Walker's weekend mailbag

November, 7, 2009
11/07/09
12:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Let’s see what's in the mailbag this weekend.

Kenny M from Bluefield, WV wants to know if the return of rookie right tackle Andre Smith (foot) will make the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive line more explosive.

James Walker: That's the plan, Kenny. The Bengals feel Smith has the potential to be their best run-blocking lineman, which was his specialty in college why the team took Smith with the sixth overall pick. If that turns out to be the case, Smith will fit well in the AFC North. It will be interesting to see how Cincinnati gradually integrates him into the offense.

Mark B wants to know if Baltimore Ravens backup tailback Willis McGahee will see more action down the stretch.

Walker: Good question, Mark B. I thought last week McGahee would get more touches. But the Ravens are sticking with the hot hand in Ray Rice, and I can't blame them. One of the toughest aspects for Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is to keep everyone happy. McGahee played well early in the season and probably feels there's no reason he should be iced out. But once the elements kick in later in the year, I think McGahee is going to see more opportunities.

Bobby K. from Portsmouth, Ohio writes: Seeing the present quarterback situation in Cleveland, do you think that Brett Ratliff might see some playing time here in the near future?

Walker: Ratliff is not an option for Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini, Bobby. There is a good chance the Browns will turn to Quinn in the second half of the season and give him another chance. This could also be a showcase, because I have a feeling there will be some trade conversations involving Quinn in the offseason.

Brian from Conshohocken, PA is curious of how George Kokinis' firing will impact Cleveland's draft strategy.

Walker: Good question, Brian. I think there is real impact there. The Browns believe they have a firm scouting system in place and it will be business as usual. But I doubt a staff can prepare for a sudden change of direction eight games into a season. It would have been a lot easier had this happened in the offseason. Cleveland's scouting department has to work without a leader for now and eventually adjust to someone new when the Browns find a replacement. It's not ideal.

Big Bengal from Cincinnati, Ohio wants to know if receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was a "cancer" with the Bengals, based on his recent antics with the Seattle Seahawks.

Walker: In all my dealings with Houshmandzadeh over the years, I found him to be a great guy who is smart and insightful. So, no, I wouldn’t describe him as a "cancer." But there were several small things behind the scenes that stood out during his time in Cincinnati. Houshmandzadeh consistently skipped offseason workouts with the Bengals unless it was mandatory. He would say he prefers to train on his own. But I think Houshmandzadeh became increasingly unhappy about not having a contract extension in his final years with the Bengals and that wore on him and the team to some degree. Therefore, Houshmandzadeh left the Bengals a bit sour.

Sammy Davis Jr. (that can't be your real name) writes: Are we going to bring back the "Harass the other division blogs" from last year? I had a blast doing that.

Walker: I had nothing to do with that the last time. I was just made aware of it by other bloggers in our community. If that's something everyone wants to do again, feel free.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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