Well, hello there. Got any questions?
Hi Dan. I keep seeing discussion that Tim Hightower is expected to be the opening day starter. Did I miss something? Are Roy Helu's pass protection skills THAT far behind that he doesn't start? I understand THT is supposedly the most well-rounded, but I must have been watching different games last season. THT impressed people?
He did, Tim. The Redskins' coaches love him, and while they did find snaps for Helu and Royster even when Hightower was healthy, their ideal situation has Hightower healthy and starting. And yes, based on the Redskins' evaluations, Helu's pass protection skills are that far behind. They also worry about his ability to hold up under a starter's workload. If Hightower's not healthy, I bet they add another back.
I understand the Giants eager nature to give David Wilson a chance as the 2 RB, but if he cant block in this passing league, aren't they better off having empty RB sets with two tight ends to block?
Maybe, but they're not deep at TE either. And if you line up without a RB in the backfield, you're kind of tipping your hand, no? Wilson's role, if he impresses, will be to give Bradshaw a breather when needed.
Nice write up on the NFC East before training camp. Now give us what we all want... a fantasy breakdown by position. Doesn't have to be here (or even a posted question). Just an idea for a blog. You're the man.
I mean, I did a whole week of fantasy stuff, right? Fantasy Week, we called it.
Dan: If the Eagles sign a TE such as Shockey, could Clayton Harbor's roster spot be in jeopardy?
Yes, if they sign Shiancoe or Shockey, it'd be because they like him better than they like Harbor. Hence, Harbor would not be safe. As of now, it appears as though they're just doing due diligence.
Aside from the two Giants starters, which WR performing the best this year in the East? Personally, my money's on Maclin, but its massively open.
I could see it being Maclin, yes. That's a fair bet. I'd put Austin and Garcon in that discussion too.
Does Kirk Cousins have a shot to be a back up over Rex?
Eventually, but not in Week 1.
I saw that Laron Landry will start training camp for the Jets on the PUP. Even though their safeties are a mess, the Skins saved themselves a big headache letting this guy walk.
If only someone had been blogging about this at the time!
Dan, do you tend to feel more like the underdog on your own terf based on the abuse you get from all fans here? or do you more associate with "The Man" outlook where you control evertyhing in this forum/chat?
I consider myself The Man.
How can you be a dynasty when you couldnt even make the playoffs the last year?
Yes, you would technically have to show rapid and sustained improvement in such a scenario.
Rank the D-lines in the East? Who is the best D-lineman in the east?
1. Giants, 2. Eagles, 3. Redskins, 4. Cowboys. Trent Cole.
Bear Pascoe seems to be overlooked already going into camp despite being an effective pass catcher, even in the post season last year. He also has size. Is Bennett that much more athletic? Is that why he is favored to come in and assume a starting role?
He's not, but he's new, and huge and fast and very exciting if he can learn is routes and hold onto the ball. More upside than Pascoe. Doesn't mean he's favored to start ahead of a guy who's been in the system. Giants will play whoever performs the best, as they always do.
I think the eagles biggest problem this year is still RB. So if McCoy gets hurt, do you really think Lewis can carry the load?
No I do not. A McCoy injury would be crushing.
More important early in camp for RG3 learning the offense or developing rapport with his new teammates?
I think the offense. His teammates will gravitate to him. He's got natural charm and charisma.
Hi Dan! I have a Redskins TE question for you. Obviously, Davis will be here. We all know Cooley has to accept some conditions (and prove his health), and Niles Paul sounds like a lock, even if we don't know what his playing time will look like. What do you think this all means for Logan Paulson, who I believe is going into his 3rd year in the league/with the team and has played some special teams to bolster his lower position on the TE depth chart? Thanks!
I still think there's a better-than-even chance Cooley's the one who doesn't make it.
I have seen reports (rare, but there out there like the X-Files lol) that if Hightower isn't the starter opening day, then Royster would start over Helu... Would you agree with that???
It's possible. None of them were healthy in minicamp. I wouldn't be surprised. Lots still to sort out there. Don't draft any of them high in fantasy, if that's what you're fishing for.
Dan the Man! Heard an interesting take on First Take about Romo backing Dez during these allegations. How do you feel about Romo having Dez's back given the issue?
I think Dez Bryant needs as much support as possible from grounded people, and I think Romo's being a good friend and teammate.
