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August 14, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with James Walker

James Walker
  (4:00 PM)

Good afternoon, AFC East fans. Let's talk about the division.

Perry T (NYC)

Hello James. Do you see any AFC East team pulling off a trade or a somewhat significant FA signing before the opener? Thanks

James Walker
  (4:01 PM)

Injuries are always a factor. If someone gets hurt in the preseason, I can see any of the four teams making a move. But right now, as it stands, I expect the rosters to be pretty stable. Maybe the Dolphins look for another receiver to replace Chad Johnson. But other than that, I don't see many changes before Week 1.

donkeyspot (The Doghouse)

Even though they don't, is this the time of year Miami fans actually think they have a chance?

James Walker
  (4:04 PM)

I think all fans should be optimistic this time of year, DS. My job is to provide my honest eval of where the team currently stands. Fans aren't going to like it, but I have to tell it how it is.

George (Toronto)

There was a lot of talk about Fitzpatrick working on his mechanics and accuracy with a new QB coach. Reviews coming out of camp has been spotty, though. Now that we're into a good chunk of training and one preseason (all throwing) game, what's the verdict? Is there going to be a new-and-improved, lemon-ey fresh version of Fitz in 2012/13? Thanks James!

James Walker
  (4:06 PM)

The real test is going to come in games, George. I think the hardest thing for a QB to change is his mechanics, especially at the pro level. If Tim Tebow won at every level, including an NFL playoff game, it's hard at this stage to train him to change as a player. If Fitz became a $59 million QB with his mechanics, it's easy for him to go back when live bullets are flying. I don't care how he looks in the summer. I want to see his mechanics in games this fall.

Tim (Long Island)

James, what are my Jets going to do when defenses stack the box and dare their passing game to beat them? Can they do it?

James Walker
  (4:07 PM)

That's the million dollar question, Tim. It's up to Mark Sanchez to prove he can be a passing quarterback. The Jets have let everyone in the NFL know they are going to run the ball and do it often. If Sanchez can't pass this year when needed, the Jets are in major trouble.

Brian N (El Paso, TX)

You're the Dolphins GM. Preseason is over and Tannehill looks just as good as Matt Moore. David Garrard still recovering from knee surgery. Who starts Week 1 and how many QB's do you keep on roster?

James Walker
  (4:09 PM)

First of all, the coaching staff should make this call, not the GM. But if I'm head coach Joe Philbin, I'm starting Ryan Tannehill right now. I wrote that in the AFC East blog today. So check it out. This is a rebuilding year for Miami. The Dolphins won't make the playoffs no matter who's the quarterback. So they're better off getting Tannehill a year under his belt to see if he's the long-term solution.

Peter (Wisconsin) [via mobile]

After releasing Joseph Addai, will the lack of a veteran running back effect the patirots offense this season?

James Walker
  (4:11 PM)

I like what I see from New England's running backs. After spending last week in their camp, I think they will be ok. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are really running well. It's why the team was unwilling to overspend for BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Patriots will only pass the football about 35-40 percent of the time anyway. So Ridley and Vereen need to make the most of their opportunities.

cgc5783 (WB, NC)

Any word on Hartline, any timeline? Is he in danger of not making the roster now?

James Walker
  (4:16 PM)

The Dolphins have been really hush-hush about injuries this summer, Cgc. David Garrard, Kevin Burnett and Hartline have all been kept under wraps by the team. To my knowledge, Hartline has been bothered by a leg injury. He's practiced a little in training camp but wasn't as explosive. I don't think he's in danger of losing a roster spot. He's one of the few proven WRs the Dolphins have, especially after Chad Johnson's release.

James Walker
  (4:16 PM)

The Dolphins have been really hush-hush about injuries this summer, Cgc. David Garrard, Kevin Burnett and Hartline have all been kept under wraps by the team. To my knowledge, Hartline has been bothered by a leg injury. He's practiced a little in training camp but wasn't as explosive. I don't think he's in danger of losing a roster spot. He's one of the few proven WRs the Dolphins have, especially after Chad Johnson's release.

