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July 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Hello, all. Questions?

Cherry (Canada)

No wasting time with this one, will just get it out of the way. Whats the quarterback situation like in Philly right now?Also, any insight on the Maclin situation or a possible replacement?

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

The quarterback situation in Philly is a mess, because they don't really have a quarterback. Vick is a poor fit for what Kelly wants to run. Foles is a second-year guy who was a third-round pick last year and uninspiring in limited action. Barkley is a fourth-round rookie. I think they're still looking for a QB next summer. As for Maclin, I think they will look internally to replace him.

Vinny (Scranton)

Do you think coaches and players for the Philadelphia Eagles really and truely believe this is not a rebuilding year? Everyone else on the planet seems to know that it will take some time to get everyone on the same page with regards to Kelly's game plan and also to get the building blocks in place to get this team to be a contender again.

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

I mean, yes and no. The Colts were supposed to be rebuilding last year and they went to the playoffs. So I believe them when they say they want to contend this year. It's not for them to tell us they can't. That for those of us who don't have a stake in it to assess.

Jon (NJ)

Any word on the progress of Chase Minnifield and Brandon Meriweather? I think the secondary is more important this year than the pass rush.

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Minnifield looks great, but the question is whether they can trust his knee to hold up, and the answer is likely no. So if they keep him, they may need to keep an extra CB for insurance. Meriweather is a guy they're being careful with, but indications are that he'll be ready when the season starts.

Matthew (Charlotte, NC)

With a few training camp days completed for the NY Giants, what are your early impressions of the CB play and where they stack up relative to each other on the depth chart?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

I've not been to Giants yet, but there's no reason to think Webster and Amukamara aren't the starters with Hosley in the nickel role. Beyond that... camp is for sorting that out.

Ariel [via mobile]

Do you think the way randle plays will have an effect on nicks contract this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

It absolutely could. If they believe they have a viable replacement in Randle, then that gives them major contract leverage against Nicks, and could lead them to set their number for him lower.

Nick (TX)

Think Johnny Football would be a good fit for the Eagles if he enters the draft next year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

It looks to me as though Johnny Football has to figure some things out in his own life before we can really talk about his NFL prospects.

Chris (Giants Land, NJ) [via mobile]

Will Wilson and Brown be able to form a solid RB tandem for the Giants?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

I think, as runners, they can be very good. The coaches will be evaluating them as pass protectors this August.

Danny (Texas)

Why doesn't Jarvis Jenkins appeal the suspension if he truly wasn't taking anything illegal based on the labels of the supplements he was taking?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

He did appeal. He lost.

Cherry (Canada)

Great, a quarterback mess is just what we need! I think I read that you visited the Eagles camp already. How is Chip Kelly's demeanor and attitude different from Reid's? Louder/more aggressive/more able to move around the field/etc. Are all the players into all of the changes that he's brought or are some of the things controversial in the locker room?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

Kelly is unique, and the players do seem to be taking to him. My Eagles "Camp Confidential", which will post to ESPN.com this afternoon, gets into some good details.

Jimmy (Wyoming)

Dan, you said the Cowboys needed an OL in Round 1, and they took one, even with Shariff Floyd on the board. With the current injuries to Ratliff and Crawford, think the Cowboys should have gone DL in first and OL in second?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

No, I think they did the right thing. OL was much more of a screaming need for them, I think, and indications are that they didn't think Floyd fit what they wanted to do on D anyway, right?

Steve (Florida)

How did Bacarri Rambo look working with the first team D? Do you think he has a legitimate shot to be their starting FS against the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I do think he has a chance, yes. His issue is that sideline-to-sideline speed, and that could start showing up when they're playing games. FS is wide open there, and one of the rookies could absolutely start some games this year, including the first one.

ronnie (somewhere) [via mobile]

Assuming Alfred Morris doesn't receive 99% of the carries, who sees more action in the backfield this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I think Helu is the favorite for that if he can stay healthy.

morgan (DC)

Do you believe there is a playoff team in Washington this year and why or why not?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

I don't know. The Nats don't look like they have the offense to get it done.

