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October 18, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Hello. Fire away.

LeSean McCoy (Best Running Back in the Game)

What specific things did you like about the Eagles D on Sunday? Clearly changing our line formations helped the run D, but it is amazing how learning basic tackling can help a defense.

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

First of all, hats off to you for your fine performance, which was the kind of thing that can make a whole team look better around you. As for the D, yeah, they tackled better, and they played a lot tighter and tougher in the middle against the run, as they did in the second half the week before in Buffalo. I'd like to see them play their cornerbacks (particularly Nnamdi) in tighter coverage from here on, but up front they do seem to be looking better.

Jason (STL)

Can ANYONE cover Hakeem #thedream Nicks in single coverage right now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

He's a better player than anyone who covers him, until Christmas Eve.

Justin (Northern Virginia)

Is Beck really an improvement? While he was able to help spark the offense he was throwing the ball into the ground at open receivers and fumbled the ball while scrambling but was able to fall on top of it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

The key for the Redskins is the group around the QB, not the QB himself. That's why the O-line injuries are a much bigger story, in my mind, than the quarterback decision.

Brandon (Woodbridge VA)

Do you think the Cowboys should make a play for Chicago Bears RB Peyton Hillis?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

People keep asking this. Has this been out there as a rumor and I missed it? I don't see how it helps the Cowboys to trade a draft pick or other resources for a guy like that when they're already deep at that position. They should be able to get it done with the backs they have.

Weech (Cali)

Dan, you wrote, and we all agreed that Dallas would need a few games to learn Rob Ryan's defense and expected their defense to gel together mid-to-late season. Are you surprised that they've gelled already? What do you attribute this to? They're creating turnovers which was absent last year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I am surprised. I guess I attribute it to Ryan being a very good coach. We knew they had talented guys there, and Spencer and Jenkins have rebounded and Lee has been a revelation.

Jake (Proxima Centauri)

Dan why is my auto-update not working? This whole refresh thing is very 1990

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

This is currently the most popular question. If I had any idea how, I promise I'd fix it.

Michael (NY)

Dan the Man - How has more potential Hakeem Nicks or Dez Bryant?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

Bryant, but Nicks is the better player

Rockin' Hank (New York)

Dan, what are your thoughts on Jake Ballard? He seems to be making Giants fans forget all about Kevin Boss, and between him and Victor Cruz, it would appear that all of the off-season criticism directed at Jerry Reese was completely unjustified.

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

This is worth posting and writing more about, as I plan to. Ballard is a stone-cold perfect example of what the Giants claim they're all about -- a guy, coached and educated in their system, who got an opportunity and seized it. They say they'd rather address their problems internally than go sign free agents, and if Ballard keeps playing like this, he'll be an example Coughlin and Reese can point to when they preach this to their players and to the public in the future. No one saw this coming.

Dennis (Wash D.C)

Dan, as we all know the NFC East is just a complete mess. Judging by the way things are turning out so far within the division, do you think that 8 or 9 games will win our division this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

8? No, but I could see 9. Though someone told me that's never happened -- that this division has always had at least one 10-win team.

Shut-Up-Phyllis (Work)

Okay Dan, serious question for once, do you feel the return of Justin Tuck from injury after a bye will vastly improve their run defense? Or do you personally feel their inexperience and inconsistency at MLB is the major factor of their lack of run defense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

I think Tuck would help any defense in the league. I don't think his return automatically makes them a great run defense, but it will make them better. Those linebacker issues you cite aren't going away.

josh (rochester)

any chance that boothe could be inserted into the lineup for the gmen in place of diehl

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Sure, and if they thought that would make things better, I don't think they'd hesitate to do it. But they see Boothe as a backup and a swing guy, not an every-play starter type.

Confuscious (China Somewhere)

Everything that has happened never happened at some point in time, who cares if its never happened before.

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

For some reason now I'm craving fortune cookies.

Matt (PA)

If eagles fix redzone woes and starting scoring TD's they can easily win 8 of 10 games, your thought?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Yeah, I agree. Touchdowns would help them win more games.

