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January 8, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Hey! Welcome back! Yeah, yeah, I know. I missed you guys too. Don't get all mushy about it. Let's get to the questions.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I think we all know Cousins should have started the 2nd half, but why oh why did the Redskins stop running the ball? Morris ran all over Seattle those first two drives, then they went away from him. Kept trying the read-option passes which weren't fooling the Seattle LBs.

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

Marc, I just don't think you can run your offense at a high level when your quarterback is as limited as Griffin was after that second drive. Seattle could obviously see he was immobile and was stacking the box against the run. Another reason a healthy Cousins would have been the better option. Seattle would have had to respect more than one threat.

Kaam (Philly)

There is a report that Jon Gruden is interested in the Eagles coaching job. Have you heard any mutual interest from the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

No, that is not a name I have heard from anybody on the team's side of the equation at all.

Demetrius (Landover, MD)

Dan, with the recent emergence of Stevie Brown at Free Safety for the NY Giants and the fact that Kenny Phillips hasn't been healthy all year and is in the last year of his rookie contract. How likely is it that the Giants let him walk and my Redskins take a shot at getting him? Do u see a healthy Phillips and Meriweather (Both from my favorite college THE U) in the Skins' secondary in the near future?

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

Phillips is going to be an economic decision for the Giants, and a tough one. He's a considerably better player than Brown is when healthy -- an all-around helper against both the run and the pass. The INT stats are nice, but the difference between the Giants' defense when Phillips was in the game vs. when Brown was was clearly significant. That said, the Giants as always have tough decisions to make, and if Phillips does hit the market he'd be a tremendous option for Washington or anyone else.

Frank Wisconsin [via mobile]

Dan It seems as though the Cowboys will once again attempt to makeover the offensive line. Can you see Smith switching back to right tackle and Free moving to guard?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

No, I think Smith's their long-term answer at LT, and a very good one. And I don't think Free is strong enough to hold up at guard. Free is a major problem for them, because he obviously can't start anymore and is being paid way too much to ride the bench. But I think he'd be a poor choice at guard.

Drew (DC)

Do you think anyone in DC will ever question Rizzo's decision with Strasburg again?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

You know, I think it's easy to make the comparisons here, but it's important to remember what the Strasburg "decision" was. The team and Strasburg came up with a plan for his development when they drafted him -- a certain number of innings each year. It was based on decades' worth of data about the effects of overworking young arms. The "decision" during the 2012 season was whether to stick with the plan or scrap it, and it's always a good idea not to scrap a plan you made while calm and rational due to present circumstances.

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

With RG III, the decision was made in-game as a reaction to what was going on on the field. Shanahan made the wrong decision, but it's not an apples::apples comparison with Strasburg.

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

No, I believe that's what they're looking for in general, though the interviews for Bradley and Nolan indicate that they're not locked into the idea. I think the fact that Mike Zimmer's not getting any interviews tells you that the league in general, and not just the Eagles, are leaning offense when making these decisions.

Thom (Springfield)

Are the giants gonna let blackburn walk and finally move herzilich up?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I don't think Herzlich showed anything to deserve a promotion.

Doug (Toronto)

My high school football coach told me the way to stop an option offense is "punish the quarterback." If a high school coach can figure it out, so can a defensive coordinator. Running quarterbacks dont survive in the NFL. Vince young, Vick etc. Why did you, and Shanahan and skins fans think RG3 would be any different?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I mean, the guy got hurt Sunday on two plays on which he wasn't hit. I understand bending the facts to fit your narrative, but I prefer not to practice it.

Scott (NYC)

Dan, Jerry Reese has had some nice hits on WR draft picks (Nicks, Manningham, Randle looks promising) but also some misses (Barden, Jernigan). While it may be too soon to call Jernigan a miss, why do you think Barden failed to become a consistent contributor? Lack of ability or couldn't grasp the system? With Nicks limited this year seems like it really hurt the Giants to get so little from recent 3rd-round picks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Third-round picks don't always hit. That's why they go in the third round. You're taking guys there you hope can contribute, or develop, or both, but some don't. They may have just been wrong in their belief that Barden would grow into an NFL player.

Splooz (SLC)

Shanahan is getting all the blame for letting his QB play but lost in all this is that the Skins went 10-6 under Shanny this year and he won their first division title in 13 years. Should we slow our roll a little on the anger and let things shake out first?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

Yeah, I don't think the anger is really justified. The guy made a mistake. It happens. If Griffin is hurt very badly, no one will be more upset about it or affected by it than Shanahan will.

mike (philly)

Will the cows be able to keep Spencer?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

They could franchise him again, which feels likely.