Mark (Oregon)

How much will the switch from 3-4 to 4-3 hold the Cowboys back this year? It seemed it took a while for the Skins and the Pack to gel when they made the switch recently

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

Skins and Pack went the other way -- from 4-3 to 3-4. I think the Cowboys have personnel that fit the 4-3 well, especially Ratliff, Lee and Carter. I think they'll play well if healthy.

sam (nyc)

Do you have a schedule for each team's camp confidential (saw Philly's just now)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

Cowboys already ran. Giants are scheduled for next Tuesday, Redskins for Aug. 12. Schedule subject to change.

Danny (Texas)

How did Pierre Garcon look? Did you get to talk to him about his foot problem?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

He looked phenomenal, and yes. He said he chose not to have the foot surgery because there was no precedent for a receiver coming back from a similar surgery and making a full recovery. He believed rest and rehab was the best way to keep him an effective player going forward -- that surgery was too great a risk to his playing future. So it's about managing the pain when/if it comes back, but he says it's not bugging him now.

bill ( philly) [via mobile]

So Dan, has Dez Bryant figured out his problems or is he still susceptible to being his own worst enemy? He has the talent to be the best, but I feel like we are going to look at his carrier and think he could have been more...

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Bryant is one of these guys who has this curse -- he could behave perfectly for the next 10 years, and then if he gets in trouble in 2024, someone will say, "See? Same old Dez!" Reputations are impossible to shake. His only choice is to play great and make no mistakes off the field at all. Lot of pressure.

Brian (east Windsor, nj) [via mobile]

Any signs that management may lose confidence in perry fewells ability to install a consistently effective defense scheme if they fail to show improvement this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

No, there are no signs of internal frustration with Perry Fewell around the Giants. Doesn't mean there isn't any, since the Giants like to keep those things private. I think they like him a lot, but if the results continue to lag, the fact that he's a good guy isn't likely to save him.

kevin (nyc)

Dan: Now that Cruz and Nicks are back in camp and the coaches are still raving about Randle, do you believe them now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I'm always inclined to not believe coaches.

Vinny (Scranton, PA)

I have the 3rd overall pick in my league's fantasy draft and I'm leaning on taking McCoy. Do you think McCoy is going to be stud this year... I mean you said it yourself that the QB situation is a mess, and I hear Chip like to lean on the run game. That should set up McCoy to have a fantastic year, but my only concern is with how often Kelly likes to sub players in and out may limit his effectiveness.

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I love McCoy in fantasy this year, but I can't imagine he's a top-3 pick. Peterson, Foster, Charles, right?

Demetrius (Landover, MD)

When you were at skins camp how did rookie OLB Brandon Jenkins look rushing the passer?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Jenkins didn't do much when I was there. Seems way down the depth chart.

Jc (Fort Myers, FL)

Hey Dan u mentioned going to a 4-3 would benefit some guys on the Cowboys but isn't there significantly more wear and tear on 4-3 DE's than stand up 3-4 OLB. Hit from the snap, more initial contact from the linemen. Ware is getting older couldn't that lend him to getting hurt more than he already has been?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Yes, this is a concern of which I have written, and the depth at DE becomes a bigger concern with Crawford out. Ware might just be an excellent enough player that he can adjust and handle it. But it's definitely worth watching.

Mark (Oregon)

Given your stated distrust of what coaches say, do you believe Shanahan when he says he's still going to run the read option? What are the chances that was said primarily to have other teams prepare for it?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

I believe this: That Shanahan wants everyone to think he's still going to run the read-option. I don't know how much he'll run it, but I believe he'll run it enough to make sure defenses still have to worry about it.