Do you think the eagles r taking Mccoy 4 granted
No, they just gave him a huge contract, so...
Dan, what's your favorite spot to go to out of the four bEast teams as far as training camps? Why?
Hm. Haven't been to Oxnard (they didn't go there last year), but of the other three, Lehigh's the prettiest, Giants let us eat in the cafeteria at Albany and I see a lot of old friends in Ashburn. All have pluses/minuses.
Dan, did you see The Dark Knight Rises? That movie was awesome, and there is even a Pro-Football scene with Bill Cowher and Hines Ward so there's a shot you could get it covered by an expense report.
I will look into this.
Do you expect Martelles Bennett to operate more as a blocking TE or receiving TE early on and will that change throughout the season. Really think he can have a solid 650+ yard and 6 TD season.
He's a blocking TE first and foremost, but the Giants will look for ways to use him in the passing game. Issue in Dallas was drops, and if those happen, they'll throw to him less.
Are there any competitions at the kicker position this year for any NFC east teams?
Yeah, Rackers was brought in to push Gano in Washington. And Cowboys are undecided at punter, waiting to see if McBriar gets healthy.
I would love to know what kind of potential you think David Wilson has. Obviously his speed is a good thing but that doesn't necessarily make him a good back.If he turns out to be a gem do you think they add back-flips to the combine?
Wilson has enough speed that his potential is through the roof. Like anyone else, though, he'll only reach it if he identifies and works on the areas in which he's not great, and those include pass protection from what I understand.
After McCoy who's the BEST at their position fantasy player (team defenses only)in the NFC east?
I like that question. DeMarco Murray will be the second NFC East player drafted, probably in every draft. But that's not exactly what you asked, is it? I'm a big Hakeem Nicks fan, so I might say him.
Any chance you can get tickets to The Dark Knight Rises covered by an expense report? There is a pro-football scene in the movie.
Is there an echo in here?
Dan, why didn't you mention the Giants o-line as the biggest concern in your Giants camp post? we all know that they went on their run once the line stabilized in December.
Well, "biggest concern" wasn't a header in that post, right? I agree that it is.
Hi Dan,Did you see Pete Prisco's (CBS Sports) prediction that the Skins will go 3-13 this year. I mean, come on right? I know he's entitled to his own opinion, but (barring injury) I really can't see that happening and don't understand his reasoning. You don't make predictions at this time of the year, but in my opinion, worst case scenario is 6-10. They got better at basically every position (except for Kicker and Secondary).He also has the Pat's going 16-0...
Yeah, what Pete did was go through each week and predict every single game. An odd and, I assume, exhausting exercise. And of course you can't know who's going to win Week 12 games and who's going to be good and who's not. Take all preseason predictions for what they're worth. At least Pete's trying something different.
Dan, does Gruenbaum just BOMBARD you with questions during this thing?
You think Demarco Murray will be drafted before Vick?
Oh yeah. Unless you play in a league where you have to start two QBs. Running backs always go off the board early.
But Vick's not a bad answer to the earlier question. I think his rushing numbers make him a high-level fantasy QB.
If the Giants defend their Super Bowl and win it again this year are they considered a dynasty??
Sure, yeah. Sure.
Daniel, I appreciate your poignant and sometimes-relevant analysis, but you missed a space seven questions up. All good writers proofread their work. Hmm.
Thanks for the heads up. You new here?
Is there any change in Eagles defensive philosophy or eill we see pretty much the same scheme that we saw last year?
I think the biggest change you'll see will be more man coverage in the secondary, and much less zone. Up front, same schemes.
also, you, and everyone else for that matter, seems to forget that the Giants have a speedy RB that is entering his 2nd season, D'Rell Scott. he will have more impact on the Giants earlier in the season than Wilson. thoughts?
I just don't know. We have to see them all run in camp. There's no way to know how they'll play yet. This time next week, ask again.
Who are we going to look back at in the summer of 2013 and be all "Whoa where did that dude come from?!?"
I'm going to throw my Cowboys fans a bone and wild-guess Matt Johnson.
Who starts the most games at strong safety for the Eagles? Atogwe, Jarrett or Coleman?
If the Eagles miss the playoffs after being called a dynasty are they considered DONE? Meaning they clean house?
Possible, but you have to go on the Jeff Lurie chat to find out for sure. I don't think he's eager to fire anyone.
