NFL chat with Troy Aikman

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Troy Aikman

NFL chat: Who's for real vs all hype? (09/30/2009) 

Happy Wednesday, NFL fans!

Welcome to today's NFL on FOX chat with 3-time Super Bowl champion TROY AIKMAN!

11:47  Troy will be joining the room at 12 ET/9 PT, but feel free to send any questions early to get in the pipeline first!

Troy is open to any topic, but fr the most part we'll be discussing NFL Contenders and Pretenders -- Who's for real and who's all hype after three weeks?

11:49  PLAY FREE FOX Fantasy Football!
12:00  OK folks, our guest of honor Troy Aikman is with us.... Troy, thanks for making the time today.
12:01 Troy Aikman:  Thank you. Looking forward to spending some time with the NFL fans and answering some of their questions.
12:01  OK, here's our first question from Laura:

There have been a lot of trash talk regarding Tony Romo, do you think it is justified, because I believe he is a good quarterback and will an awesome quarterback.
12:02 Troy Aikman:  I feel Tony is an extremely talented QB and there are alot of teams that would love to have him as their QB.
12:02  More NFL coverage from Alex Marvez
12:03 Troy Aikman:  

There is no question that the expectations are awfully high for him and the Dallas Cowboys but you have to understand that it was Tony becoming the starter in Dallas that raised those expectations.

12:03 Troy Aikman:  Prior to him taking over as QB, the team had not won many football games in recent years.
12:03  As a follow, Tanya wants to know:

Do u see the cowboys making it to the playoffs?
12:04 Troy Aikman:  I do think the Cowboys have playoff talent on their roster. The difficult thing is the fact they play in the NFC East. In my opinion, the toughest division in football. The Giants, Eagles & Cowboys are all excellent teams and I could see anyone of them going all the way.
12:05  Troy, a lot of folks are asking if the Ravens are for real -- Donnie asks:

I'm a huge Ravens fan. What's your take on them this year? Your feelings on Flacco?
Who will win the Super Bowl this season?
 ( 16% )
 ( 6% )
 ( 32% )
 ( 35% )
 ( 11% )

12:06 Troy Aikman:  I sure think they're for real. THey had an excellent year last year and have come back this year and played well. I thought their win against San Diego really showed the league that they're a really good team.
12:06 Troy Aikman:  I like what Joe Flacco is doing this year. They've had to lean on him more than a year ago...which you would expect with it now his 2nd season.
12:06  Staying in the AFC North for a moment, DeWayne is asking:

How do you see the Bengals playing out in the AFC this year and do you think the offense with Carson can be a serious contender?
12:07 Troy Aikman:  The Bengals are playing well defensively. I really like Carson and know that if he gets back to top form that they will be a very difficult team.
12:08 Troy Aikman:  That will be a tough division though with Pittsburgh & Baltimore.
12:09  John asks the $64 million question, on the Vikings:

With the Vikings acquiring Farve, do you see the Vikings as capable of competing with the big teams in the NFL like the Giants and Colts?
What should Brett Favre do?
Retire already
 ( 26% )
If arm can take it, play for Vikings
 ( 74% )

12:10 Troy Aikman:  

Absolutely!   The only thing holding the Vikings back in years past was more consistency at QB.   Favre showed last week what he's why they brought him in.   A year ago the Vikings lose that game to San Francisco.

12:11  Peter has a question about Carolina:

Troy, have you been able to watch Carolina? How do they go about fixing their problems? And what do you think is their greatest concern right now, run defense or Jake?
12:11 Troy Aikman:  Looking at Carolina I only see one guy that's capable of making plays for them and that's Steve Smith.
12:12 Troy Aikman:  Carolina has been a team that runs the ball well and then gets big plays out of their passing game. Those big plays have been hard to come by because teams have taken Steve Smith out of the game.
12:13  OK Troy, our main topic today is surrounding which teams are contenders and which are pretenders ... Hence the next question from jma1035653 ...

Do you think the Jets are for real and is Sanchez the real deal?
12:13 Troy Aikman:  

The Jets have surprised me with how well their defense has played this early in the season. I do believe that unit is for real. Because of that, the Jets will have a chance to win every game they play.

12:14 Troy Aikman:  Mark Sanchez has impressed me. Knowing how difficult it is to play well as a rookie. He's made several outstanding throws to help his team win. He, like we've seen from Flacco & Ryan a year ago, will only improve as the season progresses.
12:15  Nancy has a question about Tom Brady...

