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January 15, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings and welcome to our chat. I assume you have questions. I can only hope I have the answers.

David G (Los Angeles, CA)

hearing some stuff this morning about gus bradley close to becoming the next head coach for philly. any idea who his OC would be? we need someone who can work with nick foles

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

It certainly seems possible to connect the dots at this point and determine that Bradley is going to be the Eagles' next head coach. I don't think the deal is done yet, but at this point it wouldn't be a surprise if it got done today. If so, my belief is that he would be allowed to hire his own coaches -- and that he would be allowed input on Foles and whether the team needs to address the QB position beyond him.

jvezzosi (toms river)

Dan, You think Brandon Banks is gone from the Skins?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

Yeah, I think the fact that they didn't activate him for any games in the final month is a pretty strong sign.

Matt (Rhode Island (Eagles))

Do you think Marty Mornhinweg will be able to stay with the Eagles or has his shipped sailed to the Jets or beyond?

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

I assume Mornhinweg will be gone and the new coach will hire his own coordinators.

David (Va) [via mobile]

Is there any credibility to these reports that Redskins camp is very concerned about RG3s knee and the likelihood he'll be dealing with bone to bone pain in a few years?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Lots of credibility, sure. A second major reconstruction of the same knee in a little over three years? How could they not be concerned? He could come all the way back and be fine, but it's impossible to be certain of that from here.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

You don't know anything, but I'm going to ask you anyways...knowing what you know now, is it a DT in the 1st round, Interior OL in the 2nd round, and either another Interior OL or Safety in the 3rd round for the Cowboys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

I'm not going to answer this question, obviously, but it made me laugh and I like to share.

jvezzosi (TOMS RIVER)

Not sure if you get an OFFICIAL vote, but if you do/did, who do you think gets Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

I do not get an official vote. I have thought all along that Luck would win, but the fact that Griffin won the PFWA award makes me wonder.

Frankie D Wisconsin [via mobile]

Do the Cowboys rely on Barry Church at safety next year or look to free agency or the draft??

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

I think "both" is the correct answer. They like Church, but if Kiffin is going to coach Tampa 2 they will need as many safeties as possible.

Travis (Washington, DC)

Dan, where are the Skins primarily looking to strengthen in the offseason? The secondary is obvious, will Tanard Jackson and Merriweather be the safeties next season? Where else will they look to improve right away?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

I know they like Meriweather because they believe he allows them to do a lot more on defense than they could without him. As for Jackson, his suspension runs at least through August, so you'd have to wait out training camp and hope he gets reinstated. I imagine they'll move on with someone else at that spot.

Chris (School)

What style of defense does Bradley run in Seattle? 4-3 or 3-4? Do you think the eagles have enough personnel to fit his style or is it something they change through free agency and the draft

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

Seattle plays a base 4-3. Bradley coached in the 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme under Kiffin early in his career. I imagine they'll stay 4-3.

Bill (CT)

The way it all played out, Griffin needing major knee surgery, how do you feel about the 'Skins trade of their first rounders and do you think Cousins will step up to the challenge of possibly starting the season at QB?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

Anyone can get hurt at any time, so it's hard to judge the trade based on that. Obviously, prior to the injury, he was convincing people that he was worth it. I think they can win games with Cousins, but they need to work on the defense.

Ben (Philly)

What priority would you give to Philly getting a real QB this offseason?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

I think it's the most important thing any team can do, period. Eagles or otherwise. I just don't see any obvious solutions for them.

Joe [via mobile]

The Tampa 2 relies on its linebackers a lot, so I'm wondering who you believe will play SAM for the Cowboys. (Assuming Sean Lee plays MIKE and Bruce Carter plays WILL) Will it be Wilber, Albright, or do you believe they'll look for an answer in the draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

I think Albright fits the position better than Wilber, but I wouldn't be surprised if they looked for someone in the middle rounds.

Jug (San Diego)

If I remember correctly, you were pretty high on Josh Wilson when he came to the Redskins. He's had an up-and-down season this year. Any change in how you feel?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

No, I think Wilson covers pretty well. They all make mistakes, and they could all benefit from better safety play than the Redskins had this year, but in general I think Wilson has been fine for them.

The Real Splooz (Salt Lake Citay)

Putting you on the spot on a fun and topical debate, given their small bodies of work thus far, who do you like better as a long term NFL prospect at this point...Cousins or Foles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

Cousins, actually. Skills-wise I'm not sure about the difference, but Cousins just seems to me to have a little more of that leadership charisma.

Jerry Jones (Dallas)

You make it seem like the Eagles offered the job to Chip Kelly, Brian Kelly, and Bill O'Brien and they were turned down. However, I don't feel like these coaches intended to leave their programs any way, so I don't feel it really reflects badly on the condition of the franchise. That being said, if they did turn down Philly, doesn't it say something about their character and their ability to thrive in Philadelphia anyway? Personally, as an owner, I wouldn't want to hire someone in the future as a Head Coach if I knew they passed on an opportunity in the past because they thought the situation was too challenging.

