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

James Walker
  (4:00 PM)

Hello everyone. Let's get right into the latest edition of our AFC East chat.

Nick (USA)

Out of this years Draft is there any player you see becoming a top NFL player very quickly?

James Walker
  (4:02 PM)

I'm just going to keep the question to the AFC East, Nick. A player I really liked in the draft and think he's NFL ready is Bills WR Robert Woods. He played in a pro-style offense at USC and against good competition in the PAC 12. Woods should win a starting job in Buffalo and I think he can produce as long as the QB play is decent.

James Walker
  (4:02 PM)

I'm just going to keep the question to the AFC East, Nick. A player I really liked in the draft and think he's NFL ready is Bills WR Robert Woods. He played in a pro-style offense at USC and against good competition in the PAC 12. Woods should win a starting job in Buffalo and I think he can produce as long as the QB play is decent.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

James, do you see the Dolphins making any other moves or do you think they are pretty set with what they have now?

James Walker
  (4:04 PM)

I think the Dolphins will sit tight for now in terms of major additions. GM Jeff Ireland went out and spent a majority of their cap space. Tyson Clabo was probably the final significant move you will see. But don't be surprised if Miami makes a few cap cuts. I think CBs Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall are both on the bubble due to their high salaries. It also says something when the Dolphins drafted two CBs in the first three rounds.

Dave (Novato)

James, what is the Dolphins plan if Martin can't cut it at LT?

James Walker
  (4:08 PM)

That would be a major problem, Dave. Miami doesn't really have a Plan B, and it's questionable if the Dolphins have a Plan A in Jonathan Martin. I wasn't impressed with his performance at LT. I think he was pretty decent at RT. Martin definitely needs to get stronger if he's going to face the top pass-rushers in the NFL week in and week out on the left side.

Carlos (Hershey Park,Pa)

Looks like Dolphins defense could be a lot better this yr what do you think?

James Walker
  (4:10 PM)

Miami is definitely more athletic, Carlos. That was a major goal for the coaching staff. The Dolphins wanted playmakers, and they got them on defense with Dion Jordan, Dannell Ellerbe and Brent Grimes. Miami had a bunch of solid players on defense but not anyone who could really make a game-changing play.

Chris (KW Ontario)

The timing of Buddy Nix's departure is erie.. (punn intended) Any thoughts as to the timing? Why would he leave a team after Rookie mini Camp if he wanted to "see it through?"

James Walker
  (4:12 PM)

I've seen people mention this, Chris, and I'm not sure I'm getting the point. Nix and the Bills talked about doing this for months. The team will transition to Doug Whaley, as expected. Nix just wanted to see through the draft. I don't see anything eerie with the timing at all.

Brandon (Tampa)

Lifetime Dolphins fan - in need of a new jersey - do I go with Tannenhill or Wake ?

James Walker
  (4:13 PM)

Quarterback is always the safest position, Brandon.

Jordan Dunky (London)

What makes people think Tannehill is any good? He threw more Int's than TD's last year. That's terrible.

James Walker
  (4:16 PM)

Ryan Tannehill is one of those players where you can't grade completely on stats last year. You have to watch him game in and game out to realize that most of the time he played winning football, especially for a rookie. Tannehill also was limited with a supporting cast. I expect his stats to improve this year.

Dan (NJ)

Very festive times James. Why do you think Tavaris Jackson is taking reps for Buffalo? Could he be similiar to EJs styles and they are simply grooming him?

James Walker
  (4:17 PM)

My thoughts on Tarvaris Jackson getting first-team reps so far is it's very early. All three QBs will rotate and this won't be decided until near the end of the preseason.

James Walker
  (4:18 PM)

I think EJ Manuel has more natural ability that Tarvaris Jackson. Manuel is bigger, more athletic and more accurate a thrower. Jackson may have a little stronger arm, but that's hard to gauge sometimes.

kevin (tampa)

Whose the 2nd best qb in the division ? Whose got the best defense in the division ?