Hi Troy,do you think tom brady will get really back to his old self after the injury?i now live in tn [mass. native] and this family are devout patriot fans. Do you think it was the right decision for richard seymour to be traded considering we have have lost so many of the old guard in new england?
12:16 Troy Aikman:  I do. Tom is still finding his way but so is his supporting cast. Don't forget that he's been without Wes Welker for the past 2 games. Joey Galloway is new addition this year. Randy Moss has been dealing with back problems. Laurence Maroney is injured, etc. Also, Josh McDaniels' departure has probably affected him to some extent as well.
12:17 Troy Aikman:  In time, the Patriots will be fine offensively. I don't, however, think they'll be the high-flying offense we saw in 2007...that's unrealistic.

This is from Coop:

What is your perception of the Redskins? How do they fix this season?

12:18 Troy Aikman:  The Redskins' problems are interesting to me simply because I think they have good skill players. At least enough talent to be having more success than we've seen from them.
12:20  Here's a question from Noe:

It appears as though the NFC has some parity this season. Of the three undefeated teams (Giants, Vikings, Saints), which do you believe could fall off?
12:21 Troy Aikman:  

Good question. I like all 3 because I don't see any one of those 3 teams with any glaring weaknesses at this time. The Saints have really improved their defensive play and that was the key for them so I like all 3 of those teams.

12:22  Talking about who's for real or not...

After the preseason and 3 weeks of regular season, what is your assessment of coach McDaniels' moves in Denver?
12:23 Troy Aikman:  

I found the Jay Cutler trade bizarre but that's another topic. At this point, Denver looks good. I think we'll know more after this week against Dallas.

12:24 Troy Aikman:  As good as they've played on defense so far they haven't played a good offensive team yet....Bengals, Browns & Raiders are ranked 24th, 32nd & 31st in offense.
12:25  Talking off topic for a second, a good question on Tim Tebow's NFL chances:

Troy, Whats your opinion on Tim Tebow in the NFL? Delivery/accuracy a concern? More of a situational type player?
12:26 Troy Aikman:  

Tim Tebow as a QB in the NFL is a question mark to me. I do find him to be a great leader with multiple skills. I think there's a place for a Tim Tebow on an NFL team...a prominent role for him. Whether that's at QB I'm not sure.

12:27  Hitting the NFL again, here's a question on the Niners:

I am a huge 49ers fan, that loss last week broke my heart. I was wondering if you think the loss is something to worry about, or if the 49ers are for real and have a shot at making some noise in the NFC?
12:28 Troy Aikman:  Well, they will defintely continue to make noise in the NFC West and that's the key. Like we saw from Arizona last year, you need to make the playoffs first. I like what Mike Singletary has brought to S.F.....toughness & discipline.
12:30  Gerry asks about his Bucs:

Troy, do you have any suggestions for Tampa Bay re: their QB situation?
12:31 Troy Aikman:  I would like to see Josh Freeman play. The Bucs have a decent offensive line so it's not like he wouldn't get protection and there's some good skill players on that team too.
12:32 Troy Aikman:  We had a Bucs game this preseason and I like what I saw of Freeman. The Bucs aren't going anywhere this year...use this time to bring your franchise QB along and get as many reps as possible. If he begins getting hit too much then get him out of the game.
12:33  jmak08 has a question about Michael Vick:

How long do you think it will take for Michael Vick to fully regain his former form? Does it really take that long for someone to regain his athletic ability or is it mostly mental?
12:34 Troy Aikman:  I think it will take time. It's hard to regain that form in practice and he's not getting a lot of reps at QB so not only is he trying to get re-acclimated to playing in the NFL but he's also having to do it while learning a somewhat different role. Not easy to do.
12:34 Troy Aikman:  In Vick's case, I think it's more physical...his greatness is his physical attributes.

Here''s a question from Steeler nation:

Troy: Do you think the Steelers problems so far are a result of a Super Bowl hangover, or are they maybe playing out of sync right now?

12:36 Troy Aikman:  I've never bought into the Super Bowl "hangover" debate. The Steelers have not been able to finish games like they did a year ago.
12:37 Troy Aikman:  

I don't doubt for a second that the Steelers will be fine.