Vin (Partytown) [via mobile]

Is 5 preseason games an advantage for the Boys and does it change how Garret plays his guys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

It's an advantage because it allowed them to start camp earlier, and more practice is better.

robby (the U) [via mobile]

Who would you say is the best player on the giants defense?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I would say Jason Pierre-Paul.

Mike (Sacramento, CA)

Dan, After Garcon, there kind of seems to be a log-jam at the WR position. Who do you see emerging as a reliable 2nd option, taking into account Fred Davis's return at TE will factor in. I believe a healthy Josh Morgan (played with 7 pins in foot last season) might turn some heads?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Oh, I think a healthy Josh Morgan would be the clear No. 2 wideout on the Redskins. But expecting "a healthy Josh Morgan" is kind of like believing in Santa Claus, right?

Ryan (Baltimore)

How has Kirk Cousins looked so far? Although Redskins fans would love to see him holding a clipboard all season it's possible - if not likely - that he'll be called on at some point....

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Cousins looks very good. If he has to start a game or two, I think they'll be fine. If he has to start a lot of games, the issue I think they'd face would be his decision-making. He seems to hold onto the ball with an idea toward making the big play down the field, as opposed to running/throwing it out of bounds or taking the safer, quicker option. And I think that would hurt the Redskins if spread over a longer period of time. A huge part of their offensive success last year was RG III's sharp decision-making and the way in which that limited turnovers. Cousins has the physical tools and the leadership aspect down, but this is a flaw that he'd need to correct before he can be a reliable starter, I think.

Archer [via mobile]

So Dan, are you looking forward to the final season of Breaking Bad? I'm predicting a fight club ending where Walt doesn't exist.

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I can't even contain myself, I'm so eager for these final eight episodes. True Blood is abominable. I won't even watch this season of The Newsroom, because I hated Season 1 so much. Walter White must save my Sunday nights!

Ben (Boston)

Did you see the "All Bad Contracts Team" article on Grantland? If so do you think Barry Cofield deserved to be on it?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I did not see it. Curious about the reasoning there. I think Cofield's played very well.

billy (nutley, nj)

what are your thoughts on Brandon Myers for the Giants Offense. Obviously he's not the blocker Bennett was but he is way more advanced receiver from what I've been hearing. Your thoughts???

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I think you're right. He'll change the look of their offense, offering more in the passing game while hurting their run blocking. So if he's on the field a lot, I think the Giants' offense will have made major changes from last year.

billy (nutley, nj)

I think Walter White dies this season unfortunately and Jesse will end up the survivor. How ironic???

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Walter White was diagnosed with lung cancer in the first episode of the series. We've been assuming all along that he dies, right?

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

So a fantasy-esque question..after Dez, the next most productive WR in the division is...

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Hmmmmm.... Cruz, I think. Especially if you play in a PPR league.

Rah-Steam (hackensack, nj)

if Hakeem is healthy all year, who has a better season him or Victor Cruz?

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

Hakeem is the answer, but that's a huge "if."

zac (canada)

your failure to attend cowboys camp in Oxnard... travel budget restrictions or personal choice?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

It's just about sensible allocation of resources. ESPNDallas.com has three or four writers there every day. I'd have been happy to go, but they don't need me, and it's a cross-country flight.

Demetrius (Landover, MD)

John Keim is joining ESPN to cover the Skins. Will you invite him to answer chat questions with you? Two great point of views from two great writers!

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Keim is fantastic, and we're thrilled to have him. Lots of changes coming, and we'll discuss them all at the appropriate time. I would expect John to do his own chats, but I am sure there will be many opportunities for him and me to do some things in tandem.