Kyle (NJ)

Dan - I think a big issue for the Giants has been Oline play. Since they seem to be more focused on offense and pass rush, do you see them focusing more on Oline in the draft, or improving their dismal defense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Reese's history leads you to believe the priority will be DL or DB. I think they need OL and LB help, but he doesn't seem to like to attack that in the early rounds.

Erik (Philadelphia)

About Vick, he has to be gone by when to avoid the cap hit?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Feb. 6, I believe.

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

I think he has a really good job where he's really comfortable, and he didn't hear anything from the Eagles (or Browns) to make him want to make that kind of life change.

KingKevin (D.C.)

I think there is some revisionist history going on in D.C. I am a Seahawks fan and watched the game with Skins fans. It wasnt until the 4th quarter that the debate about Cousins coming in ever started. Even then most felt RG should stay. Then after the low snap play that RG was injured on, that same group of people said RG should have been taken out in the 1st quarter.

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

All I can tell you is what I was thinking, and I was saying in the second quarter that they needed to consider taking him out. I also did a post at halftime wondering if Griffin would be able to finish the game. Can't speak for anyone else.

Frank Wisconsin [via mobile]

Dan, Jerry Jones loves the splash moves so any chance we get the entire Alabama O-line??

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

Right? What a performance.

Craig (Lindsay, ON)

Dan, Happy New Year. Cowboys glass half full or half empty. I see a team that was playing D without 5 starters, wasn't expected to make the playoffs, dealt with a player tragedy and lost 5 games to playoff teams (including eventual SB winner - Seattle) and 2 others to teams with winning records as glass half full (certainly not full). Select a OL and DL in the first 2 rounds, gain depth with the remaining picks (big if based on JJ's track record), have Carter and Lee stay healthy and most importantly re-sign Spencer and the arrow is pointing up. Whats says you?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

I agree that there were more reasons to feel good about this Cowboys season than to feel discouraged about it.

Carlo (Toronto)

Dan, if there are partial tears in both ligaments, do you know the estimated recovery time?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

No. I spoke with ESPN.com injury expert Stephania Bell last night and did a post on this. She says it depends on how much other damage there is in the knee (cartilage, for example), and they can't know that until they go in and look.

cwbinsd (here)

Dan, are you going to do a video post so those of us that were at work can see your tv segment from yesterday?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

Hm. Maybe. I'll see if I can find a clip of me and Herm yelling at each other.

sam (nyc)

Is it better or worse if rgiii has an ACL tear from the same injury from college?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

That's also addressed in that post with Stephania, which I recommend reading if you have RG III knee questions: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/48001/rg-iii-injury-qa-with-stephania-bell

cwbinsd (inside because it is cold)

You don't like Norv in Dallas. What about Chan Gailey? Or you think Jason should hold onto both positions?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

I don't know. I'm not the biggest fan of recycling coaches in the first place, and I don't think it's a great idea to overreact to one or two games when everybody was feeling good about the Cowboys just a couple of weeks ago.

Caz (Dallas)

Experts are saying that Safety is the biggest need for Dallas. I for one, thought Church played well before being injured. How do you think the safety need stacks up against the other needs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

I would say the OL and DL are more important.

Thom (Springfield)

Do you think a healthy nicks is the best wr in the division or has bryant surpassed him?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Nicks has obviously outperformed Bryant over their careers, and you know what a fan I am of him in general. But he's never performed at the level at which Bryant performed over the final 10 games of this season.

Corey Squirt Hurter (VA)

I have always hated Garrett in Dallas as a HC option. This talent deserves better. Time to give Mack Brown a shot in the NFL.

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Off of his big year?

Eric (DC)

RGIII we've waited for so long to get a Franchise QB and the threat of him not being right has scared most fans me included, Now to my question Do you see any help for our secondary in the offseason

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Yeah, I think they'll address safety again, and I imagine they'll find a replacement at CB for Hall.

Andrew (RVA)

Come on Dan... Fianl 10 games for Bryant... Let's say 9 of the final 10. Deangelo SHUT HIM DOWN...

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

True. The 10th game was not at the same level as those that came before it.

Chip. Atlanta [via mobile]

With emergence of rob Jackson, do you think skins might dangle orakpo as trade bait

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Would be pretty tough to trade Orakpo right now.

sam (nyc)

Can rgiii succeed as a pure pocket passer with his throwing skillset? Or does his run-threat inflate his passing stats?

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

I think he can succeed from the pocket, and I think the Redskins believe that as well. I dispute the notion that the offense they ran this year was the one they planned to run for his entire career.

mike (philly)

this may be a stupuid question, but if a coach is a "walk around" head coach, what does he do exactly? Garrett wouldnt make suggestions on defense and how many clock management decisions throughout a game is there to be made? Does it really hurt Garrett that much to call offensive plays seeing as how he cant possibly bring much to the defense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

I agree with you that too much is made of the "additional responsibility" angle on this. Garrett is not overwhelmed. The question is whether he's a good enough playcaller to deserve the responsibility. I think he showed improvement this year.