12:37  Amanda has a question about a team trying to take the Steelers:

What do you think about the Colts chances for winning the Super Bowl?
Who is the best player in the NFL?
Tom Brady, Patriots
 ( 10% )
Peyton Manning, Colts
 ( 32% )
Adrian Peterson, Vikings
 ( 35% )
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
 ( 3% )
Randy Moss, Patriots
 ( 0% )
 ( 20% )

12:38 Troy Aikman:  I like the Colts chances of winning the SB as much as any team in the NFL and that's because of Peyton Manning. As long as he is healthy, they are going to be really good.
12:39  Amanda also asked about Peyton Manning...

Do you think Peyton Manning is close to retirement or does he still have many years ahead of him?
12:40 Troy Aikman:  I don't see Peyton retiring any time soon. The game has changed from when I played with the rules protecting the QB's. You will begin to see QB's playing much longer than they did in year's past. I think if the current rules protecting QB's existed when I played it would have added 3-4 years to my career.
12:41  Interesting question from Dominique ...

Between eli and peyton whose the better quarterback?
12:42 Troy Aikman:  I really like what Elis has done this year. His performance v. Dallas was really impressive. With the changes in personnel on offense Eli has the opportunity to show everyone what he has meant to that offense.
12:44 Troy Aikman:  Peyton is regarded as one of the 10 best QB's of ALL-TIME. I'm not sure we're ready to say that about Eli Manning. A fairer comparison will take place once both of their careers are over. I will say that there's less talk about Eli being Peyton's "Lil' Brother"...which speaks to what Eli has been able to accomplish.
12:44  Quick promo note, folks...

For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at Follow NFL on FOX lead analyst Troy Aikman at
12:44  Sanjay asks about his Bears:

Can you see chicago winning NFC North or making the playoffs as a wildcard?
12:45 Troy Aikman:  The North is a lot like the East to me. I can see any one of 3 teams winning the division. It's early in the season but if Jay Cutler can continue to play well and if they don't suffer too many key injuries then they'll be in the hunt. That's the case with most teams at this stage of the season.
12:45  Question from a Lions fan who calls himself, well, lionsfan ...

Troy, Matthew Stafford seems to be progressing well... What's your take on him?
12:47 Troy Aikman:  His circumstances are most like mine of the rookie QB's in recent years. He went to a bad team and that's always difficult. It would be unfair to compare his play with that of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco or Mark Sanchez. All of those QB's had better supporting casts as rookies.
12:47 Troy Aikman:  Having early successes is important for any young player or team. Last week's win was huge for that organization and Stafford's confidence.
12:48  John has a question on the Packers...

Will Aaron Rodgers be able to manage the Packers offense and not give in to the pressure to put up better numbers than Favre on Monday?
12:49 Troy Aikman:  I really believe that Aaron Rogers has gotten beyond all that. Don't get me wrong though, Aaron Rogers will want to win this game and will want to look good doing it but more than anything he just wants to win. I think he'll keep those emotions in check and not try to do too much.
12:50 Troy Aikman:  

Favre may be the one that lets his emotions get the best of him.

12:50  Duke is asking, simply:

What team do you think is playing the best ball?

12:51 Troy Aikman:  After 3 games I would say Baltimore.

Looking big picture as we near the end of the chat, Tom wants to know:

What NFC team do you like to go to the Super Bowl ?

12:53 Troy Aikman:  Boy, it's awfully early and teams are just now beginning to separate themselves. Having said that, I really believe that the NFC Champion is going to come from the NFC East and as I said earlier, I can see New York, Philadelphia or Dallas winning that division. Not that the division winner is the one that makes it but I like one of those 3 teams to go to the Super Bowl.

Troy, how about the AFC ... do you have a favorite so far?

12:54 Troy Aikman:  At this time, I would stick with Baltimore but my prediction coming into the season was San Diego, so I'll stick with the Chargers.
12:54  And finally, one last question -- the one everyone wants to know from one of our fans today ...

Troy, will you complete the trifecta and join Dancing with the Stars next season?

12:55 Troy Aikman:  LOL...not a chance!

Tough break, fans!

Well Troy, we appreciate your time today -- can't thank you enough for joining us!

Where are you headed this weekend?

12:56 Troy Aikman:  Thanks everyone for participating. You all are the ones that make our game so great. I appreciate the interest and wish all of your teams the best the remainder of the year. I'll be in Denver this weekend for the Broncos/Cowboys game.
12:57  We'll tune in this weekend to the NFL on FOX, and as a reminder ...

For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at Follow NFL on FOX lead analyst Troy Aikman at

12:58  Latest NFL news
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12:58  Thanks for joining us everyone -- we'll have our next NFL on FOX talent chat announcement coming soon, so stay tuned!


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