How come no one talks about the loss of Jason Peters in preseason reviews? Don't you think that will have a huge impact on the Eagles running game?
Honest to god, who hasn't talked about that? Of course it will, as I've written many times.
I realize that the departure of Jacobs is not positive but wouldn't you say the Giants running game is more tied to the O-line playing better than the running-backs?
Assuming Demeco Ryans plays MLB and Mychal Kendricks is the starting SLB, who do you think wins the WLB job out of Jamar Chaney, Brian Rolle, and Casey Matthews?
Offensive and defensive player from each team that you're most excited to talk to during training camp?
All right. Good one. Victor Cruz/Justin Tuck. RG3/London Fletcher. LeSean McCoy/Nnamdi Asomugha. Dez Bryant/Morris Claiborne.
Just a note. The Giants aren't defending champs. League championships are not defended, nor are annual events like Wimbledon or Augusta. Only fighters (boxing, MMA) "defend" their title. sheesh
What the hell? Who brought the grouchy kid?
Wow, why do you think Matthews wins the WIL job in Philly? I've heard Rolle/Chaney there, and Matthews to be backup for Ryans.
I like crazy guesses in July. And Matthews showed something late last year. Don't be surprised, is all I'm saying.
Dan, do you see Chris Polk making the Eagles roster for the this season as a back up to Lewis?
Sure. He could move ahead of Lewis. And so could Bryce Brown. Interesting competition there.
Fastest player in the East?
You mention in the Breakfast Links this morning that Brandon Banks has been told he needs to step up as WR and not rely on being the 'Skins return guy. Do you think with the NFL changing where the ball is kicked from has affected how explosive Banks could be as a return guy?
Yes I do. Remember, no one has returned a kick or a punt for a touchdown in the NFC East since 2010.
Dan if you were crowned chat champion would your tittle be defended or would that fall under the same category as a league tittle?
I'd defend it with the white-hot fury of a steroid-infused badger.
JPP, Tuck and Osi are the obvious top 3 DE's, but if the Giants wanna run NASCAR do you see it with Trattou or Kiwanuka and Canty
Kiwanuka. But don't overlook Adrian Tracy, who's moving to DE. They want him to push for such a role.
Hey Dan, punter question here. Are the Eagles giving up on punter Chas Henry? I read that they are working out a few other punters to challenge him for the roster spot. Seems a little early for that, right? Chas is only in his second year.
I think the idea is to find a veteran to push him and maybe mentor him. I don't think they're down on Henry, but it never hurts to see about getting better.
"Yes I do. Remember, no one has returned a kick or a punt for a touchdown in the NFC East since 2010."That translates to "Yes I do. Remember, no one has returned a kick or a punt for a touchdown in the NFC East last year."
Good job, smart guy. Can you translate it into French?
What are your expectations of Jarvis Jenkins if he is healthy this year? Obviously Haslett sounds pumped to get him back.
Big and important part of the DL-line rotation, possible starter by the end of the year.
Dan, Dez BryantTo be suspended or not to be suspended? That is the question.so what's the answer?
Yeah, you need to go to the Roger Goodell chat for that one. A lot depends on how hard the Dallas DA pushes, methinks.
I can't understand why the Cowboys won't move Ratliff to DE. He has been beaten down in the middle in recent years, especially towards the end of the season.
They believe the advantage he gives them as an interior pass rusher is too important. Their plan is to spell him a bit if Brent can handle it and maybe get him off the field on first and second downs some, to help keep him fresh.
Does Joselio Hanson make the Eagles roster? He's a pretty good nickel corner but doesnt really do anything else.
Boykin has a shot to unseat him in that nickel corner spot, and if that happens, yeah, you could see Hanson getting cut. Remember, he sort of got cut last year and then immediately brought back. He's no sure thing.
Don't teams need a 2nd punter in camp for all of the special team reps? Oh, and I'll gladly defend my title as the "grouchy kid" (for as long as it's amusing)!
Good point about the punters.
If Terrell Thomas returns to form do you see the Giants secondary as the strong point of their defense?
No, I'm still going with the pass rush as that.
Whose the best Giants TE to pick in fantasy this year as a late round sleeper?
I would use the pick on an extra RB or WR instead.
Seems like we're rolling today - how many questions thus far?