Corey (D.C.)

You are such a weanie! You mock Seattle fans 6 weeks ago when they called you out for saying Dallas was the better team, and now you are running from it altogether. Haha, way to hide behind your moniter.

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

Wait. What?

Eric (Maryland)

Still any buzz left about the possibility of Kyle Shanahan getting a shot at a HC gig?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I have not yet heard of a team asking to interview him.

Corey (D.C.)

Who is the better team, Seattle or Dallas? I just want to hear you say it. It was silly to call Dallas better 6 weeks ago (cough cough, 27-7, cough) and its even worse now! Say it Dan!

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Oh. Well, OK. Yeah. Seattle had the better team. They were 11-5. Dallas was 8-8. I ranked Seattle No. 5 in our final Power Rankings. I ranked Dallas No. 15. But if that's not good enough for you, then sure. I'll say it. You want me to tell you the other 14 teams I thought were better than Dallas, or are we good here?

Jayson (Dallas)

Way to hide behind your monitor in your mom's basement, you geeky pineapple!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

Get it right. He said "moniter." After calling me a "weanie." Some people need more to do.

Seadawg (Chesapeake)

Corey is an idiot, Say it Dan! Say it!

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

Well, he's no champion speller, that's for sure.

Jordan(florida) [via mobile]

Does the emergence of bryant make the cowboys receiving tandem the best in the east.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

I don't know. Austin didn't do anything to wow you this year, did he? Nicks/Cruz both healthy still feels like the top tandem to me.

sam (nyc)

Would Vick succeed in Shanahan's zone read?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Part of the issue in Philly this year was Vick's continued inability to make the correct decision on the fly. I think that's a more important indicator of success in that type of offense than someone's ability to run.

Thom (Springfield)

What the f*** is wrong with these people? Opinions, thats all, nothing to get upset about. What's the latest on Fletcher? coming back at least the nxt year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

He's signed through next year. No reason to believe he won't be back.

Matt (Rhode Island (Eagles))

I don't see Asomugha, but what do you think about DRC? still young, but a bit inconsistent.

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

I think I'd keep him if the deal is right, but I wouldn't overpay.

Jordan(florida) [via mobile]

The giants lack a dominant TE though

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

But they don't use the TE as a passing-game weapon the way a lot of other teams do. They like Bennett as a blocker, and an occasional receiver.

Hanson (DC)

So I take it you won't be invited to the parade if the Seahawks ever win a Super Bowl?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

It'd probably rain anyway.

Kris (DC)

Fred Davis is a Redskin in 2013. Yay or nay?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Oh yeah. They'll franchise him again. That TE number is still low.

Dan (Austin)

Any word on if the NFL will force the Redskins to upgrade their field. Clearly, 2 ACL tears in a game - the field contributed.

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

I guess, but field was the same in September and October as it was Sunday. They just had a smaller audience then. They played nine games on it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Doesn't excuse its condition, mind you, but I hesitate to blame the field for the injuries.

Matt (Rhode Island (Eagles))

Piggy backing on Jordan's comment, I do not believe the Eagles Tight End situation is any better either. Celek was inconsistent and dropped too many passes. Would it be safe to guess they might completely redo the TEs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

It's possible, but not "safe to say." No way to predict major Eagles decisions until they have a coach.

Seadawg (Chesapeake)

Enough pieces around Cousins to make another Division run without RGIII?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Don't see why not. Only takes 9, 10 wins to win this division.

Brian (Philly)

If you were going to pick a a couch for the eagles who would it be and why?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Something big and puffy. I've never been big on leather couches.

Splooz (SLC)

Do you have any issue with RG3 keeping himself in the game? If he comes out doesn't he come off like Jay Cutler? Was he in a lose/lose?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

No issue with him wanting to play. I think the coach's job is to overrule him if he can't play. Which he could not.

Doug (NC)

Dan, if you had a MLB HoF vote this year, who is on your ballot.

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I do have a Hall of Fame vote, this year and every year. I voted this year for Raines, Morris, McGriff and Trammell.

Jonathan (San Diego)

In fairness to Corey from D.C, i remember Dan mocking Seattle fans, and the Seahawks, pretty harshly. Seems only fitting, and fair, for Corey to bring that up now that Seattle is so impressive and Dallas a laughing stock once again. No?

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Whatever floats whoever's boat. I'm here for whatever you guys need.

Kellen (Wyoming)

What does Baltimore have to do to reach the Super Bowl?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Win in Denver, then win in either Houston or New England the next week. I really thought we were done with these playoff scenario questions...

Splooz ((SLC))

Thanks for the chats. Kind of doubt you'll be back next season. Good luck.