Jake (Proxima Centauri)

Dan, with Jerry publicly questioning Garrett if the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs is he in a bit of hot water? I feel like Ryan would be a much better head coach and could get stolen by another team next year (hello Jacksonville)

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I don't think Garrett's in any real trouble. I think the Cowboys are going to be fine. I do think Jerry should think about not making himself so accessible after games, though. What happened to those lessons he was going to learn from Mark Cuban?

Jason (STL)

I wish Confucius spelled his name correctly and used proper grammar. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt due to translation errors.

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

Clearly, he has more high-minded things going on that spelling.

Joe (New York City)

Do you think Jason Garrett went conservative to prove that the Cowboys need Tony Romo to be Tony Romo to win football games?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

No. I don't think an NFL coach gave away a game on purpose to make a point like that.

Andrew (Philly)

Dawkins plus DJ Williams to the Eagles. Do you believe that there is any validity to this rumor. Does it really help the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Adam Schefter offered that on the air last week as a "trade that should happen but won't," so no. There is nothing to it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Just Adam speculating, as he made clear.

Bill (Ashburn,Va)

Ryan Mallett to Redskins??. I dont see why not before the trade deadline

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Well, if they liked him that much, they had several chances to draft him. I don't see it.

oldskooler (nyc)

is Brandon Jacobs knee injury more serious than the Giants want to admit? same with Tuck, each week we hear "getting better" or he's going to practice but doesn't. what's going on in NJ??

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I have the same thoughts about Jacobs, and we'll see what impact the bye has. As for Tuck, those neck problems are tricky. I would think he should be back for Miami.

Goom (philly)

What can the eagles do to avoid getting embarrased by another qb sneak? do you think the untouched qb's running down the middle of the field are indicative of Juan castillo's inexperience?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

No, I think it has more to do with linebackers. It is called a "sneak," after all.

Alex (Cananda)

I have Cole and JPP tied for top DE in the division. Do you agree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Jason Babin might have something to say about it, but that's the pair I went with last week.

Andy Reid (Philly)

Am I collecting unemployment if we miss the playoffs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I do not think so, no.

Tim (columbia, md)

Your thoughts on any free agents the Redskins could potentially bring it to shore up the left side of the O line after the loss of Lichtensteiger for the year and Williams & Cooley for a while?

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

I guess some of those guys the Cowboys are talking about -- Holland or Cole, etc. But the issue is the zone-blocking, and the reason the Redskins' line was playing so well was the continuity and the fact that they've all played together so long. They're going to have a hard time recovering from this. It's not as simple as just plugging someone in.

Mike N. (Staten Island)

When you're writing Giants articles, I picture you in a smoker's jacket laughing maniacally as you pet a cat.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

Get your cameras out of my office!

Bot (Rhawnhurst)

Dan, what can we actually expect from Brandon Graham's return? How do you think he'll fare in a wide 9?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

Graham has the speed to play it, no doubt. My guess is they'd ease him back in, which they have the depth to do.

Alan (VA)

Regarding Tuck's neck injury: They are tricky, as you say. See Peyton Manning.

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

zactly

Phillip Tanner (TX)

Dan, am I not getting any touches because I'm THAT bad of a blocker in pass protection?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

You've also been fourth in line all year. I wonder if the Felix Jones injury could mean the unleashing of Tanner...

Steve (Bristol)

With all the o-line injuries, does this now refrain Fred Davis from roaming free so often? If so, this seems even more detrimantal than what meets the eye, considering he's their leading reciever.

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

A big potential problem, yes, especially with Cooley hurt too. Now, Davis isn't the best blocker to begin with, so keeping him in could do more harm than good. They have problems, again, that go way beyond QB.

DLloyd (NoVA)

Dan, based on what you've seen of Beck (assuming he's the starter), as well as the situation of the team around him, do you still see an 8 win season for the Redskins?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

My prediction was 7. I can still see that. The defense is for real, the schedule soft.

Hans Gillan (Newark DE)

Eagles completely back? On their way? Or just a fluke?

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Lot of work still to do. They shouldn't feel comfortable yet. Good signs, though, Sunday.