James Walker
  (4:20 PM)

Ryan Tannehill is No. 2 behind Tom Brady. And I need a little more time to figure out the best D. There's been a lot of changes for each team. Maybe I will write a defensive ranking's post soon in the AFC East blog.

Jonas (Louisville, Kentucky)

James i don't understand the questions surrounding Miami's RB situation. Teams are finding starting RB's late in draft and sometimes even undrafted, Miller and Gillislee both look to be quality backs with very little wear and tear from college career?

James Walker
  (4:23 PM)

From a national perspective, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee doesn't sound like much. None of these players have done much at the NFL level. So I understand. But I'm based in Miami and watched a lot of Dolphins games in person. I watched them in camps, etc. I think the RBs are better than advertised. They just need experience.

Brandon (Tampa)

I dont see any reason to believe Miami cant compete for AFC East - improved O, improved D, special teams (ie. Kicker) hopefully wont lose us a few games like last year .... Am I jumping too far ahead ?

James Walker
  (4:25 PM)

It depends on how you define competing. Can Miami win the AFC East? I think the Dolphins closed the gap with the Patriots. But as long as Tom Brady is healthy and Bill Belichick is the coach, New England will remain the favorites. But that doesn't mean Miami can finish with a winning record and compete for the wild card. That's a realistic goal for the 2013 Dolphins.

Andrew (Connecticut)

who does your gut tell you will dominate the AFC east? i know i know, too early right? thats what makes it fun though!! so lets hear it Mr. Walker

James Walker
  (4:28 PM)

I'm not going there, Andrew. At least not right now. I'm not even sure I'm going to make game-by-game predictions this year. Right now I'm feeling it's time to cut back on the predictions stuff in 2013. Let's see how I feel in September.

Tony G. (NY,NY)

If Miami has a good season will everyone congratulate Ireland just as much as they've beat on him last few yrs?

James Walker
  (4:29 PM)

That's really up to Dolphins fans. I have been fair to bash Ireland when he's done a bad job and fair to say his stock is up when he's done a good job. But I have a feeling many Dolphins fans already have their minds made up.

Al (Wausau, WI)

James, do you think Stephen Hill will have a better year this year for the Jets? I'm under the impression that he was just learning the ropes last year on how to be a good NFL WR. Your thoughts?

James Walker
  (4:31 PM)

Hill is a player I still don't have a firm grasp on. I knew he was raw coming out of college. But Hill has the size and speed needed. He just doesn't have experience catching the football a lot. There were times when Hill displayed bad hands last year. That's concerning. But, again, he didn't catch much at Georgia Tech. So it could just be inexperience. We will know by the end of Year 2.

Dylan (Westport CT) [via mobile]

Is there any reason for the jets to start Mark Sanchez week one other than what they're paying him?

James Walker
  (4:34 PM)

Sanchez might be the best quarterback in Week 1. You never know. It's not a slam dunk that 35-year-old David Garrard is the best Jets QB or that rookie Geno Smith is ready. I've never been a big Sanchez guy even when the Jets were winning. I never felt he was good enough to carry a team, and we're seeing that now. But he may still be the best option for Week 1. That's why they all have to compete.

Jordan Dunky (London)

How many sacks will Mario get now that his wrist is healed? Does he have a history of being fragile?

James Walker
  (4:36 PM)

Williams has a history of injuries, yes. But I wouldn't call him fragile. The guy is a physical beast in terms of size, strength, athleticism. Williams is by far the highest-paid player in Bills history. He makes his money getting sacks. So I think double-digit sacks every year is a realistic goal.

Carlos Sanchez (Mexico City)

I think the Pats will fall this year and at 10-6, miss the playoffs with the Bills winning the division with a 10-6 but with tie breaker...what u think?

James Walker
  (4:37 PM)

I think that would be quite a story in the AFC East if that happens.

Paul (Girard, PA)

Hey James, Dion Sims and Dustin Keller has all the makings of a solid tandem - does that leave 2nd yr man Mike Egnew to be the odd man out? Could he be a factor now that hes got a year under his belt? Total bust thus far

James Walker
  (4:40 PM)

Egnew's roster spot may be in question, Paul. The Dolphins used a high draft in 2012 but Egnew simply did not look like a player when I saw him. But I never write off rookies after one season. It's not easy to play in the NFL. Maybe Egnew gets the hint and comes around this season.