Mike (Brooklyn)

Is their any particular reason the Jets refuse to sign another WR. I mean I KNOW Cro is like the second best receiver in the entire league but why have they not gone after Roy Williams yet

James Walker
  (4:17 PM)

Many seem to forget that New York has salary cap issues. The Jets are pretty tight under the cap and can't afford to pay someone a large sum. If they can find someone to sign for the veteran minimum, fine. But otherwise, the Jets are rolling with what they have.

hotsaucesteve (asheville)

How would you rate the Dolphins' players' satisfaction/ transparency/confidence in this coaching staff versus the last?

James Walker
  (4:19 PM)

What's up, Hotsauce? It's too early to have a firm rating. The Dolphins haven't played a game. But overall, I like what the coaching staff is doing. They aren't very forward with injuries. But neither are the New England Patriots. I like the pacing and tempo of practice, and the players seemed happy minus the Chad Johnson flap. But it will eventually come down to winning.

Troy (New York)

What do you think of the Jets using Cromartie at receiver?

James Walker
  (4:22 PM)

I'm not a big fan of it. So far, it's caused much more trouble and controversy than what it's worth. But I think it shows the Jets know they need a boost at that position. New York can't go out and get a good free agent. So the Jets are trying to use one of their best athletes on the roster.

JonK1313 (WA)

Hey James,Whats the "one" thing that you can see about Tannehill that doesnt include him with the 13 other QB's the Dolphins have tried out since Marino.

James Walker
  (4:24 PM)

Ryan Tannehill can make all the throws. You can see that pretty clearly. Now, eventually he has to prove he can read defenses and make the right plays. But the ball comes out of Tannehill's arm pretty good and it's accurate. I don't like comparing players. But only in terms of playing style, he reminds me a little of Philip Rivers when he came out of college.

Erick (Maimi, FL)

What are the chances the Dolphins keeping only two quarterbacks on their roster?

James Walker
  (4:26 PM)

Zero. The Dolphins have three decent quarterbacks. They may cut/trade David Garrard or Matt Moore. But even then, they have Pat Devlin.

Joe (Buffalo)

Hey James, do you think Terence Mcgee will make the team this year? I think he is still a better option than Mckelvin.

James Walker
  (4:27 PM)

True, I would take a healthy McGee over McKelvin. However, health is the issue, and McGee may not be ready to show enough before the Bills make roster cuts. The Bills are not cutting McKelvin. He's a former first-round pick. At the very least, he can be an athletic backup who can return kicks.

Derrick (Albany)

Can you see Garrard winning the QB race now? Or will he get traded as soon as he gets healthy?

James Walker
  (4:32 PM)

David Garrard is out, at least for Week 1. I don't see how he can get back into the QB race without playing a single preseason game. The only way I see Garrard starting is if both Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill falter.

Derrick (Albany)

Do you see Chad Johnson going anywhere else in the AFC East?

James Walker
  (4:34 PM)

The Patriots and Dolphins both cut Johnson this year. So half of the division is out. The Jets and Bills maybe can use another receiver, but Johnson has to work out his personal issues first.

Derrick (Albany)

Can you see the Pats defense being a top ten? Or at least being good enough for a playoff and possible Superbowl run?

James Walker
  (4:35 PM)

The Patriots' D was good enough last year to make a Super Bowl -- and it was the second worst defense in the NFL. The Patriots are an offensive team. But if their defense gets into the top 20, they will hard to beat. I think it's possible with Bill Belichick leading and some solid additions.

Troy (New York)

Do you see Aaron Maybin playing a larger role for the Jets defense this season?

James Walker
  (4:37 PM)

Yes, Aaron Maybin has been one of the more impressive players in Jets camp. He's really doing well in his second year in New York. The Jets are smart. They ask Maybin to do only one thing: get to the quarterback. Maybin is doing it well so far and doesn't have to worry about much else in New York's defense.

dreamteam (usa)

what qb's do u see going in round 1 of next yrs draft?

James Walker
  (4:39 PM)

Matt Barkley and Landry Jones for sure. I'm sure I'm missing another guy or two. Are you already looking forward to the draft, Dream Team?