Tommy (Hot Tub in Stevensville, MD)

I envision the Giants having Nicks and Randle on the outside, Cruz in the slot, Myers up the middle and Wilson split out of the backfield being an incredibly difficult combo for teams to defend against with Eli's decision making ability and pre-snap read of defenses .... Lot of weaponry there

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Yes, assuming Randle is ready and Wilson can handle the load. I don't question the Giants' skill-position talent. I question the blocking.

milroyigglesfan (training camp)

Much being said about Chip kelly, but a great video analysis of his offense in Oregon is readily available online. Assuming eagles have a healthy offensive line, do you see the eagles being a run first team this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

I do, because I think that;s what Kelly wants and because he doesn't have a quarterback.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

The starting RT on opening day for the Giants will be...

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Diehl

John (Albany)

If Justin Pugh doesn't start this year, what does that say about the Giants draft? First round picks should start from day 1.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

That's not the way the Giants roll.

Tommy (Hot Tub in Stevensville, MD)

will you be going to the HOF game to see the Cowboys ?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

No, but I just got a huge new TV, and I will be watching the game on that.

Ray Finkle (Miami)

What were your observations on the WRs, specifically Russell Shepard and Ifeanyi Momah at eagles camp?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Shepard is neat. A few of us talked to him Sunday, and he was a lot of fun talking about his story. He said most teams before the draft were looking at him as a DB because he had so little receiver experience in college, and that he signed with Philly because CHip Kelly "recruited" him and wanted him as a WR. He spends a ton of time after practice catching balls from the JUGGS machine, trying to get better as a receiver. Interesting guy. Will be interesting to see whether he can contribute on special teams and develop. Momah is huge but doesn't appear to be able to catch

Austin (St. Louis)

Is the loss of Crawford going to have a bigger impact next year because the cowboys wont know if he can replace Anthony Spencer?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Yes.

Dave K. (D.C.)

The starting RT on opening day for the Skins will be...

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Polumbus.

Ben (Washington, DC)

Hey Dan, thanks for taking my question. Do you think the Giants defense was not as awful as it was last year the way everyone makes it out to be? They gave up the fewest points in the division. Don?t get me wrong, it was annoying watching teams walk up and down the field, but the Giants did make key stops and created key turnovers.

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Sacks were down, yards allowed were up, 28th in yards allowed per rush... the criticism is legit.

Zack H (Hartford, CT)

With Orakpo and Merriweather back this year, plus the infusion of youth in the secondary, do you see the Skin's defense taking the next step this season and adding 10+ sacks to their already INT numbers?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I think Orakpo and Meriweather help the pass rush, yeah, but I do think they're thin on the DL at least at the start of the season and at inside linebacker now. And CB is a major question mark.

Hanson (DC)

Other than staying healthy,what is the biggest area of improvement would you like to see from RG3 this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Honestly, if he had the same exact season except that he stayed healthy, what would be wrong with that?

Jug (New York, NY)

You said "huge new TV" without quantifying. How big we talking?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

It's 60". Old one was 32. Big upgrade.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Best guess in NY this year..the ratio of carries between David Wilson and Andre Brown this season, if Wilson proves to be adequate at paas-protection...

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

60-40

Howard the Duck (Outer Space)

How amazingly awesome would your job become if the Giants make an improbable Super Bowl run?????

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

The Giants' run two seasons ago was a lot of fun to cover.

Chris (Austin) [via mobile]

Does your role change at all with the hiring of team specific Insider bloggers at ESPN?

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

All of these answers will come at the appropriate time. I do appreciate the interest.

Howard the Duck (Outer Space)

But the super bowl will be in New Jersey, that's gotta add some perks, no?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Yes, covering Super Bowl week and still being able to sleep in my own bed will be nice.

alan (baltimore)

Is McNabb getting into the HOF?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I doubt it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

But he makes a stronger case for it than you think when you first hear that question.

Ray Finkle (Miami)

Your thoughts on the Eagles retiring McNabb's #5? I am all for it. Is he a Hall of Fame player - probably not. But I def. feel he deserves to have his # retired

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

He's the best QB the franchise has ever had. He presided over an era of unprecedented success and prosperity. I don't see why there's even a debate about it.