Steve (Beverly Hills, CA)

I understand that the Jets love Geno Smith. But do you think that starting him too early can cause more harm than good, especially with a questionable receiving corp

James Walker
  (4:44 PM)

The reality is the days of waiting two or three years for a QB to develop are done, Steve. Coaches and GMs are fired too fast. Teams can't build five-year programs like they did in the past. If Geno Smith is the best QB, he's playing in Week 1. No questions asked. It was the same with Ryan Tannehill last year, who also didn't have a supporting cast. Rex Ryan is in a must-win year and can't wait around to baby Smith. If he's better than Mark Sanchez and David Garrard, Smith plays.

Clowns of America (America...)

Please stop dragging our public image through the mud by comparing us to the Jets. We fall over on purpose.

James Walker
  (4:45 PM)

That's pretty funny. The Jets are trying to right the ship. But, yes, they have been a circus for the past two seasons.

Jackson (Toronto)

Who will be the Bill's next GM? What do you think about Doug Whaley if he ends up with the job?

James Walker
  (4:46 PM)

The Bills have not made an official announcement. But assistant GM Doug Whaley is expected to get the job. That's been in the works for a few months now.

Singapore [via mobile]

How long will Amendola stay healthy before he is out for the season again?

James Walker
  (4:47 PM)

That's a significant question in New England. Amendola is averaging six games per season in the last two years. The Patriots need him on the field for much more than that.

Mike (Orinda, CA)

What is your gut feeling about the Dolphins new LB corps w/Wheeler and Ellerbe? Will it be an upgrade on the field?

James Walker
  (4:49 PM)

Definitely more athletic. That allows the coaching staff to do more in coverage and blitzing the quarterback. Dansby and Burnett were physical against the run. But they were pretty bad covering athletic TEs over the middle.

Bobby (Bradenton)

Is Caleb Sturgis the next Janikowski?

James Walker
  (4:51 PM)

I watched Sturgis kick in Dolphins rookie mini-camp last week. The guy has a very strong leg. But Miami's kicking competition will be won on accuracy, not leg strength.

Henry (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Hey James, Do you think the Dolphins will at least get 1 win against the Pats this year? They lost by 1 TD on the 1st game last season.

James Walker
  (4:53 PM)

It will have to happen in Miami. That's when the Dolphins were pretty close in 2012. I'm certainly not ready to do game-by-game predictions. But this will be one of the better AFC East games of the 2013 season.

Sergio (Dallas TX)

Do you think Fins got a keeper in Coach Philbin?

James Walker
  (4:54 PM)

I liked what I saw from Joe Philbin last season. There were not many times when I felt Philbin lost games with his coaching. That's a good sign for a rookie head coach. Philbin has a lot more talent this year and it will be up to him to maximize it to produce more wins.

Fernando (St. Louis)

How good do you think the Bills' defense will be this year? Seems like they have a lot of talent on paper that could excel under Pettine's scheme.

James Walker
  (4:56 PM)

It all comes down to the coaching. Mike Pettine is pretty good at getting the most out of his players. That was something Dave Wannstedt/Chan Gailey didn't do on defense last year. The Bills have a lot of pieces. Anytime you have Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore...those are solid pieces to work with.

D'Shonne Briggs (NYC)

What's up with that Revis contract in Tampa? Couldn't the Jets make a deal like that?

James Walker
  (4:57 PM)

The Jets could not pay any player $16 million per season at this point. That wasn't going to happen.

AJ (Oakland)

Could you see Gailey coaching again? He looked pretty bad in Buff.

James Walker
  (4:58 PM)

Buffalo may have been his final chance at being at head coach in the NFL. He could get a gig in college where he had some success, or in the NFL as an assistant.

James Walker
  (5:00 PM)

Everyone, thanks again for the time and great questions. Continue to check out the AFC East blog for all the latest news and analysis on the division.