You're 402. Not bad for July 24.
Do the Redskins expect a big improvement by Cofield in his second season at NT?
Well, they think he did well there last year. But yeah, I guess. More comfort in the role, etc.
Alright, I searched. who is matt johnson?
Exactly what I've been saying!
Dan, First off, i think you are a scholar and gentleman. I enjoy your writing and your unique perspectives on all four NFC East teams. I also notice that you have a slight hint of Giants Homeritis. Being a Cowboys fan, this makes me laugh. I enjoy it.Now, to my question. With Mike Jenkins all "disgruntled" by his demotion and lack of contract support, do you think he has a good training camp, or a distraction filed extravaganza?
That's me. Mr. Giant. Ask anyone. As for Jenkins, I think this is far from over, mainly because I don't think he's all the way healthy.
Say in training camp all 4 starting QBs get hurt for the year, who wins the East?
World Series prediction senor. We know you want to make one...dooo eeet. Doooo eeeet nooooww
Rangers over Nats.
Dan please answer my Q's. If u answer this one then the q i want to be answered is "r the skins going 2 use Cousins like the eagles used Kolb(they used him as a trading tool)
Dan,A blogger named "NYSPORTSFAN25" claims he has had an "accord" with you and that you have "apologized" to him for your perspective on the Giants. Can you just refute this now so we can banish him to a nether realm.....are at least tell him to stop lying...?
I have no idea who that is or what you're talking about. I have seen such yammering in the comments and ignored it, which is the treatment I believe it deserves.
How did the Giants get the toughest schedule again and the Patriots get the easiest schedule?
It's because the whole world is biased against the Giants.
How do you think the Cowboys will split carries between Jones and Murray?
I think Murray gets the carries as long as he's healthy, with Jones in a traditional backup role.
Dan, I think you do a great job regardless of what these whiny Giants fans say about you. It seems like Jenkins and Carriker are fighting for the starting spot. Both players are solid. Who do you think wins that battle? Is there anyway they could both be on the field at the same time?
Yeah, I don't agree that they're fighting for a spot. I think they rotate with Bowen throughout games and the season, along with maybe some others. Keep everybody fresh. "Starter" is just a word.
Is it just me, or are the Redskins receivers wholly underrated? I really get tired of hearing about how Garcon was only good b/c of Manning!
Yeah again, Garcon's best year, by far, was last year, without Manning. So I'm not getting that logic.
why am I so awesome?
It's hard to say. So many possible reasons.
Dan do u think im crazy if I already predicted the skins to go 12-4?
I think anyone who makes NFL predictions in July is crazy. We KNOW there will be injuries. We KNOW there will be changes to the rosters. What's the hurry?
Dan, hear anything about the Mike Patterson situation? Do you think this means Fletcher Cox starts with Jenkins right away?
Cox will get lots of first-team snaps but must beat out Antonio Dixon, which won't be easy if Dixon is healthy. Derek Landri is in that mix as well.
Cedric Griffin herring many snaps after his two ACL tears? I need this question Danny graz
I think they do plan to use him a lot, yes.
Dan, did you know that in your weekly friday picks, you picked the eagles to win all 16 of their games last season?
That true? No, I did not know that. They didn't, right?
Dare you to answer, which NFC East player do you love to root against?
I don't root for or against anyone in the NFL.
Dan...if you have the first pick in a fantasy draft...would you grab a QB like rogers, brees, or brady? or a RB like mccoy, jones-drew, or rice?
I would pick Arian Foster.
Are you related to the Graziano who is a podiatrist in Alexandria?
Can you put the BEAST coaches in order of likeliness to get fired at or by the end of the season?(Starting with most likely)
I think the only one of the four who even MIGHT be in any real trouble is Andy Reid, and I think even that's a stretch.
Are the Redskins looking at Morris to be a back up at HB or FB?
I think they want him to be able to do both.
Yo, love the work Dan the man. What would you say if I said I'd like to treat you to In N Out when you visit Oxnard? sound like a plan, dan, le man?!
I mean, I'm definitely going. At least twice.
Andy Reid doesn't stretch, Dan. -_-
Did you see the item about how he walked back from the practice fields to the team offices yesterday instead of riding in the car? That's a HIKE, man. Is Andy getting in shape? And what would that look like? I need to do a post on this.