Adam (Ridgewood, NJ)

Hey Dan -- Based on the Eagles impressive defensive performance against the run (allowing only 42 rush yards to a decent running team), do you foresee Juan and friends using less wide 9 moving forward?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

They believed it was the best way to handle the Redskins' zone blocking. I believe it signals a willingness to tailor the defense to that week's opponent, which is a good and smart thing considering the talent they have.

Ira (NY)

When will you realize that Eli is the beast qb of the nfc east?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

I believe he's been the QB on the All-Division team two weeks running, right? Eli has been limiting mistakes, which means the biggest problem with Eli hasn't been a big problem. He's got elite level talent. Just has to stay away from turnovers.

The Hurricane of Einstein (DC)

I thought we were answering my Beck questions here? What gives?Sexy has 13 turnovers in the last 4 games. Do you think the WRs coming out in defense of Rex is real or a Shanny move? Do they really feel Beck will average more than 4 a game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

I have a sneaking suspicion they don't like Beck, those WRs.

al (brooklyn)

do you think prince coming back can really help the giants in nickel packages?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

First of all, it's driving me nuts that people are saying he'll "come back." He's never actually been there. Had one practice, right? Anyway, if he does play, and if he can play well right away, he would help them adjust back to a comfort zone. They wouldn't need to play Rolle and Grant out of position as much as they have been. I just think the kind of immediate impact people are expecting from a rookie who's had one NFL practice and has screws in his foot is not realistic.

Tim (columbia, md)

What's not to like about Beck? He's certainly more charismatic than sexy rexy. As for talent, Shanny said that Rex barely beat out Beck for the starting job.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

I like him. But I have a suspicion that his teammates don't. That's all.

Matt (Spokane, WA)

will Demarco be an adequate bye week replacement (for Frank Gore) on my fantasy team??

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Against the worst run defense in the league? Let's just say I'm throwing some heavy FAAB bucks at Murray due to Jahvid Best's concussion.

DragonSoul (Ga/Jersey)

Have you decided to change your thought on Eli being only the 2nd/3rd best qb in the division? I did mentioned he was better then Vick the playmaker, and romo the mini-McChoke before the season started? Want to correct your mistake? It will do your soul good :)

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Asked and answered, as they say in the courtroom dramas.

Pete (Maryland)

Have Giants fans seen the remaining schedule (after Miami)? @NE, @SF, Phi, @NO, GB, @Dal, Was, @NYJ, Dal. Going 5-4 in that stretch would be impressive.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

They have, and it would. The Giants are going to slug out every game. They're tough enough to win any game they play, flawed enough to lose any game they play. There's no way to predict what they'll do. They have my deepest respect for their heart and their guts, but I don't think they're a great team.

ANSWER THIS ONE! (Dallas, TX)

Everyone has been saying that the Cowboys schedule gets easier from here. What are our chances of winning the NFC East with this schedule?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I don't think it would be a surprise to see any one of these four teams win this division, and that includes the Cowboys, whose schedule does indeed get easier. Only two non-division road games left, both in December in warm places (Az and TB).

Kenneth (Martinsburg, WV 25403)

I was so into Shanahan as coach and then I see these bonehead moves over and over again. I have to be honest he is good at playing the press,but everyone was waiting for Grossman to pull that crap he has done except for him????? Grossman offers you no chance to go anywhere, and everyone knows this but him. Do you believe in Mike Shanahan, because I think it is all hype at this point!!!!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

Shanahan has not been kidding himself about his QB situation. He has believed all along that the group around the QB would be the key to the QB's success. Sunday, they fell behind early and started losing offensive linemen. They're not built to recover from that.

Tim (columbia, md)

Trying again to get an answer re: Redskins schedule is soft:@CAR, BUF, SF, @MIA, DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE, @NYG, MIN, @PHItell me how there are more than 2 or 3 wins in there with so many of those teams being better than they were last year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Miami, Seattle and Minnesota all stink. Carolina stinks. They already beat the Giants once, played the Cowboys close. The 49ers and Bills aren't as good as they've looked. Washington has reason to believe it's in the mix.

