

In other NFC East news, when is the second cardinals game for the redskins? January?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

I see what you did there. Could be!

Jerry (DC)

Where the heck do you live, Dallas, land of the tumbleweed and over-rated franchise???

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

I live in New Jersey.

Splooz (DC)

In-N-Out or 5 Guys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

In-n-Out, no question.

Stephane (Philly)

Fun fact-I met Jim Furyk at an In-N-Out Burger in Las Vegas

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

A moose once bit my sister...

skinsfan (dc)

Is cofield somewhat inconsistent at NT due to his size in a 3-4 D?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

That could be, but it's important to remember that Haslett isn't playing a traditional 3-4, and that he'll move Cofield around at times to maximize his strengths. Watching the Redskins' defense Sunday, they did a lot of switching and disguising, and I think that will continue to evolve as everybody continues to get more comfortable. The thing they love about Cofield is that he WANTS to play the nose. You may remember, last year, they had a guy who wasn't too keen on the idea.

Splooz (DC)

"In-n-Out, no question." There's your bold statement of the day!! Would it help to know that Redskins great Mark Mosley (No relation to your esteemed predecessor) owns a bunch of 5 guys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

It does not. Five Guys is fantastic. In-n-Out is better.

Tim (New Haven,CT)

Dan,Please answer my question! Did you get to meet your Twitter followers and readers before the game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

You know, only a couple. I need to organize those things better -- find a specific spot to meet specific people. See, I can't just wander around the parking lot and go up to people assuming they're regular readers. The Gameday Tweet-Up is a work in progress, and I welcome your help.

Stephane (Philly)

How many visits do you make to each stadium during the year-is your schedule posted in advance or do you make that decision at the beginning of the week?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

I'll be at at least one NFC East game every week. This past week I was at two, and next week I will be at two. Beyond Week 3, I don't have my schedule yet, but I will continue to travel each week to the matchups that seem like the best and most interesting.

Mark (Rochester NY)

Dan, could Hulu take Hightowers spot as #1 back for the skins? He looked very impressive vs Arizona.

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

He could, but what's Hightower done to lose it?

Dan (New York)

what's it like being a sports writer?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

It's fantastic.

MattC (Dallas)

Dan, when you come to Dallas don't forget to try a Whataburger or some Dickies BBQ!

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

I always stop at Dickies at the airport on the way out.

Bill (PA)

Are you working on a new book per chance?

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

I wish. Those books came out before I had kids. There's little time now. Also, this job keeps me pretty busy.

Shawn (Bronxville, NY)

Over/Under for Eli, 60%, 25TD, 15INT

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

Over, all three.

skinsfan (dc)

The reason I asked about cofield is because at times (quarters) skins looked dominant in the run D but other quarters, they were suspect. Landry should help quite a lot but I am just worried about cofield getting worn down by end of games. Can you comment?

Dan Graziano
  (1:02 PM)

Yeah, the injury to Jenkins left them thin on the line, which is an issue. If Neild continues to show promise, that helps. They'll need to watch Cofield to make sure he doesn't wear down, but until more develops behind him, they might need to work him hard here early while he's fresh. Your point is legit.

Don (Indiana)

Go post an article.

Dan Graziano
  (1:02 PM)

Okay. See ya.