Leasean McCoy has a better year than last... T or F...
Gonna say false, but not because I think he'll have a bad year. Just because it's going to be very hard to have as great a year as he had in 2011.
Mat McBriar is a lot better than Chas Henry, right? I saw he worked out for Philly the other day.
Question on McBriar is health.
When you visit training camps, will you be in media circles or will you be walking around with the fans?
I will be in the media areas, but I did get to meet several fans last year at Redskins camp and would welcome the chance to meet more fans there and other places. If you see me watching practice, please do not be afraid to say hello.
When do you plan on going to Albany?
I am going Thursday night, spending Friday and Saturday there and driving home Saturday night.
Since Dez's mom said she doesn't want to continue with charges and DA decides to drop case, do you think that will get him just a fine or still a chance for suspension?
See, here's the thing. What matters with Bryant is that something changes. If this all just goes away and no one does anything, then there's no reason for anything to change. If there's a punishment, its purpose would be to wake Bryant up to the reality of his need to change some things about his life and the way he puts himself in these bad situations. I guarantee that's what Roger Goodell is thinking, and I'm curious to see what he comes up with.
i know you used to work for the Star Ledger, Dan, but do you have a preference? Star Ledger or Bergen Record?
I will always be a Ledger loyalist. I left on good terms, and voluntarily.
When is Mike Shanahan going to have to start winning or wind up on the hot seat himself?
Banks returned a punt for a TD in '11 but it was called back.
Well, then he didn't return a punt for a TD, really.
Would you rather sumo wrestle Andy Reid, or box Mike Tomlin?
I don't have an answer for this. I open it up for debate.
My prediction on the Giants vs. Cowboys opening day game...there will be blood. -,..,-Thoughts?
Home team always wins that first game, right? I promise I'll have a prediction before kickoff.
Do any of the teams seem to be more/less media friendly at training camp than the others?
Yes. But I'm not going to say which, for fear of reprisals.
Sumo is the obvious choice. It's over in 4 seconds and you don't get punched in the face repeatedly. The humiliation factor is higher, but the pain factor is much lower.
This is an excellent analysis. Well thought out, well presented, reasonable conclusion. Thank you.
Would you rather run a marathon vs Shanny, or compete in a hot dog eating contest with Andy?
I have run three marathons. That's something I actually know I can do.
Home team doesn't always win the first game. Giants lost to Redskins first game last year in NY.
No, no. I mean that league-opening game on the first night. I think it's like eight or nine years in a row.
Would you rather thumb wrestle Adrian Peterson or get a ride home with Aaron Berry?
Punch, Slap, Kill: Gruenbaum, Weech, Robert California
Who? I only know those last two.
When the NFL season starts do u do the same chat schedules of noon to one on tuesdays or do u have the regular tuesday one and a pregame one? If you dont do the pregame one u should
We sometimes do them during games, but not pregame. I am on Twitter quite a bit, though, especially pregame.
I've seen a couple arguments that Garcon's best season last year was mostly because the Colts were regularly playing from behind, and there were a lot of garbage-time yards. Thoughts?
I think people believe what they want to believe. Guy is young. We don't know how good he's going to be yet.
Who honestly has the harder schedule, Giants of Cowboys?
I don't know, and neither does anyone else. Five teams make the playoffs every year that didn't the year before. We don't know which teams are good and which aren't. This time last year, the 49ers didn't look like a hard game.
What are you doing to pass the time since football hasn't started up, and Game of Thrones isn't back on till next year?
Well, I'm going to go to some camps...
Do you see Fred Davis having a breakout year? That is if hes not high
I think he broke out last year. I think he'll be excellent if he can stay on the field, yes.
Scab refs...we going to see them in action? Does the NFL's arrogance ever end?
Yes. And no.
All of the excitement in DC is over what restaurants RGIII is going to like, where he plans on living in the city (and if he'll stay in the offseason). Shouldn't DC worry about whether they will like RGIII, not whether RGIII will like them?
Seems to me they're already sold.
Guess its your time now? By next weeks chat you will be in Ashburn correct?
Yes. Will be in Ashburn this time next week. I'll let you guys know how and whether that affects when or if we do the chat. And two weeks from now, I'll be in Oxnard. So the chat schedule could be disrupted. I'll keep you posted. Until next time, thanks for the questions. 785, for the guy who asked.