Splooz (DC)

Of the East, ehich one of the various fanbases are you finding is the most insane? Can you rank us in order of rationality?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Hahahahahahahaha. No.

Tory (DC)

Comment only (no question) ... Some of the Skins players do like Beck and like the spark he brought to the game. He was out there all summer working with them while Rexy was an unsigned FA. I think the WRs in general know Rex's throwing better (esp Gaffney college team mate) than Becks, thus Santana's company man statement.

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

This is a true and worthwhile point. My earlier comment was based on some conversations I've had in that locker room, is all. Totally unscientific.

Andy (FL)

If its any team that can take down the undefeated Packers....its the Giants. Agree or disagree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Again, the Giants have the huevos to win any game they play. But they are not nearly as deep or talented a team as the Packers are, and it would be a large upset if they beat them.

GintsMan (VA)

What record will be needed to win the NFC East? I say 10-6.

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

I think if you're 10-6 you're at least in the tiebreaker scenarios this year.

kevin (the warpath)

can you give us some predictions for this weekend??

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Predictions come out on Friday.

Jason (Vickadelphia)

Asante to the 49ers for Patrick Willis...

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Eagles would do it. But why would the 49ers?

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Kind of silly to demand instant analysis of games in December..teams change.

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Kind of, yes.

Drew (Harrisburg)

Where will you be headed this weekend with the Eagles and Giants both off?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Dallas.

oldskooler (nyc)

Again, the Giants have the huevos to win any game they play. But they are not nearly as deep or talented a team as the Packers are, and it would be a large upset if they beat them.----aside from the QB, Woodson and LB position, how much better are the packers?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Come on.

Dave K. (D.C.)

Any surprise trades in the Beast today?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

If I knew, then they wouldn't be surprises, right?

Jake (Proxima Centauri)

Giants 11th in the power rankings?! Too streaky for me

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Wait! Power Rankings are out??? What are we all still doing here?!?!?!

oldskooler (nyc)

that's you're answer??? no, you come on! Giants hater!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

The first game of the Packers' current 12-game winning streak, which includes a Super Bowl, was a 45-17 victory over the Giants. What, exactly, has changed since that day that closes the gap, in your mind?

Jason (STL)

The grammar errors are killin' me.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Sorry. Its just something your going to have to live with. I'll try and make less grammar mistakes next week.

Tim (columbia, md)

Dan, are you "hard on The Giants" in order to not seem bias given your proximity to them over the other teams?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

I am, in truth, no harder on the Giants than any other team. Giants fans are very sensitive about their team and have decided I don't like them. They are wrong, but there is little I can do to change their minds.

KC (NC)

I believe Jason Garrett will be out at Dallas as the end of this year, your take?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

I believe you are wrong.

Jason (VA)

As a Giants fan, I think you are being fair towards the team. We could beat anybody, but the Giants did lose to Seattle.

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

Thank you.

cowboynfceast (center city)

4th tryDan, what do the Cowboys need to do to win on Sunday? And do you think FJ will ever get traded by the Bills?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Score more points than the Rams. You're not getting me again, you and your FJ.

Philip (Newark, DE)

Dan, do you think the giants upset either GB, NO, or NE? At least one of them?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

I don't see how I could pick them to win any of those games. However, as I've said before, they have shown that they're not rolling over for anyone. Those teams will have to work to beat the Giants.

Jake (Proxima Centauri)

Dan can we get you to pick games AND the bag to pick games this week?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Oooh. See, you guys have all kinds of good ideas.

Dan's a Pineapple (NY)

it just seems like you put a caveat on anything positive you say about the giants.

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Your perspective makes it seem that way.

Weech (Cali)

Dan, any chance you can work your "ins" and get a few player interviews? Perhaps with some Eagles/Skins players on their week off ?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

We've done that, right? Got Orakpo on the phone last week. Have done phone interviews so far this year with Anthony Spencer, Santana Moss, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce. Been to Giants practices a couple of times and talked to guys in person there for posts. I'll keep trying to do more, but that's something we do on this blog.

The Hurricane of Einstein (Locked up in Dan's Basement)

Could someone get me out of here, please?

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

Sure. Come with me. See the rest of you next week.