Jug (New York, NY)

Barring injury to either Hall or Wilson, does Amerson get on the field this season? If so, for what?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I think Amerson could play his way into a starter's role, possibly shoving Wilson out. But Wilson is a favorite of Shanahan's, and Amerson's a rookie so it's not likely. If he shows enough, maybe they can use him in nickel sets and move Hall inside?

Austin (St. Louis)

how excited are you for the HOF game? I know its only preseason but Im pretty excited football will on again

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

I mean, look. I get it. The whole football starvation thing. But you know as well as I do that, midway through the first quarter of that game, we're all going to be thinking, "Geez, preseason games are boring!"

Hanson (DC)

If Vick is the starter for the Eagles does that mean they will be looking for QB in next years draft and Foles is not part of the future or is that reading way to much into it?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

No, I think it's possible that that's exactly what happens.

Mac (CT)

Do the Giants have any concern about JPP's future? I had the same surgery and it is def not a guarentee he will fully recover, high probability of further injury.

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

I don't sense that level of concern with the Giants, but your point is well taken if it's that full recovery from any surgery can't be assumed.

Dave (North Jersey)

Hey Dan? Why do we care about your opinion? Are you really that cool?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Yes. Yes I am.

Kaz (CT)

With Randle looking so good this off season, how detrimental would it be if Nicks cant play all 16?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

I mean, look. It's not even August yet. You can't assume that just because Randle is impressing coaches in late July that he's going to be a factor in September. I'm sure they'd love for that to happen, but I guarantee you they're not assuming it. Nicks is a game-changing type of player when healthy. Randle could turn out to be very good and still not offer what Nicks offers.

George (Philly)

So, is Matt Barkley not in the Eagles long-term picture (as the QB solution)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

He certainly could be. Just don't know how they could know that yet.

BB (Portland)

If Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles had flipped teams, would their results have turned out the same? Is Kirk Cousins that much better than Nick?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I don't know. Eye of the beholder, I guess. Reid liked Foles, Shanahan preferred Cousins. Would Cousins have played better than Foles did in those games last year, with no O-line or receivers? Tough to assume that.

Andrew (Richmond)

Why dont the Camp Confidentials run in the order that you visit?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I am not writing the Redskins one.

Erik (Il)

Starting OG for Cowboys week 1? Frederick and Leary? Put the 5 best OL on the field.

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

Yeah, I think it's wide open, those three interior spots. Maybe Frederick is the center and the best two guards line up next to him. Maybe Costa wins center but Frederick shows enough to win a guard spot. Open competition, I hink.

Jug (New York, NY)

Is Keim writing it?! You don't need to answer, you made it abundantly clear the details won't be revealed just yet

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

John starts next week, it's no secret. He will handle Redskins Camp Confidential.

Andrew (Richmond)

Were you surprised to see RGIII running plays with the offense this weekend? I know, based on what I have read, I was thinking he would be doing a lot of clipboard holding for camp...

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Their goal is to get him into game shape as slowly and responsibly as possible. They'll gradually give him more to do while continually making sure he has no setbacks. I think you'll continue to see the workload increase.

Mike (MA)

% chance that Barkley is the start week 1 for the Eagles? Can ya give me 5%?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Sure. 5 percent.

Kaz (CT)

you gonna be at Giants camp thursday first day of full pads or what?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Possible.

Mayor (Richmond)

Where did you eat in Richmond during your 'Skins visit?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Had dinner Friday night at Tarrant's Cafe, lunch Saturday at Kitchen 64. Enjoyed both very much.

Jug (New York, NY)

This may have been asked before, but what did you think of RGIII in the little he did? Or is there not enough data?

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

Performance isn't the issue here. He's going to make the team. It's about getting him in shape to play at game speed.

Denzel (Philadephia)

You didn't answer any of my questions. Thanks for wasting a hour of my life.

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

My pleasure. Good bye.