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

Hey, Jerry! Thanks for checking in. In general, I don't like to answer questions that start with 'You make it seem.' I write something like 12,000 words a week on this blog, and everything I think is in there. You don't have to hunt for hidden meaning. What I have written on the Eagles job is that there are concrete reasons why someone who already has a very good job might not see it as one for which they'd want to leave that very good job. As for how other teams will view these guys after they turned down the Eagles, good question. I think in general, the more times a college coach turns down an NFL job, the more likely NFL teams are to think he doesn't really want one.

Ray Finkle (Miami)

Do you think the Redskins would be looking to trade Cousins this offseason had RG III not gotten hurt?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

No. I think it's too soon for that. And obviously now you see the value in having a QB2 you like.

Max (Leeds, UK)

Thoughts on Alex Smith as next potential Eagles QB? I think he could thrive if we built the offense around Shady and not him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Not real exciting, right? Not a real high ceiling with Smith. Which is why he's not starting in SF anymore, as I understand it. If you insist you want the Super Bowl and not a string of 9-win, 10-win seasons, I think he's probably not your guy. And Eagles fans seem pretty well locked in on that Super Bowl.

Nate Sarmir (Pennsylvania)

What needs to be addressed more in the Eagle's draft: Offensive line or secondary?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I think secondary is the Eagles' more pressing need, since the OL will get better if everyone gets healthier. HOWEVER, I think they'll get better value at that No. 4 pick if they take a big-time tackle as opposed to a safety or a CB. And doing so would allow them to move Herremans back to guard and really beef up there. So I'd go OL in the first and then spend the next couple of rounds on the secondary

austin (st louis)

Do you think the cowboys have enough of the personel to make a smooth transition to the 4-3 and if not what do position do they need the most?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I think they would if they could keep Spencer and Ratliff, but I'm not convinced they can. It looks a lot better if the front four is Ware, Ratliff, Hatcher and Spencer than if it's Ware, Lissemore, Hatcher and... and... Crawford?

Michael (Cube)

Do the Patriots scoop up another tight end and try and snag up Fred Davis or do the Redskins sign him to a new deal? He's an integral part of the offense and could be a nice boost next season to the Redskins if/when RG3 comes back

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I think they'll franchise Davis again. Still a low number on that.

Matt (DC)

Hi Dan, what do you think the Giants will do with Corey Webster?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Ask him to take a pay cut and, if he won't, move on.

Gary (New York City)

Dan, in your opinion, where on D do the Giants need to clean up the most? Yes, they have needs EVERYWHERE but where should they start? DE since that's so precious to them?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

I think they have more pressing needs at LB, OL and DB, but I agree with your thought that they'll be looking for pass rushers again. It's how they roll. And they've had a pretty fair amount of success with it.

Chino (Bronx, NY)

How do you explain another second half collapse by the GMen? What do they have to do to change this pattern?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

They were 9-7 this year. They were 9-7 last year. They were 10-6 the year before. They're as consistent as any team in the league. What they needed this year was for the Redskins to lose more games.

Bill (CT)

Dan, When RGIII returns, do you anticipate the Shanahan's opening up the offense to include more down field throws and more reliance on Morris to run the ball vs the option with RGIII?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

I think that was the plan anyway, even if he stayed healthy. But now it would seem to be the only responsible way to go. (And yeah, I know, I know...)

Ray Finkle (Miami)

If the Eagles sign Gus Bradley, I would like him to target Manti Te'o in the draft and move him to the outside. Kendricks, Ryan, Te'o. Your thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I think 4 is a little high to take Te'o. That's a significant pick, 4. Trent Williams was picked No. 4. They need to make sure it's a high-impact, long-term guy.

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

That No. 4 pick is the silver lining from a 4-12 season. You have to hit on it, or what else good came of 4-12?

Jeremy (Baton Rouge)

Ratliff is not a free agent. If Spencer does leave. 1st round pass rusher! Can you say Ezekiel?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I know he's not a free agent. I still don't know for sure that they can afford to keep him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

The Cowboys project $18.2 million over the cap. They are going to have to make some tough choices, and go with some young, cheap solutions in some key spots on that defense.

Andy (Baltimore)

Te'o will be available in the second round.

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Well, then, perhaps they take him there.

Bitter (Negadelphia)

Did Mike Missanelli hurt your feelings?

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

Who?

Mookman31 (DC)

What's your opinion on Lance Armstrong?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I think he's an utter disgrace of a human being who attained significant fame and fortune by lying and cheating, then employed that fame and fortune as a means of attacking and attempting to destroy those who had the guts to tell the truth about him. I think he deserves no forgiveness, no second chances and no sympathy. I do not wish to hear what he has to say, and I wish he would go away.