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

You know something I don't????

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

I just don't know what to tell you guys on this. How can I know if the Eagles don't?

lawrence (dallas)

dan, would you support a name change from redskins to braves? back to the original, before marshall ruined it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

I'd support a name change, but away from the Native American icons altogether.

Splooz (SLC)

I know many things you don't Danny, I have been chosen to replace you!!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Well, good luck.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

Reports say Chip Kelly was offered close to $8 million, these reports have to be fake right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Not necessarily. If the highest paid coaches now are getting $7.5, it's not crazy to think somebody would top that to try to get Kelly out of Oregon.

lawrence (dallas)

this is a boring chat

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I was thinking the same thing.

Gary (los feliz)

Answer my questions about Jerry then!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Which one was that?

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Here you go. This guy has posted this question like 150 times already. I usually ignore this behavior, but this time Demetrius in Landover wore me down.

Demetrius (Landover, MD)

Dan I'm a clear cut Redskins fan but I refuse to overload this chat with questions regarding RG3. I want to talk more about the talent surrounding him. I was high on Leonard Hankerson coming out of college and still am. But one has to wonder does he have the same eye problem that Carlos Rogers had or is it more so a lack of confidence after tearing his hip labrum last year in his rookie season? He seems to be playing with a lack of swagg that the rest of the team carries and coming from The U they invented swagg.

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

I think Hankerson has shown flashes. Remember, this was his first full season. Had just got going last year as a rookie when he got hurt. I can't speak much to "swagg" or where it was invented, but I know the Redskins like Hankerson and I think it's safe to assume he'll improve.

Alissa (CA)

Anyone notice the change in Dan's answers after being called out by Corey. He crumbled like Romo in a meaningful game.

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

You're assuming the questions have been good since then.

Bill (Texas)

JJ promised changes in Dallas. Which ones do you see (after the firing of Skip Peete)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

But see, he didn't "promise" anything. He bloviated on a radio show on which he always likes to sound tough for his fans. He could make changes, sure. But I really don't think it's wise to take these paid radio appearances and assume everything he says in there is gospel. He talks ALL THE TIME. It's impossible for everything he says to be meaningful.

Vo (SF)

Do you think it was a mistake by Lurie to commit to Roseman so strongly while searching for a new HC? Seems like it immediately limits many options.

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Yeah, I can see your point. I don't see anything wrong with committing to an organizational structure and/or a person you believe in. But I would think he understands that doing so ended up limiting his options.

sam (nyc)

Thoughts on Rex Ryan's tattoo? How weird is that for the locker room?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Gotta think they knew about it before we did, right?

Brian (NJ)

I really think the Nicks injury hurt the Giants more than we realized. He was so good in the Tampa game before he got hurt. Even after he came back he seemed no where near 100%. Its easy to forget that, when healthy, Nicks is a Top 10 WR in the NFL.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Agreed on all points, Brian. But part of the problem at WR and RB this year was that the depth thinned out behind the starters. They could have weathered a Nicks injury better with last year's group than they did with this year's.

Ben (Boston)

What do you think of Dr. Andrews coming out about RG Knee the same day as the playoff game, though the injury first occurred nearly a month ago and he had played two games since?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

It's not like he called a reporter and volunteered his thoughts. Reporter found him at a book signing and asked him questions. He answered.

Frank Wisconsin [via mobile]

Okay okay enough already! Dan we have reached our time limit and I am pulling the chord! We will see you again next Tursday or are you celebrating ANOTHER holiday?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

You know, today is Elvis' birthday. I went to grade school with a kid whose parents wouldn't send him on this day because they celebrated it as a holiday. True story.

Splooz (SLC)

What do you think Shanahan should do now? Apologize? Stick with his current stance?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

I think he's handled it OK, actually. He came out and said it was his decision, that he went with his gut and that it's possible he got it wrong. That seems to be a pretty strong admission for a guy like him.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

If you had to pick one for a career, who do you take, Luck, Bobby 3 sticks as my mom says, or wilson

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Probably Luck. I assume Corey agrees.

Nader (Chicago, IL)

Dan, I tweeted you to get a beer at FedEx and you ignored me. What gives?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

I was working!

Doug (NC)

Do you make it a point to not vote for first timers on your HoF ballot, or do you keep that for a player you feel is worthy of the distinction of first ballot hall of famer?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

No, I've voted for first-timers plenty.

Ryan (DC)

Are you surprised at how quiet Dan Snyder has been during the season, especially with the RG III injury?

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

Snyder should get credit for sticking to his promise to fade into the background when Shanahan was hired. Though I can't help but wonder if this is going to tempt him to break that promise more than anything yet has.

Justin (DC)

Dan, Happy New Year and great chat! See you nest week!!

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

Indeed. Thanks for all of the questions. See you next week.