Rod Polidor (Ft. Lauderdale)

WHICH AFC EAST TEAM TO YOU HAS THE BRIGHTEST FUTURE?

James Walker
  (4:41 PM)

I only take things year to year. It's hard enough to predict each season. No point in looking 2-4 years ahead. I leave that up to fans.

Mike C (NJ)

Why do you believe Aaron Maybin is doing much better in New York than Buffalo?

James Walker
  (4:43 PM)

Better defensive coaching, better defensive system, no pressure of being a top draft pick and a change of scenery. The Jets were the best thing to happen to Maybin. It's a great situation for him.

Jon (Phoenix)

I know it's early but which defensive rookie has impressed you the most in the AFC East? Gilmore, Jones, Coples?

James Walker
  (4:45 PM)

All three have been good. I would add Quinton Coples and Ryan Tannehill in the mix as well. It looks like a good year of drafting in the division.

James Walker
  (4:45 PM)

Sorry, not Coples. He was already mentioned. I meant Dont'a Hightower.

Kyle Ely (NY)

Can the jets use the negative things said about them to build an "us against the world" mentality?

James Walker
  (4:48 PM)

The Jets are taking a "Us against us" mentality. They are fighting themselves. Just kidding. New York is quietly confident about its chances. The Jets have talent, but I don't think the chemistry is strong enough to make it through a three-game losing streak.

Joe (Canada)

the dolphins should not be letting some cfl scrub wear Ricky's 34, right? he was controversial but without those seasons off, he is their all-time leading rusher and most exciting and interesting player for a long time...nobody should be wearing that number for a few years and then he too should go into the Honour Roll.

James Walker
  (4:49 PM)

If the jersey is not retired, any player is free to wear that number. Pat Devlin is wearing Chad Henne's number this year. No one is complaining. Just kidding.

LeAnne (Washington)

Was the Jets pass protection problems due to injuries or chemistry?

James Walker
  (4:52 PM)

Tough question, LeAnne. When you look at the Jets' o-line individually, it's a good group with Mangold, Moore and Furgeson. However, as a unit this group does not pass protect well for whatever reason. Hunter and Slauson/Ducasse really struggle in that department. I can't put my finger on it.

James Walker
  (4:52 PM)

Tough question, LeAnne. When you look at the Jets' o-line individually, it's a good group with Mangold, Moore and Furgeson. However, as a unit this group does not pass protect well for whatever reason. Hunter and Slauson/Ducasse really struggle in that department. I can't put my finger on it.

Jason (NYC)

Why do you never take a position on anything?

James Walker
  (4:54 PM)

Read my Ryan Tannehill article.

Kyle Ely (NY)

Do you see Hill having a great year for the jets?

James Walker
  (4:55 PM)

I like the physical tools Hill brings. He's big and can really move. I talked to Hill last week at Jets camp and he admits he still needs to work on his routes. New York wants him to block and make big plays. But he needs to play faster running short and intermediate routes.

Justin (South Byron, NY)

Does Buffalo have a real chance of winning the East this year?

James Walker
  (4:57 PM)

The Bills aren't winning the AFC East this year. But they do have a shot at second place and the wild card. For now, it's the Patriots unless Tom Brady gets injured.

Derrick (Albany)

Do you believe it's only a matter of time before you-know-who takes over the starting QB job for the Jets?

James Walker
  (4:58 PM)

Greg McElroy is smart and made some decent throws in camp. But I don't see him taking over the starting job for the Jets. :-)

Sean (Rochester)

Will the Bills look to run the ball more this season and use jackson and spiller more effectively?

James Walker
  (5:00 PM)

If the first preseason game is any indication...Again, just kidding. The Bills will run the ball, but I'm not sure how many carries Spiller will get as the backup. That's the real question. Buffalo has to do a better job getting Spiller carries with Fred Jackson.

James Walker
  (5:01 PM)

Thanks everyone for the fun chat. Remember to check out AFC East news on the blog and @JamesWalkerESPN and @ESPN_AFCEast on Twitter.