Dana (My Cubicle)

Mike Miss is the ESPN radio station afternoon guy in Philly. You have been on a Philadelphia tear since then. slow your pineapple roll.

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

I know who Mike is. I was kidding. I am a great fan of Mike and his work and I enjoyed being on his show. He's excellent at what he does.

Darren Poupore (Asheville, NC)

I'm reading different things from writers on who will be the 3-technique in the cowboys' 4-3. I think Hatcher has more tread left on his tires than Ratliff and would do a fine job there. Then maybe they could keep Spencer. What do you think?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

I think Hatcher's an automatic at the 3. I don't think it's any different from the position he's already been playing for them. He'll be among their greatest assets as they make the switch.

Johnny (VA)

Just heard the news about Stuart Scott - wishing him the best!

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Yes. As are we all. He's been pretty heroic through the whole thing. Not sure enough people know how much he's managed to fit work in between treatments. I think he's someone worthy of admiration and inspiration for those struggling with cancer.

Jevon (The Bahamas)

Do you believe there was a steroid era in football? If yes, why has the NFL been better at handling when compared to baseball.

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

WAS?????

Steve (AZ)

Think London Fletcher will come back for one more year. Yes he's old, but he is still productive, and Perry Riley will only benefit from another year with him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

I know he said he's taking time to think about it, but yeah, I'd be surprised if Fletcher didn't come back.

Natar (DC)

Deangelo Hall has said that he would be open to restructuring his contract to stay with the Redskins. Do you see the Redskins either restructuring his deal or cutting him this offseason?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

My guess is he's not back, but he did play better toward the end of the season, so it could come down to how much restructuring he'll agree to.

The Real Splooz (Salt Lake Citay)

Talk about your experience as part of the First Take and OTL debates recently. You kinda dominated First Take IMO but looked a little terrified of Herm on OTK. Was that fun? Disconcerting? Terrifying?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

It was certainly not terrifying. No one who's interacted with Herm off-camera could possibly be terrified of him. He's great. I felt pretty good about my position on that matter, but it's funny how different people have reacted differently to it. Some said he looked silly. Some said I did. I say we both had fun and I don't think either of us took the disagreement the wrong way. As for First Take, thank you very much. I love it and hope to go back.

Carlo (Toronto)

When you talked to Stephania Bell, did she discuss the fact that Griffin is only 22 and what impact that would have on a speedy recovery? It was not in the post

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

No, it was. She mentioned that his being young and in great shape is a factor. I think the way she put it was that he's fine in terms of the part of the recovery that he can control, but what he couldn't control was the extent of the damage from which he must recover.

The Real Splooz (Salt Lake Citay)

Also...did it bother you that the 2 ex-jocks (and coach) kinda blindly took Shanahan/RG3's side on OTL while the two writers hammered them in a shock jock sort of fashion? I was kinda hoping to see traditional lines crossed in that debate.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

I always like seeing traditional lines crossed, but no, it did not bother me. I was happy they asked me to share my thoughts, and I felt as though they were well supported by the facts.

David (Halifax)

just read Mccoy will be the HC of the chargers. I know Lurie said he wanted to do his due diligence but there has to be some sense of urgency before all their "top choices" get jobs somewhere else, correct?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Yeah, but it sounds like they're zeroing in on Gus Bradley, so I doubt that matters much. If they wanted to make a strong push for McCoy, I'm sure they would have.

Blazn.j (work)

is it true the cowboys can get the cap number down pretty easily by restructuring Carr, cutting/restructuring Miles Austin, cutting Marcus Spears (though not sure I would) and extending Romo?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

All of that would help, but cutting Austin would create a new hole, and I think I read something that said Carr's deal might not be so easy to rework. I will look into that.

Darren Poupore (Asheville, NC)

I'm hoping Garrett keeps his play-calling duties, because if they are stripped from him then everyone including the players will know that Jerry has stripped all authority from him. The players need to at least think that the head coach is in charge. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

I agree it would weaken his stature. I also think he showed improvement in that area this year.

Bitterness and Negativity (Philadelphia)

Did you read Jason LaCanfora's article on Howie Roseman and the Eagles' coaching search? Any thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Jason's an excellent reporter. I know his piece is being trashed in Philadelphia, but I myself don't like to engage in media critiques. I know Jason and how hard he works. I'm sure his information is substantive.

Alex (LA)

Have you looked at the tape on Josh LeReibus's performance in the playoff game? Everyone cites the Griff injury as the time the offense stopped moving, but the shutdown also coincided with Lichtensteiger going down. Is LeReibus a potential starter down the line or yet another failed OL Draft pick for skins.

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

I think you make an excellent point, and this is the first time I've seen it made. We've all been so locked in on the RG3/Shanahan drama. LeRibeus wasn't ready to play significant minutes in a playoff game. He's a project. The way the Redskins operate their offense, you can't just plug in a lineman when one goes down. Their zone scheme relies heavily on continuity and rhythm. A large part of their success this year is that they had the same five starting linemen in 16 of their 17 games.

miles (london)

Can we get more articles about the Giants please? I mean your articles are informative and more about the G Men would be awesome.

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I'm open to suggestion, but they are by far the quietest team in the division right now. Makes it tough to find angles. I promise I'm trying.

Bitter (Negadelphia)

I'm sure LaConfora's DC ties didn't influence his piece at all Dan. Looks like Graziano has cornered the market on naiviety.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

You guys always assume we think the same way you do.

Mookman31 (DC)

You're the coach of a playoff team and the first game is in a week. Which Manning brother starts for your club?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Eli.

Dan (Jersey)

Dan, with the way the eagles search is going, and not getting some of their first choices, I certainly think it would have been better to keep any Reid. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

No, I think Andy Reid's time there had reached its end. It's time for someone new. Even if whoever they get isn't as good as Reid was, it was clear it was time for them to part company.

The Real Splooz (Salt Lake Citay)

In fairness to Bitter (Negadelphia) Ashley Fox writes about Philly an awful lot for a national writer. Simmons writes about NE. Wilbon about Chicago. There are a lot of articles focused on hometown teams. Agree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

My point was, fans like to assume bias based on their own inaccurate perceptions. ("Jason's DC ties.") I see it all the time -- people assuming I favor or dislike a certain team just based on where I live, etc. It's all baloney

Ray Finkle (Miami)

Andy Reid announced that he would be making the offensive play calls for KC. Do you think he would still be in Philly had he done that years ago? Or are Andy and Marty to much alike for that to have made a difference?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

I think the thinking there is that Pederson is new to the OC job and will have enough on his plate. Perhaps down the road, as he develops into the job, he gets to call the plays. Marty had a lot more experience.

Bitter (Negadelphia)

Well, i had my fun. I appreciate the fact that you're a good sport about it at least.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Back atcha.

Rodney Hampton (Illadelphia)

Is it me or does it seem like the same four people keep getting questions answered? No bias? LOL.

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

I almos always look at the questions, not the names. This thing moves pretty fast. If I were trying to keep track of who's already had a question answered and who hasn't, we wouldn't get to very many questions.

Weech (SoCal)

Dan, I'm curious. Do you feel the same of Lance as you do of Barry Bonds. Given, Bonds hasn't admitted it publicly, but c'mon.

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Yeah, I'm not real high on Bonds. Key difference for me, that elevates Lance to top scumbag status, is the marshaling of lawyers and sycophants to attack his attackers. Bonds, for all of his considerable faults, has just kind of waved it off and let people say what they want to say.

Rodney Hampton (Illadelphia)

I really have enjoyed these chats. I hope your replacement is half as clueless.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Me too.

Chris (School)

Do the eagles listen to offers for Maclin this offseason? Do you see them trading him?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Can't see how you get good value for Maclin right now. Selling low is rarely a good idea.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

Dan, everybody always pesters you for predictions, is it to early to start for next season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Yes.

The Real Splooz (Salt Lake Citay)

Any chance Dallas looks to trade Ware with their switch? You should try to get an interview with him to see his thoughts on the move.

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

I do like talking to him. Maybe if they send me to Super Bowl and he's there, I can get a few minutes. But no, I don't see them trading Ware.

Andrew (R-town)

are you leaving us, dan? two weeks in a row of people talking about your replacement is disconcerting.

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

I have no plans to leave. Just shooting back, is all.

Martin (New York, NY)

What do you make of the Giants RB situation? Do you expect Bradhsaw to return? Or has Wilson flashed enough upside to get the starting job next year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Yes to both!

Chris (Hoboken)

Why is the NFC East chat the most obnoxious? I don't see the other chatters getting heckled so much...

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Not. Touching. That. One.

Billy (History Class)

Quick, what's the capital of Nebraska?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Lincoln! Dude, I live with a nine-year-old. I can do em all!

Wooz (Columbus)

Will Jason Peters be ready to go for 2013?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

I think that's their plan, yes. Still a long recovery, but he was running around in November, so I'd assume he comes back barring a setback.

travis [via mobile]

Asomugha to FS please give an answer

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

I don't see how that works. He'd have to completely alter everything about the way he's played his whole career. And he doesn't strike me as that flexible.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

At what point does Jerry Jones give up on Romo, like you said for Philly 9 - 10 win seasons isn't good enough

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

They are going to sign Romo long-term likely with in the next few months. They know they can't find an upgrade. He's really very good.

Andrew (R-town)

See you next week, Dan! Thanks for doing this!

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

Truly my pleasure. Thanks for coming. See you all next week.